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this weekSEX ISSUE: Ready or not, here comes virtual reality porn. Plus: The best blowjob beats, Polly Superstar's new kinky memoir, and Cameron Carpenter shows off his organ (the kind with pipes).  Articles Online | Digital Edition | VOTE FOR BEST OF THE BAY

From the Blogs

Boiler Room is coming to SF

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Boiler Room (aka the world’s leading underground music show) is coming to San Francisco for the first time. That SF Boiler Room event, which will be beamed to laptops and cellphones worldwide, is the official Treasure Island Music Festival after party. It features a DJ set from legendary DJ-producer-MC Madlib and super secret special guests.

You have to RSVP here to get the secret location. But we do know it’ll be Oct. 19 from 10pm-4am. Read more »

"You've got to be inside the action:" Paul Greengrass discusses filmmaking and 'Captain Phillips'

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Paul Greengrass' latest action film, Captain Phillips, stars Tom Hanks as an American cargo-ship captain taken hostage by Somali pirates. This based-on-true-events tale also stars newcomer Barkhad Abdi as pirate leader Muse. It opens tomorrow — but today, read on for more intel from my recent interview with Greengrass when he stopped by San Francisco to promote the film.

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Activists try again to stop Jack Spade

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The fight to keep suspected formula retailer Jack Spade out of the Mission resumes this evening (Wed/9) when The Stop Jack Spade Coalition lays out it's case against the men’s clothing chain before the Board of Appeals in an attempt to force the business to go through a conditional use permit hearing. [UPDATE: Activists say they won a big victory last night, not just winning that vote but maybe convincing Jack Spade to withdraw its application completely. Read more »

Jinkx Monsoon brings Little Edie to SF (and beyond)

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Who would have thought a self-described theater nerd, narcoleptic comedy queen would win it all in Season 5 of RuPaul’s Drag Race? Anyone watching the season could have told you as much, especially after sweet, talented Seattle queen Jinkx Monsoon took on legendary Jackie O relative/documentary subject Little Edie Beale during the “Snatch Game” episode.

Her vivid, spot-on Little Edie drawl, mannerisms, and makeup made Monsoon a shoe-in for the episode winner at least, even though “Snatch Game” impressions usually lean heavily toward over-the-top pop star and actress imitations. 

That’s not to say Monsoon’s not an actress -- she’s a star of theater, having performed in a handful of colorful productions including her own two-person play, The Vaudevillians. And she’ll bring those sharp acting chops and glamorous old-fashioned movie star style to the Peaches Christ arena this weekend with two shows and showings of the original Grey Gardens (1975) documentary. Read more »

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass: A rookie recap

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By Kaylen Baker

“This,” said a friend, turning and surveying a backlit crowd, bopping and blazing under an unlikely October sun, “is the real San Francisco.”

I’m new to this city, and its croaking cables, faddish food trends, steep hills, all-aboard attitude, and free bluegrass festival have captivated me.
   
I was stuck in the largest forested mob I’d ever seen, between the nubby hills that form Hellman’s Hollow. To my left a drunk woman shouted into her cell on the shoulders of a drunk man, to my right a bare-chested beer-bellied man flapped his arms above his head,  and ahead, the String Cheese Incident spread a bluesy beach jam over this valley of ears.

Back up to day one of Hardly Strictly Bluegrass. Read more »

Live Shots: Prepping for the Dirtbag Challenge!

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A look behind the scenes of the recently released Dirtbag by Vargas Films, and a sneak peak at the bikes being built for this year's Dirtbag Challenge. Check out the full article on the Challenge, coming up Sun/13, here.Read more »

Government shutdown puts thousands of SF veterans' benefits at risk

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More than 7,000 employees in Veterans Benefits Administration offices nationwide were furloughed today (Tues/8), the newest casualty of the federal government shutdown.

As the Republicans in Washington hold the nation hostage over President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, federal employees are leaving their offices in droves. Now the veterans who rely on the federal government for healthcare and education checks have nothing to do but wait on word of their uncertain futures. 

The furlough of veterans benefits workers comes at an especially awful time as they struggle to meet an enormous backlog of health benefit claims, revealed this year by the Berkeley-based Center for Investigative Reporting.

