Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Rest in Peace, Patrice O'Neal

by Rachel Swan
Tue, Nov 29, 2011 at 10:55 AM

The comedy world lost a great talent yesterday when Patrice Lumumba Malcolm O'Neal died at age 41, after suffering a stroke in October. The Jersey City humorist was known for his pungent race jokes — most of which were based on real-world observations — and his sometimes acerbic interactions with audience members. He made numerous TV appearances (including guest-star roles on Arrested Development, Chappelle Show, and The Office) and recorded one hour-long special, Elephant in the Room. O'Neal also hosted a relationship call-in advice show on XM Satellite Radio. His death may be tied to complications with diabetes.

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Monday, November 28, 2011

Rest in Peace, Ken Russell

by Rachel Swan
Mon, Nov 28, 2011 at 2:06 PM

SFist just published a lovely eulogy for UK film auteur Ken Russell, who died yesterday at age 84. Known for such films as the Oscar-winning D.H. Lawrence redux, Women in Love, The Who's rock opera Tommy (1975), and the 1980 sci-fi film Altered States, Russell was one of the most rigorously imaginative filmmakers of his day. Here's an emotional encomium from Martin Scorsese:

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Drake Was Here — and Can Teleport, Apparently

by Will Butler
Mon, Nov 28, 2011 at 12:20 PM

Over the weekend, hip-hop behemoth Drake took the Bay Area by storm, landing, according to the Internet, pretty much everywhere. On Saturday night he tweeted: "In the bay area... love it out here." And if Twitter is to be trusted, Drake really does love the Bay — like, literally all of it. Composite internet reports tell of a whirlwind adventure that took the Canadian artist through both San Francisco and Vallejo, as well as a handful of just about the most random East Bay spots you could think of (including Southland Mall, Eastmont, the Oakland Zoo, and Gordo's Taqueria on Solano). Who knows how much of it is true, but according to several sources, it looks like he got some work done.

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Friday, November 25, 2011

Occupy Oakland Immortalized in Gay Porn

by Rachel Swan
Fri, Nov 25, 2011 at 11:14 AM

The tents may be gone from Frank Ogawa Plaza, but they'll be forever immortalized in a new gay porn flick with an extremely catchy tagline: "Police can ban the erection of tents at Occupy Wall Street, but they can't keep us from pitching a tent in our pants!"


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Weekender: Top Things to Do Over the Next Three Days in the East Bay

Fri, Nov 25, 2011 at 4:59 AM

Hi guys. Hopefully your food hangovers (slash alcohol hangovers let's be honest) have worn off because there's actually a bunch of stuff to do if you're in town this weekend. Funtimez, ahoy!

Plaid Friday
While tartan attire is making something of a comeback (you may have noticed the resurgence of flannel in recent years), donning plaid the day after Thanksgiving is beginning to represent more than just a fashion statement. It's also the official garb of followers of Plaid Friday — a sort of Black Friday antithesis by which independent businesses hold sales, parties, and other incentives for people to casually peruse their shops in lieu of cramming into notoriously crowded chain stores. As Plaid Friday founder Kerri Johnson summarized it, "Instead of waking up at 4 a.m. to go and stand in a line, you can wake up at noon, get some coffee, wander around and find out who your local business people are." She said the plaid element is a nod to the colorful mishmash that results when the diverse types of existing small businesses join forces. this year at least fifty businesses, from bars to book stores, are holding formal Plaid Friday sales and celebrations on Friday, November 25; Visit PlaidFriday.com for a list of participating businesses and their offerings. — Cassie Harwood

Los Rakas
That suggestive bilingual remix of Goapele’s “Play” is only a small hint at what Panamanian hip-hop duo Los Rakas can do. Emcees Rico and Dun Dun hail from Veranillo and Panama Viejo, respectively — cities that they compare to North Richmond and East Oakland (where they eventually wound up after immigrating to the US). In other words, they both came up in the barrio, listened to a ton of Caribbean dancehall, studied folkloric music at the behest of their aunties, and ultimately kept it gully. Their group, which also includes Cuban DJ Leydis, is one of several vibrant, polyglot hip-hop acts to emerge in the Bay Area. They incorporate dancehall tracks and son clave rhythms with lyrics that veer from Spanish to English. Even if you aren’t bilingual, the libretti usually aren’t hard to understand. Eres como mi droga: Cocaina! Rico chants in the song “Abrazame,” which filches its beat from reggae-pop artist Gyptian. English speakers, take note: That’s a great pickup line. Los Rakas perform at The New Parish (579 18th St., Oakland) on Friday, Nov. 25. 9 p.m., $10-$15. TheNewParish.com — Rachel Swan

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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Mistah FAB's Turkey Drive Begins Today

by Will Butler
Tue, Nov 22, 2011 at 12:24 PM

Mistah FAB, who's been a better community advocate than rapper in recent years, is parking the yellow bus at 45th and Market streets this afternoon to begin his Thanksgiving food drive. As SF Weekly reminds us, he's be holding the fourth annual neighborhood event from 1-6 p.m. today. In addition to the dozens of turkeys that they deliver to needy families, there'll be food, clothes, and a mobile health clinic administering AIDS tests for free. FAB has thrown in thousands of his own dollars, and is still welcoming donations via Paypal, to dabusride@gmail.com. Follow @MistahFAB for updates.

