Archive for August, 2007

Sweetwater runs dry, Mabuhay Gardens to re-open Sept 7th

Marin’s storied Sweetwater venue in Mill Valley closes down on August 31st with a farewell night featuring music from Noe street denizen and longtime local rocker Chuck Prophet and The Mission Express. The venue, in biz for some 30 years was an intimate spot where musical luminaries like Bonnie Raitt, Jimmy Scott, Jerry Garcia, Elvis Costello, Nick Lowe and countless local musicians captivated audiences in the cozy confines off Throckmorton St. Given a 30 day notice by the landlord last month, It’s a double death knell to Mill Valley & Marin’s once world renowned music scene this fall as Village Music, a longtime fixture in the community closes as well.

Where some go down, another Phoenix rises…

Rumor has it that legendary SF punk venue The Mabuhay Gardens in North Beach is scheduled to host a grand re-opening party on Sept 7th. The venue, most recently The Velvet Lounge, was a former Filipino supper club that started hosting punk shows and art damaged music catering to the nearby SF Art Institute crowd circa 1976. It’s reputation built up as a sort of west coast CBGB’s in the late 70’s, while hosting acts like The Ramones, Devo, The Avengers, Tuxedomoon, Mutants, The Nuns and Nico. Later until the late 80’s under late booker Dirk Dirksen’s guidance it hosted numerous hardcore & indie rock bills including acts like Flipper, Metallica, Green on Red, Black Flag, Mojo Nixon, Dag Nasty, Sea Hags, Soul Asylum and many more.

read on for more Mabuhay history and some details on the re-opening night affair after the jump…

Attendees agog as prankster ignites Burning Man early

“Everyone is looking at it this morning, this big black figure in the sky and that wasn’t supposed to burn, saying ‘Now what do we do?’ ” at Burning Man after an attendee ignited the namesake sculpture last night as attendees took in the total lunar eclipse.

“Black Rock City Fire Department” personnel extinguished the blaze and San Francisco performance artist Paul Addis, 35, was arrested on suspicion of arson and illegal possession of fireworks, the Associated Press reported.

MJK: Burning Man equals ‘parking rapture’ for city

I dug this post from local glam geek Min Jung Kim on how the annual Burning Man fest in outer Nevada is equivalent to the Rapture hitting SF — at least, in terms of making more parking available for those of us “left behind.”

Traffic was lighter this morning, too, but I think that’s also because school opened today in many places around the area, including San Francisco.

Of course, don’t get too comfortable in your cars, for — as everyone knows by now, from incessant advertising by CalTrans on local freeways — the Bay Bridge will be closed from Friday night to Tuesday dawn, over the entire Labor Day weekend.

A Giant Sucking Sound: Still 13 games under

The Giants have won 9 of their last 11, including a sweep of the visiting Milwaukee Brewers. Of course, before that, they were 3-12 during Aug. 1-15, so don’t get too excited. They’re still 13 games under .500.

The home stand continues tonight with an opener against the Colorado Rockies and their Rookie-of-the-Year candidate Troy Tulowitzki who, among other exploits, performed an unassisted triple play earlier this year, giving rise to the short-lived nickname “Three-lowitzki.” Then, to make sure he had ’em all, he threw to first, giving rise to the even shorter-lived nickname “Four-lowitski.”

Meanwhile, remember that player-to-be-named-later we were supposed to get from the Dodgers for Mark Sweeney?

Before the freeways

map.gifEver wonder what San Francisco was like before the freeways? Flickr user Octoferret has scanned in a 1938 street map that shows how the Mission District, Hayes Valley and South of Market looked before a single house was torn down for the freeways. If you’re a map geek or long for Sam Spade-era SF, this is fascinating.

Be sure to click on the “Original” size.

RenFest wrap-up

difficult front fastening You would think that a medieval person would stick out at a fair about the Renaissance. Thing is, it wasn’t about the Renaissance- it was about Harry Potter, LOTR, wikkens, pagans, tribal folks, burners, and… yes, about every social subgroup remotely having to do with period costume. So I fit right in, because as long as you’re friendly and not dressed in Tivas and shorts, you’re “fair folk.”

We were asked to work there about 5 times.

