Arts + Culture

Party Radar: Are you ready for the Cleveland techno invasion?

Adab from the Heaven is in You party and In Training's Kiernan Laveaux and Father of Two are driving across America to Mixed Forms, Sat/20.

PARTY RADAR The greater Midwest is central to the story of electronic music in the United States, but it gets short shrift these days: Sure, Detroit and Chicago are still shining stars in the underground firmament, but what about cities where people are really kicking against the conservative pricks, like Cleveland? 

Welp, Cleveland has its own exciting, coalescing underground scene worth investigating, and it’s queer as fuck, huzzah. You won’t even have to spring for a ticket to Ohio, as the Mixed Forms party is offering a Cleveland queer underground sampler platter, Sat/21. That’s when representatives of two of Cleveland’s vibrant underground parties, In Training and Heaven Is In You, come to the Stud. (Full disclosure: I am part of the Stud Collective, and have partied with In Training in the Appalachian forest). There’s definitely some good ol’ DIY community aesthetic going on. I had a wee email exchange with DJs Kiernan Laveaux and Father of Two from In Training and ADAB from Heaven is in You, as they traveled across the country to visit San Francisco for the first time. 

48H When I checked i with In Training last year, it felt like a queer underground scene was finally taking root in Cleveland. How you have seen the Cleveland scene change through your parties? 

FATHER OF TWO I participate very little in the wider Cleveland ‘scene’ outside of the three parties my friends and I organize together, so it’s hard for me to answer. Our events continue to be rewarding and expanding, and the wider queer music community seems to be responding well to what we do here.

ADAB It’s always been a place with a queer and creative presence, but I feel like our parties have bolstered spaces for those energies to congregate and mesh with one another.

KIERNAN LAVEAUX Having been an attendee at shows in Cleveland for the last five years of my life, I would definitely say there’s been a slight increase of peoples’ awareness in their words and actions towards queer people in the timeframe that our events have been around. While it’s nowhere near perfect, I believe it has to do in tandem with an increase of general social awareness and maybe people being more exposed to what we do. ADAB nailed it in that the queers and energy has always been there, but needed a space to meet and interact with one another and share ideas.

48H You all come at the scene from different directions. How did you get started throwing parties and DJng?

FATHER OF TWO I started throwing parties and DJing with In Training, which was conceived the night Mx Silkman (the third member of In Training) and I first met almost four years ago. I’ve been learning it all on the job!

ADAB I started DJing around 2010, in college, after my best friend/sibling sent me a Numark Traktor LE while on tour with the USMC in Afghanistan. Developing out of that came a genuine desire to learn more about the gift I was given. As far as party organizing, aside from random house parties, I hadn’t considered doing any type of official party until me and my Heaven Is In You cofounder Eric met Kiernan, Father of Two, and Mx Silkman as a result of the small pool of the Cleveland electronic underground.

KIERNAN LAVEAUX I started DJing about three years ago as a result of Father of Two and Mx Silkman starting In Training and me wanting to get on board and help out with it. It seemed like the best way possible for me to meet other transgender people, because at the time I had very few trans friends and was going through a lot of isolation and confusion. Seeing ADAB play one of our early parties was also the first time I saw one of my friends and peers really command a room and make people dance, and it struck a chord in me to want to take this as far as I could with people I was forming close bonds with. I joined on as an official member of In Training about four months into it’s existence.

48H How would you characterize the music you play, and can you give me a couple of tracks you love right now?

FATHER OF TWO There is so much interesting music coming out at the moment that I have a blast showcasing and attempting to put into a more queer context. I particularly enjoy lots of music coming out of the UK that takes influence from soundsystem culture and IDM; labels like Timedance, Livity Sound, Version, Tobago Tracks, Conga Burn, Central Processing Unit, Le Chatroom, Circular Jaw, and many more have all been releasing tons of heat that I’ve enjoyed messing around with, just to name a few. I also have a rather large soft spot for UK Garage and think it’s a sound that is inexplicably rather underrepresented in the US queer underground. Three tracks I love right now are “Yak” by Zephyr (Le Chatroom), “PEEV” by Delia (Intramuros Records), and “Love Delicious (Sully Remix)” by Girls Of The Internet [Ramp Recordings]

ADAB I try my hardest most times to shift between techno, house, breaks, electro, minimal, and their various combinations. The common thread of the sound I try to carry through them is intentionally centered around dense percussion elements. Three tracks I love right now are: Underground Resistance’s “Radioactive Rhythms,” Fred P’s “6am” and Ubik’s “1991”

KIERNAN LAVEAUX I also take a lot of influence from “broken” rhythms associated with the sounds of the UK as well as dense percussion and a variety of styles put through a blender in my mind. I like to have a huge tidal wave of sounds coming at people, but also play a lot with space and dynamics. I’m inspired by my interpretation of the spirit of Midwestern electronic music, the strange and experimental nature of the music that came out of its heyday, and all music that has been influenced by it since. Percussion is the universal language of humanity and the driving force behind almost all tracks I love to play, as well as anything that sounds strange and alien, yet beautiful and enticing. Three tracks I love right now are: Ken Ishii’s “Twist of Space,” Anthony Shakir’s “Systemic Advancing,” and Seefeel’s “Charlotte’s Mouth”


THU 19-SUN/21 DISCRETE FIGURES: RHIZOMATIKS X ELEVENPLAY This eye-popping technology-dance hybrid comes to Gray Area for its 10th Anniversary. “Inspired by Alan Turing, their newest performance marries choreography for five dancers with machine learning technology and a stage designed for interactivity between performers, drones, virtual dancers and other objects.” More info here

THU/19 CHIC Nobody works harder than Nile Rodgers to make a party happen — that’s why his outfit Chic still remains relevant and incredible. Dance to the classics with a crowd of all types. 7pm, $55. Fox Theatre, Oakland. More info here

FRI/20 HIGHER AND HIGHER: A ROOFTOP 4/20 PARTY Head up to Oasis’s roof and celebrate 4/20! With DJs Brown Amy and Sindri, entertainers Dulche de Leche and LOL McFiercen, and more. There will be munchies. 8pm-12am, $7. Oasis, SF. More info here.  

