Volume 47 Number 15

Write it out



CAREERS AND ED If your New Year’s resolutions include finally finishing that post-apocalyptic S&M fantasy novel, or maybe just starting the memoir about your childhood as the illegitimate offspring of a ’70s soap opera star, you’re in the right place — and time. Here in the Bay Area, you can’t throw a copy of Robert McKee’s literary how-to “Story” without hitting a writing teacher — and January is when most writing classes ramp up. The trick is choosing the right one.

Best to begin with these 3 steps:


Are you looking for a lot of lecture on writing craft, or would you rather spend more time workshopping your writing? Do you want to be assigned reading homework, or would you prefer writing exercises? All this information should be in the class description, and if it isn’t, email the teacher and ask. You’re allowed, you’re a grown-up now.


About mid-February it’ll be a cold, rainy night and that TiVoed episode of Downton Abbey and some takeout Indian food will seem more appealing than the experimental fiction course you signed up for. Decide now if you’re better committing to an afternoon class or a weekend workshop. Or if you should sign up with a friend so you’ll have somebody to shame you going.


Reading the teacher’s bio is as important as reading the course description. If you’re taking a class in novel-writing, you might want to know if your instructor has actually published (and not self-published) a novel — and if it was in the last couple of decades. This is useful information to have when you’re asking about real-world topics, such as getting an agent or dealing with publishers.

Of course, being published doesn’t necessarily make someone a good teacher. Writing is a profession that attracts people who like to lock themselves up in rooms with imaginary characters. Always check out the Yelp reviews for any place you’re thinking of taking a class. You’ll find plenty of individual teacher comments, pro and con.


While there are other options, here is my personal list of the best places to take writing classes in the Bay Area:


Started in 1999 by a former newspaper editor, the Writing Salon (www.writingsalons.com)now has two locations, one in Potrero Hill and another in Berkeley. The Writing Salon offers intimate classes, four times a year in all genres (fiction, poetry, playwriting, even erotica) that are real crowd-pleasers. The Writing Salon won the SFBG Best of the Bay Readers’ Poll in Adult Education in 2011 and 2012.


The Grotto began offering classes in 2008, and has seen their program grow to more than 15 classes per week. Begun in 1994 by Po Bronson, Ethan Canin, and Ethan Watters, the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto (www.sfgrotto.org) is a collective of working writers who share office space South of Market, where classes are held. Grotto classes are taught by Grotto members, as well as visiting colleagues, such as their agents, editors, and author friends. Grotto classes have perhaps the most stringent criteria for their teachers. No instructor can teach a Grotto class in a genre he or she is not published in. The Grotto has recently partnered with Litquake to sponsor the Bay Area’s first juried writers conference, Lit Camp, to be held this April.


Easily the best independent bookstore in the country, Book Passage (www.bookpassage.com) in Corte Madera is also an excellent place to take a writing class. Often authors on their way through town on book tour will teach here. Book Passage is justifiably famous for its three big conferences — Children’s Writers and Illustrators, Mystery Writers, and Travel Writers and Photographers — which take place in the spring and summer. Elaine Petrocelli, the brains behind Book Passage, packs these conferences with agents and editors, and then sends them out to mingle with the students. More than one local writer has had his or her career made at a Book Passage conference.


If attending these writing classes has you thinking about taking your skill set to the next level, you don’t have to leave town. San Francisco State has one of the best, and for California residents, one of the least expensive Creative Writing graduate programs. It’s not easy to get into, but the upside is that once you’re in, reading your fellow students’ work is a pleasure. SF State (creativewriting.sfsu.edu) offers an MA and an MFA program, and you can go part time.

Another good, although pricier, choice is California College of the Arts, which offers a two-year MFA program at its SF campus (www.cca.edu/academics/graduate/writing).




Rockin’ Kids Singalong

Licensed clinical social worker and former punk rock singer-guitarist Stephanie Pepitone leads this musical play group for kids of all ages. Stephanie “leads families in about an hour’s worth of singing, dancing, music-making, and fun/chaos” with original tunes and familiar favorites.

Fridays, 10:30-11:30am, $10 per family. La Pena Cultural Center, 3105 Shattuck, Berk. www.lapena.org

JAN 12

Haitian Folkloric Dance

Live drumming accompanies instructor Portsha Jefferson’s class for all levels, which promises that “you will experience the meditative Yanvalou, the fiery rhythms of Petwo, the playful and celebratory dances of Banda and Rara. Expect a high energy class in celebration of a rich, spiritual tradition. Bring a long, flowy skirt if you have one.”

1:30-3pm, $13. Dance Mission Theater, 3316 24th St., SF. www.dancemission.com

JAN 16

Feeding Your Soul: Mindful Cooking and Eating in the New Year

Let the onslaught of New Year’s resolution-keeping commence. Kick off the year with an intro to mindful eating, and get away from psychologically compulsive, physically harming habits when it comes to nourishing yourself. Life coach Carley Hauck and chef Greg Lutes (known for his uni crème brulee!) team up deliver a lecture and cooking demo — aimed at helping you recognize wasteful food behaviors and reinvigorate your love for creating and enjoying healthful dishes.

$25 18 Reasons members, $35 others. 18 Reasons, 3674 18th St., SF. www.18reasons.org

JAN 17

Understanding Chinese Medicine

A six-week course at the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine that will introduce you to the basic life force concept of Qi, and then broaden your knowledge into acupuncture, Chinese herbs, tongue and pulse diagnostics, yin and yang, five elements, and the Chinese concept of internal organs.

Thursdays, 6pm-8pm, $120. Pioneer Square and Shuji Goto Library, 555 De Haro, SF. www.actcm.edu

JAN 19

New Year, New Poems: Celebrate Your Muse!

“In our day together we’ll read and talk about an array of accessible, provocative poems by fine writers including current poet laureates Kathleen Flenniken, Juan Felipe Herrera, and Natasha Trethewey, and we’ll do some whimsical, illuminating writing exercises to bypass our inner critics and experiment with themes and tones, phrases and rhythms. We’ll listen closely and encouragingly to each other’s voices. By the end of the day we’ll have shaped a handful of budding poems and sharpened our vision for future writing projects,” says Writing Salon teacher Kathleen McClung.

