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FALL ARTS 2014 A cornucopia of outdoor and indoor fun, family-friendly events, and adult playgrounds

This Week's Paper

cover imageFall Arts preview: movies, concerts, festivals, theater, dance, nightlife, videogames, gallery shows, and more. Plus: hip-hop tricksters Souls of Mischief return, local police gifted military weapons, witness comes forward in Alex Nieto shooting. Articles Online | Digital Edition

From the Blogs

Promo: Enter to win VIP tickets to Coffey Talk with Chip Coffey

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Chip Coffey, the star of A&E’s hit series, Psychic Kids: Children of the Paranormal and Paranormal State will be in San Francisco on September 28th at the Hotel Nikko!

Chip will interact with the audience as he shares stories about what it was like growing up psychic, and will reveal what he's been up to lately and chat about what's coming up next. Chip will conduct both psychic and mediumship readings for randomly-selected members of the audience during the second part of the show. Read more »

Hail, Luther

A new musical wave sweeps over the leather scene. Plus: Cub Camp, Deviants, Raime, Lexington Uniform Party, and more filthy-good nightlife

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The music has changed. It's OK! The music is great. Let me tell you about Luther.

Since about 2005 — with the rise of the iPod, the laptop DJ, and then the vinyl resurgence — there's been an electrifyingly diverse homosexual dance music scene. A not-so-underground-anymore network of adventurous queer jockeys rings the globe, slicing bleeding edge techno through juicy throwback electro-funk, trancey melodic house, and uncanny contemporary disco.Read more »

SF supervisors approve policy of denying federal immigration hold requests

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The San Francisco Board of Supervisors Chambers erupted in raucous celebration and chants of “Si se puede!” this afternoon as the board gave unanimous approval to a new city policy of refusing most detention hold requests from US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which has used its controversial Secure Communities program to learn when undocumented immigrants end up in local jails and to have them held for deportation.Read more »

TIFF diary #4: never sleep again

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Jesse Hawthorne Ficks returns, and this time he's got the genre goods! Check back for more of his 2013 Toronto International Film Festival coverage, coming soon!

Mike Flanagan's evil-mirror flick Oculus (US) received first runner-up for "Best Midnight Movie," which now seems appropriate since James Wan's recent Insidious: Chapter 2 basically uses the same flashback structure (to much stronger effect.) Still, Flanagan (2011's Absentia) is a young director worth keeping an eye on.

Eli Roth's latest direct-to-streaming effort The Green Inferno (US) pays homage to Ruggero Deodato's Cannibal Holocaust (1980) with some of the most deliciously disgusting violence seen onscreen in quite some time. Like Nicolás López's Aftershock (2012), which Roth wrote, produced, and starred in, Inferno has a wonderful B-movie quality that will probably prevent it from achieving mainstream success. (Splatter fiends, however, are in for a treat.)

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Oakland's Negative Standards support future punks

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The band Negative Standards is essentially a crust art project.

While maintaining d-beat chords and sludge-like breakdowns, the Oakland-based group makes use of non-instrumental noise and videos created by the band’s bassist, Will, during shows.

And as a quartet that blends elements of crust, doom metal, and noise; Negative Standards sticks out like a sore thumb in the endless sea of fellow crusty brethren and fuzzy lo-fi that exists in the East Bay. Read more »

The Performant: For Those Who Have Rocked, We Salute You

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Theater artists reflect on life on the road in this final dispatch from the 2013 fringe festival circuit.

One of the most interesting aspects of the North American fringe festival circuit is the way it makes touring with a piece of theater an accessible proposition to even typically penniless performers. It hearkens back to an era when dozens of theater companies sent themselves on cross-country tours in much the same manner as punk bands or circuses (the San Francisco Mime Troupe and the Independent Eye among them), a rite of literal passage that seems quite out of reach for most theater-makers today. This means that despite its traditional, lottery-based programming, a penchant for kingmaking still pervades the Fringe, and certain prolific artists can become as rock stars, circumventing the lottery odds by booking themselves into unofficial venues as in Edinburgh, capturing oddience attention from year to year. Read more »

Put up your dukes: 40 years of SF's Grand Ducal Council

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The global gay charitable network (which started in SF) known as the Imperial Council has been in the news of late: Empress I, Jose Sarria, the Widow Norton, passed away earlier this month and was given a grand funeral at Grace Cathedral that was covered throughout the world.

