Arts & Culture

Arts & Culture

Here comes the neighborhood

Hugh's girls
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TRASH TV This review of E!'s The Girls Next Door started with a vision of me à la Gloria Steinem for her 1963 Bunny Club exposé, only I was doing my research sitting on my boyfriend's couch and eating Pirate's Booty, sans notebook. I grew up in an überfeminist house (No Three's Company!), spent a semester writing a paper on the sexism in Pretty Woman, and went to a once-all-women's college that had an unwritten rule about using womyn in all campus postings. Read more »

You like me!

The Oscars of gay porn come to town
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DON'T FORGET TO THANK THE MOST HIGH "The Oscars of gay porn are coming! The Oscars of gay porn are coming!" I whinnied to my roommate Baby Char-Char, my girlish hands gesticuutf8g wildly. "Don't you know what this means? Soon the streets will be absolutely crawling with porn stars!"

"So what else is new?" the lovely Char-Char humphed, settling back into his vegan chicken nuggets. Thus the rapturous ambivalence that greets the arrival of the GayVN Awards to San Francisco this Feb. 24. Read more »

Worth a shot

Mark Jackson's American Suicide brings can-do despair to life
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Sam Small (Jud Williford) is an unemployed man in a fraying bathrobe with a limp Jimmy Dean sausage in his pocket, living off the bacon brought (literally snuck) home by his wife, Mary (Beth Wilmurt), a waitress. Sam's situation, aggravated by his well-thumbed copy of Hamlet, has led him to contemplate suicide.

Albert (Marty Pistone) — right across the hall from Sam and Mary's apartment 86 in number 69 — is sympathetic. Read more »

Chorophobics, beware

Fears of Your Life
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For the last decade four baseball players have been staring at me as I sit at my computer. They never say anything, but their presence is uncanny. I first encountered them in a downtown office building where I was working. Every time I walked into that sterile lobby, they looked at me. There was something about those burning eyes, open smiles, and striped uniforms that made these players look more like skeletons than athletes. Read more »

We could be heroes

Justice League Heroes
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Justice League Heroes

(Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment; PS2, Xbox, PSP, Nintendo DS)

GAMER The best game to feature comic book heroes to date is Marvel vs. Capcom. Here we have heroes from the DC universe gathered together as the mighty Justice League, ready to stomp the guts out of fiends doing dirt. Read more »

Happy returns

The Birthday Party is agelessly cruel
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A man hides from the world in a shabby seaside rooming house until two men arrive determined to take him away. The latter represent a kind of conformity, brutal and ruthless in its determination and tactics. Read more »

Fresh hedonism and sound artifacts

Bill Owens and Christian Patterson shoot for skin, sin, and salvation
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America's holy trinity — beer, barbecue, and the Bible — forms a belief system of carnivorous consumption and garish glitz in recent photographs by Bill Owens and Christian Patterson, well paired in concurrent exhibitions at Robert Koch Gallery.

Owens's "Flesh," with its uncomfortable close-ups of pork parts and gnashing teeth, picks through gristly ribs, charred bacon strips, and headless mannequins, revealing an eat-or-be-eaten society starved for gustatory and spiritual succor. Read more »

Splendor in the ass

Sara Thrustra's Ten Pictures and Two Pin-Ups calendar
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365 NAKED DAYS I didn't care if 2006 was half over when I discovered artist Sara Thustra's poster-size, silk-screened and stitched butcher-paper calendar last year. Stuffed with a zine and riddled with mythical critters, a hairy hippie Adam and Eve, and a monstrous Paul Stanley–esque rock 'n' roll hydra head, it was so handsomely handmade — the paper-ephemera equivalent of a fun-loving, snaggletoothed boy toy with dirty locks who sews his own clothes — I had to have it anyway. Despite the handful of calendars dangling on my walls, I'm always late. Read more »

Sex on wheels

The 2007 "At Your Service" bike messenger calendar
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FIXED-GEAR FIX Mr. July, bare chested, coyly toys with a Rubik's Cube, the waistband of his Champion boxer-briefs just visible above his brown leather belt with a "Philadelphia Freedom" buckle. Mr. November, sandwiched between two Muni cars, has his T-shirt pulled up to just above his nipples, revealing washboard abs and a plethora of tattoos. Mr. February gazes longingly over the Mission rooftops, one slippered foot swinging like a come-on over the edge.

What do they have in common besides month-based nomenclature? Read more »

Attraction is hell

Manuelito Biag's The Shape of Poison solidifies his standing as a choreographer on the rise
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REVIEW Rarely does ODC Theater pack them in the way it did Feb. 2 for SHIFT Physical Theater's first full-evening piece, The Shape of Poison. Manuelito Biag has been making work for close to 10 years, but the buzz has really picked up since 2003, when he presented the anguished Giving Strength to this Fragile Tongue. With Poison, developed as an artist-in-residence project at ODC, he has created a work about the inarticulate, often unacknowledged forces that shape our realities. Read more »