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5 Things

5 Things: August 31, 2011


>>SEPHARDIC LINES Gorgeous and wide-ranging contemporary dance company Alonzo King LINES Ballet just announced its new season, taking place at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Oct. 14-23. Among its offering will be an as-yet-unnamed (it’s that fresh) world premiere set to the music of the Sephardic Jewish tradition. We can’t wait to see the bodies in motion accompanying this description: “After the Expulsion of the Jews from Spain and Portugal at the end of the fifteenth century, the ensuing Sephardic diaspora reached North Africa, the Ottoman Empire, and other parts of Western Europe, as well as the Americas. Sephardic music developed according to region … In Morocco, we hear the explosion of Arab-Andalusian rhythms set to Judeo-Spanish and Hebrew lyrics, while in Turkey the sounds of Middle-Eastern a capella singing are infused with the santoor, ‘oud, and nei. Solo voices and subtle instrumental accompaniments hint at the music’s medieval roots in Spain. Sephardic music continues to be a living manifestation of the idea of convivencia: a fluid, creative, vibrant place of cultural crossing, which shows that art knows no boundaries.”

>>HAPPIER LATER We did not know that there was a happy hour every midnight at  beer-heaven Gestalt Haus in the Mission! From 12am-1am you get $1 off all drafts. With a draft menu that includes imports like Weihenstephan and Leffe Blonde, and microbrews like  Hunterspoint Porter and White Lightning, we’ll be able to afford to broaden our p(br)alate.

>>CANNABIS CALL Two bummer bills passed through the California state legislature today: SB 847, which would ban cannabis co-ops within 600 feet of a residential zone and AB 130, which would make it legal for cities and counties to ban dispensaries entirely. Way harsh for tokers in rural areas. Americans For Safe Access has an easy way you can speak out against the bills, and the organization is suggesting you take action today. 

This what your SF autumn-summer could look like. Yes, like a PowerPoint presentation

>>SKIP THE BROWN BAGGED TECATE, YOU DESERVE IT With Mexican Independence Day right around the corner (September 16), this may be a good time to start thinking celebratory tequila. We got a very nice email from SF-based distiller Don Julio‘s camp today encouraging us to consider the pomegrante. Well really, to consider this, which comes just in the nick of time for the start of sunny season in Dolores Park:

1 1/2 ounces Don Julio blanco tequila

2 1/2 ounces pomegrante juice

2 teaspoons sugar 

1/2 ounce lime juice

>>YOUNG BREEZEE Yesterday, Mission Mission posted this video of a former local rapping about bikes. The song is by Breezee One, who wrote the blog Mission Boyfriends (about her sexual exploits amongst the hipper class). After returning to her native Detroit, Breezee One made this video for her song “Bike Chase.” It lacks in lyrics and flow, but makes up for it in style and sentiment. She raps about “Bianchis, Peugeots, Cinellis, Fujis” and declares that she, “cruise[s] past Ferraris” later adding, “bikes are the only transportation we use.”


BREEZEE ONE – BIKE CHASE (Directed by GAREN.) from BREEZEE ONE on Vimeo.

5 Things: August 30, 2011


>>A HURRICANE OF YIPS The great Chihuahua airlift of 2011 — in which a planeload of unwanted West Coast pups were to be flown from L.A. to new homes on the East Coast (where “there is a demand for them”), dubbed “Operation: Chihuahua,” has had to be delayed due to flight rescheduling around Hurricane Irene. But never fear small dog lovers (Chelsea gays)! Virgin is in the process of rescheduling what is surely the Saigon or Berlin airlift of our time, and even offering a “No Chuhuahua Left Behind” package — “each ticket to Mexico booked by 11:59 p.m. Thursday will contribute $25 to support ‘local dogs and future airlift flights.'”

>>24-HOUR VEGAN PIZZA ALERT! 24-HOUR VEGAN PIZZA ALERT! We’ve been really, really into vegan pizza lately here at the Guardian — and while our old standby is a simple veggie minus cheese from neighborhood spot Goat Hill Pizza, we finally had a post-clubbing opportunity to experience newly revamped pie parlour DNA Pizza, conveniently located right next to party-central DNA Lounge itself. It’s open 24 hours! It has lots of options! Best of all, there’s an excellent vegan overload called “The Whole Damn Vegan Garden”: spinach, basil, tomatoes, red onions, artichoke hearts, black olives, daiya vegan cheese, and bell pepper on some pretty great crust. No need to sink into dead grease after drinking at the goth party, y’all. 

>>RAISED VOICES A group from the San Francisco Girls Chorus will be singing and marching in protest today over the non-renewal of its longtime artist director, Dr. Susan McMane. The protestors, comprised of current singers and graduated alumnae, will meet at 5 p.m. at the San Francisco Opera House then sing-march to the San Francisco Girls Chorus building at 44 Page. McMane, who has been with the choir for over 10 years, learned in late July that her contract would not be renewed. The chorus is protesting for answers as to why this decision was made.

>>IF THE GLOVE FITS… Scene from last night’s birthday tribute to MJ at Showdown, hosted by our Fist Fam buddies. We’re still wearing ours today guys. It’s making it really hard to type this.

Photo by Dennis Beckmann

>>LAST NIGHT A BJ SAVED MY LIFE No one on Earth has every maintained a daily video blog for four years — besides BJ Dehut (disclaimer: this might not be true). We’re kind of sorry to turn you onto the LA DJ and marketing consultant’s deal because… well there goes the rest of your afternoon. Here, watch this one and try not to think of his 51 months of backlogged video weirdness, hip-hop, and 1950s knife-throwing mothers.

5 Things: August 29, 2011


>>HOLLYWARD Hayward got a little more flash this week with the addition of Andrew Kong Knight’s two three-story-tall “Hollywood Meets Hayward” murals, which reimagine the town’s city center landmarks as an annex of Tinsel Town.

>>TWANG AID Twang to the Rescue – a concert for three local musicians displaced by the July 20th Waller Street fire – takes place tomorrow (Aug. 30) at Cafe Du Nord. It’s a mix of bluegrass and country bands coming together to support their fellow musicians: Pam Brandon, Tom Drohan, and Gayle Schmitt. The house at 434-436 Waller was so badly burnt that it was deemed uninhabitable (though luckily, no one was hurt). The fundraiser concert will include live performances by Windy Hill, The Royal Deuces, Lady A and the Heeldraggers, Misisipi Mike’s Midnight Gamblers and more. [Via Haighteration]

>>WE SWEAR WE’RE DONE TALKING ABOUT J-POP SUMMIT AFTER THIS We thought that just watching ourselves on camera in front of the throngs in Japantown’s New People mall was nerdy enough during the Japanese pop culture fest this week, but come to find out that the image on the flatscreen we were mugging for was actually connected to a livefeed leading to a Japanese website. Wait — so all those typed messages (“cowgirl!” and “we will get married now!” figured prominently on our turn) were from actual people on the other side of the world. Hope they enjoyed our manic fist-pumping — and thanks a lot, Niconico.com. But another fount of cat videos is always appreciated. 

