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News, Feature Rise of the Number of the Screens: Exploring the Mystery at the Heart of the New Mission Theater

Rise of the Number of the Screens: Exploring the Mystery at the Heart of the New Mission Theater

Getting your hopes up is always dangerous, but this one especially stings. There was a flurry of excitement among the film crowd in January 2013 when the Planning Commission approved the $10 million renovation of the long-shuttered, 2,021-seat New Mission…
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Film, "Kid-Thing": A Backwoods Kid Meets a Voice Down a Well

"Kid-Thing": A Backwoods Kid Meets a Voice Down a Well

Kid-Thing Your tolerance for the new feature from Austin-based brothers Nathan and David Zellner may depend on whether you've acquired a taste for their previous work. This is genuinely independent moviemaking, forged from inner resourcefulness and sibling reinforcement. Like the…
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Music, More Is More in Mwahaha's Chaotic Synth-Rock

More Is More in Mwahaha's Chaotic Synth-Rock

It's a few days into this year's South by Southwest festivities, and the members of Oakland-based synth-rock band Mwahaha are 1,744 miles from Austin, sitting on well-worn couches at their Fruitvale studio. They drink shitty beer and smoke nicer-than-average cigarettes.…
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Music, South-By Superlatives: The Weirdest, Best, and Most Profane of SXSW 2013

South-By Superlatives: The Weirdest, Best, and Most Profane of SXSW 2013

The music portion of South by Southwest is always a slog, but now it's largely a slog in service to America's corporate overlords and celebrity elite. Along with presenting promising new artists, this year's Austin confab served as a tool…
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News, Sucka Free City

Triathlon Deaths: By the Numbers

On the morning of the Escape from Alcatraz triathlon, Ross Ehlinger was a husband, father, and athlete. By the end of the day he was a statistic. Ehlinger, a 46-year-old Austin, Texas, attorney, was pulled from the bay's frigid water…
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Music, Finding the Yay Area: Local Artists Pull a Few Surprises at South by Southwest

Finding the Yay Area: Local Artists Pull a Few Surprises at South by Southwest

Rapping Oakland spliff-nymph Kreayshawn played at South by Southwest, and it wasn't a disaster. It wasn't embarrassing. It wasn't a joke. Her 20-minute set actually felt like a success. Which was quite an achievement considering the factors working against her:…
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Calendar, Night&Day Resistance Is Futile

Resistance Is Futile

We call it “bicycle creep.” San Francisco is slowly, gradually, but with undeniable certainty, assimilating the bicycle as a central part of its structure and culture. Eventually – it could be as soon as 2012 or 2013 – the city…
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Music, Marnie Stern's finger-tapping guitar wins hearts and minds

Marnie Stern's finger-tapping guitar wins hearts and minds

We really wanted to ignore the fact that indie-rock femme guitar virtuoso Marnie Stern is kind of a babe. We think her face-melting matters more than her heart-melting attributes, and worry that mentioning her half-smiling, half-winking glow might undermine years…
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Calendar, Night&Day Loud and Squealing

Loud and Squealing

Austin, Texas, the Live Music Capital of the World, brings us – live music. Woven Bones is a garage rock trio, emphasis on rock. The band features brittle tempos that make you want to throw your head around, a bassline…
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Music, The Strange Boys write another rough masterpiece

The Strange Boys write another rough masterpiece

The sun was shining in Austin for the first time in a week, and Ryan Sambol — singer for scraggle-rock combo the Strange Boys — was showing his Texas stripes, coughing through his shivers and complaining about the temperature. But…
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Music, Noise Pop matches orchestras with pop acts and art with sound

Noise Pop matches orchestras with pop acts and art with sound

Sitting shoulder to shoulder with her 28-piece Magik*Magik Orchestra last month, composer, vocalist, and musician Minna Choi performed a set of 10 grandiose songs with indie-rock darlings the Dodos inside the expansive SFMOMA. The collaboration was part of the museum's…
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Music, The Bell brothers achieve wordless brilliance with Lymbyc Systym

The Bell brothers achieve wordless brilliance with Lymbyc Systym

Instrumental rock bands are bound to get compared to each other, sometimes unfairly. If there are elements of jazz, a group suddenly sounds like Tortoise. If metal is referenced, it's Pelican. If things get heavy yet feel cinematic: Explosions in…
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Calendar, Night&Day Rude Reels

Rude Reels

With all the discerning purveyors of schlock, genre, and exploitation cinema in the Bay Area, do we really need some dudes from Texas to show us a good time? Hell, no. But San Franciscans are hospitable types, and two local…
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Music, Mexican bribes and high gas prices: The May Fire's tour diary

Mexican bribes and high gas prices: The May Fire's tour diary

After hearing repeated newscasts about the ways high gas prices are affecting four-wheeled travelers of all income levels, we asked local indie act the May Fire to document the price of hitting the road in a band van. Vocalist and…
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Music, Going Off

Going Off

For a while there, if you wanted to bathe your ears in some truly orgasmic instrumental post-rock, you couldn't do much better than Scotland's Mogwai. Take its epic, 16-minute "Mogwai Fear Satan," for example. The opening guitar line repeats portentously,…
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Music, Net Gains

Net Gains

Fact: It's now uncool to spazz about a band just because it got big overnight thanks to the Power of the Internet (MP3 blogs, MySpace, etc.). Also fact: It's even uncool to point out that it's uncool. Late-breaking fact: As…
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News, Sucka Free City

Ship of Fools

The S.S. Jeremiah OBrien, the floating museum moored at Pier 45, is a San Francisco icon, but apparently the bacchanalian crowd that rented it for a Memorial Day weekend party didn't appreciate that. First, someone reportedly burned a small American…
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Music, Funk, Revisited

Funk, Revisited

"This is the shit. This is what it's all about," says a scruffy-faced "Cool" Chris Veltri. The fabled crate-digger and proprietor of SF's legendary vinyl emporium Groove Merchant is referring to one of his recent finds, procured on a trip…
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News, South to the Future

South to the Future

October 20, 1999 AUSTIN, Texas -- In the wake of the Littleton, Colo., massacre at Columbine High, schools around the country are rushing to beef up security on campus. In addition to metal detectors, armed guards, and anger-management workshops, some…
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Music,

Tom Waits' Variations

Everything you are about to read is a lie. Well, perhaps that is an exaggeration, as is much of what comes out of Tom Waits' mouth. It's not as though Waits doesn't know the truth; it's just less fun…
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