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Robert Rodriguez Assembles 'Dream Cast' Behind Danny Trejo in 'Machete'

It might be one of the first films conceived as a trailer and later expanded into a feature. Machete, Robert Rodriguez’s story of a Rambo-like ex-Federale betrayed by his bosses and out for revenge, began as a tongue-in-cheek teaser for Grindhouse, the director’s 2007 homage to ’70s exploitation fare. But it soon evolved into something more.
 
“Once we made the trailer, I thought that was as far as it was going to go,” says Rodriguez, 42, who cast cousin and longtime friend Danny Trejo as the titular tough guy at the center of his cheerfully gruesome thriller, which opened Friday.
 

Classical Roundup: From the Ballpark to the Moon

Werther at San Francisco Opera

If you want to hear some truly amazing operatic vocalists, San Francisco Opera’s Werther is your ticket this month. Ramon Vargas, a tenor with a voice that impresses even the most opinionated of critics, plays one of his signature roles, a poet suffering from that nasty unrequited love. Alice Coote brings her world-renowned vocal chops to the stage as his romantic interest, and they bellow their hearts out in this musical tale.

The Week in Local Music News

The tubes love affair with Oakland's Colleen Green continues [via Pitchfork]

SF Weekly talks Disco, Daft Punk and 222 Hyde with Portland's Reporter [via SF Weekly]

Local chiller Fiveng drops his first 7" on upstart label Beach Tapes [via Pitchfork]

After a solid four year run, SF Underground's Gemini Disco party says goodbye [via SF Weekly]

Labor Day Parking Quiz Answers!

 

We tested your street smarts IQ earlier today with a pop quiz on Labor Day Parking rules.  How'd ya do? The answer, from local parking guru David LaBua (author of Finding the Sweet Spot), is below.

Q: Are the parking rules in effect on the streets of San Francisco for Labor Day?

Parking Quiz: What are the Rules for Labor Day?

It's no secret that parking in the city is a bitch. So we've enlisted local parking guru and author of Finding the Sweet Spot, David LaBua, to dish out weekly tips on navigating the ins and outs of city parking.

We started out last week with a quiz on metered parking. And in honor of the Labor Day, we're testing your holiday parking IQ. Check back at 2:00 today for the answer!

Have Gun, Will Travel: 'The American'

Who is Jack, the painfully distant protagonist at the heart of Anton Corbijn’s new thriller? We suspect he might have been an assassin, and indeed, when thrust in harm’s way, he responds with pistols drawn, coldly gunning down friends and foes alike – anyone, it seems, who might compromise his work.
 
He is a difficult man to engage. Personal disclosures are few, and whatever concessions he offers to inquiring strangers – about his job, or his technological acumen – are often misleading. Yet he takes no joy in the deception. Jack, whose real name might be Edward, is hungry for human contact, a luxury his lifestyle doesn’t afford.
 

Indie Theater Roundup: 7 Movies to See This Week

The Clay Theatre remains open this week with nightly screenings of Radu Mihaileanu's The Concert, while Tamra Davis' illuminating documentary Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child makes its regional debut at the Lumiere. Elsewhere:

The Morning Benders Release Video for "All Day Day Light"

Local favorites The Morning Benders, whose critically acclaimed 2010 release, Big Echo, has been on a solid rotation in our offices, debuted their music video for "All Day Day Light" today. The video's perfectly timed to the schizophrenic weather we've been having this summer. It's also karaoke-ready, if you're into that.

The band's about to embark on a European tour, and will touch back stateside in October, playing Austin City Limits and then headlining (!) the Fillmore on October 16.

Check out the video below. It's a great one to carry you into your Labor Day festivities.

Heads Roll in the Exuberant 'Machete'

It began as a joke, two minutes of over-the-top mayhem tacked onto the agreeably bloated Grindhouse double feature, a trailer touting a coming attraction that would never be coming. Yet Machete struck a nerve, at least in the mind of director Robert Rodriguez, and three years later the joke, stretched out to nearly two hours, is reborn as a feature.
 

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