Volume 44 Number 04

4 fine wine bars


It’s time to quit your drinking habit. No, not that one. The one where you sidle up to your usual bar and say, "I’ll have a glass of cabernet (or chardonnay or merlot)" with nary a glance at the wine list. I know, I know. You’re tired. You had a long day. But there’s a big world of wine out there, and lucky for you, we live in a city with lots of delightful options by the glass, from Down Under stickies to the reds of the Med. Here are four places that specialize in remarkable vinos, so it’s easy to trade in that mediocre merlot for a truly vinaceous adventure.


If you think sherry is only for the likes of Niles and Frasier Crane, La Gitane will change your mind in three sips. Order the tasting of three 1.5-ounce pours ($14) — a light, briny Fino; a tangy, citrus-y Amontillado; and a rich and smoky Oloroso — wines that are stunningly dry but richly flavored (and, at 19 percent to 20 percent alcohol, not at all demure). If you sit at the bar, chances are a charming barman (they all seem to be men here) will pour you a little education along with your wine — in the form of a brief but enthusiastic tutorial of grape varieties and the Solera system (the special process of aging and blending sherry). Find yourself wanting more? You’re in luck: La Gitane offers 20 different sherries by the glass ($6–$18), including a couple of sweet styles and a half-dozen or so sherry-based cocktails ($7–$11).

6 Claude Lane, SF. (415) 788-6686, www.gitanerestaurant.com


Quick, name an Australian wine. If you said "Yellow Tail," you’re not alone. Due to the ubiquity of that single brand, it’s easy to believe that everything that comes out of the country-that-is-a-continent is a $5 shiraz. Not so. The proof is in the glass at South, where the focus is on the food and wine of Australia and New Zealand. Sure, you can order shiraz, but there are far more interesting things to be sipped here. A glass of Peter Lehmann Semillon ($7) might sound intimidating, given that it’s a grape you’ve probably never heard of, but its crisp grapefruit and lemon zest flavors make it a lovely aperitif. More of a red drinker? New Zealand produces pinot noirs that blow most of their California counterparts out of the water. Try St. Clair Vicar’s Choice ($10) from Marlborough; a bold, spicy petit verdot from Victoria ($8); or an iced Riesling from Tasmania ($13) that’s a dead ringer for a honey-dipped apricot. South makes it easy to try them all at its happy hour, weekdays from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m., when all wines are $6.

330 Townsend, SF. (415) 974-5599, www.southfwb.com


It’s easy to make yourself at home at this Dogpatch wine bar, either on one of the leather couches arranged around low butcher block tables or at one of the half-dozen barstools lined along the simple wooden bar. Indeed, stepping through the door at Yield feels a bit like entering a friend’s loft: cozy, relaxed, and well-designed. But beyond atmosphere, what really makes this wine bar special is its menu. Every wine is organic, biodynamic, or sustainably farmed, and every dish on the concise list of small plates is vegetarian. The wine menu changes frequently and includes familiar varieties ( sauvignon blanc, syrah, cabernet) as well as more esoteric offerings like the Domaine de Reuilly Rosé of Pinot Gris ($11) — a pale pink, crisp wine with delicate flavors of strawberry and orange zest — or the Tenuta Pederzana Lambrusco ($11) — a fun, sparkling red from Emilia Romana, Italy. Really want to roll the dice? Opt for the never-know-what-you’re-going-to-get carafe special ($10), offered weekdays from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m.

2490 Third St., SF. (415) 401-8984, www.yieldsf.com


The bar at Zaré at Flytrap is impressive for three reasons: its warm and talented bar staff; its well-edited, Mediterranean-influenced wine list; and its truly affordable happy hour. You won’t find an over-the-top cabernet or run-of-the-mill merlot here. Instead the wine menu invites you to delve into the beguiling wines of Spain, Portugal, the south of France — even Lebanon. That’s right, Lebanese wine. Which you should try. Why? Because Chateau Musar’s "Hochar" ($12) is a smoky, earthy, elegant blend of cabernet, carignan, and cinsault that could easily be mistaken for a fine Bordeaux. Plus, if you come around during a weekday happy hour (4:00 to 6:00 p.m.), all wines by the glass are $5, making it that much easier to take a chance.

606 Folsom, SF. (415) 243-0580, www.zareflytrap.com

6 supper-worthy soups


Take almost any kid to the grocery store and their favorite place is likely the candy aisle. Me? I salivated in front of the soups. All those colorful cans promising savory combinations of belly-warming meat and veggies caught my childhood fancy, no matter the season in my temperate hometown of San Diego. Back then, the decision always was between hearty beef barley, comforting chicken noodle, and more-fun-than-tasty alphabet soup. Now my palate has matured — but my taste for a brothy meal in a bowl has not. I still consider the greatest dining find to be a liquid lunch with ingredients so fresh and seasonings so rich that ordering a "proper" entrée is superfluous.


If you’re looking for a traditional Mexican stew (or just a fantastic hangover cure) in a hipster-free environment, head out of the sunny, skinny-jeaned Mission District and into the fog of the Excelsior. There, at La Taqueria Menudo, you can find a steaming bowl of perfectly spicy pozole. (Similar to menudo, minus the creepy surprises of tripe — or Ricky Martin). This under-appreciated neighborhood joint serves the classic dish with plump hominy and pork so tender it comes apart when you stab it with your spoon. The dish is traditionally served with cabbage and radishes, but La Taqueria serves it with limes, cilantro, onions, and chile de arbol. No matter. The spicy depth of the soup’s flavor unravels in so many layers, and the accompanying tortillas are always so warm and soft, that those deviations get lost in the mist.

4591 Mission, SF. (415) 333-8604


Overall reviews of this mini-chain are mixed, but we love this company’s dedication to organic ingredients and free-range, hormone-free meat. And say what you will about any of the other soups, the chili here is transcendent. Made with four different types of beans, fresh tomatoes, and bell peppers with a bit of crunch, this cold-weather classic is satisfying year-round.

90 New Montgomery, SF. (415) 369-9602; 1900 Powell, Emeryville. (610) 601-7687; soupfreaks.com


It may be rare to get San Francisco days so sweltering you need chilled soup to counter them. But La Mediterranee’s cold cucumber soup is worth ordering whatever the weather. The cool blend of fresh fruit (cucumber is one, you know) and warm garlic melds perfectly with the creamy yogurt base, proving bright enough for an Indian summer lunch and dense enough for a nippy autumn supper.

2210 Fillmore, SF. (415) 921-2956; 288 Noe, SF. (415) 431-7210; 2936 College, Berkeley. (510) 540-7773, www.cafelamed.com


It’s easy to assume that all German cuisine is bland and heavy, particularly dishes like potato soup. But the kartoffelsuppe at Hayes Valley’s Suppenküche proves that central European food can be hearty without inducing a heart attack — or a born-of-boredom nap. The thick, savory, beef-based stew may warm your belly, but the balance of spice and starch is delicate enough to delight the palate of diners who’ve never set foot in Münich or Milwaukee.

525 Laguna, SF. (415) 252-9289, www.suppenkuche.com


Made from a mix of samusas, falafel, cabbage, and fried potatoes, the samusa soup at this Richmond District eatery might sound like the last stop for wayward leftovers, but this thick, salted delight is the reason many diners make the trek to Clement Street in the first place. Indeed, this stewed version of the popular eatery’s varied specialties is so good you might be inspired to skip the next course altogether.

309 Clement, SF. (415) 387-2147, www.burmasuperstar.com


SF Soup Company may seem to be everywhere, but it’s an entirely local enterprise. Even better, it has found a way to take tomato soup — the dreaded accompaniment to the ubiquitous grilled cheese sandwich of childhood — far beyond its boring, watery reputation. The secret? Combining the sweet acidity of the native South American plant with savory basil in an organic, creamy base. Add in the choice of wheat or french bread and you’ve got a delicious, healthy meal option wherever you are in the city.

Various SF and Bay Area locations, www.sfsoupco.com

6 innovative ice creams


It’s not just you. There really is an explosion of new places to get sweet, cold, creamy treats in the Bay Area. But why the new interest in this classic American dessert? Neil Gottlieb, founder of Three Twins in the Lower Haight, considers the trend the newest place the slow food movement is having an impact. "There’s a renaissance of making ice cream the way it should be made — with fresh ingredients." Jake Godby, chef/owner of Humphry Slocombe, agrees. "Ice cream is the new cupcake," he said. But does that mean the market will become oversaturated soon? Mitchell’s manager Linda Mitchell doubts it, explaining that people simply love ice cream — and have a seeming insatiable desire for new and interesting flavors. Plus, Godby adds, each specialty ice cream shop has its own niche. "We’re all kind of different from each other, and we all get along," he said. After extensive testing (and just a few ice cream headaches), we’ve discovered six of our favorite flavors from both new and long-beloved creameries. Pinkberry who?


You may scream for ice cream, but the yelling in my house came from my mother when I tried to nibble a block of Mexican baking chocolate: "That’s not candy!" Bouncing off the walls, I begged to differ. Now Mitchell’s, the family-run parlor that’s been open more than 50 years, has turned the spiced chocolate of my childhood dreams into a bona fide creamy dessert, rich in flavor and accented with blasts of cinnamon. Not even Mom can argue.

Mitchell’s, 688 San Jose, SF. (415) 648-2300, www.mitchellsicecream.com


This orgasmic flavor is what inspires people to wait in tangled lines, even in the middle of a rainstorm. Is it the first lick, when salt puckers your taste buds, that’s so enticing? Or the luscious sweetness of caramel that kicks in next? Or the pleasant surprise at the way the two meld into one perfect after-experience? It doesn’t matter. Thanks to flavor combinations like these, Bi-Rite’s ice cream, always made with organic dairy products from Straus Family Creamery, already feels like a San Francisco classic after only three years.

Bi-Rite Creamery, 3692 18th St., SF. (415) 626-5600, www.biritecreamery.com


Three Twins carries only eight flavors of its organic ice creams and sorbets at its tiny shop on Fillmore and Haight (and its several other locations, including one in Napa), so you never know what special flavors will be available. But if you can get the Domaine Carneros sorbet, made from unfermented pinot noir grapes, you won’t want to miss it. The delicate hint of wine mixes with ripe bursts of tangy, tart berries for an unexpectedly balanced flavor, pleasing your child-like and 21+ palate alike. (If the sorbet’s not available, you also can’t go wrong with Lemon Cookie, a Three Twins staple flavor.)

Three Twins, 254 Fillmore, SF. (415) ITS-TWIN, www.threetwinsicecream.com


Following the lead of spicemasters like Bombay Ice Cream, Mission District newcomer Xanath has turned the savory spice of saffron into a creamy, lush, and ginger-filled frozen treat. The young, family-owned parlor also offers an array of organic ice creams and vegan sorbets, including options like coconut, strawberry, and peanut butter. And we love the staff, not only because they’re extraordinarily friendly, but also because they let you try as many flavors as you like (before you inevitably settle on Saffron Ginger).

Xanath, 951 Valencia, SF. (415) 648-8996


I’d like to thank the crazy person who first made goat cheese gelato. In the meantime, I’ll just thank Holy Gelato!, the neighborhood shop that hosts this pungent, creamy party in your mouth. The quirky shop, featuring a picture of Darth Vader glaring at you from a heaping tub of gelato, makes sure you not only get an eyeful of eccentricity, but a mouthful of crazy flavors that’ll have you skipping back for more. (For your best goat cheese pairing, try an accompanying scoop of raspberry sorbet.)

Holy Gelato!, 1392 Ninth Ave., SF. (415) 681-3061, www.holygelato.com


Sure, Humphry Slocombe may have a reputation as the latest hipster trend (and it is). But for good reason: its Blue Bottle Vietnamese Coffee flavor is the most phenomenal thing to happen to ice cream and coffee since the two were first mixed together in … who knows? The shop on Harrison and 23rd streets may be known for its way-out flavors, but it’s the combination of some of the best coffee in the city infused into this simple yet complex ice cream that makes this flavor a hit.

Humphry Slocombe Ice Cream, 2790 Harrison, SF. (415) 550-6971, www.humphryslocombe.com

4 phenomenal falafels


Falafel — those delightful deep-fried chickpea (or sometimes fava bean) balls — could quite possibly be the perfect food. It spans cultures: Originally a fasting food from Egypt, falafel became popular in the Middle East, was adopted by Jewish immigrants to Palestine, and is now a favorite fast food internationally. It spans food preferences: vegetarians like the protein-packed nutrition; omnivores like the crunchy/chewy texture. And, when combined in a pita with vegetables and hummus, yogurt, or tahini, the highly portable sandwich combo spans locations. Here are some of our favorite places to get these diverse delights.


If you find yourself hungry for a quick, tasty lunch or dinner in the FiDi, skip the high-end sandwich shops and head to this unassuming Mediterranean eatery. The tiny grab-and-go spot (there’s only room for two people, or one very large one, to sit down), is the perfect place to get spicy falafel with fresh veggies with a generous helping of tahini and hummus, all wrapped in a thin, soft lavash bread. The only thing more impressive than the falafel — that owner Mohammed not only miraculously manages to remember your order, but to find you amid the throngs of people packed into the tiny shop like a rush hour BART train.

