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LEFT OF THE DIAL Wye Oak's Jenn Wasner on the band's new sound, and the doubts she overcame to create her favorite record yet. Plus: BARF #2, and Viracocha is back!

This Week's Paper

weekcoverThe City's Garbage Game: recology fudges recycling numbers as the city cracks down on can collectors . Plus: Muay Thai action, Wye Oak, the Wizard of ODD tornadoes into the Castro, more. Articles Online | Digital Edition

From the Blogs

What is the plural of cyclops, anyway? "God of War III," reviewed

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By Peter Galvin

God of War III

(Santa Monica Studio, Sony Computer Entertainment)

PS3

A melting pot of ancient Greek myths and characters, the God of War series embodies the term "Big Game." When the first title made its debut on the PS2 in 2005, people were blown away by the scope of the environments and the brutality of its anti-hero Kratos. A pawn in one of those tragic mind-games that Greek gods were so well-known for, Kratos was a Spartan warrior who set out to exact vengeance against the gods that betrayed him, battling his way through hell itself more than once. In this, the third and supposedly final game in the franchise, action and spectacle are amplified to their limits as Kratos ascends Mount Olympus to murder Zeus himself.

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Director Atom Egoyan talks remakes, marriage, and "Chloe"

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Canadian director Atom Egoyan (1994's Exotica, 1997's The Sweet Hereafter) was recently in town to discuss Chloe, his latest film, which producer Ivan Reitman commissioned him to direct. Based on, but markedly different from, the 2003 French film Nathalie, Chloe follows the unexpected course of events triggered when the middle-aged Catherine (Julianne Moore), suspecting her husband David (Liam Neeson) of having an affair, hires luxe call-girl Chloe (Amanda Seyfried) to tempt him.

San Francisco Bay Guardian: Do you know what attracted Ivan Reitman to this project?

Atom Egoyan: My only clue, really, is that in looking at his filmography, he made a film [in 1993] called Dave, which I enjoyed because it really is also a study of a marriage, a marriage that had gone completely cold. Sigourney Weaver plays the wife of a president, played by Kevin Kline, and they can’t stand each other. He dies, and a ringer is brought in, also played by Kevin Kline. All they have to do is make public appearances, because this couple doesn’t talk to each other in private at all. And she finds herself strangely falling in back love with her husband, and of course it isn’t her husband, it’s a surrogate. I think I understand why the person who made that film would be attracted to Chloe, because it’s dealing with similar themes.

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March me, baby

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March Fourth Marching Band is coming to town (Fri/26, Cellspace). Throw up your batons! Toss about that pocket-stored confetti! Let the high steppin’, flair totin’ cyclone of happiness begin!

Perhaps I should explain.Read more »

Hank Plante's exit interview

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Hank Plante ends a three-decade run as a political journalist with tonight’s (March 24) broadcast of the CBS 5 Eyewitness News, where he has worked since 1986 after starting his career with newspapers in Washington DC. So we took the occasion to talk politics with him, learning that his loyalties lie downtown.Read more »

John Ross: The damaged spine of America

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I am on a low-rent book tour with my new cult classic El Monstruo - Dread & Redemption In Mexico City.  For the next three months, I will stumble across this land from sea to stinking sea probing the underbelly of Obama's America.  The findings will be posted on these pages.


LAS CRUCES N.M. -- The snow was already dusting the Organ Mountains fringing this high desert town, promising a hard winter further up the spine of Obama's America. I ride the Mexican bus (officially doing business as the El Paso-L.A, Limousine Express) when I ply the back roads of the southwest. Greyhound, with its stern rules and regulations and surly drivers who threaten their cargos with summary expulsion for minor infractions, doesn't much inspire me these days.  

 

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It lives again -- Creature Features rises from the grave

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Seemingly rising from the grave like so many of the monsters and ghouls that it showcased over a 14-year run on local television, the beloved Bay Area show Creature Features is being resurrected once again to satiate fans’ undying thirst for the creepy, kooky and campy.

