<![CDATA[NBC Bay Area - ]]> Copyright 2014 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 Wed, 03 Sep 2014 00:28:52 -0700 Wed, 03 Sep 2014 00:28:52 -0700 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Rain Closes Main Gate at Burning Man]]> Mon, 25 Aug 2014 16:53:35 -0700 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 02:00:36 -0700 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 20:09:58 -0700 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]]>
<![CDATA[Aerosmith Concord Pavilion Concert Canceled]]> Wed, 13 Aug 2014 12:25:07 -0700 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 17:20:31 -0700 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]]>
<![CDATA[Memorials for Robin Williams]]> Tue, 12 Aug 2014 12:40:57 -0700 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 15:43:19 -0700 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 23:51:42 -0700 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 12:19:00 -0700 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 11:56:24 -0700 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 14:07:01 -0700 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 18:30:05 -0700 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 16:49:17 -0700 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 12:31:10 -0700 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 23:14:26 -0700 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 10:10:32 -0700 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 10:53:44 -0700 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 07:29:06 -0700 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 18:19:59 -0700 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 13:16:05 -0700 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 11:45:51 -0700 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 12:15:30 -0700 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 18:41:00 -0700 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 20:50:43 -0700 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 16:46:53 -0700 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 10:18:02 -0700 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.

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<![CDATA[Waterfront Property Offered to George Lucas For His Museum]]> Wed, 28 May 2014 18:19:51 -0700 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 18:37:12 -0700 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."

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<![CDATA[NBC Bay Area Launches "The Mix" Hosted By Janet Reilly]]> Fri, 16 May 2014 11:45:27 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/The-Mix-Logo.jpg

NBC Bay Area today announced that Janet Reilly will be the host of The Mix, a monthly news magazine show premiering this Saturday, April 26 at 6:30 p.m. The Mix will deliver an in-depth look at the Bay Area’s biggest stories and will feature interviews with a variety of California’s leading newsmakers – from actors, athletes, and CEO's to philanthropists, politicians, and tech industry leaders.

Reilly, a native Californian and a successful businesswoman, will provide a unique perspective on issues facing the Bay Area. She is the former president of the Golden Gate Bridge Highway and Transportation District and is the co-founder and president of Clinic by the Bay, a volunteer based medical clinic in the Excelsior District of San Francisco. Reilly has run for public office twice – in 2006 for California State Assembly and in 2010 for the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. She is also a former journalist and businesswoman, known for her philanthropic work and commitment to making San Francisco a better place to live.

“Janet’s passion for public service and motivation for social change are sure to catch the attention of our viewers as she covers the topics that matter most to them,” said Rich Cerussi, NBC Bay Area’s President and General Manager. “We are excited to be adding The Mix to our weekend lineup and to give our viewers access to these fascinating people and stories.”


Reilly

"The Bay Area is one of the most vital and innovative regions in our country. There are so many extraordinary people living here and there’s always something going on,” said Reilly.” I’m thrilled to be hosting The Mix, and I look forward to bringing these exciting people, stories, and events to our viewers.”

In the show’s debut on Saturday, Reilly sits down with Senator Dianne Feinstein and her daughter Katherine for an intimate discussion on politics and family. Katherine speaks about what it was like growing up in the Bay Area with a mother known as a political pioneer – and how it ultimately shaped her feelings about pursuing a career in public office.

Also in the debut, Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom discusses legalizing marijuana in California, and the final segment will consist of a roundtable discussion on the recent developments in the Warriors potential move to San Francisco.

The show will regularly air on the third Saturday of each month at 6:30 p.m., and NBC Bay Area will replay episodes of The Mix Sunday nights at midnight directly following NBC Bay Area News at 11pm.

ABOUT NBC BAY AREA
Owned by NBC Universal, NBC Bay Area/KNTV is the Bay Area’s investigative station located in the heart of Silicon Valley. The station is committed to providing continuous, in-depth journalism with unique personalities. Along with broadcasting NBC’s award-winning daytime, prime-time and late night programming, NBC Bay Area produces more than 32 hours of news programming each week. COZI TV, the station’s digital network, offers a full schedule of America’s most beloved and iconic television series, hit movies and original programming. COZI TV can be seen locally on Comcast 186, Verizon 460, and over-the-air on 11.3.
 

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<![CDATA[Dome Recommended for Placement on Historic Places List]]> Tue, 22 Apr 2014 19:51:38 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/33+THE+DOME+MEDIUM.jpg

Some encouraging news for the fans working to “save the dome,” San Jose's half-century old Century 21 theater on Winchester Boulevard: The State Historical Resources Commission recommended the theater for placement on the National Register of Historic Places.

The owner of the property wants to bulldoze the theater to make way for high-density housing.

That news launched a groundswell of online petitions and lobbying to save the 1964 building.

Tuesday’s recommendation now goes to the National Park Service, which has the final say on whether the preservation process moves forward.

The theater, which would have notched 50 years in operation later this year, closed its doors March 30 with a farewell screening of “Raiders of the Lost Ark.”

Former employees said they hope at least one dome can stay standing.

"Hopefully, they can save one instead of replacing it with another store," former Century 21 employee Ron Szaely said. "I like stores, but this is better, huh?"
 

