Top Story

This Week's Paper

weekcoverGrover 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

From the Blogs

Community forum planned on Mission gentrification

|
()

The recent debate about high-end retailer Jack Spade seeking to open up shop in the former location of Adobe Books has placed concerns about gentrification in San Francisco’s Mission District to the front burner yet again.

To spark a dialogue about an appropriate community response to the changing fabric of the neighborhood, community activists have organized a discussion forum scheduled for Monday, Sept. 23.Read more »

SF State campus police arming themselves with Tasers (yes, before the SFPD)

|
()

Just because the SFPD can’t get Tasers doesn’t mean all the cops in San Francisco are missing out.

The San Francisco State University Police Department will soon arm themselves with conducted electrical weapons, known by the brand name Taser, following a statewide push from the California State University Chancellor’s Office to arm all of its campus police statewide with the weapons.Read more »

Bad dads, hella docs, and more new movies!

|
()

One theme this week is "father figures" — some terrible (see Dennis Harvey's review of Blue Caprice here, and review of You Will Be My Son below), some frantic (Prisoners), some ass-kicking (Ip Man: The Final Fight).

Elsewhere, check out Jem Cohen's moving narrative (but also kinda doc-like) Museum Hours (my chat with Cohen here). More short reviews below! Read more »

Holy Cherry Moons! SF Album Project joins Prince's 'Parade' in full, fantastical drag

|
()

Things I know right now: I'm far from the only one who knows all the words to Yaz's Upstairs at Eric's, OK Computer is much better as a conceptual drag performance, and the 12-inch version of "Mountains" by Prince is one of the best extended jams ever committed to vinyl. 

The third thing I know from being a record nerd (it's also impossible to prove to you, since the Purple One spends all his time on Youtube yanking down his music). But the first two revelations came courtesy of the stunning San Francisco Album Project, a talented group of drag performers, stage technicians, theatrical personages, and tasteful club kids. Every two months they take on an entire album, presenting it as a stage extravaganza, embellished with special effects and original dialogue. It's brilliantly nuts, and not the albums you'd expect at all from a bunch of colorful queens.

After conquering Yaz and Radiohead (standing room only, btw), the SFAP is about to scale the purple peak and slide under the cherry moon: The troupe will present Prince's "Parade" -- the soundtrack to his 1986 movie Under the Cherry Moon, including the original version of my beloved "Mountains" --  in its entirety on Sun/22 at the Chapel.

I asked Nathan Rapport and Bobby Barber, "album curators" of SFAP, to give me the lowdown on the project, and what to expect this Sunday:

Read more »

Breed ditches Twitter after being called out for caustic tweets, again [UPDATED]

|
()

Sup. London Breed appears to have abruptly deleted her Twitter account today after engaging in a clash of tweets with some local activists online. Breed had tweeted comments that were derogatory toward bicyclists and others, after earlier attempting to distinguish between her “private” comments and public role, but now she appears to have given up entirely.Read more »

Q&A: Blouse on the Dream Syndicate, forest life, and going synth-less

|
()

Blouse, may have ditched the synths and drum machines of its 2011 debut self-titled album with new Captured Tracks full-length, Imperium, but the sound remains as hazy and dreamy as ever. Now it's just backed by rippling reverb and distortion.

The misty Portland, Ore. dreampop trio makes siren calls that would entice a shipwrecked sailor, floating endlessly in a gurgling oceanic abyss. See? Wistful. Check first single, "A Feeling Like This" or next track "No Shelter" for that particular mental imagery. It's all there, the swashing of fuzz, the wide open minimalism à la xx, the delicate, teetering vocal tracks, and an uneasy feeling of isolation. Read more »

TIFF diary #2: dead cheerleaders + Tsai, Hong, and Breillat

|
()

Check out the first entry in Jesse Hawthorne Ficks' Toronto International Film Festival diary here, and stay tuned for more tomorrow!

All Cheerleaders Die (USA) is the follow up to Lucky McKee's attention-grabbing The Woman (2011), which stunned Sundance audiences with both its subversive take on gender issues and its violent brutality.