“VA’s ability to make significant progress reducing the disability claims backlog is hampered without the increased productivity gained from overtime for claims processors,” the Veterans Benefits Administration said in a statement released today. The agency has reduced the disability claims backlog by more than 190,000 claims over the last six months, it wrote.  

But even worse, it said that if the government shutdown persists into late October there would be no funding available to supply veterans with their November support checks -- money many rely on for rent and food.

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Cyclists testify to SFPD bias as supervisors call for reforms

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The cyclists of San Francisco were angry. Sup. Jane Kim was skeptical. Sup. Scott Wiener was unconvinced. Sup. Eric Mar said bikers were "pissed." Deputy Chief of Police Mike Biel said he was too, but his anger could have just as easily been attributed to the 35 minutes he spent at the stand, acting as a whipping post for frustrations with the SFPD, as it could be to the department's mistreatment of San Francisco cyclists.

Either way, the cyclists ruled the day.

During Thursday's (10/3) Board of Supervisors Neighborhood Services and Safety Committee, Sup. David Campos called for a joint Board of Supervisors-Police Commission hearing regarding SFPD investigation protocol for bike accidents, but no immediate timetable has been set for the matter.

Without Police Chief Greg Suhr in attendance — his chiefly presence was required "reading to the children," as Biel noted multiple times — Biel was left to stand solo in front of both frustrated supervisors and an incensed public.

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BART negotiations continue as unions withhold strike threat UPDATED

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With the 60-day cooling off period ordered by Gov. Jerry Brown coming to an end on Thursday, raising the specter of another Bay Area Rapid Transit shutdown, BART’s two main unions announced yesterday that they were holding off on calling a strike for now. [UPDATE 10/11: BART unions today issued a 72-hour strike notice, meaning they could strike on Monday].Read more »

The Performant: Up, up and away

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It’s a Bird…It’s a Plane…It’s Superman flies again.
 
It’s been 75 years since Jerry Siegel and Joe Schuster began developing their most enduring creation, Superman, a character who would go on to change the shape of pop culture forever. The first bona-fide comic book superhero, the spandex-clad refugee from outer space inspired whole universes of imitators, each more improbable and yet strangely influential than the next, and our collective fascination for the modern pantheons of nigh-invincible beings remains virtually unabated, as one glance at a list of blockbuster movies starring caped crusaders and misunderstood mutants can attest.

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Heads Up: 6 must-see concerts this week

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Have you recovered from Hardly Strictly Bluegrass/the Castro Street Fair yet? Can you believe how hot and sticky San Francisco was last weekend? Do you need more salted caramel liquid nitrogen ice cream? These are all rhetorical questions. It’s time to move on, because this week Fuck Buttons are in town, as are the Babies, King Khan and the Shrines, rapper Le1f (at a arcade themed dance party, no less), and Andrew W.K. singing classic Ramones songs with drummer Marky Ramone.  Read more »

Ain't nobody who can sing -- or bring the progressive fire -- like Billy Bragg

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During his set yesterday at the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival, iconic British singer/songwriter Billy Bragg said he doesn’t understand why he was booked for an event devoted to Americana, although he did note that it was Brits like the Beatles and Rolling Stones that first popularized African American roots music for white Americans.Read more »

Chess-in defies SFPD crackdown

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By Christina Aanestad

More than 50 people crowded Market Street with tables, chairs, chess and other board games Sunday for a "Chess-in," a response to the San Francisco Police Department's closure of a decades-long San Francisco tradition of sidewalk chess.

"We had no say in the decision,” said Marvin Boykins, a 35 year veteran chess player.Read more »

555 Fulton project moves forward with exemption to formula retail ban

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The San Francisco Planning Commission yesterday approved a plan to build a mixed-use five-story building on the hotly debated 555 Fulton St. property. The plan includes a grocery store measuring 32,400 square feet in addition to 139 apartments and townhouses that would be built above and around the designated shopping area.Read more »

Airbnb makes small admission on tax issue, saying its hosts should pay

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Under pressure in San Francisco and New York City for violating local tenant and land use laws and refusing to pay local taxes, Airbnb has finally acknowledged that transient occupany taxes apply to the room rentals it facilitates. But the company still hasn’t taken any public steps to collect the tax, nor has it admitted that it shares this tax debt with its hosts.Read more »