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<![CDATA["Revenge of the Nerds" Stars in SF for Screening, Q&A]]> Tue, 04 Feb 2014 15:15:58 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/02-05-2014-Curtis-Armstrong.jpg

Was a 1984 film with themes of bullying, coming out and universal acceptance truly ahead of its time? Keep that question in mind when you realize said film is “Revenge of the Nerds.”

“That’s what I love about it. There was a message of inclusion and tolerance and anti-bigotry,” said Curtis Amstrong, who played Dudley “Booger” Dawson in not only the original but also the three “Nerds” sequels.

Armstrong will join his cast mates, Timothy Busfield, Robert Carradine, Andrew Cassese, Julia Montgomery, Larry B. Scott and Brian Tochi, for a screening of the film and Q&A with The Nerdist’s Chris Hardwick at 8:30 p.m. on Sat., Feb. 8, at the Castro Theatre. It’s part of SF Sketchfest, which concludes its 13th edition this weekend.

“Revenge of the Nerds” may be best remembered for things like the nerds versus the jocks; Carradine’s and Anthony Edwards’ inhale-heavy nerd guffaws; Booger’s “wonder joints;” and lots and lots of female nudity. But, beneath all the titillation was an amazing cast, endearing characters and a message of hope, capped with Queen’s “We Are the Champions” at the finale.

People wear their geek and nerd cred as badges of honor these days. In fact, Armstrong and Carradine host a TBS show called “King of the Nerds” that contestants clamor to be on. But in 1984, not so much.

“At the time, if you were a nerd, you were closeted. That’s what the movie was about,” Armstrong said. “There are things throughout intended as metaphors: the burning cross on the lawn, coming out to your classmates as nerds, and the idea of a black fraternity taking in this mob of misfits, who didn’t belong, obviously, in a black fraternity. There are messages all the way through it.

“In addition to all the bare breasts and nose-picking, there’s actually some stuff in there that means something.” Armstrong credits the progressiveness of the story to the filmmakers and even some cast who came up in the ’60s—Carradine and he were 30 years old already when they made the movie, even though they were playing college freshmen.

Aside from the aforementioned cast who are celebrating the film in SF, “Nerds” featured Bernie Casey, James Cromwell, John Goodman and Ted McGinley in co-starring roles. Armstrong said the script as given to the actors wasn’t so great, but director, Jeff Kanew, encouraged bonding among the cast and lots of improvising, which is where the characters were fleshed out.

“Booger didn’t really exist on the page,” Armstrong said. “He wasn’t a nerd really. That made me think he was somebody who went his own way and happened to have bad hygiene. He was unable to pick up social cues like ‘Don’t belch or pick your nose in front of people.’

“I think the reason he’s there, aside from the broad comedy element, is to show that the nerds don’t blink when it comes to him. They take him in like they would anyone else. No one even says, ‘Are you sure we should have this guy in the house? He’s carrying drugs. He’s disgusting.’ No one ever questions it. It’s just, ‘He’s here. We have to take care of him.’”

The climax of “Revenge of the Nerds” sees the Tri-Lam nerds fraternity versus the football team Alpha Betas in a winner-takes-all Olympic-style games. Just don’t expect Armstrong to be able to recreate his triumphant burp from the stage of the Castro Theatre.

“Everybody asks me to do it, but, A, I can’t belch on cue, and, B, it isn’t even a belch,” Armstrong said. “It’s actually the sound of a camel having an orgasm, which no one believes but Busfield will be there, and he can swear to it. He was in the room when they were mixing the movie. They couldn’t find anyone to do the kind of belch they wanted. So they started looking through animal noises, and that’s what they found.”

Visit www.sfsketchfest.com for more information on the “Revenge of the Nerds” 30th anniversary event.
 


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: SF Sketchfest]]>
<![CDATA[David Wain Drops “Wainy Days” on SF Sketchfest]]> Mon, 03 Feb 2014 12:32:04 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/01-28-2014-Wainy-Days-PR-Image.jpg

With the continuing drought plaguing the Bay Area, it will be a relief that “Wainy Days” are coming soon.

At least writer-director-comedian David Wain’s appearances at SF Sketchfest might help take our minds off the local lack of precipitation. He will present “Wainy Days Live” at 7 p.m. on Saturday, February 1, at Marines’ Memorial Theater and will be part of the three-headed monster known as Stella at 10 p.m. on Friday, January 31, also at Marines’ Memorial.

“Wainy Days” was Wain’s wacky (sorta fake) look at his love life in the form of a Web show, and the live version will feature special guests like Rashida Jones from NBC’s “Parks and Recreation” and Wain’s old comrades, Michael Showalter and Michael Ian Black.

“It will be like a variety show of ‘Wainy Days’ scenes. We’ll do a staging of one or two sketches. We might show some bonus things, a staged reading of an early ‘Wainy Days’ sketch I wrote when I was in middle school. It will be a grab bag,” Wain said.

Jones played a version of Wain in drag in an early episode of “Wainy Days.” “Since Rashida is such a great singer, we might also do some music stuff,” Wain said.

He was en route to the Sundance Film Festival during this interview, for the premiere of “They Came Together,” a romantic comedy he co-wrote with Showalter.

