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Required Reading: Mary Roach

After reporting on the publishing experiments popping up around San Francisco, we asked the city’s writers what they’re reading these days, and they were happy to share. Look for Required Reading every Tuesday.

What is This "Machine" Brian Wilson Keeps Talking About?

Upon clinching the National League pennant, host of Fox's The Cheap Seats, Chris Rose, wrangled an ecstatic Brian Wilson from drenching his teammates in champagne for yet another endlessly hysterical interview. Wilson is known almost as much for his hairstyles, wacky banter, and many nicknames (Just For Men Wilson, B-Weezy, Flicker, and Mental Assassin are just a few), as his excellent relief pitching skills.

But among all the excitement, more than a few people have been puzzled by the seemingly inside joke reference to "The Machine." To alleviate your curiosity, we've dug up the original Cheap Seats interview that started it all. Be prepared for cheeky hilarity. Check out the shortened version here:

Photos: Neil Young's Bridge School Benefit @Shoreline Day 2

24th Annual Bridge School Benefit  with Buffalo Springfield, Pearl Jam, Elvis Costello, Billy Idol, Kris KristoffersonT-Bone Burnett’s Speaking Clock Review w/ Elton John, Leon Russell, Dr. Ralph Stanley, Neko Case, Jeff Bridges, Modest Mouse, Grizzly Bear and Neil Young

This Week's Hottest Events: Gorillaz, SFMOMA Photo Exhibits, and a Classy Halloween

Music: Gorillaz
Here's an alternative to the typical Halloween costume party: a hot, sweaty stadium concert with Gorillaz, plus special guests N.E.R.D., De La Soul, and more. Get online if you haven't already and become part of Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett's virtual world of animated characters. Play the Plastic Beach game and prepare yourself for a show that takes interactive to a new level. $50-$90; Saturday 10/30; Oracle Arena, 7000 Coliseum Way, Oakland,

Photos: Neil Young's Bridge School Benefit @ Shoreline Day 1

24th Annual Bridge School Benefit  with Buffalo Springfield, Pearl Jam, Elvis Costello, Billy Idol, Kris Kristofferson, Lucinda Williams, Jackson Browne, David Lindley, Modest Mouse, Grizzly Bear and Neil Young.

A Sopranos Reunion, Sort Of

David Chase, creator of HBO’s dearly departed The Sopranos, is planning to reunite with one of his best-known stars from the New Jersey-based mob drama, but no need to choke on your Cannoli – it’s not James Gandolfini. 

Longtime E Street Band guitarist and Sopranos co-star Steven Van Zandt will produce the music for the director’s feature debut, an as-yet-untitled music-driven coming-of-age story set in 1960s suburbia.
Production is set to begin in January 2011.

Also a creative force behind the 1990 CBS comedy series Northern Exposure, Chase revealed that actors John Magaro (Wes Craven's My Soul to Take) and Jack Huston (HBO’s Boardwalk Empire) will star, with the first-time director working from an original script.

Scary Berkeley: Killing My Lobster's Latest Video

Killing My Lobster, the SF sketch comedy group who brought us the much re-tweeted Coffee Wars video earlier this month (which is even funnier, given the recent Blue Bottle drama), is out with another. It's Man v. Wild, set in the backcountry of...Berkeley.



Sonny & the Sunsets Takes Great American Music Hall Tomorrow Night

Don't get me wrong--I like Best Coast a heck of a lot. I'm just way more excited to see San Francisco band Sonny & the Sunsets open for them at their Great American Music Hall show tomorrow night, the 26th. With their latest and most excellent disc Tomorrow Is Alright (Fat Possum) hot off the presses this summer, Sonny & the Sunsets--who have been rigorously touring for a few months now--has become one of our best musical exports.

Wired Co-Founder Kevin Kelly on 'What Technology Wants'

Kevin Kelly, co-founder of Wired (he's now a Senior Maverick there) and one of the greatest technology thinkers of our time, presents a provocative new theory of technology in his latest book, What Technology Wants. In it, he suggests that "the technium," is a living, evolving superorganism, driving itself towards inevitable steps of evolution. It's a heady concept, not just because it presents technology as something more sweeping than just gadgets and the Internet, but also in that it denies the role of the individual "inventor" in technological progress. I chatted with Kelly in between his lectures in New York to get a walk-through on the book and his theory.

Indie Theater Roundup: 7 Movies to See at Docfest

If you're looking for an alternative to sports bars and postgame traffic jams – not that there's anything wrong with them, mind you – San Francisco's ninth annual Documentary Festival is in full swing at the Roxie through Thursday. Catch it while you can. For tickets, click here.

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