91 Drumm, SF. (415) 781-0313, www.sfoasisgrill.com


The folks behind Liba — whose name means romance/love in several languages including Yiddish, Hebrew, and Russian — want you to fall in love with their falafel, and you’ll be hard-pressed to resist. The courtship starts with the exterior of this adorable mobile lunch spot: mint green paint, swirly lettering, and potted plants are smart and inviting. Next, Liba reels you in with organic, local, natural ingredients and an environmentally-focused philosophy. But the kicker is the falafel: just crispy enough and served in a fluffy pita with your choice of toppings that give traditional ingredients an inventive twist (think tomato cucumber salad with mint or red beets with lemon and thyme). If you’re extra hungry, you can even add a side of sweet potato fries to your meal. Doesn’t sound like your average gyro stand? It’s not. With inspiration gathered from a number of countries and cuisines, the only way we can describe it is "falafel fusion." You might not expect it, but get ready for the delicious flavors to hit you like, well, a truck.

155 De Haro, SF. (415) 806-5422, libasf.com


Nestled between Asian markets in sleepy Outer Sunset, Sunrise Deli & Café has been around for three decades, always delivering food whose ingredients have never seen the inside of a freezer or plastic packaging. We believe the café’s longevity must be due in part to the falafel, which arrives looking more like the cousin of a burrito than a taco. With Sunrise’s version, eggplant and potatoes strain against the confines of lavash bread, with plenty of tahini and fresh tomatoes to balance all that carby goodness. Though the little balls of grain are always good, try to get them right out of the fryer, when they’re piping hot, crunchy but not greasy, and delicious. But if you do stop here, plan accordingly. You’ll want to arrive ravenous, or else risk quite the bellyache (because you won’t be able to stop eating until this falafel is gone). Have a heftier appetite? Round out your order with other entrees, sandwiches, salads, and dips, which you can enjoy at an inside table or take it all to go.

2115 Irving, SF. (415) 664-8210, sunrisedeli.net


Waiting for falafel inside this Middle Eastern eatery is almost as enjoyable as eating it. The husband-and-wife owners trade quips and squabble lovingly as they prepare your gargantuan lavash wraps, adding a bit of levity along with greaseless chickpea balls and a blazingly spicy spread. (Expect even the "medium" spice to bring tears to your eyes.) If moving your meal seems too momentous a task, you can enjoy your falafel in the Internet loft or the more traditional seating area. Or, if you’re feeling ambitious, take your food to go. With a huge sandwich and a drink that cost less than $10, you should still have money left over for parking somewhere else.

539 Sutter, SF. (415) 392-4866

Appetite: Franziskaner Dunkelweisse, Swoonbeams, cider sauce, and more


Every week, Virginia Miller of personalized itinerary service and monthly food, drink, and travel newsletter, www.theperfectspotsf.com, shares foodie news, events, and deals. View the last installment here.

Foreign Cinema

10/29 – Foreign Cinema’s Oktoberfest German-themed dinner
Get your lederhosen on… or at least be hosted by someone wearing theirs… at Foreign Cinema this Thursday. No, it’s not a German restaurant per se, but I’d trust most meals in the hands of chefs Gayle Pirie and John Clark. Their special Munich-style, three course dinner is $34.95, including one hearty beer, but is also available a la carte (along with the regular menu). Make reservations for the night, down Oktoberfest beers (a Weihenstephaner Festbier or Franziskaner Dunkelweisse) while eating beet and cucumber salad, wiener schnitzel with fried potatoes, and spiced apple cake with praline and cider sauce. Dreimal hoch (i.e. three cheers)!
Thu/29, 6-10pm
2534 Mission Street



10/29 – Fair Trade Month celebrated at Samovar Tea Lounge
October is Fair Trade Month and downtown’s Samovar Tea Lounge commemorates with a Fair Trade Gala this Thursday. Fair trade speakers discuss the movement from all angles (that of the suppliers, certifiers, retailers, and farmers) with plenty of Q&A to answer your questions. On hand to sample as you join in the discussion are fair trade products from Alter Eco Olive, Frontier Herbs and Spices, La Yapa Quinoa, Tcho Chocolate, Swoonbeams Chocolate, and more, plus Samovar’s new line of Fair Trade Teas.
Thu/29, 7-9pm, $10
730 Howard Street


Film listings


Film listings are edited by Cheryl Eddy. Reviewers are Kimberly Chun, Michelle Devereaux, Max Goldberg, Dennis Harvey, Johnny Ray Huston, Louis Peitzman, Lynn Rapoport, Ben Richardson, Matt Sussman, and Laura Swanbeck. The film intern is Fernando F. Croce. For rep house showtimes, see Rep Clock. For first-run showtimes, see Movie Guide.


The eighth annual San Francisco Documentary Film Festival runs through Oct 29 at the Roxie, 3117 16th St, SF. Tickets ($11) are available by visiting www.sfindie.com. All times p.m.


American Artifact: The Rise of American Rock Poster Art 7. The Great Contemporary Art Bubble 7. The Philosopher Kings 9:15. Pop Star on Ice 9:15.


Nursery University 7. Speaking in Code 7. Trimpin: The Sound of Invention 9:15. Cropsey 9:15.


*The Beaches of Agnès Director’s commentaries are par for the course in the DVD age, but few filmmakers posses the élan to warrant a feature length auto-exegesis. Agnès Varda is one, and her most recent memory machine — she claims it’s her last — cheerfully dissolves the boundaries between memoir, retrospective, and installation. We begin on the beach, with the 80-year old Varda spryly instructing her young assistants on the placement of various mirrors. "If we opened people up, we’d find landscapes," she explains of her motivation for filmmaking, before embarking on an unclassifiable daisy chain of reenactment and reminiscence. The film moves at the leisurely pace of the flâneur’s walk, the better to relish Varda’s joie de vivre and sweet bawdiness. Her chameleon colored bowl cut dares us to keep abreast of her quicksilver digressions on the past (fact or fiction matters less than then and now). As with 2000’s The Gleaners and I, she’s most free with the things she adores: blurry foregrounds, old photographs, heart-shaped potatoes, ancient frescoes, the human body and neighbors. "All the dead lead me back to Jacques," she says, referring to her great love, Jacques Demy, and their life together loops The Beaches of Agnès with a beauty not soon forgotten. (1:40) Opera Plaza. (Goldberg)

Brain Dead With the zombedy combedy genre — I’m sick of "zomcom," aren’t you? — having reached mass impact via Zombietown, you might be hungry if not chalk-facedly ravenous for more of the same. In which case you’ll enjoy this Thrillville-presented West Coast theatrical debut of 1980s horror fave (1986’s Witchboard) Kevin Tenney’s own more modestly scaled mixup of undead mayhem and laughs. When a tiny asteroid lands in a rural area — instantly turning one unlucky fisherman into green-faced chomper and his buddy into lunch — it’s not long before shambling carnivores are imperiling the requisite cabinful of ill-matched strandees. Their number include a televangelist, lost sorority sisters, and two escaped convicts, one nice and one psycho-mean. While the latter takes everyone hostage at gunpoint, those carnivorous ghouls gathering outside have a strictly take-no-hostages policy. They’ll take brains, though. BRAAAAAAAAINS!!! Brain Dead is fun — if kinda dumb fun, compared to Shaun of the Dead or even Zombieland. (Let alone Peter Jackson’s 1992 splatsterpiece Braindead, or the 1990 Bill Paxton-Bill Pullman non-zom horror faceoff also called Brain Dead). But if it lacks that special edge of originality and/or wit, it’s still a whole lot better than 2008’s Zombie Strippers, of which we shall never speak again. (1:35) Four Star. (Harvey)

*Bronson In 2000’s Chopper (2000), Eric Bana killed as Australia’s most notorious psychotic extortionist-killer-jailbird-celebrity autobiographer — more vividly than in any part serving his subsequent, slightly bland leading-hunk status. Tom Hardy is another handsome bloke at risk of looking competent and versatile without fully impressing. Yet here comes Bronson, a film (and role) offering up a dramatized "Man. Myth. Celebrity" (as per its ad line) of actual "worst prisoner in Britain." The real Michael Gordon Peterson, better known as "Charles Bronson" (a PR-minded friend fitted the Death Wish star as nom de notoriety), was an extreme anger-management case whose working-class struggle ended when he robbed a post office in 1974. As the film details, prison spectacularly agreed with him. He enjoyed the tension and violence — between himself and fellow inmates as well as guards — so much that he got sent to a high-security psychiatric hospital. Worry not: even drugged to the gills, he managed to create ruckuses that won national attention. This is the second English-language directing effort by Dane Nicolas Winding Refn, of the crime-drama Pusher trilogy. Bronson is utterly revved up in a way that’s showy but not at all dumbed-down, and it’s pure cinematic inspiration at least half-transcending even a case of snarkish homophobia as you haven’t seen since … well, Chopper maybe? (1:32) Lumiere. (Harvey)

The Canyon See "Into the Wild." (1:42) Opera Plaza.

Gentlemen Broncos The latest from Napoleon Dynamite (2004) director Jared Hess is about a Utah teen (Michael Angarano) who is obsessed with science fiction. (1:51)

*Heart of Stone With metal-detectors blocking its entrance, gang fights breaking out in the halls, and teachers wearing bulletproof vests, it’s clear that Weequahic High School is not your usual blackboard jungle. Once one of the nation’s most respected schools, the Newark, NJ institution was by 2000 plagued by the urban violence that claimed an alarming number of lives. Beth Toni Kruvant’s first-rate documentary chronicles the place’s gradual recovery thanks to Ron Stone, the passionate principal who, using a mixture of diplomacy and compassion, struggled to control the brutality that loomed over a new generation of students. Though similar in subject to Rollin Binzer’s recent The Providence Effect, Heart of Stone is easily the better film, less an infomercial for enrollment than a tough-minded analysis of the historical upheavals and social conditions forming Weequahic’s fall and rise. "Inspiring" is an abused term when it comes to movies about teachers, but Kruvant’s inquiry and Stone’s dedication earn it. (1:24) Roxie. (Croce)

Michael Jackson’s This Is It This concert doc compiles behind-the-scenes rehearsal footage for what would have been Jacko’s run of London shows. (1:52) Cerrito , Four Star, Marina.

Walt and El Grupo This highly authorized documentary chronicles the 1941 South American tour Disney staff took as part of the U.S. "Good Neighbor" policies. The creative results were several fascinating wartime pastiches, including 1944’s anarchic, marvelous feature Three Caballeros. But that last is inexplicably not excerpted here — while tedious home-movie footage with Walt and company on their well-recorded trip, not to mention surviving relatives’ clucking over how wonderful it all was, go on and on. It’s worth noting that this studio vanity project has reached theaters, if minimally — while John-Paul Davidson and Trudi Styler’s The Sweatbox, an unvarnished behind-scenes portrait of the thorny processes behind latter-day Disney ‘toon The Emperor’s New Groove (2000), mysteriously vanished from the planet after its 2002 festival debut. That documentary offered real insight without reducing appreciation for its original talents. This one is a timid, worshipful bore. (1:46) (Harvey)

*The Yes Men Fix the World Can you prank shame, if not sense, into the Powers That Be? Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonnano, the jesters-activists who punked right-wing big-business in the documentary The Yes Men (2003), continue to play Groucho Marx to capitalism’s mortified Margaret Dumont in this gleeful sequel. Decked in sharp suits and packing fake websites and catchphrases, the duo bluffs its way into conferences and proceeds to give corporate giants the Borat treatment. The stunts are often inspired and, in their visions of fantasy justice, poignant: Bichlbaum and Bonnano pose as Dow envoys and announce the company’s plans to send billions to treat victims of the 1984 Bhopal chemical disaster, and later appear as HUD representatives offering a corrective to the shameful neglect of New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. The Yes Men may not fix the world, but their ruses once more prove the awareness-raising potential of comedy. (1:30) Oaks, Roxie. (Croce)


Amelia Unending speculation surrounds the fate of aviator Amelia Earhart, who, with navigator Fred Noonan, disappeared in 1937 over the Pacific while attempting to circumnavigate the globe. However, Mira Nair’s biopic Amelia clarifies at least one fact: that Earhart (played by Hilary Swank) was a free-spirited freedom-loving lover of being free. We learn this through passages of her writing intoned in voice-over; during scenes with publisher and eventual husband George Putnam (Richard Gere); and via wildlife observations as she flies her Lockheed Electra over some 22,000 miles of the world. Not much could diminish the glory of Earhart’s achievements in aviation, particularly in helping open the field to other female pilots. And Swank creates the impression of a charming, intelligent, self-possessed woman who manages to sidestep many of fame’s pitfalls while remaining resolute in her lofty aims. She’s also slightly unknowable in her cheery, near-seamless virtue, and the film’s adoring depiction, with its broad, heavy strokes, at times inspires a different sort of restlessness than the kind that compels Earhart to take flight. Amelia is structured as a series of flashbacks in which the aviator, while circling the earth, retraces her life –- or rather, the highlights of her career in flying, her marriage to Putnam, and her affair with Gene Vidal (Ewan McGregor), another champion of aviation (and the father of author Gore). And this, too, begins to feel lazily repetitive, as we return and return again to that cockpit to stare at a doomed woman as she stares emotively into the wild blue yonder. (1:51) California, 1000 Van Ness, Piedmont, SF Center, Sundance Kabuki. (Rapoport)

Antichrist Will history judge Lars von Trier as the genius he’s sure he is? Or as a humorless, slightly less cartoonish Ken Russell, whipping images and actors into contrived frenzies for ersatz art’s sake? You’re probably already on one side of the fence or the other. Notorious Cannes shocker Antichrist will only further divide the yeas and nays, though the film does offers perhaps the most formally beautiful filmmaking von Trier’s bothered with since 1984’s The Element of Crime. Grieving parents Charlotte Gainsbourg and Willem Dafoe retreat to a forest primeval enabling widescreen images of poetic succulence. Yet that beauty only underlines Antichrist‘s garishness. One film festival viewer purportedly barfed onto the next row — and you too might recoil, particularly if unaccustomed to gore levels routinely surpassed by mainstream horror. Does Antichrist earn such viewer punishment by dint of moral, character, narrative, or artistic heft? Like slurp it does. What could be more reactionary than an opening in which our protagonists "cause" their angelic babe’s accidental death by obliviously enjoying one another? Shot in "lyrical" slow-mo black and white, it’s a shampoo commercial hard-selling Victorian sexual guilt.