10am-4pm, $95 Writing Salon members, $110 others. Writing Salon, 720 York, SF. www.writingsalons.com

JAN 19

Kongolese Contemporary Dance

Extremely charismatic instructor Byb Chanel Bibene revisits his Congolese roots, in which contemporary and traditional movements intertwined to produce a unique, exhilarating style. No experience in dance is necessary for this warm, fun, and inviting workshop.

10am-noon, $12-15 sliding scale. Also Jan. 20. Counterpulse, 1310 Mission, SF. www.counterpulse.org


JAN 25


Exploring San Francisco District Six

Sometimes education begins with looking more closely at your community. Supervisor Jane Kim leads a tour of her district — including South of Market, Mid-Market and Tenderloin neighborhoods — highlighting some of the recent successes and challenges affecting its residents’ quality of life.

3:30pm, $10. See www.spur.org/events for more info.

JAN 27

Bagel Making Workshop

Hole yes! You’ll never need complain about the state of West Coast bagelry again when the good folks of Sour Flour workshops lead you through the basics. You’ll begin by mixing flour, starter, salt, and water and then learning to develop the glutens through various techniques. Finally you’ll find out about boiling and baking techniques. Bring a plate to roll your creation home.

12:30-2:30pm, $80. La Victoria Bakery, 2937 24th St., SF. www.sourflour.org/workshops


Introduction to Coptic Bookbinding

The Coptic style of bookbinding allows a book to be laid open flat, making it ideal for sketchbooks and journals. Offered at Techshop, the epicenter of hands-on DIY yumminess, this seminar allows you to take home your own handmade journal! (To blog about?)

10am-4pm, $95 TechShop members, $110 others. TechShop, 926 Howard, SF. www.techshop.ws


Basic Mysteries

Revered Beat poet, former New College professor, and Guardian GOLDIE Lifetime Achievement Award-winner David Meltzer takes us on a uniquely persona tour of poetry and poetics, exploring “the roots of poetry, the invention and mythology of writing systems, divination, Kabbalah, and the page.” The four-week course (Tuesdays through February) will cover a lot of transcendent ground.

7:00-9:30pm, $200. Mythos, 930 Dwight Way #10, Berk. Contact julmind@mtashland.net for more info.


Career Toolbox with Suzanne Vega

The acclaimed neo-folk singer introduces us to her concept of the “career toolbox,” which “contains a unique mix of creative, strategic and marketing skills that helped her in the early stages of her career.” Honest self-reflection and an understanding of necessary skills to survive a competitive marketplace are key. Plus, hello, Suzanne Vega.

11am-2pm, $52 CIIS members, $65 others. California Institute of Integral Studies, 1453 Mission, SF. www.ciis.edu

FEB 19

Wild Oakland: Nature Photography Basics at Lake Merritt

Amid its passel of no-cost classes, including weekly courses on Eskrima, the Filipino combat system and herbal medicine, the East Bay Free Skool offers great one-off tutorials. Nature group Wild Oakland hosts a few of these that entail happy tromps about Lake Merritt. Today’s is a wildlife photography class taught by Damon Tighe, whose freelance shots appear in Bay Nature and other publications.

Noon, free. Meet in front of Rotary Nature Center, 600 Bellevue, Oakl. eastbayfreeskool.wikia.com


Introduction to Neon

Surely there are few among us who could not use a custom-made neon sign. Perhaps you would like it to be clear that you are open for business. Maybe your roommate could use a permanent reminder that please Buddha Christ our savior we don’t leave our coffee mugs on the dining room table (ahem.) At any rate, this is one of this West Oakland metal mecca’s entry-level courses — check its online course schedule for more offerings in blacksmithing, welding, jewelry, glass, and more.

Sundays through 10am-6pm, $400. The Crucible, 1260 Seventh St., Oakl. www.thecrucible.org


Dapper down



CAREERS AND ED When Ford Models announced that its newest menswear model was a woman — Olympic swimmer and New York artist Casey Legler — in the same month that Yves Saint Laurent chose Saskia de Brauw as the face of its spring-summer 2013 menswear collection, it became clear that men’s fashion was opening itself to the fact that not all people who wear suits and sport rugged looks are male-identified.

But not every butch looking for a fly three-piece has the gamine, broad-shouldered physique of Legler and de Brauw. What’s a dapper gent to do?

Enter the new wave of menswear (or, “masculine of center,” as we’ve seen the look defined on some style blogs) brands specifically tailored to the female-born or identified. Happily, downtown San Francisco’s Crocker Galleria will be the site of the first permanent menswear store to cater to the genderqueer.

“My mother started teaching me [to sew] when I was eight,” Tomboy Tailors’ 48-year-old, butch-identified owner Zel Anders writes me in an email interview. Anders has long been a fan of suits over dresses when it came to formal occasions, but was frustrated that she could never find a well-fitting outfit — even here in the Bay Area, where she’s lived since she was 17. She says the process of suit shopping grew painful, and found it necessary to steel herself before hitting the dressing rooms.

No such toughening up will be necessary at the new shop, which has already garnered a loyal Internet following despite the fact that it won’t open its doors until February 2nd. Tomboy Tailors’ staff will help customers find suits that fit right across the chest, hips, thighs, and seat, customizing them so that each garment fits its new owner.

The store will stock not only its in-house line (Anders especially touts its three-button, notch lapel suit for heavier clientele), but items from other brands selected for a pangender crowd — including a selection of men’s shoes in smaller sizes, like a Dalton wing-tip lace-up Oxford and saddle shoes from Carlos Santos and Walk-Over.

“I am having so much fun just watching people ponder and choose from the several hundred fabrics that they have as options,” Anders says about her Tomboy Tailors experience to date. ” Not only do they have to think about what color they want their suit to be, but they have to decide if they want a solid, herringbone, pinstripe, chalk stripe, plaid, or even a bird’s eye, nail’s head, or houndstooth check pattern to the fabric.” Finally, options.

Tomboy Tailors is hardly the only option for fly transpeople, dapper dames, and other genderqueers — transgressive men’s fashion site dapperQ (www.dapperq.com) recently published a list of fab online labels like Marimacho (www.marimachobk.com), The Original Tomboy (www.theoriginaltomboy.com), Saint Harridan (www.saintharridan.com), and Androgynous (www.androgynousfashion.com) that all have a mission to provide fashion for all points on the gender-fashion spectrum.