“I’m sure we wouldn’t have done the film if we had not done a reading of the script at Sketchfest,” Wain said. “The project had been sitting on the shelf for years and years. I just sort of had an inkling it would be fun to read. When we read it out loud, the reaction was so strong, and we had so much fun, that immediately after Paul Rudd and Amy Poehler came up to me and said, ‘Please, can we do this and soon?’”

SF Sketchfest has been a special gathering for The State, the groundbreaking sketch comedy troupe that first appeared on MTV 20 years ago and helped launch Wain, Showalter, Black and others into the sketch comedy zeitgeist. The State had its last full reunion of all 11 founding members at Sketchfest four years ago, and different clusters of State members have presented a (viva) variety of performances throughout Sketchfest’s history, including a re-creation of the cult 2001 film “Wet Hot American Summer,” directed by Wain and co-written with Showalter.

“The other thing that’s great about Sketchfest is the entire comedic community gathering,” Wain said. “It’s great to check in with people I worked with in the past and say hello to old friends.”

Six of the 11 (or 55%) members of The State will be part of this year’s Sketchfest, including Wain, Showalter, Black, Kevin Allison, Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon. Wain said Sketchfest is one of the few opportunities for him, Black and Showalter to perform together as Stella.

“We’re on different coasts,” Wain said. “It’s like riding a bike though. Once we’re on stage, it’s like being in a band.”

Stella formed in 1997, and quickly became a magnet for the burgeoning alternative comedy scene in New York City. The trio create a Rat-Pack-meets-the-Marx-Bros. vibe, chock full of nonsense and vigor.

“Stella was a means of giving comics a place to refine that stuff that they were trying out in these rougher rooms. The whole edict of Stella was to be a little more upscale, a little more refined, a little more put together,” Michael Ian Black said. “It had music. We wore suits. There were drinks. It was all designed be an alternative to a traditional stand-up comedy space.”

Stella’s Showalter has also written a new book about one of his passions, cats, called “Guys Can Be Cat Ladies Too.”

“Cats, they are endless sources of entertainment and fascination and conversation. We love them like they are our children,” Showalter said.

At 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 31, Black and Showalter will perform a live version of their Adult Swim infomercial parody, “You’re Whole.” It’s a co-billing with State alumnus, Kevin Allison, whose Stitcher Award-nominated storytelling show “RISK!” at the Brava Theater.

“It doesn’t have to be something that would ever be able to air on NPR,” Allison said about the raw, revealing stories heard on “RISK!” “It doesn’t even have to be funny. Just take a risk, and say something that is truly, authentically you.”

“RISK!” storytellers will include Dana Gould, Nato Green, Stephen Tobolowsky and Brendon Walsh.
Members of The State may actually reunite to attend this summer’s London reunion of Monty Python, the troupe that helped get their comic juices flowing.

Thomas Lennon, who will appear at SF Sketchfest in the shows “Dead Authors” on Jan. 24, “Superego Podcast” on Jan. 25 and “One Star” on Feb. 8, is proud of his collection of all the Python’s autographs.

“Graham Chapman was actually speaking at the University of Indiana,” he said, “and I ended up being able to get his autograph there, which was pretty amazing.”

Robert Ben Garant, State alum and Lennon’s screenwriting partner, is a special guest for “One Star” at the Eureka Theater. Visit sfsketchfest.com for the full schedule of shows and ticket information.

You can watch all five seasons of “Wainy Days” by visiting www.MyDamnChannel.com/WainyDays

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.

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<![CDATA[NorCal's Largest Rummage Sale This Sunday]]> Fri, 24 Jan 2014 23:13:09 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/01-24-2014-white-elephant.jpg

Antique shops pale in comparison. Garage sales don’t hold a candle. And thrift stores are downright pitiful when compared to the 96,000-square-foot warehouse that is home to the annual White Elephant Preview Sale.

Last year I picked up a 24" silver-plated tray for $50 and considered a beautiful carved chair for $100 but it would not fit in my Prius!

More than 1,200 volunteers work the 17 departments that include boutique, silver, fantastic furniture, Christmas, lighting, vintage clothing, furniture, books, jewelry, shoes, tools, electronics, and sporting goods. Rack up karma points while on a treasure hunt—proceeds support the Oakland Museum of California.

This sale is not for the faint of heart, so expect crowds, and watch out for the cutthroat designers and HGTV decorators waiting to snatch that mid-century chair, Chinese vase or classic trunk.

The preview sale is this Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014, and is a picker's delight. Admission is only $20!

Come early and wait in line, doors open at 10 a.m.

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<![CDATA["Nancy and Beth" Band Perform at SketchFest in San Francisco]]> Wed, 22 Jan 2014 08:32:56 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/160*128/nancybeth.JPG

Megan Mullally knows her audience and the ways of grassroots publicity. When her newish band, Nancy and Beth, last arrived in San Francisco and the shows were not yet sold out, Mullally and her harmonizing mate, Stephanie Hunt, made a beeline for The Castro.

“I said, ‘Let’s go steal some flyers for the show from the hotel and go,’” Mullally recalled. “We went out to the bars and created quite a stir, if I say so myself.” “We got into the deejay booths and starting singing, playing the tambourine,” Hunt added.

Before long it was 3 a.m., antics had ensued in and out of the bars, and Hunt heard Mullally say, “You literally have to get me back, into the bed and make sure I call Nick,” Offerman, her husband (“Parks and Recreation” star, carnivore).
 