Later, Dafoe’s "He" clings to hollow psychiatric reason as only an embittered perennial couch case might imagine. Gainsbourg’s "She" morphs from maternal mourner to castrating shrike as only one terrified of femininity could contrive. They’re tortured by psychological and/or supernatural events existing solely to bend game actors toward a tyrant artiste’s whims. There’s no devil here — just von Trier’s punitive narcissism. (1:49) Embarcadero, Shattuck. (Harvey)

*Astro Boy How can a robo-kid so cute be so sad? That’s the beautiful paradox of Astro Boy, the atomic age Japanese manga-cum-Pinocchio parable here given loving new life. Genius creator Osamu Tezuka’s original Astro Boy cannily grappled with the seductions and dangers of Japan’s economic miracle, the country’s conflicted emotions about the technology that fueled both Astro Boy and the war machine, and the struggle between industrialization and the environment. This update adds the recurring favorite sci-fi leitmotif of artificial intelligence — and by extension what it means to be human and non-human — to the mix. This adorable toaster (voiced by Freddie Highmore) awakens with memories of Toby, the brilliant, rebellious son of robotics genius Dr. Tenma (Nicolas Cage), believing he is a boy not a robot. The grief-stricken Tenma built him after the original Toby was killed during the test of a new robotic weapon. Eventually cast out by his Frankenstein father-creator and coping with some major identity issues, Astro Boy finds his place among a slew of outcasts on the now garbage- and robot part-strewn Wall-E-esque Earth, where his sense of compassion and mega powers threaten to bridge the seemingly insurmountable differences between humans and robots. Despite the speed with which director David Bowers and his team put together this animated feature, which boasts the voicings of stars like Charlize Theron and Nathan Lane, Astro Boy succeeds in delivering that crucial hybrid of action, comedy, and emotional heft that the best of classic animation offers, while touching lightly out relevant ideas about technology. (1:34) 1000 Van Ness, Presidio, Shattuck. (Chun)

*Big Fan The Wrestler screenwriter Robert Siegel continues to trawl tri-state working class blues for his directorial debut, Big Fan, a darkened fairy tale of sports mania and the male ego. Sandpaper rough comic Patton Oswalt is Paul Aufiero, a thirtysomething New York Giants nut who lives with his mother and scripts huffy raps for his nightly 1AM "Paul from Staten Island" call to the local sports radio station. Siegel locates a revealing stage for anxious performances of masculinity in the motor-mouthed rituals of sports talk radio. Big Fan is at its best when Aufiero is locked in dubious battle with abstract foes like "Philadelphia Phil," but the film starts to slow down as soon as our anti-hero and his lone pal Sal (Kevin Corrigan) spot Giants QB Quantrell Bishop (Jonathan Hamm) at a Staten Island gas station. They tail him to a strip club in New York City, where Bishop gives Aufiero a bruising upon discovering he’s been followed, thus compromising the Giants’ playoff chances. What a tangled web we weave and all that. It’s telling of Siegel’s limited talents that the best part of the fateful trip into Manhattan is Oswalt’s grimace when faced with a nine buck Budweiser. We’re so hungry for any kind of regionalism in mainstream filmmaking that even Big Fan‘s cheapest shots (all its women characters, for instance) don’t overpower the pleasure of Oswalt’s marshy profanities and the provincial jabber of New York vs. Philadelphia and Staten Island vs. Manhattan. (1:35) Lumiere, Shattuck. (Goldberg)

*Bright Star Is beauty truth; truth, beauty? John Keats, the poet famed for such works as "Ode on a Grecian Urn," and Jane Campion, the filmmaker intent on encapsuutf8g the last romance of the archetypal Romantic, would have undoubtedly bonded over a love of sensual details — and the way a certain vellum-like light can transport its viewer into elevated reverie. In truth, Campion doesn’t quite achieve the level of Keats’ verse with this somber glimpse at the tubercular writer and his final love, neighbor Fanny Brawne. But she does bottle some of their pale beauty. Less-educated than the already respected young scribe, Brawne nonetheless may have been his equal in imagination as a seamstress, judging from the petal-bonneted, ruffled-collar ensembles Campion outfits her in. As portrayed by the soulful-eyed Abbie Cornish, the otherwise-enigmatic, plucky Brawne is the singularly bright blossom ready to be wrapped in a poet’s adoration, worthy of rhapsody by Ben Whishaw’s shaggily, shabbily puppy-dog Keats, who snatches the preternaturally serene focus of a fine mind cut short by illness, with the gravitational pull of a serious indie-rock hottie. The two are drawn to each other like the butterflies flittering in Brawne’s bedroom/farm, one of the most memorable scenes in the dark yet sweetly glimmering Bright Star. Bathing her scenes in lengthy silence, shot through with far-from-flowery dialogue, Campion is at odds with this love story, so unlike her joyful 1990 ode to author Janet Frame, An Angel at My Table (Kerry Fox appears here, too, as Fanny’s mother): the filmmaker refuses to overplay it, sidestepping Austenian sprightliness. Instead she embraces the dark differences, the negative inevitability, of this death-steeped coupling, welcoming the odd glance at the era’s intellectual life, the interplay of light and shadow. (1:59) Elmwood, Opera Plaza. (Chun)

*Capitalism: A Love Story Gun control. The Bush administration. Healthcare. Over the past decade, Michael Moore has tackled some of the most contentious issues with his trademark blend of humor and liberal rage. In Capitalism: A Love Story, he sets his sights on an even grander subject. Where to begin when you’re talking about an economic system that has defined this nation? Predictably, Moore’s focus is on all those times capitalism has failed. By this point, his tactics are familiar, but he still has a few tricks up his sleeve. As with Sicko (2007), Moore proves he can restrain himself — he gets plenty of screen time, but he spends more time than ever behind the camera. This isn’t about Moore; it’s about the United States. When he steps out of the limelight, he’s ultimately more effective, crafting a film that’s bipartisan in nature, not just in name. No, he’s not likely to please all, but for every Glenn Beck, there’s a sane moderate wondering where all the money has gone. (2:07) California, Empire, Grand Lake, 1000 Van Ness, SF Center. (Peitzman)

Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant (1:48) 1000 Van Ness, SF Center, Shattuck.

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs (1:21) Oaks.

Coco Before Chanel Like her designs, Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel was elegant, très chic, and utterly original. Director Anne Fontaine’s French biopic traces Coco (Audrey Tautou) from her childhood as a struggling orphan to one of the most influential designers of the 20th century. You’ll be disappointed if you expect a fashionista’s up close and personal look at the House of Chanel, as Fontaine keeps her story firmly rooted in Coco’s past, including her destructive relationship with French playboy Etienne Balsar (Benoît Poelvoorde) and her ill-fated love affair with dashing Englishman Arthur "Boy" Capel (Alessandro Nivola). The film functions best in scenes that display Coco’s imagination and aesthetic magnetism, like when she dances with Capel in her now famous "little black dress" amidst a sea of stiff, white meringues. Tautou imparts a quiet courage and quick wit as the trailblazing designer, and Nivola is unmistakably charming and compassionate as Boy. Nevertheless, Fontaine rushes the ending and never truly seizes the opportunity to explore how Coco’s personal life seeped into her timeless designs that were, in the end, an extension of herself. (1:50) Albany, SF Center, Sundance Kabuki. (Swanbeck)

Couples Retreat You could call Couples Retreat a romantic comedy, but that would imply that it was romantic and funny instead of an insipid, overlong waste of time. This story of a group of married friends trying to bond with their spouses in an exotic island locale is a failure on every level. Romantic? The titular couples — four total — represent eight of the most obnoxious characters in recent memory. Sure, you’re rooting for them to work out their issues, but that’s only because awful people deserve one another. (And in a scene with an almost-shark attack, you’re rooting for the shark.) Funny? The jokes are, at best, juvenile (boners are silly!) and, at worse, offensive (sexism and homophobia once more reign supreme). There is an impressive array of talent here: Vince Vaugh, Jason Bateman, Kristen Bell, Jean Reno, etc. Alas, there’s no excusing the script, which puts these otherwise solid actors into exceedingly unlikable roles. Even the gorgeous island scenery — Couples Retreat was filmed on location in Bora-Bora — can’t make up for this waterlogged mess. (1:47) 1000 Van Ness, Presidio, SF Center, Shattuck. (Peitzman)

*The Damned United Like last year’s Frost/Nixon, The Damned United features a lush 70’s backdrop, a screenplay by Peter Morgan, and a commanding performance by Michael Sheen as an ambitious egotist. A promising young actor, Sheen puts on the sharp tongue and charismatic monomania of real-life British soccer coach Brian Clough like a familiar garment, blustering his way through a fictionalized account of Clough’s unsuccessful 44-day stint as manager of Leeds United. Though the details of high-stakes professional "football" will likely be lost on American viewers, the tale of a talented, flawed sports hero spiraling deeper into obsession needs no trans-Atlantic translation, and the film is an engrossing portrait of a captivating, quotable character. (1:38) Elmwood, Embarcadero. (Richardson)

*An Education The pursuit of knowledge — both carnal and cultural — are at the tender core of this end-of-innocence valentine by Danish filmmaker Lone Scherfig (who first made her well-tempered voice heard with her 2000 Dogme entry, Italian for Beginners), based on journalist Lynn Barber’s memoir. Screenwriter Nick Hornby breaks further with his Peter Pan protagonists with this adaptation: no man-boy mopers or misfits here. Rather, 16-year-old schoolgirl Jenny (Carey Mulligan) is a good girl and ace student. It’s 1961, and England is only starting to stir from its somber, all-too-sober post-war slumber. The carefully cloistered Jenny is on track for Oxford, though swinging London and its high-style freedoms beckon just around the corner. Ushering in those freedoms — a new, more class-free world disorder — is the charming David (Peter Sarsgaard), stopping to give Jenny and her cello a ride in the rain and soon proffering concerts and late-night suppers in the city. He’s a sweet-faced, feline outsider: cultured, Jewish, and given to playing fast and loose in the margins of society. David can see Jenny for the gem she is and appreciate her innocence with the knowing pleasure of a decadent playing all the angles. The stakes are believably high, thanks to An Education‘s careful attention to time and place and its gently glamored performances. Scherfig revels in the smart, easy-on-eye curb appeal of David and his friends while giving a nod to the college-educated empowerment Jenny risks by skipping class to jet to Paris. And Mulligan lends it all credence by letting all those seduced, abandoned, conflicted, rebellious feelings flicker unbridled across her face. (1:35) Albany, Embarcadero, Empire, Piedmont, Sundance Kabuki. (Chun)

*Good Hair Spurred by his little daughter’s plaintive query ("Daddy, how come I don’t have good hair?"), Chris Rock gets his Michael Moore freak on and sets out to uncover the racial and cultural implications of African-American hairstyling. Visiting beauty salons, talking to specialists, and interviewing celebrities ranging from Maya Angelou to Ice-T, the comic wisecracks his way into some pretty trenchant insights about how black women’s coiffures can often reflect Caucasian-set definitions of beauty. (Leave it to Rev. Al Sharpton to voice it ingeniously: "You comb your oppression every morning!") Rock makes an affable guide in Jeff Stilson’s breezy documentary, which posits the hair industry as a global affair where relaxers work as "nap-antidotes" and locks sacrificially shorn in India end up as pricey weaves in Beverly Hills. Maybe startled by his more disquieting discoveries, Rock shifts the focus to flamboyant, crowd-pleasing shenanigans at the Bronner Bros. International Hair Show. Despite such softball detours, it’s a genial and revealing tour. (1:35) Lumiere, Shattuck. (Croce)

