Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

Warning, Satire: Dancing With the Candidates

Canada’s Second City & the Economist present, “Dancing with the Candidates,” June 26th. What is it?

“The Art of Political Satire” In an antidote to the grueling political season, the audience will be fully immersed in an evening of engaging improv, a hands-on tutorial in cartooning, and a panel chat on the art of political satire.

Email me if you want to get a pair of free tickets. Check out the clip at and answer this question- what does Bush eventually do to help out McCain’s campaign?, first email I get will receive the tickets!

June 26, 2008; 6:30pm Doors Open; 7:00-8:30pm Event
$20 for general admission; $10 for The Economist subscribers, students
and seniors; Ticket purchases:; 415.978.ARTS

This was organized pretty fast- I wonder if Clinton won the nomination, if they’d have her dancing with McCain? Now that’s a nasty thought.

Rory D. Root, supporter of comix, zines and DIY culture

Rory D. Root, co-founder of Comic Relief and supporter of artists, zine publishers and DIY culture, died last month, the Chronicle reported today. Said to be the inspiration for The Simpsons’ “Comic Book Guy” character, Root co-founded the Berkeley Comic Relief shop and later opened a branch in San Francisco. The Berkeley store is still open.

In addition to selling and promoting the work of DIY publishers, Root’s stores provided employment for a succession of hundreds of artists, musicians, and other bohemians, as well as providing many teenagers their first jobs.

Here’s DC Comics President Paul Levitz with a tribute, and here’s just one of many other blog tributes to Root.

Calif. legislator proposes porn tax to fix budget shortfall

Assemblyman Charles Calderon, who represents a suburban district in southern California, has proposed a 25% tax on pornography to help fix California’s budget shortfall. Money would go to an “Adult Entertainment Venue Impact Fund.”

The bill, AB2914, would tax both live adult entertainment and video production and sales, according to one of the few news reports. Its sponsor suggests it could glean as much as $665 million.

An excerpt from the text of the bill itself, after the jump

I ♥ cunnilingus

Photo from Sunday’s Bay to Breakers by Steve Rhodes — someone put a banner reading “I ♥ cunnilingus” in the hand of one of the statues on the Music Concourse. Anyone have photos of the people who carried it in the race?

I heart cunnilingus, photo by Steve Rhodes

Lit up: reading to save rent control

In case you’re looking for something to do tonight, I’m reading, along with Mary Roach, Adam Mansbach and others at Stephen Elliott’s Progressive Reading Series at the Makeout Room, 3225 22nd St near Mission. It’s a benefit to Save rent control in San Francisco and starts at 7:00 pm.

Previously: I interviewed Elliott earlier this year about the series.

2008 Bay Area Poetry Marathon at The LAB

2008 BAPM

The LAB, located at 16th and Capp in the Mission (that’s one block east of the BART station), is one of the more interesting art spaces in town. For almost twenty-five years it has been a showcase for interdisciplinary, experimental work (i.e., work that involves several media). The show on the walls right now, running through next Saturday, is called Subversive Complicity.

In case you actually follow that link, let me do a rough translation of all that art-speak into English:

The artists involved have created performance pieces (“interventions”) in which they assume various social roles out on the street, and basically behave in unexpected ways for those roles. The aim is to upset preconceptions about these social roles and the way they normally function, and by doing so, get some of these passers-by to think about the social roles they play. And maybe this will even rouse a couple people to constructive action. The exhibit itself documents these interventions. [Note: I haven’t seen the exhibit.]

But wait — wasn’t this post about a poetry reading?

That’s right. Tomorrow night from 7-9, The LAB is to host the first of four evenings in the 2008 Bay Area Poetry Marathon. (The other nights, all Saturdays, are June 28, July 19, and August 30.) Admission is on a sliding scale from $3 to $15. Will you know who the poets are? Not necessarily, but I can assure you that won’t matter at all. Check out Suzanne Kleid’s verdict on last year’s event:

Going to a poetry reading, especially one of poets one hasn’t heard of, can be nerve-wracking: is it going to be embarrassingly confessional, or boring, or bad? I’m not normally a poetry person myself. I’m sure there were dozens of allusions and techniques totally lost on me. But there were also sublime moments, along with some interesting and funny ones, and not a dud in the bunch. [The curators of the show have] clearly put a lot of thought into who they’ve chosen to read, and if watching skilled people do interesting things with language sounds like your idea of a good Saturday night, I recommend coming to cheer on the Poetry Marathon as it rounds into the final stretch. They even serve beer.

Her blow-by-blow review can be read here at KQED.

[Much thanks to Kemble Scott for mentioning this event in his great newsletter, so I could report it here.]

Annie Leibowitz show Closing Soon

In case you haven’t seen it and have been meaning to go, the Annie Leibovitz show at the Legion of Honor is about to close on Sunday, May 25th. It is a major retrospective show, and well-worth catching while it’s still on the walls.

Leibovitz is originally from Connecticut, but she has San Francisco roots too: she studied at the San Francisco Art Institute in 1967, and only moved back East when the quirky magazine she’d been working for — Rolling Stone — moved to New York in 1977. In the 1970s and 1980s she made her name as a celebrity photographer: she’s renowned for her ability to get famous, over-photographed people to drop their defenses and be naked — emotionally if not physically — before the lens. You already know her work pretty well: her best-known image is that of John Lennon, curled up nude next to a fully-clothed Yoko Ono. (The picture was taken hours before he was killed.) And remember the one of a nude, pregnant Demi Moore in profile, on the cover of Vanity Fair? Also Leibovitz.

Here’s an intelligent interview with her in the Chronicle regarding the show; if you’re way way interested, you should also check out this review of the show by Joyce Carol Oates, published in the New York Review of Books back in January of last year. (The main library has it available for free on floor five.)

Getting to the Legion of Honor on Muni is highly recommended, especially in weather like this. But avoid the Geary line. Instead, take the N-Judah out to 46th Avenue and transfer to the 18-46th Avenue. Admission to the show itself is $15, $11 for students, free for museum members.

Liberated billboard, Bryant and Cesar Chavez

Liberated billboard by The Vinyl Institute and Ecological Art

This billboard appeared this weekend on the corner of Cesar Chavez and Bryant Streets, signed by “The Vinyl Institute and Ecological Art.” Click the picture for a large view (goes offsite).

The Unforeseen Screening in SF

unforeseenposterfinal500.jpgIn what looks to be an amazing film, The Unforeseen, we get a look at a battle between a storied Austin developer and a community that finds itself on the brink of losing one of it’s long held treasures. Imho it’s not development that is the enemy, it’s the nature of the way things are developed today. The capitalists version of development is essentially the oldest get rich quick schemes our society has ever known, and it’s this brand of short term thinking that clashes with a newfound american values of heritage and stewardship.

An ambitious west Texas farm boy with grandiose plans tires of living at the mercy of nature and sets out to find a life with more control. He heads to Austin where he becomes a real estate developer and skillfully capitalizes on the growth of this 1970s boomtown. At the peak of his powers, he transforms 4,000 acres of pristine Hill Country into one of the state’s largest and fastest selling subdivisions. When the development threatens a local treasure, a fragile limestone aquifer and a naturally spring-fed swimming hole, the community fights back. In the conflict that ensues, we see in miniature a struggle that today plays out in communities across the country.

Screening at the Red Vic Movie House, 5/18/08 – 5/19/08.

Trailer after the jump

Cheap Thrills

Cheap Thrils

Snapped by Nancy – former SF Metblogs writer- on the 4 Jackson. And they say SF is the most expensive city to live in?

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