San Francisco Chronicle Arts & Entertainment - Spoken Edition

San Francisco Chronicle Arts & Entertainment - Spoken Edition

www.spokenedition.com
Our nationally recognized critics and writers put their deep knowledge and critical acumen to work to help readers make informed choices about how to negotiate the area’s rich array of cultural offerings. Whether it’s a long-established arts organization or an all-but-unknown project that’s just getting off the ground, The Chronicle’s readers know about it first from us. A SpokenEdition transforms written content into human-read audio you can listen to anywhere. It’s perfect for times when you can’t read - while driving, at the gym, doing chores, etc. Find more at www.spokenedition.com
‘Star Wars’ essays a new hope for teaching soldiers in ‘Strategy Strikes Back’
Jun 22 • 5 min
The Force may be stronger — and more valuable — than we knew. You might be forgiven for thinking the never-ending “Star Wars” franchise was simply a cash cow built of sequels, spin-offs and toys. But the space saga is actually helping further the…
‘Oregon Trail’ as art, computer classic returns as custom arcade game
Jun 21 • 5 min
From left: Sebastian Gross, 7, plays the Oregon Trail game as Jonathan Williams, Joanne Gross, Annleah Moore, 6, and Robert Moore watch and wait for a turn at High Scores Arcade, Saturday, June 16, 2018, in Hayward, Calif. less From left: Sebastian Gross,…
Pride cometh and pride goeth
Jun 20 • 3 min
Pride goeth before the fall. Or is that summer? On Thursday, we watched “Love, Simon,” a gay coming-of-age movie. Brian cries at Hallmark commercials, and I’m not much better. Even Buddyboy and Bandit were tearing up, but it was a surprise when my tough…
Threat from the north reaches close to home
Jun 19 • 5 min
I was reading the morning paper last week, and it seemed like an opportune time to tell my wife that we were finished. “Our relationship is over,” I announced. “We are no longer friends, let alone lovers.” “That’s nice,” she replied, not even bothering to…
Chores help kids grow into capable adults
Jun 15 • 5 min
When my twin sons were in utero, they depended on me wholly. “You sucked in your food and your oxygen through the umbilical cord,” I’ve explained. “Like a straw.” After they were born, and for years afterward, they relied on me, my husband and our…
The mother of all contrived holidays
Jun 14 • 5 min
“My father didn’t tell me how to live. He lived and let me watch him do it.” — Clarence Budington Kelland One hundred and ten years ago this week, America celebrated the first Father’s Day. Sonora Smart Dodd sat listening to a Mother’s Day sermon and…
There’s no place like home for weather weaklings
Jun 13 • 5 min
I am a weather wimp. Born and raised in San Francisco, I have lived all my life in a moderate climate, not too hot, not too cold. And after spending a torturous (for weather wimps) eight days in the Deep South last week, I appreciate it more than ever.…
The winners and the sufferers, and the aftermath of election day
Jun 12 • 5 min
The winners and the sufferers, and the aftermath of election day At The Cook and Her Farmer in Swan’s Market on election day, candidate for governor Gavin Newsom, his wife, Jennifer Siebel Newsom, and their “very well-behaved children” stopped by, says…
San Francisco has another chance to get rid of demeaning statue
Jun 11 • 5 min
For more than 25 years, San Francisco’s American Indian community has fought for the removal of the “Early Days” portion of the Pioneer Monument at Civic Center. The statue, on Fulton Street between the San Francisco Public Library and the Asian Art…
‘There There,’ by Tommy Orange
Jun 8 • 6 min
Beyond outmoded tales about cowboys and manifest destiny, most of the stories we tell about American Indians are misty romances of a bygone people living in harmony with the land. Or they’re all about the destruction of that ideal, the tragic sidelining…
Pro wrestling gets a hold in the city, San Francisco style
Jun 7 • 5 min
The Warriors’ first game of the NBA Finals was in overtime last Thursday night, but only a handful of patrons inside El Toro nightclub even glanced at the TV above the bar. Most had their eyes trained on the elevated boxing ring set up in the center of…
Breaking up is hard to do
Jun 6 • 4 min
It’s always devastating when a couple breaks up, and it’s even more devastating when it’s completely one-sided. Add the dimension of a third person, and it’s a recipe for disaster. So when my younger 20-something son told my older 20-something son he was…
Jon Stewart sounds off on state of the union at Clusterfest
Jun 5 • 3 min
Jon Stewart sounds off on state of the union at Clusterfest Jon Stewart has come to slay the dragon, and he plans to do it during his first stand-up set on the West Coast in 15 years during the last night of Clusterfest in San Francisco. “It ends here,”…
Is a sucker really born every minute? The Bay Area will find out
Jun 4 • 5 min
We’re living in a golden age of grifting. And I’m not even talking about what’s going on in the White House. The confidence game is making a huge comeback in this country, and a cursory glance at the news cycle offers easy proof.