Taking a much lighter tone with co-director Chris Sivertson, Cheerleaders (an expanded remake of his 2001 short by the same name) nicely echoes the ironic horror-comedy vibe of Joss Whedon's Cabin in the Woods (2012) while still managing to deliver a genre entry for text-crazed teenyboppers. Goths, jocks, some faux feminism, and a bevy of ass and crotch shots should make fans of Harmony Korine's Spring Breakers quite satisfied.

Read more »

Bill on Brown's desk to make two-tiered system of college tuition: for the rich, and the poor

|
()

It seems that one California politician is adapting an old adage for a modern era: If at first students protest and get pepper sprayed, try, try that legislation again. Read more »

Is Art Torres helping PG&E, helping his son's political career, or both?

|
()

As I’ve been reporting on how CleanPowerSF is being blocked by Mayor Ed Lee and his political appointees on the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, one piece of the puzzle that I couldn’t quite figure out was why SFPUC President Art Torres took the position he did, offering little public explanation for his stance.Read more »

TIFF diary: standouts from France, Nepal, and Japan

|
()

After 33 feature films at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival, I can safely say that I am ecstatic about where cinema is heading this decade.

While many of the following films might not receive major releases, I have compiled a spoiler-free overview of films — presented here as a series of blog posts — to keep your eyes and ears out for in the coming months (and perhaps years) at your local theaters and online resources.  

Read more »

The Performant: Vancouver Fringe-mania

|
()

Well, it’s been another fringe-ferrific whirlwind here at the Vancouver Fringe, but like all good things, it too has come to an end. The Boulder Fringe is still poised to begin this afternoon despite the flooding, but the East to West Coast circuit is now complete, and many career-fringe artists headed home, wherever that may be, to count their successes and tally their losses (often both).

For Naked Empire Bouffon Company the rewards of its five-week tour appear to be both tangible (a Critic’s Choice nomination and a “Talk of the Fringe” award in Vancouver, quotable reviews, and some modest profit), and ephemeral (connecting with other Fringe artists, experiencing new frontiers of audience reaction, generating excitement and controversy). But it’s been a lot of work to get that: months of rehearsal time, many long days of flyering in costume, hustling for audience and some small portion of recognition. But it’s the shows themselves that Fringe artists and audiences come together to experience, and it’s the shows that will hopefully stay with us long after the bone-wearying nature of the hustle fades from memory. Here’s a shortlist of some of the stand-outs from my second week at the Vancouver Fringe. Catch them elsewhere if you can.

Read more »

Due Process For All must wait another week

|
()

Sup. John Avalos’ Due Process for All ordinance, legislation barring San Francisco law enforcement agencies from honoring detainer requests issued by U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) under the federal Secure Communities (S-Comm) program, faced obstacles at the Sept. 17 Board of Supervisors meeting and was ultimately continued to the following week.

Read more »

San Francisco Homebrewers Guild Q&A: A mashing good time

|
()

For this week’s cover story, I profiled one particular homebrewer -- my husband -- on his quest to DIY kegerator glory. But there’s more to this story -- hundreds more, in fact. And the homebrewers of San Francisco congregate in the virtual San Francisco Homebrewers Guild (cute motto: “A mashing good time!). Read more »

Geeking out on Kathleen Hanna's the Julie Ruin at Slim's

|
()

After explaining that the next song would be about how there are thousands of feminists, all around the world, and driving home the obvious point -- there is not one sole leader of the feminist movement -- Kathleen Hanna giggled, hearing yet another shout-out from the audience. She jokingly replied, “OK, OK, but I am the number one feminist.”

It was this typical audience-artist interplay that brought the excitement of Hanna’s return to the stage, via new/old project the Julie Ruin at Slim’s last night. Read more »

Van Ness BRT moves forward, slowly, despite the need for rapid reforms

|
()

San Francisco today inched closer to finally creating a modern bus rapid transit system on Van Ness Avenue, nine years after it was officially proposed, although as we reported in last week’s paper, the city is still about five years away from actually completing it.Read more »