FRI/20 JOE CLAUSELL, PEGGY GOU, AXEL BOMAN, NONCOMPLIANT The As You Like It party (with co-promoter Technoclam) pulls off its usual wonderful stunt of gathering together some of the best DJs in the world, of wildly different styles. It’s an unmissable smorgasbord! 9:30-4:30, $20. Public Works, SF. More info here

FRI/20 DERRICK CARTER The Chicago boogaloo house master returns to slay SF, and we adore him. 9:30pm-3am, $10-$20. Monarch, SF. More info here

FRI/20 CREATURE XV: ALLOY Craziness always ensues at this ultimate gender fluid party, this time celebrating all the metals of the universe with DJs Juanita More, Jordee, Scorpion Warrior, and more. 10pm-4am, $10. the Stud, SF. More info here

SAT/21 MAGIC TOUCH The Los Angeleno touches down with his gossamer house style at the ever-splendid Push the Feeling party. 9pm-2am, $7. Underground SF. More info here

SAT/21 NON STOP BHANGRA Our favorite bhangra party ever brings in the UK’s PBN to light the dancefloor on fire. 9pm-2am, $15. Public Works, SF. More info here

SAT/21 FRINGE Indie dance bliss with DJs Blondie K & subOctave + special guests Mario Muse. Too cute. 9pm-2am, $5. Madrone, SF. More info here

SAT/21 D.A.D. The Dudes And Disco party is too cute for words, but they’re getting serious about sweat with guests Gay Marvine and Bus Station John. Disco for all, hon. 9pm-2am, $7-$10. Driftwood, SF. More info here.     

SAT/21 DÂM FUNK + PEANUT BUTTER WOLF Two great, funky tastes from LA that sound great together. DÂM always wows with his Prince-feel sets, while Wolf (the founder of Stones Throw Records) is a classic in the turntablist mode. 9pm, $22. Midway, SF. More info here

SAT/21 SATURDAY NIGHT SOUL PARTY DJ Guillermo of the classic Sweater Funk crew makes your backbone slip (with 45s!) at the Elbo Room. 10pm-2am, $8. Elbo Room, SF. More info here

SUN/22 SUNSET + HONEY SOUNDSYSTEM BOAT PARTY The Honey boys have hopped on this party traditions, as the Sunset Crew continues sailing into the summer. Special Guest Antenes from L.I.E.S. Records. All aboardy!  5pm-11pm, $60. More info here

SCREEN GRABS: The Rider, Women Animators, School of Chairs

'The Rider'

SCREEN GRABS Apparently much of the local film world was holding its breath until the San Francisco International Film Festival ended—because now that it has, the floodgates have opened to a ton of new arthouse releases and other notable events. 

Probably the most acclaimed of the fresh arrivals—and justly so—is Chloe Zhao’s Cannes prize-winning The Rider. Like her prior  Songs My Brothers Taught Me, which took place on a Lakota reservation, the China-born director’s second feature is a low-key drama set in hard-scrabble rural South Dakota. Actual former bull-riding star Brady Jandreau plays a fictionalized version of himself as a young man who has a difficult time adjusting to his forced new reality after an accident leaves him with a head injury and a steel plate in his skull. He slowly gets back to the work of training horses (in some fascinating scenes involving no stunt personnel), but even that outlet—let alone going back to rodeo competition—may be closed to him if his condition worsens. Jandreau’s real-life, somewhat ne’er-do-well father and mentally disabled sister also play variations on themselves, as do various of his roping and wrangling cowboy peers.

Whether any of them could—or even should—go on to professional acting careers is anyone’s guess. But the performances Zhao has gotten from her non-professional cast members are remarkable, and The Rider is one of those films that feels utterly, urself-consciously true to a reality not terribly close to the usual mythology of movie westerns. As quietly intense as its leading figure, this is a terse, poetical, moving drama that could well end up one of the year’s best.  

Among the films we did not have time to preview are Little Pink House, with Catherine Keener in a fact-based David-and-Goliath tale of average citizen vs. big development that should resonate with local viewers; Ismael’s Ghosts, a triangle drama with Mathieu Amalric, Marion Cotillard and Charlotte Gainsbourg from Arnaud Desplechin, the talented French director of A Christmas Tale and My Golden Days; I Feel Pretty, an Amy Schumer comedy with the promising conceit that her hitherto-insecure-wallflower character experiences drastic life changes after a head trauma convinces her she’s a fabulously successful knockout; Claire’s Camera, a second playful collaboration between South Korean director Sang-Too Hong and French superstar Isabelle Huppert; and Kodachrome, a road-trip seriocomedy with Jason Sudeikis, Elizabeth Olsen and Ed Harris. 

If you’re looking for something free and fun, nothing could be better than the Proxy Spring Series’ Friday night screening of The Road Movie—a hair-raising and hilarious compilation of Russian dash-cam footage—outdoors in Hayes Valley. BYO blanket; beer and food-truck eats will be available for purchase. (More info here.)


Two special events this week celebrate the work of women animators, local and otherwise. SF’s own Kara Herold will host a reception and screening next Thursday at YBCA to support her work-in-progress: 39 1/2, a feature continuing the playful self-analysis of her 2009 Bachelorette, 34 in which she uses elements of documentary, live action, animation and more to ponder the single life (and parental push-back) on the brink of 40. Short works by Lynn Peril, Emily Hubley, Kelly Gallagher and more complete the program. This Saturday, Other Cinema at ATA presents a “veritable mothership of animators” including Gallagher, Ellie Vanderlip, Mary Ellen Bute, Sally Cruikshank and more. A highlight will Martha Colburn’s new Western Wilds, a semi-autobiographical piece that’s also a meditation on the legacy of late Western pulp writer Karl May, German’s answer to Zane Grey.

Kara Herold: An Evening of Films & Storytelling by Women: Thurs/19, YBCA. More info here

X-Peri-Mental Animation: Sat/21, ATA. More info here. 

This quiet but striking new B&W drama by Hungarian director Ferenc Torok is set in the immediate aftermath of WW2. A small village is ruffled by the mysterious arrival of two black-clad strangers in the railway station. What do they want? Conspicuously, they are Jews—and that stirs worry, because this country hamlet (and many like it) had passively turned its Jewish citizens over to the Nazi-aligned authorities and claimed their “abandoned” property for its Gentile populace. Have these men come to reclaim? Accuse? Refusing to hit us on the head with its message, 1945 instead subtly reveals the complicity of “good” people are capable of when outside forces target their neighbors. Opens Friday, Landmark Theaters. More info here.

