<![CDATA[NBC Bay Area - ]]> Copyright 2015 http://www.nbcbayarea.com/the-scene/top-stories http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/nbc_bayarea_blue.png NBC Bay Area http://www.nbcbayarea.com en-us Thu, 29 Jan 2015 22:29:05 -0800 Thu, 29 Jan 2015 22:29:05 -0800 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Single-Day BottleRock Tickets Set to Go On Sale]]> Tue, 27 Jan 2015 12:02:37 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/bottlerocknapaballoons.jpg

General admission single-day tickets for the third annual BottleRock Music Festival music, food, wine and brew festival (May 29-31, 2015) go on sale Wednesday, Jan. 28 at BottleRockNapaValley.com and Eventbrite.com.

A limited quantity of single day tickets will be available at $99 per person.

Imagine Dragons, who will release their newest album Smoke + Mirrors on February 17, will kick-off the festival on Friday, May 29, followed by Robert Plant on Saturday, May 30 and No Doubt who will close out the three-day event on Sunday, May 31.

The BottleRock Napa Valley daily lineup, to date, includes:

Friday, May 29: Imagine Dragons, Foster The People, Cage The Elephant, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Public Enemy, Los Lobos, Xavier Rudd & The United Nations, AER, The Mowgli’s, Courtney Barnett, Kopecky, Big Talk, Vacationer, Zella Day, Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds, The London Souls, Afrolicious, Wildlife Control, Ryan Sims Band, The Iron Heart, The Bad Jones, The Deadlies, Pion 2 Zion

Saturday, May 30: Robert Plant, The Avett Brothers, Passion Pit, Young The Giant, Capital Cities, Portugal. The Man, ZZ Ward, Scott Weiland & The Wildabouts, Lettuce, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Brothers Comatose, Knox Hamilton, Finish Ticket, Grizfolk, Black English, Wild Ones, The Record Company, Con Brio, Transfer, The Trims, Mother Mother, Fritz Montana, Doe Eye, Jessica Malone, Napa Crossroads LIVE Featuring David Pack of Ambrosia, John Elefante of Kansas, Bill Champlin formerly of Chicago, and Jim Peterik founding member of Survivor

Sunday, May 31: No Doubt, Snoop Dogg, Gipsy Kings, AWOLNATION, American Authors, Trampled By Turtles, The Chris Robinson Brotherhood, Echosmith, Brett Dennen, Los Amigos Invisibles, JJ Grey & Mofro, Tristan Prettyman, People Under The Stairs, The Last Internationale, Battle Tapes, Moonalice, Kawehi, Emily Wolfe, Sneakout, The Frail, Eagle Wolf Snake, Silverado Pickups, Matt Moon, grass child, Walsh

Show times will be released prior to the event.

<![CDATA[Grumpy Cat to Visit San Francisco]]> Fri, 21 Nov 2014 12:44:16 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/477158783.jpg

Can Grumpy Cat save the holidays?

Or, more accurately: can Grumpy Cat save us?

Help may be on the way, when the Internet's beloved "cranky kitty" pays a visit to San Francisco Friday.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports Grumpy Cat will be on hand at 5 p.m. at Union Square for the unveiling of the holiday pet adoption window at Macy's.

Grumpy Cat will also be promoting her movie. Yes, she has a movie, and "Grumpy Cat's Worst Christmas Ever" premieres on Lifetime on Nov. 29. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images for SXSW
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<![CDATA[Former Grateful Dead Manager Dies at 73 ]]> Thu, 18 Dec 2014 13:28:16 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/rock-scully.jpg

Rock Scully has passed on.

The former manager of the Grateful Dead died Tuesday at 73 near his home in Monterey, according to the Monterey Herald. He had been battling lung cancer.

Scully managed the band for 20 years, from when he first heard the band at a Ken Kesey acid test, those infamous happenings in which attendees received a dose of LSD as well as a dose of music, until 1985.

Scully had a "mischievous sense of adventure" and was "full of wonder and curiousity," attributes that served him well as the man in charge of an outfit as weird, wild and woolly as the Dead, according to guitarist Bob Weir.

He also "lived 'the hippie ethos' of peace and love every day of his life, like nobody I've ever met before," said David Bean, a Big Sur-based promoter.

A Carmel native, who met current U.S. Congressman Sam Farr in sixth grade at Sunset School, he had studied German literature before deciding to go into music after a ski trip to Squaw Valley, the newspaper reported.

It was Farr to whom Scully announced that he'd be manager of a new band, with a new name. The Grateful Dead. At the time, Farr thought it was "the nuttiest thing I've heard heard," the congressman told the newspaper.

Photo Credit: Getty]]>
<![CDATA[Robin Williams' Former Napa Estate Listed For $25.9 Million]]> Fri, 21 Nov 2014 07:40:14 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/robin-williams-home.jpg

Robin Williams' former Napa Valley estate is back on the market.

The 640-acre "Villa of Smiles" is for sale for $25.9 million, 13 percent cheaper than when it hit the market prior to the actor and comedian's death, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The villa is 20,000 square feet and sports five bedrooms, 10 bathrooms, a library, a bell tower, a theater and "safe rooms," according to the newspaper.

There's also a 65-foot-long swimming pool, a ranch and "more than 18 acres of vineyards," the newspaper reported.

No word on what grapes are planted.

The villa was built specifically for Williams, who died at his Tiburon home in August.

Photo Credit: Coldwell Banker Previews International]]>
<![CDATA[Mindy Kaling Shoots Sitcom in San Francisco]]> Wed, 19 Nov 2014 14:03:55 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/kaling-instagram.jpg

Mindy Kaling took a whirlwind tour of San Francisco on Tuesday, shooting scenes for her sitcom "The Mindy Project."

Kaling, who plays an obstetrician/gynecologist on the show, filmed mainly with Chris Messina, her on-screen love interest and fellow OB/GYN. Judging by the stops (and Kaling's Instagram account), the fictional pair planned a romantic and picturesque visit.

The Bold Italic spotted the pair in front of the Painted Ladies Victorian houses on Steiner Street and near the Golden Gate Bridge. Kaling and Messina also shot scenes by a cable car, on the crooked part of Lombard Street and at City Lights bookstore. 

The day culminated with an intimate al fresco dinner scene shot at waterfront restaurant Epic Roasthouse under the lights of the Bay Bridge. 

"They dined on clam chowder, the Epic burger and fries and meatballs," reveals the restaurant's publicist Morgan Moore.

The show airs Tuesdays on Fox.

Photo Credit: @MindyKaling / Instagram
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<![CDATA[Neil Young Announces Starbucks Boycott]]> Mon, 17 Nov 2014 18:40:40 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/478056495.jpg

Neil Young and Starbucks are officially over.

The classic rocker announced the end of his latte-sipping days after the coffee giant joined up with Monsanto in fighting food labeling regulations, according to reports.

Monsanto is leading the fight against labels for food products that contain genetically-modified organisms, or GMOs, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

And Starbucks is lending a helping hand in Monsanto's fight, which could mean it's all Peet's from here on out for Neil Young.

On his website, Young expressed his disappointment in Starbucks "working with the biggest villain of them all, Monsanto."

Vermont earlier this year passed a law that says all food with GMOs need labels by July 1, 2016.

Photo Credit: Bloomberg via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Superhero Hopefuls Converge on Emeryville]]> Thu, 13 Nov 2014 13:51:50 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/superhero-auditions.jpg

Not rain nor sleet nor Magneto will keep the superheroes away.

Would-be Marvel men and women converged on Emeryville Thursday, strutting their stuff to prove they have what it takes to earn a place on the Marvel Universe Live! stunt show tour.

Men and women with skills in parkour, trick skateboarding, motorcycle riding and various martial arts took to the Athletic Playground in Emeryville in an attempt to earn a 12-month contract as a superhero.

No costumes required – this is all real-life stunts.

Those powerful enough to prove they can be a superhero get to go on tour with the troupe. The tour includes a stop at the SAP Center in San Jose, March 20-22.

<![CDATA[Art of Eleanor Coppola on Display at Sonoma Museum]]> Wed, 12 Nov 2014 19:26:35 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Eleanor-Coppola-pic.jpg

Eleanor Coppola glided easily through the Sonoma Valley Museum, eyes darting at everything at once, spiky silver hair sparkling above a bright blue jacket. All around her: 50 years of her artwork stared back, part of a new retrospective exhibit of her life in art.

Drawings, photographs, watercolors and installations engulfed the soft-spoken woman as she made her way through the gallery inspecting the placement of each item.  “It’s like imagining going back and looking at your high school essay,” Coppola said.

The public largely knows Coppola as the wife of film director Francis Ford Coppola, and mother of director Sophia Coppola and her brother Roman Coppola. But, those in her circle, also know her as a consummate artisan who is compelled to create.

