A master of observation: chatting with author Sean Wilsey

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“We used to call this Café High,” author Sean Wilsey says of Café International, our meeting spot, before letting out a hearty chortle. By “we” he means his late-80s classmates at the Urban School, the private prep school 10 blocks or so from the Haight and Fillmore coffee shop. By “high” I assume he’s alluding to marijuana in some form or another, but I’m too intrigued by Wilsey’s instant openness and nostalgia to probe. Despite four other high schools (he never graduated), myriad other cities (he doesn’t come back to San Francisco very often anymore), and 25 or so intervening years (he’s pushing 45), Wilsey still grasps the vibe of his native hood with the exactitude of a lifelong resident. 

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SF queer arts community mourns Arturo Galster, "drag queen's drag queen"

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To call seminal SF perfomer and alpha theater aficionado Arturo Galster merely a "drag queen" is to do his range -- from the legendary Vegas in Space movie and pitch-perfect live-sung Pasty Cline interpretations to his recent technicolor turns with the Thrillpeddlers -- a disservice. But his name will always call to mind that moment in the late '80s and early '90s when SF's drag scene unmoored itself from polite old school diva kabuki into a squall of gloriously punky, ironic camp.

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Catching up with The Presidents of the United States of America

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Though they hit the peak of their fame in the mid-'90s post-grunge era with hits like "Peaches" and "Kitty," the Presidents of the United States of America have enjoyed a more fruitful and fascinating career than many of their ilk.

From collaborating with Shonen Knife and Sir Mix-A-Lot to starting an indie label to performing a Pokemon tribute song at the Pokemon Black/White American launch party, their career is shaping up to be as long, delightful, and brilliant as their name. Read more »

BEST OF THE BAY 2014 is coming!

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Our 40th annual Best of the Bay issue is coming Oct. 15! Voting for all Readers Poll categories will open Sept. 3 and close Sept. 24.

Bookmark this link to vote for your favorite local businesses, hot spots, people, services, and more beginning Sept. 3 -- your voice is important!

This year's theme is Dia de los Meurtos, in celebration of true Bay Area spirit. And mark your calendars for our infamous, star-studded Best of the Bay party Oct. 16. Come party with us, and spread the word!

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Your official Hardly Strictly Bluegrass lineup is here

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Ah, fall in San Francisco. The kids go back to school, the pumpkin beers and lattes make their first appearances, the leaves...um, mostly stay the same color, and the weather usually gets a little warmer.

OK, so maybe we don't really do fall the way most of the country does fall. You know which part we do really well, though? Music. Art. Festivals. Excuses to drink pumpkin beers outside while taking in a live performance. Pick up this week's big Fall Arts preview issue (on stands now!) for a guide to the best the Bay Area has to offer these next few months in music, theater, film, dance, visual art, and more. Read more »

Did Big Soda swing a key endorsement by a progressive democratic club?

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Did the soda industry buy a prominent progressive political endorsement? Sunday's San Francisco Chronicle raised the question in a story by Heather Knight, who goes on to air a number of rumors propagated by the soda tax supporters against the Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club.Read more »

Live Shots: Jack White rocks so hard he sprains his ankle at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium

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With the opening chords of “Fell in Love with a Girl,” Jack White took to the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium stage on Friday night at what seemed like 100 miles per hour at staggering volume…with little interest in ever applying the brake. Read more »

Burning Man shark jump creates media pile-on

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We seem to have tapped into the meme of the moment with last week’s cover story, “Burning Man jumps the shark,” which took issue with how this high-minded experiment has been sullied by the money-driven values and practices of mainstream America, with the complicity of the company that stages the event.   Read more »

Federal complaint filed over death of Alex Nieto as supporters vow to keep fighting

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Protests have sprung up throughout the week in San Francisco, Oakland, and nationwide in response to the police shooting of 18-year-old Mike Brown in Ferguson, MO.

This afternoon [Fri/22], at the San Francisco Federal Building, a similar rally took place – only this one was in memory of a different shooting victim, Alejandro (“Alex”) Nieto, who was gunned down by San Francisco police officers five months ago. Nieto, who died at the age of 28, had been pursuing a career as a juvenile probation officer and studying at City College of San Francisco. Read more »

Koch brothers and other right-wing outsiders challenge Bay Area minimum wage measures

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In recent months, San Francisco and Oakland have unveiled ballot measures that would raise minimum wage for workers currently struggling with the Bay Area’s rising cost of living. Read more »