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Holy crap is there a lot of good new music coming out of the Bay this week

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Looking for something to get you past the hump of Hump Day? Well put down that “which Disney princess is your dog” quiz right this second, for a straight-up ridiculous amount of good new music was unleashed upon the world this week, with a disproportionate amount of it coming from our very own home turf.

Listen up, burst with pride, and let us know what else you’re listening to.

The debut Rich Girls EP we’ve been waiting for all year, Fiver,  is finally out on Breakup Records (full record here) and the Luisa Black-led trio has a release show tonight (Wed/8) at the Rickshaw Stop. Here’s album-opener “Worse.”

The Bay Area punk forefathers in Rancid, to whom we must admit a highly specific regional allegiance, will put out Honor Is All We Know, their first record in five years, at the end of this month. Here’s the first studio track they’ve released, “Face Up.”

The chilled-out Afro-electro-future-soul-tastic sounds of The Seshen, a Guardian GOLDIE winner from earlier this year, are lush and plentiful on their EP Unravelstream the whole thing right here — with UK label Tru Thoughts. Release show this Sat/11 at Leo’s in Oakland. Here’s the first video, for “Unravel.”

We’ve listened to this bit of jangly lo-fi sweetness from SF’s The Mantles at least a half-dozen times since they premiered it yesterday; they’ll have it out on a 7-inch next month via Slumberland Records.

And The Tropics, fresh off a win at the Music Video Race (with a rather different sort of aesthetic), released this video for “Fireproof” — a shot-by-shot remake of Marky Mark’s “Good Vibrations.” More, please. The Tropics’ Wind House is out Oct. 28 on Breakup.

And, lastly: Do you need convincing to watch a new tUnE-yArDs video? Didn’t think so. Ms. Garbus just announced she’ll be home for a show at the Fox Theater Dec. 11, with opener Cibo Matto (!).

 

The Selector: Oct. 8-14, 2014

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WEDNESDAY 8

 

King Khan and BBQ Show

King Khan is perhaps best known for his work with his garage-soul-punk outfit The Shrines, a tremendously noisy and riotously fun group of talented musicians. But it is his collaborations with Mark Sultan, a.k.a. BBQ, that will make you laugh, mist up, shake your groove thang, and fall in love. The pair has been working together since the late ’90s, first in Canadian punk band the space Spaceshits, and then again as a rock duo. Though the relationship has been tumultuous, there’s no denying that King Khan and BBQ are musical soul mates. Their (extremely) unique blend of doo-wop, punk, garage rock, and potty humor will steal your heart and sell your soul. (Haley Zaremba)

With Isaac Rother, The Phantoms

8pm, $16

Great American Music Hall

859 O’Farrell St

(415) 885-0750

www.slimspresents.com

 

THURSDAY 9

 

Shocktoberfest 15: The Bloody Débutante

Horror and carnage! Songs and…chuckles? Local theater menagerie Thrillpeddlers — beloved for its hugely successful revivals of Cockettes musicals — never disappoints when it comes to putting a uniquely bawdy yet gore-gushing spin on Halloween entertainment. In addition to the trademark “Spook-Show Finale” (you may laugh yourself silly during the prior acts, but this part is genuinely freaky), the 15th Shocktoberfest boasts a titillating quartet of short plays. The title entry is by composer and music director (and original Cockette) Scrumbly Koldewyn; there’s also a circa-1903 entry from Paris’ legendary Grand Guignol, the Poe adaptation The System of Dr. Tarr and Professor Feather, and two black comedies: Deathwrite and The Taxidermist’s Revenge. (Cheryl Eddy)

Through Nov 22

Opens Thu/9, 8pm; runs Thu-Sat and Oct 28-29, 8pm, $30-35

Hypnodrome

575 10th St, SF

www.brownpapertickets.com

 

 

Imelda May

Taking the sounds of traditional rockabilly, blues and jazz and giving them an injection of her own infectious energy and style, Irish chanteuse Imelda May’s sultry and sumptuous voice can make listeners swoon at a ballad or jump up to the searing rockers that pepper her excellent new album Tribal (Verve), which was released last month in the United States. May has been rocking stages for well over a decade in the UK, and is finally gaining the popularity here that she and her talented band so rightly deserve — this is your chance to see the Dublin-born singer belt it out in a venue truly befitting her timeless tunes. (Sean McCourt)

With The Rhythm Shakers

8pm, $29.50

The Fillmore

1805 Geary, SF

(415) 346-3000

www.thefillmore.com

 

FRIDAY 10

 

Arab Film Festival

The 18th annual Arab Film Festival, which focuses on independent films from the Arab world, opens tonight at the Castro Theatre with writer-director-star Cherien Dabis’ May in the Summer, about a Jordanian American writer whose impending marriage to a Palestinian shakes up her family. Alia Shawkat — yep, Maeby Fünke from Arrested Development — co-stars as her straight-talking sister. The rest of the fest sprawls across the Bay Area, with documentaries, shorts, and more; Tangiers-set drama Rock the Casbah closes it out Oct. 23 at Oakland’s Grand Lake Theater. (Cheryl Eddy)

Through Oct 23, most shows $12

Various venues in SF, Oakl, Berk, and Palo Alto

www.arabfilmfestival.org

 

 

Shonen Knife

Shonen Knife first materialized in Osaka in the early ’80s. Working against the backdrop of J-pop, at the time a burgeoning movement, Shonen Knife drew equally from sunny ’60s-style pop and raw, ’70s punk. Using simple, solid songwriting and light-hearted lyrics in both English and Japanese, Shonen Knife have managed to remain a beloved mainstay in DIY and punk scenes around the world. Fans included Fugazi and Kurt Cobain, both of whom invited the band to open for them. (Shonen Knife did a whole European tour with Nirvana just before the band released Nevermind.) One of very few all-girl bands to come out of Japan in their era, not only are Shonen Knife (literally translated as Boy Knife) girl-punk pioneers, they are musical and feminist role models — with kickass haircuts and killer riffs. (Zaremba)

Death Valley Girls, Great Apes

9:30pm, $14

Bottom of the Hill

1233 17th St, SF

(415) 626-4455

www.bottomofthehill.com

 

 

Bay Area Book & Cover Design Exhibition

Litquake will sprawl across the city for another year of festivities to appreciate the written word, where, “against the backdrop of a technology-crazed San Francisco, writers [are] still drawn to the city.” For the 12th year, book lovers will have their cravings met, and this week-long exhibition will showcase the best in book and cover design from Bay Area publishers with books published between 2010 and mid-2014. This is a unique chance to take a closer look at the art and design that enclose masterpieces of text. The designs will be displayed at Chronicle Book’s Metreon store as well the SF Public Library Main branch.

Through Sat/18

6pm-8pm, free

Chronicle Books

165 4th St, SF

 

SF Public Library

100 Larkin, SF

(415) 369-6271

www.litquake.org/events/booksxdesign.com

 

 

Carmen Ledesma

The 9th annual Bay Area Flamenco Festival will debut Spain’s own Carmen Ledesma to the Bay Area as she celebrates the unique Gypsy flamenco traditions of Utera. Her performance is a representation of Sevilla’s legacy of female dancers and will be accompanied by a group of professional flamenco artists — including guitarist Antonio Moya and singer Mari Peña of the legendary “Pinini Clan.” Ledesma has performed with Spain’s National Ballet and is known as one of the “best flamenco dance teachers in Andalucía today,” so take advantage of her workshops during the festival, where you will get your chance to learn from one of the best.

8pm, $30-$100

Cowell Theater

2 Marina, SF

(510) 444-2820

www.bayareaflamencofestival.org

 

SATURDAY 11

 

Berlin and Beyond Autumn Showcase

Hot on the heels of the SF Silent Film Festival’s “Silent Autumn” comes another seasonal mini-fest: the Berlin and Beyond Autumn Showcase, showcasing a quintet of films ahead of the main B&B fest in January. First up is a 35mm screening of documentary Megacities, a tribute to its Austrian filmmaker, Michael Glawogger, who died of malaria earlier this year while working on a new project in Africa. Another doc, Enemies/Friends: German Prisoners of War, makes its North American debut, as does Dreamland, a Zurich-set ensemble drama. There’s also a repeat from the ongoing Mill Valley Film Festival — Volker Schlöndorff’s World War II nailbiter, Diplomacy — and Banklady, a based-on-true-events tale of a young woman who hones her bank-robbing skills in 1960s West Germany. (CherylEddy)

First film at 11am, $12 (full day pass, $50)

New People Cinema

1746 Post, SF

www.berlinbeyond.com

 

 

4th Annual Yerba Buena Night

Wander the streets in the heart of San Francisco’s Yerba Buena district and see it come alive for just this night. Music, video, art, and dance — you name it. The festival is back and better than ever with over 40 performances scattered across five stages. Kicking off the night will be the Yerba Buena Alliance Artwalk, where you can look in awe upon giant video projections, interactive installations, and explore galleries and exhibits for free. And later, if you’ve never seen live aerialists perform, now is your chance. Not to mention local buzzworthy bands like Ensemble Mik Nawooj, Roem and The Revival, Rin Tin Tiger, Robot Dance Party…the list goes on. For the first time, Off the Grid will make an appearance; you can also keep the festivities going late into the night — long after the streets have emptied — as neighboring businesses will offer all kinds of food and drink specials.

4pm-10pm, free

Multiple Locations

760 Mission, SF

(415) 644-0728

www.ybnight.org

 

SUNDAY 12

 

Bay Area Ladyfest Presents: Feminist Porn

Bay Area Ladyfest, a four-day smorgasbord of performances, DIY workshops, film screenings, and house shows celebrating the art and work of all self-identified women, will close out the festivities Sunday evening with um, a bang. “Feminist Porn and Self Pleasure: A Dialogue and Screening,” co-presented with Fucking Sculptures (which creates sex toys that double as fine art), will include a discussion with Fucking Sculptures’ owner, followed by screenings from local independent queer and feminist porn purveyors. Afterward, meet the performers and tell them just how much you enjoyed their work! (Emma Silvers)

18+, 6pm-10pm, $5 suggested donation

701 Bancroft, Berk.

www.bayarealadyfest.tumblr.com


TUESDAY 14

Culture Collide SF

For the first time in SF, the originally LA-based Culture Collide is bringing more than 35 bands from all over the world — Peru, Israel,the Netherlands, Turkey, Japan, in addition to the US — to venues throughout the Mission, all for a very-easy-on-your-wallet $20. This 21+ fest has bigshots like Clap Your Hands Say Yeah and Cloud Nothings, locals who are in the process of blowing up like GRMLN, and a whole slew of buzzy international folks we’ve been hearing about — the Netherlands’ Go Back to the Zoo, the UK’s Nothing But Thieves, Costa Rica’s Alphabetics, at Mission venues the Chapel, the Elbo Room, Mission Workshop, and Amnesia. Plus, comedy, music industry panels (SF’s Different Fur will host the Elbo Room stage), and events billed as “Beers of the World,” “Spirits of the World,” and “Best Mission Burrito” (if you don’t want to take the NYT’s word for it.) Best of all — no passport necessary.

Through Wed/15 3pm-12am, $20-$30

Venues through the Mission, SF

www.culturecollide.com

 

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Still Steppin’

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arts@sfbg.com

The Boogaloo is a dance, descended from the Twist but landing firmly between the Philly Dog and the Skate.