“The great thing about this amazing woman is that she is also a wonderful artist,” said Kate Eilertsen, executive director of the Sonoma Valley Museum.

Coppola has eked out her art in between the lines of her other lives: wife, mother, filmmaker and director of the family’s Napa Valley winery. Long ago, she figured out how to inject a life-long passion for the arts within the trajectory of her husband’s work, crafting pieces in the confines of hotel rooms and film locations.

“I’ve traveled to all of Francis’ locations,” she said. “And in those occasions I’ve tried to take smaller work and keep working on those things.”

Along on her travels, paper, pencils and other art supplies tucked into suitcases. One offspring of her travels are several large circle drawings defined by intricate lines. She finished one larger piece over two years.

The exhibit also features clothing designs Coppola created for the ODC Dance troupe. A side-room flickers with short videos she created, including one of a close-up of someone peeling a potato. Another shows a San Francisco Victorian house being hauled to a new location on a truck from the Western Addition during the 1970s.

Coppola famously took up a movie camera during her husband’s filming of "Apocalypse Now," creating the behind-the-scenes documentary "Hearts of Darkness."

One of the more elaborate of the exhibition, is an installation borne of the darkest period of her life. Circle of Memory is a large circular room constructed of straw bales and surrounded by dramatic photos of boulders in Ireland. The room is her version of ancient rooms where people would gather to remember the dead. Coppola’s son Gian Carlo Coppola died in a boating accident in 1986. Coppola discovered the type of room’s healing powers while sitting in one with a friend in Ireland, sharing names of people they’d lost.

“Finally at one point I said our son’s name, Gian Carlo Coppola,” she said. “I just had this unusual emotional experience of feeling connected to all the mothers, all the parents in history who had ever lost a child.”

Inside Coppola’s straw room, a steady stream of salt flowed from the ceiling, a symbol of tears and a baisc element that is required for life.

“It’s a place to reflect and commemorate and appreciate people we’ve lost,” Coppola said.

Coppola’s work is infused with the nature she soaked in at her home and studio in Napa Valley, where she and her family relocated decades ago from San Francisco. She said was initially in tears at the move, having left behind a bustling cultural city of art galleries and music. But then she came to discover the art all around her.

“Very shortly, I realized this enormous drama in nature,” Coppola said. “The skies and changing color of the grasses.”

Coppola said her art isn’t a byproduct of life among a famous family - it’s the sparks that’ve lived inside her since she was a child, smelling the oil paints from her father’s art studio.

As she glanced around the gallery, even she seemed surprised at the variety and depth.

“It’s really gratifying,” she said, “to see that i was able to get some work done during this busy life I’ve lived.”

Photo Credit: Joe Rosato Jr.
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<![CDATA[Improv Puppet Show Set for San Francisco Run]]> Tue, 11 Nov 2014 14:14:34 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Puppet-Up-1.jpg

Picture a mash up of “The Muppet Show” and “Whose Line is It Anyway?” and you’ll have an idea of what to expect from “Puppet Up! - Uncensored,” an improv comedy puppet show returning to San Francisco, Nov. 13-23.

“Puppet Up! – Uncensored” was co-created by Chairman of the Jim Henson Company, Brian Henson, who will be puppeteering during this run as well. After years of performing in movies like “Labyrinth,” producing shows such as “Farscape” and directing fan favorites like “The Muppet Christmas Carol,” Henson said he was searching for a new comedic voice for puppets.

“I was quite ambitious. I wanted to find the funniest angle for puppets for a discerning audience,” Henson said.

“The Muppet Show” arrived on the tail of such TV sketch comedy classics as “Laugh In” and “The Carol Burnett Show,” and all three owe something to vaudeville. While much of that humor is timeless, Henson’s ambition had him seeking something a little different.

“I wanted something that had a newer feel to it,” Henson said.

His then-girlfriend-now-wife, Mia Sara, suggested consulting with an improv comedy pro, and former Groundling, Patrick Bristow, came highly regarded. Henson said Bristow wasn’t sure that puppets and improv would be a good mix, as improv comics rely on constant eye-contact with each other to progress a scene, whereas Henson-style puppeteering has performers with their eyes locked to monitors.

Somehow, though, it worked to the surprise of Bristow. He suggested adding an audience, to bring the comedy to the next level. Among the friends and family at the first show were producers from the Aspen Comedy Festival, who insisted the new show have a slot there. It was so successful in Aspen, that the Edinburgh Comedy Festival came calling.

“I said, ‘Patrick, I think we’ve got a show,” Henson recalled. “We came back to L.A. to work the show and make it bigger and more robust.”

The run in San Francisco will feature Bristow interacting with the audience, getting suggestions for scenes and characters, while Henson and his improv puppeteers wait to grab one of 90 puppets and do one-of-a-kind sketch pieces and songs.

“It never goes where you expect,” Henson said. “As a performer, I'll often be off-stage with my puppet, and I’m thinking I’m going to come in as Brooklyn street guy, like a construction worker who’s angry. And, I’ll open the puppet’s mouth and all of a sudden, I’m doing a German mad scientist. I didn’t know I was going to do that.”

Henson said they didn’t intend to do an adults-only puppet show, but improv will go where it wants to go, and sometimes that’s into blue-humor territory.

“I have a dirty sense of humor when I’m in the right mode. I love it,” he said. “Occasionally, some of the performers and even me have gone a little too far, and we’ll talk about it.”

Another treat for longtime fans of Henson puppetry is the addition of two classic Henson company sketches. “I’ve Grown Accustomed to Your Face” goes back nearly 60 years. Jim Henson performed it on early television programs including “The Steve Allen Show.”

“My mother said they performed that more than anything,” Henson said.

The other, “Java,” featuring colorful, tube-like puppets dancing, was originally performed by Jim Henson and Frank Oz.

“I know my dad was a huge fan of doing that one with Frank. I remember they did it for ‘The Ed Sullivan Show’ when I was like 7,” Henson said. “I had to do the fire extinguisher at the end, and I remember being just terrified.”

“Puppet Up! – Uncensored” performers include Ted Michaels, Colleen Smith, Peggy Etra, Michael Oosterom, Grant Baciocco, Donna Kimball, Drew Massey and Victor Yerrid.

Visit shnsf.com for tickets and more info about “Puppet Up! - Uncensored.”

Corey Andrew has been interviewing comedians and writing about comedy for the last decade and a half. He recently published the book, “Laugh Lines: Conversations with Comedians.” Corey was a writer and performer with Midwest sketch troupe, The NonProphets, before moving to the Bay Area with his family several years ago. If you have ideas for future columns about comedy, you can send them to coreywrites@yahoo.com or follow him at twitter.com/coreywrites.

Photo Credit: Puppet Up! - Uncensored]]>
<![CDATA[Carol Channing Serenaded By SF Students]]> Fri, 07 Nov 2014 14:55:43 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/channing-Carol-2.jpg

Dozens of Lowell High School students crowded around the star, snapping selfies with her as she glowed on the theater stage.

It wasn’t Ariana Grande they were clamoring over but a Lowell alumna 72 years Grande’s senior, San Francisco native and living legend, Carol Channing.

The Broadway baby who brought Dolly Levi to life was serenaded with “Hello, Carol!” by the Lowell chorus and jazz band (a few audience members joined in, too) when she visited her alma mater and appeared in the Carol Channing Auditorium on Thursday.

Channing is doing a whirlwind tour of her old San Francisco stomping grounds that will culminate in the show “Time Steppin’” at the Curran Theatre at 8 p.m. on Saturday. Channing will be seeing a different view because it was in the audience of the Curran where she fell in love with the theater, saving her pennies to watch Ethel Waters in “As Thousands Cheer.” At the Curran, Channing will share stories of her remarkable show business career with another stage veteran, Tommy Tune.
“I’ve known him since he graduated from high school,” Channing said after her Lowell presentation. “I was performing down south, and he came and said, ‘I want to do just what you’re doing,’and I remembered him every time he would stop by after a show.”

Resurrecting the arts in public schools has been a passion of Channing’s for a long time, and the fruit of her effort was seen in her charges at Lowell. Their lively performances and polite nature—one dropped to a knee to present Channing with a bountiful bouquet—inspired the 93-year-old performer. In fact, she belted out “Before the Parade Passes By” from “Hello, Dolly!” a cappella.

“Acapulco is what Jimmy Durante used to say,” Channing laughed.

“To see those children’s’ eyes light up, it’s wonderful for me. It’s the essence of life,” she said. A theater student shouted a request from the audience, and Channing delivered the Ephraim monologue from “Hello, Dolly!”

Channing spent a good portion of Wednesday at the San Francisco Chronicle, where she visited frequently as a young woman, when her uncle Bill Chandler was the managing editor.

“It was just a joy to be there. He found every excuse to put me in the paper,” Channing said. “I played ‘Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean.’ Every time I even stepped on the school auditorium stage, Uncle Bill put it right there on the second page.”

