British upright bassist Oliver Steadman still recalls the help wanted ad like it was yesterday, on a webite in Oxford where people look for musical instruments for sale. But this one said “seeking a bassist for alternative-pop band.” Being only 17, he didn’t know what that oxymoron meant, so he went to meet them. “They” were keyboardist Jon Quin and singer-guitarist Brian Briggs, who went on to form the quirky folk-rock ensemble Stornoway with Steadman and his percussionist kid brother Rob, then 15. They had no choice, with Steadman being the only bassist who responded. Read More
Filmmakers David Siegel and Scott McGehee, who met at UC Berkeley, never have compromised, releasing just five films in 20 years, including “Suture,” “The Deep End,” “Bee Season” and “Uncertainty.”
Their latest film, the intelligent, heartbreaking “What Maisie Knew,” which opened this year’s San Francisco International Film Festival and gets its theatrical release this week, displays the same high quality.
Based on Henry James’ 1897 novel and updated to modern-day New York, the movie concerns a messy custody case. Read More
The siren song of the Caribbean calls to San Francisco dub producer Roommate, who road-tests a set of original, reggae-inflected electronic tracks at the Elbo Room on Sunday.
It’s not clear how much longer Justin McCauley, the Richmond district resident of seven years, has left in the Bay, he says.
“S.F. has been good to me over the years, but I’m getting the itch to move back out of the country and get some more culture shock in my life,” he says. “I’ve never lived on an island and I’ve always wanted to try being isolated, seeing what it would do to me as an artist.” Read More
The late Rex May was a successful graphic designer, best known for creating San Francisco’s 49-Mile Drive logo. He was also an avid collector of Mexican art, giving his collection to the Mexican Museum in 2001.
“An Inspired Gift: The Rex May Collection of Popular Art” is on display at the museum until next year. It contains some 400 masks, paintings, ceramic figurines and other pieces, arranged to evoke the feeling of how they looked when they occupied May’s Victorian home. It’s a refreshing approach. Read More
Based on two successful comedy albums of the 1960s, “When You’re In Love, The Whole World Is Jewish” promises nostalgic dollops of good-natured, goyim-friendly guilt and guffaws at the Marines’ Memorial Theater this weekend.
The original album, “You Don’t Have To Be Jewish,” featured soon-to-be classic schtick by a cast that included Lou Jacobi, Jack Gilford and Arlene Golonka. “When You’re In Love” was the sequel and featured a young Valerie Harper filling in for Golonka. Read More
LL Cool J may be one of the elder statesmen of rap, rhyming since his 1985 platinum debut, but he has been out of the game recently, focusing on acting, starring in films and on “NCIS: Los Angeles,” and hosting the Grammy Awards.
He has no intention of giving up either pursuit.
“I just didn’t want to abandon my music,” the rapper-actor says. “If I didn’t do it now, I may have never gotten to it.” Read More
A man impersonating the Korean pop star Psy lived it up in Cannes, and the story is hilarious.
The stocky Asian imposter in big sunglasses showed up at various restaurants and clubs and surrounded himself with security guards complete with earpieces and dark shades, according to the New York Post. Read More
“Kitchen Nightmares” nightmare Scottsdale restaurant Amy’s Baking Co. reopened Tuesday, but getting insider info on the event is about as easy as getting Eric Holder to turn over documents.
Eater reported that the place has a whole new staff, none of whom were aware of the couple’s erratic lunacy, and that diners said the food was good and the service “excellent.” Read More
Let’s get one thing straight: Brad Pitt did not “slam” his marriage to Jennifer Aniston or call it “pathetic,” despite multiple headlines trending online recently. Read More
Members of the decade-old Swedish quintet Shout Out Louds have plenty of outside pursuits to keep them busy.
Bassist Ted Malmros makes videos, short films and TV commercials in his spare time, and bandleader Adam Olenius and guitarist Carl von Arbin do freelance graphic-design work that often includes the group’s cutting-edge posters, T-shirts and album covers.
“But I think our biggest interest when we’re on tour — after music — is food,” Olenius says. “We’re obsessed with finding the best local place to eat, and just finding good food on the road, in general.” Read More