>>THANKS FOR THIS, CORNELL UNIVERSITY Two AI bots decide to chat with each other, and what do they do? They argue — or rather, they contradict each other. Then they talk about God. If this is what the world is coming to, then John Cleese predicted it 45 years ago. 



5 Things: August 26, 2011


>>WATER WORKS Everyone’s abuzz about Ali Farzat, the Syrian cartoonist whose hands were broken after creating wildly popular illustrated works critiquing the government. The assault on Farzat is a reminder that art has the power to change minds and lives — an idea that US artists with Estria Miyashiro’s Water Writes mural series were fully with when they teamed up with young people to create eight environmental justice-themed murals at water purification sites in eight days in Gaza. The beleaguered city was the project’s fifth stop — including already-completed Phillipines and Hawaii walls, the Water Writes project will go to 10 worldwide cities in total.

>>BABY BANKROLL Back in June, Tim Redmond looked at the reasons for why families stay in San Francisco. His isn’t the only clan that is sticking in the city: Broke Ass Stuart just launched a new column called Mommy No Bucks that’ll be looking at how all us broke asses (with children!!) make it work in the concrete jungle. 

Not til you’re 21, honey. 

>>CHEESE IT! With all the experimental mixologists in San Francisco and our very own grilled cheese food truck, Toasty Melts, you’d think we’d be the first to come up with this: the grilled cheese martini. The Internet has been aglow in gooey praise/disgust the past few days over this concoction, which can be ordered at Bennett’s Pure Food Bistro in Seattle and the Cellar at Beecher’s in New York – both owned by Kurt Beecher Dammeier. It consists of grilled cheese sandwich-infused vodka (“six piping hot sandwiches in 10 gallons of vodka”), fresh tomatoes, basil, and tomato juice. Sounds like vomit central.

>>WINING DOWN We went to check out the public premiere of Wine From Here, a documentary on California’s nascent natural wine culture. Natural wine, we say? Yeah, the definition’s under a fair amount of debate — never more evident than at the filmmaker Q&A after last night’s screening at the Victoria Theatre. The crowd quibbled over things like the use of oak barrels (shouldn’t the fragrant wood be considered an additive since it alters vino’s flavor profile?), labeling moratoriums, and relative price points of wine grown with and without the addition of foreign yeasts, dyes, and government-approved chemicals. Hopefully the differences of opinion were smoothed over at the screening’s after-party at natural wine-friendly Heart, where the profiled vignerons’ bottles were on the menu, including pours from Coturri Winery and Berkeley’s Edmund St. John.

>>BLAST-OFF TO THE WEEKEND When the aliens come for us, we hope they have noodle faces like the claymates in the new Hopie Spitshard and Del the Funky Homosapien video for Hopie’s single “Space Case,” shot outside Beauty Bar and around the Yay. And we hope they transmorgrify our faces with the same fly colorblock eyeshadow as Bay Area MC Hopie’s. And we hope that the ray of light doesn’t come for us today — we wanna catch Spitshard’s show at 111 Minna tonight, part of a fundraiser for Alameda’s Bohol Circle Filipino community center. 


5 Things: August 25, 2011


>>COMIC ZEN We just want to breathe deeply and slow our caffiene mainline (ironically) when we read Paul Madonna’s All Over Coffee comic strip (is it a strip when it’s a single panel? More research is needed here). Shit is peaceful. Perhaps that’s why the Zen Center is tapping Madonna for this talk on creative theory, highlighted by a slideshow of his luminous scenes from our city’s vertiginous hills and boring flat parts.

>>PINTXO US, WE’RE DREAMING Next week, our restaurant reviewer Paul Reidinger writes about Txoco, a newish Basque restaurant in North Beach (RIP the similar Iluna Basque, whose Top Chef contestant chef, Mattin Noblia, now helms Rendezvous Tapas Lounge. We’ll leave the overall verdict to Paul, but we simply adore the pintxos — basically an hors-d’oeuvre-sized version of tapas. We had some stellar pintxos in Basque country earlier this year, and these little bites (technically each individual pintxo should last exactly two bites) whisked us back. Do not miss the boquerones (anchovies in olive oil, this version served with quail egg, manchego cheese, thyme, avocado, and aioli). Three dollars for two bites might cause some to balk, but each of those bites is a meal unto itself.  Basque in the glory!     

Vegan Filipino snaxx going mobile. Photo via No Worries

>>SOME WORRIES Before we even had a chance to visit, Oakland’s vegan Filipino restaurant No Worries is transitioning from a brick-and-mortar space to a food truck. “We’re minimizing our waste and we’re using less resources. We’re also more accessible to the community,” says owner Jay Ar-Pugao in this very positive video. September 1 No Worries goes mobile — which will, come to think about it, probably up our chances of every actually eating its food. [via Vegansaurus]

>>NUT YOUR AVERAGE DIVIS DIVE In an attempt to fashion itself into a one-stop shop, tiny KK Cafe on Divisadero began quietly began serving huge burritos last month. The cafe, owned by neighborhood legends Jack and Margaret Chang, already serves a fairly baffling mix of burgers (huge, juicy, and cheap), Chinese hot plate meals, and croissantwiches. But its most well-known product is the peanut milk, a concoction said to have healing powers. The Changs added beef and chicken burritos to their menu at the request of the rabid customers who stop off daily for another jug of Signs and Wonders peanut milk.

>>NO FUNCTION JUNCTION Oh dear, L.A. friends and fans, it looks like this year’s huge annual outdoor Sunset Junction festival in Silver Lake — featuring bands as varied as Butthole Surfers, Hanson(!), and Ozomatli — has been cancelled. War on Fun alert down south! (Well, it would be one, except corporate giant Live Nation was basically bankrolling the thing, until it wasn’t.) Luckily, some lovely DIY souls are trying to save the day with a guerrilla No Function Junction spur-of-the-moment festival of their own in multiple venues near the same spot. If you’d planned to head to head to Silver Lake this weekend, there’s still plenty to go for. Nothing, however, will be able to equal the drama of this absolutely amazing moment with Deneice Williams at Sunset Junction 2007  — she fell right off the stage, but before the ambulances came, she sang her heart out. Now THAT’s rock ‘n roll.




5 Things: May 12, 2011


>>SCOBY SNACKS Lest you think that only barbarians and Bear Grylls eat their food alive, consider the case of fermentation. Sauerkraut, kombucha, bleu cheese, and kim chee are all living foods whose microbial make-ups diversify the tiny critters that live inside you (and we all know diversity is a good thing!) If we didn’t just freak you out, this week is an optimal time to learn more about making and snarfing fermented foods. House Kombucha, Omnivore Books, Cafe Gratitude, and Happy Girl Kitchen are all hosting workshops to teach you the power of a biodiverse kitchen. But the kicker is the Ferment Change festival (May 14-22), a full week of East Bay bike tours to homebrewing abodes, cocktail parties, culture swaps, and appearances by the anointed god of Planet Fermenation, Sandor “Sandorkraut” Katz himself.

