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Notes from the Underground: Anvil Speaks!

Back in 1984, it might have seemed perfectly reasonable to assume that Anvil would achieve the same level of fame and fortune as their headbanging peers.

Touring with the likes of Bon Jovi, Whitesnake and the Scorpions behind albums crafted by Chris Tsangarides, the Grammy-nominated producer best known for his work with Black Sabbath and Thin Lizzy, Toronto’s premier purveyors of thrash metal were on the rise, or so they thought. But while Bon Jovi, Def Leppard and the like parlayed boyish good looks and bubblegum hooks into arena-sized success on MTV, Anvil found themselves left out in the Canadian cold.

Bloody Mary Watch: Serpentine

Since we're on the subject of the Bloody Mary cocktail (well, I guess we sort of always are; it's something I've been tracking on here--where is it good, where is it bad?), I thought I'd mention a good one I had the other day . . . at Serpentine.

While it wasn't the most unusual or scintillating or utterly unique Bloody Mary I've had -- in fact it was none of those--it was simply, uncommonly solid. The kind of cocktail that gets its job done without being spastic or trying to attract too much attention to itself. Medium spicy with a horseradish emphasis, nice viscosity, some umami-ish depth, the cocktail was just plain satisfying and made with good quality ingredients. And I can go for that any day of the week . . .

SF Cocktail Week Top Five, #3: Bar School

The #3 event for Cocktail Week is actually a mulitude of events. It's called Bar School, and the classes of Bar School take place Thursday, May 14 at various locations and times around town. Basically, the city's top cocktail, spirits and bartending experts will be sharing their knowledge with the public. The lineup is incredible, if I do say so myself, especially because I will be teaching one of the classes with Cantina owner Duggan McDonnell. Our class, entitled "Cane, Grape & Cactus: True Lies About Latin American Spirits & Cocktails" is at Cantina from 6:30–8. We'll be talking about agave-based spirits and the drinks of Mexico, as well as the cane spirits of Brazil and the Pisco cultures of Peru and Chile. 

Passport to Sonoma

Just ask any Napa or Sonoma resident about the other, and the competition is evident: You'll get an upturned nose and a "we're better than them" response. But this coming weekend, Sonoma takes center stage with its annual wine extravaganza. In honor of Passport to Sonoma Valley, we've compiled a list of some of our favorite Sonoma pastimes.

Kal Penn to Celebrate a 'Harold & Kumar' Christmas

Those mourning Kal Penn’s seemingly premature retirement from acting received tidings of great joy this week when Warner Bros. announced plans to release A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas on Nov. 5, 2010.

Penn, 31, made headlines in April by announcing that he would join President Barack Obama in the White House as associate director of the Office of Public Liaison, effectively ending the New Jersey-born actor’s year-and-a-half run on the TV medical drama House. Although Penn suggested at the time he would have no qualms about scuttling his career in entertainment for a life of public service, he has since insisted that his days on the big screen are not over.

Mother's Day Contest at Flora Grubb

Giving your mom a bouquet of flowers is sweet, but come on - the woman gave birth to you. You can do a little better than that. Get her something that'll last longer than a week by taking her over to Flora Grubb this weekend. She can pick from their wide selection of succulents, herbs, or flowers, choose a colorful pot, and tada! A gift for your mama that will last until next Mother's Day and beyond. Also, stop by this Sunday and all moms will be entered to win a $100 gift certificate from the store - much more enjoyable than that old Safeway bouquet, right?

Craigslist Deal: Dog Friendly Apartment in Cole Valley for $1375

We've resigned ourselves to the fact that a cute, dog-friendly apartment in San Francisco just might be an urban legend. For some reason landlords equate a dog's destructive tendencies to something on par with housing a wild grizzly bear or pack of weasels. That said, somehow there are dogs everywhere in the city, which begs the question, where do they all live? Our quest for finding decent housing for a human and a dog (at a deal) at first seemed like attempting to locate El Dorado, but we soon stumbled upon this little gem in Cole Valley.

Indie Theater Roundup: 7 Movies to See This Week

Not wanting to boldly go where millions are already planning to be this weekend? (Hint: We're not talking about Ben Vereen's Saturday night gig at Hotel Nikko.) If so, there are plenty of alternatives to space-based fantasy awaiting you at the city's indie theaters.

1. Sita Sings the Blues
Where: Red Vic Movie House, 1727 Haight St., 415-668-3994
When: May 8-12

Big Blimpin' - Win Tickets to Ride the Zeppelin

We went blimpin' (or rather, zepplin-ing) around the Bay with Airship Ventures. Watch the video below to get a feel for what San Francisco looks like from 1,000 feet up. See something that doesn't belong? Tell us how many times the bird appears in the video in the comments below, and we'll pick someone at random to win two tickets to ride in the Zeppelin.

Rent the Non-PC West Side Story, and the LSD-iest Hair (instead of the Tony-nominees)

The Tony Awards broadcast isn’t really a must-TiVo event. Watching TV about theater might not be exactly like dancing about architecture but its pretty off-the-mark too. After all, the theater may be not dead yet, but it ain't as popular as Netflix.

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