Archive for September, 2007

Ladies Night : Naomi Klein and much more

Yes it’s ladies night… who knew that Weds Sept 26th held so many prospects and events to discover bold, beautiful, brainy and bodacious babes abounding in the Bay Area tonight.

Amongst the choices we have to enjoy their influence on our cultural landscape include:

Author Naomi Klein, who when she’s not grilling Alan Greenspan on the radio, is speaking at the First Unitarian Universalist Center on Franklin St, exploring the subject of “disaster capitalism” seen in the rampant corporatization occurring in the wake of cataclysmic events. Hiding in plain sight in the aftermath of either forces of nature or war, greed has replaced need and Klein’s new book “The Shock Doctrine: The Rise Of Disaster Capitalism” explores how. Klein identifies a “disaster capitalism complex” building a booming niche amidst the traumatic breakdowns after events like Katrina, WTC collapse, the Sri-Lankan Tsunami and and the Iraq war. Using highly visible examples of corporations enriching their coffers at the troughs of trauma, she extends her analysis to include numerous instances over the past 50 years where a common economic ideology has slipped in to win similar spoils amidst a backdrop of human suffering. She’s even narrated a short film on the subject, click pic at right to preview the flick. She dissects the politics & policies of mass manipulators that have enacted egregious economic blackmail techniques into so many ravaged regions from Latin America and Eastern Europe to South Africa, Russia, and now of course the U.S and Iraq. Is your interest piqued? Then head down to 1187 Franklin Street (at Geary), seating starts at 7 pm.

Or maybe you need something besides a shocking mental exercise, how about a series of Beginner’s Hula Hoop classes for ladies, or perhaps some Punk Aerobics?

At Thee Parkside aerobics instructor Gina “Lunges” Lovoi has tailor-made rock n roll infused workouts for all levels every Wednesday from 6ish to 7:30. Yer DJ is Me First & The Gimme Gimmes vocalist Spike, and unlike most gyms, there’s plenty of beer, cocktails and even burgers and french fries available to ease those post work out pains & hunger pangs…

Hula heads should boogie on down to 1805 Divisidero to work those abs, and be prepared to take this class run by Isabella Zamor seriously folks, as the instructor’s fees reflect that she surely does… more info at

…and for those in the mood for something a little less strenuous on the brain or body, like say kicking it to some live music, there are plenty of female talents lurking about on stages in venues ranging from The Hotel Utah to The Fillmore tonight, with several of these ladies listed after the jump. So whether you want to see a lesbian Led Zeppelin cover band, ambient indie rock from Arizona, or hear an upcoming jazzy chanteuse on tour from Rome Italy, a local lady comedian or attend a gala affair in Alamo Square… simply read on, and check out some mp3 samples and videos.

R.I.P Jack Davis

Word filters in from friends that an icon of the local arts underground has passed away, that being a big man with big impact, Jack Davis.

Whether you remember him onstage coordinating acts at the early SF Blues Festivals, or from behind the scenes at The Farm or SOMArts Cultural Center or serving as Commodore of The Bayview Boat Club or perhaps on the Mayor’s recent Arts Task Force, he was a hard working, (for awhile hard drinking) and truly memorable spirit serving this city over at least the last 35 some years. He lived out by the houseboats near Pac Bell, in a community of renegade spirits, and was a true character, of the kind that cannot ever be recreated.

Not to be confused with the notorious local political consultant of the same name, this Jack Davis was known for his many contributions to the local arts scene, serving on the boards of organizations like S.F Mime Troupe and in the 1970’s helped get Intersection For The Arts off the ground. He was actually instrumental in helping so many groups and creative spirits it’s hard to document the contributions, including helping launch the four art cultural centers in the city, and he did so without divisive power squabbles, ugly ego or taking undue credit. The well liked guy’s heart just finally gave out last weekend, apparently while driving, almost a year to the week that a previous heart attack had set him back.

sadly, SOMarts annual Day of The Dead exhibit curated by Rene Yanez will have one more addition to mourn…

After the jump… there’s an excerpt of an excellent tribute piece written by John Law last year, after Jack had suffered his first heart attack.