Suffice it to say, when Nancy and Beth performed their San Francisco shows, they were in front of packed houses. Now, the band is coming back for SF Sketchfest, arguably the greatest comedy festival on the globe. They will hit Kanbar Hall in the Jewish Community Center at 8 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 31.

“We’ve got some fun, pizzazz-y songs planned, some sweet songs and everything in between,” Mullally said. “It’s getting very entertainment value-y. There’s a bit of a burlesque/Vegas vibe. I think what’s interesting about the band is the age difference. We’re 30 years apart. I’m the younger one. When you watch the show, I don't think you can quite figure it out. It lends an element of mystery.”

Nancy and Beth isn’t a comedy act per se. They’re sort of like the Andrews Sisters (minus one sister who’s passed out on
the floor after last call in a hooch den). The act is peppered with tunes from 60-70 years ago, such as a harmonious take on the Louis Jordan R&B classic, “Jack, You’re Dead.”

“What’s the use of havin’ muscles, if your life hangs by a thread? If you ain’t got no red corpuscles, Jack, you’re dead,” Mullally and Hunt croon to a bouncing, four-piece ensemble. From there, out come some ’80s sneaks for a take on Run-D.M.C.’s “My Adidas.”

“We have the actual green and yellow Adidas. I had to order them from Japan because they don’t make them in the states. Because yellow and green are for when you want to get ill,” Mullally reminded. “And that’s what we're trying to do at shows,” Hunt added.

Mullally may be best known for her Emmy-winning stint as Karen Walker on the classic NBC sitcom, “Will and Grace,” but her comedy and music cred go way beyond that defining role. She’s added to the chortles on cult fave shows like “Party Down” and “Children’s Hospital” and has wowed Broadway crowds in the musicals “Grease” and “Young Frankenstein.” Mullally also released two eclectic solo abums before aligning with Hunt for Nancy and Beth.

It was the brutal heat of Texas that brought Mullally and Hunt (“Friday Night Lights,” “Californication”) together in Megan’s air-conditioned car on the set of the indie film “Somebody Up There Likes Me.” “I had my ukulele with me. I started singing. I said, ‘Would you sing this part with me?’ It was there in the air-conditioning that we realized our voices sounded really good together,” Hunt said.

“Our voices blend really well. Also, Stephanie does really great harmonies. She’s kind of insta-harmony. That's nice for me because I don't have to learn harmony parts,” Mullally laughed.

The tone of their voices as well as their flavor for songs was instantly in simpatico. They dove into Mullally’s vast library of ditties and created a “freak out” set list, which has grown and changed over the last year or so. Nancy and
 

Beth recently added head mics so they can create more complicated choreography. You can often catch them rehearsing anywhere there’s a mirror, they said, including hotel lobbies.

“We like to go vintage clothes shopping. Sometimes while we’re shopping, we will pause in front of the mirror and try out some of our clothes to make sure they will work for the show,” Mullally said.

They also recently recorded a cover of rapper Gucci Mane’s song, “I Don’t Love Her,” for the Nancy and Beth debut album.

“Somebody said, it seems like during the show, we’re f****** with the audience a little bit, but at the same time we’re genuinely trying to be entertaining. I think that’s great if people feel that way,” Mullally said.

So, Castro, be ready. If it’s Jan. 30, and Nancy and Beth have seats open for the show on Jan. 31, they’re coming to get you. The Lampshades, featuring Kate Flannery (“The Office”) and Scot Robinson will open the show. Visit sfsketchfest.com for more information.

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: Eric Schwabel]]>
<![CDATA[Jenny Slate Making SF Sketchfest Debut]]> Tue, 14 Jan 2014 15:04:54 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/01-14-2014-jenny-slate.jpg

Spitfire comic Jenny Slate is making her SF Sketchfest debut this month at Cobb’s Comedy Club at 10:30 p.m. on Friday, January 24, with the show Jenny Slate and Friends.

But, what would Jenny Slate and Frenemies from High School be like?

“I didn’t have any frenemies in high school,” Slate said. “If it was Jenny Slate and Frenemies from High School, it would just be me flinching for an hour waiting for someone to attack me and not having anything happen. That would be interesting.”

Instead, Slate is bringing along comic pals Jon Daly, Brett Gelman, Max Silvestri and Nick Thune for a late-night cavalcade.

“The format will be traditional; the performers not so much,” Slate said. “I hear that the crowds at Cobb’s are really down for a party.”

Slate had to cancel her performance at last year’s Sketchfest due to a change in her filming schedule for the season finale of Showtime’s “House of Lies,” she said. Since leaving “Saturday Night Live” after one season in 2010, Slate has been juggling regular live shows on both coasts, hilarious roles on shows like “Parks and Recreation” and Comedy Central’s “Kroll Show” and voice work on stuff like “Bob’s Burgers” and her own smash viral video, “Marcel the Shell with Shoes On.”

The multitasking Slate was even making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for her husband during this interview.

“He won’t have a healthy kind of peanut butter. He makes me get Jif, even though I want to have the organic peanut butter without all the hydrogenated oils,” she laughed.

Slate’s humor can be compared to the last sketch that typically appears five minutes before the end of “Saturday Night Life,” off-the-rails, bizarre and spit-take funny.

“That's my area, the bonkers area,” she said.