Surely, Channing and Tune will discuss ‘Dolly!’ during the show on Saturday. For 2,844 performances, Channing never missed one.

“I did shows when I had ovarian cancer. The doctor would stand in the wings. You can’t not be there. I never missed a show on the tours. Gee, I sound like I’m bragging about myself. I never meant it that way. I felt like I was trying to come up to an impossible mission,” Channing told me. “The audience, they saved their hard-earned money. They got babysitters. They drove in for God knows how long. They wanted to see the show, and then I’m not there? I can’t do that. So I got there. Every. Single. Performance. I reached to the heavens to get the show out, and that’s your best performance, the one you can hardly get out.”

Visit shnsf.com for more information on “Time Steppin’” at the Curran Theatre.

Corey Andrew has been interviewing comedians and writing about comedy for the last decade and a half. He recently published the book, “Laugh Lines: Conversations with Comedians.” Corey was a writer and performer with Midwest sketch troupe, The NonProphets, before moving to the Bay Area with his family several years ago. If you have ideas for future columns about comedy, you can send them to coreywrites@yahoo.com or follow him at twitter.com/coreywrites.

Photo Credit: Corey Andrew]]>
<![CDATA[Damon Wayans, App Maven, Slated For Samsung Conference]]> Tue, 04 Nov 2014 15:23:13 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Damon-Wayans.jpg

Damon Wayans continues to channel “Hey Mon’s!” Mr. Hedley, a West Indian character he played on “In Living Color,” who scoffed at anyone who worked less than two jobs.

“I’m a comedian, writer, producer, father, grandfather and app maker,” Wayans laughed. It’s the former gig that will bring him to Cobb’s Comedy Club in SF Nov. 6-9, and the latter that will see him moderating a panel about global reach for mobile apps at the Samsung Developer Conference this month.

Wayans brought to life such characters as Mr. Hedley, Homey D. Clown, Handi Man and Head Detective on the ‘90s Fox sketch show “In Living Color,” and he’s been on the stand-up stage for more than 30 years. When trying to take a version of “In Living Color” online back in 2008, Wayans’ creative side took a blow.

“I went to my first convention, and they were talking about entertainment and how they were going to monetize content donations. They’re viewing what I do as a donation, and they’re going to make money off it,” he said. “That made me sick to my stomach. I needed to create tools to help create the content, because creating the content has little value.”

Wayans calls his app Diddeo a “pocket studio” where users can give their videos a professional makeover. With Smart phones able to produce hi-res video, Wayans calls Diddeo the “Rolls Royce of video creation.” In fact, he’s looking to launch a sketch comedy show using Diddeo, possibly with his son, Damon Wayans Jr., who’s having a great year with a starring role in the hit film “Let’s Be Cops.”

“It would me against the world, challenging the online community to do a sketch or music video parody,” Wayans said.

He’s also got FlickDat, an app to replace the paper business card.

“You can change all your contacts into business cards. You can add take a photo, make that your background, add a photo on top of that and add video to your business card,” Wayans said.

Wayans also spent a season on “Saturday Night Live.” He thinks when Keegan Michael Key and Jordan Peele of Comedy Central’s hit sketch show “Key and Peele” hit, they’re really funny. But, he said since Dave Chappelle left his show, the void has yet to be filled.

“We’ve almost gone backward, if you think about Lenny Bruce and Richard Pryor and the doors they knocked down. Those doors have been put back up,” he said. “You can’t talk about race. You can’t talk about homosexuals. You can’t talk about politics. What can you talk about? There was a time when this country would laugh at itself.”

Wayans would love for his brother, Keenan Ivory, and Fox to work out the details to resurrect the groundbreaking “In Living Color,” if even for a one-off special.

“There’s still so much comedy in the world to be had,” he said. “We need to hold up a mirror.”

Visit cobbscomedyclub.com for more info on Damon Wayans shows.

Corey Andrew has been interviewing comedians and writing about comedy for the last decade and a half. He recently published the book, “Laugh Lines: Conversations with Comedians.” Corey was a writer and performer with Midwest sketch troupe, The NonProphets, before moving to the Bay Area with his family several years ago. If you have ideas for future columns about comedy, you can send them to coreywrites@yahoo.com or follow him at twitter.com/coreywrites.

<![CDATA[Cameron Esposito Haunts SF Night After Halloween]]> Mon, 27 Oct 2014 14:35:37 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/CameronEsposito_By-Mandee-Johnson.red_.jpg

Poor Cameron Esposito has been so bogged down with her plethora of podcasts, releasing a hit comedy album (“Same Sex Symbol”) and packing houses on the road, that she didn’t have time to assemble a Halloween costume this year.

However, the comedian did give this column the exclusive scoop that she will host a costume contest on the stage of The Independent at 628 Divisadero in San Francisco, on Sunday, November 1, to close out the big holiday weekend. (She may also provide saltines and soda water for those who stuffed down too much candy corn with tequila chasers.)

“Maybe I’ll just bring some of those little, weird pumpkins that are also like candy corn. Those are the best, because, what is that even?” Esposito said. “The problem with my life is I haven’t done anything cool for multiple Halloweens now because I’ve been in a hotel room by myself.”

Esposito does fondly recall dressing in ill-fitting Charlie Chaplin garb as a child. Gender-bending at Halloween was a toe-in-the-pool toward coming out.

“I talked to my fiancée, Rhea [Butcher], about this and we compared costumes when we were children. ‘For a while, I was a pirate.’ ‘And I was Garfield.’ It’s all falling in this realm of testing our boundaries of our femininity,” Esposito said. “Not that Garfield is very feminine. He does love lasagna and sleeping, and that sounds just like a woman!”

While it’s adorable to see little tykes trick or treating during the hours of 6 to 8, it can be obnoxious when high school-age-and-beyond young adults come beating on your door for Reese’s at 10 p.m. Esposito has a unique way of looking at that holiday annoyance.

“First of all, I’m proud of those 22-year-olds for not having any amount of shame,” she said. “If you get a high school-age trick-or-treater at the door, just know that they’re not trying to break into an abandoned swimming pool or drink 27 40s. Love them because they’re trying to do the right thing.”

Esposito hosts “Wham Bam Pow,” a sci-fi/action movie-themed podcast with panelists Butcher and Ricky Carmona. Just because it’s the season of the witch, don’t expect her to be discussing any horror flicks on there.

“No. Forget it. It’s disgusting. I really like horror movies as a concept. I like the idea. That stuff fascinates me, but I’m just terrified of everything,” she said. Esposito added that while she’s not watching the current smash show “American Horror Story,” she does keep up with online synopses and photos.

“It’s a very strange tightrope that I walk between fascination with the macabre and being completely unable to see it,” she said.

Visit cameronesposito.com or theindependentsf.com for more info on the Nov. 2 show.

Corey Andrew has been interviewing comedians and writing about comedy for the last decade and a half. He recently published the book, “Laugh Lines: Conversations with Comedians.” Corey was a writer and performer with Midwest sketch troupe, The NonProphets, before moving to the Bay Area with his family several years ago. If you have ideas for future columns about comedy, you can send them to coreywrites@yahoo.com or follow him at twitter.com/coreywrites.

Photo Credit: Mandee Johnson Photography | CleftClips]]>
<![CDATA[Family to Pay Musical Tribute to Hardly Strictly Founder]]> Fri, 03 Oct 2014 18:48:16 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/rosatohardly.jpg

They’re probably the least famous band at this year’s Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival. Some didn’t take up instruments until a year ago. But chances are, when the Go To Hell Man Clan takes the Rooster stage in Golden Gate Park on Sunday, it’ll likely get a response as enthusiastic as any of the big name stars.

This variety show band of adopted bluegrass is courtesy of the children, grandkids and musical friends of the late Warren Hellman, the billionaire investment banker/banjo player who founded the free festival 14 years ago. As a tribute to Hellman, who died several years ago, the family has worked up a set of music he might’ve wanted to plunk along with.

“I like to think it was something he would’ve embraced,” said son Mick Hellman, who is also the band's drummer. “Especially seeing his grandchildren out there playing. I think it would’ve meant a lot, a huge amount to him.”

On Thursday night in a San Francisco rehearsal studio, the family band ran through a dozen tunes – with blocks of musicians rotating on and off the stage for each song.

“Everybody’s got their song,” said daughter Tricia Hellman Gibbs. “It brings us close to our father in a way, even though he’s not here, it feels like it is.”

The group will take its slot among more famous groups like Social Distortion, Steve Earle and Emmylou Harris. But there are no illusions the Go To Hell Man Clan would’ve made it to the bright lights of the big stage without the family connection.

“It’s because we’re his family and we know that,” said Hellman Gibbs. “But it doesn’t mean we don’t try really hard.”