Report: RC man drowned in water, not acid

Many readers were agog yesterday over the story of the 18-year-old circuit board company employee who reportedly drowned in a vat of sulfuric acid.

Now it seems that the “vat” was filled primarily with water and was only three feet deep, leading reporters to question why authorities haven’t labeled the death as suspicious.

Some quotes after the jump.

Maria Shriver (sans family) dines in the TL to reinforce family values

While Arnie stays home preparing to veto Mark Leno’s annual gay couple’s rights bill, California First Lady Maria Shriver comes to the TL, to reinforce family values…and wisely leaves the rest of her family at home.

Her appearance in the generally downright dangerous part of town on Turk St occurs to promote something dreamed up in Sacramento called ” It’s About WE &#153, ” which seems to be some sort of feel good concept idea that encourages poor people to stay off the street and for families with kids to spend more time together.

Perhaps this BAND-AID&#153 type solution to societal ills explains the presence of Johnson & Johnson as a sponsor of the dinner at the Tenderloin Community School tonight at 5:30pm. Indeed it appears free BAND-AID® brand bandages will be available to satiate any aching or wounded attendees.

It’s doubtful if the menu will include the type of fare Maria and Arnold have served in their Santa Monica restaurant “Schatzi On Main” which featured Austrian dishes like bratwurst, knackwurst, wienershnitzel, zwiebel rost braten, or an apple strudel (made from Arnold’s mother’s recipe). The press release issued promises “healthy” food from “The Network for Healthy California”, a public health effort empowering Californians to blah blah blah… something about Brita® filtered water and Splenda® No Calorie Sweetener…

Security guards on strike; anyone notice?

Security guards at 14 downtown buildings went on strike this morning, pressing for better working conditions and health care.

Maybe now is a good time to go down and take pictures of buildings with paranoid security.

Panhandle Pizza Vanishes…

Walked to Panhandle Pizza today hoping to get a delicious cornmeal crust slice, perhaps even toy with the popular vegan/soy cheese options…

But instead i saw the sickening site of a hollowed out storefront, devoid of ovens, refrigerators or anything related to pizza making. A couple bags of garbage were being dragged out, the sinking shock was so disturbing I shirked my journalistic responsibility and didn’t even ask the folks working , uh, what’s up?


The place has always been rather eccentric, a relic of daze gone by, sorta like the whole stretch of Hayes St. it’s located on. The workers were generally neighborhood teenagers, and an unreliable junkie delivery guy hung in there for awhile. I once asked the owner why he’d stopped selling beers, and he said it “wasn’t making any money”…

uh, I know it’s hard to lose money in the alcohol biz…but if ya try hard enough…I guess anythings possible…

There was an ad on Craigslist in May that this place was for sale, well I’ll just assume there were no buyers, and it must have finally just ended.

A cursory review of their last city health inspection in June didn’t look great and included several violations:

1. Certain food that is not hot enough or cold enough.
2. Food stored improperly.
3. Empty soap dispenser or towels.
4. Dirty utensils/equipment.
5. Improperly cleaned kitchen surfaces.
6. Deteriorated walls/floor/ceiling.
7. Unclean premises.

and my favorite

8. Severe Rat or mice infestation.

The grumpy hippie pizzaman owner who bought the joint a couple years back has hung up his Birkenstock cleats…

Maybe we’re all safer for it…

I’ll assume the “herbal relief remedies” biz continues to be better received around his social circle…

R.I.P another local small biz quasi- institution…

Celebrity San Mateo High Drop Out Goes Naked To Save Texas From It’s Meat

The same demographic that was targeted by marketers who put a scantily clad & wet Paris Hilton in Carl’s Jr ads to sell burgers is being hit again, using a locally raised celebrity.