Slate said the goodnights of “SNL” were among her favorite moments and recalled an odd exchange.

“Bobby Moynihan and I were wearing full gorilla costumes with latex prosthetics on our face. We didn’t have enough time to take them off before it was time for goodnights,” she said. “The musical guest was Bon Jovi. I turned to Richie Sambora and was like, 'Really nice to meet you,' and he said, 'You, too.' And I said, “This latex is so bad. Sorry my face smells like farts.”

One day, Slate began speaking in a slight, sweet and whispery way to her filmmaker husband, Dean Fleischer-Camp, and the voice inspired the couple to create Marcel, an adorable, one-eyed seashell with itty-bitty sneakers.

“Sometimes you'll hear music, and it will make you start doing a dance or a weird body movement that you could only have started with that music,” she said after being asked about her motivation for voices. “I don’t know how to describe it. It's a feeling. I get a feeling. A lot of times it makes me want to speak as somebody else. That seems like I’m mentally ill. It happens pretty naturally. It’s like dancing, if that makes any sense at all.”

He hang-glides using a Dorito. He uses the toenails of a man for skis. He’s Marcel, and his first video has been watched more than 22 million times.

“We have our second book coming out relatively soon. We will be making a feature, eventually. I hope Marcel does stick around. I think he’s really an interesting, positive, complex character. I think he connects with people of all different ages. If there was one thing that I would be remembered for, I would be very happy if that was my little thing that I did for the world,” Slate said.

Slate, Gabe Liedman and Max Silvestri will also present “Big Terrific,” a popular New York City comedy show, transported to Sketchfest at 8 p.m. Saturday, January 25, also at Cobb’s. You can also catch Slate on new episodes of “Kroll Show” at 10:30 p.m. Tuesdays on Comedy Central.

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: Daniel McMahon]]>
<![CDATA[Comedian Jill Bourque Hopes for Audience "Incontinence"]]> Mon, 23 Dec 2013 16:57:38 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/NYNNYE-5-horiz_edited_David-Allen.jpg

Comedian Jill Bourque is hoping for an exhilarated audience at her fifth-annual Not Your Normal New Year’s Eve show—but no cardiac arrests.

(Writer’s note: The first New Year’s Eve comedy show I attended, Ron White was the headliner, but before he could take the stage, an audience member had a heart attack in the front row of the Funny Bone comedy club, I told Jill. He survived.)

“You always wonder what’s going to happen when you perform in so many shows,” Bourque said.

Hopefully, her 2014 begins on a less serious note.

“I hope there’s some incontinence from laughter,” Bourque said. “That would be the ultimate.”

This year’s event will be held for the first time at the Marines’ Memorial Theatre at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 31. Bourque is co-hosting with a Bay Area favorite, Brian Copeland, and the line-up features a cavalcade of quirky comics: Kelly Erskine, Laurie Kilmartin, Joe Klocek, Casey Ley, Dan St. Paul, and Brent Weinbach.

“Brent was kind of the genesis for this show. I love his unconventional comedy, and when I was producing shows for The Purple Onion, he was headlining one weekend. We were talking, and he inspired me to create this New Year’s show that would be full of unconventional comedy,” Bourque said.

Her biggest challenge hasn’t been putting together a stellar line-up but to get the comedians to dress up a little for the special occasion. To battle that, last year Bourque had three costume changes, culminating in a big, orange and silver balloon gown.

“I almost became a drag queen last year,” she said. Bourque aims to top the 350 balloons that adorned her petite frame last year. “More, more, more! I think we’re adding some three footers to this one,” she added.

Not Your Normal New Year’s Eve is also not normal because it culminates at 10 p.m. San Francisco time—or midnight in Normal, Illinois, Bourque says.

“I like an 8 o’clock show because I like a crisp audience. Some of the shows go beyond midnight, but I don’t like that kind of sloppy audience. It’s not fun for everyone. It gets a little belligerent,” Bourque said.

But her show does end with a bang or two—a giant balloon drop.
“We have these giant, three-foot-in-diameter balloons. When they drop, there’s five minutes of just the balloons going around the theatre,” Bourque said. “I’ve heard stories of people taking them with them on BART.”

For those who want to continue having a good time until midnight (and beyond) local time, for an additional $99, attendees can bounce into the Marines’ Memorial New Year’s party after the show for an open bar, dancing and champagne at midnight.

You may not see Bourque there, though, because last year after the show she spent 45 minutes taking photos with people who were all a’flutter over her balloon gown. If time allows, she might “float by” the party.

“So many balloon jokes, so little time,” she laughed.

Brazilian Mash-Up Artist DJ Lucio K will also keep the festivities lively, Bourque said. For tickets and more information about Not Your Normal New Year’s Eve, call (415) 392-4400 or visit www.nynnye.com.

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: David Allen]]>
<![CDATA[First Up on the PlayStation 4]]> Fri, 22 Nov 2013 18:23:30 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/KNTV_000000005138732_1200x675_70093891737.jpg Next Generation video game consoles are here and are being fueled by new software. It’s just the start of new era that the Sony PlayStation 4 is bringing to gamers around the world now.]]> <![CDATA[Benefits Planned for Poster Artist Injured in Attack]]> Fri, 22 Nov 2013 14:11:11 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/AlanForbes.jpg

Several concerts are planned to benefit a San Francisco poster artist cover growing his medical expenses.