An avid bluegrass fan, Hellman often called the festival the “world’s most selfish gift.” Though his prowess on the banjo was, shall we say decent, he happily took the stage to play along with some of the festival’s famous acts – including his own band, the Wronglers.

“I really think it was a way for him to express himself,” said grandson Sam Gibbs, “and get in touch with a different side of himself than he could do in investment banking.”

Hellman left behind an endowment to keep the festival going for years. His family now has taken–up the torch to see it continues.

“It wound up being really important carrying on the festival,” said Mick Hellman, “and carrying on the music.”

The festival runs through Sunday in what’s now officially named Hellman’s Hollow in the park. In addition to five stages – festival organizers has added a small museum of Hellman’s memorabilia – along with a small stage where family members will perform smaller sets.

“I think it kind of keeps him alive in a way,” said granddaughter Ruthie Gibbs. “It really moves me every year.”

Photo Credit: Joe Rosato Jr.]]>
<![CDATA[Music Venues Use Technology to Disable Smartphone Use]]> Wed, 24 Sep 2014 14:26:38 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/smartphone+generic.jpg

Sick and tired of someone ruining your concert experience with a barrage of selfies and the bright light of an activated screen when the house lights are down? You need Yondr.

Several music venues in the Bay Area are using technology to disable smartphones during concerts, according to SF Weekly. The technology is called Yondr, and it's a "form-fitting case" that slips over phones and locks the device when in use.

Music venues have their patrons don their phones with this silencing apparel, which covers up screens and cameras alike, thereby rendering the phone, well, a phone.

Venues that designate certain areas "phone-free zones" appear the most-likely users of the technology. Those who disobeye the phone-free provision and also avoid sheathing their devices with Yondr risk being ejected from the venue.

In addition to preserving the sanctity of events, Yondr will go far to ensure your privacy and promises that "your idiotic drunk dance isn't tomorrow's YouTube hit," the newspaper reported.

Photo Credit: NBC 6 South Florida]]>
<![CDATA["Royals" Banned from SF Radio Station Playlist]]> Mon, 20 Oct 2014 06:23:12 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/160*235/73557949.jpg

There is no room for anything Royals-related in San Francisco, and that includes "Royals."

The 2013 pop hit from Lorde has been removed from KFOG's playlist, the radio station announced Thursday.

That means a "Royals"-free local airwaves for at least 10 days or so...  fewer, if the Giants can wrap up the World Series against that certain team from Kansas City in quick fashion. 

"Why send any positive vibes to Kansas City?" asked Jim Richards, KFOG's program director. "Why not give the song a rest? No one is going to get hurt over it."

Richards told NBC Bay Area that the powers that be decided to remove the song from KFOG's rotation "as the [Giants] players were chugging beers" Thursday night.

New Zealand-born Lorde, who at 17 still has plenty of time to pick a different team, has confirmed that the song was in fact at least partially inspired by a National Geographic photo  of Royals legend George Brett signing autographs.

UPDATE: KOIT has also banned the "Royals" song.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Woman, 75, Still Missing in SoCal]]> Tue, 07 Oct 2014 06:57:48 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sally+estabrook.jpg

The search grew on Monday for a woman with Alzheimer’s disease who disappeared from a Julian campground over the weekend without a trace.

Sally Estabrook, the 75-year-old mother-in-law of Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine, was last seen around 4 p.m. Saturday at the Pinezanita RV Park & Campgrounds on Highway 79. The woman’s husband said he finished taking a shower and realized she was gone.

Officials worry about her safety considering the nearby canyons and the hot conditions. They also worry she’ll be exposed to the elements.

About 30 searchers scoured the campground Monday morning and after finding no trace of her, expanded the search to outside perimeters about five miles from where she disappeared.

Mustaine, a La Mesa native, was at the search site on Monday, officials said.

He tweeted about the search efforts on Monday morning:

His daughter, Electra Mustaine, also tweeted about Estabrook's disappearance, showing a photo of her with her grandmother:

Dave Mustaine got his start as Metallica's lead guitarist before forming the thrash-metal band Megadeth more than 30 years ago.

He stays close to his roots in San Diego County. He now lives in Fallbrook, and earlier this year, he joined the San Diego Symphony for a special one-night performance as a guest guitarist.

Joining the search efforts on Monday for Mustaine's mother-in-law were search dogs, teams from Riverside and San Bernadino counties as well as BORSTAR (Border Patrol Search Trauma and Rescue).

They will continue their efforts until midnight.

Sheriff's officials are asking anyone with surveillance video from their home or business near the campground to come forward. They believe the footage could offer clues as to where Estabrook went.

“If anyone knows where she is or has seen (her), we urge you to please call your local law enforcement or the number for the search and rescue team and please, please speak your part because we miss her and we want her back,” said family friend Jordan Faintuch.

They say because of her Alzheimer's, Estabrook is not very communicative, but she may respond to her name.

Estabrook is described as 5 feet, 4 inches tall and 145 pounds with shoulder-length blond hair. She may be wearing a teal shirt and white capri pants. She isn't very communicative but may respond to her name, according to officials.

Anyone who sees Estabrook is asked to call 911.

Photo Credit: San Diego County Sheriff's Department ]]>
<![CDATA[San Jose Author Receives Steinbeck Award]]> Wed, 10 Sep 2014 13:26:14 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/k-hosseini.jpg

Khaled Hosseini is following in the footsteps of Steinbeck.

And dhe San Jose author of "The Kite Runner," the "city's most famous writer," is now mentioned in the same breath as a comparable author.

The San Jose Mercury News reports that Hosseini -- who read "The Grapes of Wrath" as a teen in San Jose, following his family's escape from Soviet Union-occupied and war-torn Afghanistan -- will receive the John Steinbeck Award from San Jose State University Wednesday, on the 75th anniversary of the Depression novel's publication.

Hosseini was a medical doctor by trade before his writing career took off following the 2003 publication of "The Kite Runner," in which the 12-year old main character, Amir, also finds a home in San Jose.

The 49-year-old Hosseini lives in real life in San Jose with his wife Roya and their two children.

Like Steinbeck's, Hosseini's books have a "commitment to democratic values and belief in the dignity of the common man," as the award committee put it.

Photo Credit: Getty]]>
<![CDATA[Original "Real World" SF Condo Available to Rent]]> Tue, 09 Sep 2014 15:00:04 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/160*120/realworldsanfrancisco.jpg

Children of the 1990s, rejoice: Your chance to live as they did on "The Real World" has arrived.

The Lombard Street apartment where Pedro, Puck, and the five other members of the third season of MTV's iconic show made their mark is up for rent, according to reports.

SFGate's Beth Spotswood writes that nostalgia-seekers or would-be stars of their own reality can snag the two-bedroom, two-bath spread at 951 Lombard Street for $5,800 a month.

The decor appears to have been upgraded a bit since the place's glory days of 1994, when Puck was evicted and when Pedro introduced a larger audience to the ravages and tragedy of HIV/AIDS. That could mostly be because of a 2007 fire.

Either way, the pet-friendly, memory-laden pad is likely to go fast, SFGate speculates. 

Photo Credit: Madison Bear]]>
<![CDATA[30 Rock Alum to Perform at SF's Eureka Theatre]]> Tue, 16 Sep 2014 15:26:38 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Scott-Adsit-photo-by-Dan-Dion.jpg

We have no idea what Scott Adsit is going to do or say, and neither does he, when he returns to San Francisco to perform on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 19 and 20, at the Eureka Theater.

Of course, that’s OK, because the “30 Rock” and “Second City” alum is part of the 10th annual San Francisco Improv Festival. Adsit will be performing long-form improv scenes with Jet Eveleth.

“I know that you're going to get amazing character work out of Jet. She’s just phenomenal,” Adsit said. “[She] melts into her characters and kind of oozes onto the stage and creeps into your psyche.”

Adsit is no stranger to SF fans of improv as he’s performed at SF Sketchfest shows such as Upright Citizen’s Brigade: A.S.S.S.C.A.T. and Gravid Water, which sees one actor performing from a scripted play and the improviser making up the scene as it goes.

While he’s still recognized as the typically-tortured producer, Pete Hornberger, from NBC sitcom “30 Rock,” Adsit was part of a remarkable cast at Second City in Chicago that also included Tina Fey, Rachel Dratch and Adam McKay, director of the “Anchorman” movies.

One of the most audacious audience experiments in improv comedy history happened during the run of Second City’s “Piñata Full of Bees.” While seeking an answer to the question, “Can we get the audience to feel something other than joy?” Adsit and his cohorts decided to interrupt the show by announcing the President had been shot. He shared the story of what happened.

“We thought, ‘Let’s break some boundaries.’ I volunteered to be the one to go on stage and tell people that President Clinton had been shot. We didn’t know if he was alive or not. I entered into a scene very quietly, walked on stage and whispered into the actors’ ears, and they shuffled offstage.

