San Francisco celebrates legendary culture jammer John Law at art opening tonight (Friday)

My friend John Law is a legend of San Francisco's underground with an incredible resume of culture jamming brilliance. In the 1970s, he was an integral part of the Suicide Club, a Dadaist group of urban explorers and adventurers that eventually led to Law's co-founding of the Cacophony Society, Burning Man, and the Billboard Liberation Front. Over 40 years, he's also co-founded or contributed to Communiversity, Dark Passage/Ars Subterranea, Seafoam Palace LLC, SF Cyclecide Bike Rodeo, Survival Research Laboratories, SantaCon/flash mobs, Madagascar Institute, SEEMEN, Laughing Squid, and The Bronx Pipe Smoking Society. And he's still keeping the SF Bay Area's high weirdness torch burning even amidst the city's massive (and mostly unfortunate) transformation.

Starting tonight, celebrate John's contributions to the counterculture with SIGNMAN: John Law, a three-month long retrospective of Law's life of art (and art of living). The exhibition at Oakland's Pro Arts Gallery will include "rare documentation of events, pranks and explorations, neon art, and multi-media installations." Complementing the exhibit through the summer will be public programs that include lectures, film screenings, book signings, and, I would bet, some unexpected surprises.

SIGNMAN: John Law (Pro Arts Gallery)

(above photo: John Behrens)

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San Francisco: Kronos Quartet's Kronos Festival 2019, May 30 - June 1

San Francisco: It's time again for the always-outstanding annual Kronos Festival, several days of fantastic global and experimental music curated by the seminal avant/classical/global Kronos Quartet. Every Kronos Festival I've attended has turned me on to a spectrum of new sounds, artists, scenes, and regions. From KQED:

At SFJAZZ on June 1, singer-composer Hawa Kassé Mady Diabaté of Malian group Trio Da Kali performs her new Fifty for the Future piece inspired by tegere tulon, the impromptu hand-clapping songs and dances Malian girls create in the countryside. Ethnomusicologist Lucy Duran, who specializes in African music, will give a pre-show talk contextualizing Diabaté's performance.

On May 30, the quartet will also premiere a Fifty for the Future piece by Stanford professor Mark Applebaum, whose playful compositions have been known to include junk-as-instruments, non-musical players such as florists and even a piece for three conductors and no musicians. Plus, there's a new work Fifty for the Future work by Missy Mazzoli, a boundary-pushing rising star of the classical world and the Chicago Symphony's current composer-in-residence.

Also on May 30, Kronos Quartet pays homage to the work of left-wing historian Howard Zinn. Ethio-jazz singer-songwriter Meklit, cultural critic Rebecca Solnit, folk musician Lee Knight and poet/actor Michael Wayne Turner III will accompany the musicians with readings from works by Zinn and Martin Luther King, Jr. (Zinn's A People's History of the United States highlights how abolitionists, labor organizers, feminists, civil rights leaders and other dissenters shaped American history.) Meklit performs with Kronos once again on June 1.

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Joel Gion, the psychedelic tambourine man from the Brian Jonestown Massacre, is writing a memoir

If you saw the critically-acclaimed 2004 documentary Dig! about the frenemy neo-psych bands The Brian Jonestown Massacre and The Dandy Warhols, you'll remember that the real star wasn't either of the bands' frontmen but rather the BJM's inimitable, lovable tambourine player Joel Gion.

Rocking his impressive mutton chops and 60s shades, Joel has spent the last 25 years performing with the BJM and releasing his own excellent music while slinging vinyl to make ends meet in the impossible city of San Francisco. Combine that unconventional life with Joel's skewed sense of adventure, razor wit, and relentless pursuit of laughs, and you end up with some killer yarns. Joel's got stories for ages. And now he's writing a memoir to share the weirdness with the world. I've read bits of what he's been writing and it is far fucking out, a modern Beat's notes from the underground.

Support Joel Gion's Patreon so he can get it all down on paper.