>>WHO’S IN CHARGE? We’re big-time boosters of Ride Your Bike to Work Day, so once again we rode, we schmoozed, we accumulated swag — most of it aimed at luring more of us onto the streets with the promise of bigger, better, safer, kinder, gentler bike lanes. Which is why we had to wonder at the cover of the Connecting the City pamphlet, a happy-talk scenario showing a smiling woman and two darling kiddies riding along a reimagined bike lane on Market Street. Sweet — until you notice that the woman (the mother?) isn’t wearing a helmet. And neither is the woman staring off into stage-left space behind her. And that group of huddled people in black hoodies — are they supposed to be chess players? With big plastic bags of garbage at their feet? And what about that guy who appears to be rifling through the garbage? Why do we feel like the sell just got harder.

>>ASSEMBLAGE Collage artist David King was awarded a grant from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation last year, and he’ll be showing new work later this month at the Visual Aid booth at the San Francisco Fine Art Fair, one of three different art showcases taking place in SF during the third weekend of May. He’s also showing work, along with Mark Faigenbaum, at Inclusions Gallery from Saturday, May 14 through June 19. The opening reception is this Saturday from 6 to 8 p.m.

>>CHUCK IT We are all well aware that our days are numbered, and that they are going to be pretty well filled up doing more loads of laundry, cleaning the cat box, working, etc. What we really don’t have time for are any more bucket lists taunting us with 100 more things we have to do, see, eat, and ponder before the old dust to dust thing takes place. That’s why we were disheartened to see that there’s a new bucket list just for Giants fans: Bill Chastain’s 100 Things … . We have nothing against Chastain, but we do wish his publisher had come up with a better marketing scheme than this tired, gimmicky genre. Besides, with post World Series prices what they are, we can barely even afford to cross off item 39, “Attend a Game at AT&T Park,” let alone item 40, “Attend a Spring Training Game in Scottsdale.”

>>THE OUT-OF-TOWNERS If there’s one thing that separates the rubes from the natives, it’s pronunciation. Only a rube-and-proud-of-it would risk the derisive sniggering of Manhattanites by asking directions to Houston Street, pronounced like that city in Texas, or the rolled eyeballs of Show-Me Staters by rhyming the last syllable of their great state with “misery.” That’s why we are mystified that Muni hired such a collection of rubes (who may even be robotic rubes) to announce pending stops on its bus lines. Who approved “Di-VEYE-sa-dero”? And who signed off on “Valen-CHA”? Yo, Muni, you never heard the phrase “hire local”?

5 Things: May 10, 2011


>>IF YOU WATCH ONE MOVIE THIS YEAR, DON’T LET IT BE THIS ONE Looking to revisit the magic that was 2009’s cinematic syrup of ipecac – and looking for a fix for idle hands? Princess Animal, SF’s sassiest eponymous yarn store owner, has lain down the gauntlet: whosoever shall craft the best human centipede shall receive a skein of locally-made Pigeonroof Studios “at only the cost of materials and your dignity.” 

>>FLOWER POWER Katie Bush makes digital and analog art, and this month she’s showing work at two sites, Spunk Salon and The Lexington Club. The advance writeup for her show at the Lexington, “Mesmerizing Lady Parts,” promises “a month-long detonation of flowering lady parts” and “militarized bouquets of church-resistant ovariangasms.” The show runs through mid-June, and the opening is from 7 to 9 p.m. tonight, May 10.

Live from the Cadillac… 

>>GROWN FOLKS TUNES Kids these days with their hippity-hoppity and their Lady Gaga – take a break from the Tweets of the week and hone in on three shows that pay homage to the days when people were smarter than their cell phones (that didn’t exist yet). Jazz Mafia will be playing their annual Stevie Wonder birthday tribute show not once, but twice, and over at the historic Cadillac Hotel, SF Recovery Theatre will be performing “A Night at the Black Hawk,” an original play that tells the story of artists at the Tenderloin’s famous jazz club. The historical beat drops at 12:30 p.m. on Friday, and the public is free to attend.

>>WE OLOVE BLACKBERRIES It takes very little (cold snaps aside) to get us to fire up the grill. That being said, We Olive (a local gourmet shop that’s one of our favorite stops when we make it over the Pac Heights hill to the Marina) has just given us the best reason of the season: a new, locally-produced balsamic blackberry vinegar fit to beat the band. Made from blackberry puree, the vinegar is light and tart and gets us in the mood for those purple-stained fingertips that are still a few months out. We Olive recommends it as a marinade for skate – we can see it dressing our arugula, or adding a sweet tang to some well-peppered grilled veggies. 

>>HERE’S HOPING THEY’RE KIND BUDS Spotted near AT&T Park. Apparently Budweiser has tapped into the Bay’s Giants game refreshment of choice and wants to add its products to the pairing menu:



5 Things: May 5, 2011


>>FINELY BREWED PROSE Though his boozy empire is no longer based in the Bay Area of his youth, we still have a soft spot in our hardened alcoholic hearts (or is that livers) for Jeremy Cowan. The founder of Shmaltz Brewing, Cowan has brought corny Jewish wit into the world of craft beers — see the label for his nut brown Messiah Bold: “the beer you’ve been waiting for” — and done so at a time when we all still considered Sam Adams a microbrew. He’s written a memoir about his rise to beer lord, which he’ll be back in the Bay promoting this week. Check out his signing at Omnivore Books on Sat/7, and tell him l’chaim for us.

>>A WEDNESDAY KNIGHT Sharon Funchess contributed vocals to a standout track on Teengirl Fantasy’s album 7AM, but her main musical project is Light Asylum, with Bruno Coviello. “Knights and Week Ends,” one of four songs on the recent tour EP In Tension, exemplifies the duo’s melding of powerfully dramatic ’80s diva vocalization and cold metallic beats. The Brooklyn-based Funchess and Coviello have an album due next year on Mexican Summer, and they return to SF for a show this month.

Light Asylum, “Dark Allies”:

>>PREPARE TO STOP The clusterfuck of a new-bike-lane-meets-intersection that is Fell and Scott streets is being revamped in an effort to un-fuck and un-cluster the mess. The center of-the-street bike lane—a recent addition to assist cyclists turning left from Route 47 on Scott to Route 30 on Fell—has proved perilous to pedestrians crossing east and west due to hordes of cyclists who don’t stop for them, and to drivers turning left from Fell onto Scott who have had to swerve to avoid oncoming cyclists in their lane. This week the city installed two more signals, which have yet to be turned on but will likely be dedicated left-turn lights for bikes and cars. Now, if the city can only do something about doofuses turning right onto Fell -– right into three lanes of oncoming traffic…like maybe a “No right turn” sign?

Signs of a messy pedestrian, cyclist, and driver intersection.

Signs of a pedestrian, cyclist, and driver intersection.