“I even bought what I was saying. I had a tear come out of my eye, unexpectedly. I kind of very soberly said, ‘The president had been shot; we’re going to stop the show. We’ll bring a TV monitor on stage, and you can watch the coverage or go home or whatever you need to do,’” he said.

Adsit recalled the comment that it was so quiet in the room, you could hear a mouse poop.

“We brought out a monitor and turned it on, and I couldn’t quite figure how to get it to work. Adam came out to help me. I turned it on, and there was a show with sports bloopers. I said, ‘I’m sorry; I’ll change it.’ Adam said, ‘Wait a minute.’ A guy got hit or whatever, and we both chuckled. Then we kind of got interested in another blooper. We laughed harder at that, and then we sat down in front of the TV and watched bloopers. The rest of the cast came out, and we just silently with our backs to the audience, sitting Indian style, watched sports bloopers.

“I think Adam turned to the audience, and they were just confused, and he said, ‘Everybody loves sports bloopers!’ We just sat there until the audience was gone, which didn't take long. And then the letters came in. People were not happy,” Adsit added.

Could they make the audience feel something other than pure delight? Yes, but Adsit has since learned that he’d rather get people to relate to and empathize with his improv characters.

“I’m still striving for that; I’m just not going about it with a sledgehammer,” he said.

Visit sfimprovfestival.com for more information on Adsit’s and Eveleth’s performances on Friday and Saturday, September 19 and 20.

Corey Andrew has been interviewing comedians and writing about comedy for the last decade and a half. He recently published the book, “Laugh Lines: Conversations with Comedians.” Corey was a writer and performer with Midwest sketch troupe, The NonProphets, before moving to the Bay Area with his family several years ago. If you have ideas for future columns about comedy, you can send them to coreywrites@yahoo.com or follow him at twitter.com/coreyshame.

Photo Credit: Dan Dion ]]>
<![CDATA[Tool's Danny Carey with Primus for Special Shows]]> Wed, 17 Sep 2014 06:05:19 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/Primus+Tool-001.JPG Tool drummer Danny Carey sat in with Primus while Tim "Herb" Alexander recovers from heart surgery. The first of three shows was at the Concord Music Hall in Chicago. The last is Friday, Sept. 19 in Denver.

Photo Credit: Josh Keppel]]>
<![CDATA[Rain Closes Main Gate at Burning Man]]> Mon, 25 Aug 2014 15:53:35 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/160*120/BM+2013-171.JPG

The main gate into Burning Man has been closed through Monday night due to rain, according to the festival's main Twitter account.

Consistent rain has shut down the main entrance to the massive music festival in northern Nevada, and law enforcement officials are turning cars around.

"BRC is closed until midday Tuesday due to rain and standing water. Playa is un-drivable," posted @BManTraffic, the festival's Twitter account dedicated to getting participants in and out of the festival area safely.

People in the area can get hourly traffic reports on BMIR 94.5 at the top of the hour.

Photo Credit: Josh Keppel]]>
<![CDATA[Young Jeezy Arrested in Concert Shooting Probe]]> Tue, 26 Aug 2014 01:00:36 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/08252014-jeezy-mug.jpg

Rapper Young Jeezy has been arrested in Southern California on weapons charges by police investigating a deadly shooting at Wiz Khalifa's Friday night concert in the Bay Area, police said Monday.

The rapper, whose real name is Jay Jenkins, was arrested along with five other people after Irvine police officers executed a search warrant on his tour bus Sunday night at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre in Irvine.

Also arrested were Kena Marshall, Peter Maynard, David Kuniansky-Altman, William Gilmore and Alexa Beason, police said.

A publicist for Young Jeezy could not immediately be reached Monday.

The six arrests follow Friday's deadly shooting of a man backstage at Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, where Wiz Khalifa and Jeezy both performed Friday.

At 11:05 p.m. Friday, police responded to many calls about shots fired at the concert venue at 1 Amphitheatre Parkway. Eric Johnson, 38, of Orinda, was pronounced dead at a hospital after being shot multiple times, police said.

NBC Bay Area spoke to a man Monday night who has been working backstage at local venues for many years. He did not want his identity revealed, and he said if you have the right pass--a guest, VIP, or working crew pass--the backstage is all yours.

"I would say more often than not, no one is back there to make sure the correct people are back there," he said.

"They can walk through that back gate undeterred," he added.

Security at many venues, including Shoreline Amphitheatre, is provided by private security, not the local police department.

No one has been arrested in connection with Johnson's death, according to police.

Young Jeezy and Wiz Khalifa were on the road together as part of the Under the Influence of Music tour.

Mountain View police are requesting assistance from any witnesses to Friday's shooting, including those with any video, photos of the shooting or the moments leading up to it in the backstage area of Shoreline, police said.

Bay City News contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Mountain View Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[A Day in the Life: Remembering The Beatles’ 1966 Candlestick Concert]]> Thu, 14 Aug 2014 19:09:58 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/87889554.jpg

August 29, 1966, stands out for Rich Bandoni. Even among all the days since, that day of his life returns with ease. He was 9 years old that day, when he hopped a San Francisco Muni bus and headed to Candlestick Park to see The Beatles in concert.

“Everybody on the bus was so happy and singing Beatles songs,” Bandoni recalled, sitting in his trailer home in Pleasant Hill, surrounded by Beatles memorabilia. The stage was close to second base, Bandoni remembered. The band seemed a mile away – like small specks against the stadium seats.

But then the music kicked in. “The first song, I was in a state of shock because all I’d seen was The Beatles on TV,” Bandoni said. The experience of "seeing" the band made up for what Bandoni described as incredibly bad sound – with a pair of P.A. speakers fighting a losing battle against thousands of squealing fans.

“You noticed it didn’t sound anything like the record, and in a way you were disappointed,” he said. “But you’d say to yourself, ‘Who cares?’ It’s The Beatles live.” Bandoni was stunned when the band announced soon after they were retiring from concerts – making the Candlestick show the band’s last ticketed performance. “To know that I was able to hear their last show was like a gift from the gods,” Bandoni said.

Bandoni decided to buy a ticket to Paul McCartney’s Thursday night “Farewell to the Candlestick” show, saying it was a fitting sendoff to a stadium that still holds the perfect day of his entire childhood.

Fred Pardini was also at the 1966 concert – only at the time he was on the payroll of the San Francisco Examiner as a staff photographer on assignment. “It wasn’t an elaborate light show, with flashing fireworks and all the goodies that go with it,” said Pardini. “All they did was four guys come on stage, perform their songs and away they went.”

Pardini snapped a requisite number of photos, not knowing the show would be the band’s last proper concert. Had he known, he would have certainly shot loads more, he said. His images show emotional fans, and the band, playing in front of a scoreboard still bearing the most recent Giants-Dodgers score. Pardini also captured the famous scene of the band loading into an armored car after the concert for the drive back to the airport. “They jumped in the armored car and away it went,” Pardini said.

For Bandoni, it was a day he'll never forget. “Forever in my life going up and down Highway 101,” said Bandoni, his face trailing off toward a memory, “I’d look at Candlestick and think, ‘I saw The Beatles there.’”

Candlestick Park is set to be demolished in spring 2015 and a mixed-use housing and commercial development will be built on the site.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story on our mobile site.]]>
<![CDATA[Aerosmith Concord Pavilion Concert Canceled]]> Wed, 13 Aug 2014 11:25:07 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP453154418157.jpg

Bad news for Aerosmith fans: Tuesday night’s Bay Area concert has been canceled. Live Nation, the concert's promoter, says the Concord Pavilion show will not go on because of an illness, but did not say who was sick.

The band members said in a statement they regret not being able to perform.

All fans will get refunds. Ticket holders are being encouraged to visit aerosmith.com or livenation.com for more information.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Robin Williams Was "Fixture" in Bay Area Comedy Scene]]> Fri, 15 Aug 2014 16:20:31 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/2014-08-15-williams-credit-alex-stack.jpg

Robin Williams entertained people across the world, but the Bay Area was his home. He was often spotted around town, at Giants games and at local comedy clubs. He popped in often and made people laugh.

His roots were in the City’s standup comedy scene. Comedian Debi Durst first met Williams in the 1970s. “Never ever in our wildest craziest dreams did we ever think we'd lose him so soon,” Durst said Tuesday. She said those who knew Robin Williams are at a loss for words as they try to wrap their heads around the star's death.

Durst has known Williams for more than three decades. She saw him just two weeks ago at friend’s barbeque where she said nothing seemed amiss. “He was hanging around looking forward to more work. There was talk of a ‘Mrs. Doubtfire’ 2 in the works."

Comic Bob Sarlatte has also known Williams since the early days, performing standup at the old Holy City Zoo in San Francisco. “He was a fixture – even though he wasn't here all the time, he was a fixture,” Sarlatte said. “He sort of made us proud. He was better than anybody else was.”