Feb. 2, 2-6pm, free

Tomboy Tailors

Crocker Galleria

50 Post, first floor, SF



The shape of stage to come



CAREERS AND ED Like most skills, acting can be honed and refined, and the number of disciplines and techniques an actor could familiarize themselves with are practically infinite. Fortunately for the professional and amateur actor alike, there’s a number of theater companies who offer the same actor trainings to the public that they utilize in the creation of their own work.

Ranging from techniques such as Suzuki Method or Viewpoints, skill sets such as improv or stage combat, or theatrical forms such as Bouffon or Kyogen, these classes help keep working actors in artistic shape, and offer a way for even rank beginners to acquire translatable performance skills. And since unlike acting schools or conservatories, there’s rarely an audition process or prerequisite for attendance, they’re accessible to a fairly broad demographic.

Ensemble theater-making is East Bay company Ragged Wing‘s focus, and therefore also the focus of the trainings it offers to the public. Utilizing techniques such as Viewpoints, mask performance, puppetry, music, and myth-based story creation, Ragged Wing introduces actors and theater-makers of all levels (including total newbies) to concepts such as devised theater, imagination play, and the psycho-physical exercises of Michael Chekhov. It even offers a workshop for teachers in applying ensemble theater techniques in the classroom. Visit its website for an overview of last year’s program, and this year’s upcoming dates, which will occur later this spring.


We like this next class so much we awarded it a Best of the Bay in 2011! Taught by Naked Empire Bouffon Company artistic director Nathaniel Justiniano, the Intro to Bouffon Workshop guides up to 20 participants on a journey to find their “personal bouffon” (or “inner psychopath,” as we termed it). Alternating between weekend intensives and four-week workshops of two-hour sessions (one of which just started on January 15), Intro to Bouffon includes instruction on creating within ecstatic play, movement-and-vocal-based improv, and blatantly violations of the usual boundaries drawn between audience and performer. In addition to teaching at the warehouse Main Street Theater, Justiniano has also recently joined the Circus Center faculty where he will teach a seven-week course on Bouffon beginning in April.

$60–$80, 20-hour intensives $200, Circus Center intensive $3200. www.nakedempirebouffon.org

Another theater company offering training in the specialized theatrical format it also performs is Theatre of Yugen, which offers a series of art of performance workshops as well as an apprenticeship program on Kyogen and Noh techniques. This year’s public trainings begin on January 26 with a weekend intensive on “Physical Character” in the Kyogen style of performance. Private apprenticeships are granted by audition, and last for an entire calendar year during which apprentices train and eventually perform with the company, sometimes staying on as company members after their graduation.

$80–$100 (with discount for taking multiple classes.) Enrollment is limited. www.theatreofyugen.org

Sure you can act if someone hands you a script. But how about when there isn’t one? At its best, improvisational theater makes use of a whole range of techniques, and requires a huge amount of focus and cooperation between players in order for a scene to work. It’s also one of the most accessible theatrical art forms for beginners to get involved with, particularly in the Bay Area. One of the newer kids on the block, EndGames Improv is nonetheless one of the most pedigreed. Offering instruction in “long form improvisation” à la Upright Citizens Brigade and Second City, EndGames Improv holds classes in four levels and stages weekly performances at Stagewerx, including its infamous “F!#&ing Free Fridays.” Seven-week classes are capped at 16 participants. January is sold out, but keep an eye on the website for future dates.

$199; $225 for upper levels. www.endgamesimprov.com

They’re not a stand-alone theater company, but I can’t resist mentioning Dueling Arts San Francisco. Providing instruction to performing artists in a wide range of stage combat skills — including quarterstaff (what up Little John?), rapier, dagger, broadsword, and unarmed combat — the instructors of Dueling Arts are also accomplished fight directors and performers in their own right, for a diverse array of companies including IMPACT Theatre, Shotgun Players, Thrillpeddlers, ACT, Berkeley Rep, San Jose Rep, SF Playhouse, and California Shakespeare Theatre. Certification class sizes are generally between six to 12 students, and there are no prerequisites for the beginning levels.

Quarterstaff Level 1 Certification Class begins March 17, $200. www.duelingartssf.com


Do we need more luxury condos?


There’s no shortage of high-end housing in San Francisco. If you can afford to pay $6,000 a month for your rent or mortgage, you’re going to find a nice place to live. And there’s no study anywhere in any corner of the City Planning Department suggesting that current San Francisco residents really want new luxury condos downtown.

In fact, all evidence suggests the contrary — the market for high-end downtown housing is new residents, people who are moving here to take tech jobs, empty nesters moving from the suburbs, or world travelers looking for a pied-a-terre in one of the greatest cities on Earth.

But when the City Planning Department analyzes a project like 75 Howard, that’s not part of the discussion.

The Dec. 12 preliminary environmental study on the “market-rate” (read: $1 million and up for waterfront views) project never addresses the question of what value this type of housing would bring to the city. Instead, it talks about projections from the Association of Bay Area Governments, which says that San Francisco will grow by 52,000 households by 2030.

So a project that’s creating fewer than 200 housing units, and creating a net of 77 jobs, isn’t big enough to be a factor in the future of either jobs or housing.

But in the process, the study makes a remarkable statement, one that underlines everything wrong with city planning policy. Buried on page 48 of a 151-page preliminary study is the following: “In addition, the demand for housing by the net increase in number of employees would be more than offset by the dwelling units that would be constructed on site under the proposed project or its variants.”

That sounds like bureaucratise, and it is, so allow me to translate: The project will create 186 housing units and 77 jobs. More housing than jobs; what’s there to worry about?

Well: The 77 employees at 75 Howard will work in the restaurants and stores, or in the garage under the building, or in maintenance. Not one of them will make even remotely enough money to afford to buy one of the condo units in the building.

So the project — like so much of the development that happens in San Francisco — will create jobs for people who can’t afford to live here, and housing for people who don’t currently work here. That imbalance is utterly unsustainable, spells disaster for the future of the city — and is pretty much hard-wired into current planning and housing policy.

War of the waterfront



There’s a blocky, unattractive building near the corner of Howard and Steuart streets, right off the Embarcadero, that’s used for the unappealing activity of parking cars. Nobody’s paid much attention to it for years, although weekend shoppers at the Ferry Building Farmers Market appreciate the fact that they can park their cars for just $6 on Saturday and Sunday mornings.

But now a developer has big plans for the 75 Howard Street site — and it’s about to become a critical front in a huge battle over the future of San Francisco’s waterfront.