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Monday, November 21, 2011

The Guy Who Co-Wrote Kreayshawn's “Gucci Gucci” Just Dropped An Album — So Why Don’t People Care?

by Will Butler
Mon, Nov 21, 2011 at 3:15 PM

“Daddy was right — I never do listen/but the blind old c*** couldn’t really see my vision/credit score low and I never held a job down/snackin on Xanny-bars just so I could calm down/my friends question why I’m so offbeat/or why I choose to write my name in wet concrete”

Speak! - Inside Out Boy
This is one of the spare elucidating verses from LA rapper Speak!’s new album Inside Out Boy. He’s frustrated and anxious, but honest. The release dropped late last Sunday night, much in the same way his friends in Odd Future put out their material: on a Tumblr blog as a free download with nothing but album art and a short subtitle. It’s a good album, too. It’s got a clean, cohesive sound and the beats are anything but generic. It was engineered and mixed by Odd Future’s Syd The Kyd, and has backing tracks from the OF crew, among other talented young producers. Speak (a.ka. Anthony Negrete) is a pretty smooth, arty rapper, and his verses are right in the save vein as Odd Future’s loud-mouthed, sexually flagrant style. And he’s got an additional, crucial claim to fame: co-writing (or more aptly ghostwriting) Kreayshawn’s mega-virus “Gucci Gucci”. So why isn’t anyone paying attention?

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Uncle Ricky Makes a Comeback

by Rachel Swan
Mon, Nov 21, 2011 at 2:11 PM

Fans of Uncle Ricky, brace yourselves. The Ugandan line cook-turned-slow jam balladeer has a new video out, and it includes, yes, real snakes. (Apparently, carnivorous reptiles are available for rent, in the Bay Area.) The conceit is that it's Uncle Ricky's birthday, which is awesome by itself. We'd argue that the production values have improved, too, but we'll let you be the judge.

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Friday, November 18, 2011

Watch: Local Musician Shareef Ali's Occupy Anthem

by Ellen Cushing
Fri, Nov 18, 2011 at 11:53 AM

Looks like Third Eye Blind wasn't the only band record an Occupy Wall Street solidarity song. Here's "Witness," Oakland-based local singer, songwriter, and activist Shareef Ali's impassioned and charmingly lo-fi take on the movement, which also gets major bonus points for putting the (ubiquitous) "mic check" motif to good use:

Weekender: Top Things to Do Over the Next Three Days in the East Bay

Fri, Nov 18, 2011 at 10:32 AM

Better late than never??? Here's what you're doing this weekend.

Chances are, unless you're a parent, a grade-school teacher or major science geek, you haven't spent much time at Chabot Space and Science Center (10000 Skyline Blvd., Oakland) lately. Enter NightSchool, is a brand-new, eighteen-and-over series of nighttime events set to go down the third Friday of every month, including Friday, November 18. The idea, according to Chabot Space and Science Center spokesman Robert Ade, was to take advantage of all of the intellectual capital within both Chabot and the East Bay at large to facilitate something "a little more intellectually stimulating than any other event with drinks and music" — to give the public a chance to roam around the open museum without having to rush, to "see the place in a different light, almost as if you'd rented it for a party." It's an opportunity to explore a great local resource that they may not otherwise visit; to experience a novel, relatively cheap night out that doesn't necessarily revolve around alcohol; or, at the very least, to visit a museum without having to be surrounded by screaming kids. (They're also a brilliantly adorable place for a first date. YOU'RE WELCOME.) This month's iteration of NightSchool — entitled "Curiosity," after the soon-to-be-launched Mars rover of the same name — includes short classes on teloscopy and stargazing; discussions about the search for intelligent life with scientists from UC Berkeley and Chabot; a "fix-it" clinic, in which folks are invited to bring broken appliances for "tinkering experts" to inspect; a free planetarium show (probably pretty awesome about two beers in); a workshop that claims to simulate "physiological effects of space on the body and mind" (probably slightly less awesome, but still); and live music by DJ Miggy Stardust, plus drinks, food, and more sciencey fun. 7 p.m., $5-$15. 510-336-7373 or ChabotSpace.org — Ellen Cushing

The Chalk Boy
Despite a few gaps and loose threads in Joshua Conkel’s script, The Chalk Boy is an engaging play — part whodunit, part black comedy, part teen drama, part girl angst and geekiness, bolstered entirely by four fine actresses. Luisa Frasconi plays against type as Penelope, the sullen goth chick who subscribes to Wicca and seeks intimacy in all the wrong places. Maria Giere Marquis captures the mannerisms of a small-town, pious prep, while juggling several bit parts — including Penelope’s aerobics instructor mom and the play’s resident creepy guy. Caitlyn Tella plays the most sympathetic character, Penelope’s closeted lesbian sidekick. But the real standout is Chris Quintos, who fully commits to the character of high school queen bee Trisha. Laced with snappy sitcom dialogue and enriched by Anne Kendall’s well-conceived chalkboard set design, it’s a fine regional premiere, directed by Ben Randle and produced by Impact Theatre. Through December 10 at La Val’s Subterranean (1834 Euclid Ave., Berkeley). $12-$20. ImpactTheatre.com — Rachel Swan

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