Free Will Astrology: Week of October 27

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Aries philosopher Emil Cioran wrote, “When I meet friends or people I know who are going through a difficult period, I usually have this advice for them: ‘Spend 20 minutes...

CBD vs. FDA: Until there’s regulation, Californians should obtain their CBD products from licensed...

CBD is known to have some curative properties, such as relieving certain kinds of seizures. That’s really its only fully proven medicinal use, but there are strong indications it can relieve a number of other ailments, such as pain, insomnia and anxiety. Researchers are finally delving into CBD, now that it’s fully legal to do so, but it will be some years before we know the full range of its benefits and—perhaps—its dangers. Until then, it’s the Wild West.

Essential Simplicity: Meredith Monk premieres new compositions to the Bay Area next month

Monk says her relationship to time was altered by the pandemic. “Yeah, I’ve had to learn to be more patient. It’s been a meditation on patience,” she says, then laughs. “It’s been step-by-step. Part of the discipline is that you don’t lose the thread of the piece when so much time goes by. I’ve always said I’m a patient person underlying it all, but in the short term, moment-to-moment, I’ve been speedier. Now, I’m learning to be patient, period. Otherwise, it’s not going to be accomplished.”

Escaping Into Horror: In his new novel, James Han Mattson explores the politics of...

Mattson provides a galvanizing setup for 'Reprieve'. Each of the five cells at Quigley House is occupied by gore-covered actors, who are permitted to hit, punch and spatter muck on the visitors, who are sometimes allowed to retaliate. The first contestant to use the safe word, “reprieve,” loses the chance to take $60,000 home with them. The owners claim to have made at least one payout.

From Refugees to Diaspora: Generations of Vietnamese contribute to the East Bay

Gee mentions the rise in anti-immigrant sentiments in America. “When you’re new in a country that’s hostile to you, it’s pretty awful, because you [are powerless],” she says. “You may be coming from a country where if you speak up, you die. [Refugees] bring those fears with them.” After a pause, she adds, “Bullies always go after the people that are least able to defend themselves.”

Sesame: What began as a little seed and a little shop became the start...

Marykate McGoldrick is the baker, owner and resident watercolor painter at Sesame, which she describes as a “tiny bakery.” She admits she had a hard time coming up with the name, but in the end, “Sesame just felt right.”

Free Will Astrology: Week of October 20

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Even the wisest among us are susceptible to being fascinated by our emotional pain. Even those of us who do a lot of inner work may be captivated and entranced...

Crappy Vape Pens: The vape market is a particularly stark example of why tight...

More than 2,700 people were hospitalized in the United States, and 60 people died from an illness dubbed EVALI—E-cigarette or Vaping Use-Associated Lung Injury—by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The precise cause hasn’t been confirmed, but the outbreak was almost certainly caused by shoddy production, most likely due at least in part to the use of vitamin E acetate in the oil.

Angélique Kidjo returns to Berkeley as Cal Performances’ first season-long artist-in-residence

Kidjo insisted that original truth is inseparable from our humanity. “Why do people listen to music?” she asked. “Sometimes you don’t understand what is said in a song, but it speaks to you. That is a power that we artists have to be careful using, because it is something that is bigger than us. It’s more powerful than us. We have to be humble to hold that power in, and to be able to give it."

Alameda DA Files Charges: Reporting by East Bay Express led to investigation into predatory...

In a two-part cover series in 2018, the East Bay Express reported on Private Property Impound’s predatory towing for dollars in the East Bay cities of Oakland, San Leandro and Alameda. The reporting on “PPI,” and complaints by at least 13 victims, led to an investigation by the Consumer and Environmental Protection Division of the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office.

Full Metal Junket

Ridley Scott’s The Last Duel combines bloody combat with sexual intrigue, smashingly Ridley Scott’s The Last Duel, one of the most captivating films of the fall season, has more than one thing in common with...

Danger for Sale: A few things to look for while watching Todd Haynes’ ‘The...

Haynes’ latest film, 'The Velvet Underground', rates special handling because the Velvets were simultaneously more dangerous and more attractive than the rest. The new film is a hypnotic, kaleidoscopic, split-screen, rapid-montage, black-and-white documentary exercise in disorienting adulation, so thick with allusions that it would take a list to piece together the splintered impressions.

It’s Easy: Filipino rapper Nump enters cannabis delivery service

From carrying his own cannabis brand, “Nump’s Smackers Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich” and Sideshow Tone’s FHUF Suckaz, to providing all sorts of other cannabis, Bolo CBD, edible, pre-rolled and indica goodies like “Grape Pie” and “Grape Sorbet,” Perfetto lives up to his promise made back in 2005: He really has grapes. And, perhaps more importantly, he’s doing it as a proud Bay Area Pinoy.

Los Tangueros del Oeste: The sensuous grooves of Argentina, with a modern twist

Los Tangueros came together four years ago. They honed their sound playing clubs, concert halls and milongas—tango dance parties that take place every night of the week. El Valenciano, in the Mission District, has hosted a weekly milonga for more than 20 years. When everything came to a halt during the pandemic, Jacobsen decided to use his time to produce 'Alma Vieja' (Old Soul,) the band’s debut album.

Sketches of Spain…And other eye-opening offerings from the East Bay’s Mill Valley Film Festival

Legendary comic artist R. Crumb recalls that when he and Rodriguez started out, 'Comics were held in utter contempt by the educated upper class'—a fact that evidently spurred former outlaw biker and art-school student Rodriguez to épater les bourgeois. Says 'Maus' author, Art Spiegelman, 'The avant-garde was not following the commercial rules' with its lurid sex and violence. 'He [Rodriguez] always punched up,' declares writer Ishmael Reed. According to performer/columnist Susie Bright: 'Spain is a trickster and a classic satirical artist.' Cartoonist Ed Piskor credits Rodriguez with 'opening the doors to today’s graphic novels' with his classically trained drawings."

Tommy Castro: A bluesman comes to town with a blues opera for the ages

“I’d been toying with the idea of a blues opera for a while. I like rock operas like Green Day’s American Idiot and the Who’s Tommy. I began imagining a romantic blues adventure, based on the hero’s journeys from Greek and Roman mythology. A kid in rural America is dreaming of a different life. When a bluesman comes to town, he’s changed forever. After hearing the blues, he decides to start a band and go on the road. I ran the idea past Bruce Iglauer, head of my label, Alligator Records. He didn’t think it was a bad idea, so I pursued it."

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