As Durst and others prepare for next month’s San Francisco's annual Comedy Day at Golden Gate Park, they're left to wonder what it will be like without Williams. “There's no words to describe when he would show up at Comedy Day,” Durst said. “You would feel the electricity coming from the audience. The minute he hit stage was magic – and to think it's just gone. “

“If you know somebody who suffers from depression,” Durst said, “make sure they know you love them and they can reach out to you at any time before it's too late.”

SUICIDE PREVENTION: If you know someone who needs help, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by calling 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Photo Credit: Alex Stack
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story on our mobile site.]]>
<![CDATA[Memorials for Robin Williams]]> Tue, 12 Aug 2014 11:40:57 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/robin+williams+hollywood+star.JPG A collection of memorials to the Oscar-winning actor and comedian who died on Monday, August 11, 2014 at the age of 63.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[As RatDog Nixes Tour Dates, Deadheads Worry About Bob Weir]]> Mon, 11 Aug 2014 14:43:19 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/98659766.jpg

Bob Weir is not going out on tour.

Unspecified and unknown "circumstances" have led the Grateful Dead guitarist, 66, to abruptly cancel all tour dates for an upcoming monthlong swing through the United States with his band RatDog, which was to begin in Boston later this week, according to reports.

Weir made the announcement via his Facebook page and band's Web site on Sunday -- which, as the day after the anniversary of Jerry Garcia's 1995 death, is somewhat unsettling for Deadheads.

Tour dates in Boston and Nashville as well as a destination concert in Jamaica in January 2015 were canceled without reason. Refunds were offered, according to reports.

Weir has missed other shows recently due to health issues, including one date with Furthur, fellow Dead alumnus Phil Lesh's band. And then, of course, there was that bizarre night at Sweetwater in Marin in 2013.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Sir Patrick Stewart Attends, Enjoys Outside Lands]]> Mon, 11 Aug 2014 22:51:42 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/160*120/stewart10.jpg

He came. He saw. He had a little too much fun. Sir Patrick Stewart wandered the glens and hollows of Golden Gate Park this past weekend, tagging along with The Improvised Shakespeare Company for at least part of the Outside Lands music festival.

Stewart also performed with the crew over the weekend, according to SFist. He was on the West Coast as of August 9, when he arose early to watch his favorite soccer team -- Huddleston Huddersfield Town -- play their first match of the season. After that, he wandered over to the park for what was, according to his Twitter feed (which is the gospel source on such matters), his "first music festival."

Is it possible that Stewart has achieved peak hipness? His wife, Brooklyn-based musician Sunny Ozell -- who, it appears, dined at State Bird Provisions on Saturday, a feat of incredible fortune in itself -- appears to have had as tough a time at Outside Lands as her knighted man.

Photo Credit: Patrick Stewart/Twitter]]>
<![CDATA[Janis Joplin Stamp On Sale This Weekend]]> Sat, 09 Aug 2014 11:19:00 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/08072014-janis-joplin-stamp.jpg

Take a little piece of her heart. There’s a special tribute to iconic singer Janis Joplin at this year’s Outside Lands.

The U.S. Postal Service will start selling Joplin stamps at the music festival, which starts Friday.

Many say Joplin paved the way for female rock singers in San Francisco.

The Forever stamp is inspired by Joplin's "In Concert" album cover, which was released two years after her death. The original portrait was shot in New York City in 1970 by music photographer David Gahr. The stamp is by designer Antonio Alcala.

A first-day-of-issue ceremony will be held at 1:30 p.m. Friday at the festival's Panhandle stage.

Outside Lands performers Kacey Musgraves and Nicki Bluhm will be at the ceremony with U.S. Postal Service officials and other dignitaries honoring Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Joplin.

Joplin's most popular songs include, "Piece of My Heart," "Ball and Chain," and "Cry Baby." She died from a drug overdose in 1970 at the young age of 27.

Bay City News contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: USPS]]>
<![CDATA[Reports: Next "True Detective" To Be Filmed in Big Sur]]> Thu, 07 Aug 2014 10:56:24 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/true+detectiveAP607793760099.jpg

The mystery and the mayhem are coming to California.

A "significant amount" of the next season of "True Detective," the hit HBO show that saw Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey while away the hours on the backroads of Louisiana, will likely be filmed in and around Big Sur, according to reports, as the show takes a decidedly Californian twist.

Industry insider publication The Wrap scored the details, revealing that series creator Nic Pizzolatto is aiming to tell a story with Colin Farrell and Taylor Kitsch as the two cops, and Vince Vaughn as the "central antagonist." 

Also in the mix are "Mad Men" star Elisabeth Moss -- as well as many facets of everyday California life.

The story is that a corrupt city manager dies after a transit deal goes sour. Think the Bell scandal and high-speed rail... or maybe that's too real.

All the show is missing is medical cannabis and a glass of Cabernet.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Prince Asks Fans to Wear Purple]]> Fri, 04 Jul 2014 13:07:01 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/52461876.jpg

Purple Rain star Prince is headlining this weekend’s Essence Fest in New Orleans’ Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

And to honor the recent 30th anniversary of his hit album, “Purple Rain,” Prince asked everyone to wear his signature color.

Prince fans responded by posting their allegiance to the star on social media.


Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[New Transformers Movie is a Bay Area Job Creator]]> Mon, 30 Jun 2014 17:30:05 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/06-30-2014-ILM.jpg

In the Bay Area, the latest Transformers movie is more than a box-office smash: It’s a local job creator.

On its opening weekend, Transformers: Age of Extinction pulled in more than $300 million worldwide for distributor Paramount, but before that, it pulled in hundreds of new jobs at Industrial Light & Magic, the San Francisco-based special effects giant that created all the imagery used in the film.

Michael Balog's job title at ILM is "destruction specialist.” The new Transformers movie called for so much computer-generated destruction that the big Hollywood studios to looked north and hired Bay Area high-tech effects specialists.

"I think a lot of clients from LA do come up here because of the level of detail and the quality we're able to produce,” Balog said.

ILM says the typical workforce for most big, summer special-effects driven films is about 200 people. For this movie, he said, 500 people worked to put the effects on the big screen.

"You think you need so many people when you start,” Balog said, “and by the time you finish, you doubled in size. So it has created quite a few jobs up here.”

These days, just about every movie made needs Silicon Valley effects.

That keeps ILM in business … and keeps them growing.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Hardcore Devo at Fox Theater Saturday]]> Mon, 30 Jun 2014 15:49:17 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Devo+GGP.jpg

Post-punk, new wave rockers Devo had their first hit song “Whip It” in 1980, but years before that the group was playing, and recording, more obscure, low-fi tunes like “Jocko Homo,” “Mongoloid,” and the cover of the Rolling Stones’ "Satisfaction." 

Celebrating 40 years of existence, remaining members of Devo are hitting the road with the Hardcore Devo Tour, focusing on their music from 1974-1977. 

Last year’s reissue of the compilation album Hardcore Devo: Volumes One and Two highlighted the power and timelessness of those raw songs. 

Talking about the tour, Devo co-founder Jerry Casale told Rolling Stone magazine, “We haven’t played those songs in 40 years. Songs like ‘Mechanical Man,’ ‘Space Girl Blues,’ ‘She Didn’t Know I Was a Midget.’ We wanted to show people what we were doing at the time by using the same instruments, really hardcore and raw. We were the White Stripes and the Black Keys in an era before those guys. We wanted to show people what it was like to actually hear whacked-out parts being played together." 

Tickets are still available for the Saturday night show at the Fox Theater in Oakland. They cost $45 each before fees. 

Gerry Casale was in San Francisco a few weeks ago celebrating the start of his new wine company 50 by 50. The first run includes a pair of releases with a delicious 2012 Pinot Noir ($30) and very good 2013 Rose of Pinot Noir ($20). 

In a one-on-one videotaped interview, longtime wine enthusiast Casale told us that he has wanted to make wine for over 30 years, and that he is very committed to it. 

“I just want people to know that I’m really serious. It’s not like Sammy Hagar stuck his name on a bottle of wine or something. It’s not like that,” Casale reiterated. 

Casale also talked about the similarities of being a musician and wine maker, like others famous rock star winemakers like Sonoma’s Les Claypool (Primus), Maynard James Keenan (Tool) and Dave Matthews. 

If you are an architecture enthusiast, you might be more excited to find out that the “50 by 50 Estate was designed over 60 years ago by the preeminent, 20th century Modernist architect, Mies Van Der Rohe, this perfectly squared design is clad in high tempered glass panels measuring 8 x 25 x 10 feet,” according to information handed out at the tasting event. “The view from inside offers the occupants a 360 degree panorama of the 50 by 50 Estate with its gentle slopes, giant live oaks, terraced rows of grape vines [and] the mountains beyond.” 

