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Arts + Culture

Joan Rivers to Close Film Festival Tonight

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 76 – you’ve got another think coming.

Culture Clash: Benjamin and Peter Bratt Shine A Light On ‘La Mission’

The SF-bred Benjamin and Peter Bratt’s affection and affinity for the Mission District comes through with crystalline clarity in La Mission. The brotherly team, with Peter writing, directing and producing and Benjamin starring, have much of the vibe down: the way the sun bounces off the concrete; the wildly imaginative and brightly hued murals winding off 24th Street; the bodegas, produce shops and mom-and-pop businesses lining the streets; the kids in black hoodies who slouch on out on front stoops; and some of the district’s funky diversity -- one that encompasses blue-collar Latino families, college-age hipsters, the bikers, and spiritual searches. You feel get a bit of a thrill just seeing those familiar sights -- Balmy Alley, Muni buses, Folsom Street basketball courts.

Exhibits To Catch On First Thursday

May brings rising artists on the move and familiar names back on the scene. Here's a brief look at a few of the Bay's openings and art events, just in time for First Thursday.

Interview: The Freelance Whales' Judah Dadone

The Freelance Whales have managed to craft one of those songs that gets in your ears and won't quit. It's called "Generator^1st Floor", and I'm not just speaking for myself. Other indie forces like the Antlers and Aislyn (a side project of Passion Pit's keyboardist Ian Hultquist) have remixed and recut the song in their own oblique homages to the original's acoustic delicacy and swelling, textural layers of banjos, Micro Korgs, tambourines and vocal harmonies.

Zhang Huan's 26-Foot, Three-Headed, Six-Armed Buddhist Statue Coming to the Civic Center

San Francisco's city center is going to get a temporary facelift on May 12 in the form of a gargantuan three-headed, six-armed Buddhist statue entitled, err, Three Heads Six Arms by the international art phenom Zhang Huan. For the massive work of art's world premiere as an outdoor adornment to the Joseph L. Alioto Performing Arts Piazza (across the street from City Hall), the city and good old Gavin Newsom are rolling out the welcome mat with a public ceremony at 10 a.m.

Show Review: Broken Social Scene @ The Fillmore

For one thing, these guys (and gals) love San Francisco. Kevin Drew could pretty much remember every single Bay Area show they've played over the last 5 years. Impressive considering their intense tour schedules. Not only that, but they kicked off their Forgiveness Rock Record tour right here in our City by the the infamous Fillmore on Saturday night. Doesn't get much better than that folks. It being the first night of the tour, there were obviously a few technical glitches, but with seven mics and over a dozen different instruments, we're surprised it went as flawlessly as it did.

Men Think They Are Better Than Grass

After seeing Men Think They Are Better Than Grass, I was trying to explain the concept the next afternoon at a barbeque: "It's interpretative dance! About the environment!" As people stared skeptically, I gestured wildly with my Corona, "AND IT'S AWESOME!"

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