Sing the body

'Clas/sick Hip Hop' performers defy gravity, inspire awe


DANCE Marc Bamuthi Joseph, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts' new Director of Performing Arts, received thunderous applause even before he had said a welcoming word to the capacity crowd in the venue's lobby. Such is this exceptional artist's charisma. When he told them that he wanted YBCA to become accessible to people who in the past may not have felt welcome there, they roared. It was to be that kind of evening.Read more »

Left-right punch knocks out increased development fees for Muni


A new and unusual coalition of nonprofit, religious, and corporate interests today killed a legislative effort to get more money for Muni through the Transit Impact Development Fee, which was going through its process of being reauthorized every five years and came to the Board of Supervisors today.Read more »

Ethics Commission wants to hide its own flaws


The Ethics Commission has serious problems. A detailed report by Board of Supervisors Budget Analyst Harvey Rose, comparing SF's ethics rules and enfocement to that of Los Angeles, found a long list of ways that this city is falling short. The supervisors asked the commission to have a robust discussion of the findings and propose reforms.Read more »

FAIR: The press turns its back on Private Bradley Manning


FAIR, the national media watchdog organization, has written an excellent critique of the coverage of the Bradley Manning case, one of the more shameful episodes in U.S.military and journalism history.  KPFA's "Democracy Now" radio program headed by Amy Goodman  (9-10 weekdays) has also  done regular superlative coverage.  Here is FAIR's report (B3):

Turning Their Back on Bradley Manning: Whistleblower speaks but press doesn't listen

As the alleged source of many of the most vital WikiLeaks reports of the past several years, U.S. Army Private Bradley Manning shed considerable light on how the United States has prosecuted the Iraq and Afghan wars. Other State Department cables reportedly leaked by Manning conveyed vital information about U.S. foreign policy.

Manning has, in other words, been connected to a lot of news (FAIR Media Advisories, 4/7/10, 12/16/10, 7/30/10): the video of a 2007 U.S. helicopter attack in Baghdad that killed several civilians (two Reuters journalists died in the attack); the revelation that hundreds of U.S. attacks on civilians in Afghanistan had been recorded by the military-- but were unreported elsewhere; the cache of diplomatic cables that uncovered U.S. efforts to stymie legal investigations into torture, U.S. involvement in airstrikes in Yemen; and much more. Read more »

Calvin Trillin: Mitt Romney explains why he lost


Obama was clever as clever could be;

To targeted groups he gave gifts that were free:

Say, healthcare for free until age 26, 

And free contraceptives (for sex just for kicks).

Debates in the primaries left our team bruised

From harsh accusations the White House then used.

Whatever the reason for losing might be,

Of one thing I'm sure: it could not have been me.

I'm perfect.

Calvin Trillin. Deadline Poet. (12/10/2012 The Nation)



Will John C. Reilly be the secret guest at Lavender Diamond's Chapel show?


You know Lavender Diamond, right? The whimsical LA-based electro-folk band fronted by crystal-clear vocalist/tree fairy Becky Stark? The group plays SF's newest venue, the Chapel, Tues/11. Turns out, there's a super-secret surprise guest set to appear, and I've got a solid guess now we can announce who it is: John C. Reilly. Read more »

KOOL A.D. isn't worried about that Das Racist breakup


Any time a band breaks up, the beef rumors immediately start to swirl. Throw in Twitter and Facebook, and that rumor tornado can spin quickly out of control – as it did within minutes thanks to the #dasracistbreakup hashtag this past weekend when rapper Heems, on a drunken whim, announced the group’s break up during a show in Berlin. Read more »

Burning Man's new Cargo Cult art theme intrigues


Burning Man founder Larry Harvey sent burners scrambling to Wikipedia on Friday when he announced the art theme for the 2013 event, “Cargo Cult,” and posed the intriguing question, “Who is John Frum?” It was perhaps the most esoteric and obscure theme ever, but one that I heard only positive reactions to at a couple of burner-populated parties over the weekend, including the Black Rock Art Foundation's Artumnal Gathe Read more »

Kitty porn: The SPCA windows at Macy's have arrived


Business took me into the dark heart of Union Square Friday afternoon, a dolorous place to be indeed for those of us less inclined to celebrate the holidays with slow-moving tourist packs and glittery, non-denominational drifts of plastic crap. But Scrooge all you like, the kitties in the SF SPCA windows at Macy's are the height of December glory. Feast your eyes on my overly-comprehensive slideshow documenting their glory. Read more »

Alameda County's spy drone


We all knew it was coming, but the ACLU has the docs to prove it's about to start happening here: The Alameda County Sheriff's Office is trying to buy a drone aircraft in part to spy on people.Read more »

The missing element of the Renewable Energy study


Since San Francisco's Local Agency Formation Commission is meeting Dec. 7 to talk about renewable energy, I went and read the 100-page report of the Mayor's Task Force on Renewable Energy, which offers 39 different suggestions for meeting the goal of 100 renewable electricity in the city by 2020.Read more »

Twitter, tax breaks and the New York Times


Just about everyone who watches news media is calling it the Story of the Week, and it's probably going to be one of the top stories of the year, my (informal) nominee for a Pulitzer: Louise Story at the New York Times exposes how corporate America shakes down state and local governments -- who often get little in return. Read more »

Snap Sounds: Brian Eno



The liner notes to Brian Eno’s Music for Airports (1978) act as a veritable Ambient Manifesto, outlining the philosophy of a genre he developed as an alternative to Muzak, and other background fluff. In the final sentence, he asserted, “Ambient Music must be able to accommodate many levels of listening attention without enforcing one in particular; it must be as ignorable as it is interesting.” By that count, Eno’s solo Warp debut, LUX, is his most successful foray into ambient territory in quite some time. Read more »

W. Kamau Bell returns triumphant to the Bay, needs burrito


Attention burrito vendors of the Mission, there is a sale to be made at the arrivals gate of SFO this weekend when newly-minted TV star W. Kamau Bell makes his triumphant return to the city in which he spent 15 years honing his comedic chops. He is aching for a Mission burrito like this city is aching for a more efficient MUNI system.

Culinary yearnings aside, this Sunday Bell headlines a standup show at the Fillmore as part of his “Kamau Mau Uprising” tour. The tour's moniker should come as no surprise to those who are familiar with Bell's politically progressive, acerbic wit. Read more »

Wiener charges blogger with taking potty photo


I don’t even know what to do with this except report it and tell you some background. Because it’s just strange, all around.

Short story: Sup. Scott Wiener’s pressing criminal charges against a blogger who tried to take a photo of him peeing in the City Hall men’s room.Read more »