Those who prefer their fantasy/sci-fi cinema heavy on intriguing ideas rather than CGI effects will be delighted with this third feature by the brainy genre duo of scenarist Justin Benson and co-director Aaron Moorhead. They also star as brothers who fled a rural commune years earlier, the elder believing it was a “UFO death cult” headed toward Jonestown-like disaster. But they’ve floundered in the outside world, and the younger sibling still misses the “home” he has only fond memories of. Begging a return visit for “closure,” they arrive to discover that decade later, the residents haven’t aged a day—among other peculiarities.

This supernatural mystery recalls the likes of Inception or Looper for its toying with time as an “infinite loop” in increasingly hallucinogenic ways, albeit on a tiny fraction of those films’ budgets. Which is all to the good: What The Endless lacks in spectacle (though it does have some FX) it more than makes up in character detail and narrative invention. Some may find there are too many questions left dangling at the end, but getting there is a fascinating journey. Opens Friday, Alamo Drafthouse. More info here

You call yourself a cult movie aficionado? Be prepared to turn over your badge in shame if you have never seen either of these demented Asian genre classics, both of which get a showing at the Alamo this week. 1975’s Infra-Man, from legendary Hong Kong producers the Shaw Brothers, is the nuttiest super-hero movie ever—a fever-pitched mix of Godzilla-type monster mash and proto-Power Rangers cartoonish chop-socky. Take the kids and fry their brains! No less delirious is Nobuhiko Obayashi’s 1977 Hausu aka House, in which a group of schoolgirls visiting an aunt’s country home find it chock-a-block with supernatural perils that come off like an LSD trip on amphetamines. 

Infra-Man: Sun/22, Alamo Drafthouse. More info here

Hausu: Tues/24, Alamo Drafthouse. More info here.

In conjunction with the same-named group exhibition showing at 500 Capp St. through June 9, this SF Cinematheque program pulls together an assortment of film and video shorts that explore the “secret life of objects.” Do we own our possessions, or do they own us? The relationship between identity, home and decor is explored in works by Ken Kobland, Julia Dogra-Brasell, Karissa Hahn, Jean-Paul Kelly, Bettina Hoffman, Coral Short, and Dana Berman Duff. Admission to this special on-site screening includes access to the ongoing exhibit at late visual artist David Ireland’s home, which he modified so uniquely and extensively it’s considered a permanent art installation in itself. Thurs/19, David Ireland House. More info here

Considered one of the most distinctive and original Latin American filmmakers of the 21st century to date, Argentina’s Martel made a splash with her 2001 debut La Cienaga, and has continued to do with each of three features since. Visiting the Bay Area to promote her latest, Zama (which opens commercially April 27), Martel will appear at two Bay Area venues this weekend. She’ll discuss both Zama and 2018’s acclaimed The Headless Woman at the onset of a complete Pacific Film Archive retrospective that runs through May 10. She’ll also present Zama—an experimental take on 18th-century Spanish colonialism—in person at SF’s Center for the Arts this coming Monday.

Fri/20-Thurs/10, PFA. More info here. 

Mon/23 YBCA. More info here.

Though it may no longer command the international attention it did in the 1960s, when Czechoslovakia was the jewel in the crown of a fantastic Eastern European filmmaking renaissance, the Czech Republic continues to carry on a rich cinematic tradition. The sixth edition of this traveling showcase for new work runs a gamut from the nation’s Oscar submission feature Ice Mother, a contemporary romantic tragicomedy, to WW2 drama Barefoot and sci-fi Accumulator 1. Fri/20-Sun/22, Roxie. More info here.

A very talented director trapped in a subgenre he remained forever ambivalent about, the recently deceased Romero made some of his best movies outside it, like offbeat vampire variation Martin and the Arthurian motorcycle saga Knightriders. Still, to the end he was largely stuck with the thing that launched his career: Zombies. There’s no questioning the greatness of his original Night of the Living Dead or its immediate sequel Dawn of the Dead. But admirably, this three-day Roxie tribute sidesteps all six of his undead features to throw a spotlight on a trio of Romero’s least-seen films. 

1973’s The Crazies, about a small town whose residents (accidentally poisoned by a military biological weapon) go homicidally nuts, suffered from poor distribution at the time but eventually became enough of a cult classic to merit a 2010 remake. More uneven if sporadically striking was the prior year’s equally unlucky Season of the Witch aka Hungry Wives, in which suburban Pittsburgh women unwisely get involved with witchcraft. But surely the most obscure of all Romero films is 1971’s There’s Always Vanilla, an aggressively groovy yet essentially sour “romantic comedy” about cynical modern relationships—an annoying movie, but a real time capsule of the Sexual Revolution’s jaded downside. Roxie, Sat/21-Mon/23.

It’s hard to convey to people who weren’t alive or cognizant at the time what a cultural phenomenon The Exorcist was: Beyond being by far the most commercially successful horror film to date, it sparked some serious religious debate and no small about of paranormal paranoia. The Roxie pairs the “extended director’s cut” (longer than the original release by ten minutes) of that 1973 mega-hit with director William Friedkin’s latest feature. 

His first-ever documentary, The Devil and Father Amorth is a rather pulpy inquiry into not just The Exorcist’s history, but also the ongoing reality of exorcisms in the Catholic Church. He brings his camera to Italy, where we’re told a somewhat hard-to-belief half-million citizens are exorcised each year, and where he gets permission to film a woman getting her 9th such attempted spiritual cleansing. It plays rather like tabloid TV (and is the woman’s “possessed” voice been digitally altered, as it sounds?)—but it’s a interesting footnote/prelude to a 45-year-old film that remains mightily impressive.Tues/24, Roxie. More info here

Sean Dorsey Dance’s ‘Boys in Trouble’ unpacks toxic masculinity

Sean Dorsey Dance's "Boys in Trouble." Photo by Lydia Daniller.

DANCE  Alt-right, #metoo, the Trump administration: Toxic masculinity and its effects are all the rage. We live in a culture that only allows (and rewards) men to feel anger, aggressiveness, competitiveness, and other narrowly defined traits. And we’re just waking up to the harm that this has caused. Even the trans and queer communities are affected from within by society’s corrosive standards of what it means to be “a real man.”