Paramount Partners, a New York-based real-estate firm that also owns One Market Plaza, wants to tear down the eight-story garage and replace it with a 350-foot highrise tower that will hold 186 high-end condominiums. The new building would have ground-floor retail and restaurant space and a public plaza.

It would also exceed the current height limit in the area by 150 feet and could be the second luxury housing project along the Embarcadero that defies the city’s longtime policy of strictly limiting the height of buildings on the waterfront.

It comes at a time when the Golden State Warriors are seeking permission to build a sports arena on Piers 30 and 32, just a few hundred feet from 75 Howard.

Between the proposed 8 Washington condo project, the arena, and 75 Howard, the skyline and use of the central waterfront could change dramatically in the next few years. Add to that a $100 million makeover for Pier 70, the new Exploratorium building on Pier 15, and a new cruise ship terminal at Pier 27 — and that’s more development along the Bay than San Francisco has seen in decades.

And much of it is happening without a coherent overall plan.

There’s no city planning document that calls for radically upzoning the waterfront for luxury housing. There’s nothing that talks about large-scale sports facilities. These projects are driven by developers, not city planners — and when you put them all together, the cumulative impacts could be profound, and in some cases, alarming.

“There hasn’t been a comprehensive vision for the future of the waterfront,” Sup. David Chiu told me. “”I think we need to take a step back and look at what we really want to do.”

Or as Tom Radulovich, director of the advocacy group Livable City, put it, “We need to stop planning the waterfront one project at a time.”


Some of the first big development wars in San Francisco history involved tall buildings on the waterfront. After the Fontana Towers were built in 1965, walling off the end of the Van Ness corridor in a nasty replica of a Miami Beach hotel complex, residents of the northern part of the city began to rebel. A plan to put a 550-foot US Steel headquarters building on the waterfront galvanized the first anti-highrise campaigns, with dressmaker Alvin Duskin buying newspaper ads that warned, “Don’t let them bury your skyline under a wall of tombstones.”

Ultimately, the highrise revolt forced the city to downzone the waterfront area, where most buildings can’t exceed 60 or 80 feet. But repeatedly, developers have eyed this valuable turf and tried to get around the rules.

“It’s a generational battle,” former Sup. Aaron Peskin noted. “Every time the developers think another generation of San Franciscans has forgotten the past, they try to raise the height limit along the Embarcadero.”

The 8 Washington project was the latest attempt. Developer Simon Snellgrove wants to build 134 of the most expensive condominiums in San Francisco history on a slice of land owned in part by the Port of San Francisco, not far from the Ferry Building. The tallest of the structures would rise 136 feet, far above the 84-foot zoning limit for the site. Opponents argued that the city has no pressing need for ultra-luxury housing and that the proposal would create a “wall on the waterfront.”

Although the supervisors approved it on a 8-3 vote, foes gathered enough signatures to force a referendum, so the development can’t go forward until the voters have a chance to weigh in this coming November.

Meanwhile, the Paramount Group has filed plans for a much taller project at 75 Howard. It’s on the edge of downtown, but also along the Embarcadero south of Market, where many of the buildings are only a few stories high.

The project already faces opposition. “The serious concerns I had with 8 Washington are very similar with 75 Howard,” Chiu said. But the issues are much larger now that the Warriors have proposed an arena just across the street and a few blocks south.

“Because of the increase in traffic and other issues around the arena, I think 75 Howard has a higher bar to jump,” Sup. Jane Kim, who represents South of Market, told me.

Kim said she’s not opposed to the Warriors’ proposal and is still open to considering the highrise condos. But she, too, is concerned that all of this development is taking place without a coherent plan.

“It’s a good question to be asking,” she said. “We want some development along the waterfront, but the question is how much.”

Alex Clemens, who runs Barbary Coast Consulting, is representing the developer at 75 Howard. He argues that the current parking garage is neither environmentally appropriate nor the best use of space downtown.

“Paramount Group purchased the garage as part of a larger portfolio in 2007,” he told me by email. “Like any other downtown garage, it is very profitable — but Paramount believes an eight-story cube of parking facing the Embarcadero is not the best use of this incredible location.”

He added: “We believe removing eight above-ground layers of parked cars from the site, reducing traffic congestion, enlivening street life, and improving the pedestrian corridor are all benefits to the community that fit well with the city’s overall goals. (Of course, these are in addition to the myriad fees and tax revenues associated with the project.)”

But that, of course, assumes that the city wants, and needs, more luxury condominiums (see sidebar).


Among the biggest problems of this rush of waterfront development is the lack of public transit. The 75 Howard project is fairly close to the Embarcadero BART station, but when you take into account the Exploratorium, the arena, and Pier 70 — where a popular renovation project is slated to create new office, retail, and restaurant space — the potential for transit overload is serious.

The waterfront at this point is served primary by Muni’s F line — which, Radulovich points out, “is crowded, expensive, low-capacity, and not [Americans with Disabilities Act]-compliant.”

The T line brings in passengers from the southeast but, Radulovich said, “if you think we can serve all this new development with the existing transit, it’s not going to happen.”

Then there are the cars. The Embarcadero is practically a highway, and all the auto traffic makes it unsafe for bicycles. The Warriors arena will have to involve some parking (if nothing else, it will need a few hundred spaces for players, staff, and executives — and it’s highly unlikely people who buy million-dollar luxury boxes are going to take transit to the arena, so there will have to be parking for them, too. That’s hundreds of spaces and new cars — assuming not a single fan drives.

The 75 Howard project will eliminate parking spaces, but not vehicle traffic — there will still be close to 200 parking spaces.

And all of this is happening at the foot of the Bay Bridge, the constantly clogged artery to the East Bay. “Oh, and there’s a new community of 20,000 people planned right in the center of the bridge, on Treasure Island,” Peskin pointed out.

Is it possible to handle all of the people coming and going to the waterfront (particularly on days where there’s also a Giants game a few hundred yards south) entirely with mass transit? Maybe — “that’s the kind of problem we’d like to have to solve,” Radulovich said. Of course, the developers would have to kick in major resources to fund transit — “and,” he said, “we don’t even know what the bill would be, and we don’t have the political will to stick it to the developers.”

But a transit-only option for the waterfront is not going to happen — at the very least, thousands of Warriors fans are going to drive.

The overall problem here is that nobody has asked the hard questions: What do we want to do with San Francisco’s waterfront? The Port, which owns much of the land, is in a terrible bind — the City Charter defines the Port as an enterprise department, which has to pay for itself with revenue from its operations, which made sense when it was a working seaport.