>>CINCO DE DRINKO? On the hunt for the best deal on a bucket of Pacifico bottles, we ran across Colorlines’ timely reflection on the de-politification of Cinco de Mayo. Kinda crazy how all immigrant commmunity celebrations become occasions for the country to get shit-faced (see: St. Patrick’s Day).

 >>REINSTALLATION Bliss Dance, a 40-foot sculpture of a dancing nude woman, was one of the best art projects at Burning Man last year. And this week, artist Marco Cochrane and his talented and hard-working crew have been installing the piece on Treasure Island, where she’ll be dancing for city residents until at least October. The build, sponsored in part by the Black Rock Arts Foundation, should be finished by the weekend. An opening reception is set for May 26.

Bliss Dance giving the hand on the playa in 2010. Photo by DJ Guacamole/Guacarazzi Photography


5 Things: May 3, 2011


>>BE STILL OUR WALLETS the Alameda Flea Market (ahem, Alameda Point Antiques Faire) was in full effect Sunday, a gently heaving behemoth of vans and makeshift shady areas packed with the finest in 20-plus-year-old posters, leather jackets, doilies, and more. Per usual though, our pulses raced for the clothes. 1960s hula wear, perfectly affordable granny boots, and darling handmade cardigans – all for very reasonable prices, for the Bay Area that is. If you’re going to the next one on June 5, we counsel stopping by St. George’s Spirits afterward for the $15 tasting menu, or at least a shot of the Firelit Coffee Liquer.

Shopping noms: a ric-rac peekaboo ’60s dress and zippy little weirdo bike at the Alameda Flea Market. Photos by Caitlin Donohue

>>FAIR FOOD Price, service, ingredients, taste – the myriad of factors that determine whether or not a restaurant will win your heart are well documented by a thousand SF guidebooks and websites. But one metric that has rarely been the day’s special is this: how well do our city’s eateries treat their employees? To the rescue is Young Workers United, a community group that released its second such guide at a release party yesterday at Daly’s Dive. Hit them up stat for a copy — because trust, a well-compensated server is much more likely to humor your request for one more basket of bread. 

>>HABLANDO DE CINCO DE MAYO…No matter if you’re checking out the lady lube wrestling at El Rio, outdoor ballet folklorico, Danville’s Cinco de Mustache Bike Ride, or just joining the calvalcade of gringos that – like, totally – have to get a burrito on Cinco De Mayo, no SF celebration can hold a candle to that of Fruitvale’s annual festivities. We were there on Sunday – and dancing horses in bar parking lots? You’re not going to see that in Mission, unless they’ve called the cavalry on us.

>>SO GOOD, SOBERT Do not listen to those that tell you that you’ll never be ready for that trip to Lake Del Valle (outside Livermore — kayaking!) if you eat another pint of icecream. Or if you must listen, stay classy and gently incline the label of your newfound friend, Garden Creamery sorbet, towards the hater in question. The sorbets contain no dairy or soy (coconut puree instead), no refined sugars (they’re sweetened with agave), are made right here in San Francisco by the sweet-faced ladies on the back label, and are available by the pint in flavors like Thai iced tea, coconut, and coffee at the reliably awesome Green Earth Natural Foods on Divisadero.


>>BLACK SUN SOUNDS While Slumberland labelmates Pains of Being Young at Heart chose to work with veteran producers to create a commercial second album, Crystal Stilts sticks closer to the sound of its debut, 2008’s Alight of Night, on this year’s In Love with Oblivion. The Brooklyn group still makes a dark cavernous sound, with an emphasis on reverb and treble, but any enhancements to its scope, or variations within lead singer’s Brad Hargett’s usually monotone delivery, only add to a musical atmosphere that is richerand more nuanced than most retro-leaning indie rock, and (unlike the efforts of many contemporaries) equal to the best recordings on labels such as K and 53rd and 3rd. Crystal Stilts shares a bill with San Francisco’s excellent Mantles at Rickshaw Stop this Sat/7. 

Crystal Stilts, “Invisible City,” (from In Love with Oblivion), coupled with Jean Michele Jarre video footage:

5 Things: April 28, 2011


>>POP-UP-TASTIC Oh pop-up phenomenon…why are you so enticing? Is it because our hype-heavy culture is so ADHD that the newest and coolest bar, gallery, restaurant, or what have you is “out” even before it’s torn down and replaced by the next “it” concept? The once failing Corner restaurant on 18th and Mission is now bustling thanks to the eatery’s new format of hosting a different recession-plagued talent with a menu to die for every night of the week. So, too, are venues supporting a great idea, but not necessarily one with enough gas to keep it going long-term, like the coffee shop-record store-music venue-rehearsal space-anarcho bookbindery of our adolescent dreams. Enter the People’s Gallery, host to the Big Things pop-up shop this Sat/30, which will feature everything from a bookbinding workshop to sidewalk sale-type treasures, handmade goodies, photo exhibitions, and food. Get there early, for it might poof into the ether before you even get a chance to check out the buzz.

>>ANOTHER WEDDING OF THE CENTURY! As the media breaks out its best British accents, the complete mayhem engulfing the royal wedding reaches its fevered pitch tomorrow with the event itself. For the truly die-hard, there is but one place to take in the beauty of clan-building: the British consulate, where the official viewing party kicks off at 9 a.m. with remarks by UK Counsel General Julian Evans. Call Renee at (415) 407-7424 to RSVP.

>>BEATS AMBASSADOR When the publicity ploy involves bad-ass Ghanian American hip-hop, count us as happily-enlisted marketing allies. Blitz the Ambassador plays La Peña Cultural Center tonight, and is offering up a free stream of his new album Native Sun so that you can learn the words before you shake ass. The album is a powerful barrage of traditional percussion, guitar licks, and fly verses – worth banging in your headphones even if you can’t make Berkeley tonight.

Blitz the Ambassador, Native Sun:

>>TRUCKING COMPANY Do you dream of owning a food truck but aren’t quite sure how to fund it? Stop squirreling away your Tooth Fairy money and learn how to apply for a loan — and get approved — from a panel of finance experts, fellow foodies, and food truck owners. Tonight, our friends at Renaissance Entrepeneurship Center are sponsoring this workshop for only 10 bucks, but the free publicity that comes with Chicken John threatening to vomit all over your new local economy-boosting venture is absolutely priceless.

>>BACK TO THE BEACH The last eighteen months have brought a bunch of repeat-listen recordings from bands that invoke the oceanside, including Beach House, Dirty Beaches, and Beach Fossils, who return to San Francisco a week from today, taking the stage at Slim’s to play songs from their 2010 debut album and the more recent EP What a Pleasure.


5 Things: April 25, 2011


>>TAKE BACK THE STREETS In Chiapas, small Zapatista towns will build DIY speed bumps on the freeways cutting through their community. Here in SF, we make our own bike lanes. Nicely done, Kingston and Guerrero, nicely done.