Inglourious Basterds With Inglourious Basterds Quentin Tarantino pulls off something that seemed not only impossible, but undesirable, and surely unnecessary: making yet another of his in-jokey movies about other movies, albeit one that also happens to be kinda about the Holocaust — or at least Jews getting their own back on the Nazis during World War II — and (the kicker) is not inherently repulsive. As Rube Goldbergian achievements go, this is up there. Nonetheless, Basterds is more fun, with less guilt, than it has any right to be. The "basterds" are Tennessee moonshiner Pvt. Brad Pitt’s unit of Jewish soldiers committed to infuriating Der Fuhrer by literally scalping all the uniformed Nazis they can bag. Meanwhile a survivor (Mélanie Laurent) of one of insidious SS "Jew Hunter" Christoph Waltz’s raids, now passing as racially "pure" and operating a Paris cinema (imagine the cineaste name-dropping possibilities!) finds her venue hosting a Third Reich hoedown that provides an opportunity to nuke Hitler, Himmler, Goebbels, and Goering in one swoop. Tactically, Tarantino’s movies have always been about the ventriloquizing of that yadadada-yadadada whose self-consciousness is bearable because the cleverness is actual; brief eruptions of lasciviously enjoyed violence aside, Basterds too almost entirely consists of lengthy dialogues or near-monologues in which characters pitch and receive tasty palaver amid lethal danger. Still, even if he’s practically writing theatre now, Tarantino does understand the language of cinema. There isn’t a pin-sharp edit, actor’s raised eyebrow, artful design excess, or musical incongruity here that isn’t just the business. (2:30) Oaks, SF Center. (Harvey)

*The Informant! The best satire makes you uncomfortable, but nothing will make you squirm in your seat like a true story that feels like satire. Director Steven Soderbergh introduces the exploits of real-life agribusiness whistleblower Mark Whitacre with whimsical fonts and campy music — just enough to get the audience’s guard down. As the pitch-perfect Matt Damon — laden with 30 extra pounds and a fright-wig toupee — gee-whizzes his way through an increasingly complicated role, Soderbergh doles out subtle doses of torturous reality, peeling back the curtain to reveal a different, unexpected curtain behind it. Informant!’s tale of board-room malfeasance is filled with mis-directing cameos, jokes, and devices, and its ingenious, layered narrative will provoke both anti-capitalist outrage and a more chimerical feeling of satisfied frustration. Above all, it’s disquietingly great. (1:48) SF Center. (Richardson)

The Invention of Lying Great concept. Great cast. All The Invention of Lying needed was a great script editor and it might have reached classic comedy territory. As it stands, it’s dragged down to mediocrity by a weak third act. This is the story of a world where no one can lie — and we’re not just talking about big lies either. The Invention of Lying presents a vision of no sarcasm, no white lies, no — gasp —creative fiction. All that changes when Mark Bellison (Ricky Gervais) realizes he can bend the truth. And because no one else can, everything Mark makes up becomes fact to the rubes around him. If you guessed that hilarity ensues, you’re right on the money! Watching Mark use his powers for evil (robbing the bank! seducing women!) makes for a very funny first hour. Then things take a turn for the heavy when Mark becomes a prophet by letting slip his vision of the afterlife. Faster than you can say "Jesus beard," he’s rocking a God complex and the audience is longing for the simpler laughs, like Jennifer Garner admitting to some pre-date masturbation. (1:40) 1000 Van Ness. (Peitzman)

Law Abiding Citizen "Spike Lee’s Inside Man (2006) as re-imagined by the Saw franchise folks" apparently sounded like a sweet pitch to someone, because here we are, stuck with Jamie Foxx and Gerard Butler playing bloody and increasingly ludicrous cat-and-mouse games. Foxx stars as a slick Philadelphia prosecutor whose deal-cutting careerist ways go easy on the scummy criminals responsible for murdering the wife and daughter of a local inventor (Butler). Cut to a decade later, and the doleful widower has become a vengeful mastermind with a yen for Hannibal Lecter-like skills, gruesome contraptions, and lines like "Lessons not learned in blood are soon forgotten." Butler metes out punishment to his family’s killers as well as to the bureocratic minions who let them off the hook. But the talk of moral consequences is less a critique of a faulty judicial system than mere white noise, vainly used by director F. Gary Gray and writer Kurt Wimmer in hopes of classing up a grinding exploitation drama. (1:48) 1000 Van Ness. (Croce)

My One and Only (1:48) Opera Plaza.

New York, I Love You A dreamy mash note to the city that never sleeps, New York, I Love You is the latest installment in a series of omnibus odes to world metropolises and the denizens that live and love within the city limits. Less successful than the Paris, je t’aime (2006) anthology — which roped in such disparate international directors as Gus Van Sant and Wes Craven, Alfonso Cuaron and Olivier Assayas — New York welcomes a more minor-key host of directors to the project with enjoyable if light-weight results. Surely any bite of the Big Apple would be considerably sexier. Bradley Cooper and Drea de Matteo tease out a one-night stand with legs, and Ethan Hawke and Maggie Q generate a wee bit of verbal fire over street-side cigs, yet there’s surprisingly little heat in this take on a few of the 8 million stories in the archetypal naked city. Most memorable are the strangest couplings, such as that of Natalie Portman, a Hasidic bride who flirtatiously haggles with Irrfan Khan, a Jain diamond merchant, in a tale directed by Mira Nair. Despite the pleasure of witnessing Julie Christie, Eli Wallach, and Cloris Leachman in action, many of these pieces — written by the late Anthony Minghella, Israel Horovitz, and Portman, among others — feel a mite too slight to nail down the attention of all but the most desperate romantics. (1:43) Bridge, Shattuck. (Chun)

The Nightmare Before Christmas 3D (1:16) Castro, Grand Lake.

Ong Bak 2: The Beginning Important: though it does star the original’s Tony Jaa, this is not a sequel to 2003 Thai hit Ong-bak, about a pious martial-arts master who journeys to the big city to retrieve the stolen head of his village’s sacred Buddha. Rather, Ong Bak 2 travels back in time so that lethally limber star Jaa (who also directs) can portray a young man adopted by bandits after his noble parents are slaughtered by a corrupt general. Along the way, he learns multiple fighting styles; bones are crunched, elephants are charmed, and emo flashbacks abound. The cool thing about Ong-bak was that it showcased Jaa’s unique Thai fighting style in an urban environment — his country-bumpkin character took down mobs of petty hoods and smugglers, and he faced an array of ridiculous foes in underground pit fights (for righteous reasons, natch). Ong Bak 2‘s historic setting feels a tad generic, even if it does provide an excuse for a crocodile-wrestling scene. Also, the tragic storyline calls for the kind of acting depth Jaa simply doesn’t have. Though he glowers with conviction, his fists and feet are the most charismatic things about him. (1:55) Lumiere, Shattuck. (Eddy)

*Paranormal Activity In this ostensible found-footage exercise, Katie (Katie Featherson) and Micah (Micah Sloat) are a young San Diego couple whose first home together has a problem: someone, or something, is making things go bump in the night. In fact, Katie has sporadically suffered these disturbances since childhood, when an amorphous, not-at-reassuring entity would appear at the foot of her bed. Skeptical technophile Micah’s solution is to record everything on his primo new video camera, including a setup to shoot their bedroom while they sleep — surveillance footage sequences that grow steadily more terrifying as incidents grow more and more invasive. Like 1999’s The Blair Witch Project, Oren Peli’s no-budget first feature may underwhelm mainstream genre fans who only like their horror slick and slasher-gory. But everybody else should appreciate how convincingly the film’s very ordinary, at times annoying protagonists (you’ll eventually want to throttle Micah, whose efforts are clearly making things worse) fall prey to a hostile presence that manifests itself in increments no less alarming for being (at first) very small. When this hits DVD, you’ll get to see the original, more low-key ending (the film has also been tightened up since its festival debut two years ago). But don’t wait — Paranormal‘s subtler effects will be lost on the small screen. Not to mention that it’s a great collective screaming-audience experience. (1:39) Metreon, 1000 Van Ness, Presidio, Sundance Kabuki. (Harvey)

*Paris Cédric Klapisch’s latest offers a series of interconnected stories with Paris as the backdrop, designed — if you’ll pardon the cliché — as a love letter to the city. On the surface, the plot of Paris sounds an awful lot like Paris, je t’aime (2006). But while the latter was composed entirely of vignettes, Paris has an actual, overarching plot. Perhaps that’s why it’s so much more effective. Juliette Binoche stars as Élise, whose brother Pierre (Romain Duris) is in dire need of a heart transplant. A dancer by trade, Pierre is also a world-class people watcher, and it’s his fascination with those around him that serves as Paris‘ wraparound device. He sees snippets of these people’s lives, but we get the full picture — or at least, something close to it. The strength of Paris is in the depth of its characters: every one we meet is more complex than you’d guess at first glance. The more they play off one another, the more we understand. Of course, the siblings remain at the film’s heart: sympathetic but not pitiable, moving but not maudlin. Both Binoche and Duris turn in strong performances, aided by a supporting cast of French actors who impress in even the smallest of roles. (2:04) Embarcadero, Shattuck. (Peitzman)

Saw VI (1:30) 1000 Van Ness.

*The September Issue The Lioness D’Wintour, the Devil Who Wears Prada, or the High Priestess of Condé Nasty — it doesn’t matter what you choose to call Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour. If you’re in the fashion industry, you will call her — or at least be amused by the power she wields as the overseer of style’s luxury bible, then 700-plus pages strong for its legendary September fall fashion issue back in the heady days of ’07, pre-Great Recession. But you don’t have to be a publishing insider to be fascinated by director R.J. Cutler’s frisky, sharp-eyed look at the making of fashion’s fave editorial doorstop. Wintour’s laser-gazed facade is humanized, as Cutler opens with footage of a sparkling-eyed editor breaking down fashion’s fluffy reputation. He then follows her as she assumes the warrior pose in, say, the studio of Yves St. Laurent, where she has designer Stefano Pilati fluttering over his morose color choices, and in the offices of the magazine, where she slices, dices, and kills photo shoots like a sartorial samurai. Many of the other characters at Vogue (like OTT columnist André Leon Talley) are given mere cameos, but Wintour finds a worthy adversary-compatriot in creative director Grace Coddington, another Englishwoman and ex-model — the red-tressed, pale-as-a-wraith Pre-Raphaelite dreamer to Wintour’s well-armored knight. The two keep each other honest and craftily ingenious, and both the magazine and this doc benefit. (1:28) Presidio. (Chun)

*A Serious Man You don’t have to be Jewish to like A Serious Man — or to identify with beleaguered physics professor Larry Gopnik (the grandly aggrieved Michael Stuhlbarg), the well-meaning nebbishly center unable to hold onto a world quickly falling apart and looking for spiritual answers. It’s a coming of age for father and son, spurred by the small loss of a radio and a 20-dollar bill. Larry’s about-to-be-bar-mitzvahed son is listening to Jefferson Airplane instead of his Hebrew school teachers and beginning to chafe against authority. His daughter has commandeered the family bathroom for epic hair-washing sessions. His wife is leaving him for a silkily presumptuous family friend and has exiled Larry to the Jolly Roger Motel. His failure-to-launch brother is a closeted mathematical genius and has set up housekeeping on his couch. Larry’s chances of tenure could be spoiled by either an anonymous poison-pen writer or a disgruntled student intent on bribing him into a passing grade. One gun-toting neighbor vaguely menaces the borders of his property; the other sultry nude sunbather tempts with "new freedoms" and high times. What’s a mild-mannered prof to do, except envy Schrodinger’s Cat and approach three rungs of rabbis in his quest for answers to life’s most befuddling proofs? Reaching for a heightened, touched-by-advertising style that recalls Mad Men in look and Barton Fink (1991) in narrative — and stooping for the subtle jokes as well as the ones branded "wide load" — the Coen Brothers seem to be turning over, examining, and flirting with personally meaningful, serious narrative, though their Looney Tunes sense of humor can’t help but throw a surrealistic wrench into the works. (1:45) California, Embarcadero, Empire, Piedmont, Sundance Kabuki. (Chun)

The Stepfather (1:41) 1000 Van Ness.

