Lit

Free Shamu! 'Death at SeaWorld' event tomorrow

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Just a reminder that Wed/25 is the date for author David Kirby's local event to promote his new book, Death at SeaWorld: Shamu and the Dark Side of Killer Whales in Captivity. Check out my interview with Kirby in the July 11 Guardian here; his website features updates on SeaWorld's battle with OSHA over allowing trainers to enter the water with killer whales after the much-publicized death of a trainer.

But there's more, Kirby told me when we spoke:

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Celebrate a book about DJs at a bar that is in said book

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A rather strange-looking book alit upon my desk the other day. It told me it would teach me how to fold underwear. It lied. Luckily, the book did contain a rather amusing little cat-and-mouse story about a cute SF DJ traversing Hong Kong and surrounds in the exuberant days of the late 1990s. This is local author Steven Fruhmoto's Underwear Origami -- a misleading title if ere I've heard one. Nonetheless, Mr. Read more »

Noir to nerds: 8 artsy-cultural happenings you could check out this week

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Remember the time you lived in one of the most exciting, cultured places in the world? Hold up, that's right now. Check our picks for 8 amazing -- and oftentimes free -- ways to spend your nights and days this week.

Jim Nisbet: Old and Cold

Jim Nisbet's protagonist is old, cold, and totally cool. A confusing infusion of mystery, Dexter-style serial murder, and flat-out noir creepiness, Nisbet's Old and Cold follows the wrongdoings of a man who lives under a bridge and will do anything for a martini. All the action is enveloped within our dear city's seven miles of dive bars, beaches, and grey sidewalk. Read more »

7 ways to revive your sunburned brain this week

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Dead set on frying your brain in this sunshine? Fine. Just hit up one of your city's affordable cultural happenings afterwards and your gray matter will have no choice but to call it a draw. 

Epicenter reading series 

Sip on some of Cafe Tosca's famous non-coffee cappuccino (brandy and hot chocolate, what could be better?) and listen to three members of the contemporary literati. Along with San Francisco-native Josh Mohr, the program will include Joe Meno reading from Office Girl, his new fiction work of artistic detachment and big city love, plus Nathan Larson's The Nervous System, a novel depicting a terrorist-induced dystopia in the walls of the New York Public Library, starring a protagonist dubbed Dewey Decimal. Read more »

The Performant: All you can eat

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Wild Food Walks and Bal Littéraire satisfy imaginative appetites.

“First, the bad news,” says our guide and frequent forager Kevin Feinstein. “Foraging in the Bay Area is illegal.”

Well, swell, I guess it’s a good thing that I packed snacks. “If the land is private, and you have permission from the owners, you can forage,” Feinstein amends, which still doesn’t help me in planning my lunch, but good to know for future reference. I’m attending one of ForageSF’s “Wild Food Walks,” along with about 15 others, hoping to graze upon that freest of foodstuffs, the weeds in our backyards -- and yours.

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Big trouble in old China

Author Paul French investigates a decades-old murder in Midnight in Peking

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cheryl@sfbg.com

LIT It was a cold, windy January morning in 1937 when a horrifically mutilated body was found sprawled at the base of a rumored-to-be-haunted watchtower in what was then called Peking.Read more »

So you want to be a time traveler!

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If you're an aspiring time traveler, you need to pick up a copy of the brand-new how-to book So You Created a Wormhole: The Time Traveler's Guide to Time Travel (Berkley Trade, 326pp., $15). If you are already a time traveler, you should probably pick up a copy, read it, then go back in time till before you time-traveled in the first place, and use your new knowledge wisely.

Wait, does that make any sense? Time travel is some intense and tricky stuff. I got ahold of authors and time-travel experts Phil Hornshaw and Nick Hurwitch for further intel on the matter.

SFBG The book contains several film references (Back to the Future, Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, The Terminator, etc). In your opinion, which film offers the most accurate depiction of time travel? Which is the least accurate?

Phil Hornshaw Back to the Future is a pretty reliable resource for the perils of time travel, even if it does take a few liberties in the service of being awesome. Granted, you can’t go into the future and find yourself there — how could you be there in the future if you left from the past? — but the ideas of timelines being corrupted and for the most part, of needing antecedents in the past in order to create the future, is handled pretty deftly in Back to the Future.

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The Performant: Ferocious many

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The Ferocious Few and the Anarchist Bookfair disturb the peace.

In the as-yet unwritten book of Bay Area music, at least one chapter should be devoted solely to the bands whose crowd-wrangling skills and attention-grabbing music was honed on the mean streets. From the Mission District’s once-infamous “Live at Leeds” location, inaugurated by punk band Shotwell and later championed by the imitable Rube Waddell (the band, not the ballplayer), to the wriggling mass hysteria of a Gomorran Social Aid and Pleasure Club Parade, to the compact cacophony of one-person clown band Masha Matin, and the finger-pickin’ good Americana of Brian Belknap, the streets of San Francisco, like the infamous hills, are alive with the sound of music.

Of the current ranks of street-side crooners, The Ferocious Few have come to embody the best qualities of the breed. Combining sheer persistence with a driving, southern-rock-influenced, guitar-and-drum combo, at a volume constantly pushing at the edge of 11, the Few prove that safety may be in numbers, but that rock music was never meant to be safe.

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Panther cry

New Bay anthology "Listen Whitey!" plays the sounds of black power

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culture@sfbg.com

LIT Over a five-year period in Oakland, California, archivist Pat Thomas befriended key leaders of the Black Power movement, dug through Huey Newton's archives at Stanford University, spent countless hours and thousands of dollars on eBay, and talked to rank and file Black Panther Party members. He uncovered dozens of obscure albums, singles, and stray tapes. Along the way, he began to piece together a time period (1967-1974) when revolutionaries were seen as pop culture icons.Read more »

It's not what you get, it's what you keep

A BBC journalist gathers black voices for posterity

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