Look and listen

>>TRIANGULA The Alps’ next album after last year’s acclaimed Le Voyage includes striking design work by Tauba Auerbach — namely, a sleeve that can be folded out to form a sky-sided pyramid atop a landscape. Released by Mexican Summer, Easy Action finds core trio Jefre Cantu-Ledesma, Alexis Georgopolous, and Scott Hewicker collaborating in different ways from song to song, using collage techniques to reframe sounds from past recordings, including Le Voyage. The overall textures are more dissonant, with fuzzy-needle effects and distortion present on more than one track. 

>>MOMMY, HE’S SCARING US San Francisco’s latest YouTube sensation isn’t one of our outrageous performance artists or curbside curiosities. It’s Dr. Robert Lustig, a UCSF pediatric endocrinologist who wants to take away our candy. The opening salvo in Lustig’s journey to viral status was “Sugar: The Bitter Truth,” a dense, learned, 90-minute lecture dissecting the harmful effects of sugar on everything from our triceratops to our hermaphrodites — or was it our trigyclerides and hematocrits? The YouTube lecture was followed by a New York Times Magazine cover story by Gary Taubes on April 17 and an appearance on Forum with Michael Krasney on April 21. As of April 22, more than 1 million people have viewed the lecture, presumably after they polished off the cookies in their secret office drawer.

>>G.A.W.K. AND RAWK The Gay Artists and Writers Kollective is celebrating its 25th anniversary this Saturday at Magnet in the Castro. G.A.W.K. still rocks thanks to the efforts of Jon Sugar, who in addition to music and drag endeavors has helped assemble and emcee the gathering for queer rock performers, songwriters, actors, writers, and more. The bill for Saturday’s free anniversary celebration includes Bambi Lake, Jerry the Faerie, Xavier, Khalil Sullivan, the band Era Escape, and violinist Kippy Marks.

>>GUTS ‘N’ GLORY Having emerged on the other side of its first decade, the BYOBW (Bring Your Own Big Wheel) races yesterday on Sunday, April 17 seemed to be gathering speed, and swinging a can of Miller High Life about as they one-handedly swerved down the backside of Potrero Hill. The capacity crowd on Vermont street was well-pleased with their careening crusaders – even spectators inconvenienced by an airborne Michael Jackson on turn number two gave a lusty cheer when the King of Pop spun about nimbly and re-boarded. The Internet has nothing else on it today but video footage of the event, but here’s our fave shots from the day.

The glory:

And the fall (sorry buddy):

5 Things: April 22, 2011



>>BLACK WHEELS Three reasons why African-Americans should ride bicycles, brought to you courtesy of community two-wheeler group Red Bike and Green. One, health: the exercise can counter obesity and chronic disease. Two, economics: why drop all your cash into a car pit when you can put it to brightening your present and future? Three, environment: environmental racism — including pollution in low-income communities — has gone on too long, and you can do you part to change it. Now that we have that out of the way, check out Red Bike and Green’s first “black Critical Mass” of the year in Oakland on Sat/23. Bikes: too many good reasons to ride them.

>>LOCAL BOY DONE GOOD Reynaldo Cayentano Jr. grew up on Sixth Street, and he’s not going anywhere. The City College student and photographer recently opened up gallery space with cohort Chris Beale in the old District Attorney’s office, but the two will be throwing their Sat/23 “Native Taste” party at the House Kombucha factory, where they’ll showcase the work of 13 local artists and the hip-hop stylings of Patience. Speaking of local boys, have you heard the new SF anthem by Equipto and Mike Marshall?

Equipto ft. Mike Marshall, “Heart and Soul”:


>>GOOD & PLENTY CHEAP There’s nothing we like better than good, cheap stuff. Not the cheap, cheap stuff of a Walmart or Kmart, or the good, pricey stuff of a Neiman Marcus or Bloomingdale’s. Good. Cheap. Stuff. And in pursuit of said stuff, we know that many of our fellow city dwellers have checked out a City Car Share car for the express purpose of driving to Serramonte Shopping Center in Daly City and hitting the Daiso store. Put away that gas tank: now we have our own Daiso store, newly opened in Japantown. Since most of the items cost $1.50, a $20 bill will get you a Santa Claus-size bagful of beautiful origami paper, clever lunch boxes, kitchenware, or whatever strikes your fancy from Daiso’s — no jive — selection of 70,000 good, cheap goods.

>>THEY WALK AMONG US It isn’t often that we indulge in a little unabashed fandom when a celebrity comes to our city/ashram. After all, we have our standards (smart, funny, left-leaning, maybe a pot bust or two), which rules out your Biebers, your Gagas, your Cruises ‘n’ Holmeses. We also believe that a man with a three-day stubble muttering to himself as he walks down the street has a right to his private musings. But when that man is Alec Baldwin, well, we have to stop, give him a deep Zen bow, tell him he’s welcome here, and report back. We have no idea why Baldwin is here – a Giants game? No, they’re on the road. SFIFF? No, we would have heard. Filming an episode of 30 Rock, Alcatraz Edition? Possibly –- and truthfully, we don’t care. We will take this no further. No tweets, no nothing. Because we want him to come back -– with Tina Fey.

A few minutes spent reading a good, cheap book can add some insight and perspective to anyone’s day, and this weekend presents a reason to look for said books. The San Francisco Public Library’s 50th Anniversary Book Sale is going on at the Fort Mason Center Festival Pavilion until Sun/24, with everything on sale for three dollars or less. Books, DVDs, CDs, tapes, and other media are available, and on the sale’s final day, nothing will cost more than a dollar.

5 Things: March 29, 2011


>>EYES OUT FOR LIL’ ONES What does a San Francisco look like where everyone is safe to ride their bikes? Well, a lot like next Thursday, April 7, we hope. That’s the day that 3,000 (at least) schoolkiddos will be hopping their two-wheelers to over 40 different schools. The San Francisco Safe Routes to School program is still looking for volunteer bike chaperones and mechanics to help families for the day, who wants to put on their teacher’s hat?

Betabrand’s Greed Pants: but one of many ways to support your local manufacturers

>>MADE YOU LOOK What do a Dogpatch bike bag factory, a fancy men’s shirt maker, SF’s biggest beer brand, and a socially-conscious print shop have in common? They’re all members of SFMade, a business association comprised of companies that manufacture their goodies inside city limits. Need to know more? The NYT gave them a sterling writeup in the op-ed section this past Sunday. 

>>SKOOL SOMEBODY East Bay Free Skool‘s starting a newsletter for adherents to its circus skill-sharing-Spanish learning-urban studying sessions for the shallow-pocketed, yet deserving-of-education masses. And the skool longs for your voice to be represented within its Xeroxed reams! Holler at eastbayfs@gmail.com if you’ve got a tale to tell from a class you’ve gone to/taught at, submissions due by Friday, April 1. 

