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Brandi Carlile Gives up the Ghost at the Fillmore

Brandi Carlile took the stage Tuesday night and whipped the The Fillmore into a frenzy, telling fans she'd been waiting the entire tour to return to the famous venue. But Carlile didn't have to stroke San Francisco egos to win the the crowd over; the Washington-bred singer had the audience in the palm of her hand from the moment she stepped onstage.

A self-professed former backup singer for an Elvis impersonator (that story in itself was a standout moment at Tuesday's show), Carlile effortlessly blends rock, pop, folk and country influences. Add to the mix her pitch-perfect vocals, commanding stage presence and irresistible charm, and it's clear why fans were worked up as soon as the singer launched into a stripped-down version of her song, "Oh Dear."

Twitter Wine Tastings

A few days ago, I noted that Twitter was getting into the wine business by creating its own wine and selling it for charity. The concept seemed odd to say the least: a company that trades in the virtual deciding for some reason to make its first physical product a wine.

Easy As Pi Bar

If I were to lay all the pizzas I have eaten in San Francisco end-to-end, chances are they'd nearly reach back to my old East coast stomping grounds. OK, maybe not—but the point is, I have eaten a lot of pizza since moving out here. And while New York may be widely considered to be the hometown of pizza, SF comes in a not-too-shabby close second. Evidence of its popularity is everywhere, including in the build-up to the opening of Pi Bar, which opened two weeks ago in the former Suriya Thai space on Valencia.

San Francisco Halloween Costume Guide

With just one full weekend left before Halloween, it’s time to get down to brass tacks on the costume front. Whether you’re in need of a finishing touch or a head-to-toe look, whether you'd prefer to buy or would just as soon D.I.Y., we offer up this list of the City's best bets to help you in your Halloween costume quest:

Trusty Favorites

Rare Device Turns Two and Celebrates with a Sale

With all of the store and restaurant closings over the past year or so, sometimes you've got to pause for a second and reflect on all the great places in and around our city that are, thankfully, still open for business. Take Rare Device, for example. The Upper Market boutique has consistently wowed us with their selection of beautiful things for the home and beyond since they opened shop two years ago. The owners really work hard to find the best in art and design coming from local and up-and-coming artists, as well as national and international talents that deserve broader recognition. And did we mention the gallery? It's always worth peeking in to see what unique collaboration or interesting show they've got going on at the moment. Okay, enough of this lovefest.

Michael Chabon: Anything But an "Amateur"

His new book may be titled Manhood for Amateurs, but Michael Chabon has once again proved himself to be an old hand when it comes to getting great reviews. Chabon, a Berkeley resident, discusses numerous topics in the book, his first-ever collection of essays. (It's probably the only genre he hasn't tried, having released novels, short-story collections, a young-adult book, and a collection of adventure stories for McSweeney's.) Many of the essays focus on his geekier passions, including Legos, baseball cards, Star Trek, and comic books (the inspiration for his Pulitzer Prize-winning The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay). The centerpiece of the book, however, is his musings on being a father.

I Was a "Trauma" Extra

We all want to be on TV, but as Ricky Gervais' show "Extras" has taught star-hopeful viewers, being an extra, a person who hangs out in the background to set the scene for the main actors, isn't pretty. The pay is low, the hours are long, and the work can be simultaneously boring and embarrassing. Knowing all this, you may be wondering why I signed myself up to be an extra on "Trauma," but there's a good reason-- save for my freelance work here at 7x7, I'm unemployed, and the good people at "Trauma" have been providing important supplements to my rent payments.

Are SF Sommeliers Sustainable?

In a bizarre coincidence Jon Bonné of the Chronicle and Eric Asimov of the New York Times wrote and published eerily similar articles on the same day. (Bonné's is here; Asimov's here).

The gist of both articles is that chef and diners here in the Bay Area promote a food culture that's local and sustainable, while the sommeliers seem strangely immune to the cause, often ignoring the local wines while loading up on European selections. Is it hypocracy? Is it reverse-snobbism?

"Everyone on Bike" Photo Show

Pushbike SF is a small clothing and accessory shop on 24th & Treat Ave owned by cycling enthusiasts. In addition to selling sweet and stylish new and vintage cycling gear, Pushbike hosts photo and art shows with work from local artists. Swing by Pushbike this Friday from 6-9 for the opening of "Everyone on Bike," a collection of photos celebrating San Francisco's everyday cyclists by Jonathan Koshi. Photos will be available to buy in a variety of sizes and formats, ranging from note card sets to framed (and unframed) poster sizes. Beer provided by Pushbike.

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Our Pick of the Litter: Etsy Local Offerings For $75 + Under

An online treasure trove for all things handmade and vintage, Etsy is one of our top go-to sources when we want to break away from our fast fashion fixes and opt for something unique but still inexpensive. After scouring SF's Etsy Local shop for this month's round-up, we wanted to share what's impatiently waiting in our shopping cart:


 

1. Vintage Black Velvet Dress from animalheadvintage, $45: The dramatic collar on this vintage find makes it an au courant choice for a cocktail party.

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