But now the only assets are real estate — and developing that land, for good or for ill, seems the only way to address hundreds of millions of dollars in deferred maintenance and operating costs on the waterfront’s crumbling piers. And the City Planning Department, which oversees the land on the other side of the Embarcadero, is utterly driven by the desires of developers, who routinely get exemptions from the existing zoning. “There is no rule of law in the planning environment we live in,” Radulovich said. So the result is a series of projects, each considered on its own, that together threaten to turn this priceless civic asset into a wall of concrete.

Hacking the US debt


OPINION The so-called Fiscal Cliff has been averted. But the country actually has a much bigger issue — the debt ceiling.

For the uninitiated, the debt ceiling is exactly what it sounds like, an artificial limit imposed by Congress the keep the president from borrowing money. The ceiling was originally passed back in 1917 to prevent the government from excess spending during the First World War. Besides its constitutionality being questionable, it’s also useless and dangerous.

The far right goes bananas about the national debt, and points to the ceiling as a way to keep it from growing. But the debt growth in question is simply to pay back bills on products and services that Congress already used. So to impose a ceiling now is not to cut growth, but to default on US creditors.

The Republicans are refusing to raise the debt ceiling unless they get huge cuts in social programs — and if current spending hits the ceiling, the United States would be unable to pay its bills.

But there’s a solution, a way President Obama could get around the GOP and its threats altogether. It’s a unorthodox — but legal. Call it debt hacking.

Obama could simply direct the Treasury to print a series of platinum coins in denominations of at least $1 trillion. It’s not perfect, and it’s not without potential cost — but compared to defaulting on debt or cutting Social Security and Medicare, it’s not a bad option.

The president is legally barred from asking the US Mint to print more money — gold coins or paper bills — without the permission of Congress. But under an obscure 1996 law, there’s an exception for platinum.

So upon realizing that the GOP leaders in Congress will push the republic into default, President Obama could direct the Mint to produce, say, three coins — each with the face value of $1 trillion. The coins would be deposited into the general treasury account at the Federal Reserve. This would then be converted into credit to buy back and retire enough debt to give Obama, and the country, some breathing space.

In fact, Obama could do something even bolder and create more coins, to go beyond breathing space and pay off almost all the national debt except for that held by Social Security. But that sort of action — the government just printing new money — can, many economists warn, create hyperinflation.

Still, the Federal Reserve magically produced about $30 trillion to help bail out banks not long ago, and there was little discernible inflation. The government wouldn’t actually be creating new money — it would simply be replacing debt that the country pays interest on with paper (or digital accounting) that it doesn’t. And right now, inflation is the least of our national worries; a little inflation might even help homeowners and those with heavy credit-card debt pay off what they owe with cheaper money in the future.

Of course, no government can do this on a regular basis. The US Dollar could lose its reserve status if investors start to fear the potential of future platinum coins appearing. But what are the alternatives? US dollars and US debt are, and will remain, trusted investments. China may not purchase as many bonds in the future, but the money we save on interest payments could be well worth it.

It’s a crazy idea, but these are crazy times — and if the GOP continues to threaten to destroy the economy, Obama might want to consider something bold.

Johnny Venom is an economist and commodities trader.

Disappearing poles



Political dynamics on the Board of Supervisors moved into uncertain new territory this week with the inauguration of two new members -– London Breed and Norman Yee –- who break the mold in representing districts that have long been predictable embodiments of opposite ideological poles.

Breed and Yee are both native San Franciscans with deep roots in their respective districts, which they tapped to win hotly contested races against challengers who seemed more closely aligned with the progressive politics of Dist. 5 and the fiscally conservative bent of Dist. 7. Both tell the Guardian that they represent a new approach to politics that is less about ideology and more about compromise and representing the varied concerns of their diverse constituencies.

“I don’t see everything as a compromise, but I want to be sure we find compromises where we can and don’t let personalities get in the way,” said Yee, whose background working in education and facilitating deals as a school board member belies District 7’s history of being represented by firebrand opponents of the progressive movement.

Some of the strongest champions of the pro-tenant, anti-corporate progressive agenda have come from the Haight and Dist. 5, a role that Breed has no intention of playing. “When you talk about the progressives of San Francisco, I don’t know that I fit in that category,” Breed told us. “I’m a consensus builder. I want to get along with people to get what I want.”

Yet what Breed says she wants are housing policies that protect renters and prevent the exodus of African-Americans, and development standards that preserve the traditional character of neighborhoods against corporate homogenization. “I don’t see the difference between my causes and progressive causes,” she said, claiming a strong independence from some of the monied interests that supported her campaign.

We spoke a few days before the Jan. 8 vote for board president (which was scheduled after Guardian press time, and which you can read about at the SFBG.com Politics blog). Neither Yee nor Breed would tip their hands about who they planned to support -– the first potential indication of their willingness to buck their districts’ ideological leanings.

Breed had raised some progressive eyebrows by telling the Guardian and others that she admired moderate Sup. Scott Wiener and would support him for president, but she had backtracked on that by the time we spoke on Jan. 5, telling us, “I’m going into this with an open mind.

“I’m waiting on my colleagues to decide who has the most votes,” Breed said, ing a candid take on valuing compromise over conflict. “I really would like to see us walk into this all together.”

Yee had similar comments. “They’re all competent people and can be leaders, it just depends on where they want to lead us,” he said. “I value people who can work with anyone and see themselves as facilitators more than as dictators.”

Both Breed and Yee come from humble roots that they say give them a good understanding of the needs of the city’s have-nots. Breed was raised in the public housing projects of the Western Addition, an experience that makes her want to solve the current dysfunction in the San Francisco Housing Authority.

“I can’t tell you what needs to be done, but I can tell you something is wrong,” Breed told us. “My goal is to get to the bottom of it and be extremely aggressive about it.”

Yee grew up in Chinatown, his father an immigrant who worked as a janitor, his mother a garment worker. They later lived in the Sunset and the Richmond, and Yee moved into his district’s Westwood Park neighborhood 26 years ago.

When Yee was eight years old, the family saved enough money to open a grocery store at 15th and Noe, and he said that he basically ran the store in his teen years while his father continued working another job.

That was where Yee developed his deep appreciation for the role that small, neighborhood-serving businesses play in San Francisco. In an era before credit cards, he would offer credit lines to local customers struggling to make ends meet; that experience showed him how stores like his family’s were essential parts of the city’s social and economic fabric.