>>LISTEN UP SLACKERS SF’s own Jenny Blake, a Career Development Program Manager at Google – something like an internal cheerleader and guidance counselor for the Google masses – launches her book today, Life After College: The Complete Guide to Getting What You Want. Check out her blog to glower at the hundreds of pics in which Blake looks consistently clean and well-fed (something many of us post-collegiate-types still strive for), or simply check out her promo video – it’s filmed in front of the Bay Bridge, and there are some nice birds in the background. 

>>GETTING STOKED FOR TOMORROW’S PET ISSUE After our slow loris scare yesterday we’re all on edge of the abuse of animals in adorable videos, but this one seems okay:

Dogboarding from DANIELS on Vimeo.

5 Things: March 28, 2011


>>AS IF WE WEREN’T ALREADY DISTURBED BY THE TIME WE SPEND WATCHING ANIMAL VIDEOS News broke last week that the slow loris is being poorly served indeed by its onslaught of Youtube celebrity. The poor little guys, native to Southeast and South Asia, are being illegally trafficked due to their increasing popularity as pets, leading to infection-causing teeth removals and other forms of abuse. Sickeningly enough, some of the web’s fave videos (like this one and this one) are actually shown to be footage of hurt animals. Ugh.

>>GETTING CHASED Divisadero neighbors and anti-bankists (or at least anti-other people’s bankists)  are still down on the idea of Chase Bank locating a branch at the corner of Divisadero and Oak streets. Banktivists showed up at an Appeals Board meeting March 16 to air their gripes, along with a contingent of neighbors and others who would rather see a bank branch than the grubby-window eyesore that has reined since Martini Cleaners vacated almost four years ago.  The two businesses everyone liked – Country Cheese and Five Star Truffles (now in the Castro) – are already gone, which leaves one looming question about what Chase will bring: will the Wells Fargo ATM at the back of the building have to go, or do financiers of a feather flock together? 

>>GOT PLANS TOMORROW NIGHT? You can meet us at the Lex for penny shots (yes, that means shots of liquor for one red cent) from 8:45-9 p.m., just like every other Tuesday. From 9-10 p.m. it’s two-for-one beers and mixed drinks. Penny shots: the perfect time to get wasted and talk about Abe Lincoln.

>>BARGAIN UP P-Kok on Haight Street is closing. But wait — P-Kok on Haight Street is not closing. And — P-Kok on Haight Street is opening! All true truths. Let us explain. P-Kok No. 1, at 791 Haight Street, is indeed closing, but P-Kok No. 2, the one across the street with the sauna and wild spa nights at 776 Haight, is staying open. And P-Kok No. 3, is moving uptown (well, the Upper Haight, anyway) to Haight and Masonic. So don’t worry. But do get over to 791 for some remarkable deals. The store slashed prices 50 percent to 70 percent and P-Kok’s  clothes, jewelry, stockings, scarves, hats, boas, etc. have always been high on the fun-and-sexy-o-meter. Together, we can clean the place.

>>KILLING US We’re already begun sensei training with neo-soulman Aloe Blacc – gotta pick up those rubber-limbed dance moves – but only because the kid in this video was unavailable.


5 Things: March 25, 2011


>>I DREAMED MY BIKE HAD FENDERS… Should the rain keep up you will need a weekend project and more pots to catch the surprising amount of leaks a Victorian can accumulate in 100-odd years. But we’ve got you on the project: dream catcher 101, courtesy of ridiculously intriguing Portland style blogger Jena Coray. Ms. Coray’s site, Modish, can be depended on for ravishing vintage photographs interspersed with cute-as-a-button used uniform jackets, locally made jewelery, and snippets on that most haute of Portland pastimes, gardening. Nightmares begone!

>>MOUSE IS IN THE HOUSE Caught live painting at the Fillmore’s Craft Brewers Conference event last night: famous psychedelic poster artist Stanley Mouse, who was creating canvasses of bizarre creatures knocking back suds — only slightly less bizarre than the bearded creatures knocking back suds that surrounded him, talking about how they “used to spend soo much time looking at those posters back in the Dead days, man.” Mouse had a copy of his 1992 book out on a nearby table: Freehand: The Art of Stanley Mouse. It looked. Awesome.

>>BUN YOU Can the tasty, inexpensive Vietnamese sandwiches known as bahn mi, responsible for those lunchtime lines outside  Saigon Sandwich in the Tenderloin, make the journey uptown? We’ll find out on April 1 when Bun Mee opens on Fillmore Street in Pac Heights, right next to the MAC cosmetics bar and directly across from preppy magnet the Grove. Even more pertinent: will the new location put an end to honest Vietnamese classics like head cheese and pork belly, or if it will fit in with its surrounding environs by Frenchifying and Californicating its menu with items like duck confit and braised rabbit bahn mi?     

>>SQUID SCIENCE Few things gross us out – er, awaken our awe of nature – more than the slinky, writhing column that is the squid. And so it is with great trepidation and masochistic glee that we await  Wendy William’s new book Kraken: The Curious, Exciting, and Slightly Disturbing Science of Squid. Apparently, the fish (are they fish? Mollusks? We don’t even know) might be able to help us out with that whole solving Alzheimer’s thing. She comes to the Booksmith to talk about the thing on April 27. Shiver. 

>>BREAD OR DEAD We love Acme, we adore Arizmendi — but sorry y’all, the Honey Whole Wheat Bread from Edith’s Baking Co. Modesto is like the filet mignon of baked goods. Seriously, we want to use a steak knife on that toasted goodness, it’s that thick and rich. You can grab a weighty loaf at the Heart of the City Farmers Market in the Civic Center all day on Wednesdays and Sundays.   


5 Things: March 24, 2011


>>BEES ARE BACK IN TOWN On March 24, Hayes Valley Farm welcomes back the bees. Hives previously kept at the urban farm were wiped out by a mysterious pesticide sabotage, but head beekeeper Karen Peteros, co-founder of San Francisco Bee-Cause, has stayed busy bringing the pollinators back. Tonight’s oddly matched Return of the Bees event at the Korean American Community Center will feature a discussion about the new hives, as well as a meet-and-greet with San Francisco Sups. Jane Kim (D-6) and Scott Wiener (D-8) and Ross Mirkarimi (D-5). Catching the buzz of urban farming politics? Become a budding apiarist by signing up for an urban beekeeping workshop.

>>A NEW KIND OF NINJA  A recent New York Times editorial by 24-year-old Matthew Klein started out by drawing a parallel between Western youth and those young people in the Arab world who keep fomenting uprisings. “We all enjoy speculating about which Arab regime will be toppled next, but maybe we should  be looking closer to home. High unemployment? Check. Out-of-touch elites? Check. Frustrated young people?” he wrote. “About one-fourth of Egyptian workers under 25 are unemployed, a statistic that is often cited as a reason for the revolution there. In the United States, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in January an official unemployment rate of 21 percent for workers ages 16 to 24.” What all these unemployed young’uns do with all their free time? Apparently, they re-imagine themselves as ninjas on YouTube.