Essential local dance company Sean Dorsey Dance continues to address hot button topics from a place of diversity and passion, queering our view of binary constructs while presenting forceful and moving works. Its latest, Boys in Trouble (Fri/19-Sun/21 at Z Space), takes on toxic masculinity in all its insidious forms. 

The piece was developed after Dorsey traveled the country for two years, hosting community forums, teaching free movement workshops for and recording interviews with transgender, gender-non-conforming, cisgender, gay, bi, and queer people on the masculine spectrum. But it’s hardly a grim essay on the state of gender in the US. Instead, it plays against such expectations to make a statement about vulnerability and celebrate resilience, with humor and healing.

“The show is a fusion of full-throttle dancing (and I do mean full-throttle: We soak through 12 costume changes!), bold theater, intimate storytelling, and gorgeous partnering,” Dorsey told me over email. “How often do we get to see masculine bodies touching each other with tenderness and care? The dancing is pretty spectacular—we’re proud of the work. The storytelling comes from the performers, as well as from the communities we worked with. And I guarantee audiences will both laugh out loud (a lot) and will definitely tear up.”

I conversed with Dorsey over email about masculinity, vulnerability, and the expansive possibilities of being “proud, sassy, loud, and fierce.” 

48 HILLS The process for creating Boys in Trouble was incredibly involved—and involving. You traveled around the country for two years hosting forums on masculinity and teaching movement classes to queer and trans people all along the masculinity spectrum. What was the genesis of that, and can you share a couple of anecdotes from the road? 

SEAN DORSEY As a choreographer, I’m passionate about creating dances that are deeply human, widely accessible, moving and super relatable for my audiences. Modern dance has a reputation for being cryptic, inaccessible and irrelevant. That’s not what I do. I choose themes that will speak to people on a deep level, and I also choose make my work in community: I talk with people, listen to people, host workshops that give people creative skills and a voice.

So to create Boys in Trouble, I had the amazing opportunity to work with people in several cities across the US (from Maui to San Francisco to small-town Maine). Two things really stood out to me from that process: the first, that people living within the constraints of masculinity—whether in small towns or big cities—are profoundly harmed by the structures, demands, expectations and violence of toxic masculinity. The second thing was how extraordinarily resilient, smart, loving, warm, strong, brave, and creative queer and trans communities are. I was so inspired again and again!

I’m really excited that Boys in Trouble will be touring to 20 cities across the US after our San Francisco premiere; and in each city, we hold a week-long residency with free community forums, trans-supportive dance workshops, and more.

48H What perspective did you gain in your travels on these phenomena, and what of that coming through in the dances you’ve created? I’m especially fascinated by how you’re seeing this through a trans and queer lens. 

SD Our culture constantly tells trans people that we are “less than,” incomplete, and flawed. Boys in Trouble asserts that in fact, trans people are whole, deeply conscious, insightful, strong people who have a TON of insight to offer to the broader culture around gender, well-being and healing. Trans people have to work so fucking hard to stay alive and thrive in a world that hates us and harms our bodies; we’ve navigated multiple genders and gender expression… so we have a lot to teach, share and provide leadership and insight around. 

In this work, we explore white fragility, masculine rage and fragility and violence, expectations of trans masculinity. But we also explore the glorious, creative, brilliant, expansive possibilities of queer and trans gender-fluid and masculine gender expression. We’re proud, sassy, loud, and fierce… and then we also get super vulnerable, allow our own masks to come off to reveal our own sources of shame and trauma.

Sean Dorsey Dance in “Boys in Trouble.” Photo by Lydia Daniller

48H You mention vulnerability. What was your experience of that in the communities you visited, and how does that come through in the dances? 

SD Here’s the thing: the gender binary is (literally) man-made, and it’s harmful to everyone: cisgender, trans, hetero, queer, nonbinary… We inflict violence on ourselves and each other as we constantly scramble to “measure up.” That applies to masculinity, femininity … and it also applies to the pressure of being “queer” enough, or being “trans” enough or the “acceptable/passable” kind of transgender. We have one super sassy section that asks, Is THIS butch enough for you?

What’s underneath all of this—for everyone—is shame. We learn shame as we learn how to “do” our gender correctly. And shame lives in the body, so unpacking that shame through dance is visceral, powerful and healing.

48H The diversity of your company always awes me, can you tell me a little about collaborating and working with the dancers for this project? 

SD I love my company, we’re truly like family. There are five of us, and we are trans (me) and cisgender; white and Black; queer, gay, and bi; and our ages span three generations. Boys in Trouble is performed by myself, Brian Fisher, ArVejon Jones, Nol Simonse and Will Woodward.

I’m not interested in dance companies that feature under-fed binary-gendered all-cisgender dancers who are directed to put on blank stares, perform only-hetero partnering and narratives, and emotionally remove themselves from the work. I’m interested in real human experience; I’m interested in deeply, deeply moving my audiences and transforming them; I’m passionate about cracking open our wounded hearts to heal; I’m passionate about connecting queer and trans audiences to joy and beauty, and lifting up ourselves as strong and beautiful.

Z Space, SF.
Tickets and more info here. 

Review: ‘Disruption’ offers timely #metoo twist on tech scandals

CEO Andy Powell (Sally Dana) strategizes with her chief of staff Cris Friend (Heather Gordon) in 'Disruption.' Photo by Mario Parnell

ONSTAGE Since the #MeToo movement burst on the scene, it has illuminated the epidemic of sexual harassment that has long afflicted women in all kinds of jobs—from agricultural workers to actors, from restaurant workers to realtors from professors to park rangers.

It’s no surprise that it is rampant among the “tech-bro” culture of Silicon Valley, even among the highest echelons of the corporate structure. Witness the high profile sex discrimination case by Ellen Pao, a former venture capital executive, that sent shock waves through the world of tech finance.

So 3Girls Theatre Company’s production of Disruption at Z Space (through April 29) is definitely timely, although it offers a twist.

Playwright AJ Baker sets the drama smack dab in the middle of the booming biotech industry, when GeneFarm, headed by Dr. Andrea “Andy” Powell (Sally Dana), is just about to go public with a breakthrough drug called Miracle.

CEO Andy Powell (Sally Dana) and her chief of staff Cris Friend (Heather Gordon) get advice from their lawyer Vivian Starr (Nancy Madden in ‘Disruption. Photo by Mario Parnell.

