Cops arrest public defender who was representing her client, face no discipline

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San Francisco's Office of Citizen Complaints found that the San Francisco cops who arrested public defender Jami Tillotson after she told them to stop photographing her client in a courthouse hallway were in the wrong, and that they engaged in "conduct reflecting discredit on the department." Read the rest

BART's twitter manager drops truth-bombs, world cheers

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On Wednesday night, the person who runs the Twitter feed for San Francisco's BART system began answering riders' frustrated tweets with frank, honest statements that eschewed the bland "thank you for your feedback" and the chipper "we're working on it!" norms of corporate social media in favor of brutally honest assessments of the sorry state of the system, starting with, "BART was built to transport far fewer people, and much of our system has reached the end of its useful life. This is our reality." Read the rest

San Francisco: Premiere of beautiful new contemporary dance from ODC

On Thursday (3/17), the pioneering artists from San Francisco's contemporary dance company ODC will launch their 2016 season with a stunning array of world premiere pieces at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts! See video teasers above and below. Tickets available here. I've seen many ODC performances over the years and the commonality between them is that they are all sublime. This Thursday is the first ever performance of ODC founder/artist director Brenda Way's "Walk Back the Cat," featuring an original score commissioned and performed by Paul Dresher, with visuals by RJ Muna and Ian Winters.

"'Walk Back the Cat,' a metaphor for retracing the complex backstory of an event, explores the skeleton of the creative process," Way says. "How does context affect meaning in dance? Developing from pure movement ideas into a dramatic scenario, the work is conceived as a kind of choreographic puzzle, which ultimately comes together in a scenario inspired by Thomas Hart Benton’s muscular and vital murals of American City Life in the 1930s."

The other pieces in the 2016 season include:

* KT Nelson’s new work, "Going Solo," for the exceptional Private Freeman

* Reprise of Nelson’s explosive 2015 hit, "Dead Reckoning"

* Kimi Okada’s "humorous I look vacantly at the Pacific…though regret"

* An unprecedented co-commission from NY choreographer Kate Weare who brings her fiery movement to the ODC dancers with the world premiere of "Giant"

ODC/Dance Downtown (March 17-27)

"Dead Reckoning":

"I look vacantly at the Pacific... though regret":

Read the rest

Kamasi Washington: free appearance in San Francisco today (2/25)

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Kamasi Washington -- the incredible saxophonist and composer who is carrying the spiritual jazz torch pioneered by the likes of John Coltrane, Pharaoh Sanders, and Albert Ayler -- is in San Francisco today (Thursday, 2/25) for the Noise Pop Music Festival. You can see Washington interviewed live, FREE, at 3:30pm today at the Swedish American Hall before his two shows at The Independent. (The Independent shows are sold out but you can still get in by purchasing a Noise Pop badge, which also is your entry into dozens of other killer concerts this week.)

Some years ago, when Kamasi Washington was a teenager, Birdman Records owner David Katznelson heard about his band, The Young Jazz Giants, signed them and took them into the studio. The self-titled debut record came out the following year and the four members of the group still play together today, in fact were featured on THE EPIC. The interview would discuss the founding of the Young Jazz Giants, with focus on Billy Higgins, the recording of that record and the path from there to the Epic.

RSVP to Kamasi Washington Live Interview

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New dark wave from Fake Your Own Death (formerly El Terrible)!

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My pal Terry Ashkinos, a veteran of the San Francisco indie music scene (Elephone, El Terrible) keeps the dark wave dream alive with the deep and expansive new track "Close," from Fake Your Own Death's as-yet-untitled album due out in late spring. Listen below! Fake Your Own Death (Ashkinos, Scott Eberhardt, and Adrian McCullough) perform live on February 27 at Bottom of the Hill as part of the killer Noise Pop 2016 music festival. Don't sleep on it.

Fake Your Own Death

Previously on Boing Boing:

Music premiere: Dark noise pop from El Terrible

El Terrible: dark, spare noise pop from SF

Premiere: new video from SF noise pop trio El Terrible Read the rest

Kronos Quartet's Explorer Series this weekend in San Francisco!

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My favorite avant-garde classical group Kronos Quartet are holding their Kronos Festival 2016 this weekend at the SF JAZZ Center! I attended the Kronos Festival 2015 and it was easily one of my favorite performances of last year. This year's program weaves experimental and contemporary classical music with a stunning array of international musical traditions from West Africa, Vietnam, Ukraine, Finland, and Afghanistan. Open your ears, eyes, and mind.

