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Shocktoberfest at Thrillpeddlers

We're becoming alarmingly hard to shock these days, what with all our newfangled technology and mummified naivete. But Thrillpeddlers does its damnedest to shock the unshockable generation - and succeeds admirably. So if you want blood, titillation, and a higher-than-average possibility of high-pitched screaming this Halloween, check out Thrillpeddlers’ latest Shocktoberfest.

This Week's Hottest Events: Litquake, Hardly Strictly, Open Studios, + Arcade Fire

Film: McSweeney's Wholpin Issue #12 + Spike Jonze's I'm Here

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass: The Best of Friday, Saturday and Sunday

It's as if the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass gods knew they were scheduling their free concert chock full of world-class acts the same weekend many of us have to begrudgingly hand over our rent checks. But obviously that's not the real reason we're excited for the festival. Here's a day-by-day look at the best of the festival.

Friday, October 1

If you're an early bird, head to Golden Gate Park to catch MC Hammer on the Star Stage at 11:30 am. Question is: will he be sporting his magical hammer pants?

Tom Waits (!) Revealed as Litquake "Surprise Guest"

Litquake's website has been teasing us for a while now by saying that Oct 2nd's Barbary Coast Award (which honors Lawrence Ferlinghetti) will feature "a very special guest indeed." And now we know who it is...none other than Mr. Tom Waits. The prolific singer-songwriter will be in attendance this Saturday at Herbst Theatre, along with Patti Smith, Lenny Kaye, Winona Ryder, Michael McLure and New Yorker cartoonist Eric Drooker. Yes, very special indeed.

Get tickets here.

Magical Muppets & More @ YBCA In October

Don't ever let something silly like Katy Perry's cleavage distract you from the magic of Sesame Street. The wacky, educational, and sometimes psychedelic kid's show, which debuted in 1969, is getting big props from YBCA during the entire month of October (Halloween costume ideas!), celebrating the making and legacy of Jim Henson's Sesame Street with four film screenings.

10,000 Free Theater Tickets

Everyone loves free. Everyone should love theater. Because, come on: it’s love, pathos, and comedy - all wrapped up in a two-hour dose of well-written universal human experience. In the best pairing since Barney Stinson and the Italian suit, free and theater join infatuated hands for the month of October.

'White Collar Brawler' Gets Real

If you're a fan of MTV's 'Made,' you'll revel in the new web reality series, White Collar Brawler, which is shot entirely in San Francisco and chronicles the journey of two local Gen Y-ers who quit their jobs to become amateur boxers. Nate Houghteling and Kai Hasson (both 26), live in the East Bay, are Ivy League grads, and jaded with 9-5 grind at News Corps and Current TV, decided to take life by the horns and get in the ring. It's all very Fight Club lite, but pretty entertaining, especially when they start talking some smack after realizing they'll have to fight each other.

Impressionism Makes a Comeback at the de Young

Oh, Starry Night. I’d say my taste is more of the boundary-breaking contemporary art kind, but the Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cézanne, and Beyond exhibit currently on view at the de Young gave me a new appreciation for French art of the 19th century. And as much as I’d like to say I fell in love with a more obscure work of genius, I admit that I fell victim to the magnificent allure of Van Gogh's oft overplayed masterpiece.

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