Grover Norquist brings the Black Rock blues as Burning Man Jumps the Shark! Pro-Palestine protesters block the boat, fed-up teachers take strike vote, and crack cocaine sentences may soon get smoked. Plus: Myron & E lay down street soul at Noise Pop, Nick Monaco belts out his Mating Call, and Aubrey Plaza slays in Life After Beth. Articles Online | Digital Edition
If frog doesn’t sound like your thing, consider that we don’t always know we like something until we try it. Or consider the way this surveillance state being forced down your throat goes right to your ass. Or consider that Dalton Trumbo (following Emile Zola) once referred to his time (the time of McCarthy and other manifestations of totalitarian creep) as the Time of the Toad — an era in which maintaining indifference to the injustice and horror around you was tantamount to learning how to swallow a whole wet one each and every day.
As a child, you imagine your toys come to life whenever your back is turned. As an adult in the Bay Area, you imagine that every night you choose to stay in, the bars are all packed with experimental underground DJs, food carts, live visual artists and the kind of freaky electronic jazz you would see in a Blade Runner spinoff series. And yet when you do turn around — at either age — your dreams often fall short (if your toys ever did come to life, please let us know).Read more »
Surprise, shock, flabbergasting awe -- these are all completely invalid responses to Twitter's revelation of its diversity figures, which the disruptive San Francisco tech company released today (in a tweet, of course).
Twitter divided its diversity statistics into three categories: tech, non-tech, and leadership. Guess which area had the most white folks? If you guessed tech, you get a (vanilla) cookie.Read more »
Not long after I sat down with Randy Walker, the male, non-performing ego of one of San Francisco's most undefinable musical acts, vocal powerhouse Carletta Sue Kay (who performs at The Chapel this Fri/25), we talked a bit about college. Walker asked me the prerequisite questions about the social scene and my major, perking up at the sound of a humanities-centric discipline. I asked if he’d done the whole college thing. Read more »
Beating up on Muni and the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency is a perennial pastime for many San Franciscans, who will be given the opportunity to put their money where their mouths are this November. Will they be willing to give Muni the money it needs to serve its growing ridership, even at the cost of other city programs and priorities?Read more »
If Instagram is anything to go by (read: it’s not), anyone can make a short film — just slap a filter on it and call it a day! Thankfully, the protagonists in Anywhere Else and Swim Little Fish Swim, two films featured in the 38th annual San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, work on creative projects that can pull their own weight — sans filters — even if the length exceeds 15 seconds from the sidelines. Short DIY clips, not integral to the plotlines, are interspersed throughout of each film and are a breath of fresh air, even if the overall film itself is a hit or a miss.
Normally the sound of 20 or so artists rattling and spraying aerosol cans would be quickly followed by the sound of sirens. But Sat/19 the fades went up with gusto.
Artists tagged free standing art boards at Precita Park for the Urban Youth Arts Festival, an event that brings the ultimate underground art into a safe space. Attendees munched on burgers and listened to some good tunes at the festival, which is now in its 18th year.
The name "Beach Boys" can refer to either of two bands. The first is the happy-go-lucky surf rock band that does songs about cars and California, led by the conservative Mike Love; the second is one of the most audacious and avant-garde bands of the psychedelic era, led by the mad Zen master Brian Wilson. Though most of the music-listening world knows them primarily as the former, the latter has proven far more influential, pushing the Beatles' creativity to breaking point out of rivalry as well as serving as a major touchstone for the last decade or so of indie rock.Read more »
Jimmy Cliffis a goddamn maniac. It's about 45 minutes into his 90-minute set at the Fillmore on Saturday night [July 19], and while the sheer volume of ganja smoke in the packed room is making real movement — beyond the standard shuffle/sidestep, white reggae fan head-bob, and occasional 30-second pogo accompanied by the triumphant fist-in-the-air move — seem an insurmountable challenge for most everyone on the dancefloor, 66-year-old Jimmy Cliff is onstage in matching bright yellow-and-red pants, a robe, and a hat, quite literally running circles around everyone. Read more »
“We stopped checking for monsters under our beds when we realized they were inside us,” reads a quote often misattributed to the Joker in 2008’s The Dark Knight. The presenters at July 14’s "BAASICS.5: Monsters" event at ODC Theater capitalized on this concept, examining both modern monsters (though not “cars and corn syrup,” as one emcee mentioned at the beginning of the event) and monsters of yore.
In past years, the organization has explored provocative topics such as the future (more weighted toward a possible uprising of robots rather than the nagging question “What am I going to do with my life?”) and psychiatric and neurologic disorders by juxtaposing science and art. It’s easy to find the right balance between the two for these past themes, but I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from this year’s event.