To see renderings of the 50 by 50 Estate, and to hear Casale talk about his inspiration on this new endeavor, watch our video interview with him.


Photo Credit: Josh Keppel]]>
<![CDATA[Oakland Actress Cast in Aaliyah Biopic Sees Backlash]]> Tue, 24 Jun 2014 11:31:10 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/zendalaP1.jpg

Zendaya Coleman’s casting as late R&B singer Aaliyah in the upcoming Lifetime dramatization of her life is causing a lot of controversy, mostly because of the color of her skin.

Also, many don't think the Oakland 17-year-old, well-known for her roles on Disney’s “Shake It Up,” and ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars,” is mature enough to play the part, especially when it comes to the part of the story that focuses on Aaliyah's tumultuous marriage to R. Kelly.

Aaliyah, a Grammy winning artist and actress who starred in "Queen of the Damned," died in a plane crash over the Bahamas on August 25, 2001.

Zendaya was born to a white mother and a black father and, in her words, she is fully aware of the controversy. Yet, she contends she is right for the part because she embodies the late Aaliyah’s talent.

Like Aaliyah, Zendaya is a singer, actress, and dancer.

But the Oakland School for the Arts graduate has many critics.

Voodoo Chile tweeted: “There are plenty of non-mixed brown skinned black American women who could portray Aaliyah.”

However, many fans are excited to see Zendaya play the role. Friend and Disney star Trevor Jackson said the role is meant to be.

Zendaya’s casting as Aaliyah is not the first time an entertainer has been criticized for playing a part of someone who does not share his or her skin color. 

In 2013, for instance, Johnny Depp, who is white, felt backlash for playing “Tonto,” a Native American character in the Lone Ranger. And, in 2007, Angelina Jolie played the role of woman who had a Cuban mother in "A Mighty Heart."

Hip-hop artist Niatia Jessica Kirkland, better known as “Lil’ Mama,” had a similar experience when some thought she was an odd choice to play Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes in the TLC film CrazySexyCool.

Kirkland lent her support to Zendaya on social media.

“Congratulations to this young sister," she posted on Instagram. "Girl you are going to kill it as Aaliyah. I know that this is a dream come true for you, as playing Left Eye was for me. If people have doubts about your performance... Let it fuel your greatness, because there is no testimony without a test! Your are a phenomenal talent and I wish you the best Zendaya! God Bless you.”

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Chicago Lands Lucas Cultural Arts Museum]]> Tue, 24 Jun 2014 22:14:26 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/george-lucas-r2d21.jpg

Chicago has come out on top in the intense competition for the Lucas Cultural Arts Museum.

City Hall officials confirmed that the city has beat out San Francisco and Los Angeles for the museum, which will host more than 500,000 pieces of art and movie memorabilia from Star Wars director George Lucas' personal archives.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has proposed building the museum on two parking lots located near Soldier Field and offered to lease the land to Lucas for $1, a similar arrangement other large cultural institutions have with the Chicago Park District.

The proposal still needs to go through the Chicago Plan Commission. The earliest the museum would open is 2018.

Museum officials say it will be dedicated to narrative art -- the telling of stories visually, and that the key objective will be to inspire and educate future generations.

Chicago received the nod "because of the quality of the site proposed by the city's task force," and the "unparalleled visitor access" on the 17-acre site.

"Choosing Chicago is the right decision for the museum, but a difficult decision for me personally because of my strong personal and professional roots in San Francisco," said Lucas, a native of Modesto.

San Francisco was pushing a piece of property near the water in its downtown area after city officials rejected the first targeted location.

In a statement, Presidio Trust Board of Directors Chair Nancy Hellman Bechtle said the trust is disappointed by Lucas’s decision.

“The Trust encouraged Mr. Lucas to consider an alternative world-class location in the Presidio with views of the Bay, Alcatraz Island, and the Golden Gate Bridge,” Bechtle said. “Mr. Lucas decided not pursue this opportunity. We thank Mr. Lucas for his longtime commitment to the Presidio and wish him the best in Chicago.”

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti promoted the use of a #WhyLucasInLA hashtag to build support through social media. The museum would have bene located near the University of Southern California, where Lucas attended film school.

Emanuel lobbied hard for the museum to come to Chicago but family ties likely played a part in the decision. Lucas' wife, Mellody Hobson, is from Chicago and the two share a home in the city.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Matrix Creators Begin Filming Netflix Series in SF]]> Thu, 19 Jun 2014 09:10:32 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/191*120/Wakowskis.JPG

A mini dyke march of 10 motorcycles repeatedly rumbled down a block of 18th Street in San Francisco Wednesday, as The Matrix masterminds Andy and Lana Wachowski stood behind a bank of monitors watching the images captured by the multi-camera crew.

One of Netflix’s newest series, Sense8, is filming in San Francisco, with Andy and Lana Wachowski partnering with Babylon 5 TV series creator Joe Straczynski to bring “a gripping global tale of minds linked and souls hunted,” according to the March 2013 press release from Netflix.

Between takes Wednesday, Lana Wachowski took a break and chatted with spectators standing in front of the Women’s Building on 18th Street as the crew reset. It seemed most didn’t know who she was, so we took the opportunity to pepper her with a few questions.

Wachowski said the show will be 10 episodes, focusing on eight characters in eight different cities around the world.

The Netflix press release said the Sense8 release date should be launched, “exclusively to its members to watch instantly in late 2014.”

Lana Wachowski also said that they would be filming more scenes on Saturday, June 28, during the actual dyke march, which starts at Dolores Park and heads down 18th Street before turning left onto Valencia Street.

As the crew was breaking down around 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Andy Wachowski confirmed that Wednesday marked the first day of production, with three more shooting weeks scheduled for San Francisco.

"We're excited to work with Netflix and Georgeville Television on this project, and we've wanted to work with Joe Straczynski for years, chiefly due to the fact his name is harder to pronounce than ours, but also because we share a love of genre and all things nerdy," said Andy and Lana Wachowski. "Several years ago, we had a late night conversation about the ways technology simultaneously unites and divides us, and out of that paradox Sense8 was born," reads the Netflix press release.

Lana Wachowski lives in San Francisco, and the Wachowskis used Oakland and Alameda as a backdrop for shooting on the Matrix sequels. After San Francisco, shooting will continue in Chicago, London, Berlin, Iceland, Mexico City, Mumbai, Nairobi, and Seoul, South Korea,.

Acording to a tvline.com article, Sense8 characters include, "a closeted Mexican telenovela hunk, an Icelandic party girl, a German safe-cracker, a Korean businesswoman, an African bus driver and a transgender American blogger (a la Lana?). Perhaps most intriguing, though, are Jonas, an apparently magic African-American who appears to all of the 'visionaries,' and his evil counterpart, Mr. Whispers."

Photo Credit: Josh Keppel]]>
<![CDATA[Dome Theater Granted Historic Status]]> Wed, 11 Jun 2014 09:53:44 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/2014-03-11_07-07-58_355.jpg

The outcry over an iconic movie theater from the community worked.

On Tuesday, the San Jose City Council voted 7-4 to grant the domed Century 21 theater built in 1964 historic status.

"We did it," was the post on the Save the Domes Facebook page.

Still, the theater closed to the public in March, and how it will be used in the futre remains unclear. The historic designation, however, does not necessarily save the property from being demolished, but it does make it more difficult.

"Last night was an important hurdle," said Preservation Action Council of San Jose Executive Director Brian Grayson. "But it's not over yet. This just puts down another layer of required review."

The city had been trying to rezone the property as an "urban village" to allow for high-density residential development.

The state Historic Resources Commission has also recommended the dome theater be granted status as a national historical landmark.

The theater, and two others, were designed by San Francisco architect Vincent Raney and represent mid-century modern architecture in Silicon Valley. Tuesday night's decision did not include adding Century 22 and 23 theaters as historic spots in the city.

Photo Credit: Marianne Favro]]>
<![CDATA[2014 World's Ugliest Dog Contestants]]> Sat, 21 Jun 2014 06:29:06 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/160*140/Peanut-pic.png Some of the world's ugliest dogs are high-tailing it to Sonoma for the annual "Ugliest Dog Contest.”

Photo Credit: Sonoma-Marin Fair ]]>
<![CDATA[Sense8 Behind the Scenes]]> Thu, 19 Jun 2014 17:19:59 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/193*120/Sense8-010.JPG Wachowskis start Netflix series production in San Francisco.

Photo Credit: Josh Keppel]]>
<![CDATA[Might Journey's Steve Perry Perform with Eels in San Francisco?]]> Mon, 09 Jun 2014 12:16:05 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP05012108859.jpg

Former Journey frontman Steve Perry has been found -- in public.

He was on stage with the Eels on the band's recent tour, singing a few old Journey classics.

