George McIntire

To the desert and back

The Fresh and Onlys' Tim Cohen ditches the city for rural Arizona and returns with a new record — and new tensions

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Dispatches from SXSW: Day 3 — Lessons, brisket, and fool's gold

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The most important thing I learned from being at SXSW is that I should not under any circumstances make any decisions to move to Austin based on my experience at SXSW. Yes, the city is amazing, hip, and fun for 10 days out of the year, but what about the other 355? I’m willing to bet at least 60 percent of attendees thought to themselves “You know what, I could totally see myself living here.” For San Franciscans and New Yorkers, that number is probably 80 percent. Not to mention, summertime in Austin is a devil’s combo of Arizona heat and Deep South humidity. Read more »

Dispatches from SXSW: Day 2 – Fader Fort, Future Islands, and Waiting in Lines

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I’m pretty sure the Fader Fort is where I want to spend the rest of my youth and possibly my life. This makeshift village is probably as close to cool heaven as it gets. It’s got free music, free drinks, and people-watching galore. Did I mention it’s also got charging stations, free ice cream, and a first aid tent? You really could spend the rest of your youth and/or life here.Read more »

Dispatches from SXSW: Painted Palms

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After a long day of waiting in line in the sun, catching various 15-minute sets, and just being downright baffled by the enormity and complexity of SXSW (this is my first time), I lumbered my way to Maggie Mae to catch San Francisco's psych band du jour, Painted Palms, at the Forcefield PR showcase (disclosure: I interned for Forcefield one summer a long time ago). The venue itself looked like Bottom of the Hill’s cousin but without the absurdly short ceilings and claustrophobia.Read more »

Dispatches from SXSW: Day 1

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[Ed note: George was going to write a recap of the first day's shows and general SXSW revelry, but with news of last night's horrendous accident making the rounds, that felt a little inappropriate. Stay tuned for more festival coverage.]

Last night tragedy struck SXSW when a drunk driver rammed into a crowd of people. Two people are confirmed dead, one man from The Netherlands and one local woman. In total, 23 people have been reported injured; eight remain in the hospital. The suspect has been charged and is currently in custody, and his or her identity will be made public later today. Read more »

Goldies 2014 Comedy: Sean Keane

Skewering the absurdities that inconvenience our daily lives

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GOLDIES At a recent edition of the Business — his weekly comedy showcase at the Dark Room Theater — Sean Keane is fulfilling one of stand-up's most cherished rituals: skewering the absurdities that inconvenience our daily lives.Read more »

Years Latyr(x)

Bay underground hip-hop luminaries Lyrics Born and Lateef team up again for futuristic new LP

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arts@sfbg.com

When the last Latyrx album, The Album, came out in August 1997, hip-hop was still trying to figure out its footing in a post-Biggie and Tupac world. The duo, made up of East Bay rappers Lyrics Born and Lateef the Truthspeaker, was one of the first conscious acts to make waves in that world before the actual subgenre of conscious or progressive hip-hop solidified.Read more »

For whom the bell rocked: Too much turned up

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Three to five years ago, the most popular phrase at Rock the Bells was “Rest in peace J Dilla.” This year, it was “Let’s get turned up!” The difference between the two shout-outs exhibits the festival’s progression from underground/old-school hip-hop gathering to a way more genre-expansive festival.

This year included stalwart acts that you would have seen at Rock the Bells 2004, 2005, and 2007 such as the Wu Tang Clan, TechNine, and Deltron 3030. But rappers like Juicy J, Riff Raff, and Trinidad James would have been ridiculed for not being “real hip-hop” enough in past years. This year’s eclectic and diverse cast was a reassuring reminder that hip-hop is not dead and that the music coming out in 2013 is just as worthy as that of any other era. Read more »

For whom the bell rocks: hologram rap edition

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This year’s Rock The Bells really is the Costco of hip-hop festivals. Pretty much anyone who’s anyone in the hip-hop world (plus some dead rappers) will be at Mountain View’s Shoreline Amphitheater this weekend. There is literally something for every kind of hip-hop fan out there, with more artists packed into those two days than weed in a Juicy J blunt.

Perennial RTB performers Wu-Tang Clan, Doug E Fresh & Slick Rick, Rakim, Bone Thugs N Harmony, and KRS-ONE will holding it down for the old school. Meme-rap stars Riff Raff, Danny Brown, and Trinidad James will bring their WTF-brands of rap. On the rise Brooklyn youngsters Flatbush Zombies and Joey Bada$$ will be present.

And even though the backpack era is over, mid-aughts underground luminaries such as Talib Kweli, Immortal Technique, Brother Ali, and Tech Nine will transport you back to a not so distant 2005. Headliners Kid Cudi, the entire A$AP and Black Hippy crews, hyphy super duo E-40/Too $hort, and Girl Talk (who might throw down a more hip-hop influenced set) will cap off the long weekend. Read more »

Striking Out

Stadium concession workers — without a contract since 2010, denied tip jars, some paid less than minimum wage — aren't sharing in the San Francisco Giants' success and rising prices

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news@sfbg.com

Today marks 1,575 days since concession workers at AT&T Park have had a raise, during which time the San Francisco Giants have been fabulously successful, both on and off the playing field.

The 750 workers represented by UNITE-HERE Local 2 are currently involved in frustrating and fruitless negotiations with their employer, Centerplate, a South Carolina-based food service company contracted by the Giants to sell beer, garlic fries, and other overpriced consumables at games.Read more »