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
Kids experience the fleeting life cycle of pets
Sep 21 • 5 min
From the beginning, we expected their demise. The goldfish that our friends won at the elementary school carnival had quickly expired, but at the pet store, the clerk informed me that these creatures could in fact live for years, if cared for properly.…
If you ride Muni, you need to learn the rules
Sep 20 • 5 min
Correspondent Roberta Brouhard emailed last week that she’d witnessed a 38R-Geary Muni confrontation that arose when a frail elderly man motioned to a woman in her late 30s that she should give him her seat. “Have you ever been seven months pregnant?” she…
An inspiration to us all
Sep 19 • 4 min
I have a very close relative who is one of my heroes. I think about what she’s done, and my heart swells and my admiration grows each day. I’ll give an example. She went with her husband and her children for a week’s vacation a few months ago in Costa…
‘It’s Monday in Australia’: That’s homework time here
Sep 18 • 5 min
A recent discovery made me giddy with joy and relief: In the second grade, homework packets arrive on Fridays, giving us the weekend to work on it, too. In years past, when the packets arrived on Monday, we raced against time on afternoons busy with their…
For prisoners, freedom is more complicated than walking out gate
Sep 17 • 5 min
When Marvin Mutch looked up from the lower yard at San Quentin State Prison, he would see the top of Mount Tamalpais and think of freedom. For Mutch, who spent more than four decades in state prisons and 36 years at San Quentin alone, that mountain was a…
Going down to the studs can mean tearing up
Sep 14 • 5 min
The Bungalow wasn’t always blue. Built in 1926 in the outer, outer, outer, outer Excelsior, it was the color of day-old oatmeal by the time we first saw it in 1999. We painted it the color of Batman’s cape as worn by Adam West during the ’60s. It’s likely…
Those driving irritations just keep on coming
Sep 13 • 5 min
Regular readers of this column might remember my rant many months ago about driving irritations. I had about 122 lined up but narrowed it down to two: runner-up was driving slow in the fast lane, and No. 1 was not pulling into the intersection when…
Should we revisit old movies or concentrate on things like ‘Black Panther’?
Sep 12 • 5 min
Dear Mick LaSalle: How about writing an occasional column called “Second Time Around”? In it, you go back in history and choose someone that didn’t win the Academy Award but who could have (should have) won. Robert Freud Bastin, Petaluma Dear Robert Freud…
Club Waziema, San Francisco’s finest Ethiopian bar, tells the story of its neighborhood
Sep 11 • 9 min
Chuck Berry, Billie Holiday, Marvin Gaye. B.B. King, Tina Turner, James Brown. It’s Friday night at Club Waziema, and in a dimly lit room where these legends performed at all-night parties a mere half-century ago, a group of 20-something dudes is playing…
Bay Area filmmakers make right choice with guide dog documentary ‘Pick of the Litter’
Sep 10 • 5 min
Documentary filmmaker Dana Nachman was in the midst of a conference call about “Pick of the Litter,” her revelatory new film on training guide dogs. Suddenly, a bark could be heard in the background. It emanated from her own pet, PC (short for Princess…
Irate Mays goes after hecklers
Sep 7 • 6 min
Items have been culled from The Chronicle’s archives of 25, 50, 75 and 100 years ago. 1993 Sept. 22: Convicted mass murderer Richard Ramirez, the notorious Night Stalker, tried to smuggle a handcuff key and a hypodermic syringe into his new cell on San…
Rule in sports for kids creates simple haven
Sep 6 • 5 min
The athletic director at Saint John’s School has very high standards for parent coaches: They must have a pulse. He has voluntold me into basketball, baseball, cross-country and our current sport: futbol. I did ask him once, “When did we run out of…
Let me entertain you, Alice Kahn, 1990
Sep 5 • 5 min
My mother always used the word “entertaining” in that strange way that bourgeois-gathering guru Martha Stewart does. Sometimes we would be in a department store and my mother would hold up a large bowl and say, “This is just perfect for entertaining…
You can’t always get what you pay for
Sep 4 • 4 min
I set a new personal record last week. I put my sunglasses to rest after a whopping three years of use. It was an emotional retirement ceremony as I placed them gently into the rear seat pocket compartment of my car. May they rest in peace. My previous…
‘Kin’ is a genre-mashing tale about a boy and his mysterious gun
Sep 3 • 4 min
“Kin,” like its distant TV cousin “Stranger Things,” mashes up a lot of genres into something that’s familiar yet somehow different. It’s a film that mixes action, science fiction, a road trip, family drama and crime thriller into a creation that more or…