“That’s why I value small businesses,” Yee said, calling that his top focus as a supervisor. “They’re going to have a bigger voice now.”

Yee draws a clear distinction between the interests of small business and that of the larger corporations that dominate the powerful San Francisco Chamber of Commerce. Asked where he might have placed on the Chamber’s recent scorecard ranking supervisors’ votes — where Yee’s predecessor, Sean Elsbernd, got the highest marks — Yee said, “Probably not on their A list. They are just one entity in San Francisco and I’m not going to be judged just by them.”

At 63 years old, Yee is by far the oldest member of the youngest Board of Supervisors in recent memory, while Breed, at 38, is closer to the current average. Yee hopes his age and experience will help him forge compromises among all the supervisors.

“People draw their lines, but I try to listen to people and see where their lines are,” Yee said. “It’s a balancing act, but at the same time, there’s things I’ve been working on all my life, like education and safety net issues, and this district does care about those things. At the same time, they care about their homes. Are these issues in conflict? I don’t think they have to be.”

Street music



CHEAP EATS It’s like a rubber band. It breaks.


by Hedgehog

Happy Current Year from the not-too-distant past! We celebrated New Years Eve at the Manse de la Cooter with good luck sausages, kale, and (for some of us) perhaps a little too much vino.

Oddly, it wasn’t Chicken Farmer who over-indulged, though I expected her to drown her sorrows in the grape since earlier that day her knee doctor broke the news. Or rather, he tore the news: ACL.

"In the wind," as McNulty would say. Only permanently. Like, Chris escorted her left knee’s ACL into a "vacant," and Snoop followed behind with a bucket of quick lime and a powder-actuated nail gun, you feel me?

But, in spite of her bad case of S.A.D. (Sad ACL Discovery) the farmer stoicly sang and storied the Chunks de la Cooter to sleep, and soberly designated drivered me home, where we’ve been burying our heads ever since, recording Sister Exister music.

And so, in deference to my honey’s questionable sports future and entirely unsporty present, I’m going to focus my portion of the column on the thing I now know more about than I did last week: music in San Francisco.

What’s that? The BG already has music writers? So? They already have a food writer, too. My new twist is: Us! That’s right, it’s 2013 and Sister Exister (sisterexister.bandcamp.com) is primed for world domination. We are everywhere. We tweet, tumble, face the book, kick the songs, camp the band, and cloud the sounds with our patented brand of "What the hell was that? Are they serious?"

And it is thanks to my self-appointed role as the band’s link to all things digital that I’ve discovered — gasp — we are not the only band in San Francisco. This epiphany was mostly Soundcloud’s doing, since we never go outside, let alone to bars, let alone to bars playing loud, live, amplified music.

But maybe in 2013 we should because . . . The High Witness Co. (www.soundcloud.com/highwitness)? Digging the "Leonard Cohen and Calexico in a blender" vibe of "Borrowed Time." And the Street Eaters (www.soundcloud.com/streeteaters)? Fuck yeah! And not just because of their name, either.

Chick drummer, fella plucking the bass, and that’s it. And they sound like a full orchestra! OK not really but dang, only two people? Yowza. Check out their track "Blades" and forget what I said about there being only two people in the band. And then be amazed when I say again: all that energy is coming out of only two people!

This, and then all the bands we already know with all the people we already know in them, like the Verms, Yard Sale, the Low Rollers, 17 Reasons . . . In fact, everybody in the greater Bay Area is in a band! If this isn’t true, if you in fact are not in a band then guess what? You, like us, have got a lot of audiencing to catch up on!

CHEAP EATS continued

Yeah but now I can’t go out because I look like Rocky Balboa. I lasted just one round with the bathroom floor yesterday morning and now I have a broken nose, a black eye, and a swollen eyebrow full of dried blood, in addition to my depressing ACLessness. So I can’t even dance, let alone be seen.

For now.

Go on ahead without me, Hedgehog.

I’ll be here on the toilet, where I’ve spent most of 2013, when I wasn’t Hillary Clintoning off of it.

She found me, dear reader, in a puddle of blood. Not Hillary — Hedgehog. And that awesome moment was the highlight of my year this year so far.

Oh. This morning I ate a half of a bagel with jam on it, and I held it down!

Or up, as it were. Other than that it’s been white rice and dry toast on my menu. But you don’t want to hear about this! Go give a listen to happier times, courtesy of Hedgehog . . .




DANCE After a decade of dancing and choreographing in the Bay Area, Cid Pearlman departed for Los Angeles, spent a year in Estonia, and now lives in Santa Cruz.

At last May’s San Francisco International Arts Festival, she re-introduced herself with This is what we do in winter, choreographed in 2010 for both her own dancers and performers from Tallinn, Estonia’s capital. In that piece, dance as social activity beautifully co-existed with the art as rigorous practice. This is what made you wonder what else this choreographer might have percolating.

It turns out to be the premiere of the intriguingly named Your Body is Not a Shark, a collaboration between Pearlman, composer Joan Jeanrenaud, and poet Denise Leto. Maya Barsacq, music director of chamber orchestra Cadenza, instigated the project. The women came together with a common interest in exploring constraints — physical and otherwise — as a generative force in art making. “In dance,” Pearlman says, “the young athletic body is the norm. I want to explore physical differences because I am interested in complicated stories that show people at different stages in their lives.” Shark’s seven dancers range from 18 to 64.

As a no-longer-young dancer, the 49-year-old Pearlman knows about the fragility and vulnerability of the human body. But, as she pointed out in a New Year’s Day conversation from Santa Cruz, “there are different kinds of virtuosity. There is hugely physical, deeply embodied dancing in your 20s and 30s which relies on strength and sharpness technique. Older dancers bring maturity to their work. If they can’t jump so high, don’t ask them to. You ask a performer to do what they are good at.”

“Limitations can hit you any time,” she adds. “It’s part of the human condition.” Her collaborators know whereof she speaks. Poet Leto, who wrote the text for this production, likes to present her works orally. A few years ago, she developed dystonia, a neurological disorder that has affected her vocal chords. “Sometimes she can get the words out, sometimes she can’t,” Pearlman says. But like the dancer who finds new ways to use her body, Leto has developed new strategies for presenting her poetry. Among them is the presence of a co-reader, “so if her voice gives out, the other person picks up.” Jeanrenaud was a cellist with the Kronos Quartet who had to alter her musical career in 1999, when she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. She too adapted to the changed circumstances by becoming a solo performer and composer with wide-ranging works in many media.