While based in San Francisco, Kronos Quartet spends much of the year traveling and performing around the world. This festival brings some of that home to San Francisco. Virtuoso pipa player Wu Man will be the festival’s artist-in-residence.

The festival showcases Kronos in collaboration with guest performers David Coulter (born in the UK), Fodé Lassana Diabaté (Mali), Ritva Koistinen(Finland), Mariana Sadovska (born in Ukraine), and Vân-Ánh Võ (born in Vietnam). The San Francisco Girls Chorus and musicians from Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts also join Kronos onstage to perform new works, and the festival culminates in a daytime family concert celebrating the Lunar New Year.

Kronos Festival 2016: Explorer Series

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San Francisco Super Bowl: crooked accounting, mass surveillance and a screwjob for taxpayers & homeless people

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It's a universal, dismal truism that all major sports events are ripoffs that transfer money from cities to the pockets of corrupt sporting leagues and bodies, but even by those standards, San Francisco's impending Super Bowl is particularly terrible. Read the rest

San Franciscans: see Kim Stanley Robinson and Cecelia Holland on Jan 17

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The SF in SF reading series is back with a fantastic pair of readers: Kim Stanley Robinson (author of Aurora and interstellar colony skeptic) and historical novelist Cecelia Holland. Read the rest

San Franciscans: come to the DNA Lounge for Cyberdelia, see Tank Girl, use the Linux Payphone

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JWZ of San Francisco's DNA Lounge writes, "First, I reverse engineered an old payphone and turned it into a Linux computer. This was a ridiculous thing to do and my build log is ridiculous. Second: The reason I did this was to use it as a prop at our next HACKERS party." Read the rest

Happy Emperor Norton Day

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Today marks the 136th anniversary of the death of our noble leader, Norton I, Emperor of the United States, Protector of Mexico, and proto-Happy Mutant.

Celebrate his many great, and lasting contributions to San Francisco bay area culture!

(h/t Bjorn Pave!) Read the rest

Work for the Electronic Frontier Foundation: Hacker, lawyer, activist geeks

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The Electronic Frontier Foundation is hiring four new staffers: a criminal defense staff attorney, a technology generalist and two new activists (here's what life is like for EFF activists). Read the rest

Kamasi Washington and The Mountain Goats to play 2016 Noise Pop Music Festival in SF

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Kamasi Washington, 34, is a saxophonist and composer who is carrying the spiritual jazz torch pioneered by the likes of John Coltrane, Pharaoh Sanders, Albert Ayler, and Stanley Cowell. But his sound is not a retro trip. Washington, who has also played with Flying Lotus, Snoop Dogg, Herbie Hancock, and Kendrick Lamar, recently released his three hour album, aptly titled Epic. It's an immersive, post-post-bop modal groove that is utterly and entirely contemporary. Dig the performance above, recorded this summer for NPR's Jazz Night in America.

I was thrilled when our friends at San Francisco's Noise Pop Music Festival announced that Washington will be part of this year's killer lineup for the musical extravaganza taking place February 19-28 at clubs around the city. So far, the schedule also includes performances by The Mountain Goats, Parquet Courts, Vince Staples, The Cave Singers, Caucus, The Thermals, Film School, Diane Coffee, Wild Ones, Beacon, Astronauts, Etc., Palehound, and Heartwatch.

More details: Noise Pop Music Festival

Read the rest

Friday eve in SF: "100 Years of Robot Art and Science in the Bay Area"

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Tomorrow evening (11/20), San Francisco's de Young Museum will celebrate "100 Years of Robot Art and Science in the Bay Area" with an event organized by UC Berkeley professor Ken Goldberg and Alexander Rose, executive director of the Long Now Foundation. The program includes a "Long Conversation," sort of a relay race discussion that I'll be participating in along with ten interesting people whose work is at the intersection of art and technology! Bonus: My friend Kal Spelletich will also bring two of his "praying robots" seen above! Best of all, it's free and starts early (6:30pm)!