Jason Isbell brings political and personal struggles to the stage
Aug 31 • 2 min
Country rocker Jason Isbell was recently targeted by Republican senators as one of the faces of the “unhinged, angry left” for his criticism of Trump voters. The four-time Grammy winner and his longtime band, the 400 Unit, may take a few jabs at the state…
Sam Smith takes his songs to large stages
Aug 30 • 1 min
In just over four years, Sam Smith has risen from playing small clubs to headlining arenas. Despite the accolades, Grammys and stratospheric album sales — 12 million and counting for his breakthrough 2014 debut, “In the Lonely Hour” — he remains human…
In Shotgun’s ‘Kiss,’ love quadrangle becomes comment on cultural appropriation
Aug 29 • 2 min
The first scene of Guillermo Calderón’s “Kiss” seems to unfold sans complication, its scenario as recognizable as that of middle-period Woody Allen. A testy pas de deux, fueled by hate that’s the flip side of passion, multiplies into a love triangle, then…
Savoring comfort food at 35,000 feet
Aug 28 • 5 min
My grandfather, who died about a million years ago, lived alone for the last few years of his life. I went to visit him shortly before he croaked at the ripe old age of 92. I remember it like it was yesterday, because it taught me a valuable lesson about…
State Lines: ‘Campesino,’ a poem by Gary Soto
Aug 27 • 3 min
Gary Soto is one of California’s most influential writers. He has published a dozen poetry volumes as well as several memoirs, children’s stories and young-adult novels. Chronicle Books recently reissued “The Elements of San Joaquin,” which established…
Trying to share the streets of San Francisco
Aug 24 • 5 min
Antiquarian bookseller John Windle has owned his business since 1974. He’s at 49 Geary St., a downtown building that houses many art galleries. At 9 a.m. on Sunday, Aug. 19, when he stopped by there “for a little quiet catch-up on paperwork, there was a…
SF’s Nob Hill Theatre closing after 50 years of sexy fun
Aug 23 • 8 min
A stripper performs Friday as the Nob Hill Theatre marks its closing. The building became a gay porn theater in the 1960s after being a nightclub and a jazz club. Adult film star Alam Wernik mingles with patrons at the theater. The property has been sold…
Two languages are a brilliant way to go
Aug 22 • 2 min
I remember it well. I was 20 years old, and I had met my soon-to-be wife while traveling in Greece. She was a French Canadian from Quebec, and I was a gringo from California. When I got home, I was telling my wise father about this new love of my life.…
No phones allowed at Jack White’s concert — and it was wonderful
Aug 21 • 4 min
Jack White is among more than 300 artists who have started to create phone-free shows. For many concertgoers, it’s a return to a time when they could escape for two hours at a concert. That was the one request Jack White had during his show Thursday, Aug.…
‘Arthur Ashe: A Life,’ by Raymond Arsenault
Aug 17 • 7 min
Long ago — and even now — a popular view held that athletes should keep their mouths shut. But as everything from the Olympic Games to race relations to current controversies involving the national anthem have proved, there’s a counter notion: Athletes…
A stitch at a time and c’est la vie
Aug 16 • 5 min
In the Roman Catholic calendar, today is the Feast of the Assumption of Mary, a Holy Day of Obligation. This separates us from our Eastern Orthodox friends who believed in dormition. I’m no theologian, so here’s the gist: The Orthodox believe that Mary…
More advice From the venerable Dr. C
Aug 15 • 5 min
Editor’s Note: It’s time for yet another installment from our nationally syndicated (in his dreams) advice columnist, that Doctor of Communications himself, well known to his legion of mythical fans as simply Doctor C. Dear Dr. C: I’m 27 years old, and I…
Outside Lands 2018: Drink prices have gotten out of control
Aug 14 • 2 min
Holy Craft has the priciest beers at this year’s Outside Lands. Outside Lands 2018: Drink prices have gotten out of control No one goes to a music festival for cheap drinks. When you enter the festival gates, you are willfully submitting to a universe in…
The youngest child becomes the only, just temporarily
Aug 13 • 4 min
The oldest child starts out as an only child, which is probably why the oldest child is so annoyed by the middle child. The middle child never gets to be an only child, which explains why the middle child is so middle child. The youngest child gets to be…
Prospecting for gold
Aug 10 • 4 min
Long before having children of my own, I asked an author and father how long he thought it might take me to return to writing after giving birth. Two weeks, he said. “Maybe a month, if you’re nursing.” I held onto that assertion throughout my pregnancy,…