“I like to dance. Always did,” says Oscar Myers, who turns 70 next week, while demonstrating his moves in front of a whooping, sweating, grinning 1am crowd at San Francisco’s Boom Boom Room. Myers knows the Boogaloo because he was there when it happened, and because he plays the melange of funk, soul, jazz, and Latin music that make up its unique sound.

Myers, a trumpet player, percussionist, and singer, has been a Bay Area mainstay for decades, but if you wandered into any of his regular nights here or Madrone Art Bar, you might not immediately realize you were in the presence of a musical forefather.

“Want something slow, something fast, or something half-assed?”

His band, Steppin’, plays tunes by Lou Donaldson, Melvin Sparks, and Ivan “Boogaloo Joe” Jones, alongside classics by James Brown and Michael Jackson. The 30-somethings in Steppin’ are talented, but all eyes are usually on the man up front: It’s Myers who played with James Brown, Ray Charles, Charles Mingus, Lowell Fulson, and R&B icon Jimmy McCracklin. There aren’t many musicians of Myers’ era left — much less playing regular late-night gigs around San Francisco. (His next will be his 70th birthday party, at the Boom Boom Room this Friday, Oct. 10.)

No one ever asks for anything “half-assed.”

Born in Montego Bay, Jamaica, in 1944, Myers moved to Charleston, South Carolina as a kid. His father worked the graveyard shift at the city water pump station and dug actual graves during the day. His parents weren’t especially musical, but they had a piano, on which Myers began to pick out songs by ear. Through the family’s record player, he got to know the era’s swing greats: Benny Goodman, Cab Calloway, Duke Ellington, and McKinney’s Cotton Pickers. He picked up the trumpet as a teenager, which got him into the orchestra and marching band at North Carolina A&T, alongside classmate (and future saxophone legend) Maceo Parker.

oscar
Oscar Myers. Photo by Saroyan Humphrey.

Following college, he joined the military, landing in San Francisco after serving in Vietnam. He doesn’t talk about it much, but he was wounded in the Tet Offensive, and ended up in physical therapy at the Letterman Army Hospital in the Presidio. He ultimately decided to stay: “The Bay Area was humming,” says Myers, with an inimitable, throaty husk in his voice. “There was music coming from everywhere.”

His list of collaborators is an index to the Bay Area’s music history — “The Bishop” Norman Williams, Jackie Ivory, Julian Vaught, Bill Bell, Bill Summers, and Babatunde Lea — and his gigs map out its nearly forgotten musical nervous system: the jazz, funk, and R&B clubs that once hosted the area’s thriving scene.

By the ’90s, Myers was leading a band that included two former bandmates of James Brown: organist Louis Madison and saxophonist C.A. Carr. Madison — a member of the Famous Flames, who were unceremoniously fired by Brown after a gig in San Francisco in 1959, reportedly after asking to be paid fairly — is rumored to have penned such Brown hits as “I Feel Good,” “Try Me,” and “Please, Please, Please.” Sans Brown, the Flames stuck around the Bay for good.

“How many of y’all know who the Godfather of Soul is?”

In the early ’90s, Myers got a call from James Brown’s manager, saying Brown wanted to meet up with Madison and this new bandleader in San Francisco. Myers declined, citing their gig at Eli’s Mile High Club in Oakland that night. Since two of Brown’s alumni were in the band, Myers added, Brown should actually come to them. Sure enough, during the show, Brown showed up with his wife, and the band broke into “I Feel Good.” After “I’ll Go Crazy,” Brown rushed the stage to hug his old band-members.

Soon after, Brown invited Myers to sit in on trumpet when he played the West Coast. Myers did about eight gigs with Brown, a perfectionist who notoriously fined his musicians for mistakes.

“All that’s true,” says Myers, though he didn’t personally receive any penalties. “He’d go down to the front of the stage and be leaning and crying and singing and then he’d hold up his hand: $5.” Don’t miss a note, was the lesson. “And don’t be late either!”

“I’ve never seen so many dead people breathing in my life!”

It takes a lot to get away with chastising a crowd. “He can tell the audience to shut up and it’s ok, because he has the credibility to do it,” says organist Wil Blades, who’s been playing with Myers for over a decade, since Blades was 20. “Oscar has big ears and he knows how this music should sound, because he came up with it.”

Mentorship is important to Myers, who now lives with his wife off Alamo Square. “Nowadays, you don’t see that stuff happening, where the older cats let the younger ones come and play and test their knowledge,” says the bandleader. Go to any Myers gig, and you’ll see one or two young musicians trying to prove their worth. If Myers likes what he hears, they’ll receive a smile and a handshake at the end of the night.

That said: “If you can’t play I’m not going to let you get up there. If you’re bad, I’ll run your ass off stage.” He’s not kidding.

“He let me up there and gave me an old-school butt-whooping,” remembers Blades. “That’s how you really learn this music, to me. You don’t learn it in school.”

How does it feel to be playing on his 70th birthday? “I did it when I was 69!” says Myers with a laugh. “You’re blessed just to be here this long. You can wake up, open your eyes, wiggle your toes, everything’s working. Everything from here on out is gravy for me.”

Which might explain why, on a typical night, you’ll find him dancing spontaneously during a set break, even when the curtain is down and the audience can’t see a thing.

OSCAR MYERS & STEPPIN
With Bootie Cooler & DJ K-Os
Fri/10, 9pm, $10
Boom Boom Room
1601 Fillmore, SF
www.boomboomblues.com

 

Where are all the vanilla sexuality events?

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I moved to the Bay Area this year with the intention of diving head first into kinky chaos. As far as repressed small town chicks go, I guess you could say I’m a daredevil. When I expressed my desire for sexploration to the locals, they had helpful suggestions ranging from fucking a sybian to getting hung from ceilings with rope.

And even though all that sounds fun (a little porny, but fun), I couldn’t help but notice people weren’t concerned with easing me into things. (Where’s the foreplay, guys?) And in all the excitement surrounding sexual possibility, I realized I hadn’t explored good old-fashioned, vanilla sexuality. So I decided to find an event that covered the basics of sexual energy and human connection. Easy right? Actually, no.

It’s surprisingly difficult to find a sex gathering in the Bay Area that doesn’t involve kink, fetish, or some sort of spiritual sex magic. I searched for weeks, and just when I’d about given up hope, I discovered sex educator Elisabeth Bolaza’s SexyHuman Workshop. It was advertised as a singles event, but it wasn’t a matchmaking mixer, and it was the first gathering I’d seen where people weren’t expected to learn how to meditate, grope, or fuck each other.

Like me, Bolaza is a transplant to SF; she moved here from a somewhat conservative town in southern California four years ago. Even though she adores the sex community here, she’s noticed that wild events dominate the scene. She thinks “alternative” events are awesome, but recognizes that most people don’t relate to sexuality that way. If people don’t understand the lure of sex parties or BDSM, they can feel like disempowered prudes in SF’s hyper-sexual community.

“In the Bay Area, there’s a lot of sexuality work being done. For more private folks, it’s a little bit scary,” Bolaza said. “So I’m trying to bring people into that conversation in a way that feels safe.”

So I went to the SexyHuman Workshop with the intention of taking a breather from my outrageous sexploits and getting back to basics.

The workshop was held at The Hub in Oakland — a creative alliance-esque place where you can rent meeting rooms and collaborate with artists. The room where the workshop was taking place had sexy ambiance, with deep blue walls, soft lighting, and a snack table with figs and chocolate covered gummy bears. 

There were less than 20 people in attendance — partly because this was the first SexyHuman event ever and also because Bolaza was cautious and didn’t want to overwhelm anyone with a crowd. The attendees were diverse in both gender and race, but all of them looked equally uncomfortable. Many of them had never been to something like this before despite the fact that they were natives.

To start, Bolaza asked everyone to share why they were there. A 23-year-old copywriter expressed her desire to learn what she wants from sexuality in general. A lady with long brown hair asked how it’s even possible to fit sexuality into her life when she’s so busy. An older gentleman revealed that he’d just gotten out of 22-year marriage and didn’t know what it was like to be sexual outside of a relationship. And a 20-something guy said he wanted to stop being a “love retard” and actually pick up on erotic energy from women when he meets them. 

None of these people seemed like they were ready to try bondage or attend an Intro to Tantra class. They just wanted to learn what sexuality meant for them.

At the beginning, Bolaza got a few eye rolls when she told everyone to pretend to hold imaginary balls of energy in their hands and share them with the people next to them  —  but she was quickly forgiven for that hippie moment when she started her lecture.

Bolaza was wise to the discomfort of her audience and kept the language concise and to the point. She borrowed ideas from ancient philosophies, but kept the words tailored to the everyman and taught the basics.

She talked about how extra stimulation and intensity aren’t actually the keys to orgasm, no matter how much our culture and city may hype up whacky sex positions and fancy vibrators. She explained that men come off creepy when they hit on women because they haven’t learned to connect their minds with their crotches. She even talked about how it’s okay to be attracted to someone, even if the feeling isn’t reciprocated.

All of these ideas may seem obvious to some, but in the discussions that followed, people admitted to never thinking about these things. The workshop only touched the tip of sexuality, and the topics may seem banal to sexual veterans. But to those in attendance, these ideas were brand new — even to those who’ve lived here all their lives. If natives don’t know this stuff, then there’s a need for this kind of education.

I’m not saying that SF doesn’t offer ANY vanilla events outside of speed dating (I’m sure they exist) — but I definitely had trouble finding them. The SF sex culture is so appealing to outsiders like me because it’s supposed to have a space for everyone. Either newbie sex events need better advertising or SF needs to make room for the sexually tame. Let’s add some vanilla to that swirl.

 

Head First runs on the SFBG Sex SF blog every Thursday. Readers can contact Krissy and view her previous work at www.krissyeliot.com.

 

Win tickets to Chinatown at Paramount Theatre October 10

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CHINATOWN (1974) – In 1937 Los Angeles, private eye Jake “J.J.” Gittes (Jack Nicholson) is hired by Evelyn Mulwray (Faye Dunaway) to undertake an investigation that leads him deeper and deeper into a web of scandal, deceit, and corruption. One of director Roman Polanski’s greatest films, Chinatown hooks the viewer into a plot whose unpredictable twists and turns develop into a mind-bending and unguessable conclusion. Complex characters, pitch-perfect dialogue, and masterful acting all combine to make this one of the best noir films of all time. Six Oscar wins: Best Writing, Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Direction, Best Cinematography. 

Movie classics feature 35mm film prints, a newsreel, cartoon, previews, Dec-O-Win raffle, and a live Wurlitzer organ serenade. Purchase advance tickets here and enter to win a pair of tickets by emailing RSVP@sfbg.com. Tickets available at the Paramount Box Office on movie night.

Friday, October 10, 8pm at the Paramount Theatre, 2025 Broadway, Oakland | $5

Tough decisions ahead: The Bay Area Record Fair, the Oakland Music Festival, and more

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Ever get so overwhelmed by all the awesome events in the Bay Area on a given weekend that you give up on trying to decide between any of them and find yourself just hanging with whomever you can get to come to your house to drink with you and your cats? Or, if you’re feeling really adventurous, venturing 50 yards down the street to watch baseball at the closest bar with a TV?

Haha, me neither! Just kidding; that person sounds like a loser who is definitely not me. ANYWAY, this is one of those weekends where you’re going to have to make some tough calls. It’s called being a grownup. Here we go.

