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News, Your Humble Narrator Last Call for Know-It-Alls: The Departure of a  Classic Specimen of Old-San Francisco Bon Vivantery

Last Call for Know-It-Alls: The Departure of a Classic Specimen of Old-San Francisco Bon Vivantery

An ever-present, chilled glass of Ancient Age bourbon awaits Harold "H." Brown in his 96-square-foot room in the Tenderloin. A pair of "guard chihuahuas" loudly monitor the mounds of detritus spilling out of a neighboring room and piling up in…
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Culture, Kill Your Television Bolton Is the Message: Honda Goes Meta

Bolton Is the Message: Honda Goes Meta

It began innocently enough sometime in late November. A snowy scene, a line of cars, sleigh bells. Typical holiday auto ad until Michael Bolton shows up, dressed in a winter coat, belting out his well-documented "constipated white man's Ray Charles"…
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Music, Reviewed Maceo Parker and the WDR Big Band

Maceo Parker and the WDR Big Band

In the spring of 1959, Ray Charles — 29 years old and hot off his chart-topping hit "What'd I Say" — recorded 12 covers backed by a string orchestra and an all-star band of Count Basie and Duke Ellington alumni.…
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Calendar, Night&Day

Burying The Corps

The CounterCorp Anti-Corporate Film Festival lineup is surprisingly humorous. The subject matter isn't, but the high production values and good-natured joking around sure help the medicine go down. "When HR goes too far" is the tagline for The Method, for…
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Film, Messed Around

Messed Around

Ray, director Taylor Hackford's 15-years-in-the-making biography of Ray Charles, begins as you might hope: with 1959's "What'd I Say (Part 1)" pulsing on the soundtrack, the organ's low moans building toward that familiar, funky frenzy. It almost serves as an…
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Music, House of Tudor House Of Tudor

House Of Tudor

Some of the greatest songs on eX-Girl's 1997 loony-pop masterpiece Kero! Kero! Kero! found the Japanese sweet-tart trio constructing art-punk opuses with little more than startling harmonies and a few well-placed chords. The following rock-heavy indie-soundtrack The Legend of the…
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Remembering Charles Brown

Charles Brown, the great rhythm-and-blues pianist and vocalist best known today for having penned "Merry Christmas, Baby," made it through one last Christmas. But he couldn't make it to what probably would have been the biggest celebration of his career:…
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Soul Searching

Various Artists Beg Scream & Shout! The Big Ol' Box of '60s Soul (Rhino) If popular culture is to be believed -- and, granted, as cultures go, it's a pathological liar -- the most important thing about soul music appears…
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Calendar, Halloween

Slap Shots

No Fuckin' Around "Hey everybody, let's have some fun. You only live but once, and when you're dead you're done." The groovy melody of Ray Charles' classic "Let the Good Times Roll" fills the room at Pier 23, sending heads…
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