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I’ve just launched a Patreon page for my book focusing on the few run-up years before the documentary-era. Click on the link on my profile page and become a patron to read over 3K words posted right now. I’ll be posting new writing or project related stuff every week. #joelgion #bjm

A post shared by Joel Gion (@joelgion) on May 3, 2019 at 8:11pm PDT

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Uber drivers across America are going on strike -- UPDATED

Update: Shona from Gig Workers Rising clarifies: "Gig Workers Rising isn't organizing the national day of action. Drivers in each of the 6 cities taking action are coordinating the day of action together. Drivers in LA with Rideshare Drivers United Los Angeles called a strike and asked other cities to take action on the same day. Gig Workers Rising supports and educates drivers who are organizing across the state. We are not organizing drivers."

On May 8, Uber drivers are organizing a nationwide shutdown of Uber, with drivers turning off their apps in protest over low pay: so far, seven cities' drivers are signed up: Philadelphia, Chicago, San Francisco, San Diego, Minneapolis, LA and DC. Uber and Lyft have both slashed pay for drivers and raised prices as they try to assuage the capital markets. Read the rest

The LEGO San Francisco skyline includes the Salesforce schlong

LEGO has released a wonderful diorama of the San Francisco skyline!

Sadly, the San Francisco skyline is now dominated by the giant Salesforce tower, atleast until the Millenium tower falls into it.

LEGO Architecture Skyline Collection 21043 San Francisco Building Kit , New 2019 (565 Piece) via Amazon Read the rest

San Francisco! Come see me and Richard Kadrey in Berkeley on Monday with my new book RADICALIZED! Next up: Portland/Ft Vancouver, Seattle & Anaheim!

I've had a fabulous weekend at Chicago's C2E2 festival as part of my Radicalized book-tour, and now I'm heading to San Francisco for an appearance on Monday night at Berkeley Arts & Letters at 7:30PM with Richard Kadrey. Then it's on to The Revolutionary Reads series at Ft Vancouver (outside of Portland, OR), and then the Seattle Public Library and finally a weekend of events at Wondercon in Anaheim. Come on out! (Image: Nikola Danaylov, CC-BY-SA) Read the rest

NYC! I'm coming to The Strand tonight at 7PM with my new book RADICALIZED! Next up: Toronto, Chicago, San Francisco...

Thanks to everyone who came to last night's launch event at San Diego's Mysterious Galaxy! The next stop on my tour is an event at 7PM at The Strand in NYC where I'll be appearing with the award-winning investigative journalist Julia Angwin, who is pinch-hitting for Anand Giridharadas, who has had a family emergency. Read the rest

To do in San Francisco: Future Perfect: A Postcapitalist Adventure from Free Machine on March 24

[Editor's note: I'm on the advisory board for Free Machine, a nonprofit that describes itself as an "LA-based collective of UX designers, artists, urban planners, and policy wonks. By using the tools of culture to shift the conversation around tech and society, we aim to shape a hi-tech future that is equitable, sustainable, and abundant." The following is from Ben Gansky, Free Machine's executive Director]

I'd like to invite you to join me at Free Machine's Future Perfect: A Postcapitalist Adventure on Sunday March 24th at 4pm at Manny's in the Mission, co-presented by Institute for the Future! What is Future Perfect? Who is Free Machine? Where is Manny's? Read on! Read the rest

San Francisco marijuana crimes to be expunged by the thousands, with Code For America's help

A project to expunge marijuana-related convictions in San Francisco that took an entire year to pull together is nearly complete, San Francisco prosecutors said today, as they announced that 9,300 pot crimes will soon be removed from people’s criminal records.

That's a big deal. As the SF DA said at today's press conference, a felony conviction for cannabis could mean “barriers to education, housing, employment and even being barred from a child’s school field trip because of a conviction.”

San Francisco is able to do this in part because of the efforts of people at Code For America. Read the rest

San Francisco tomorrow night (1/30): Doug Rushkoff interviewed by David Pescovitz at Commonwealth Club

Tomorrow evening (Wednesday 1/30) at San Francisco's Commonwealth Club, I'll be interviewing longtime BB pal Douglas Rushkoff about his inspiring and (as usual) provocative new book Team Human! I expect a freewheeling conversation about the optimism of the cyberdelic early 1990s, why we looked to digital media as a democratizing tool to empower the individual, and how we ended up in today's (anti)social media mess. I'm hoping that the way in is the way out.

