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News, Sucka Free City Branching Out: An S.F. Man Achieves Tree-Climbing Supremacy

Branching Out: An S.F. Man Achieves Tree-Climbing Supremacy

A new champion walks among us in San Francisco — or, more likely, gazes down from above. Arborist Chad Brey's voicemail offers the all-but-certain caveat that he's likely up a tree rather than taking your call. On April 6, this…
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News, Sucka Free City

Foliage Is Not an Option: The City's Tree-Climbing Champion Attempts to Make Good

Tree-climbing is an activity that lends itself more to guidelines than rules: Try not to ascend a tree while intoxicated. Better not to scale a tree while nude. Don't fall. It turns out, however, there's a right way and a…
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Film, "Project X": Empty Hedonism for High-Schoolers

"Project X": Empty Hedonism for High-Schoolers

"There's a midget in the oven!" is about as inspired as the dialogue and set pieces get in this queasy-making entertainment about a 17-year-old dude's birthday bacchanalia. Produced by The Hangover's Todd Phillips, Project X repackages that franchise's skull-numbing hedonism…
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Culture, Books "A Pornography of Grief: Stories": Queer Performance Artist Revels in the Grim

"A Pornography of Grief: Stories": Queer Performance Artist Revels in the Grim

People do so much suffering and dying in A Pornography of Grief that endurance starts seeming indecent. There are two broken necks before Page 30, abundant bodily violations thereafter, and always a weary daze of bereavement. The bleak, nervy beauty…
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Music, Bouncer 23 Ways to Stray

23 Ways to Stray

On one of my trips down to my family's cradle of civilization, South Pasadena, I looked through my grandmother's yearbooks. She was in high school in the 1920s, so it was fascinating to see what teenagers looked like back then,…
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Music, Bouncer

Isolation drills at Celia's

When I get depressed, I usually isolate myself from everything. I retreat from friends, family, neighbors, roommates, pets, even books. No reading for me; I get lost in television. Often I don't actually know that I'm down until I realize…
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Music, All Shook Down The Artists Behind Michael Jackson, Sigur Ros and God of War -- A curated tour by Creep Machine's Josh

The Artists Behind Michael Jackson, Sigur Ros and God of War -- A curated tour by Creep Machine's Josh

1. Mark Ryden's "General Sherman" Trained at the Art Center in Pasadena. Mark Ryden is one of the top "Pop" artists. His work has been seen in movies such as Monkeybone and album covers for bands like Red Hot…
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Music, Bouncer

All-American pride at the student union Pub

I just spent two weeks with my tiny 86-year-old Dutch great aunt in Pasadena. "Omi," Dutch for grandma, is all-American, except for her heavy accent and her tendency to spread Marmite on toast. I was tickled to see that she…
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News, Matt Smith

Remote Controlled

In the future, the world's surface may be salted with billions of synthetic brain cells, each sensing its surroundings and communicating with neighbor cells. This multilayered sensing and networking ability is, in the mind of some artificial-life computer researchers, the…
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Music, Reviewed Miles Davis

Miles Davis

It's rare that an album of historic import upon its initial release remains so decades after the fact, but 1956's 'Round About Midnight is a rare album indeed, one that commemorates a few milestones (no pun intended) in the stellar…
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Dining, Eat Silver Anniversary

Silver Anniversary

"This is just like Glendale. Pasadena." The recent transplant from Southern California steered the Olds around the general vicinity of Oakland's Piedmont district, searching for a parking place: the quest that unites Californians north and south. Too early for our…
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Calendar, Halloween

REAL ASTROLOGY for an unreal world

Aries (March 21-April 19): The longest flight by a chicken, 302 feet, was accomplished in 1967 by a hen born under the sign of Aries. In 1955, an Aries python provided the only known case of a snake devouring a…
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