FRI/26

San Franciscans may think they have the market cornered on psychedelia, but things sound a little different in the desert — dusty, moody, lonely, and super atmospheric. All of these are apt words for decker., a Sedona-based “desert folk” act led by singer-songwriter Brandon Decker that won hearts with its soulful live act at SXSW, among other stages. This show at Bottom of the Hill (1233 17th St, SF), which serves as a record release party for the band’s fifth album, Patsy, will actually be a double-helping of soul: Oakland favorites Whiskerman, with multi-instrumentalist Graham Patzner’s vocal chops at the helm, will help open the evening.

Bob Mould, Castro resident and extremely well-spoken guy in addition to being an exceedingly talented guitarist and legendary all-around frontman, is coming home — and his welcome party’s at the Fillmore (1805 Geary, SF) tonight with Cymbals Eat Guitars. Mould’s new record, Beauty and Ruin, has been on repeat in certain headphones; check our interview with him in this week’s paper for more.

 

SAT/27

The Bay Area Record Fair, aka the best new acronym to come out of the local music scene since possibly ever, is throwing the second edition of its schmooze-fest/record sale/party this Saturday at Thee Parkside (1600 17th St, SF) and the surrounding blocks. This free shindig, thrown by local label Father/Daughter Records alongside promoters Professional Fans, will feature live sets from Happy Diving (whose excellent debut LP is out next month), Hot Flash Heat Wave, Wild Moth, and Flim Flam and The Jet Stars of Three O’Clock Rock. All of that while you swing by tables from more than 30 Bay Area record labels, who’ll be hawking CDs, LPs, t-shirts, stickers, that one weird rare flexi-disk you’ve been looking for forever, etc. The party goes down from noon to 5pm, but $5 gets you early entry (first access to the crates, you fiends) at 11am. RSVP here. Oh, and here’s our review of the last one.

Over on the other side of the Bay, the second annual Oakland Music Festival highlights the best in local-ish hip-hop, funk, R&B, dance and electronic music, with a few folky singer-songwriters in there for good measure. The daylong fest has four stages throughout downtown (21st, 22nd, and Grand Streets between Broadway and Webster) with headliners like rapper Dom Kennedy, beatmaker Esta, soulful singer SZA as headliners, while the legendary Chuy Gomez and hometown heroes Trackademicks and 1-O.A.K hold down the DJ stage. Plus, you know, food, beer, a beautiful day in the East Bay sunshine. Tickets (for $28 or $35, unless you go VIP) right here.

 

SUN/28

How do you get away with throwing a bonkers dance party on public Ocean Beach in broad daylight? Pipe the music directly into the crowd’s headphones, that’s how. The Silent Frisco crew has found the ultimate underground vibe, above ground, with HushFest. Here’s how it works: Gather at the party spot (imbibe your libations beforehand, please, no drugs or alcohol on the beach), pay $20 for special wireless headphones, and dance in the sand with a huge gaggle of other wildly, silently gesticulating aficianados — all for $20, kicking off at 11am. DJs at this annual event around include genius duo Psychmagik, who rejigger deepest funk-rock memories of the 1970s, Rob Garza of Thievery Corporation, and Fort Knox Five. Yes, you can still yell “woo!” (Marke B.)

The Aislers Set, Cold Beat, and the Mantles at The Chapel (777 Valencia, SF). This here’s an SF triple-threat, with the Brit-influenced, late ’90s/early aughts indie-pop veterans The Aislers Set making their much-awaited return tonight. Hannah Lew’s (ex-Grass Widow) Cold Beat will lend a harder edge to the evening, sandwiched alongside the Mantles’ 60s-tinged dream-pop. Also for $20, we can think of worse ways to stave off the Sunday night blues.

 

 

This Week’s Picks: Sept. 24 – 30, 2014

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WEDNESDAY 24

 

Jean-Pierre Gorin

The title of the Pacific Film Archive’s terrific Jean-Luc Godard retrospective is “Expect Everything From Cinema,” but in the aftermath of May 1968, Godard’s radical deconstructions of film form suggested a less sanguine outlook. His comrade in the collectivist Dziga Vertov Group, Jean-Pierre Gorin, visits the PFA tonight to lecture on this frequently underestimated period. Always a lively presence, Gorin will stick around for another night to introduce a screening of Ici et ailleurs (1976), an hourlong reckoning of 1970 footage shot in Palestinian refugee camps, charged by subsequent events (specifically the 1972 Munich Olympics). “The film’s complex, layered text and imagery, its anguish and skepticism all confute its agit-prop approach,” writes James Quandt, “and the result is as touching and beautiful as it is incensing.” (Max Goldberg)

Gorin speaks Wed/24 and Thu/25 at 7pm; each event $9.50

Pacific Film Archive Theater

2575 Bancroft, Berk.

(510) 642-1412

www.bampfa.berkeley.edu

 

 

 

50th Big Book Sale

Claiming to be the “biggest book sale west of the Mississippi,” the 50th annual Big Book Sale at Fort Mason is a collector’s dream, with over 500,000 books, DVDs, CDs, vinyl, tapes — you name it — all to be scavenged for under $3. (At a super big sale on Sunday, prices plummet to $1.) If that isn’t exciting enough, Friends of the SF Public Library have hidden prizes amongst the towering stacks of words, so follow the clues and you could win tickets to the SF Symphony, DeYoung, the Roxie, and more! All proceeds benefit the SF Public Library’s education programs. (Haley Brucato)

Through Sun/28, 10am-6pm; free

Fort Mason Center

2 Marina, SF

(415) 441-3400

www.friendssfpl.org

 

THURSDAY 25

 

 

Slaughterhouse-Five

Become “unstuck in time” with Billy Pilgrim as he recounts his life, spent largely as an American prisoner of war and witness to the firebombing of Dresden, in this satirized theatrical adaptation of Kurt Vonnegut’s anti-war 1969 classic, Slaughterhouse-Five. Produced by Custom Made Theatre Co. — known for its socially conscious and intimate productions — this is sure to be an emotionally-moving and humorous 100-minute performance (without intermission), mirroring Vonnegut’s own nonlinear narrative style. (Haley Brucato)

Through Sat/27 at 8pm; also Sun/28 at 7pm, $35-$40

Gough Street Playhouse

1620 Gough, SF

(501) 207-5774

www.custommade.org

 

 

 

 

Oakland Underground Film Festival

The Oakland Underground Film Festival is back for its sixth year, and the programming is, as the East Bay kids say, hella great. Opening night films are Aussie writer-director Hugh Sullivan’s sci-fi rom-com The Infinite Man (a hit at South by Southwest and Fantasia), and Brazil-set martial arts saga Falcon Rising — featuring the high-flying Michael Jai White, star of 2009 OAKUFF hit Black Dynamite. There’s also ¿Qué Caramba Es La Vida?, a doc about female Mariachi musicians; a late-night screening of 1988 cult classic Heathers (how very!); multiple shorts programs (including “Sick and Twisted Horror Shorts”); Nick Cave docudrama 20,000 Days on Earth, and more. (Cheryl Eddy)

Through Sun/28, $10

Grand Lake Theatre

3200 Grand, Oakl

 

Humanist Hall

390 27th St, Oakl

www.oakuff.org

 

 

FRIDAY 26

 

decker.

San Franciscans may think they have the market cornered on psychedelia, but things sound a little different in the desert — dusty, moody, lonely, and super atmospheric. All of these are apt words for decker., a Sedona-based “desert folk” act led by singer-songwriter Brandon Decker that won hearts with its soulful live act at SXSW, among other stages. This show, which serves as a record release party for the band’s fifth album, Patsy, will actually be a double-helping of soul: Oakland favorites Whiskerman, with Graham Patzner’s whiskey-coated vocals at the helm, will help open the evening. (Emma Silvers)

With Whiskerman and Brother Graham

9pm, $12

Bottom of the Hill

1233 17th St, SF

(415) 626-4455

www.bottomofthehill.com


SATURDAY 27

 

5th Annual SuperHero Street Fair

Villain or hero? You decide. For the fifth year, thousands of event-goers will be disguised in their favorite capes, masks, and tights, donning a sword or perhaps a whip, to fulfill their ultimate superhero fantasies. Thanks to the co-creators of How Weird Street Fair, Sea of Dreams NYE, and Decompression Street Fair, this heroic outdoor fetish-fest will bump the costume-ridden streets with seven electronic music stages, light installations, comic exhibits, climbing walls, cartoon art, and a Jack Kirby museum. But the founders challenge each to first ponder one thing: “What creativity and superpowers do you bring to the everyday world?” (Haley Brucato)

1pm-11pm; $15

Waterfront Boardwalk Oasis

1700 Indiana, SF

www.superherosf.com

 

 

 

Yatra: Masters of Kathak and Flamenco

In his collaboration with Jason Samuel Smith, Kathak virtuoso Chitresh Das explored common and different qualities in their improvisatory approach to percussive dance-one donned tap shoes, the other ankle bells. So, now Das has taken the idea closer to home. Flamenco, as historians have speculated for a long time, may have had its origins in Northern India—Kathak’s own territory—from where gypsies brought it through the Middle East and North Africa to Spain. In Yatra: Masters of Kathak and Flamenco, Flamenco dancer Antonio Hidalgo Paz and Das bring their own musicians, who hopefully will have a collaborative moment of their own. What do we know for sure that they have in common? Fierce feet, verticality, an almost reverential use of the music, expressive use of arms and hands, and an immaculate sense of timing. (Rita Felciano)

Sept. 27 8pm, Sept. 28, 2pm, $28-$58

Palace of Fine Arts

3301 Lyon St, SF

(415) 333-9000

www.kathak.org

 

 

Iranian Film Festival

Iran’s rich cinematic tradition has perservered despite the country’s political upheaval and unrest — and a new generation of filmmakers continue to emerge and share their stories. The Iranian Film Festival spotlights indie films made by or about Iranians, no matter where they live. Its two-day run packs in 12 programs, most of which include a feature and multiple shorts. True tales include Oliver Stone’s Untold History of the United States, about the CIA’s role in the 1953 coup in Iran; and Abbas Kiarostami: A Report, a doc about the pioneering filmmaker. There are also several empowering films about women, including Sepideh — Reaching for the Stars, about an Iranian woman who dreams of a near-impossible career as an astronaut, and Iranian Ninja, about, yes, Iran’s first female ninja. (Eddy)

Through Sun/27, $11-12 (passes, $60-120)

San Francisco Art Institute

800 Chestnut, SF

www.iranianfilmfestival.org

 

 

SUNDAY 28


Hushfest

How do you get away with throwing a bonkers dance party on public Ocean Beach in broad daylight? Pipe the music directly into the crowd’s headphones, that’s how. The Silent Frisco crew has found the ultimate underground vibe, above ground. Here’s how it works – gather at the party spot (imbibe your libations beforehand, please, no drugs or alcohol on the beach), pay $20 for special wireless headphones, and dance in the sand with a huge gaggle of other wildly, silently gesticulating aficianados. DJs at this annual event around include genius duo Psychmagik, who rejigger deepest funk-rock memories of the 1970s, Rob Garza of Thievery Corporation, and Fort Knox Five. Yes, you can still yell “woo!” (Marke B.)