The Vanished Empire Pink Floyd records may become contraband once behind the Iron Curtain, but coming-of-age clichés remain the same in Karen Shakhnazarov’s seriocomic tale of adolescent ecstasies and agonies in 1973 Moscow. Lenin’s words are taught in school, though 18-year-old Sergey (Alexander Lyapin) is more interested in chasing girls, scoring pot, and savoring such illicit pop pleasures as jeans and rock music. Cool Kostya (Ivan Kupreyenko) and geeky Stepan (Yegor Baranovsky) are his contrasting cohorts, forming a trio of pubescent anxiety whose rites of passage are complicated by the arrival of Sergey’s girlfriend, Lyuda (Lidiya Milyuzina). The empire of the title is an ideological one, crumbled by a pleasure-seeking new generation who sell their grandfathers’ Marxist tomes in order to pay for Mick Jagger’s latest hit. Despite its evocative sense of time and place, however, the film’s teen nostalgia remains frustratingly amorphous, squandering the chance to find the youthful pulse of the nation’s transitory upheavals. (1:45) Sundance Kabuki. (Croce)

Where the Wild Things Are From the richly delineated illustrations and sparse text of Maurice Sendak’s 1963 children’s book, director Spike Jonze and cowriter (with Jones) Dave Eggers have constructed a full-length film about the passions, travails, and interior/exterior wanderings of Sendak’s energetic young antihero, Max. Equally prone to feats of world-building and fits of overpowering, destructive rage, Max (Max Records) stampedes off into the night during one of the latter and journeys to the island where the Wild Things (voiced by James Gandolfini, Catherine O’Hara, Forest Whitaker, Chris Cooper, Lauren Ambrose, Paul Dano, and Michael Berry Jr.) live — and bicker and tantrum and give in to existential despair and no longer all sleep together in a big pile. The place has possibilities, though, and Max, once crowned king, tries his best to realize them. What its inhabitants need, however, is not so much a visionary king as a good family therapist — these are some gripey, defensive, passive-aggressive Wild Things, and Max, aged somewhere around 10, can’t fix their interpersonal problems. Jonze and Eggers do well at depicting Max’s temporary kingdom, its forests and deserts, its creatures and their half-finished creations from a past golden era, as well as subtly reminding us now and again that all of this — the island, the arguments, the sadness — is streaming from the mind of a fierce, wildly imaginative young child with familial troubles of his own, equally beyond his power to resolve. They’ve also invested the film with a slow, grim depressive mood that can make for unsettling viewing, particularly when pondering the Maxes in the audience, digesting an oft-disheartening tale about family conflict and relationship repair. (1:48) Cerrito, Four Star, Grand Lake, Marina, 1000 Van Ness, Sundance Kabuki. (Rapoport)

Whip It What’s a girl to do? Stuck in small town hell, Bliss Cavendar (Ellen Page), the gawky teen heroine of Drew Barrymore’s directorial debut, Whip It, faces a pressing dilemma — conform to the standards of stifling beauty pageantry to appease her mother or rebel and enter the rough-and tumble world of roller derby. Shockingly enough, Bliss chooses to escape to Austin and join the Hurl Scouts, a rowdy band of misfits led by the maternal Maggie Mayhem (Kristin Wiig) and the accident-prone Smashley Simpson (Barrymore). Making a bid for grrrl empowerment, Bliss dawns a pair of skates, assumes the moniker Babe Ruthless, and is suddenly throwing her weight around not only in the rink, but also in school where she’s bullied. Painfully predictable, the action comes to a head when, lo and behold, the dates for the Bluebonnet Pageant and the roller derby championship coincide. At times funny and charming with understated performances by Page and Alia Shawcat as Bliss’ best friend, Whip It can’t overcome its paper-thin characters, plot contrivances, and requisite scenery chewing by Jimmy Fallon as a cheesy announcer and Juliette Lewis as a cutthroat competitor. (1:51) SF Center. (Swanbeck)

*Zombieland First things first: it’s clever, but it ain’t no Shaun of the Dead (2004). That said, Zombieland is an outstanding zombie comedy, largely thanks to Woody Harrelson’s performance as Tallahassee, a tough guy whose passion for offing the undead is rivaled only by his raging Twinkie jones. Set in a world where zombies have already taken over (the beginning stages of the outbreak are glimpsed only in flashback), Zombieland presents the creatures as yet another annoyance for Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg, who’s nearly finished morphing into Michael Cera), a onetime antisocial shut-in who has survived only by sticking to a strict set of rules (the "double tap," or always shooting each zombie twice, etc.) This odd couple meets a sister team (Emma Stone, Abigail Breslin), who eventually lay off their grifting ways so that Columbus can have a love interest (in Stone) and Tallahassee, still smarting from losing a loved one to zombies, can soften up a scoch by schooling the erstwhile Little Miss Sunshine in target practice. Sure, it’s a little heavy on the nerd-boy voiceover, but Zombieland has just enough goofiness and gushing guts to counteract all them brrraiiinss. (1:23) 1000 Van Ness, Shattuck, Sundance Kabuki. (Eddy)

Music listings


Music listings are compiled by Paula Connelly and Cheryl Eddy. Since club life is unpredictable, it’s a good idea to call ahead to confirm bookings and hours. Prices are listed when provided to us. Submit items at listings@sfbg.com.



Jace Everett, Kevin Meagher Hotel Utah. 9pm, $10.

Former Ghosts, White Hinterland, Common Eider King Eider Hemlock Tavern. 9pm, $8.

Sean Hayes, Killbossa Independent. 8pm, $16.

Hot Shears, Tank Attack Knockout. 9pm, $6.

Joe Buck Yourself, Jesse Morris and the Man Cougars, .357 String Band, DJ Eva Von Slut Annie’s Social Club. 8pm, $10.

David Landon Biscuits and Blues. 8pm, $15.

MC Chris, Whole Wheat Bread, I Fight Dragons Slim’s. 8:30pm, $5.

Amy Milian, Bahamas Café du Nord. 8:30pm, $15.

Nathan Moore, Fred Torphy Connecticut Yankee, 100 Connecticut, SF; www.theyankee.com. 9pm, $12.

Struck By Lightning, Aftermath, Man Among Wolves, Witness the Horror Thee Parkside. 8pm, $6.

William Elliott Whitmore, Hoots and the Hellmouth, Ferocious Few Bottom of the Hill. 9pm, $12.


"B3 Wednesdays" Coda. 9pm, $7. With Nick Rossi Trio.

Ben Marcato and the Mondo Combo Top of the Mark. 7:30pm, $10.

Cindy Blackman’s Another Lifetime Great American Music Hall. 8pm, $30. Tony Williams tribute.

Mads Tolling Quartet Yoshi’s San Francisco. 8 and 10pm, $20.

"Meeting of the Minds" Palace of Fine Arts Theatre, 3301 Lyon, SF; www.sfjazz.org. 7:30pm, $30-70. With Béla Fleck, Zakir Hussain, and Edgar Meyer.

Phat Man Dee Climate Theater, 285 Ninth St., SF; (415) 704-3260. 8pm, $7-15.

Tin Cup Serenade Le Colonial, 20 Cosmo Place, SF; (415) 931-3600. 7pm, free.


Freddie Clarke Peña Pachamama, 1630 Powell, SF; (415) 646-0018. 8pm, 9:30pm; $12

Gaucho Amnesia. 8pm, free. Michael Abraham Jazz Session.

Ben Jordan Plough and Stars. 9pm.

Odes with Kevin Taylor Rite Spot, 2099 Folsom, SF; (415) 552-6066. 9pm.


Booty Call Q-Bar, 456 Castro; www.bootycallwednesdays.com. 9pm. Juanita Moore hosts this dance party, featuring DJ Robot Hustle.

Club Shutter Elbo Room. 10pm, $5. Goth with DJs Nako, Omar, and Justin.

Hands Down! Bar on Church. 9pm, free. With DJs Claksaarb, Mykill, and guests spinning indie, electro, house, and bangers.

Jam Wednesday Infusion Lounge. 10pm, free. DJ Slick Dee.

Qoöl 111 Minna Gallery. 5-10pm, $5. Pan-techno lounge with DJs Spesh, Gil, Hyper D, and Jondi.

RedWine Social Dalva. 9pm-2am, free. DJ TophOne and guests spin outernational funk and get drunk.

Respect Wednesdays End Up. 10pm, $5. Rotating DJs Daddy Rolo, Young Fyah, Irie Dole, I-Vier, Sake One, Serg, and more spinning reggae, dancehall, roots, lovers rock, and mash ups.

Synchronize Il Pirata, 2007 16th St.; (415) 626-2626. 10pm, free. Psychedelic dance music with DJs Helios, Gatto Matto, Psy Lotus, Intergalactoid, and guests.



Blowie, Luv and Rockets, Jealousy Knockout. 9:30pm, $8.

Marc Broussard, Matt Hires Café du Nord. 8:30pm, $30.

Dodos, Ruby Suns Bimbo’s 365 Club. 8pm, $18.

Shane Dwight Biscuits and Blues. 8pm, $15.

Jesse Grant, Elektrik Sunset, John Predny Kimo’s. 9pm, $6.

Lorne Smith’s Guns for San Sebastian, Booty Cooler Boom Boom Room. 9:30pm, $10.

Mumiy Troll Independent. 8pm, $25.

MurderMurder, Piles, Josef Van Wissem Hemlock Tavern. 9pm, $6.

Joshua Radin, Watson Twins Great American Music Hall. 8pm, $20.

"Rock Strip N’ Roll 3: A Naughty Good Time for Halloween" Rouge Night Club, 1400 Broadway, SF; www.myspace.com/liveevilrock. 9:30pm, $10. With Live Evil, Godz of Rock, Electric Vagina, burlesque performances, and more.

Shonen Knife, Ty Segall, Kepi Ghoulie: Electric! Rickshaw Stop. 8pm, $14.

Tainted Love Red Devil Lounge. 8pm, $15.

Third Date Blondie’s, 540 Valencia, SF; (415) 864-2419. 9pm, free.

Times New Viking, Axemen, Clipd Beaks, Work Bottom of the Hill. 9pm, $12.

*Valient Thorr, Early Man, Hightower, Nihilist Annie’s Social Club. 8pm, $10.

"Witch Tits Homo Halloween Party" Thee Parkside. 9pm, $5-10. With dance jams spun by DJ Campbell, Durt, and Jean Jamz; live music by Try the Pie and Imogen Binnie; and a fashion show.

Your Cannons, In the Dust, Gem Tops, Foreign Resort Hotel Utah. 9pm, $7.


Audrey Shimkas Trio Shanghai 1930. 7pm, free.

Terry Disley Washington Square Bar and Grill, 1707 Powell, SF; (415) 433-1188. 7pm, free.

Eric Kurtzrock Trio Ana Mandara, Ghirardelli Square, 891 Beach, SF; (415) 771-6800. 7:30pm, free.

Erik Jekabson’s New Orleans Quartet Coda. 9pm, $7.

Laurent Fourgo Le Colonial, 20 Cosmo Place, SF; (415) 931-3600. 7:30pm, free.

Yasmin Levy Herbst Theatre, 401 Van Ness, SF; www.sfjazz.org. 7:30pm, $25-65.

Marlina Teich Trio Brickhouse, 426 Brannan, SF; (415) 820-1595. 7-10pm, free.

Dave Mathews Yoshi’s San Francisco (in the lounge). 6pm, free.

Stompy Jones Top of the Mark. 7:30pm, $10.

Swing with Stan Rite Spot, 2099 Folsom, SF; (415) 552-6066. 9pm.


Bluegrass and Old Time Jam Atlas Café. 8pm, free.

Charming Hostess Red Poppy Art House. 7pm, $10-15.

Dunes El Rio. 9:45pm, $5.

Flamenco Thursdays Peña Pachamama, 1630 Powell, SF; (415) 646-0018. 8pm, 9:30pm; $12.

Brent Jordan Union Room at Biscuits and Blues. 8pm, $5.

Ravi Shankar and Anoushka Shankar Davies Symphony Hall, 201 Van Ness, SF; www.sfjazz.org. 7:30pm, $30-90.

Tipsy House Plough and Stars. 9pm.

Tribal Seeds Rockit Room. 8pm, $10.

Jozef Van Wissem, Diego Gonzalez, Lickets, Mira Cook Amnesia. 9pm, $8.


Afrolicious Elbo Room. 9:30pm, $5-6. DJs Pleasuremaker, Señor Oz, J Elrod, B Lee, and special guest Ibeke Shakesdown spin Afrobeat, Tropicália, electro, samba, and funk.

Bingotopia Knockout. 7:30-9:30pm, free. Play for drinks, dignity, and dorky prizes with Lady Stacy Pants.

Caribbean Connection Little Baobab, 3388 19th St; 643-3558. 10pm, $3. DJ Stevie B and guests spin reggae, soca, zouk, reggaetón, and more.

Drop the Pressure Underground SF. 6-10pm, free. Electro, house, and datafunk highlight this weekly happy hour.

Funky Rewind Skylark. 9pm, free. DJ Kung Fu Chris, MAKossa, and rotating guest DJs spin heavy funk breaks, early hip-hop, boogie, and classic Jamaican riddims.

Heat Icon Ultra Lounge. 10pm, free. Hip-hop, R&B, reggae, and soul.

Kick It Bar on Church. 9pm. Hip-hop with DJ Jorge Terez.

Koko Puffs Koko Cocktails, 1060 Geary; 885-4788. 10pm, free. Dubby roots reggae and Jamaican funk from rotating DJs.

Mestiza Bollywood Café, 3376 19th St., SF; (415) 970-0362. 10pm, free. Showcasing progressive Latin and global beats with DJ Juan Data.

Popscene Halloween Party 330 Ritch. 9:30pm, $8. With DJs Aaron and Nako and live performances by Veil Veil Vanish and Danger.

Represent Icon Lounge. 10pm, $5. With Resident DJ Ren the Vinyl Archaeologist and guest.

Solid Club Six. 9pm, $5. With resident DJ Daddy Rolo and rotating DJs Mpenzi, Shortkut, Polo Mo’qz and Fuze spinning roots, reggae, and dancehall.

Wonderland Ruby Skye. 8pm, $40. Enter a fantasy world inspired by Alice and Wonderland to benefit at-risk youth.



Art Brut, Princeton Café du Nord. 10:30pm, $16.

Bayonics, Orgone Elbo Room. 10pm, $15.

Blue Flames, Society’s Child El Rio. 10pm, $6.

Ronnie Baker Brooks Biscuits and Blues. 8 and 10pm, $22.