When an anonymous whistleblower threatens to sue and go viral with accusations about the reliability of the clinical trials, Powell and her all-woman team have just one day to halt the disruption of the launch and the subsequent public relations (and financial) disaster. 

The action takes place in the expensive but sterile offices (perfectly designed by Jeff Wincek, down to the swivel chairs, the wood veneer credenzas, and the bland art on the walls) of the mediator, retired Judge Manny Diamond (played by Louis Parnell, who also directed the show). 

A laptop is always open on the desk and everyone has a cell phone at hand (although the elderly judge’s is a flip phone and he is mystified by the ubiquitous #, which he calls a number-sign). Negotiations are tense between the two sides, but the stakes become even higher when the whistleblower threatens to add a multi-million dollar sexual harassment charge to the lawsuit. The women realize the accuser is Laszlo Elza (Timothy Roy Redmond), a former head of global sales for GeneFarm, who had a short fling with Powell when she was still reeling from her husband’s death.

Powell’s team is fortified by the tough, salty attorney Vivian Starr, played with great wit and aplomb by Nancy Madden. Starr previously represented Powell in a successful sexual harassment suit against her former employer, and—because these current charges against Powell mirror the ones she brought in that suit—she smells a rat. 

But a whiff of rat does not a solid defense make, and most of the drama is taken up by trying to figure out the identity, the ulterior motives, and the financial backer of Powell’s accuser. Powell almost figures it out when she agrees to a back-channel meeting, where a smug and sleazy Elza lays on the false charm so thick that you wonder what she ever saw in him. She wonders, too.

The play stays pretty much on an even keel throughout, which unfortunately drains the initial tension. Glimmers of warmth emerge when Baker allows her characters a moment of reflection. In one scene, CEO Powell’s seemingly impenetrable veneer is cracked by a moving emotional confession about her husband’s death and the impact on her daughter. In another, we get a glimpse of the internal life of attorney Starr: When Powell asks her how long she’s been married, she responds, “I’m not.” When Powell presses, “Kids?”  Starr answers, “Cats.  I’m a stereotype.” Perhaps, but a stereotype with guts and smarts to spare.

Laszlo Elza (Timothy Roy Redmond) makes his case to CEO Andy Powell (Sally Dana) in ‘Disruption.’ Photo by Mario Parnell

Yet these moments are not sustained long enough to deepen either the drama or our understanding of the characters. Perhaps if Baker had stretched a little further beyond the corporate boardroom, the show may have been more provocative. But the fact that all the characters in Disruption are well-educated, white, and wealthy limits its appeal.  Even the villain of the piece ends up several hundred thousand dollars richer, and yet we’re supposed to feel like he’s the loser. Not sure how many people in the 99% can identify with that.

Disruption does depict how deeply ingrained sexual stereotypes about women are—even about women who are, as Baker puts it, “at the top of the org chart.” This includes internalized misogyny. The brilliant Andrea Powell’s achievements and professionalism are thrown into question—including by her—when it is revealed that she did have a brief affair with her accuser. And the new Miracle drug? It’s not for reproductive health or breast cancer, it’s a metabolic aid for weight loss.  

Playwright Baker, who is also the founder and artistic director of 3Girls Theatre Company, explains that she began working on the play in 2016 during the months leading up to the election. She was disappointed but not surprised by the amount of “hardcore gender bias” she saw. “Women who want power—and who succeed in getting it—are seen as ‘exceptional’ in the worst possible way,” she says. “That is, they aren’t ‘normal’, and therefore they aren’t entitled to play by the same rules or be judged by the same standards as powerful men. In Disruption, I wanted to explore how this dynamic looks from the inside.” 

In Disruption, however, instead of a penetrating look, we only get a tantalizing glimpse.

Through April 29

Z Space
Tickets and more info here

Rose Aguilar and Tom Ammiano to appear at 48 Hills Gala, May 1

Photo of Rose Aguilar by Laura Flynn

Join us for the 48 Fifth Anniversary Hills May Day Gala at Mission Cultural Center, May 1, 6pm-9pm. Enjoy food fro Casa Sanchez, beer and wine from the Stud, and music by DJ Marke B—and rub elbows with the city’s progressive labor, cultural, and political leaders.

JUST ANNOUNCED! Rose Aguilar of KALW’s “Your Call” program and former State Assembly Member Tom Ammiano will be joining us to say a few words. Rose will make you think and Tom will make you laugh: a perfect pairing.

Support essential local media, see and make friends, and celebrate the revolutionary spirit of San Francisco! Get your tickets here.  


Party Radar: Fortnight of Fun—Love Glove Edition

Neon bender Meryl Pataky curates the "She Bends" showcase and party at Midway, Sat/7.

PARTY RADAR Get ready for two whole weeks of debauchery, because I’m toast next week working on some special projects—including promoting the awesomest party of all, the 48 Hills Fifth Anniversary May Day Gala! If you like what I do, or even if you can remember what I do, please consider buying a ticket to party with us, or donating to keep us going. We love your support, and we’d love your support. <3

OH! One announcement before I flutter off. The GLBT Historical Society Archives and Museum has just acquired two full crates of the legendary Sylvester’s outfits and personal effects, including his exquisite gloves!

Sylvester framed them himself, of course. It’s all being announced as part of a fundraising drive to keep queer history secure. Check it out here!  



THU/6 ARCA “All music and visuals composed, produced, and presented by a bottom” was one of my favorite tweets of the past year, by emotional-electronic queer Venezuelan nymph Arca, who’s produced Bjork, queered techno discourse, and knows his way around a fisting video. He’ll be playing 1015, backed by the Swagger Like Us crew, for a room full of adoring queens of all stripes. 8pm, $30. 1015 Folsom, SF. More info here

John Cameron Mitchell

FRI/6 DESPERATE LIVING WITH JOHN CAMERON MITCHELL You know him as Hedwig of the Angry inch, but Mitchell’s a well-regarded DJ who launched the Mattachine party, bringing rocky, funky, groovy sounds of the ’60s back into the gay nightlife. He’s here in town for the SF International Film Fest, to promote the new movie he directed, “How to Talk to Girls at Parties,” an alien punk love story, why not. Mitchell will be spinning at the John Waters-approved queer punk party Desperate Living, also featuring the live and wild stylings of Muñecas. 10pm-3am, $10. The Stud, SF. More info here

FRI/6 BAS MOOY X UUN A MORD label showcase at the Direct to Earth party, featuring deep, industrial techno boom from Rotterdam’s Bas Mooy and Detroit’s Uun — with local wizard Tyrel Williams serving acid all night long in the back room. 9pm-4am, $15. F8, SF. More info here

FRI/6 THE JUAN MACLEAN New Yorks charming, chain-smoking happy hip-house homie swoops in for an uplifting DJ set. But wait! He’s bringing Tim Sweeney, the man behind the essential Beats in Space podcast, along for the ride. Wooweeeeee. 9:30pm-3:30pm, $17. Public Works, SF. More info here.   