Say what?

Eels frontman E, aka Mark Oliver Everett, reveals that Perry, who is a bit of a recluse, had rehearsed a few numbers with his band behind closed doors.

Yet it was still a massive surprise when Perry appeared on stage last week to "belt out" two Journey numbers, the San Francisco Examiner reported.

Turns out Perry had stalked E and the Eels for years, the newspaper reported, with E not really interested in meeting Perry -- he wasn't much of a Journey fan.

Yet the two ended up crafting a relationship, over -- of all things -- "croquet" at E's house, the newspaper reported.

And there Perry was, on-stage in Minneapolis, belting out "Open Arms" and "Lovin', Touchin, Squeezin'."

The Eels play in San Francisco tomorrow. Could Perry be far behind?

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Les Claypool Brings Duo De Twang to SF]]> Fri, 06 Jun 2014 10:45:51 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/Claypool+Whores.jpg

Les Claypool is finally poised for his first Duo De Twang SF club show, and it has been a long time coming.

The world famous Primus bassist front man, and Sonoma County wine maker/resident, first hatched the idea for his two-piece country act while trying to come up with something for the 2012 Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival.

Claypool and Limbomaniac guitarist Mirv did a warm up gig in San Rafael before playing a great, well received set at the free festival in the park, under the sun and Blue Angels who would occasionally scream by.

Since then, Claypool has switched out one M.I.R.V. band guitarist for another, inviting Bryan Kehoe along on a number of tours across the US.

The pair recently released their first album Four Foot Shack, a collection of old western tunes by people like Stompin’ Tom Connors, Jimmy Driftwood and the Bee Gees. Well, “Stayin’ Alive” didn’t used to be a western tune, but with some Claypool meddling, it is now. 

Also getting the Claypool twagify are songs like “Man in the Box” by Alice in Chains and a host of Claypool originals like “Wynona’s Big Brown Beaver,” “D’s Diner” and “Jerry Was a Race Car Driver.”
Les Claypool’s Duo De Twang has played shows in San Rafael, Petaluma and Santa Cruz, but Saturday night will be the first proper SF club gig for the local pair, and there is no better place in SF than the Great American Music Hall.
Along for the ride for the majority of the touring have been the Reformed Whores, an awesome pair of ladies who look and sound more like they are from Nashville than Brooklyn. The comedy duo sings about important lady issues like birth control, dating and defecating. I heard their debut album Ladies Don’t Spit before seeing them live for the first time and I was hooked, and pleasantly surprised to see that their show is even better. Don’t show up late and miss out this great double bill.
Les Claypool’s Duo De Twang plays Friday in Sacramento at Ace of Spades, Saturday night in SF at the Great American Music Hall, where tickets are still for sale at the time of this writing. The following week they head to southern California’s Solana Beach, and then to AZ for a show in Tucson and Flagstaff.
The Reformed Whores were last in Bay Area a few months ago for SF Sketchfest, and they will again be at the Punchline this Sunday night.
The Saturday night show at the Great American Music Hall starts at 9 p.m. and tickets are $38 in advance and $42 at the door.

Photo Credit: Josh Keppel]]>
<![CDATA["Despicable Me" Minion Mayhem At Universal Studios Hollywood At Universal Studios Hollywood]]> Wed, 04 Jun 2014 11:15:30 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/170*120/minioins.JPG

If you've always wanted to hang out with super-villain Gru, his daughters and the mischievous pill-shaped Minions from "Despicable Me," this might be your chance.

Despicable Me Minion Mayhem is now open at Universal Studios Hollywood - in the form of a 3-D ride.

Visitors to the park can start their adventure in Gru's home, where they are recruited for his latest scheme -- one where participants get to become an actual Minion.

After making it through "Minion training," participants are launched into an unforgettable trip through Gru' laboratory.

If that's not enough - there's even an interactive, Minion-inspired dance party.

A re-creation of the seaside carnival, Super Silly Fun Land, from the first "Despicable Me" is also present in an all-new, over-the-top outdoor family play zone. Visitors will have a chance to play arcade games and win Minion game prizes -- maybe even an unicorn.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Die Antwoord Puts the Zef Back in SF]]> Wed, 28 May 2014 17:41:00 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/Die+Antwoord-037.JPG Days before their third album Donker Mag drops on June 3, Die Antwoord had the Fillmore jumping at a sold out show.

Photo Credit: Josh Keppel]]>
<![CDATA[Sean Lennon's Tour Van Burglarized in SF]]> Thu, 22 May 2014 19:50:43 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/160*120/021211+sean+lennon+FW11.jpg

The son of a Beatle has experienced San Francisco crime.

Sean Lennon, scion of the legendary peacenik duo Yoko Ono and John Lennon, had his tour bus broken into in San Francisco on Wednesday.

Mission Mission first noticed the photo posted to Lennon's instagram account of the gaping hole where a tour van window used to be -- and the empty space where his drummer's computer used to be.

Lennon's band, Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger, gigged at the Great American Music Hall. But the van, parked at Franklin and Hayes streets, was irresistible to ne'er do wells -- who broke in during daylight hours, while the drummer and erstwhile laptop owner was getting coffee.

Lennon wrote on Instagram:

Our percussionist Connor Grant’s laptop was stolen today in San Francisco! Our van window was smashed this morning as he was getting coffee near Franklin and Hayes. BIG REWARD if computer is returned unharmed! NO QUESTIONS ASKED! If anyone knows anything pleeeeease contact us at mutethehead@gmail.com

Photo Credit: WireImage]]>
<![CDATA[Matt Damon Shows Up at Santa Cruz Roller Derby Match]]> Tue, 03 Jun 2014 15:46:53 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/matt+damon+emmy.jpg

Actor. Humanitarian. Roller derby fan. 

Matt Damon attended the Santa Cruz Roller Girls' match in the otherwise-sleepy beach town this weekend, according to reports. 

Damon, the Santa Cruz Sentinel reported, was there to cheer on Boardwalk Bombshells co-captain Eileen Jacinto. He's attended the teams' matches before.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Lady Gaga Fans Line Up Early for San Jose Concert]]> Tue, 03 Jun 2014 09:18:02 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/gaga-th.jpg

Dozens of Lady Gaga fans pitched a tent outside the SAP Center in hopes of making it into the Monster Pit at her Tuesday night concert in San Jose.

At least 50 Lady Gaga fanatics camped out, hoping the night spent out in the cold will land them in the front row at the concert.

Fans know the area closest to the stage as the Monster Pit because Lady Gaga calls her fan's "Little Monsters." But getting a front-row seat is not the only appeal.

Some fans have made the pre-concert camp out a tradition, camping out since Monday morning.

"So worth it--the music, just her, and everything is always worth it," one camper said.

The concert starts at 7:30 p.m.

<![CDATA[Waterfront Property Offered to George Lucas For His Museum]]> Wed, 28 May 2014 17:19:51 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP44875530462.jpg

No Warriors? No problem -- San Francisco might have The Empire instead.

Prime waterfront property once set aside for the Golden State Warriors will instead be offered to George Lucas for his museum, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Lucas had set his sights on The Presidio to house a museum of movie items and modern paintings, including works by Norman Rockwell. Bosses there, however, nixed his plan as well as two other competing plans in favor of... nothing, so far.

Lucas has the option of trying again. But in response to the rebuff, he sought greener pastures -- in Chicago, where he and his wife maintain a home.

Eager not to lose Lucas, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee will offer him Seawall Lot 330, part of the parcels that were going to house the Golden State Warriors's waterfront arena, before the team decided to play in Mission Bay instead, the newspaper reported.

Seawall Lot 330 is currently vacant, but it was valued two years ago at $30 million, the newspaper reported.

Lee plans to try to woo Lucas with the waterfront parcel in a letter to be mailed Thursday, said the newspaper, quoting shadowy figures within the Lee Administration.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA["Linda, Listen!" YouTube Star to Kick Off San Jose Children's Parade]]> Fri, 25 Apr 2014 17:37:12 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/03-14-2013-kid-thumb.jpg

San Jose's youngest celebrity will kick off the city's annual Children's Faire parade Saturday at Discovery Meadow Park.

Three-year-old Mateo Beltran -- who shot to fame after his "Linda, Listen!" YouTube video went viral with more than 4 million views -- has been busy since his appearance on The Ellen Show last month.

In the video, Mateo refers to his mom as “Linda” and “honey” in order to prove a point about why he should have cupcakes for dinner.

Since Mateo likes to argue, his parents hope he will go to law school one day. They are selling "Linda, Listen!" t-shirts online to help him set up a college fund. Mateo has also made a number of public appearances, including one at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

According to the San Jose Public Library, 5,000 people are expected to show up for Saturday's parade and fair, which will highlight "Month of the Child" celebrations.

The theme of the fair is "spark your imagination."