Events

How to celebrate MLK Jr. Day in the Bay

Community day in the Yerba Buena Gardens, youth spoken word, civil rights movie screenings, and places to volunteer (it's called a service day for a reason, people)

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Use your national day of service wisely --  jump in one of of the day's volunteering fairs, take in a black history flick, catch some awe-inspiring youth spoken word, learn about colleges 

“In the Name of Love” MLK musical tributeRead more »

How to celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in the Bay

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Use your national day of service wisely --  jump in one of of the day's volunteering fairs, take in a black history flick, catch some awe-inspiring youth spoken word, learn about colleges 

Read more »

Gear up: Trevor Traynor's lowrider captures cruise into the Mission

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Photographer Trevor Traynor is moved by lowriders. And he says he's not the only one.

"Lowriders move people," he wrote to the Guardian in an email interview. "Literally and figuratively. When you're cruising people smile, wave, they take pictures. The cars connect people of all walks of life and the clubs enjoy it as well. It keeps people productive with a strong passion in cars."

You can tap into his love for the low on Thu/3, when Traynor's photo show "Low Life" opens at The Summit SF in the Mission. Read more »

Get lit! A handy guide to Saturday night's LitCrawl

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LitQuake has been rough. You’ve been dashing out of work, shoving people away from their cabs to make it to the Chuck Klosterman event and sprinting after buses to catch Karen Russell; you’ve had to make the hard decision between “Kafkaesque” and “Rock Out with your Book Out;” and all the while, you keep thinking Jeffrey Eugenides has just passed you on the street. With LitCrawl coming up Sat/15, things become even more overwhelming and terrific. In the Mission, bars, cafes, and bookstores together host 450 readers in 79 readings, all free and open to the public. One way to navigate the event might be to pick your favorite bar or cafe, find a chair, order a drink and wait for something to happen. Or, you can check these readings out:
 
I Live Here: SF. How We Got Here, Why We Stay
Not a lot of us can say we were born and raised in San Francisco. Most of us fled here from elsewhere for one reason or another: failed relationships, parents kicked you out, a nervous breakdown, a mid-life crisis, you formed an indie-rock band. Maybe you came for LoveFest and simply forgot whom you were. There are a thousand reasons for arriving and a thousand more for staying. In Clarion Alley, writers and non-writers alike including Mark Bittner and M.C. Mars talk about what brought them here and why they haven’t budged. 6 p.m., Clarion Alley, between Mission and Valencia, and 17th and 18th Sts, SF

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The next week and a half in free bike events

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“Everything I do for the environment, I do it for my own vanity” remarked a friend of mine while we hoofed it towards a social engagement. I will be the first to tout the glut-shaping powers of the bicycle, but – being as we are still three days away from my payday – I have to tinker with his truism. Everything I do for the environment, I do it for my wallet. That being said, here's this list of free bike events around the city over the next 10 days. Read more »

A decade of DocFest: more reviews!

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Check out more coverage of the 10th San Francisco Documentary Film Festival in this week's Guardian.

Beaverbrook (Matthew Callahan, U.S., 2010) If you attended Camp Beaverbrook, which operated in California's Lake County from 1961-85, this film is required viewing. It offers an intensely wistful look at an old-fashioned sleepaway camp that thrived in an era before insurance companies started frowning on things like helmet-free kids galloping wildly on horseback. If you don't have Beaverbrook in your blood, however, watching 1979's Meatballs will offer a similar overdose of nostalgia, plus the huge added bonus of Bill Murray. Sun/16, 5 p.m. and Oct. 18, 7:15 p.m., Roxie; Fri/14, 7:15 p.m., Shattuck.

Heavy Metal Picnic (Jeff Krulik, U.S., 2010) Everyone's seen Heavy Metal Parking Lot, the 1986 Jeff Krulik and John Heyn short that became a pre-internet cult classic. Shot amid the beer-y, mullet-y, "party-as-a-verb" shenanigans that transpired before a Judas Priest-Dokken show, Parking Lot is a seminal document for metalheads and anthropologists alike. Twenty-five years later, the prolific Krulik, again with Hayn, returns to the subject matter that made him famous with Heavy Metal Picnic, a 666 ... er, 66-minute look at an notorious 1985 concert known as "The Full Moon Jamboree" — described as a "heavy metal Woodstock" by the nervous local press at the time. Basically, this is Parking Lot shifted to the Maryland woods; there's a concert going on in the background (the bigger acts were Pentagram and the Obsessed, but there's hardly any footage of them; local boys Asylum and show organizer Billy Gordon of Blue Rockers are prominently featured, however) but the main attraction is, as ever, the fans assembled for raucous raging.

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Fire it up: Checking out works at this weekend's Ceramics Annual of America

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Clay is one of the most expressive forms of art. It can be pushed and pulled and molded into any sort of creation -- given that the artist knows what they are doing, since clay can turn finicky in a flash. This weekend (Fri/7-Sun/9), the gigantic festival pavilion at Fort Mason will open its doors for the Ceramics Annual of America, which will be filled with a smorgasbord of wonderfully creative and delicate pieces of art, all hailing from the mediums of mud, fire, and glaze. I wandered around for almost two hours last night sucking on eye candy that ranged from intricate sculptures to modified pots that reminded me of sea creatures.

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Forget "Deborah" -- Debbie Gibson is back!

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Despite having had a nearly 25-year (and counting) career in show business, singer Debbie Gibson is still full of youthful energy and excitement when talking about recent projects and what she has planned for the future — perhaps that is due in part to the fact that she had her first hit single and taste of fame when she was only 16 years old. The ever-vivacious Gibson is particularly excited about taking part in a benefit concert and cabaret show tonight here in San Francisco, “One Night Only: A Shrektacular Holiday Celebration,” which will also feature the cast of Shrek currently at the Orpheum Theatre, and raises funds for the Richmond/Ermet AIDS Foundation.

“Pretty much if I’m available, I can’t say no to this organization,” says Gibson, who has always been heavily involved with helping charitable groups throughout her career. “I really enjoy these intimate shows with solo theater performers, and it’s kind of a perfect fit for me — obviously I bring my pop persona to the table, but at the same time I’m part of the theater community, so it makes perfect sense really.”

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A Celtic violinist Jimi Hendrix?

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“Can you tell me why they call you the Jimi Hendrix of the violin?” I'm chatting with Eileen Ivers, Bronx-born one-time house blue electric violinist for Riverdance. One must admit, it seems like a curious moniker. Over the phone, Ivers dissolves in laughter. 

“I wish I could,” she finally continues. “One wonderful gentleman from some paper put that. I'd love to think that in some way -- he had such a love of blues and roots -- I don't know, I won't even go there, but I feel so connected to the instrument.” Oh, plus she integrates into her concerts (one of which will be rocking Freight and Salvage Thu/4) liberal doses of jams, electric violin, wah-wah pedal, and, dare we say, soul? “I love to put that to an audience to open their minds -- this instrument can rock out as well.” The pieces are beginning to come together... Read more »

Not yo momma's pole dance

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... Or should I say, father's? After all, your momma probably didn't get a chance to check out the ladies of the pole in her day -- unless, of course, the parentals met at The Lusty Lady. What I'm trying to say here is that sexy on a stick is now an official fitness sport. And its participants are often a lot more athletic than synthetic.

A fact which I learned all about from US Pole Dancing Federation co-founder Anna Gundstrom, who explained to us in a phone interview why you'll wanna make the trek up to Redwood City for the thigh holds of the west coast regional championships November 6th. "I'm not going to say its not a sensual form of dance -- that'd be silly to say since it did start in strip clubs,” Gundstrom tells me. Read more »