Small talk for first-graders that’s based on real life
Jun 1 • 5 min
Each Monday in Didi’s class, the students make a weekend report that goes onto a flip chart. It’s a form of sharing, to get over their shyness, to practice public speaking, and to learn how to make small talk. The entries are also a window into what goes…
With my teenagers, it’s my fault that everything’s my fault
May 31 • 5 min
Our youngest son, Aidan, was born on May 24, 2005, which means that as of this week, there are two teenagers in the outer, outer, outer, outer Excelsior. We did the whole parenting thing late in life. Brian wanted to wait until he wasn’t touring. Which…
It’s a face I’ll never remember
May 30 • 5 min
I am facially challenged. While some may think that pertains to my own face, it does not. My face may have challenges, but that’s not what I’m talking about. My problem is recognizing other people’s faces. Let me give a couple of examples. I had a golf…
Linda Ronstadt back in public eye, and it’s not so easy
May 29 • 7 min
Linda Ronstadt doesn’t feel like company much these days. At least, not too much company. And on a recent visit, she is definitely not going to put on clothes and makeup. Ronstadt is withdrawing from medicine she has been taking for more than three years…
‘Last Stories,’ by William Trevor
May 28 • 6 min
William Trevor was born in May 1928 in County Cork into a middle-class Protestant family during Éamon de Valera’s new Catholic Ireland. Not surprisingly, the author wrote about characters who often resided on the margins of life, their wants and desires…
‘Indiana Jones of the cinema world’ coming to SF Silent Film Fest
May 25 • 6 min
When Kevin Brownlow talks today, at age 79, about first falling in love with silent film, it’s easy to hear in his unconcealed joy the wide-eyed teenager who, back in the early 1950s, was “knocked right out” when he saw his first silent — a 1916 Douglas…
Satirist Doug Hall changes his tune to soothing in ‘Song of Ourselves’
May 24 • 2 min
San Francisco artist Doug Hall has been a stalwart presence on the Bay Area art scene since the early 1970s. His early work often evidenced biting satire and a political bent. Now, it seems, the political environment has prompted a different approach.…
The truth about the Emperor’s wall is clear
May 23 • 5 min
Four hundred and eighty-seven days ago, the Emperor took office. He was so fond of himself that he spent his time tweeting his greatness. He cared nothing about his soldiers or the 99 percent, so that while other nations might say, “The king’s in…
In defense of government interference
May 22 • 5 min
I was having a conversation with some conservative friends the other night about the homeless problem in San Francisco. Not surprisingly, they had the solution. “Round them up and take them to a shelter, and don’t let them out until they’re clean, sober…
Snap, crackle and flop, Steve Rubenstein, 1982
May 21 • 4 min
Breakfast — the thing that happens between the shower and the bus — used to be pretty exciting. If the sky was overcast and the newspaper soggy, you could at least look forward to finding something swell inside the cereal box. Not anymore, though. Opening…
Melissa Stein’s poetry explores the beautiful, awful reality of being female
May 18 • 3 min
Shortly after the release of Melissa Stein’s debut book of poetry, “Rough Honey,” her mother called. Stein’s mother, who hadn’t read much of the San Francisco poet’s writing, had just finished the book. “She had this terribly tentative, quiet voice,”…
In a little grass shack, Stanton Delaplane, 1975
May 17 • 3 min
HONOLULU — The rum-and-sunshine maitai goes for $3 a pop at Waikiki. But brudda, I didn’t come to Hawaii to drink cooking sherry. It’s a fruity drink. A lot of lemon juice in a BIG old-fashioned glass. The glass is packed solid with crushed ice, and this…
Tim has left us, but the fight continues
May 16 • 5 min
We don’t change the world. We only change the corner that we live in. We do that by being kind. In our case, that means making the bedlam bungalow in the outer, outer, outer Excelsior a better home for the family we chose. This column is about the sons…
Lessons on how to become a wine snob
May 15 • 4 min
I hate wine tasting. I don’t like drinking alcohol during the day, mainly because it doesn’t give me anything to look forward to at night. And while I enjoy wine as much as anyone, I have no clue as to the reason why, and I really don’t care. So when some…
Preoccupations are ready to cast a new shadow
May 14 • 5 min
Preoccupations is not a band many would call “comforting.” Instead the Canadian post-punk quartet prefers to dwell on darker subjects. Their third album, “New Material,” finds lead singer and bassist Matt Flegel battling against heavy concepts like…
Moms can be smart, too
May 11 • 5 min
It might have been another cozy bedtime moment — my twin sons and I chatting after light’s out — but for Gege’s endearment. “I love you, Mama, because you cuddle,” he said. I squeezed him, enjoying the weight of him in my arms — among the countless hugs…