FRI/6 SESSION VICTIM Energetic, clever, soulful sets (with some very interesting curveballs) from this scruffy pair of house-loving Hamburgers have made them faves on the international circuit. They’re in the US for a mini-tour, don’t miss ’em. 9:30pm-2:30am, $10-$15. Monarch, SF. More info here

SAT/7 WE ARE MONSTERS W/ RON MORELLI  The master of L.I.E.S—that bastion label of lo-fi, handmade house—has gotten headier, and woozier since the label’s heyday in the early 2010s. He drops into record store RS94109 with Cititrax’s An-I and Solar for a delectable We Are Monsters crew gathering. 8pm-1am, $20. RS04109, SF. More info here

Meryl Pataky

SAT/7 SHE BENDS Here’s something different: A glowing showcase of women who work in neon. I had no idea they were called benders! Welp, there’s going to be 32 of them showing work at the Midway, curated by local maker Meryl Pataky, with music by indie darlings Yacht and psychedelic rockers the  Cosmonauts. Neon! 8pm-midnight, $30. Midway, SF. More info here

SAT/7 POWERBLOUSEJuanita More and GlamaMore invite one lucky person to the stage of the Powerhouse for a full-fantasy drag makeover. Watch as they use all of their sacred drag queen powers to tuck, tape, shape, glue and staple this person together. When the vision is complete they will push the newbie onto the stage for their first-ever live lip-sync performance! The magic mascara wand will be casting spells!” With DJ Rolo. 10pm-2am, $5. Powerhouse, SF. More info here

SAT/7 CLUB LEISURE: BATTLE OF THE BRITPOP BANDS I never really “got” Britpop—terrible, I know!—but the enthusiasm of DJ Omar and his monthly Club Leisure crew (which features all everything from ’60s go-go and ’70s mod to the mashers and thrashers of now) is infectious. Check out this Britpopstravaganza for a Suede-Oasis-Blur-Pulp blur. 10pm-3am, $10. Cat Club, SF. More info here

SAT/7 GO BANG The cutest little disco party in town gets a wee bit house-y with a Moulton Music showcase, featuring Homero Espinosa, Allen Craig, Ivan Ruiz, and Tobirus Mozelle. Throw on something spangly and dance all night. 9pm-3am, $5-$10. The Stud, SF. More info here.  

TUE/10 FEELS 6 A blast at BAMPFA! “An immersive celebration of art, music, film, and community” which previews the Oakland-based FEELS show at the museum. DJ sets by Toro Y Moi, Spelling, and Fela Kutchii, short films, hot crowd. It will sell out, so jump. 6pm-9pm, $20. BAMPFA, Berkeley. More info here

WED/11 HEAD OVER HEELS Deep breath: The Go-Gos have an epic posh-punk musical headed to Broadway, but first it comes to the Curran, and Juanita More is teaming up with Miss Peppermint to host a preview that benefits TRUTH: the Trans Youth — Truth Project. This will be star-studded and packed! Plus you can get 20% off with Juanita’s special mama code, “MORE!”. 8pm, $29-$99. Curran Theatre, SF. More info here.  

FRI/13 REBOLLEDO Burning Man season is definitely in the air if this Mexican techno favorite is dropping by. His Mayan Warrior camp consistently dazzles the playa (and brings some much-needed diversity) and the magic dust will be swirling for this one. 9:30pm-3am, $15. Monarch, SF. More info here.  

FRI/13 DOC MARTIN The lovable, huggable West Coast techno king comes to town, backed by NYC’s Wolf + Lamb (oh how I’ve adored their impeccable selecting) and our own DJ M3, now going as Makes Me Move. 9:30pm-3am, $15-$20. Great Northern, SF. More info here.    

FRI/13 PATRICK RUSSELL + ERIKA Two techno heavy hitters from Interdimensional Transmissions—if you haven’t experienced the legendary Detroit party No Way Back, this can be your taste of that absolute insanity—headline the Surface Tension party. 10pm-4am, F8, SF. More info here

SAT/14 ¡DEMASIADO! “An immersive art party, community meal and dance party to support SOMArts, at the intersection of art and social justice since 1979. Featuring the artists and culture-bearers who are standing up for creative resistance in the Bay Area and honoring pioneering Chicano artist and curator Rene Yanez, the event will bring together SOMArts’ community of artists and arts lovers to look toward the future we want to create.” Tons of great performances, by folks like Rupa and the April Fishes, Persia, Pseuda, DJ Brown Amy, and more. 7pm-midnight, $15-$110. SOMArts, SF. More info here

SAT/14 DETROIT LOVE Good Goddess. Carl Craig, Moodymann, and DJ Minx all together, I will die. This is three essential flavors of Detroit: heady, second wave techno, deep Detroit house, and, well, Minx does her own unforgettable thing. Do not miss. 9pm-3:30am, $17-$25. Public Works, SF. More info here

SAT/14 JOHN TALABOT A grand wizard! One of my favorites (and crushes, OK), the visionary Spaniard calls up idiosyncratic spirits and unexpectedly gothy grooves from his cauldron. 9:30pm-late, $20. Great Northern, SF. More info here

SAT/14 ASMARA One half of LA’s groundbreaking Nguzunguzu and part of the Fade to Mind and infamous Mustache Mondays crew, Asmara gets wicked on the decks for this party, presented by our own Molly House Records. 10pm-4am, $12-$15. the Stud, SF. More info here.