Now the other major Court Council, the Grand Ducal Council of San Francisco, founded to have a bit more fun, is also getting some attention. On Sat/28 the SF Grand Ducal Council SF Grand Ducal Council will crown the newly elected monarchs for the 40th Reign. at an elaborate and festive coronation event, open to all. (Elections were held last Saturday, and we won't know who won until the ceremony.)

The theme, chosen by outgoing monarchs Paloma Volare and Moses "Moe Jo" Garcia is "Dancing With the Czars at the Ice Castle." I exchanged emails with Moe Jo about the theme, the Council, and the Grand Ducal mission:

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Brown signs bike buffer law as SF wrestles with cyclist-motorist relations

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It took three tries, but cycling advocates and California legislators were finally able to get Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature yesterday on a new law requiring motorists to give at least three feet of clearance when passing bicyclists.Read more »

Evictions and gentrification fuel widespread concern in the Mission

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A mix of neighborhood merchants, community activists and a couple City Hall staffers met for a community forum Sept. 23 on Mission gentrification, voicing anger and frustration about rising displacement in the face of soaring rents.

Arranged by organizer Andy Blue, the forum was hosted by Rose Aguilar of Your Call Radio and held at the Eric Quezada Center for Culture and Politics on Valencia Street.Read more »

Heads Up: 7 must-see concerts this week

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This week, two sparkly dark singer-songwriters you should already know and love will return to SF on separate voyages: Zola Jesus (Thu/26 at Palace of Fine Arts) and Chelsea Wolfe (OK, technically she’s here next Monday). If only Grimes* were dropping by in these next seven to eight days, we’d have a triumvirate of goths-who-wow-now.

But beyond the Zola Jesus/Chelsea Wolfe lovefest, there’s also a totally free (with RSVP and soul-offering) Nick Waterhouse show, plus Islands, Double Duchess with Magic Mouth, Teenage Bottlerocket with the Queers, British teen folk-rocker Jake Bugg, and more! Read more »

Fight to save City College grows teeth and bites back

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Saving City College of San Francisco became a bigger battle yesterday when the California Federation of Teachers announced a lawsuit in San Francisco Superior Court to keep CCSF open.

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Is the new iPhone fingerprint reader hacked yet?

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Apparently, the answer is yes. Wired is reporting that a German hacker with the European organization Chaos Computer Club has found a way to fake out Apple’s brand new Touch ID fingerprint reader, rolled out as a security feature. Read more »

TIFF diary #3: Claire Denis, Jia Zhangke, and Wang Bing

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Jesse Hawthorne Ficks watched 33 films at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival, and we'll be sharing his impressions chunk by chunk. Stay tuned for more!

A Touch of Sin (China/Japan) is the latest thoughtful triumph for Jia Zhangke, the king of China's sixth-generation filmmaking. This time around, his suffering, disaffected characters are entangled in an even more violent environment than in previous outings Unknown Pleasures (2002), The World (2004), and Still Life (2006).

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Grown up stuff: themes of rejection and reclamation at Portland's TBA Festival

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Now in its 11th year, Portland, Ore.'s Time-Based Art Festival is fall's major performance festival to the north (almost simultaneous with REDCAT's Radar LA, the major festival to the south). Mounted annually by the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (PICA), TBA has become something of a pilgrimage site for Bay Area artists and audiences, judging by the number of familiar faces onstage and off both this year and last.

PICA's artistic director, Angela Mattox, has something to do with this. As the former performing arts programmer at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Mattox (now in her second year at PICA) retains strong ties to Bay Area artists. Other likely factors include the relative proximity and general cultural appeal of Portland (an increasing refuge to artists and others pushed out of San Francisco by gentrification), not to mention the scandalous lack of any Bay Area performance festival of comparable scope.

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This NSFW video will make you a Deviant

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See video

Folsom Street Fair is coming -- and so are its parties. The kink-hippest one is Deviants, actually taking place inside the fair area itself (it's a pop-up!) Here's the awesome video, see you there.

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