Participants include:

Josette Melchor (Grey Area Foundation for the Arts)

Dorothy R. Santos (writer, curator)

Tim Roseborough (artist, musician, former Kimball Artist-in-Residence)

John Markoff (author of Machines of Loving Grace)

Karen Marcelo (dorkbotSF)

David Pescovitz (Boing Boing and Institute for the Future)

Catharine Clark (Catharine Clark Gallery)

Alexander Rose (director, Long Now Foundation)

Pieter Abbeel (professor, Computer Sciences, UC Berkeley)

Terry Winograd (Computer Science department, Stanford Univeristy)

Kal Spelletich (Seemen)

With special VJ Jenny Odell

Ticket Information

Complimentary tickets for the long conversation are distributed beginning at 5:30 pm at the Koret Auditorium entrance. Seating is limited. Tickets are first come, first served.

Programming and general admission to the permanent collection galleries are free of charge during Friday Nights at the de Young. A discounted $15 ticket is required to visit the special exhibition galleries.

Long Conversation (de Young)

“100 Years of Robot Art and Science in the Bay Area” Long Conversation November 20th 02015 (The Long Now Foundation) Read the rest

Once again, the SFPD blames a cyclist for his own death without any investigation

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47-year-old Mark Heryer was killed on October 11th when he was run over by a 38-Geary bus. The SFPD concluded, without investigation, that Heryer's death was his own fault. The city will not release the footage from the bus's camera -- not even to Heryer's lawyer. Read the rest

To do in San Francisco: Aaron Swartz Day mini-con on privacy-enabling tech

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Lisa Rein writes, "While the San Francisco Aaron Swartz International Hackathon is going on downstairs at the Internet Archive, we're having a little privacy-enabling mini-conference upstairs." Read the rest

Flashback to a 1995 cyberdelic fashion show in San Francisco

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In the cyberdelic daze of 1995, I was part of a group of San Francisco riot nrrrds and fashion designers, including my now wife Kelly Sparks, who staged what was likely the first fashion show transmitted over the Internet. My dear friend Ani Phyo produced the whole shebang, called Fiber, with experimental video house Dimension7 at their SoMa warehouse space. Eric Paulos streamed the show onto the Internet in real-time via CU-See-Me over the Mbone. Michael Dates made some deeply weird installation art. See the full list of credits here. As it was San Francisco in the early 1990s, the entire thing was woven into a ravey multimedia trip with DJs, live psychedelic video mixing, and plenty of, er, entheogenic energy. Above, a news report from the scene directed by Jennifer Paige.

From the original press release penned by yours truly:

On Saturday, October 14, 1995, a party called Fiber will weave together the digital technology of today with the fashion designs of tomorrow in a presentation of new work by Bay Area artists. Fiber shifts away from the traditional fashion show paradigm by showcasing the garments in the sensory-overloading environment they were created to be worn in. Models are replaced with dancers, runways with podiums. Transmedia artists, laser technicians, DJs, and musicians are working with the fashion designers to create a pure thoughtspace celebrating creativity, collaboration and global communication via the Internet. A team of videographers will shoot the festivities, mix the images with surreal prerecorded footage, textual messages, and computer animation produced on-the-fly, and project the visual blends as hypnotic electric wallpaper.
Read the rest

Vote for 826 Valencia's conversion of liquor store into kids' writing/tutoring center

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And now a word from my pal Dave Pell, managing editor of the Internet and author of the essential daily read NextDraft, who urges us to vote for 826 Valencia in the Google Impact Challenge:

They say that a rising tide lifts all boats. Well, that’s a bunch of bullshit. We’ve got a rising tide in San Francisco. The tech industry has brought thousands of people and billions of dollars to these forty nine square miles. Traffic is thick with Teslas. The WiFi is stuffed with startups. Times are good.

Except where they’re not.

A few short blocks away from that tide where companies like Twitter are revolutionizing the information age, the kids in the Tenderloin are walking the same bleak blocks many of their parents walked when they were kids.

Like so many of you, I’ve benefited greatly by being at the right place at the right time with the right opportunities. But I’ve also seen the kids who are not benefiting — even a little — from Internet gold rush.

That’s not right. But it’s not going to change by itself. It’s going to take great organizations like 826 Valencia. I’m on the board, and I can vouch that the folks there know how to lift kids up, to inspire them, to teach them to write well, to feed their curiosity, to let them dream. They’ve been doing it for years, ever since Dave Eggers and others started the organization.

And now we’re bringing 826 to the Tenderloin.

Read the rest

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