Death Valley High, Perfect Machines, Killola, Pinky Swear, Protoman Annie’s Social Club. 9pm, $7.

Fast Times Broadway Studios. 8:45pm, $40. First 500 drinks free; proceeds benefit the Steven David Cannata Scholarship Fund.

DJ Lebowitz Madrone Art Bar. 6-9pm, free.

Luce, Felsen Red Devil Lounge. 8pm, $10.

Lucha Vavoom Fillmore. 9pm, $32.50.

Melt Banana, All Leather, We Be the Echo Slim’s. 9pm, $15.

Moonspell, Divine Heresy, Secrets of the Moon, DJ Rob Metal Thee Parkside. 9pm, $15.

Monophonics Coda. 9pm, $10.

No Age, Residual Echoes, Magic Bullets Great American Music Hall. 9pm, $16.

Nobunny, East Bay Grease, Apache Dropout Hemlock Tavern. 9:30pm, $7.

Pine and Battery, New Montgomery, OONA, Hi-Nobles Bottom of the Hill. 9pm, $8.

Skee-Lo, 40 Love, Aquarius, ADDX Rock-It Room. 9pm, $15.

Sleepy Sun, Antlers Independent. 9pm, $14.

Sound Junkies El Rincon. 9pm, $10.

Super Diamond, Knights of Monte Carlo Bimbo’s 365 Club. 9pm, $22.


"Evil 105’s Subsonic Halloween Spookfest" Cow Palace, 2600 Geneva, Daly City; www.ticketmaster.com. 6:30pm, $40. With Faint, Basement Jaxx, Infected Mushroom, Crystal Method, Flosstradamus, Steve Aoki, and more.

Regina Spektor, Jupiter One Fox Theater. 8pm, $37.50.


Audium 9 1616 Bush, SF; (415) 771-1616. 8:30pm, $15.

Black Market Jazz Orchestra Top of the Mark. 9pm, $10.

Dee Dee Bridgewater Herbst Theatre, 401 Van Ness, SF; www.sfjazz.org. 8pm, $30-70. Tribute to Lady Day.

Eric Kurtzrock Trio Ana Mandara, Ghirardelli Square, 891 Beach, SF; (415) 771-6800. 8pm, free.

Lucid Lovers Rex Hotel, 562 Sutter, SF; (415) 433-4434. 6-8pm.

Lisa Mezzacappa and friends Red Poppy Art House. 8pm, $15. Edgar Allen Poe-themed performances.

Nicholas Payton, Don Byron Grace Cathedral, 1100 California, SF; www.sfjazz.org. 8pm, $35-60.

Pedestrian Deposit, Acre, Brandon Nickell, Work/Death, Infinite Body Lab, 2948 16th St, SF; www.thelab.org. 9pm, $8.

Sandra Aran Group Shanghai 1930. 7:30pm, free.

Marcos Silva Yoshi’s San Francisco (in the lounge). 6pm, free.


Cuban Nights Peña Pachamama, 1630 Powell, SF; (415) 646-0018. 8:30pm, $15. With Fito Reinoso.

*"Dark Side of the Uke" Knockout. 10pm, $6. Tatami Mats perform Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon with their all-ukelele ensemble, plus Frisky Frolics and DJ dX.

Toshio Hirano, Michael Musika, Vanessa VerLee, Karl Young, Jessie Woletz Li Po Lounge. 8:45pm, $5. Art opening for Jeremy Rourke.

Joe Henley Band Plough and Stars. 9pm.

Pamela Means, Thomasina and the Jam Dolores Park Café. 7:30pm, free.

Orquesta La Moderna Tradicion Yoshi’s San Francisco. 8pm, $18.

Sonny and the Sunsets, Sean Smith and the Present Moment, Donovan Quinn, Sandwitches Amnesia. 9pm, $7. With DJ Patty P.


Activate! Lookout, 3600 16th St; (415) 431-0306. 9pm, $3. Face your demigods and demons at this Red Bull-fueled party.

All Hallow’s Eve DNA Lounge. 9pm, $13. Guild, Meat, and Hubba Hubba co-present this party with DJs Decay, BaconMonkey, Joe Radio, Melting Girl, and more.

Bar on Church 9pm. Rotating DJs Zax, Zhaldee, and Nuxx.

Blow Up Rickshaw Stop. 10pm, $15. With DJs Jeffrey Paradise and Richie Panic spinning dance music.

Exhale, Fridays Project One Gallery, 251 Rhode Island; (415) 465-2129. 5pm, $5. Happy hour with art, fine food, and music with Vin Sol, King Most, DJ Centipede, and Shane King.

Fat Stack Fridays Koko Cocktails, 1060 Geary, SF; (415) 885-4788. 10pm, free. With rotating DJs Romanowski, B-Love, Tomas, Toph One, and Vinnie Esparza.

FreakBeat Regency Ballroom. 9pm, $25. DJs Paul Oakenfold and Rooz spinning progressive house, tech house, and techno.

Gay Asian Paradise Club Eight, 1151 Folsom, SF; www.eightsf.com. 9pm, $8. Featuring two dance floors playing dance and hip hop, smoking patio, and 2 for 1 drinks before 10pm.

Hallonasty Mighty. 9pm, $10. With DJs Ron/E, Worthy, Laura, and more spinning heavy grooves from the whole musical spectrum.

Halloween Friday Mezzanine. 9pm, $25. With DJs Zach Moore, Syd Gris, Kramer, and Adnan Sharif.

Hov-o-ween Medici Lounge, 299 9th St., SF; (415) 501-9162. 9pm, $3. Featuring a deathrock costume contest with DJs Voodoo, Purgatory, and BatKat spinning goth, industrial, deathrock, glam and more.

Look Out Weekend Bambuddha Lounge. 4pm, free. Drink specials, food menu and resident DJs White Girl Lust, Swayzee, Philie Ocean, and more.

M4M Fridays Underground SF. 10pm-2am. Joshua J and Frankie Sharp host this man-tastic party.

Punk Rock and Shlock Karaoke Annie’s Social Club. 9pm-2am, $5. Eileen and Jody bring you songs from multiple genres to butcher: punk, new wave, alternative, classic rock, and more.

Suite Jesus 111 Minna. 9pm, $20. Beats, dancehall, reggae and local art.



GG Amos and the GG3 Riptide. 9pm, free.

Chris Kid Anderson Biscuits and Blues. 8 and 10pm, $20.

Bayonics, Orgone Elbo Room. 10pm, $15.

Built to Spill Fillmore. 9pm, $25.

"Club Silencio and the Coalition of Aging Rockers present Caroly n Keddy’s Super Secret Scary Halloween Show" Hemlock Tavern. 9:30pm, $8.

Corner Laughers, Desoto Reds Make-Out Room. 7:30pm, $7.

Dead Souls, Spellbound, Reptile House Annie’s Social Club. 9pm, $7.

Fast Times Maggie McGarry’s, 1353 Grant, SF; (415) 399-9020. 9pm, free.

Grannies, Mongoloid, Steel Tigers of Death El Rio. 10pm, $7.

Loquat, LoveLikeFire Bottom of the Hill. 8:30pm, $14.

Pop Rocks Red Devil Lounge. 8pm, $10.

Rattler, Bang Maiden, Hate Breeders Thee Parkside. 9pm, $10.

*Slough Feg, Totimoshi, Grayceon, Serpent Crown El Rio. 4pm, $8.

Tori Sparks Union Room at Biscuits and Blues. 8:30pm, $10.

Stone Foxes, Wendy Darling, Buxter Hoot’n Hotel Utah. 8:30pm, $10.

Super Diamond, Knights of Monte Carlo Bimbo’s 365 Club. 9pm, $22.

*Swingin’ Utters, Throw Rag, Thee Merry Widows Slim’s. 9pm, $16.

Triple Cobra, DJ Omar Rickshaw Stop. 9pm, $12.

Wallpaper Mezzanine. 8pm, $25.

Wil Blades Soul Solution Boom Boom Room. 9:30pm, $10.


"Hell-O-Ween 2009" Uptown. 9pm, $10. With Sonic Seducer and the Hobo Gobbelins.

"Hippie Halloween Costume and Dance Party" Art House Gallery and Cultural Center, 2095 Shattuck, Berk; (510) 482-3336. 8pm, $13. With Spirit Wind as Santana, Pearl Essence as Janis Joplin, Cosmos Factory as Creedence Clearwater Revival, and others.

Johnny Vegas and the High Rollers 19 Broadway. 9:30pm, $15.


Audium 9 1616 Bush, SF; (415) 771-1616. 8:30pm, $15.

Larry Dunlap Yoshi’s San Francisco (in the lounge). 6pm, free.

Eric Kurtzrock Trio Ana Mandara, Ghirardelli Square, 891 Beach, SF; (415) 771-6800. 8pm, free.

James Cotton Superharp Band with Hubert Sumlin Herbst Theatre, 401 Van Ness, SF; www.sfjazz.org. 8pm, $25-65.

"Jazz Mafia’s Seventh Annual Mobsters Ball" Coda. 10pm, $10.

Marco Benevento Trio Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Forum, 701 Mission, SF; www.sfjazz.org. 9pm, $25. Halloween dance party.

Proteges of Hyler Jones Shanghai 1930. 7:30pm.

Ricardo Scales Top of the Mark. 9pm, $15.

Lavay Smith and Her Red Hot Skillet Lickers Yoshi’s San Francisco. 8pm, $22.


Albino! Independent. 9pm, $18. Special Star Wars-themed Halloween show.

BooGrass Plough and Stars. 9:30pm, $6-10. Featuring some scary bluegrass, a costume contest, games, treats, and more.

Carnaval Del Sur Peña Pachamama, 1630 Powell, SF; (415) 646-0018. 8pm, $15. Live Flamenco music and dance.

Halloween Spectacular Amnesia. 8pm, $7. With Cretatous and Bob Saggath.

Sila and the Afrofunk Experience Café du Nord. 10pm, $15.


Bar on Church 9pm. Rotating DJs Foxxee, Joseph Lee, Zhaldee, Mark Andrus, and Niuxx.

Big Top Club Eight, 1151 Folsom, SF; (415) 431-1151. 9pm, $10. A homoween disco circus featuring a costume contest, drag performances, and go go boys with DJs Kevin Graves and Marcus Boogie.

Cock Fright Underground SF. 9pm; $8, $5 with sports costume. With DJs Earworm and Matt Hite slaughtering the dance floor and performances by Hugz Bunny and Suppositori Spelling.

Dress to Kill Madrone Art Bar. 9pm, $5. A Fringe Halloween party with costume contest and the best indie rock music videos with added special effects.

Hacksaw Halloween Poleng Lounge. 10pm, $12. Featuring Mixhell, a duo with Brazilian heavy metal drummer Igor Cavalera and Laima Cavalera on the turntables.

Halloween Booootie DNA Lounge. 9pm, $10-15. Mash-up party with Adrian and Mysterious D, Dada, and more, plus a costume contest (including "Best Mash-Up Costume"!) and live performances.

Famous: Sin and Celebrities Glas Kat. 9pm, $30. Dress as your favorite Hollywood icon and dance down the red carpet with DJs Fuze, Jerry Ross, Mauricio, and more.

Ghost Ship California Ave., Hanger II, Treasure Island, SF; www.kraaksmak.com. 9pm, $40. With DJs Kraak and Smaak and Fort Knox 5.

Heaven and Hella Suite 181, 181 Eddy, SF; (415) 345-9900. 10pm. With DJs Mindmotion, One G, and Mark Divita spinning dance beats and radio hits. Costume contest for complimentary bottle service.

HYP Club Eight, 1151 Folsom, SF; www.eightsf.com. 10pm, free. Gay and lesbian hip hop party, featuring DJs spinning the newest in the top 40s hip hop and hyphy.

Kiss of Death Vessel, 85 Campton, SF; (415) 433-8585. 10pm. Featuring a costume contest and DJs Frenchy Le Freak, Pheeko Dubfunk, and Martin Aquino.

Monster Bash Beauty Bar. 10pm, free. Boos and booze all night with DJ White Mike.

Night of the Living Bass Mighty. 9pm, $20. A costume party with DJs Wolfgang Gartner, Uberzone, Syd Gris and more.

Nightmare on 6th Street Club Six. 9pm, $18. With DJs Maseo of De La Soul, Shortkut, Jah-Yzer, Serg One, and more spinning soul, classic hip hop, reaggae, and dancehall.

Nightmare on Van Ness Regency Ballroom. 9pm, $60. Multiple levels featuring a live performance by LMFAO and DJs E-Rock, Scene, Mark Farina, Dale Martin, BB Hayes, Sam Issac, and more.

Saw VIII Masquerade Extravaganza Blue Macaw, 2565 Mission, SF; (415) 341-7314. 9pm, $20-50. Featuring a costume contest with cash prizes, and two spooky levels of music with DJs Mindmotion, Sake1, and more.

SF Halloween Ball San Francisco City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, SF; (415) 816-7763. 9pm, $45-100. An upscale Halloween costume party with DJs remedy, cut 5, vangeli, and more spinning mainstream, top 40, mashups, and house.