11am, $20

Ocean Beach, SF

www.silentfrisco.com


MONDAY 29


John Darnielle

Mountain Goats devotees know him as the prolific pen and idiosyncratic voice behind the band’s complex story-songs — some 14 studio albums of ’em, over the course of 18 years. But with Darnielle’s richly imagined and darkly memorable debut novel, Wolf in White Van, the lyricist proves his writing chops go well beyond the CD insert, weaving a mysterious tale through the eyes of a narrator we won’t soon forget: All readers know at the novel’s outset is that our loner protagonist runs a complex, interactive adventure game from his house, and that he was seriously disfigured at some point in his youth. In the process of uncovering his full story, we find ourselves sympathizing with people we might never expect. At the only Bay Area stop of his book tour, Darnielle will read from the novel and discuss it with author Robin Sloan. (Silvers)

7pm, free

Green Apple Books on the Park

1231 9th Ave, SF

www.greenapplebooks.com



TUESDAY 30


Royal Blood

Up-and-coming UK duo Royal Blood may have formed just last year, but the band is already making quite a name for itself on the basis of awesomely blues-fueled, snarling garage rock, which is showcased on the new, self-titled album that came out last month on Warner Bros. Records. That release debuted at No. 1 on the British charts, and the band is up for a prestigious Mercury Prize. Tonight is your chance to catch the explosive band in an intimate setting — the newly remodeled Masonic — before the pair likely moves on to much bigger venues. Royal Blood opens for The Pixies. (Sean McCourt)

7:30pm, $50-$75

The Masonic

1111 California, SF

www.sfmasonic.com

 

The Guardian listings deadline is two weeks prior to our Wednesday publication date. To submit an item for consideration, please include the title of the event, a brief description of the event, date and time, venue name, street address (listing cross streets only isn’t sufficient), city, telephone number readers can call for more information, telephone number for media, and admission costs. Send information to Listings, the Guardian, 835 Market Street, Suite 550, SF, CA 94103; or e-mail (paste press release into e-mail body — no attachments, please) to listings@sfbg.com. Digital photos may be submitted in jpeg format; the image must be at least 240 dpi and four inches by six inches in size. We regret we cannot accept listings over the phone.

Rep Clock : Sept. 24 – 30, 2014

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Schedules are for Wed/24-Tue/30 except where noted. Director and year are given when available. Double features marked with a •. All times pm unless otherwise specified.

ANSWER COALITION 2969 Mission, SF; www.answersf.org. $5-10 donation. Revolutionary Medicine: A Story of the First Garifuna Hospital (Freeston and Geglia, 2013), Wed, 7.

ARTISTS’ TELEVISION ACCESS 992 Valencia, SF; www.atasite.org. $6-10. “ATA Lives!”: “Gaze: 30,” short films and video by women, Wed, 8; “An Evening with George and Mike Kuchar, Part One: Mike Kuchar, New and Recent Works,” Thu, 8; “Part Two: George Kuchar, Storm Squatter,” Fri, 8. “Other Cinema:” •Autumn Sun: A Story About Occupy Oakland (Martinez, 2013) and The Uprising (Snowdon, 2013), Sat, 8:30.

BALBOA 3630 Balboa, SF; cinemasf.com/balboa. $7.50-10. “Thursday Night Rock Docs:” Super Duper Alice Cooper (Dunn, Harkema, and McFadyen, 2014), Thu, 7:30. My Little Pony: Equestria Girls — Rainbow Rocks (Thiessen and Rudell, 2014), Sat, 10:30am and 10pm; Sun, 10am and 11am; Mon, 7:30pm; Oct 1, 7:30pm.

CASTRO 429 Castro, SF; (415) 621-6120, www.castrotheatre.com. $8.50-11. •Red Desert (Antonioni, 1964), Wed, 7, and Mickey One (Penn, 1965), Wed, 9:10. •Mood Indigo (Gondry, 2013), Thu, 7, and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Gondry, 2004), Thu, 8:50. •Bubba Ho-Tep (Coscarelli, 2002), Fri, 7:30, and Evil Dead 2: Dead By Dawn (Raimi, 1987), Fri, 9:15. “Peaches Christ Productions presents:” Hocus Pocus (Ortega, 1993), with pre-show spooktacular, “Coven: Return of the Manderson Sisters,” Sat, 3, 8. Advance tickets ($30-100) at www.peacheschrist.com. •Pickup on South Street (Fuller, 1953), Sun, 2:30, 7:15, and Park Row (Fuller, 1952), Sun, 4:05, 8:50. A Fuller Life (Fuller, 2013), Sun, 5:40. •What Dreams May Come (Ward, 1998), Tue, 7, and The Survivors (Ritchie, 1983), Tue, 9:10.

“CINE+MAS PRESENTS: SAN FRANCISCO LATINO FILM FESTIVAL” Various venues including Opera Plaza Cinema, 601 Van Ness, SF; www.sflatinofilmfestival.org. Sixth annual festival celebrating work from Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, and other Latin American countries, plus the US, including documentaries, narratives, and short films. Wed-Sat.

COURTHOUSE SQUARE 2200 Broadway, Redwood City; www.redwoodcity.org. Free. Muppets Most Wanted (Bobin, 2014), Thu, 8:45.

DAVID BROWER CENTER Goldman Theater, 2150 Allston, Berk; www.browercenter.org. $5-12. “Reel to Real:” Watermark (Baichwal and Burtynsky, 2013), Thu, 7.

DAVIES SYMPHONY HALL 201 Van Ness, SF; www.sfsymphony.org. $43-158. The Wizard of Oz (Fleming, 1939), with Constantine Kitsopoulos conducting the SF Symphony, Sat. 8.

EXPLORATORIUM Pier 15, SF; www.exploratorium.edu. Free with museum admission ($19-25). “Off the Screen:” Impossible Light (Ambers, 2014), Thu, 7:30. Outdoor screening. “Saturday Cinema: Bodies,” short films, Sat, 1, 2, 3.

GOETHE-INSTITUT SF 530 Bush, SF; www.goethe.de/ins/us/saf/enindex.htm. $5 suggested donation. “100 Years After WWI:” Diaries of the Great War — Part 1 and 2 (Peter, 2014), Wed, 6:30.

“OAKLAND UNDERGROUND FILM FESTIVAL” Grand Lake Theatre, 3200 Grand, Oakl; Humanist Hall, 390 27th St, Oakl; www.oakuff.org. $10. Narrative films, docs, and shorts, Thu-Sun.

PACIFIC FILM ARCHIVE 2575 Bancroft, Berk; (510) 642-5249, bampfa.berkeley.edu. $5.50-9.50. “Jean-Luc Godard: Expect Everything from Cinema:” “The Dziga Vertov Group: Lecture with Clips by Jean-Pierre Gorin,” Wed, 7; Ici et ailleurs (Godard, Miéville, and Gorin, 1976), Thu, 7. With Jean-Pierre Gorin in person. “Discovering Georgian Cinema:” Blue Mountains (Shengelaia, 1984), Fri, 7:30; Twenty-Six Commissars (Shengelaia, 1932), Sat, 6:30; The White Caravan (Shengelaia and Meliava, 1963), Sat, 8:30; Repentance (Abuladze, 1984/1987), Sun, 4; An Unusual Exhibition (Shengelaia, 1968), Mon, 7; Will There Be a Theater Up There?! (Janelidze, 2011), Tue, 7.

ROXIE 3117 and 3125 16th St, SF; (415) 863-1087, www.roxie.com. $6.50-11. “Docunight #8:” Be Like Others (Eshaghian, 2008), Wed, 7. Memphis (Sutton, 2013), Wed-Thu, 9. This Ain’t No Mouse Music (Simon and Gosling, 2013), Wed-Thu, 7 (also Wed, 9:30; Thu, 9). Tamala 2010: A Punk Cat in Space (t.o.L., 2002), with “Wake Up!! Tamala,” Thu, 7. Starred Up (Mackenzie, 2013), Sept 26-Oct 3, call for times. 20,000 Days on Earth (Forsyth and Pollard, 2014), Sept 26-Oct 2, 7:15, 9:30. “Girl Talk: Teen Monologue Series #2,” Sun, 2. •Dr. Strangelove (Kubrick, 1964), and The Shining (Kubrick, 1980), Sun, 7.

SAN FRANCISCO ART INSTITUTE 800 Chestnut, SF; www.iranianfilmfestival.org. $11-12 (passes, $60-120). Iranian Film Festival, “discovering the next generation of Iranian filmmakers,” Sat-Sun.

SAN FRANCISCO CONSERVATORY OF MUSIC 50 Oak, SF; www.leftcoastensemble.org. $15-30. “Films and Interludes,” silent films accompanied by live scores with the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, Mon, 8. Program repeats Oct 2, 8pm, 142 Throckmorton Theatre, 142 Throckmorton, Mill Valley.

SMITH RAFAEL FILM CENTER 1118 Fourth St, San Rafael; (415) 454-1222, www.cafilm.org. $6.50-$10.75. This Ain’t No Mouse Music (Simon and Gosling, 2013), Wed-Thu, call for times. “Alec Guinness at 100:” The Ladykillers (Mackendrick, 1955), Sun, 5, 7. Last Days in Vietnam (Kennedy, 2014), Sept 26-Oct 2, call for times. In the Cobbler’s Shoes (Marks, 2013), Sat, Mon-Tue, 7.

UNITARIAN UNIVERSALISTS OF SAN MATEO 300 E. Santa Inez, San Mateo; www.sanmateopeaceaction.org. Free. The Wisdom to Survive: Climate Change, Capitalism, and Community (Macksoud and Ankele, 2013), Sat, 7.

VOGUE 3290 Sacramento, SF; www.cinemasf.com/vogue. $8-$10.50. Born to Fly: Elizabeth Streb vs. Gravity (Gund, 2014), Sept 26-Oct 2, check website for times.

YERBA BUENA CENTER FOR THE ARTS 701 Mission, SF; www.ybca.org. $8-10. “Invasion of the Cinemaniacs:” The Brides of Dracula (Fisher, 1960), Thu, 7:30. Sol LeWitt (Teerink, 2013), Sat, 7:30 and Sun, 2, 4. *

 

Guardian Intelligence: Sept. 24 – 30, 2014

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MASONIC MOONWALK

Beck brought his endlessly funky band to the new Masonic Sept. 19 for opening night, where they ran through melancholy new tunes from this year’s Moon Phase before switching gears toward his more upbeat hits for a serious dance party (there was caution tape involved). See a full review and more photos on our Noise blog at SFBG.com PHOTO BY ERIN CONGER

TIFF TAKES

Bay Guardian film festival correspondent Jesse Hawthorne Ficks returned from the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival, having deployed his usual tactic of seeing as many films as possible — and then writing about them at length on the Pixel Vision blog at SFBG.com. Visit the Pixel Vision blog for his series of posts, including takes on the trend toward ultra-long films (FYI, he’s a huge Lav Diaz fan…), Joshua Oppenheimer’s The Look of Silence (pictured), Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher, and other buzzed-about titles. PHOTO COURTESY OF TIFF

DEATH TO CAPITALISM!

The Bay Area’s edition on the Sept. 21 Global Climate Convergence was held on the edge of Lake Merritt in Oakland, where some of the best speakers went full-on commie in connecting capitalism to the climate crisis, calling for revolutionary change. Socialist Action’s Jeff Mackler brought the old-school Trotskyite class analysis while up-and-coming Socialist Alternative (the party of Seattle City Council member Kshama Sawant) had a strong presence. The Coup’s Boots Riley opened with an a cappella “Love for the Underdog,” followed by some fiery oratory and a couple more strong songs, including the militant anthem “Ghetto Blaster.” Power to the people!