Alan Forbes, a professional poster artist best known for designing the logo for the band the Black Crowes, was attacked in the Lower Haight neighborhood of San Francisco last month.

Friends said the attack left Forbes with two skull fractures and damage to his right eye.

The benefit shows will be held in San Francisco and will feature silent auctions. For more information on the events, visit the Alan Forbes benefit blog.

Forbes has also done posters, logos and album art for bands including the White Stripes, AFI, Queens of the Stone Age, Rage Against the Machine and Dinosaur Jr.



Photo Credit: Alan Forbes Benefit Blog]]>
<![CDATA[Sean Penn Goes Bananas on Dreamforce Attendee]]> Wed, 20 Nov 2013 16:03:02 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/192*120/brolinjj2.jpg

Note to Sean Penn: Cameras aren't for stomping and hotel bars aren't for the screaming -- unless you want to end up on camera.

The volatile and talented Oscar-winning actor -- and frequenter of San Francisco bars -- was captured on video having a temper tantrum, according to TMZ and others.

Penn, the Bay Area-based actor who starred in "Milk" and was known to frequent Tosca in North Beach, was in town to talk about Haiti at Salesforce.com's Dreamforce 2013 conference.

MORE: Haitian Prime Minister Tours Silicon Valley

Following the talk about saving humanity, Penn was in the hotel bar of the St. Regis when a fan -- who was a Dreamforce attendee -- dared to take a cell phone photo of the actor.

Oops.

Penn took the man's phone and "slammed it to the ground," according to the San Jose Mercury News.

"Do we look like [curse word] zoo animals?" Penn asked the man. "I'll make you eat the phone -- get the [curse word] out of here!"

TMZ, of course, has video of the incident,
shot by more discrete individuals who were spared Penn's self-editing.

Penn complained to hotel management, who asked if the man wanted to call police. He did not.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[John Waters Hitchhikes His Way to San Francisco]]> Tue, 19 Nov 2013 11:31:54 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/11-18-2013-john-waters.jpg

When John Waters treks from his home in Baltimore to San Francisco, he does it the old-fashioned way, with his thumb. 

“I would recommend everybody hitchhiking again!” the writer-director of iconic films such as “Polyester” and “Hairspray” said.

It was for his next probable best-selling book that Waters decided to take a decidedly old-fashioned approach to cross-country travel. That tome will arrive in 2014, but Waters will be here for two shows at Yoshi’s San Francisco on Saturday, Nov. 23.

“I’ve never played this club before, a good jazz club,” Waters said. “I hope I can resist the urge to shoot up heroin before I go on. I don’t do heroin, but what jazz musician doesn’t? Jazz is the sound of heroin. If you see me nodding off, you know I found an old syringe somewhere.”

Perhaps that’s not the type of banter typically heard at the admittedly jazzy joint, but fans of Waters would have it no other way. In fact, his show is titled, “This Filthy World,” and he promises that while it’s completely scripted and memorized, Waters “upgrades” it for the city and venue in which it’s performed. And because Waters owns a home in San Francisco, he’ll have an informed opinion on the city—albeit a potentially controversial one.

“I think you have the best transit there,” he said. “I can say, ‘Your cat hates you,’ and nobody seems to get that upset. I say you have a good transit system, and people say, ‘He’s gone insane!’ I do ride the bus. People say, ‘What are you doing on the bus?’ Why wouldn’t I be on the bus? They have great routes. I want to be the spokesman for BART.

“And the cable car goes right by my apartment. I feel like I live in a Rice-A-Roni commercial.”

Waters’ live show traces through his nearly-50-year career as a mondo weirdo moviemaker. His collection of oddballs and misfits were dubbed the Dreamlanders and co-starred in Waters’ low-budget films like “Pink Flamingos” and “Desperate Living,” flicks that found infamy and rabid fans via the midnight movie circuits. Waters’ muse, female impersonator Divine née Harris Glenn Milstead, became an international superstar.

It’s been nearly a decade since Waters’ last film, “A Dirty Shame.” “The business is not one I know anymore,” he said. Waters has shifted his craft to writing acclaimed books and making interesting cameos, such as one in comedy troupe Lonely Island’s music video, “The Creep.”

“I get recognized everywhere for that,” Waters said. “Have you seen how many hits that’s had? Go on YouTube and see. You’ll be shocked.”

As of this writing, it’s more than 78.6 million.

After Waters performs here (and hits some hipster bars on Valencia with friends), he’s spending the holidays with family.

PHOTOS: Weird News Photos

“I will take my 89-year-old mother to my sister’s in Virginia, as we do every year,” he said. “We go en mass to see whatever the new holiday movie is. It’s hard in a little town in Virginia. I don’t have a lot of choices. I’m mad there isn’t a new Chipmunks movie, which I always want to go see.”

Don’t expect to see a 20-foot-tall, inflatable Alvin, Simon and Theodore adorning his San Francisco apartment this holiday season though.

“I only decorate the Baltimore one because I’m there for Christmas,” he said. “I have a big party. I have a wreath made of sticker bushes that snag your outfit as you come in the door. We decorate the electric chair that was in ‘Female Trouble’ with Christmas lights. We really do it up.”

While “This Filthy World” isn’t his Christmas show, feel free to ask during the Q&A portion about Waters’ view on jolly, old elves.