>>GENDER MYSTIC Didik Nini Thowok, a popular dancer, choreographer and comedian from Indonesia, will be in San Francisco April 21 through 24. According to a post on the Asian Art Museum website, “Didik is one of the few remaining Indonesian dancers today who explores transgender culture and its historical connection with mystical practices in Indonesia.” Didik will give a short talk about his creative process and a dance performance, followed by audience Q&A, on Saturday, April 23 at the Asian Art Museum. The talk is free with museum admission. 

You know your spring closet is begging for this Dry Bones “Hep Cat” button-down from Self Edge. Buy it Saturday AND help out communities in Japan? Me-yow. 

>>LAND OF THE RISING CREDIT CARD BILL Bust out those pocketbooks, cause it’s time to lend a hand across the Pacific. Local retailers like Valencia Corridor holder-downers Five and Diamond, Self Edge, and The Summit are among those participating in Saturday’s worldwide Shop For Japan event. So open up that studded hand-tooled leather clutch, dive into the pocket of your artisan Japanese jeans, indulge your soy mocha addiction — whatever, just do it to it, moneybags.

>>UGLY DOG, PRETTY CAUSE Can’t hardly wait for this summer’s Petaluma Sonoma-Marin Fair ugliest dog contest? The O.G. ugly dog pagaent has spawned its share of imitation events and Associated Press kowtows, and now there’s a kooky little documentary about the bonkers owners that parade their boxers with underbites and Chinese crested with… well, the typical Chinese crested attributes, with a little extra wartage and askew tounge thrown into the mix. Assuage your barely contained anticipation with tonight’s Worst in Show screening in Berkeley. Bonus: half of your ticket price goes to help out East Bay furry friends! That’s enough to make us wanna grab some fuzzy hips and f’in conga:

5 Things: March 23, 2011


>>PILLOW TALK “Luxury-tech” home furnishings line DQtrs is releasing a really clever collection of limited edition tapestry wall hangings and pillows that links ancient Greco-Roman imagery and Sputnik-era space age fantasies. (Cue the gorgeous Apollo jokes.) Catch the launch tomorrow (3/24) at nifty Hayes Valley store Propeller, 6 p.m.-9 p.m. Plus: Food trucks!

>> SAFETY IN BURGERS? Thai didn’t fly, French didn’t fry, and now, after months of pondering grungy vacant windows, Greenburger’s burger joint has opened at 518 Haight Street. The latest entrant in this ill-fated spot, which looks out onto views of a Muni stop and Toronado street ruckus, is couple-run operation specializing in beef and veggie burgers, sweet potato fries and burger-y sides, milkshakes, salads, and so on, all with a greenish (grass fed, locally sourced, yadda, yadda, yadda) cast. The street has seen its share of flux lately — Pandora’s trunk, gone; Burger Joint, gone; RNM gone — so let’s hope that “sustainable” burgers are the elusive thing that Lower Haightians have been waiting for

>>CLAM-A-RAMA PART I This week’s issue of the Guardian captures the latest wave of Bay Area garage rock, with special attention to what makes it unique and even innovative. When she isn’t rocking the mic with Shannon and the Clams, current Guardian cover star Shannon Shaw is trading vocals with Hunx (a.k.a. Seth Bogart). The most recent addition to Hunx’s colorful music videos, directed by longtime collaborator Justin Kelly, “Too Young to Be in Love” provides an alternate, uptempo version of the title track on the group’s new album. Take a fateful trip to an endangered Coney Island and ride the Cyclone of love with Hunx, Shaw, and a fickle cutie. (Keep an eye out for a cameo by director Kelly — whose editing creates all kinds of architectural rhymes — at the very end.)

>>CLAM-A-RAMA PART II On the subject of Shaw, two YouTube preview clips showcase songs from Shannon and the Clams’ new album Sleep Talk, as well as amazing shots of the band by local photographer (and 2007 Guardian “Flaming Creator” honoree) Keith Aguiar. “The Cult Song” starts out with a harmonic reference to Tod Browning’s Freaks that doubles as a a nod to the Ramones before making a break from mind control. And then there’s Sleep Talk‘s hair-raising title track, which finds Shaw at her most sultry and powerful.

>>YOUCOLLAGE Youtube musical mosaic genius Kutiman just released another stunner …


5 Things: March 22, 2011


>>SUPERMOON SUPERSOUND Miss the GIANT SUPERMOON this weekend? Hell, we all did – it  was storming cats and dogs (interestingly enough, Polish soulful techno DJ duo Catz ‘n Dogz were here this weekend as well, and they were magnificent, as always.) In any case, in memoriam and fantasy, here’s a special electronic “Supermoon Mix” by DJ Deevice, voted Best Radio DJ in our 2010 Best of the Bay Readers Poll:

DJ Deevice “Super Moon” mix by DJ Deevice

>>IN OTHER NATURE NEWS Octopi are storming the Embaracadero – and ready your barbed wire trucks, because they’re here to stop you from skateboarding. We don’t know how long these lovingly crafted, yet grind-deterring metal starfish, sea tortises, and eight-legged have been adorning the lips of concrete benches over by Waterbar and the Raygun Gothic Spaceship, but the fun police has arrived, and it is packing tentacles.

This week on octopus fun police… 

>>CAUTION: ANOTHER THING TO WASTE YOUR TIME ON THE INTERNET In a city that knows how to toe the line between fun and just plain foolish, it’s good to know that we have resources available to help keep safety, if not at the forefront, then at least in the marginalized auxilIary regions of everyone’s mind. So whether you’re planning on unleashing live bison at your next warehouse rager, upgrading your upcoming Critical Mass ride to include a contingent of flame-throwing robotic rhinoceroses, or setting up a road-side stand for DIY weld-on chastity belts, just remember: there’s a sign for that.

>>WHITE LINES FOR YOU AND FOR ME Two wags of our handlebars for the new Potrero Hill 17th street bike lanes! The Bike Coalition explains this was all part of their nefarious plan for 30 miles of (relatively) worry-free bike glory.

>>SADDLE UP YOUR BAY MARE … and ride out for an upcoming exploration of our outer neighborhood’s high-steppin’ pony days — the adorably monikered Woody LaBounty of the Western Neighborhood’s Association, purveyor of amazing snippets from San Franciscos past like the book about the Sunset’s boho gypsy street car roots, will be sharing the story of the neighborhood that’s the midway point between City College and SF State. His yarn takes place Tuesday, March 28 and will involve horsies, a turf rivalry with Bayview, and what it all said about the country’s developement at the time… go here for info. 

Beats the K-Ingleside any day


5 Things: March 22, 2011


>>1. MIGHTY BIG HEAD Definitely check out the new Olmec: Colossal Masterworks of Ancient Mexico exhibit at the de Young — the museum’s permanent Oceania collection is jutifiably famous (and controversial), and the level of expertise at showcasing indigenous culture and art bleeds perfectly into the realm of ancient Veracruzians as well … 

>>2. TEENAGE KICKS OFF Here’s a teaser and blog for Teenage, the new film by Matt Wolf, director of the beautiful Arthur Russell doc Wild Combination. Wolf’s new movie is based on a book by Jon Savage, and grew out of Wolf’s experience as a pubescent, zine-producing Smiths fan in the 1990s.