EXPORTING CYCLETRACKS

San Francisco pushed the envelope in building cycletracks, bike lanes physically separated from cars, before state law allowed them. But on Sept. 20, when Gov. Jerry Brown signed AB 1193, a bill by Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-SF) that inserted cycletrack standards into state transportation codes, they suddenly became a legal, easy option for cities around the state to start building, just like they already do in Europe. So as cyclist safety improves in California, they can have San Francisco to thanks. You’re welcome.

GLOVER INSPIRES

Major kudos to actor and local hero Danny Glover for his recent visit to the San Francisco County Jail Reentry Pod. “With that great smile and laid-back style, Danny connected with inmates about preparing to get out and staying out,” said Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi, who spent some time with Glover and inmates preparing for release. “Be the example.” The reentry pod stems from a collaboration between the Sheriff’s Department and Adult Probation, to prepare AB109 prisoners from state realignment for their release. PHOTO COURTESY SF SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT

EVICTION PROTECTION

Now you can don condoms against evictions! At Folsom Street Fair, activists handed out condoms adorned by the face of Ellis Act evictor (and leather lover) Jack Halprin. Why are the protesters equating him with an ejaculate receptacle? Halprin purchased a San Francisco property on Guerrero two years ago and filed to evict the tenants under the Ellis Act, one of whom is a San Francisco elementary school teacher with a 2-year-old son. From the condom wrapper: “Jack be simple, Jack’s a dick! Jack’s evictions make us sick!”

TRI-VALLEY POUR-A-THON

This issue of the Guardian is all about delicious travel — here’s something close to home that will have beer lovers gripping their steins. The new Tri-Valley Beer Trail lights up Pleasanton, Livermore, San Ramon, Dublin and Danville with foamy craft goodness — reinstating that area as one of the original homes of California beer (the region formerly contained one of the largest hops farms in the world). Fifteen stops, innumerable beers to try, and warm weather all the way. See www.visittrivalley.com for more details.

OPEN SEASON

Art Explosion Studios, the Mission’s largest artist collective, prides itself on supplying affordable studio space to local painters, sculptors, photographers, jewelers, fashion designers, and other creative types. An affordable situation for artists? In the Mission? What is this, 1994? Support this organization and meet the artists (over 100 in total) right where they do their makin’ at the annual Art Explosion Fall Open Studios. Hit up the opening gala Fri/26, 7-11pm, or stop by Sat/27-Sun/28 from noon-5pm. 2425 17th St, SF; 744 Alabama, SF; www.artexplosionstudios.com.

SHADY TRANSIT DEAL

A wonky tale of woe just got a happy ending. Developers looking to make big bucks from the construction of the new Transbay Terminal tower, now the SalesForce tower, were looking to skim money off San Francisco by reneging on their required taxes, possibly costing the city $1.4 billion dollars. After the developers hired slick ex-Mayor, lobbyist, and SF Chronicle columnist Willie Brown to smooth the deal, they almost got away with saving hundreds of millions of dollars that would go to Muni, pedestrian safety, and infrastructure. At the last minute, the city changed its tune, and now the SoMa area will get the funding it was promised. The people win, and the fat cats lose.

 

Changing the climate in SF

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EDITORIAL As hundreds of thousands of people filled the streets of New York City and other cities around the world for a Global Climate Convergence on Sept. 21, demanding that our political and business leaders finally get serious about global warming (see “Flooding the streets“), there was no such gathering in San Francisco.

Sure, there were a few thousand Bay Area activists who gathered for the climate change event along Lake Merritt in Oakland, which included many groups and individuals from San Francisco. But we found it telling symbolism that San Francisco, as a city, was absent from this important political moment.

A city that was once a trailblazing leader on environmental issues such as solid waste reduction, transit-first policies, and adopting the precautionary principle — which calls on city officials to avoid policies and purchases that have the potential to cause environmental harm — has instead become a city guided by the logic and imperatives of capitalism, eager to grow and consume at any cost.

Speaker after speaker in New York City, Oakland, and other cities called for humanity to wake up to the realities of global climate change, slow down the wasteful economic churn and rapid depletion of important natural resources, and pursue fundamental changes to the system.

But in San Francisco, we appear to be headed in the opposite direction. The Mayor’s Office unceremoniously killed CleanPowerSF, the city’s only plan for offering more renewable energy to city residents. And it has pandered to motorists in ways that have taken millions of dollars away from public transit (see “Money for Muni“), encouraging more driving in the process even though we know that adds to global warming.

It isn’t just the neoliberals in City Hall, but the entire institutional structure of the city. Even SEIU Local 1021, long a stalwart supporter of progressive causes, has strangely endorsed the pro-automobile Prop. L and is aggressively supporting BART Board member James Fang, a Republican who supports costly extensions of the system rather than projects that promote more intensive transit uses in the urban core.

Finally, there’s this city’s monomaniacal promotion of the energy-intensive technology industry. Americans emit more greenhouse gases per capita than anyone, and recent reports show that reality is compounded by massive increases in China’s greenhouse gas emissions — which is partly because Bay Area companies produce their tech gadgets and other toys in China, which we then consume here.

San Franciscans need to stop being such voracious consumers and strive to be true innovators who accept our responsibilities and work to disrupt the rapid descent into a dangerously warming world.

 

Alerts: Sept 17-23, 2014

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Leather and Feathers: AIDS Emergency Fund’s Annual Gala

Temple Nightclub, 540 Howard, SF. 7pm, $125. For the second year, the San Francisco AIDS Emergency Fund is hosting its annual gala, Leather and Feathers, to raise money for clients. This year, the organization is proud to debut Fantasy Runway, where community members will strut their finest leather, fetish gear, and drag.

FRIDAY 19

 

League of Women Voters’ District 6 Candidate Forum

Golden Gate University, Room 2201, 536 Mission, SF. 6-8pm, free. Incumbent Jane Kim, and challengers Michael Nulty, David Carlos Salaverry, and Jamie Whitaker are invited to take questions from the San Francisco League of Women Voters and audience members regarding the race for the District 6 supervisor position. The forum is free and open to the public, with seating on a first-come, first-serve basis.

 

Dan Choi: Fight for City College

Barry’s Bootcamp, 236 King Street, SF. pro-choi.com. 9:00pm-midnight, $25 pre-sale, $50 at door. Dan Choi, a candidate for the City College Board and a key player in the “Don’t Ask, Don’t tell” repeal movement, will host this event and fundraiser for Fight for City College. That organization is fighting to save the threatened LGBT studies program at City College of San Francisco. Enjoy cocktails and hors d’oeuvres by Skyy Cocktails, as well as musical entertainment, during the event.

SUNDAY 21

 

Transit History Bicycle Tour

Eric Quezada Center for Culture and Politics, 518 Valencia, SF. noon-3pm, $15–$50 suggested donation. Chris Carlsson, of Shaping San Francisco, will lead this bicycle tour of San Francisco’s transit history. He’ll highlight locations linked to San Francisco transit history, such as the Freeway Revolt in Hayes Valley, the creation of The Wiggle, Critical Mass and bicycle activism in San Francisco, the United Railroads Strike, and nostalgic F-line cars. The tour will wrap up at Pier 36 with a look at San Francisco’s first Clipper ships. NorCal People’s Climate Rally Lake Merritt Amphitheater, Lake Merritt Blvd and 12th St., Oakl. peoplesclimatemarch.org. 2-5pm, free. Join activists and community members in a family-friendly settling for a rally in solidarity with the People’s Climate Rally in NYC, which will bring together environmental organizations, trade unions, and social justice groups nationwide for a gathering just before the Sept. 24th UN Climate Summit of world leaders. The Oakland demonstration, in support of the larger movement in NYC, will feature “Climate Fair” with a host of Bay Area environmental organizations that are focused on climate change.

Events Listings: sept. 17-23, 2014

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Listings are compiled by Guardian staff. Submit items for the listings at listings@sfbg.com. For further information on how to submit items for the listings, see Selector.

WEDNESDAY 17

“Black Widow Pulsars: Vengeful Star Corpses” Randall Museum Theater, 199 Museum Way, SF; www.randallmuseum.org. 7:30pm, free. Stanford University’s Dr. Roger Romani speaks — Gamma rays, black holes, neutron stars! — as part of the San Francisco Amateur Astronomers’ 2014 lecture series.

Novella Carpenter Booksmith, 1644 Haight, SF; www.booksmith.com. 7:30pm, free. The author (Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer) reads from her latest memoir, Gone Feral: Tracking My Dad Through the Wild. Carpenter also talks Feral Sat/20, 5pm, Green Arcade, 1680 Market, SF; www.thegreenarcade.com.

THURSDAY 18

“Hardly Strictly Warren Hellman” Contemporary Jewish Museum, 736 Mission, SF; www.thecjm.org. Opens Thu/18, 11am-8pm. $5-12. Exhibit runs through Oct 2016 (daily except Wed, 11am-5pm; Thu, 11am-8pm). Celebrating the legacy of banker, philanthropist, musician, and Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival founder Hellman, who died in 2011. Exhibit contains footage from HSB’s archive of live performances, and personal objects like Hellman’s banjo.

“The Magic City: Treasure Island’s Golden Gate International Exposition” 2 Bryant, Suite 300, SF; www.sfheritage.org. 6pm, $15. San Francisco Heritage hosts this lecture with authors Anne Schnoebelen and Therese Poletti, who will discuss the 1939 Golden Gate International Exposition, themed “the Pageant of the Pacific,” and for which Treasure Island was constructed.

Jason Segal JCCSF, 3200 California, SF; www.jccsf.org/arts. 7pm. $15. The actor and comedian shares his new book for kids, Nightmares!

FRIDAY 19

“Art/Act: Maya Lin” David Brower Center, 2150 Allston, Berk; www.browercenter.org. Opens Fri/19, 7-9pm. Free. Exhibit runs through Feb 4 (Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm; Sun, 10am-1pm). The acclaimed sculptor, architectural designer, and environmentalist displays abstract works inspired by the Bay Area’s natural environments, including the interactive What is Missing? project.

Eat Real Festival Jack London Square, Oakl; www.eatrealfest.com. Fri/19, 1-9pm; Sat/20, 10:30am-9pm; Sun/21, 10:30am-5pm. Free. Billed as a combo “state fair, street-food festival, and block party,” this fest offers sustainable, regionally-sourced eats (BBQ, ice cream, curry, and more) costing eight bucks or less.

Oktoberfest by the Bay Pier 48, SF; www.oktoberfestbythebay.com. Fri/19, 5pm-midnight; Sat/20, 11am-5pm and 6pm-midnight; Sun/21, 11am-6pm. $25-75 (Sat/20-Sun/21 day session, kids 13-18, $5; must be accompanied by parent). The Chico Bavarian Band returns to add oompah to your eating and, more importantly, drinking experience. Prost!

“A Taste of Greece” Annunciation Cathedral, 245 Valencia, SF; www.sfgreekfestival.org. Fri/19-Sat/20, noon-10pm; Sun/21, noon-8pm. Free. Greek-food connoisseurs won’t want to miss this annual festival, which rolls out spanakopita, gyros, wine, pastries, and other specialties, plus live music and dancing.