“There are a lot of unanswered questions about Santa,” he said. “Is he a polar bear? Are the reindeer twinks? One was called Prancer. One would think.”

Visit yoshis.com/sanfrancisco for tickets and more information about John Waters’ “This Filthy World.”

 

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: Greg Gorman]]>
<![CDATA[Hollywood In Napa -- Film Festival Returns]]> Sat, 16 Nov 2013 00:12:35 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/220*120/colinferel.jpg

Is that Colin Farrell with some Chardonnay in Calistoga? Could that be Tom Hanks having Pinot in St. Helena?

Has Carneros become the new red carpet?

It's possible.

The Napa Valley Film Festival is well under way, which means the gliterrati are descending upon wine country.

Friday Farrell made an appearance for the viewing of "Saving Mr. Banks," the Hanks vehicle in which the star plays Walt Disney. Ralph Macchio was also on hand, as was Billy Bush.

The festival includes 125 films, 50 chefs and 150 wines.

PHOTOS: $30M Napa Home Perched Over Pond

And, of course, there are some movies about wine: "Red Obsession" chronicles the Chinese obsession with Bordeaux -- a bad word in Cabernet country! -- and a more homegrown tale with "Dossier Zinfandel," which gets up and close with that "mysterious" American grape.

Jackson Rathbone and Ralph "The Karate Kid" Macchio (he's a director now) will also appear as the festival winds down -- but don't miss the main event.

That's the Gala Night, when Napa gets the Red Carpet treatment. It all begins at 4:30 p.m. Thursday afternoon at the Napa Valley Opera House, 103 Main Street in Napa.

That'll get the snobs out of Yountville, for a day anyway.

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<![CDATA[American Girl Store Comes to Stanford]]> Thu, 14 Nov 2013 15:44:30 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/220*120/americangirl1.jpg

Playgrounds across the Bay Area are likely buzzing in high-pitch squeals this week as little girls plan their first visit to the new American Girl store in Palo Alto.

The store has been under wraps for months at the Stanford Shopping Mall, but its door will swing wide open on Saturday morning.

For non-doll aficionados, the American Girl doll is considered the "Tiffany of toys," with prices starting at more than $100. Throw in the brushes, skirts and other accessories, and gift givers are looking at spending hundreds of dollars for each "Saige," "McKenna" and "Kanani," this holiday season.

The American Girl doll line started in Chicago in 1986. The company devotes its entire business to "celebrating the potential of girls ages 3 to 12."

The Stanford store is 15,000 square feet and has two levels. It has a restaurant and a hair salon. Humans can eat in the Bistro, but the salon is only for the dolls.

The store's grand opening this weekend is expected to be crowded.

A ticket system will be used with customers given a group number.

Tickets won't be handed out before 7 a.m. on Saturday and 8 a.m. on Sunday and Stanford does not allow overnight camping.

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<![CDATA[Bay Area Ice Rink Open for Business]]> Wed, 06 Nov 2013 15:13:42 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/160*120/skating_rink.jpg

Halloween decorations are still up in most Bay Area neighborhoods, but there is one spot that has already jumped to the next holiday season.

San Francisco's Union Square ice rink opened for business Tuesday.

The Safeway Holiday Ice Rink, presented by Alaska Airlines, hosted a "ice breaking" event to get things started.

It was a balmy 68 degrees for the party. 

The ice rink will stay open through Jan.  20.

Ticket prices are $11 for adults and $7 for children eight years old and under. Skate rentals will cost you another $5.

The hours are 10 a.m. – 11:30 p.m. every day of the week.

A portion of ticket proceeds benefit Boys & Girls Clubs of San Francisco and the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Chick-fil-A Returns to Sunnyvale]]> Thu, 31 Oct 2013 08:30:52 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/IMAG3650.jpg

After a nearly 20-year hiatus, Chick-fil-A is returning to Sunnyvale.

The first Bay Area Chick-fil-A location opened at the Sunnyvale Town Center in 1984. It closed in 1994. The new Chick-fil-A is less than a mile away at 550 W El Camino Real.

Dozens of people have been camping out at the new spot this week ahead of Thursday's 6 a.m. opening.

The first 100 people in line for the opening will get free chicken for a year. The coupon is worth about $350 and is for one meal a week.

The Sunnyvale location is the eighth of nine new restaurants the chain plans to open in California this year.

Chick-fil-A says each restaurant employes 60 to 100 people.

Its founder Truett Cathy first began serving a pressured cooked breast-of-chicken sandwich on a buttered bun with two pickles in Hapeville, Ga., in 1946. The franchises are still serving that same sandwich today.

 

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<![CDATA[$100,000 "Ultimate Box Set" Sold and Delivered]]> Tue, 22 Oct 2013 19:52:24 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/188*120/UBS+Deliver-005.jpg

In December of 2012, avant-garde music/film/multimedia/performance group The Residents, from San Francisco, announced the availability of an “Ultimate Box Set” with a video of singer Randy Rose showing off a refrigerator filled with over 150 Residents products.

Included in the offering were first pressings and first releases of every major album, single, video, DVD, and much more, with the crown jewel being a genuine eyeball mask from the iconic group.  

Price tag?  $100,000. 