SUN/13 DISCO DADDY PRINCE TRIBUTE Flooding the Eagle with purple vibes, DJ Bus Station John dives deep into his records and pulls out the Artist’s (and friends’) best cuts for an adoring crowd at this annual fete. 7pm-late, $5-$7. SF Eagle. More info here

Arts Forecast: An Ethio-jazz marvel, a Tenderloin snapper, The Residents …

the marvelous Meklit performs her Elio-Jazz at SFJAZZ, Fri/6

ARTS FORECAST All the talk this week will be about the San Francisco International Film Festival—check out this week’s Screen Grabs film column for our preview—and I love that its dedicating a night to the incredible Stephen Parr, who left us last year, but whose Oddball Films remains the essential repository of the Bay Area’s, and the world’s, film knowledge. (See Mon/9 below for more.)

If you can tear yourself away from all the hullaballoo of the fest, here are some other local arts happenings you may be into. 

TUE/3-SUN/8 “NIJINSKY” “The vision of a troubled soul walking the line between genius and madness. For the first time in over a decade, guest company The National Ballet of Canada returns to the Bay Area to perform Nijinsky —a daring work of dazzling theatricality. A ground-breaking dancer and choreographer known for his erotic magnetism and gravity-defying leaps, Nijinsky both thrilled and shocked audiences in his far too-short career.” Various times, $40+. War Memorial Opera House, SF. More info here.

WED/4-THU/5 BATMAN AT THE SYMPHONY Tim Burton’s Batman film is a complete camp classic—and, as always, composer Danny Elfman steals the show with his idiosyncratic soundtrack. Hear that soundtrack performed live by the SF Symphony (under the baton of Sarah Hicks) as the confection-colored film is projected on a huge screen. 8pm, $50+. Davies Symphony Hall, SF. More info here

Photo by Darwin Bell

THU/5 DARWIN BELL: HEART OF THE CITY One of our absolutely best street photographers (and party-hoppers) turns the lens on the neighborhood he loves: the Tenderloin, celebrating “the iconoclastic neighborhood’s perpetual state of metamorphosis.” Opening 6pm-9pm, free. Tenderloing Museum, SF. More info here

THU/5 LITERARY DEATH MATCH AT CJM A stellar lineup of competitors and judges, as this classic— Part literary event, part comedy show, part game show—hits the Contemporary jewish Museum. 6:30pm, $15. CJM, SF. More info here. 

THU/5 “TESTIMONY” OPENING RECEPTION “As part of her Testimony project, artist Eliza Gregory introduces us to more than a dozen immigrants to San Francisco. They relate their experiences through photographic portraits, interviews touching on family history and adapting to a new culture, and selected materials such as scrapbooks and family photographs. Meet the artist and participants — from China, Germany, Guatemala, Iran, Korea, Mexico, Nepal, the Philippines, Russia and Vietnam.” 6:30pm-8:30pm, $10 (includes admission to museum). Asian Art Museum, SF. More info here

THU/5-FRI/6 THE RESIDENTS Holy rolling eyeballs! The classic experimental outfit from the Bay comes back to perform for two nights at the Chapel. Expect high-concept hi jinx, some great tunes, and the spirit of the acid-tinged 1970s to rise again. 8pm, $35-$40. The Chapel, SF. More info here

FRI/6 ALEXANDER STRING QUARTET WITH NICHOLAS PHAN One of SF’s most accomplished (and beloved) string quartets comes to the Community Music Center with tenor Nicholas Phan for a free concert and conversation. 6pm, free. CMC, SF. More info here

 FRI/6 MEKLIT ETHIO-JAZZ CELEBRATION One of our favorite musicians, singers, and all-around people, Meklit brings her exciting Ethio-Jazz sound to SFJAZZ as part of its African Diaspora series. Don’t miss his incredible local talent in a large venue! 7:30pm, $25-$45. SFJAZZ. More info here

FRI/6-APRIL 28 “A DIFFERENT LONG STRETCH OF EARTH” “Taxidermy. Decolonization. Kink. Apocalypse. Inspired by her work at the intersection of arts nonprofits and social justice as well as her fickle and persistent love of the Old West, playwright Ulrey takes us into the contemporary American West where a group of characters wrestle with the mindsets and mythologies of our collective past and explore how they shape our ability to envision the future.” Performed by the Ragged Wing Ensemble Fridays and Saturdays, 8pm, $25-$45. The Flight Deck, Oakland. More info here.  

SAT/7 “THE RED SHADES”: TRANS SUPERHERO ROCK OPERA SHOWCASE A full rock opera sing-through with a seven-piece band! “The story follows a teenage trans girl, Ida, who unlocks her super powers after experiencing the traumas of small-town life in the sixties. Eventually, she runs away and joins a gang of trans superheroes squatting in the Tenderloin. They use magic collectively to defend the community against the police and other enemies of their liberation.” 3:30pm-8pm, $10. El Rio, SF. More info here

SUN/7 DUST BOWL REVIVAL “Dustbowl Revival is a vibrant Los Angeles-based eight-piece who have been making their mark with a stellar mix of of vintage Americana sounds.” Not is sure how much we want to revive the Dust Bowl, but don’t miss a good night of music, also featuring the Shook Twins. 

MON/9 A CELEBRATION OF ODDBALL FILMS Last year we lost the wonderful Stephan Parr, a lynchpin of our independent film scene as proprietor of Oddball Films. “The reels in Stephen Parr’s Oddball Films collection are said to number 50,000, but their impact on screens and filmmakers is exponentially greater. Elements of Parr’s archive of industrials, educational films, and, yes, oddities of all kinds found their way into the hands of filmmakers near and far, from Bay Area documentarians like Jennifer Kroot to A-list Hollywood directors like Ridley Scott.” As part of the SF International Film Fest, a ton of musicians performing as the Red Room Orchestra will come together to soundtrack 16mm films from the Oddball archive. 8pm, $25. Castro Theatre, SF. More info here. 

Funky old Iceland? DJ Platurn dives into Reykjavik’s rare grooves

DJ Platurn

ALL EARS  At turns goofy, touching, mesmerizing, super-funky, and just plain weird, local DJ Platurn‘s just-released, two-part mix of unfamiliar Icelandic rare grooves and pop hits, Breaking the Ice, is a brilliant, painstaking excavation of unheard gems—and of his own past. If your knowledge of that icy island’s scene doesn’t extend beyond Bjork and Sigur Rós, Breaking the Ice will blow your mind with dozens of tunes from the late 1960s through early 80s (and clue you in to what was happening on Reykjavik’s intimate but lively glam rock, space pop, psychedelic, bubblegum, and pastoral folk scene). 

