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Arts + Culture

Fat Possum Signs Sonny and the Sunsets

Chalk another one up for the west coast vintage pop revival. Fat Possum has signed Sonny and the Sunsets. SF-based (geo-locate him in Sunset district) Sonny Smith started up the all-star filled Sunsets back in 2007 [read Shayde Sartin & Tim Cohen (of the Fresh & Onlys), Tahlia Harbour (of Citay and The Dry Spells), Ryan Browne and Kelley Stoltz (Sub Pop Recordings)].

In God's Ear

Grief - and what occurs in the space between loss and healing - is explored via Jenny Schwartz's adeptly fragmented prose in God's Ear. When a couple's son drowns, they're bowled over by the expected guilt, love, and pain. But life's ceaselessly marching parade of waiting rooms and loose teeth and barroom insults don't stand quietly by until the confusion passes.

Schwartz's fragmented language and director Erika Chong Shuch's swirl of movement are a compelling frame for the bravery and mistakes and hallucinations (in the guise of cameos by the Tooth Fairy and G.I. Joe) that occur as parents navigate their loss.

Robert Randolph and the Family Band Play The Fillmore

In the past year and a half, pedal steel guitarist Robert Randolph has spent over $5,000 on iTunes. "Before this record, I didn't sift through music past the seventies," says Randolph. So he's been catching up. Guided by the legendary T Bone Burnett, Randolph mined the canon of 20th century African-American music, pulling from gospel, blues, rock and field recordings from as far back as the '20s to find inspiration for his new album, We Walk This Road, which comes out on June 22. "T Bone is a link between the past and the present," notes Randolph. "He listens to music our grandmothers would listen to as children - the music people working in the fields across the south likely sang nearly a century ago. These are the real roots of rock and roll, where everything comes from.

Festival Standout ‘Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work’ Returns to San Francisco

If you’re expecting Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work to showcase her famously blue stand-up routines – a testament, perhaps, to the undiminished ferocity she still brings to the stage at 77 – you’ve got another think coming.

That’s not to say Ricki Stern and Anne Sundberg’s illuminating documentary, which closed the San Francisco Film Festival in May, isn’t funny. But the story it tells, of a comedy workaholic struggling to stay at the top of her profession, is also undeniably bittersweet.

Two For One Tix to See Steve Martin Play the Banjo

When Steve Martin's not busy being epic on the big screen (Roxanne, Little Shop of Horrors, The Jerk...and can we get some love for George Banks?) or engaging in frenemy warfare with Alec Baldwin, he's been known to play the banjo. Pretty well. He's heading down to what's probably the chillest concert venue of the summer, Mountain Winery, for some bluegrass action (along with the Steep Canyon Rangers) on June 23rd.

Rebar is Changing the World's Idea of Public Space

When Matthew Passmore, John Bela and Blaine Merker founded their design collective, Rebar, five years ago, they did so with the intention of melding landscape and urban design with art and activism and the goal of changing San Franciscans’ relationship with the physical space they call home.

The Illustrated Man: On SF's Tattoo Culture

Every picture tells a story, especially the ones etched on skin.

Wat’s that mean?” a series of nosy strangers have asked me over the years, pointing to the tattoo on my left forearm—eight Chinese characters surrounded by vibrant cherry blossoms.

“My wedding invitation,” I say. “It means, ‘The marriage of wind and water among ancient redwoods.’”

“How romantic!” They typically swoon a bit here, smiling at my dedication, wowed by my sense of monogamy. “How long have you been married?”

“I’m actually divorced.”

“Oh,” they say, righting themselves quickly. “I’m sorry. That’s the trouble with tattoos.”

Jerrold Burchman Exhibits Latest Works in San Francisco

Born in New York City, Jerrold Burchman migrated as a young man to California and since the ’60s has been recognized as one of the West Coast’s most significant painters. Burchman will exhibit his latest works, a series of dual-patterned, 12-inch-square paintings on wood panels called “La Piccola” (#9, above), at San Francisco’s Toomey Tourell Fine Art through June 30.

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