Spider Ball Bently Reserve, 400 Sansome, SF; (415) 288-0202. 10pm, $55. Featuring DJs and live performances by Vibe Squad, Beats Antique, Random RAB, Resident Anti-Hero, Tamo, and more to support the Black Rock Arts Foundation.

Spirit Fingers Sessions 330 Ritch. 9pm, free. With DJ Morse Code and live guest performances.

Teenage Dance Craze Halloween Party Knockout. 10pm, $3. Scary teen beat, twisters, and surf rock with DJs Sergio Iglesias, Russell Quann, and Howie Pyro.

Thriller Lexington Club. 9pm, free. Featuring a Michael Jackson inspired costume contest and DJs Durt and Ponyboy startin’ somethin’ on the dance floor.

Zombie Ball Verdi Club, 2424 Mariposa, SF; (415) 861-9199. 9pm, $15. With a live performance by the Hi Rhythm Hustlers and guest Cari Lee and DJs spinning teen beat tunes.



Built to Spill Fillmore. 7pm, $25.

Dirty Projectors, Little Wings Bimbo’s 365 Club. 8pm, $18.

Flyleaf, Paper Tongues Great American Music Hall. 8pm, $25.

Lucero, Jack Oblivion, John Paul Keith and the One Four Fives Mezzanine. 8pm, $22.

*Possessed, Impaled, Sadistic Intent, Witchhaven DNA Lounge. 6pm, $25.

Jason Reeves, Curtis People Café du Nord. 8pm, $12.

Brittany Shane, Misisipi Mike and Gayle Lynn, Vandella Make-Out Room. 8:30pm, $7.

Skinny Puppy, Vverevvolf Grehv Regency Ballroom. 8pm, $30.

Tori Sparks Union Room at Biscuits and Blues. 8:30pm, $5.

UFO, Travis Larson Band Independent. 8pm, $25.


Shonen Knife, Ty Segall, Dreamdate, DJs Zola and Jen Schnade Uptown. 9pm, $14.


Brenda Wong Aoki and Mark Izu Ensemble Yoshi’s San Francisco. 2pm, $5-20. Performing Japanese ghost stories and jazz.

Giovanni Allevi, Patrizia Scascitelli Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Forum, 701 Mission, SF; www.sfjazz.org. 7pm, $25-35.

Marc Cary Focus Trio Florence Gould Theatre, Legion of Honor, 34th Ave at Clement, SF; www.sfjazz.org. 2pm, $25.

Rob Modica and friends Simple Pleasures, 3434 Balboa, SF; (415) 387-4022. 3pm, free.

Pamela Rose Yoshi’s San Francisco. 7pm, $22.

SF Contemporary Music Players ODC Dance Commons, 351 Shotwell, SF; (415) 278-9566. 4:30pm, $5-10. Performance and discussion of Ken Ueno’s "Archaeologies of the Future."

"SFJAZZ Beacon Award" Herbst Theatre, 401 Van Ness, SF; www.sfjazz.org. 7pm, $20-50. Honoring John Handy.

SFJAZZ High School All-Stars Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Forum, 701 Mission, SF; www.sfjazz.org. 3pm, $5-15. Playing Duke Ellington and the sounds of the Harlem Renaissance.

"SIMM New Music Series" Musicians Union Hall, 116 Ninth St, SF; (415) 905-4425. 7:30pm, $10. With Reconnaissance Fly and Noertker’s Moxie.


Boulder Acoustic Society Amnesia. 9pm, $7-10. With special guest.

Fiesta Andina! Peña Pachamama, 1630 Powell, SF; (415) 646-0018. 7pm, $10. With Eddy Navia and Sukay.

Mucho Axé Coda. 8pm, $7.


Breakfast in Bed Supperclub. 5am, $15. Halloween After-Party with DJs Syd Gris, Alain Octavo, Cosmic Selector, Dulce Vita, and more.

DiscoFunk Mashups Cat Club. 10pm, free. House and 70’s music.

Dub Mission Elbo Room. 9pm, $6. Dub, roots, and classic dancehall with DJ Sep, Vinnie Esparza, and guest Teleseen.

Fresh Ruby Skye. 6pm, $25. A Halloween weekend T-Dance with DJ Tony Moran.

Gloss Sundays Trigger, 2344 Market, SF; (415) 551-CLUB. 7pm. With DJ Hawthorne spinning house, funk, soul, retro, and disco.

Honey Soundsystem Paradise Lounge. 8pm-2am. "Dance floor for dancers – sound system for lovers." Got that?

Jock! Lookout, 3600 16th; 431-0306. 3pm, $2. This high-energy party raises money for LGBT sports teams.

Kick It Bar on Church. 9pm. Hip-hop with DJ Zax.

Religion Bar on Church. 3pm. With DJ Nikita.

Shuckin’ and Jivin’ Knockout. 10pm, free. Rock, doo-wop, jivers, stompers, and more on 78 rpm with DJs Dr. Scott and Oran.

Stag AsiaSF. 6pm, $5. Gay bachelor parties are the target demo of this weekly erotic tea dance.



Airborne Toxic Event, Henry Clay People Fillmore. 8pm, $21.

*Big Business, Triclops! Bottom of the Hill. 10pm, $12.

Chevelle, Halestorn, After Midnight Project Regency Ballroom. 7:30pm, $28.

Emerald Triangle Independent. 9pm, $15.

Land of Talk, Eulogies Café du Nord. 8:30pm, $10.

Tiger Lilies, Vinsantos Great American Music Hall. 8pm, $20.

Trawler Bycatch, Seim and Rossfunke, 1-2-3 Knife Elbo Room. 9pm, $5.


Lavay Smith Trio Enrico’s, 504 Broadway, SF; www.enricossf.com. 7pm, free.

Nice Guy Trio Yoshi’s San Francisco. 8pm, $14.

Reptet Make-Out Room. 8pm.

SF Contemporary Music Players Herbst Theatre, 401 Van Ness, SF; (415) 278-9566. 8pm, $28. Performing "Maid to Order," music of Leroux, Ueno, Dennehy, and RB Smith.


Belle Monroe and Her Brew Glass Boys Amnesia. 8:30pm, free.


Black Gold Koko Cocktails, 1060 Geary; 885-4788. 10pm-2am, free. Senator Soul spins Detroit soul, Motown, New Orleans R&B, and more — all on 45!

Going Steady Dalva. 10pm, free. DJs Amy and Troy spinning 60’s girl groups, soul, garage, and more.

King of Beats Tunnel Top. 10pm. DJs J-Roca and Kool Karlo spinning reggae, electro, boogie, funk, 90’s hip hop, and more.

Manic Mondays Bar on Church. 9pm. Drink 80-cent cosmos with Djs Mark Andrus and Dangerous Dan.

Monster Show Underground SF. 10pm, $5. Cookie Dough and DJ MC2 make Mondays worth dancing about, with a killer drag show at 11pm.

Network Mondays Azul Lounge, One Tillman Pl; www.inhousetalent.com. 9pm, $5. Hip-hop, R&B, and spoken word open mic, plus featured performers.

Spliff Sessions Tunnel Top. 10pm, free. DJs MAKossa, Kung Fu Chris, and C. Moore spin funk, soul, reggae, hip-hop, and psychedelia on vinyl.

Armin Van Buuren Ruby Skye. 9pm, $30. With DJs Alain Octavo and Syd Gris.



Ashford and Simpson Rrazz Room, Hotel Nikko, 222 Mason, SF; 1-866-468-3399, www.therrazzroom.com. 8pm, $47.50-55. Performing through Nov 14; check website for showtimes.

Astral, Ghosts and Strings, Moonlight Orchestra, Seabright Elbo Room. 8pm, $6.

Atlas Sound, Broadcast Great American Music Hall. 8pm, $16.

B-Cups, Minks, Started-Its Bottom of the Hill. 9pm, $8.

Layce Baker and the Black Diamond Band Biscuits and Blues. 8pm, $15.

Cage the Elephant, Morning Teleportation, Shackletons Slim’s. 8pm, $16.

Chinese Stars, All Leather, Casy and Brian, Sensitive Hearts Thee Parkside. 8pm, $8.

Jeffrey Foucault and Andy Friedman, Dave McGraw Café du Nord. 8:30pm, $10.

Kawabata, ?Alos, 3 Leafs Hemlock Tavern. 9pm, $10.

Imelda May Independent. 8pm, $15.

Queen Latifah Regency Ballroom. 8pm, $39.50-49.50.

Ron Thompson Union Room at Biscuits and Blues. 8pm, $10.

Verbal Abuse, Rat Damage, Steeples Knockout. 10pm, free.


Claudia Acuna Yoshi’s San Francisco. 8pm, $20.

"Booglaloo Tuesday" Madrone Art Bar. 9:30pm, $3. With Oscar Myers.

Conscious Jazz Revolution Café, 3248 22nd St, SF; (415) 642-0474. 8:45pm, free.

Dave Parker Quintet Rasselas Jazz. 8pm.

Euliptian Quartet Socha Café, 3235 Mission, SF; (415) 643-6848. 8:30pm.

"Jazz Mafia Tuesdays" Coda. 9pm, $7. With Joe Bagale.

Ricardo Scales Top of the Mark. 6:30pm, $5.


Alcoholocaust Presents Argus Lounge. 9pm, free. With DJs What’s His Fuck, Taypoleon, and Mackiveli.

Drunken Monkey Annie’s Social Club. 9pm, free. Guest DJs, free pool, and $1 Hamm’s.

Eclectic Company Skylark, 9pm, free. DJs Tones and Jaybee spin old school hip hop, bass, dub, glitch, and electro.

La Escuelita Pisco Lounge, 1817 Market, SF; (415) 874-9951. 7pm, free. DJ Juan Data spinning gay-friendly, Latino sing-alongs but no salsa or reggaeton.

Mixology Aunt Charlie’s Lounge, 133 Turk, (415) 441-2922. 10pm, $2. DJ Frantik mixes with the science and art of music all night.

Rock Out Karaoke! Amnesia. 7:30pm. With Glenny Kravitz.

Share the Love Trigger, 2344 Market, SF; (415) 551-CLUB. 5pm, free. With DJ Pam Hubbuck spinning house.

Womanizer Bar on Church. 9pm. With DJ Nuxx.

Events listings


Events listings are compiled by Paula Connelly. Submit items for the listings at listings@sfbg.com.


Bedbugs: Modern Vampires City College of San Francisco, Science Building, room 300, 50 Phelan, SF; (415) 239-3580. Noon, free. Hear Johnson Ojo, Ph.D. from the San Francisco department of health describe the life cycle of bedbugs, our 21st century vampires. Dr. Ojo will discuss the factors that have led to their reemergence and current public health measures to control infestations in San Francisco.

Ghost Walk Palace Hotel, 2 New Montgomery, SF; (415) 557-4266. 6:30pm, free. Learn about the spooky history of the historic Palace hotel, how King Kalakaua, the last king of Hawaii, died there in 1891, how it was rebuilt after burning in the 1906 quake, how President Warren G. Harding died in office there in 1923, and more tragedies and heartbreaks that keep the halls buzzing with spectral visions and mysterious occurrences.

Postmortem Legion of Honor, 100 34th Ave., SF; (415) 750-3548. 8pm, $85. Dance among the undead at this "Ghoulish Gala," combining complimentary potions and witches brews with the current mummy exhibit featuring Irethorrou, a 2,500 year old Egyptian mummy.


Hallowmas Orinda Masonic Temple, 9 Altarinda, Orinda; (925) 787-9247. 6:30pm, $29. Join other women and girls from the Bay Area to celebrate the Pagan New Year at this annual Womyn’s Ritual and Spiral Dance accompanied by an artisan and craftswomen marketplace.


Classic Ghost Stories North Beach Library, 2000 Mason, SF; (415) 355-5626. 2pm, free. Be a part of the Sitdown Readers’ Theater and help read aloud classic ghost stories like "The Turn of the Screw" by Henry James and "Thrawn Janet" by Robert Louis Stevenson or bring your own favorites.

Costume Walk Yerba Buena Children’s Garden, 4th St. at Howard, SF; (415) 543-1718. Noon, free. Children under 10 and their families are invited to participate in interactive performances and games for kids followed by a costume parade.

Creature Features Exploratorium, 3601 Lyon, SF; (415) 561-0360. 3pm; $10-16, discount in costume. Begin your Halloween festivities with creepy creatures, plants, giant insects, a haunted Victorian house on wheels, and more. Including candy for the kids and a cash bar for adults.

Drop Dead Sexy Block Party Broadway between Montgomery and Columbus, SF; www.megahalloweensf.com. 8pm, $35. Buy a wristband and gain access to multiple clubs for costume contests and DJs spinning hip hop, R&B, mashups, top 40, electro, and more.

End of the Night Justin Herman Plaza, Market at Embarcadero, SF; journey.totheendofthenight.com. 7pm, free. Be a part of this city wide game of tag spanning

San Francisco’s haunted cityscape on Halloween. Players try to make it through six checkpoints on foot or by public transportation, without being caught by chasers. Those caught become chasers themselves.

Freakshow Terra Gallery, 511 Harrison, SF; www.terrasf.com. 9pm, $30. Attend a 1930’s circus big top Halloween party featuring a freakshow with aerialists, jugglers, clowns, DJs spinning indie, pop, and alternative sounds, and more.

