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The Band Played on @ SF Symphony Opening Night Gala

Music, it is said, hath charms to soothe the savage breast.

And maestro Michael Tilson Thomas and his band, starring piano virtuoso Lang Lang, masterfully hit their notes last night in Davies Symphony Hall during a sold-out, glittery opening-night gala that heralded the 98th season of the San Francisco Symphony.

Let’s face it, most of this past year has been a bit of a bummer. At last year’s opener, few had yet to grasp the economic troubles we’d witness during the past 365 days. The fallout from Wall Street had yet to sink in (or rather, sink down); a new president waited in the wings as the election neared.

Psyched: Victor Krummenacher Chats Up Monks of Doom

As the gloom lifts, so do such intriguing musical projects as Monks of Doom. You can practically sense them perking up, blinking, and crawling toward the light, ready to stretch your ears, your minds once more. The Bay Area psychedelic-prog/art rock band began life in the ‘90s as a loose but oh-so-creative side project to Camper Van Beethoven – the initial lineup included CBV guitarists Greg Lisher and Chris Molla, bassist Victor Krummenacher and drummer Chris Pedersen – and later added David Immerglück of the Ophelias and Counting Crows. After breaking up in 1998, the band re-formed in the same spirit it began -- with a 2003 album of cover songs.

Link Love: Spiked Corsets, FashionTweek and Heidi Klum’s Derrière

Daily reads from our feeds …

Agent Provocateur takes S&M to the next level with their haute couture spiked metal corset priced at $4,900 (ouch!). WSJ reports on this unique business plan that pays no mind to the recession.

Michael Franti, Alanis Morissette Brings Peaceful To The Park

It may not be 1967, but you can think of the 11th annual Power to the Peaceful Festival as a modern-day summer of love. Best known as Michael Franti’s pet project, the two-day music, yoga, art and action event is a weekend dedicated to service towards peace. The Bay Area-born musician has always carried a message of unity with his work and PTTP is an extension of that philosophy. It’s all about plugging the community into ways they can, as individuals, help people and the planet.

Market Watch: Avos, Pawpaws and a Year's Worth of Free Dinners

If anyone has the inside sccop when it comes to the Ferry Plaza Farmers market it's Lulu Meyer, associate director of market operations at CUESA. You'll see her at the market, rain or shine. Every week, she'll be giving us her short list for the market—just in time for Saturday shopping. Go to for more information about farmers, what's in season and market goings-on.

Spare the Air, Confess Your Carpooling Secrets

Today is Spare the Air Day, which means you should feel really guilty for driving, smoking, burning firewood, roasting a pig or attempting a hair-tease. And if you can't avoid getting behind the wheel, you should carpool. You'll save gas money, spare the air and maybe even meet your early-morning soulmate.

Look of the Week: Indian Summer of Love

Though San Francisco's come a long way since the free-lovin' Sixties, this weekend's Power to the Peaceful Festival is the perfect time to embrace your inner flower child with free music, arts, forums and yoga, all in the name of global peace. But put away your dusty bell-bottoms because we've compiled a thoroughly modern hippie homage that will set you apart from the tie-dyed masses in Golden Gate Park:

1. Velvet Ganet Tunic Dress in soy, $86: Sure to be your go-to blank canvas for Fall, this dress is just dying to be dressed up with bold accessories and tights.

Shane Acker's '9' a Handsome Futuristic Fantasy

There is no denying the technical wizardry of 9, Shane Acker’s feature-length reimagining of his own Oscar-nominated short from 2005. Backed by producers Tim Burton and Timur Bekmambetov (Wanted), the young director has assembled a superior voice cast, led by the wonderfully expressive Christopher Plummer, to breathe life into a familiar post-apocalyptic fable distinguished by its exquisite artistry.

Does it detract from Pamela Pettler and Acker’s story that we’ve seen variations of it so often before, most recently in Terminator Salvation? It does, but hardly enough to dull the luster of its most innovative flourishes.

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