On Thursday night, John Stanley (who took over hosting the program from the late Bob Wilkins in 1979) will be on hand at the Balboa Theater for a recreation of what an original “Creature Features” episode would have been like circa the early 1980s, including a full feature film, interview segments, mini-movie, and even the vintage commercials that ran during the breaks. Read more »

The pool next door

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“Oh yeah, the best part of the job is the swim lessons,” says Al Hardy, senior swim instructor at the newly reopened Hamilton Recreation Center. We were standing at the corner of his new pool, where the San Francisco native worked for 20 years before renovations closed down the lanes two years ago. The center opened back up for business on March 6th. During my visit within weeks of its rebirth it was filled with community members using every aspect of its varied fitness facilities. Clearly, I’m not the only one that’s stoked my neighborhood has a swimming pool once again.Read more »

Five stars for the doom metal miracles of Pentagram

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Given Pentagram singer Bobby Liebling's gargantuan drug intake over the last forty years, the fact that the diminutive, goggle-eyed rocker continues to croon cult doom metal hits onstage -- Pentagram will be at DNA Lounge on Wed/24 -- is nothing short of a miracle. Read more »

Street Threads: Look of the Day

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Today's Look: Andy, Clay and Polk

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Following a Metric conversion -- into metal?

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By Peter Galvin

The rise of Emily Haines, vocalist for Metric (who'll be performing Wed/24 at the Fox), as an indie-rock diva is one of the more deserved success stories in recent years.

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Snap Sounds: YACHT

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YACHT

The Afterlife

(DFA)

YACHT is to the river as an Oreo cookie is to a tall glass of milk-- fully dunked and soggy. The newly released video for "The Afterlife" is alllll about the Portland electro-pop duo gettin' baptized and cleansed. River baptisms, bathtub renditions, slow-mo and even reverse baptisms. Were they naughty?

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Poll: 73 percent in favor of simple majority vote for budget legislation

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By Nima Maghame

A new poll by David Binder of DB-Research, conducted on behalf of Californians For Democracy, shows that 73 percent of California voters support a simple majority vote for revenue and budget legislation. Voters were asked to weigh this proposal: “All legislation on revenue and budget must be determined by a majority vote. Would you vote for it?” In response, 73 percent said yes, and 22 percent said no.

The findings are being hailed as a ringing endorsement for the California Democracy Act, a November 2010 ballot initiative authored by UC Berkeley Professor George Lakoff that would change the California Constitution from requiring a two-thirds vote of the Legislature to approve budget and tax proposals to a simple majority rule. Californians for Democracy is in the process of gathering signatures for the initiative.

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End the nightlife crackdown

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Harassing parties and clubs shouldn't be a priority for a cash-strapped city's police department

EDITORIAL Police Chief George Gascón has asked for more authority to crack down on rogue cops, and has vowed to clean up the small handful of bad actors who are giving the department an ugly reputation for violence and abuse. But before San Franciscans are going to trust the chief, he's got to show some evidence that he's serious — and cleaning up the mess that is Southern Station's crackdown on nightlife would be a great place to start.Read more »

Hot sex events this week: March 24-30

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Spring is in the air -- how else to explain the uptick in the moods of our neighborhood flyboys and meter maids? Not to mention those high-waisted short-shorts the young people are sporting. I say, since May through July’s gonna be foggy anyways, let’s call it summer. So let’s get to lovin’ people, people. Here’s your sex events to-do list this week.

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Mutaytor records album in iconic SF house

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Recently in San Francisco, a unique and iconic band recorded an album in a unique and iconic house, and the two entities seemed to resonate beautifully.

Mutaytor might be the ultimate Burning Man tribe, an eclectic group of Los Angeles-based performers who came together in the event’s Black Rock City more than a decade ago, forming into a band that’s like a traveling circus that evangelizes the burner ethos and culture everywhere they go, just by being who they are: sexy, scruffy, wild, warm, colorful denizens of the counterculture.  Read more »