SATURDAY 20

“Among Dreams” LGBT Center, 1800 Market, SF; www.amongdreams.com. Opens Sat/20, 6-9pm. Free. Exhibit runs through Nov 11. Chelsea Rae Klein presents photographic portraits, collages, and other works honoring LGBTQI veterans and active-duty military members, based on archival materials as well as interviews conducted since the 2011 repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

“Fertile Ground: Art and Community in California” Oakland Museum of California, 1000 Oak, Oakl; www.museumca.org. Opens Sat/20, 10am-6pm. $6-15. Exhibit runs through April 12 (Wed-Thu, 11am-5pm; Fri, 11am-9pm; Sat-Sun, 10am-6pm). Oakland Museum of California and SFMOMA collaborate on this exhibition, which focuses on local history and social movements that shaped California art. Communities include the artists who worked with Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo in SF in the 1930s; painters and photographers from the California School of Fine Arts in the 1940s and ’50s (Mark Rothko, Richard Diebenkorn); UC Davis students and faculty in the 1960s and ’70s (Wayne Theibaud); and the “new Mission” artists of the 1990s (Barry McGee, Chris Johanson).

Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival #58 Old Mill Park, 325 Throckmorton, Mill Valley; www.mvfaf.org. 10am-5pm, $5-10. Through Sun/21. Over 140 fine artists participate in this fair, which is held in a can’t-be-beat location (hi, majestic redwoods) and also features live music and children’s entertainment.

Sarah Waters Booksmith, 1644 Haight, SF; www.booksmith.com. 7:30pm, free. The award-winning novelist (Tipping the Velvet, Affinity) reads from her latest, The Paying Guests.

SUNDAY 21

Folsom Street Fair Folsom between Eighth and 13th Sts, SF; www.folsomstreetfair.com. 11am-6pm, $10 donation requested (donation sticker entitles wearer to $2 off drinks). The leather and fetish fantasia returns with over 200 exhibitor booths, two giant dance floors, public play stations, erotic art, and more.

MONDAY 22

Patrick Hoffman Booksmith, 1644 Haight, SF; www.booksmith.com. 7:30pm, free. The author of The White Van discusses his work with Matt Gonzalez as part of the “New Voices, New Stories” series.

TUESDAY 23

“Primus, Over the Electric Grapevine: Insight into Primus and the World of Les Claypool” Doc’s Lab, 124 Columbus, SF; www.citylights.com. 7pm, free (tickets required, must be picked up at the front counter of City Lights at 261 Columbus; call 415-362-8193 to inquire about availability). Primus’ Les Claypool, Larry LaLonde, and others discuss Greg Prato’s new book, offering the definitive oral history of the band. *

 

This Week’s Picks: Sept 17-23, 2014

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WEDNESDAY/17

 

 

Multiple Mary and Invisible Jane

Flyaway Productions, the aerial dance company that aims to “expose the range and power of female physicality,” will use an 80-foot wall offered up by the UC Hastings College of the Law to perform its new, site-specific dance created for the Tenderloin. If you’ve never seen aerial dance before, get ready to hold your breath as you watch dancers careen, tumble, and pirouette some seven stories up into the stratosphere. But the social justice themes for this performance keep its spirit on the streets, while dancers Erin Mei-Ling Stuart, Alayna Stroud, Marystarr Hope, Becca Dean, Laura Ellis, and Esther Wrobel fly through the air: Multiple Mary and Invisible Jane was choreographed by Jo Kreiter to narrate the experience of homeless women in San Francisco, in a neighborhood where extreme privilege and poverty collide. This afternoon’s performance will also have tabling with housing activists from Tenants Together. (Emma Silvers)

Wed/17-Thu/18 at noon and 8pm; Fri/19-Sat/20 at 8 and 9pm; free

UC Hastings School of the Law

333 Golden Gate, SF

(415) 672-4111

www.flyawayproductions.com

 

THURSDAY/18

 

 

 

Quaaludes

Some know quaaludes as a sedative that was popular in the disco era for its dizzying side effects. Others more hip to San Francisco’s independent music scene know Quaaludes as an all-girl quartet from the city by the Bay. Combining elements of grunge, post-punk, and riot grrrl, the band is unapologetically fierce when it comes to its live shows and lyric matter. In the band’s latest conquest to conquer a primarily male-dominated scene, Quaaludes is releasing its newest 7″ EP, dubbed Nothing New, on Dollskin and Thrillhouse Records this week. In celebration of this and their upcoming tour, the band will be playing with Generation Loss, Bad Daddies and Man Hands at everybody’s favorite Bernal Heights’ dive bar, The Knockout. (Erin Dage)

With Generation Loss, Bad Daddies, Man Hands

10pm, $7

Knockout

3223 Mission, SF

(415) 550-6994

www.theknockoutsf.com

 

 

FRIDAY/19

 

 

Eat Real Festival

Do you like noshing on food that’s as tasty as it is wallet-friendly? (If the answer is negative, the follow-up is: Do you have a pulse?) Oakland’s Eat Real Festival lures some of the most tempting food trucks and vendors in the Bay Area to Jack London Square, none of which will charge more than eight bucks for whatever’s on the menu. Besides affordable, sustainable and local are other key buzzwords at play, but the loudest buzz of all will be emanating from the hungry as they feast on mac n’ cheese, tacos, BBQ, falafel, vegan delights, sweet treats, and more. (Cheryl Eddy)

Today, 1-9pm; Sat/20, 10:30am-9pm; Sun/21, 10:30am-5pm, free

Jack London Square

55 Harrison, Oakl.

www.eatrealfest.com

 

 

 

 

Cine+Mas 6th Annual SF Latino Film Festival

Filmmakers, young and old, parading their versions of the provoca-creative relationship between the eye behind the lens and the image in front of the camera. This 6th edition of the San Francisco Latino Film Festival not only highlights most genres and styles of cinematography but a substantial example of the new Latin American film current. The result might well outshine Hollywood. In El Salvador, there is still a lot to do to settle scores with one of its most prolific (and ignored) poets, and the film Roque Dalton, Let’s Shoot the Night! (Austria, El Salvador, Cuba) is one step forward. In Peru’s Trip to Timbuktu, teenagers Ana and Lucho use love to hide from the social unrest of the ’80s. The festival opens with LA’s Alberto Barboza Cry Now. Films will also be shown in Berkeley, Oakland, and San Jose. (Fernando A. Torres)

Through Sept. 27

7pm, $15 (prices and times vary)

Brava Theater

2781 24th St., SF

(415) 754-9580

www.sflatinofilmfestival.org

 

 

 

Beck

In case you hadn’t heard, the Nob Hill Masonic Center recently had a little work done — a nip here, a tuck there, the installation of 3,300 brand-new seats, a few new bars, food options, and a rather expensive state-of-the-art sound system. Kicking things off at the new-and-improved music venue that will henceforth be known as The Masonic is Beck, who seemingly never ages, and whom you can count on to christen the stage but good with his idiosyncratic blend of funk, rock, and melancholy blues (this year’s Moon Phase was on the mopier side of the spectrum, but in a darn pretty way). The last time we saw him we were freezing our butts off at the Treasure Island Music Festival, so we’re excited to see him moonwalk again (hopefully!) in slightly cozier pastures. (Silvers)

8pm, $85-$120

Masonic

1111 California, SF

(415) 776-7475

www.sfmasonic.com

 

SATURDAY/20

 

 

 

 

“Silent Autumn”

Good news, SF Silent Film Festival fans: The popular “Silent Winter” program is now “Silent Autumn,” and its movie magic (with live musical accompaniment) arrives at the Castro months earlier than usual. The day is packed with top-notch programming, but if you must narrow it down: The British Film Institute-curated “A Night at the Cinema in 1914” showcases newsreels (think votes-for-women protestors and World War I reports), comedies (early Chaplin!), a Perils of Pauline episode, and more; while the freshly restored, memorably creepy German expressionist classic The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) gets its US premiere. (Eddy)

First program at 11am, $15

Castro Theatre

429 Castro, SF

www.silentfilm.org

 

 

 

Samhain

After the breakup of the original Misfits in 1983, Glenn Danzig built upon the horror punk foundation of his first band and added even darker lyrical content, and later on, a more metal sound to the mix, creating Samhain — a group that would go on to release three records before the singer re-tooled the lineup and adopted the eponymous moniker of Danzig. When original members Steve Zing and London May join Danzig on stage in San Francisco tonight — one of only seven gigs that the band is playing on this special reunion tour — you can be assured that “All Hell Breaks Loose!” (Sean McCourt)

With Goatwhore and Kyng

8pm, $30-$45

The Warfield

982 Market, SF

www.thewarfieldtheatre.com

 

 

 

SUNDAY/21

 

 

 

Berkeley World Music Festival

Telegraph Avenue is enough of a spectacle in and of itself on an average day, but on day two of this free fest — which marks the first time organizers have thrown a fall party in addition to the spring festival — the whole street will become a stage, as organizers have closed the Ave to cars between Dwight and Durant. Get ready to hear Zydeco and Canjun sounds, Klezmer tunes, Moroccan Chaabi pop, Zimbabwean dance numbers, Sufi trance, and just about every other kind of international music you can think of. A kids’ section will have puppet shows and street art, while a special beer garden on Telegraph at Haste serves to benefit Berkeley’s beloved Ashkenaz Music & Dance Community Center. No passport necessary. (Silvers)

Starts Sat/20, noon to 6pm, free

Telegraph between Dwight and Durant, Berk.

www.berkeleyworldmusic.org

MONDAY/22 The Raveonettes Grafting lush harmonies, catchy song structures, and timeless production values from 1950s rock ‘n’ roll pioneers such as Buddy Holly and the Everly Brothers onto a modern indie approach, The Raveonettes have created an ethereal sound that is virtually all their own. Sune Rose Wagner and Sharin Foo have added fuzz-tone guitars and more on top of their history-steeped musical foundation over the course of several records to great effect, including their latest, Pe’ahi, which hit stores in July. Based on tracks like “Endless Sleeper,” it appears that living in Los Angeles has added a ripping surf twang to their guitar sound — along with other welcome, varied instrumentation. (McCourt) 8pm, $28 Bimbo’s 365 Club 1025 Columbus, SF (415) 474-0365 www.bimbos365club.com TUESDAY/23 Robin Williams Double Feature: The World According to Garp and The Birdcage What is there to say about the beloved comedian that hasn’t already been said? Better to let him speak — rant, sing, preach — for himself, in any of the countless, ridiculous voices in which he spoke. The 1982 adaptation of John Irving’s novel sees Williams in the title role of Garp, alongside Glenn Close making her feature debut, plus John Lithgow’s Academy Award-nominated turn as a transgender jock. And The Birdcage, Mike Nichols’ classic, uproarious 1996 adaptation of La Cage aux Folles, pairs Williams with two of the other finest comedic actors of his generation, Hank Azaria and Nathan Lane, for the original Meet the Parents, so to speak. (Hint: It’s funnier when one of the couples owns a gay nightclub in South Beach.) Shoes optional? (Silvers) 4:45pm, 7pm, 9:30pm, $11 Castro Theatre 429 Castro, SF www.castrotheatre.com George Thorogood Celebrating 40 years of bringing blues and booze-fueled good times to fans around the globe, George Thorogood and The Destroyers continue to be the unabashedly best bar band in the world. Just hearing the first few notes or verses of songs like “Move It On Over,” “I Drink Alone,” “Who Do You Love,” and of course, “Bad to the Bone” transports listeners to a jumpin’ juke joint of yesteryear, where you forget all your daily troubles and just dance the night away — and you know what to order when the bartender asks. Of course, it’s “One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer!” (McCourt) 8pm, $38.50 The Fillmore 1805 Geary, SF (415) 346-3000 www.thefillmore.com The Guardian listings deadline is two weeks prior to our Wednesday publication date. To submit an item for consideration, please include the title of the event, a brief description of the event, date and time, venue name, street address (listing cross streets only isn’t sufficient), city, telephone number readers can call for more information, telephone number for media, and admission costs. Send information to Listings, the Guardian, 835 Market Street, Suite 550, SF, CA 94103; or e-mail (paste press release into e-mail body — no attachments, please) to listings@sfbg.com. Digital photos may be submitted in jpeg format; the image must be at least 240 dpi and four inches by six inches in size. We regret we cannot accept listings over the phone.