Digging deep during the height of summertime fun and frivolity, we Guardianistas showed up in force last night for another lively and informative edition of our biweekly radio show, Alternative Ink, on BFF.fm. Listen to the podcast here (but don’t be fooled by the first minute from a past show, it’s a false front we used to hide this week’s treasure).Read more »
100 Years After WWI: The Poll Diaries - Franz Ferdinand, the band, has shaken up some summer music festivals in recent times, but 100 years ago in the summer of 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand's assassination shook up the world. In Chris Kraus's 2010 drama film The Poll Diaries, young Oda (Paula Beer) rejoins her aristocratic German family in Estonia. Throw in an Estonian anarchist and a society on the brink of World War I and you'll find there isn't too much hope for love. The Poll Diaries is the first film in the Goethe-Institut's weekly WWI film series and is an apt film to spearhead the selection of poignant, beautifully melancholy wartime movies. 6:30pm, $5. Goethe-Institut San Francisco, 530 Bush, SF. (415) 263-8760, www.goethe.de
Murder City Devils -- Combining elements of garage rock and punk with dark organ lines and caterwauling vocals, Seattle rockers The Murder City Devils were a musical powder keg from 1996 to 2001, just waiting to be lit by a live audience. After a five-year break up, the band has sporadically reunited for concerts here and there, but hadn't put out a new record until this month, dropping The White Ghost Has Blood On Its Hands, its first album release in 13 years. Fans can look forward to hearing the new material, along with old favorites, when Spencer Moody and cohorts hit the stage in what always promises to be a gloriously unpredictable and incendiary performance. 8pm, $22. Great American Music Hall, 859 O'Farrell, SF. (415) 885-0750 www.slimspresents.com
Lee 'Scratch' Perry - The God of Dub may be pushing 80, but his live shows and constantly evolving studio production are not slowing down. Lee "Scratch" Perry, who helped to transform reggae into an aurally and technologically complex genre while virtually inventing "the remix," released a new album, Back at the Controls, earlier this year. The work was a true group effort, both because it was a collaboration with Rolling Lion Studios' producer Daniel Boyle as well as the fact that it benefited from a thriving Kickstarter campaign. To complement his new record, Perry embarked on an ongoing world tour, which hopped over to Europe for a three-month stint starting in March. Now back in the States, Perry looks to continue dazzling audiences with his idiosyncratic fashion, pulsating beats, and exhilarating reworkings of timeless classics from every kind of music. 79pm, $25. Independent, 628 Divisadero, SF. (415) 771-1421 www.theindependentsf.com
My Drunk Kitchen with Hannah Hart - How many YouTubers have baked brownies with Mary-Louise Parker (of Weeds fame) while drunk? Hannah Hart, the mastermind behind the "My Drunk Kitchen" YouTube channel, has come a long way since her first video, in which she set out to make grilled cheese — getting by with a little help from her friend, wine — and realized mid-video that she didn't have any cheese in the house. She appears this evening to promote her new cookbook, which is chock-full of tasty recipes (ones she made up while writing and hasn't tasted) and spontaneous fun. And hey, she has drunk Jamie Oliver's stamp of approval, so what more could you ask for? 7pm, free. Books Inc. 601 Van Ness, SF. (415) 776-1111, www.booksinc.net
Name Drop Swamp Records + Quiet Lightning - This new collaboration between independent SF record label Name Drop Swamp Records (Fox & Woman, Split Screens) and the long-running lit and spoken word series Quiet Lightning brings together live music, poetry, and performance for an evening that's sure to draw a crowd full of all kinds of artists — in addition to those being featured on stage. Featured performer Luz Elena Mendoza of Y La Bamba is someone you won't get to see in a small room for too much longer, thanks to her unique, rich vocals and skilled storytelling through song. The door is sliding scale and the aim is for this evening to be the first in a bimonthly series at the Emerald Tablet (sorry, "Em Tab,") so get in before it blows up. 5 - 9pm, $10-20; no one turned away for lack of funds. The Emerald Tablet, 80 Fresno, SF. (415) 500-2323, www.emtab.org
Built to Spill - Boise's Built To Spill has been churning out heartbreakingly lovely indie rock songs for over 20 years. Doug Martsch, formerly of Treepeople, formed the group in 1992. Since then, the band has gone through a whirlwind of lineup changes with Martsch as the only constant, but have managed to create seven equally beautiful, reverb-heavy studio albums. Martsch's music has been cited as a major inspiration by such indie rock royalty as Isaac Brock of Modest Mouse and Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie. Though it's been five years since they've released an album, Built To Spill's live show hasn't declined a bit. This three-night run at Slim's is a very special event, and certainly not to be missed. With Slam Dunk, The Warm Hair. 8pm, $28, Slim's 333, 11th St, SF. (415) 255-0333, www.slimspresents.com
Fucked Up Toronto's Fucked Up might be the most ambitious punk band on the planet. This six-piece hardcore band has been releasing more and more epic and boldly experimental records since their explosive entrance to the scene in 2001. The group has even been recognized by the Canadian government, winning the prestigious Polaris Prize in 2009 for its incredible, sprawling punk-rock opera The Chemistry of Common Life. Their most recent effort, Glass Boys, maintains their hardcore edge while finding more rock depth, borrowing simultaneously from Dinosaur Jr. and Negative Approach. The record asks questions about what it means to be an aging and successful punk band. Known and notorious for their tempestuous relationship and wildly unpredictable live shows, Fucked Up is one of the best hardcore bands and certainly one of the best live acts on the road. Tijuana Panthers, The She's, 8pm, $20. The Independent, 628 Divisadero, SF. (415) 771-1421 www.independentsf.com