Each of these three artists has faced the restrictions on their expressiveness by expanding their reach. (And as Pearlman points out, sharks die if they stop moving.) At the core of Shark are Leto’s poems, each written within the constraints of separate, highly formal parameters: a sestina, an oulipo, and a tanka. She then turned the verses over to Jeanrenaud, who generated a sound collage and an instrumental score to be performed by herself, percussionist William Winant, and members of the Cadenza chamber players. Leto too will be on stage.

Shark’s most demanding task by going farther afield may well have been Pearlman’s. Having immersed herself in the verses’ technical demands — some of them sound like algorithms — she shaped her choreography along the same rules. Leto seems to be happy with how her partners have worked with the poems. “Taken off the page — by the movement of bodies and the movement of sound — they have become something altogether different,” she says in the introduction to the texts’ printed version.

But what about the rest of us? With its intricately interweaving of formal questions and demands, will Shark be readable to an audience? “It’s not a problem,” Pearlman laughs. “They don’t have to know how it works. It’s an experiment. It’s meant to be a puzzle.” *


Fri/11-Sat/12, 8pm; Sun/13, 3pm, $18-$24

ODC Theater

3153 17th St, SF



The damage done



FILM Robert Carlyle is the kind of actor who usually elicits a slow-dawning response in realm of “Oh, right … that guy. What was he in again?” Well, a lot, but if you’re not British (let alone Scottish), his visibility has probably been erratic and infrequent — plus he does that exasperating English thing of taking TV assignments like they’re perfectly OK, as opposed to the US approach of doing series work only when your big-screen career is in the toilet.

His persona, to simplify a bit, is usually that of the aging boy-man sad sack whose self-deprecation and pleading eyes are attractive until you realize he’s as likely to slide out of any commitment with a muttered excuse as easily as he’ll slide off that bar stool. In other words, a long-odds but redeemable loser. In that vein his quintessential role was as the main guy trying not to disappointment everyone yet again in The Full Monty (1997), an unusually bleak and satisfying “feel good” movie that spawned umpteen softer ones. He’s played variants on that part enough times that you might forget just one year earlier he was the terrifyingly vivid psychotic Begbie in Trainspotting.

Indeed, he’s played a Bond villain (albeit in 1999’s The World Is Not Enough), a cannibal (in 1999’s Ravenous), an evil wizard (2006’s Eragon), even Hitler (in a little-seen 2003 TV film), and if you get BBC America you might well think he’s the most versatile actor on the planet. But the projects in which he most frequently surfaces here — discounting American broadcast money gigs like SGU Stargate Universe — are little UK art house dramas. Often directed by people such as Ken Loach or Shane McMeadows, they customarily find him as protagonists who’d have been Angry Young Men a generation or two earlier. But now they’re not even angry; defeat has been bred in since the cradle, and there’s likely to be a good deal of pathos in any attempts to buck the odds.


Bruised losers going down — albeit not without one last noble act or effort — can be a beautiful line for an actor to make his own, from Jean Gabin to Liam Neeson (before he abruptly turned geriatric action hero). If the shabby shoe fits, might as well wear it. So Carlyle is a producer on California Solo, the kind of movie that often prompts critics to evoke ones from an earlier era (1972’s Fat City, 1981’s Cutter’s Way, 1975’s Rafferty and the Gold Dust Twins, etc.) No one went to those, either. But they were good, small, “personal” films with a genuine fondness for gritty characters and milieus.

Writer-director Marshall Lewy’s drama revolves around Lachlan MacAldonich, a lanky fortysomething Scotsman who’s somehow found himself managing an organic farm for its cranky but loyal owner (A Martinez) in that deep SoCal nowhere rendered agricultural only by the contortions of water-rights trafficking politicians.

He lives alone, he drinks alone; whatever past he’s got is one he’s cut himself off from. He does have an interesting “hobby” that might provide a clue: boozily hosting a weekly podcast from his kitchen table called Flameouts, “the show where we discuss the tragic and sometimes spectacular deaths of the world’s greatest musicians.” If anybody actually listens, we aren’t told, and he probably doesn’t care.

But Lachlan’s genial not caring much about anything, it seems, when he’s stopped careening home down the highway after bar-time. The resulting DUI charge, even its four-month drivers’ license suspension, wouldn’t be such a big deal if it didn’t turn out that a long-prior pot conviction makes him eligible for deportation despite his green card. And Lachlan really, really does not want to go back to the UK He’s buried himself here precisely to avoid the massive fuckup that no one there would be likely to have forgotten — that he was once the guitarist in “Britain’s biggest band” (at least for one NME minute), and that the major casualty of his stupid rock-star antics was the “British Kurt Cobain,” his brother Jed. When he crawls to the Beverly Hills manse of erstwhile music biz associate Wendell (Michael Des Barres, disturbingly well cast as an oily industry survivor) to beg for immigration lawyer money, the latter snaps “I was never your manager. I was never your friend. Jed was the band.”

Cue further self-destructive impulses, not at all eased by the pleading cow eyes Lachlan makes at sympathetic Beau (Alexia Rasmussen), a much younger customer he chats up at the farmer’s market each Sunday. (It’s even more embarrassing when Danny Masterson as her age-appropriate DJ boyfriend realizes “who he is,” and pours on the hero worship.) Even more painful are Lachlan’s attempts to re-establish some relationship with the bitter mother (Kathleen Wilhoite) of his now-teenaged daughter (Savannah Lathern) so he can claim his deportation would be a hardship to them.

Those last sequences are truly squirm-inducing, because the gap between Lachlan’s desire to do something right for a change and his haplessness at actually doing it is so palpable — we know it’s unfair he’s looking like a “reet eedyut,” but we also know he’s entirely brought it on himself. This is where an actor like Caryle knows how to go for the throat without seeming to reach for effect at all. He makes the depth of Lachlan’s self-loathing so palpable you want to hug him. After you’ve slapped him … but still.

Lewy also wrote and directed the very astute indie drama Blue State (2007), and if he didn’t craft Solo specifically for its Carlyle’s floppy-haired, ever-apologetic charm — well, didn’t he? This is the kind of very good movie that surprises when it actually turns up in theaters, however few. No matter that whoever actually sees the undeniably depressing-sounding California Solo will likely find it — and its star — endearing, poignant, ultimately upbeat. It’s even sort of a perfect early-date movie, softening up the emotions with male fragility redeemable by female generosity and forgiveness.