Head First

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HEAD FIRST I never liked anything in my ass until I spent a couple hours with Charlie Glickman. I met him at a party in Oakland while I was complaining about 20-something guys and their tendency to try to spear my anus with their dicks. Having spent most of my life in suburban America, I was only exposed to boys who had nothing but Internet porn and impatience, so even though I’d been interested in trying butt stuff, I never had the opportunity. I was close to giving up hope.

So in a small huddle of party goers, I voiced my desperation for someone who knew how to touch an asshole. I needed an expert. A hero.

“You know I wrote a book on that, right?” Glickman chimed in, holding his paper plate of vegetable kabobs out in front of him. He had a confident grin. So a few weeks later, I gave him the chance to back it up.

I didn’t know there were such things as sexological bodyworkers. But apparently, there are people certified by the state of California to stick their fingers inside of you and figure out why you can’t come as hard as you’d like. Glickman is one of those people. Don’t get it twisted, though: body workers are like private tutors for people who want to have better sex and experience more pleasure in their bodies. Their aim is to teach. They’re not prostitutes.

A few weeks post-party, I was sitting in his office, which is a small room with a window, a couch, and a massage table draped in a white sheet. Before I arrived I’d spoken on the phone with him about what to expect during the session and had filled out an intake form about my sexual history. We sat on the couch and talked about how we could do anal massage for relaxation only, but we could also do an erotic massage (with orgasms), if I so chose. And I did indeed choose.

He took my hand. It was time to practice consent.

“Tell me to take my hands off you,” Glickman said.

So I did. Then I told him to put them back. This was his way of showing me I had control over what happened in the session. I wasn’t worried.

He instructed me to sit on the massage table and told me he was going to teach me to breathe through my ass, which meant pushing out with my butt hole.

“I want you to try to kiss the table with your anus when you inhale,” Glickman said. He breathed in and out with me as my asshole made out with the table’s surface. My body relaxed with each breath of my badonk.

I took off my clothes and lied face down on the massage table, wondering if he saw the pimple next to my nipple. I shrugged. This guy probably gets poop on his gloves. My zit is the least of his worries.

If you think it’s strange that I’d put myself in such a compromising position after having so many bad experiences in the past, I don’t blame you. It’s not like I forgot the burning sensation of many a helmet head diving into my foxhole. So why risk putting myself through more misery?

Though some may see my tenacious try-try again attitude as ignorant, I’d like to see my curiosity not as something to kill the cat, but something to nurture the sex kitten within. If all the women who had endured some kind of sexual abuse just closed their legs and asses up for good, the human race would probably be doomed. The world needs brave ladies.

Plus, I came to San Francisco to try the things that small Maryland towns can’t offer. I came here to do the things other women don’t have the courage to try. I came here to be the ray of sexual hope in the dark hole that is this universe.

So there I was, ass out on the table, ready to take one for humanity.

Glickman rubbed me down with some coconut oil and massaged me a bit before putting on a pair of purple, non-latex gloves. He asked me if it was okay if he touched my ass. I gave him an “Mhm.”

Glickman ran his finger around the outside of my asshole for awhile to get my ass to relax, explaining that the external sphincter muscles were the ones I could control. After asking if I was ready, he started to rub the inside, telling me that he was touching the internal sphincter muscles, which I had no control over.

“Is that why this feels like I’m taking a shit?” I asked.

“It can mimic that sensation,” he replied.

The littlest movement of his finger created huge waves of feeling in my butt. Sometimes, without warning, my ass would clamp down defensively on his finger like a bear trap. The idea that dudes just wanted to immediately cram their dicks into that tiny hole became even more unbelievable as Glickman moved his finger inside of me. I wanted to smack all those dumb 20-somethings upside their heads. Like, what the fuck, guys?

We did the relaxing anal massage for awhile, and Glickman asked me if I wanted the session to get erotic. I was down. So I flipped over onto my back.

He handed me a mirror and I held it between my legs so he could show me what he was doing. He did things that no man or woman had ever done to me, and he taught me to do them to myself. (By the way, there’s this particular way of rubbing the insides of the outer labia that makes your crotch freak out in a good way. FREAK…OUT!)

All of it felt so good that before I knew it, I was ready for a finger all the way in my ass. Then there were fingers in my vagina. Then there were fingers on my clitoris. Then there were TWO fingers in my ass. It felt like there were fingers everywhere. “How many fingers does this guy have?” I thought, as I had a bunch of big, sweaty orgasms.

When the session was over, he left me to bask in the aftermath of coming a lot. I slowly sat up and stared through the back window at a few construction dudes throwing lumber into a truck in the parking lot below. I felt completely relaxed and grounded in my body. My hands and feet tingled. I got up to take a piss.

So now I know that I can have an orgasm with something in my ass, but only when someone is stimulating my cooch. (The clitoris will always be the MVP.) Ass play isn’t a hopeless venture, but any guys who try to rip me a new one certainly are.

As I slinked out of the bathroom and curled up on the couch, Glickman said I looked like a cat who’d eaten something delicious. I nodded and smiled, and he had a look of pride, like he’d saved a stray in need. He proved that fingers in the ass ain’t bad — I took two for humanity.

You can read Krissy Eliot’s Head First column every Thursday on the Guardian’s Sex SF blog (www.sfbg.com/sexsf) and read her past work at www.krissyeliot.com.

Polly’s sexual (r)evolution

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steve@sfbg.com

There’s been more than one Polly, the author and namesake of the new memoir Polly: Sex Culture Revolutionary. That may be true for each of us as we engage with different interests and identities during our sexual development, but Polly has distilled her psychosexual journey down to three distinct personas that she assumed along the way.

The Polly I’ve known for years is Polly Superstar, the fabulous hostess of Kinky Salon parties in her luscious and sprawling former Mission Control pad, community-minded sparkle pony in the Burning Man world, and a mindful feminist promoter of various sex-positive entrepreneurial ventures in San Francisco (including this independently published book, which took a massive Kickstarter campaign to get into print).

But the Polly I know passed through two previous Pollys — the Polly Whittaker she was born as in London in 1974 and the Polly Pandemonium that she became when she arrived in San Francisco 15 years ago on Folsom Street Fair weekend — on the way to becoming the woman she is today. And that woman was feeling very vulnerable as we met for lunch recently.

“I’m terrified,” she told me as she prepared to speak at Bawdy Storytelling that night and anticipated the general release of her book on Sept. 22. “I feel really exposed, I wonder what my motivation was to be so raw and open with this.”

A book that began four years ago as essentially a sassy guidebook for the Kinky Salon events that have now spread to another half-dozen cities around the world at some point turned far more serious and personal. Sure, we get to follow Polly through her crazy sexual antics, soaking in the sexy world of Mission Control.

“The crisp silhouettes of their bodies showed every detail: how the woman on all fours took his cock in her mouth, how the second guy traced his finger around his lover’s nipple, how the woman tucked underneath gently explored the body above her,” Polly wrote about a scene from Kinky Salon. “There were no wanted wandering hands, no staring eyes making me self-conscious. I became overwhelmed with a sense of pride. Fuck yes. This feels right. It feels good. These are my tribe — these crazy pleasure seekers. These brave pioneers of love.”

But those aren’t the “raw” bits that Polly referred to. No, as she wrote this book, Polly came to place her father’s slow and painful death from a brain tumor while she was a teenager at the center of the narrative, an event that propelled her subsequent sexual journey, for good or ill. She sought comfort and pleasure in the pain of the London BDSM scene, continuing that path here in San Francisco before morphing her fetish parties into sex parties that were more artsy and playful. Yet this sexual superstar still couldn’t achieve orgasms with her partners, a secret source of shame before she dealt with it more openly and honestly, helping other women along the way.

This memoir is less a wild tell-all by a high-profile libertine than intensely human story about a woman raised in a sexually liberated household (her mom was a sex therapist, her dad a hot-air balloonist, many of their friends swingers) who nonetheless struggles with her own sexual identity and ambitions against the backdrop of personal tragedy and smaller set-backs.

Polly relays and celebrates San Francisco’s storied history as the center of the American sexual revolution, from the old Barbary Coast days through the North Beach strips club, free love in the Haight-Ashbury, and gay liberation in the Castro, to the AIDS crisis, rise of BDSM, and creative ways of expressing sexuality.

But even for Polly and others who make their sexuality such a central part of their lives and personal identities, sexuality is still a nuanced, evolving continuum that regularly raises challenging questions and issues.

“It’s a complicated, really complicated, issue, and it’s at the core of the cultural shift that is happening around sexuality,” Polly said of the delicate balance between female sexual empowerment — which she’s all about — and sexual objectification, which this feminist strongly resists.

Growing up in the fetish scene and becoming a latex fashion designer, Polly can happily play the alluring sex kitten, as long as it feels playful and fun. But she’s quick to tear into scenes or situations that display women as sexual objects just to turn the boys on or sell products.

“I think one of the biggest problems on the planet is the sexual objectification of women,” she told us, noting the fine line she’s walking as she promotes a sex book with deeper themes. For example, at her book launch party, “We’re going to have a burlesque show, but you’re also going to get the lecture about sexual objectification.”

And even today, with her Kinky Salon community taking center-stage in her book, that community has been uprooted by the same forces of gentrification and displacement that are roiling the rest of the city (the monthly rent for their Mission Control space tripled after they got ousted).

“The sexual revolution didn’t happen in Oakland, it happened in San Francisco, and we are part of that lineage,” Polly tells us, noting that Kinky Salon, now rotating among temporary underground spaces, is still having a hard time finding a new home.

“If Kinky Salon has to move to Oakland, that will be telling of the state of San Francisco sex culture.”

UP THE REVOLUTION: LAUNCH PARTY FOR POLLY. With Porn Clown Posse, Trash Kan Marchink Band, DJ Fact50, and more Oct. 4, 9pm, Venue 550, 550 15th St., SF, www.pollysuperstar.com

Lee and UC Berkeley institute take on income inequality

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Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Oakland) and U.C. Berkeley’s Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society are teaming up today [Wed/10] in Washington DC to release and discuss the institute’s first policy prescriptions for reducing inequality.

The policy brief—the first to be issued by the Haas Institute—will introduce research-based approaches suggested by a diverse array of economists looking at inequality through different lenses.

The policy brief calls for the integration of regions through land use rezoning to decrease inequality, an increase in public investments in preschool programs, raising the minimum wage, and the reformation of unfair tax policy that favors the wealthiest 1 percent.

“Inequality is a defining issue for America’s future,” John Powell, director of the Haas Institute, said in a press statement. “The good news is that we know variation in inequality and mobility imply that local, state, and federal policies can have an impact. Therefore, the solution is within reach, but only if policymakers learn from and apply researched based initiatives.”

While this is the Haas institute’s first policy brief, it is far from being Lee’s first foray into the issues of inequality. In fact, it’s become an area of her expertise. Lee, will give this morning’s keynote address, has been introduced two bills to curb the growth of inequality.

The first, the Income Equity Act (H.R. 199), would limit the tax deductibility of executive compensation packages. Currently, the more a firm pays its CEO, the more the firm can deduct from its taxes, leaving “cash-strapped taxpayers picking up the tab,” said Lee in a 2013 blog post.