>>3. FALLOUT FREE (SO FAR) The Guardian’s systems administrator, Adam, fashioned a Geiger counter over the weekend, and today used it to measure the radioactivity on the dust collected in his car filter during his commute from the East Bay (apparently this is a good thing to measure.) The verdict? All is normal! Average count is 21 counts per minute.


>>4. ANCHOR GETS HEAVY Brit liquor mogul Keith Greggor is settling into his place at the helm of Anchor Brewery and now the 115 year old SF craft brewery looks to make waves in the future of the city’s booze tourism. The company’s looking to expand its distilling operations (currently occupying a forklift-guarded section behind the brewery’s bottle line) into a building across the street. More accesible, plus more room for making 125 proof 18th century-style whiskies.Below, a pic of the Anchor staff in 1978.

>>5. STEAM IT OUT OK the world seems crazy right now? If you have an extra $25 to spare (we don’t usually, either, but we scraped it up), a trip to the Kabuki Springs and Spa in Japantown for a couple hours of steaming, sauna, soaking, and meditation really does help.

5 Things: March 18, 2011


>>ANTIQUING IN THE DAMP This rainy weekend may be the perfect time to check out Hayes Valley’s new curiousity shop, Reliquary, holding it’s grand opening party at 5 p.m. today. Toddle past after work (with your cutest brolly in tow, of course) to check out the shop’s handmade Afghani dresses and antique Zippo lighters. Bonus: the shop’s Tumblr tipped us off to amazing afterlife art: a photo series of the turquoise, pink, and cardinal mineral deposits that have grown off tins of cremated ashes found in the Oregon asylum where One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest was filmed.

>>BIG ASS MOON Just when we finally found out what the back of that big pizza pie in the sky looked like, here it comes again to hit our eyes with it’s closest and biggest showing in two decades — this weekend’s full moon is set to be a huge stunner

Hate to see you go, love to watch you leave

>>THE WEIRDEST SHOW IN TOWN Afrikaaner hip-hop freakouts Die Antwoord star in this short film in which they play animal-suited, wheelchair-bound, societally belittled, balloon-loving murderers. Of course. 

Wheelchairs: the new fixies?

>>o-O It had to happen sooner or later — an entire drag show devoted to Oprah. AND it’s actually a full comedy-drama, with music, lighting, ironic spiritual uplift, and probably some BBQ to boot. Suppositori Spelling and her merry band of sketchy queens has relocated their Sunday night dragstravaganza, Cocktailgate, from butch bar Truck to new big dance club Rebel. In honor of the move, they present OPRAH: THE DRAGSICAL, a one-time-only bonanza of something. Hie thee to 1760 Market at 10pm on Sun/19 and bring a tissue (or win a trip to Australia?).

>>PAWS ON DECK We were at City Hall for some politickin’ the other dusk, but were momentarily derailed by this magnificent skateboarding bulldog in Civic Center Plaza. Sorry for the hootin’ and hollerin’ towards the end of the clip – completely unavoidable.

Yes, we started Youtube account just to post this.

5 Things: March 17, 2011


>>THREE VEILS TO THE WIND You’re probably already green around your St. Patrick’s Day gills — maybe it’s the perfect time to rustle up a bridal gown, and a wee bit more liver to damage, for this Saturday’s Brides of March dash around the city. The raucous, open-to-all annual event is the Santarchy of hetero privilege, so let’s get sloppy-ironic and “WOOOOO” like a bachelorette.

And if you’re feeling extra classy, may we suggest a stop by North Beach’s fabulous Glamour Closet which traffics in scrumptious, perfectly Daddy’s Little Girly recycled designer wedding gowns?     


>>AND SUDDENLY, TSA SHIRTS ARE ALL THE RAGE AT THE LOOKOUT If only Castro street club flyers looked like this.

>>FAKE THAT FLOW ON SIXTH STREET You got no dough, but still wanna impress your crew? At TL cafe-third space Rancho Parnassus on Sixth and Minna you can rent out the dining room (complete with nautical trappings and the occasional fly art show on the walls) for FREE any day after 7 p.m. as long as you bring at least 15 friends in tow. It’s a win-win situation for the affordably-priced cafe — they need the business, and you — you and your buds get your pick of its Mendocino wine list, North Coast beer and full menu.

Rancho’s riches can be yours for free. Photo by Hannah Tepper

>>EVER WONDERED WHAT EL FAROLITO LOOKED LIKE IN 1951? The main library’s galleries in the basement (Jewett) and on the sixth floor (Skylight) are hosting “San Francisco EATS,” a smorgasbord of SF restaurant paraphernalia and photos from all time, but only on display through Sunday, March 20. Included in the bounty: hilarious food porn (flauta plate for $2.50? Ohhhh, 1951), racist menus from not long-enough-ago, peeks into culinary luxury from various eras, and brief historical rundowns of the city’s four most famous food districts. 

>>THOSE SOUTHERN BOYS… Carolina-bred band Fist Fam has relocated to the Bay, and in honor of the move they set their “SF Bay” spit to the chase scene from a seventies SF flick — which would make it worth watching even if the Fam’s laid-back Southern twang didn’t already have us stoked for the group’s April 8 show at Rasselas.



5 Things: March 15, 2011


>>1. (PARTY) HELP FOR JAPAN SF’s nightlife community is already pulling out the fundraiser stops for Japan. First up: Thursday night’s Good Foot party at SOM, a rad hip-hop and funk-soul affair with special superstar guests Lyrics Born and Trackademics. They’re donating a dollar for everyone who comes, so bring your crew and dancing shoes.

>>2. YUM, BUT NO SCRUBDOWN Around Union Square, it’s hard to find upscale dining that isn’t aimed at the hordes of hungry tourists. But for authentic Italian, Fino really is fine – no need to navigate the North Beach girly bars for excellent alfredo or crisp, light veal piccata. The restaurant is in an old Turkish bathhouse – waiters argue over where the pool was, with most agreeing on the kitchen – and the crème brulee is to die for.

>>3. ALL THINGS GREEN (AND VEGAN) In and of itself a halfway admissable reason to have a break in your veganism: your Guinness contains animal products, probably. (Thank fur-stroking Paddy, then, for Jameson.) But to assuage your grief and make sticking to the critter-free lifestyle easier, PETA has assembled a lovely list of recipes for vegan, Irish-inspired savories for St. Patrick’s Day – as well as contributions to the fine American tradition of adding green dye to every damn thing.

>>4. ON THE UP AND UP A Bay Area classic that everyone should check out, Stairway Walks in San Francisco, has been updated and just rereleased. 670 stairways? That’s a lot of bun-firming.

>>5. FEELIN’ SAXY and whisperin’ careless!