CALIFORNIA SOLO opens Fri/11 in Bay Area theaters.

Actual pain



TOFU AND WHISKEY Ah, the tormented love song. Chelsea Wolfe does it well. Vocally, she transfixes, sometimes sounding like she’s calmly wringing every ounce of blood from a relationship totem, at other points whispering cries of help from a enveloping darkness, the vibrations of the plucked-hard guitar strings reverberating in the distance. This rush of gloom and pain, in a genre she’s past described as “doom folk,” came forth in a fierce package in 2011’s electric Apokalypsis, and steadily zigzags beautifully through 2012’s meandering Unknown Rooms: A Collection of Acoustic Songs.

This weekend, the LA-via-Sacramento singer-guitarist comes to SF with a fellow dark folk spirit, King Dude (Fri/11, 9pm, $15. Great American Music Hall, 859 O’Farrell, SF. www.slimspresents.com). The two once recorded a split seven-inch together, and have played a few shows here and there, but this will be their first full tour together, which surprises King Dude, as tells me via phone from his homebase in Seattle, because they’re longtime pals who “got on like a house on fire” when they first met.

They’re both on the spectrum of a bubbling rebirth of neofolk and gothic Americana roots, inspired by acts like Death in June, and seen elsewhere in musicians like Emily Jane White and Father John Misty, but really driven recently by Wolfe and Dude, in unique ways.

Though King Dude — a.k.a Seattle’s T.J. Cowgill of black metal bands Teen Cthulhu and Book of Black Earth, and clothing label Actual Pain — also has some experience with tortured love songs. His baritone vocals often sound as if there’s a gravelly demon inside, clawing to get out. The lyrics of his 2012 release, Burning Daylight, tend to reflect inner, unearthly struggles, the occult, fears of death, and tragic old world tales. Or as he told another publication, he’s inspired by “death, religion, love, Lucifer, nature, primal feelings.” Most of the tracks have fully imagined narratives.

There’s the song “Barbara Anne” in which he growls, “I’ll shoot that man in the head if he hurts you, Barbara Anne” and “I’ll run away with you if you’ll have me, Barbara Anne.” It’s the tale of small-town love, set in 1940s, around two characters — a boy and the girl he wants, who’s been wronged by the town. “I think it’s probably the best love song I’ve ever written,” Cowgill says. “The kid is like: ‘I’ll kill everybody in the town for you, if that’s alright with you.’ That’s the most loving thing I think anybody can say for somebody else.”

In his reality, his allegiances lie with his musician wife, Emily, and their seven-year-old black lab, Pagan, the latter of which is currently at the vet getting checked before King Dude heads out on tour with Wolfe, just to make sure everything is OK.

For the complete King Dude interview, see sfbg.com/noise.



There have been countless articles dissecting every shot of Quentin Tarantino’s newest revenge fantasy, Django Unchained. From “the Django moment” (when white people laugh) to Kerry Washington’s costume designer’s secrets to “Why Django Had to Be a Spaghetti Western,” bloggers and squawkers have been raising important, sometimes frivolous theories about the controversial, often brutal film, set in an alternate version of the antebellum era of the Deep South. But what stood out to me, was the Django Unchained soundtrack; no big shocker, given the director.

The music takes over and transports immediately, with “Django (Main Theme)” by Luis Bacalov and Rocky Roberts, a powerful, full-throated song that was also the title track to the 1966 Spaghetti Western, Django. The opening credits are startling enough, setting a vividly emotional tone, but the song adds the outlining whomp, the exclamation mark. The dusty plucking and Elvis-like vibrato of “Jane-gooo” just stick in your brain. While on “Little Steven’s Underground Garage” show on Sirius Radio, Tarantino discussed his reasoning behind the music in the film. Of the theme he said, “When I came up with the idea to do Django Unchained, I knew it was imperative to open it with this song.”

The soundtrack weaves through ominous and plucky original Spaghetti Western themes, Brother Dege’s twangy stomper “Too Old To Die Young,” John Legend’s funky blacksploitation-style anthem “Who Did That To You” (which ended up on the soundtrack after Legend recorded it on cassette and mailed it to Tarantino), and pummeling hip-hop bangers, “Unchained (the Payback/Untouchable)” — a mashup of James Brown’s “The Payback” and 2Pac’s unreleased “Untouchable” — and “100 Black Coffins” by Rick Ross and Jamie Foxx.

Tarantino said on the radio show that this was the first time he’d included new music in one of his films, and it was thanks to the star and title character, Jaime Foxx, who ran into rapper Rick Ross at the BET Awards and invited him back to the set to work on a song together. The song is clearly influenced by the surroundings, with a Western whistle underneath a molasses beat and lyrics like “revenge is the sweetest.” and “I need 100 black coffins for 100 bad men/…I need 100 black bibles while we send ’em all to hell.”

There’s also the deceivingly calmer moments thanks to songs like Jim Croce’s “I Got a Name,” as Django is given his freedom, which left another lump in my throat. That track also has the needle drop and minimal fuzz of the record collector nerd Tarantino is. He’ll often use his own vinyl on the soundtracks. It’s a “whole record experience,” as he describes it. “Pops and crackles be damned.”



It’s true, prolific garage rocker Ty Segall has yet another new band. This one’s called Fuzz, and it includes Segall on drums and vocals (just like in his pre-Ty Segall Band band, Traditional Fools!) and longtime collaborator-pal Charlie Moothart on guitar. The dudes just released new single “This Time I Got a Reason,” played Vacation last weekend, and will be a part of Noise Pop 2013: Feb. 28 at the Knockout ($8).



After a period of moody silence, underground Harlem rap duo Cannibal Ox has returned — to the stage, at least. Vast Aire and Vordul Mega announced a one-off reunion show in NY late last year, and that must have gone well, ’cause now they’re heading our way on a full tour. Also noteworthy: Aire and Mega only put out one album as Cannibal Ox, 2001 indie hit The Cold Vein, produced by El-P. Now they’re working on a 2013 followup on Iron Galaxy Records.

With Keith Masters, Double AB, Kenyattah Black, I Realz

Sun/13, 9pm, $15. Brick and Mortar Music Hall, 1710 Mission, SF. www.brickandmortarmusic.com.