Halloween Party Cat Club, 1190 Folsom, SF; (415) 703-8964. 9pm, $15 with costume. In response to years of violence in the Castro, Peaches Christ and Helinka are hosting a fright-night featuring a costume contest, midnight drag show, classic horror films projected on screens, and DJs spinning creepy dance music.

Make Drag, Not War Dance Mission Theater, 3316 24th St., SF; www.againstmilitarism.org. 7:30pm, $20. Join Iraq Veterans Against War (IVAW) for a night of activist drag and dance theater featuring the drag debut of more than a dozen Iraq veterans as a benefit for Dialogues Against Militarism (DAM).

Spider Ball Bently Reserve, 400 Sansome, SF; spiderball.com. 10pm, $55. Dress to impress at this decadent Halloween party and fundraiser for the Black Rock Arts Foundation (BRAF) and enjoy DJs, live acts, and more.

Spiral Dance Ritual Kezar Pavilion, 755 Stanyan, SF; www.reclaiming.org. 7:30pm, $20-100. Honor the dead and celebrate renewal at this spiral dance ritual happening on the day of the year when the veil is thin between the worlds of the living and the dead.


Dia de los Muertos Concert San Francisco Symphony, Davies Symphony Hall, 201 Van Ness, SF; (415) 864-6000. 2pm, $15-65. Celebrate Latino culture at this family concert featuring music, dance, art, and storytelling from the traditions of the Day of the Dead.


Dia de los Muertos 24th St. and Bryant, SF; www.dayofthedeadsf.org. 7pm, free. Join thousands of families, community members, artists, and activists for the annual Day of the Dead procession and public altar exhibit. Procession ends at a Festival of Altars in Garfield Park, located at 26th and Harrison.

The case against Prop. D


OPINION Proposition D is a classic developer’s scam. It was written by a mid-Market Street property owner who is spending more than $250,000 million to push hollow propaganda pieces preaching the wonders of his bill. When you strip away the glossy photos and misleading language, Prop. D is an attempt by private real estate owners to put up huge, flashing billboards and keep virtually all the money for themselves.

There is all kinds of misleading information in this thing. Individual signs are limited to 500 square feet — but the legal text encourages property owners to cluster as many signs as they want to display a single, massive, synchronized, electricity-sucking advertisement. What really pisses us off about the campaign for Prop. D is how the backers market it as "for the kids." (Because what kind of monster would vote against helping the kids, right?)

But that’s all a bunch of non-binding fakery. The 20 percent to 40 percent of advertising revenue that doesn’t go straight into the property owners’ pockets would go to the Central Market Community Benefits District — a self-selecting, self-reguutf8g group made up of the very landlords who own the buildings on Market Street. Then the CBD would get to decide how to spend the money with no public input or regulation. There’s no definition of what the "youth programs" would be. The backers also plan on spending money on a new ticket booth and on their own staff and expenses.

Back in 2002, 77 percent of San Franciscans voted to ban new advertising signs anywhere in the city. The Planning Department has issued a brutal analysis of Prop. D, calling it an unprecedented power grab that would strip regulatory oversight of the billboards from the (public) Planning Department and hand it over to the private CBD.

The mid-Market area needs help, for sure. But Prop. D is not the way to do it. If you really want to clean up Market Street, it’s gonna require some actual elbow grease in the neighborhood, some community input, a comprehensive revitalization plan, and real solutions for homelessness. Prop. D has zilch. If developers are serious about helping the underserved youth of the Tenderloin, why is there no binding language requiring a mandatory minimum of money for community benefits? Since when have digital billboards ever improved the quality of life of anyone — let alone cured poverty or homelessness?

We’re pretty bummed at the miserable press coverage of this totally sneaky proposition. We’re joining with a diverse group of community leaders and organizations, including state Sen. Mark Leno, Assembly Member Tom Ammiano, Sups. John Avalos and Ross Mirkarimi, School Board Vice President Jane Kim, Community College Trustee Steve Ngo, SoMa Community Action Network, the Coalition on Homelessness, the Alliance for a Better District 6, Senior Action Network, League of Conservation Voters, Livable City, and others in saying a big "hell no" to Prop. D. If Prop. D somehow does pass, we plan on working to put something on the 2010 ballot that would put real community input and oversight into this clusterfuck.

Jeremy Pollock and Ali Uscilka are on the steering committee of the SF League of Pissed Off Voters, which empowers young people to become politically engaged and educated on the issues. Since 2003 we’ve been organizing broad-based coalitions to create permanent, progressive, grassroots change. Read our entire voter guide at www.theballot.org.

Editor’s Notes



The new police chief, who started out with a lot of promise, has been sending some very bad signals the past week.

Chief George Gascón told us earlier this month that he was sympathetic to the efforts of Sup. David Campos to protect immigrant kids from deportation. He also said he agreed that the cops and probation officers shouldn’t be deciding when to call in the federal immigration authorities. Yet now that the mayor said he will defy the Campos legislation (see page 11), Gascón told the San Francisco Chronicle he’s siding with Newsom. That’s a pretty cosmic wimp-out — and it only took a few days.

Then there’s the shake-up of top staff — which looks to me like a total cave-in to the Police Officers Association. The POA types (who have been associated with a lot of bad stuff over the years) got tough-guy cop Greg Corrales assigned back as captain of Mission Station (where he got in trouble during the Fajitagate scandal, but ultimately faced no discipline. They got Greg Suhr, who had been demoted on a pretty bogus technicality, a new career shot as captain of the Bayview station.

Paul Chignell, one of the rare almost-liberals in the department who was doing a good job at Taraval Station, has been exiled to the night shift. Al Casciato, who supported community policing, has been bounced out as captain of Northern Station in the Western Addition. "This completely belies Gascón’s promises about community policing," Sup. Ross Mirkarimi told me. "These unannounced and unplanned rotations (of district captains) undermine the whole community-policing idea."

And perhaps most alarming, the chief wants to bring back the old SFPD intelligence unit — once again turning local cops into spies.

The intelligence squad was a nightmare. Back in the early 1990s, an intel cop was spying on Arab American and Palestinian groups and passing along the data to the private Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith. Cops were spying on peace activists and protesters. They even had a file on me. When all that started to come out, the city properly shut the spy shop down.

Now Gascón wants to bring it back, citing fears about terrorism. As if there aren’t enough government agencies spying on people already. And SFPD has enough trouble solving murders and keeping its own house in order — opening a spy agency is a really, really bad idea.

Gascón is also refusing to tell Mirkarimi and the other supervisors how much taxpayer money gets spent sending officers around with the mayor as he campaigns up and down the state. I could argue that the Newsom for Governor campaign ought to reimburse the city for those expenses — but Gascón won’t even produce a gross figure. His claim: Telling the taxpayers how much the mayor’s security detail costs threaten Newsom’s security.

I don’t buy it. We’re not asking for protection plans, schedules, deployments, or anything else — just a bottom-line cash number. SFPD doesn’t need spies or a black budget. If Gascón thinks that style is going to work here, he’s going to run into trouble, quick.

Gavin Newsom, lawbreaker


EDITORIAL Mayor Gavin Newsom has set off something of a crisis in San Francisco government by insisting that he will defy the city law that seeks to protect immigrant youth from deportation. While Newsom claims that the sanctuary policy approved 8-2 by the supervisors last week violates federal law (something the same-sex marriage advocate hasn’t worried so much about in the past), this is really a matter of politics. Newsom, candidate for governor of California, doesn’t want to seem soft on crime — so Newsom, mayor of San Francisco, is siding with the federal immigration authorities.

He’s also putting out a misleading message about the law.

The sanctuary legislation, by Sup. David Campos, is an attempt to deal with a very real — and serious — problem. Under the city’s current policy, any time a young person is arrested and the juvenile probation department thinks he or she might lack documentation, the officers involved contact Immigration Control and Enforcement. That means kids who have lived in this country for years and have no ties to their birth nation can be deported — just on the basis of an arrest that could turn out to be groundless.

Campos’ law establishes a city policy that prohibits local law enforcement from reporting juvenile offenders to ICE until they’ve been convicted of a crime. That’s just basic due process.

Newsom insists (and the city attorney’s office agrees) that no city employee can be penalized for contacting ICE. But that’s not the point of this law. Right now, juvenile officers are required to call ICE when they have someone in custody who may be undocumented. There’s no federal law saying this has to happen. And it’s perfectly legal — and appropriate — to lift that mandate and to say, in effect, that no city employee should be penalized for declining to turn a kid over to the feds.

At this point, the city attorney hasn’t argued that the Campos bill is illegal or unenforceable, and no judge has overturned it. When, as expected, the supervisors override Newsom’s certain veto, the bill will become city law — presumptively valid until a court rules otherwise. And Newsom has a legal obligation as mayor to abide by and enforce that law.

City Attorney Dennis Herrera is in something of a bind here since he has to represent both the mayor and the supervisors. But he needs to make clear, in public, that while he warned of possible legal implications of the Campos legislation, right now there is nothing preventing the law from taking effect — and that the mayor, like any other city official, is required to follow it.

The supervisors need to keep pushing the issue, too. And they need to be prepared to go to court to seek a writ mandating that the city’s chief executive follow his sworn oath and faithfully execute the law.

None of this needs to happen. Newsom could have worked with Campos on the legislation. Instead, the mayor continues to defy the board and act like the sort of imperial executive who is utterly unqualified for any higher office. For the sake of innocent kids facing the horrors of deportation, San Francisco’s reputation as a sanctuary city and Newsom’s own political future, he needs to back off and agree to abide by the city’s own laws.

Psychic Dream Astrology



March 21-April 19

Determination is a beautiful thing and can be turbo fuel for the Change Train you’re on. Harness all your strength and vision into a clear set of goals now that Saturn is in your opposite sign: Libra. This is when you can rise to the occasion or sink like a ton of rocks. Let go of some old ways of being that no longer serve you.


April 20-May 20

Your emotions are running wild and fast like a waterfall, rushing from one part of your heart and spilling into the rest of your life. Don’t fight it, Taurus. Go with them instead. Support yourself by noticing what sets you off so you don’t get dragged down every time.


May 21-June 21

Anxiousness makes you feel super-helpless, and it’s easy to feel trapped when that shit comes around. There’s always an option you haven’t considered yet, an attitude you haven’t yet held. Remember that you have more jurisdiction over your own life than you’re likely to feel you do. If you were fearless, what would you do next?


June 22-July 22

You’re not supposed to know the answers right now, Cancer. This week, cultivate patience as you get grounded enough to check in with your gut instincts. Your fears may pretend to be the voice of your intuition, so here’s a tip: intuition is not scary, it’s just a clear and subtle inner voice. Get grounded and listen closely.


July 23-Aug. 22

History has this nasty habit of repeating itself. If you don’t take a minute to review your past and notice the similarities to your present, you may find yourself in an all-too-familiar pickle. It’s time to let go of your attachment to learning the same lesson over and over. Change whatever hasn’t been working.


Aug. 23-Sept. 22

There is no answer that is absolutely right for you, just different options — some better, some worse. The crappiest choice you can make is to stay inert. It’s time for the "wild rumpus to start." Make some noise, do your stretches, and get ready for action. The more play you have in your life, the more of it you’ll attract.


Sept. 23-Oct. 22

This is it, Libra. Saturn enters your sign this week and it’s up to you make the best of the Taskmaster’s journey through your jurisdiction. Don’t start freaking out, though. Saturn feeds off of worry and fear. Instead, take a solid look around and inside you to find what needs attention. Wherever you are not living your life self appropriately, Saturn will be felt.


Oct. 23-Nov. 21

If you’re doing something that you know is wrong, even if you’re doing it for the right reasons or the most deserving people, it’ll eat you up from the inside. You’re focusing on the problem that is most in your face when you need to be looking a little deeper to see what’s really got you twisted. Be true to what you believe right now.


Nov. 22-Dec. 21

There are parts of yourself that you’re holding onto for dear life, but you’ve outgrown them. It’s like you’re not sure what’s real and what’s here to stay, so you’re falling back on your tried and true, whether it’s outdated or not. Spend a bit of time with No. 1 to make sure you’re in touch with you, in the now.


Dec. 22-Jan. 19

You are moving through some meaningful emotional stuff and there is some turbulence on the way. Once you get on the other side of this journey, you’ll be so much better off. You’re over-stimulated, Cap. Don’t try to fix anything just yet. Instead, take care of yourself. Disengage from other people’s energies and just deal with you for a while.


Jan. 20-Feb. 18

If you can hike up your willingness to have things shift, your whole life will get easier. You’re on the brink of major change and it’s a lot to handle right now. Be brave and practice balance. Know when to assert yourself and with how much force, as well as when to hold back. You are on your way to major improvements.


Feb. 19-March 20

Some things are outside your control, like the recession, global warming, and who the winner of American Idol will be. But that doesn’t mean you can’t participate and make your voice heard. Put out more of what you want to see in the world. You have so much to give, but first you have to make peace with your limitations.

Jessica Lanyadoo has been a psychic dreamer for 15 years. Check out her Website at www.lovelanyadoo.com or contact her for an astrology or intuitive reading at (415) 336-8354 or dreamyastrology@gmail.com.