Johnny Ray Huston

Tome time

The 30th Northern California Book Awards honors the best in Bay Area publishing

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Lookin' forward to the weekend: Berkeley Art Museum faces a "Pigeon" invasion

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The "L@te: Friday Nights at BAM/PFA" series has brought some great programs since its inception, and this Friday's promises to be one of them. Programmed by Betty Nguyen, "Pigeon Dealers" includes a DJ set (by artist Dave Muller) as well as stand up comedy (by Chris Thayer) and Motorik sounds (by Bronze), but my chief reason for going is the rare chance to see some of David Enos's movies projected large. In the years since his time with the 2005 Goldie-winning Edinburgh Castle Film Night crew, Enos has continued to create unique and at times alchemically uncanny short video works while also making paintings and music. He's one of the best artists in the Bay Area today. Check out his spookily superb mystery Hidden Host after the jump. Read more »

Snap Sounds: Peter Gordon

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PETER GORDON
Love of Life Orchestra
(DFA)

With Arthur Russell duly sainted, the New York City avant-disco revival turns to this extensive, expansive studio project and its lush, sax-dominated epics. Blessed with the mastery of a conductor, Peter Gordon brought together a community of musicians -- including Russell, David Byrne, David Johansen, Art Londsay, and vocalist Rebecca Armstrong -- with distinctly lavish and madcap results. "Extended Niceties" and "Roses on the Dance Floor" are as terrific as their titles, and "Beautiful Dreamer" is exquisite. Two tracks after the jump. Read more »

From East Coast to West

Kurt Vile and Cass McCombs stare down America

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arts@sfbg.com

MUSIC I guess there's some redemption for America in that it can still produce someone like Kurt Vile, a pure rock musician, to the manner (rather than to the manor) born.Read more »

Tennis's top three switch positions: A final look at the BNP Paribas Open

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“For me, you are the greatest player ever.” So said Novak Djokovic to Rafael Nadal after defeating him in the final of the BNP Paribas Open. Djokovic's compliment is sharp in a number of ways. On one hand, it can be interpreted as a diss on Roger Federer, a player often touted as the greatest ever, with whom Djokovic has at times had a testy competitive relationship. On the other hand, it can also be seen as Djokovic giving Nadal a taste of his own medicine: how many times has Nadal called Federer the “greatest” after notching another win during his dominance of their rivalry? Read more »

Umbrella weather: A glimpse of the future during the BNP Paribas Open

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In San Francisco, you need an umbrella for the rain. In Palm Springs, you need an umbrella for the sun. Under a solar glare, the men's side of the BNP Paribas Open would bring a final four made up exclusively of slam-title winners. Yet its most revealing and perhaps best-contested match occurred before the final weekend, on a packed secondary court, where two representatives of the game's future – Milos Raonic and Ryan Harrison – dueled as afternoon gave way to evening.

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Sister Liz : A loving look back at "Liz: Unhinged"

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This review originally appeared (as "Liztrionics: Taylor blows hinges off YBCA!") in the Dec. 5-11, 2001 issue of the Bay Guardian:

"Elizabeth Taylor is my sister. You might as well know it."

So begins A Superficial Estimation, poet John Wieners's homage to the women in his life, including his aunt, Dorothy Lamour, and his mother, Bette Davis. Overtly conflating movie stars with family is A Superficial Estimation's gay masterstroke, one typical of the tiny tome's undersung author. Liz gets the first chapter; Wieners lovingly notes that she "peruses her surroundings with dignity and harmony," which leads one to believe that he's describing his sister before the era -- 1968 to 1973 -- covered in film curator Joel Shepard's current Yerba Buena Center for the Arts series "Liz: Unhinged." Beginning with a Boom! and ending with Ash Wednesday's on-screen plastic surgery, these were Liz's Divine years: the period when she treated audiences to one throttlehold after another, angrily rubbing their faces into her larger-than-larger-than-life image. Read more »

Lucky charms, safe journeys

Yukako Ezoe reimagines the nature of self-portraiture in "Bahama Kangaroo"

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Satisfying crunch

Local rockers Midnite Snaxx bring the 12 o'clock rock to Burger Boogaloo fest

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Teenage ghosts

Dirty Beaches and Hunx and his Punx hold a séance for the lost spirits of pop past

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MUSIC Hold a séance on a wet afternoon or rainy evening. Party down and commiserate with the ghosts and dancing skeletons of wrecked love past as they float from your stereo. Put on Dirty Beaches' Badlands (Zoo Music) and Hunx and His Punx's Too Young to Be in Love (Hardly Art) and invite the dead boyfriends and lonesome girlfriends of '60s teenage rock and pop to shimmy with your ex- memories in the living room. Meet 2011 with them, alone.Read more »