This time though the tables are being reversed somewhat as the wet nubile blond cavorts for the cameras in order to get you away from the beef… go figger.

It must be the work of some sort of vegan sex cult… perhaps with Bill Maher as a consultant. Alicia Silverstone, who was born naked here in San Francisco is once again baring all, this time for Peta.

The first market to get the ads of the dripping pool cavorting starlet is Houston Tx, (but we have a sneak preview streaming vid below).

If you are prepared for the type of analytical observation that has to be done to fully understand our local contributions to the national culture wars, then I’ll see ya on the other side of the jump:

Russell Brand At The Beat Museum Tonight

Image via Russel Brand’s BBC Flickr photostream.

It’s short notice as all hell, but in a couple hours, UK comic and Kerouac documentarian Russell Brand is going to be performing, er, something at the Beat Museum in North Beach at 7pm. Here’s the Beat Museum info; here’s Russell Brand’s BBC UK page with video, etc. My London pal describes to me via email why it might be fun, best in his own words:

Here’s a last minute plug for an event I can’t attend tonight since I’m currently in the UK.

Russell Brand is very popular here in blighty as a comedian, actor, self promoting sex symbol and megalomaniac oddball who will be famous soon in the US due to various movies coming out but is currently a nobody (which he hates)…. so a good time to see him live. Many sensible people loathe him but personally I’m very much amused by his antics. He’s just finishing up a coast to coast road trip making a documentary on Jack Kerouac so he’s appearing at the Beat Museum, not a venue I’m familiar with. I don’t know if there’s still tickets or whether he’s actually going to be funny in this context but if I was in town I’d definitely be going…

Brand looks like a bit of a hesher to me, but it could be fun. Or funny. Or not. Hee.

Extra-Action Flag Team seeks worthy souls

An opportunity like this doesn’t come around often…

San Francisco’s only marching band that matters is looking for “flag team” members. You don’t need to play a tuba, or memorize complex musical charts… you just need to move & groove with some distinctly discernible enthusiasm…

The pay is apparently low to non-existent, but according to their fearless leaders:

rewards are vastly beyond logic and defy description

There’s a video clip i made awhile back of this internationally feared musical attack unit in case yer unfamiliar with their antics after the jump…
If after watching that, you think you might be able to contribute, or just want to see a more recent video …

see ya on the other side…

Moonbeam vs Motown – AG’s “public nuisance” case against auto industry crushed in SF Federal Court

Former Governor Moonbeam, and current California Attorney General Jerry Brown had his suit to force the auto industry to pay for contributing to global warming knocked down by Honorable Judge Martin Jenkins ( a USF Law School Grad) in SF’s Federal Court on Monday. Essentially to rule in favor of California would undermine the Bush administration’s position on Kyoto and is better left a matter for federal lawmakers, according to Jenkins, a former pro football player with the Seattle Seahawks, who is now a presiding Federal Judge.

Jerry Brown actually did not initiate the controversial case, (that was done last October by his predecessor Bill Lockyer) but Jerry embraced the “public nuisance” aspects, and eagerly pursued the matter on behalf of the state to force automakers to pay damages related to global warming.

In another caveat, the former Oakland Mayor/Loft Dweller has also recently conceded that he’s heading for the hills, Oakland Hills that is. Why he won’t move to Sacramento where his actual office is, ya gotta ask him I suppose.

I do know that in the 70’s when he was governor, he refused to live in Sacto’s “Governor’s mansion” and had a $250 a month apartment. He and his wife have recently closed on a spot high above the homicides and have moved out of the 27th and Telegraph loft they shared for awhile. I know they’ll miss him at his old flatlands hipster hang Cafe Van Cleef (actually one of Oakland’s only hipster hangouts and Jerry wasn’t shy about telling ya to stop in)…

Pic I took of the scene at Cafe Van Cleef in Oakland on a night Jerry was there a couple years back, and more on the legal ramifications of the judge’s own job hunt after the jump…

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