PHOTOS: The Residents' Ultimate Box Set

Last September, Cryptic Corporation Vice President Homer Flynn announced the sale of the first Ultimate Box Set to a man named Tripmonster from Bloomington, Ind.  In a video press release, Flynn also said the delivery would be shot as part of a documentary called, “Theory of Obscurity,” about the 40+ year history of The Residents.  (Full disclosure: I am a producer on that film, but didn’t make the trip for the UBS shoot.) 

Acting as the managers for The Residents, The Cryptic Corporation has handled all press, business dealings and public interactions during the majority of the group’s career, providing the members of The Residents with an impressive level of anonymity.

"For The Residents, the delivery of their Ultimate Box Set was both a profound and satisfying experience," Flynn said. "The expression of joy on the face of Tripmonster, as he held Mr. Green, the eyeball mask from his UBS, was worth every minute of their 40-year existence."

“This past weekend we captured a phenomenal event for our film Theory of Obscurity," documentary director Don Hardy said. "The Residents' Ultimate Box Set is a living testament to the amazing creative output that these one-of-a-kind artists have had over the past 40 years. Seeing all of their creations in one place was fantastic and so was meeting the proud owners of what has to be the coolest refrigerator ever made.”

Before leaving San Francisco, Flynn and fellow Cryptic Corporation Vice President Hardy Fox gathered the materials for the UBS, which ended up being 154 items, plus the eyeball mask. 

The Residents, with the help of the Cryptic Corporation, have kept archival copies of everything they’ve done over the years, and while Flynn was preparing the material for shipping, he said, “I think anytime you deal with nostalgia and are confronted with a whole lot of your past in a short amount of time, there’s mixed emotions that go along with it.”

En route to Indiana, Flynn stopped in Shreveport, La., to speak at Unscene Shreveport about “going to high school with The Residents, and meeting legendary performers like James Brown, Bo Diddley and Otis Redding,” according to the Theory of Obscurity Facebook page.

While thumbing through the items before the trip, Flynn said, “To be honest, as you get older, there’s a point where you realize most of your life is in the past, it’s not in the future. That doesn’t mean you don’t have a future, and it’s not that you don’t feel positive about it, but still, you know you’re never going to live as much of a life again as what you’ve already lived.”



Photo Credit: Theory of Obscurity ]]>
<![CDATA[Publishing Legend Ron Turner Roast Kept Everyone Laughing]]> Mon, 21 Oct 2013 11:46:57 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/Ron+Turner+Roast2.JPG

Local icon and institution Ron Turner and his Last Gasp Publishing house got roasted by the Litquake organization and received their prestigious Barbary Coast Award for a lifetime of literary achievements this week.
Ron Turner is an almost mythological local character, and Wednesday night's roast did little to dispel that larger-than-life status.
Among the evenings revelations: He knew both Charles Manson and the Reverend Jim Jones of the People's Temple. He once smoked a joint with Lee Harvey Oswald. And he's on a first name basis with both Norman Schwarzkopf and Timothy Leary.
Back in the nineties he helped throw one of the most scandalous parties in American history. It was attended by all the local politicians who were forced to witness a satanic performance artist get a pentagram cut into his back with a knife before being sodomized with a strap-on Jack Daniels bottle.
Over the years this party has taken on a mythic status and led to an urban folk legend that the Forty Niners will never win a Super Bowl again as a result of this profane ritual. It's known as the "Curse of The Forty Niners."
The stories told over the evening seemed to keep lurching from the surreal to the scandalously hilarious. But many of the roasters, such as Burning Man co-founder John Law, kept bringing the focus back to the books Last Gasp has published.
Over his decades as a publisher, Ron Turner has created some of the most outrageous books in print: Horny Biker Slut Comics, Amputee Love, Virgin Sperm Dancer, the list of titles just goes on and on.
But Turner is also responsible for some of the most lovely art books one will ever see. Mark Ryden's Fushigi Circus and the three Hi-Fructose Anthologies are like perfect art objects of breath-taking beauty.
A long list of friends and cohorts lined up to take part in the roast, including such luminaries as author Susie Bright, painter Robert Williams and gossip columnist Leah Garchik. Bucky Sinister was the perfect roast host and he kept the hilarious barbs coming fast and furiously.
Comic artist Jay Kinney talked about Ron's role as one of the main underground comics publishers of the sixties, seventies and beyond. Charlie Winton, of Publishers Group West and Soft Skull Press, described their adventures in publishing.
One of the funniest parts of the evening was the Last Gasp Chorus where a group of current and former employees related some sidesplittingly hilarious personal reminiscences.
Michelle Schlachta told a series of stories involving a nude photo of Ron, a comic called Crack Whore, and a wild party at the Mitchell Brothers that was so funny it left me gasping for breath.
Even Ron's son Colin Turner raked him over the coals with comments like: "I think Ron is my dad."
Though the event was a roast, it wasn't particularly mean spirited. Almost every embarrassing personal reminiscence or barb was usually followed by a protestation of love and respect.
In fact, at times it seemed like more of a love fest than a roast, with some in attendance complaining to roasters, like iconic Dead Kennedys artist Winston Smith, that they were too kind. This is not really surprising because underneath his bizarre eccentricities Ron's really a nice guy, and no one can deny his truly great achievements as a publisher.



Photo Credit: Josh Keppel]]>