J.T. LeRoy story jumps the shark

Today the NYT published an odd piece about taking a road trip from SF to LA with Laura Albert, the writer behind the J.T. LeRoy hoax. Along the way, the reporter suffers Albert’s “vulnerability to distraction,” “picky” behavior, and loose grasp of truthiness. The piece wraps up with a jarring “intervention” as a television writer tells her “Shut your mouth and go home” if she wants to have any prayer of writing another book. As Galleycat pointed out, it would have been a lot more fun as a long, perhaps Gonzo-style magazine piece.

The Galleycat post ended with its own strange little cavil, as poster Ron protested that the Albert party had been somehow lame in driving from SF to LA in less than six hours (“I used to be able to get from SF to LA in five hours, six if I stopped for lunch;” had they “taken the scenic route”?) Yeah, they did — they took 101, it’s right there in the article.

RIAA Targets Locals in New Round of File-Sharing Lawsuits

Ever-extending the RIAA-Darth Vader implications, the RIAA is squeezing its fists tighter to try and wring every last penny it can from citizens in a media landscape they still can’t even begin to comprehend has evolved right the fuck past them. The RIAA is pathetic, and the Gate has a good piece on what the RIAA’s doing to start screwing a few locals, snip:

The recording industry filed another round of lawsuits this week, targeting three Bay Area residents it says illegally downloaded songs such as Sheryl Crow’s “My Favorite Mistake” and Whitney Houston’s “Didn’t We Almost Have It All.”

The latest suits are among the more than 21,000 legal cases the Recording Industry Association of America, a group representing the major record labels, has initiated since September 2003, part of an ongoing, aggressive effort to halt online music piracy.

(…) Named in this week’s suit are Raul Buenrostro of San Jose, Chad Decker of Pinole and Dawn Pool of Santa Rosa. They could not be reached for comment.

But according to court documents, they downloaded tunes such as Nirvana’s “All Apologies,” No Doubt’s “Don’t Speak” and Kylie Minogue’s “Can’t Get You Out of My Head” using LimeWire on the Gnutella network.

Two years ago, Tanya Anderson, a disabled mother of a 7-year-old daughter in Oregon, was sued by the RIAA for downloading songs such as “Bullet in the Head” and “I Stab People.” Anderson maintained that she had been misidentified and the case was ultimately dropped. Last week, she filed a class action suit, charging that the RIAA had used inappropriate tactics to locate the offender and that the group harassed her when she refused to settle the case.

“They’re flawed. They fail often. They misidentify people,” said Lory Lybeck, the attorney representing Anderson. “This campaign has failed pitifully, except in reflecting badly on the recording industry and really turning people’s lives inside out.”


Crafty Dorkitude: Renaissance Fest

This weekend in Golden Gate Park, the Renaissance Festival will be here- at Speeway, in all of its fantasy world of dungeons & dragons, seriously nostalgic, heraldic glory (photos here)

As I decided to go earlier this week, I realized that I could no longer make fun of burners (fond name for Burning Man attendees, which occurs at the same time in Nevada.) yes- days of playa hatin’ are gone now. though I still am collecting bad BM stories if you have ’em.

I was at the Chinatown fabric shop*- Fabric Depot on Stockton right before the tunnel- talking to the owner about fairs coming through town and whether anyone had been here stocking up on naturally dyed linens and leathers. “The Dickens fair was big. Lots of stuff for that.” He told me. He was impressed that I was going to try to make a dress without buttons. I wanted to be “faire legal”- despite being a newbie. Buttons aside, can we keep the Nanos & Crackberries at home?

I’m hoping the Renn Fest is Zeitgeist in costume. We can always dream.

* Making an 8-panel dress out of sky blue muslin from a historically Greenland pattern that was found in a dig. It’s easy but the shoulders are hard. “gates of hell” bodice.

Bart Seduction

10:30 AM Richmond bound train scene: brunette, 33 year-old (she told us) woman sitting on the floor in front of a 20-year old crunchie co-ed.

“In my country,” she rasps with the most smoky voice I’ve ever heard, “we love, we REALLY love.”

Pause, she takes the co-ed’s hand.

“And we hate, we know how to hate.”

Lots of palm holding and tracing, then 33 year-old starts compulsively tucking hair behind ears and coming hand through hair a few times. In the 20-minute trip from Embarcadero I had heard the introduction, the name exchange, all the way into the hand-holding. Co-ed had a bike and was positioning it protectively in front of her (it seemed).

I walk to the door to exit at MacArthur and the entire half of the train car is full of alcoholic sweat smell. Gotta love it- lovin’ in the mornin.

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