“Despite record corporate profits, none of it is being shared with the American working class—the strongest work force in the world,” Jim Lewis, Lee’s press director, told the Guardian. “We’re pushing for research-based initiatives that are realistic when implemented.”

Locally, state Sens. Mark DeSauliner (D-Concord) and Loni Hancock (D-Oakland) introduced a pay-disparity bill (SB 1372) in April, which would tax companies with a wide income gap between CEOs and workers, and give tax breaks to companies with lower income disparities.

The second, Lee’s Pathways Out of Poverty Act (H.R. 5352), addresses unemployment in minority communities, namely African Americans and Latinos. It aims to create good-paying jobs and increase social mobility while strengthening the social net for those still struggling.

Research based solutions seem like a perfectly practical way to go about solving our evident wealth gap, but “1 percenter” and “the 99 percent” have only been part of the national lexicon since 2011’s Occupy protests.

A Gallup poll from January this year revealed that Democrats and independents are overwhelmingly dissatisfied with income and wealth distribution, as well as a majority of Republicans. The poll also found that only slightly about half of Americans are satisfied with the opportunity to get ahead by working hard.

“For many years, income inequality was viewed as an important factor and byproduct of growth,” said Powell. “That has been largely discredited by economists. It’s not a necessary byproduct of technological advances and globalization.”

All of this comes at a time when the wealth gap in the United States—and especially in the Bay Area—is reaching exorbitant proportions.

In June, the San Francisco Human Services Agency released a report stating that while the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, the city’s middle class—those earning around the median household income of $72,500—is disappearing altogether.

A recent study by the Brookings Institution revealed that between 1990 and 2012, the city’s middle class has shrunk from 45 percent of the population to 34 percent.

“There’s no need for this kind of gap, it’s unsustainable,” Powell said. “We need to work on a local level, especially when we have a more liberal legislature in California. Closing the gap can enhance economic growth. It can bring the country together.”

Events: September 10 – 16, 2014

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Listings are compiled by Guardian staff. Submit items for the listings at listings@sfbg.com. For further information on how to submit items for the listings, see Selector.

WEDNESDAY 10

Lan Cao Mechanics’ Institute, 57 Post, SF; www.milibrary.org. 6pm, $15. The author shares her novel, The Lotus and the Storm, about a Vietnamese American family during and after the Vietnam War.

Gillian Conoley City Lights Bookstore, 261 Columbus, SF; www.citylights.com. 7pm, free. The author discusses Thousand Times Broken, her new translation of three Henri Michaux works, with a presentation of the original art displayed in the book.

James Ellroy Commonwealth Club, 595 Market, SF; www.commonwealthclub.org. 6pm, $7-20. The acclaimed crime novelist (LA Confidential, The Black Dahlia) discusses his long career and latest work, Perfidia.

Carl Russo Green Apple Books, 506 Clement, SF; www.greenapplebooks.com. 7pm, free. The author shares The Sicilian Mafia: A True Crime Travel Guide.

THURSDAY 11

Samuel Fromartz Book Passage, 1 Ferry Bldg, SF; www.bookpassage.com. 6pm, free. The journalist-turned-baker discusses his new book, In Search of the Perfect Loaf: A Home Baker’s Odyssey.

FRIDAY 12

Tanya Holland Books Inc, 1344 Park, Alameda; www.booksinc.net. 7pm, free. The chef, Food Network personality, and author launches her new cookbook, Brown Sugar Kitchen: New-Style, Down-Home Recipes from Sweet West Oakland.

SATURDAY 13

Bay Area Free Book Exchange’s Fifth Anniversary Free Book Blowout Bay Area Free Book Exchange, 10520 San Pablo, El Cerrito; www.bayareafreecookexchange.com. 9am-6pm, free. Through Sun/14. Celebrate five years of free books at this anniversary party, and take home some new reading material of your own from the Bay Area Free Book Exchange’s shelves. Or, go one more step and bring some old books (as well as CD and DVDs!) to donate and share with others.

Ghirardelli Chocolate Festival Ghirardelli Square, 900 North Point, SF; ghirardelli.com/chocolatefestival. Noon-5pm, $20-40. Through Sun/14. Help raise money for Project Open Hand and satisfy your sweet tooth at this 19th annual dessert and wine fiesta. In addition to offering samples of gourmet goodies from over 50 vendors, Ghirardelli hosts chef demos, a silent auction, a “Chocolate School” (learn about chocolate-making!), and the ever-popular hands-free sundae-eating contest.

Sea Music Festival San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park, Hyde Street Pier, SF; www.nps.gov/safr/planyourvisit/seamusicfestival2014.htm. 9am-5pm; evening chantey sing, 7:30-9:30pm. Outdoor performances free; admission to historic ships $5 (kids 15 and under with adult supervision, free). Learn about maritime history through music at this all-day fest of traditional and contemporary songs, instrumentals, and dances. The Sea Music Concert Series continues aboard the Balclutha Sept 20, Oct 25, and Nov 25 ($12-14 or a season ticket, $36).

“Tour de Fat” Lindley Meadow, Golden Gate Park, SF; www.newbelgium.com. 10am-5pm, free (beer, $5; donations for nonprofits accepted). “Bikes, beer, and bemusement” highlight this annual outdoor party, with a costumed bike parade, beer-brewing activities, yo-yo performers, a dance contest (winner gets a new cruiser!), and headliner Reggie Watts.

SUNDAY 14

John Jung Eastwind Books of Berkeley, 2066 University, Berk; www.asiabookcenter.com. 3pm, free. The author presents two works: Chinese Laundries: Tickets to Survival on Gold Mountain and Sweet and Sour: Life in Chinese Family Restaurants.

Sunday Streets: Western Addition Fillmore between Geary and Fulton; Fulton between Fillmore and Baker, SF; www.sundaystreetssf.com. 11am-4pm, free. What traffic? Explore the neighborhood (including breezy, hilly Alamo Square) on foot or bike.

Urban Air Market Hayes Valley, Hayes and Octavia, SF; www.urbanairmarket.com. 11am-6pm, free. Over 130 emerging and established designers share their wares at this outdoor community market. Also: food trucks and live music.

“Writers with Drinks” Make-Out Room, 3225 22nd St, SF; www.writerswithdrinks.com. 7:30pm, $5-20. With Evan Lepucki, Robin Sloan, Lenelle Moïse, Annelyse Gelman, Cecil Castellucci, and Christina Nichol.

TUESDAY 16

Courtney Moreno Booksmith, 1644 Haight, SF; www.booksmith.com. 7:30pm, free. As part of the “New Voices, New Stories” series, the author shares her first novel, In Case of Emergency. *

 

Joel Daniel Phillips illustrates the overlooked in ‘I Am Another Yourself’

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Joel Daniel Phillips draws people. He draws them with charcoal and pencil and is known for his life-sized renderings of eccentric, seemingly homeless men and women he meets on the corner of Sixth and Mission Streets in San Francisco.

His debut solo show with Hashimoto Contemporary, “I Am Another Yourself,” opens Sat/6 (opening reception 6-9pm; the show runs through Sept. 27). I met up with Phillips to talk about his work and to see his 14 pieces in person.

As we hung out in his roomy studio in East Oakland, the BART train lumbering by every so often, Phillips’s towering life-sized pieces captured my awe and attention. The details he emphasizes in his work  whether it’s a wrinkled pant leg, a takeout container, lines on a face, or a waning pack of Newport Lights  illustrate the attitude and honesty of his subjects. 

“I think of [my work as] a bit like journalism in that the goal is for me to honestly understand something else or someone else and then show it to my audience,” Phillips says. 

Phillips moved to San Francisco three years ago. Not knowing a whole lot about the city, he accepted a live-work studio space on Sixth and Mission. Once he arrived in the neighborhood, he realized it was — well, different. So he started his own artistic exploration of the street corner, which involved approaching people he found particularly intriguing, asking if he could take their photographs, and creating life-sized drawings of them.

When considering whom to approach for a photo, Phillips looks for “people who carry their story on their face” or demonstrate their story in the way they dress. These types of people embody the honesty and vulnerability he aims to capture in his pieces. 

 “I’m fascinated with vulnerability,” Phillips says. “If I approach most people in the street and ask them, ‘Can I take your photograph? I’m an artist,’ they’ll stand in a certain way, pose in a certain way, and have a projected sense of how they want to be perceived. But this particular subset of society doesn’t do that. They allow me into a deeper sense of who they are.”

While people may look at Phillips’s work and assume his drawings are of homeless men and women, that’s not necessarily the case. “A lot of people assume they are all homeless, but I have no idea if any of them are homeless,” Phillips says. 

And he doesn’t care to ask his subjects about their living situations, either. “Part of the reason I isolate my subjects from their backgrounds is because I want to remove certain information,” Phillips says. “I want you to take each person out of context and see them as an individual, rather than place them in a certain box.”

A unifying attitude that links Phillips’ subjects seems to be that “these people are in a place, for whatever reason, where they don’t really give a shit. They’ve gone through a lot of things  maybe hard, maybe just different than your average suburban white kid’s experiences  that have put them in a place where they are comfortable,” Phillips says.

He describes his goal as building an emotional and mental bridge between two disparate cultural groups and allowing people to see themselves in these individuals, who are often from a completely different world than their viewers.

Phillips motions toward Spaceman, who’s sporting Ugg boots, a motorcycle helmet, and a creatively tied tie, and is holding a broom in a way that makes it look like a badass accessory. “I’ve drawn Spaceman several times,” he says. Tinesha, another subject of a life-sized drawing, wears dramatic eye shadow along with a puka shell necklace and is holding a to-go container. Phillips speaks highly of Tinesha and says she is incredibly sweet. 

Then he shows me Billy, one of his smaller drawings. Billy has a long beard and contemplative eyes. His shirt is tucked into his baggy cargo sweatpants, the cuffs of his light button-down shirt are undone, and his crossed arms frame his layered beaded necklaces. “This is Billy the Prophet,” he says. “I’m not sure if anyone other than me calls him that, but he’s definitely a prophet.”

After perusing his pieces, you might think Phillips is trying to impart some type of social justice-driven message or a call to action against poverty or homelessness. But Phillips says his goal is more about perception than social change. His hope is that if you see these pieces and grapple with this idea of how and why you treat certain people a certain way, then “hopefully the next time you walk by someone on the street you might think about this work and say, ‘Hey, I might not be able to fix shit, but I can at least smile; I can at least say hi.’”

After spending almost three years living at the corner of Sixth and Mission, cheaper rent lured Phillips out to East Oakland in April. He still comes back to his street corner, though. Not just for the next photo, but to continue his friendships with the people he’s photographed. He routinely runs into his subjects – now friends – and buys them lunch or art supplies.

“They know who I am on the street corner now. I’m that guy who draws people. And sometimes people even ask me to draw them,” he says.

Being the guy who draws people has allowed Phillips to become a part of the community. “I’m no longer this gentrifying white presence; I’m not the person who’s trying to change Sixth and Mission from what it’s been. I’m somebody who’s trying to understand what Sixth and Mission is,” Phillips says.

 

“I Am Another Yourself”

Through Sept. 27

Opens Sat/6, 6-9 pm

Hashimoto Contemporary

804 Sutter, SF

www.hashimotocontemporary.com

For inquiries, contact Hashimoto Contemporary: hashimotocontemporary@gmail.com

Follow Phillips on Instagram here