Douglas Rushkoff: Team Human at the Commonwealth Club San Francisco

And if you can't make tomorrow, Doug will be at the legendary City Lights Booksellers tonight (Tuesday 1/29) at 7pm! Read the rest

To do in San Francisco this Sunday: Kim Stanley Robinson, Howard Hendrix, and Cecelia Holland at SF in SF

The next installment in the SFinSF reading series features Kim Stanley Robinson, Howard Hendrix, and Cecelia Holland; it's this Sunday, Jan 20, doors at 6, event at 6:30, $10 (no one turned away for lack of funds), at the The American Bookbinders Museum (355 Clementina). Read the rest

To do tonight in San Francisco: commemorating the sixth anniversary of Aaron Swartz's death

Lisa Rein writes, "there is a big event going on tonight at the DNA Lounge in San Francisco on this Sixth Anniversary of Aaron’s tragic death; with a Q & A, followed by DJs, history and art till 2am." Read the rest

A virtual re-creation of San Francisco's massive WPA wooden city model

In the 1930s, the Works Public Administration commissioned a 1":100' wooden model of San Francisco; the final model is 38' x 42', with 6,000 removable city blocks spanning 158 pieces. Read the rest

A giant wooden model of 1930s San Francisco has been put online

The David Rumsey Map Collection shares an amazing collection of photographs and the history of this 42 by 38 foot WPA built wooden map of San Francisco. Visit their site for high quality images.

I will be lost in these images for hours.

Full collection here.

For the first time since 1942, the entire immense 42 by 38 foot WPA built San Francisco Model can be seen assembled virtually. Digitally knitting together all 158 separate pieces with over 6,000 blocks gives the viewer a sense of the extraordinary accomplishment the model represents. Recently recovered after decades of dusty storage, the model has been cleaned and photographed by a dedicated team of individuals as part of the SFMOMA and San Francisco Public Library project called Public Knowledge: Take Part. The model pieces were expertly photographed by Beth LaBerge. David Rumsey created the large Composite image below of the 158 pieces, as well as the image and metadata database of all the images, which he hosts. Rumsey also georeferenced the large Composite image and placed it in Google Earth.

Some details of the model's history: it is a 42 by 38 foot wooden replica of the city of San Francisco as it was in 1940 in 158 pieces at a scale of 1 inch to 100 feet. The pieces contain about 6,000 removable city blocks. The model was built by The Works Progress Administration in the late 1930's, under the New Deal. It was first displayed in sections in the Golden Gate International Exposition on Treasure Island in San Francisco Bay in 1939.

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San Francisco Millennials attacked by samurai sword wielding Gen Xer

A member of Generation X finally takes a stand, and it isn't pretty!

SF Gate:

A samurai sword-wielding man attacked three people early Thursday in San Francisco’s Tenderloin, authorities said.

The 47-year-old suspect, who was not immediately identified, began yelling from his window at the small group of people in their 20s on the 400 block of Eddy Street around 5 a.m., according to San Francisco police.

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San Franciscans! Come celebrate the launch of the EFF/McSweeney's special privacy issue with me on Dec 11!

I'm heading to San Francisco next week for a launch party on December 11th celebrating the release of The End of Trust, a collaboration between EFF and McSweeney's on internet surveillance and the future of the net; the event is at 7:30PM at Manny’s at 3092 16th Street (RSVP here), and I'll be on a panel with EFF exec director Cindy Cohn, moderated by the amazing Annalee Newitz! Read the rest

On January 1, America gets its public domain back: join us at the Internet Archive on Jan 25 to celebrate

Timothy from Creative Commons writes, "In the US beginning Jan 1, 2019–after a devastating 20 year drought brought on by the infamous 1998 'Mickey Mouse Protection Act.' Creators, commons advocates, librarians, legal activists and others are celebrating in San Francisco at the Internet Archive on January 25, 2019 to mark the 'Grand Re-Opening of the Public Domain.' There will be keynotes (including from Cory Doctorow and Larry Lessig), panels with legal experts like Pam Samuelson and EFF, and lightning talks to showcase the important, weird, and wonderful public domain." Read the rest

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