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Music, Points of Anguish: Heartbreak Sharpens Sharon Van Etten's Songwriting

Points of Anguish: Heartbreak Sharpens Sharon Van Etten's Songwriting

In late 2012, nearly a year after the release of Tramp, her acclaimed third album, Sharon Van Etten was summoned to Avatar Studios in Manhattan to record a remake of the 1923 Irving Berlin ballad "What'll I Do." The song…
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Dining, Distillations Distillations: Up in Smoke at Occidental Cigar Club

Distillations: Up in Smoke at Occidental Cigar Club

The first cigar I ever smoked was in Havana, where I bought Cohibas on the black market from the factory guards. I fell in love, but had to keep it a long-distance relationship: Smoking too much hurts my singing voice,…
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Dining, Fresh Eats Ramen Shop's Chris Lane on Designing Ramen-Friendly Cocktails

Ramen Shop's Chris Lane on Designing Ramen-Friendly Cocktails

When we visited Ramen Shop last year, we were impressed: This restaurant was producing some fantastic drinks straight out of the gate and without any official bar manager. Now that bartender par excellence Chris Lane, formerly of Lolinda, is at…
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Music, Tour of Venice: Why It Matters If S.F. Loses Its Musicians

Tour of Venice: Why It Matters If S.F. Loses Its Musicians

As we debate the struggles of musicians and artists in San Francisco, one question frequently arises: Why does it matter if many of them leave for the East Bay? They'll still be more or less "here," as opposed to the…
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Dining, Distillations Distillations: Hiding Out at Dalva

Distillations: Hiding Out at Dalva

I'd been inside Dalva, in the Mission, for a couple of hours with Jimmy and Arnold. We'd walked through the long dark dive bar that makes up the front of the place and gone into the "Hideout" in the back,…
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Dining, Recent Openings

Recent Openers February 5-12, 2014

CDXX: Bayview's new bistro has a New American slant to the menu and a wide range of burgers with fancy toppings ($11-$17). But its real claim to fame is its Croughnut, a knockoff of Manhattan's famed Cronut. 5800 Third St.,…
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Dining, Recent Openings

SF Weekly Recent Openers January 29-February 25, 2014

Bun Mee: The Fillmore banh mi shop opens a second location in the Financial District, offering Franco-Vietnamese sandwiches, salads, and fish and chips with red curry and sweet potato fries. 650 Market, 800-7696, bunmee.co. CDXX: Bayview's new bistro has a…
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Dining, Eat S.F. Drinks of 2013: The Best Things We Drank This Year

S.F. Drinks of 2013: The Best Things We Drank This Year

Another year, another round of drinks polished off. This year in cocktails was an interesting one. It was the year when low-alcohol drinks crossed over from something you drank after surgery to legitimate options on a lot more bar menus.…
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Dining, Eat Artichoke Basille's Pizza: Gut-Busting Goodness in Berkeley

Artichoke Basille's Pizza: Gut-Busting Goodness in Berkeley

When I lived in New York in my mid-20s, I used to go to Nowhere on 14th Street all the time because it's one of the last seedy gay bars in Manhattan. After many a night of weapons-grade inebriation, I…
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Film, "American Promise": Educating America's Youth Is Surprisingly Promising

"American Promise": Educating America's Youth Is Surprisingly Promising

American Promise This remarkable documentary from filmmakers Joe Brewster and Michèle Stephenson chronicles a dozen-plus years in the life of their son, Idris, and his childhood friend, Seun, two black kids from Brooklyn who attend an elite and historically very…
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Dining, Distillations

Brand Identity: The Residence Needs No Chamber Music

On my way to The Residence in the Duboce Triangle, I learned that the chain store Jack Spade had its permit to set up shop in the Mission pulled. "Fuck yeah," I told the bus. Company lawyers had claimed that…
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Calendar, Night&Day No pop-culture phenomenon is immune

No pop-culture phenomenon is immune

Anyone who came of age in the '90s has feelings, one way or another, about Friends, the 10-season sitcom and cultural phenomenon about a group of twentysomethings who lived in impossibly large Manhattan apartments. The show made TV Guide's…
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Dining, Eat La Urbana: Newest Divisadero Interloper Has Potential -- and Work to Do

La Urbana: Newest Divisadero Interloper Has Potential -- and Work to Do

La Urbana is trying. And that's something for a restaurant that's inspired so much hand-wringing about what is happening to the Divisadero corridor. It's upscale, ambitious, high-concept Mexican cuisine, with a sleek urban feel and high prices to match. The…
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Film, "Herb & Dorothy 50x50": Great Art Collectors Go National

"Herb & Dorothy 50x50": Great Art Collectors Go National

Herb & Dorothy 50x50 For decades, librarian Dorothy Vogel and her husband, Herb, purchased as much art as they could afford — typically smaller, inexpensive works of minimalist art — more than 4,000 pieces, some adorning the walls of their…
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Dining, Bouncer Bouncer Catalogues Hipster Society at Casanova Lounge

Bouncer Catalogues Hipster Society at Casanova Lounge

Bacon is the New Vampire Chickens are the new potbellied pigs. Bacon is the new vampire. But more on that later. It's been a long time since I have felt the pull of a gen-u-ine S.F. hipster bar. By the…
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Music, Bouncer Bouncer Contemplates Chickens and Casual Sex in Chinatown

Bouncer Contemplates Chickens and Casual Sex in Chinatown

A year ago I saw a chicken clucking along the curb on Stockton in Chinatown, an obvious escapee. I cheered! Then it hopped down into the street, and I watched in horror as it made for the center of the…
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Dining, Eat Lunch in the FiDi: Finding the Area's Best Midday Meals

Lunch in the FiDi: Finding the Area's Best Midday Meals

Breakfast has long been heralded as the most important meal of the day, and dinner's supremacy in the daily meal lineup isn't questioned, but poor little lunch so often sits between them like a neglected middle child. Especially the type…
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Dining, Eat The Corner Store: New American Excess

The Corner Store: New American Excess

You've gotta give them credit: Buffalo-style sweetbreads is a brave idea. The pairing of fluorescent hot sauce often served in sports bars with a fried thymus gland associated with haute cuisine is just the kind of low/high concept that gets…
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Dining, Eat Two Sisters Bar and Books: Small Plates, Big Ambiance

Two Sisters Bar and Books: Small Plates, Big Ambiance

You could be forgiven for wanting to escape from the world in the coming weeks. The holiday gauntlet has officially been thrown down, and with it the usual emotional, physical, and financial challenges of the stretch of days between Thanksgiving…
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Film, "Premium Rush": Sharp Action, Silly Concept

"Premium Rush": Sharp Action, Silly Concept

Joseph Gordon-Levitt is a new kind of action hero: one that most of America's movie-going population could knock out with one punch. Happily, exuberant bike-messenger-chase-film extravaganza Premium Rush makes the actor's lightweight, streamlined frame an attribute rather than liability, emphasizing…
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