Platurn’s a very respected name on the local turntablist and hip-hop scene, laying down beats at parties from Motown on Mondays to Dre Day (which he organizes). But in 2006 he started exploring the musical variety of his Icelandic roots with his cousin, especially inspired by his father.

Platurn’s dad, Icelandic DJ Magnus Thorvardson (

Platurn’s dad was Magnus Thordarson, a groundbreaking DJ and concert promoter who, in the early 1970s, brought rock and roll to Iceland’s only radio station. According to journalist David Ma, who wrote Breaking the Ice‘s excellent liner notes (buy the two-CD version for some awesome pics and documentation of the early Iceland scene), the national radio station, Ríkisútvarpið, was trying to be all things to all people, and looked down on overseas rock as “too aggressive”—so it ended up a bland morass of traditionalist tunes and propaganda. Thordarson changed all that when he scored a one-hour show and started breaking not only overseas records, but local bands who were adopting and developing new sounds.

“I was super into rock and roll, and its appeal to sexual impulses of young adults,” Thordarson told Ma with a laugh. “But I wanted to take it beyond that, I wanted to speak about the lyrics and take it into the intellectual realm.” Thordarson eventually opened Icelandic ears to everything from reggae to the Kinks, and fed a thirst for connection with the world that sparked Icelandic musicians to take up instruments and make their own noise (even if it was a cover of “Rock the Boat”).

Platurn discovered his own mission regarding the music is father had hyped so well, when he realized how much groove a lot of it had—and started thinking about how the records from that time could be mixed together in a journey through Iceland’s recent past. The seamless result toggles from energizing nostalgia to “WTF what is that?!” inspiration, much like a radio station from the past reaching our own attention deficit disorder present.  

I talked to Platurn over email about the records, his heritage, and the Breaking the Ice process that took 12 years to complete.    

48 HILLS Where you got ahold of these amazing records? Were there any specific shops you dove into? Were these mostly your father’s records?

PLATURN Many different outlets. My father’s collection (he was a DJ and promoter in Iceland back in the day), my own collection from when I was a kid, digging with my cousin in various places back home since 2006, and a couple of must-have pieces online. Almost all 65+ records came from old school excavation, not to mention the countless hours of educating myself—and maintaining broke status well throughout.

48H You and your cousin started getting really into older Icelandic rock music around 2006. What spurred you to start exploring more?

P Figuring out that said rock music had a lot more groove than expected. Was really that simple. I knew players in the music scene back in the day were bad ass musicians, I just didn’t know to what extent how soulful and interesting a lot of the grooves really were.

48H I love how you’ve talked about how a lot of Icelandic music had funky drumming “almost unintentionally.” Can you give me a couple examples of records that you recognized that on?

P Not really mentioning names, but there are very popular bands back home that many know about, like Hljomar for instance, that had great pocket drummers throughout many of their releases. 

48H How did you make the mix itself, i.e. what software tools did you use, or was it purely turntable oriented? Was there any challenge to working with such older records?

P All recorded in Pro-Tools. All original vinyl pressings, so yeah piecing it all together certainly wasn’t easy. From the time I started to completion I’d estimate it took me roughly two years to complete the actual recording process. Choosing the music and finding all the pieces where I felt like I was satisfied took roughly 12 years. Older records always present a challenge, but that’s what I love about projects like this. I’ve never been one to take the easy-street shortcut.

48H Are there any interesting or surprising connections between Iceland in general (or Icelandic music specifically) and the Bay? 

 P Not really. There is a Northern California Icelandic Society that gets together a few of times a year to celebrate popular holidays back home, but that’s about it. There’s only about 350,000 of us, and a rough guesstimate of how many live outside of the island would probably be somewhere between 20 and 30 thousand I’m assuming, spread out all throughout the planet. 
I did purposely put two records on there that certified the California/Iceland connection for me personally. First one is a cover of The Mamas & The Papas “California Dreaming,” a rendition translated as “Farm Boy’s Dream.” And the other a hokey pop-disco song entitled “Frisco Disco,” not to be confused with the classic B-boy break from Eastside Connection of the same name.
Purchase the Breaking the Ice 2xCD set here.
Follow Platurn here

Drag Queens Against Guns

Pictured from left to right: Khmera Rouge, Estee Longah, Kristi Yummykochi, Buka Kay, June Glüm (Bottom) Faluda Islam, Raya Light

On June 12th, 2016, a mass shooting left 49 dead and 53 wounded at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida on Latin night. As someone who helps organize one of the handful of Asian Pacific Islander LGBTQ spaces in San Francisco, it broke my heart. I found myself wondering what would happen if this had occurred here in San Francisco, in our space? How do you respond when a space that is supposed to be safe is flooded with gun violence? How do you fight back, and more importantly, how can we come together to do that.

In response to the Parkland shooting, I wanted to show our community united against gun violence, so I brought together drag queens from all over the Bay Area to speak to issues of gun violence that are important to them. Why drag queens? Drag is inherently performative. It’s a visceral medium of storytelling that forces you to question your conventionality. In times of political unrest, drag is powerful and gives the LGBT community a unique tool to subvert marginalization. As such, drag queens become the perfect way to change the narrative on gun violence, and show it as an issue with deep ties to the LGBT community. 

Photos by Vince Flores and Christine Vo.

Pictured from left to right: Khmera Rouge, Estee Longah, Kristi Yummykochi, Buka Kay, June Glüm (Bottom) Faluda Islam, Raya Light

As a community, it’s time for us to move past living in this supposed post-marriage equality daze, and accept that gun violence is an issue for the LGBTQ community to fight. According to 2016 FBI statistics, race, religion, and LGBTQ identities make up the top 3 categorical targets for hate crimes, with our community accounting for roughly 20% of total REPORTED hate crimes. The term reported here is important to note since many crimes go unreported, and transgender individuals are often misgendered. Marginalized communities disproportionately bear the burden of gun violence, and this is especially true for LGBTQ people of color.

When talking about gun violence, it’s also important to understand that more Americans kill themselves with a firearm than are murdered with one at a 2:1 ratio, and that stricter gun control laws have shown to strongly correlate with lower suicide rates. Suicide involving firearms is fatal 90% of the time. Alternate methods are less deadly, and give time for that individual to be reached out to, to receive help

After Parkland, and now Maryland, policy makers are already offering their thoughts and prayers. Let’s organize our community and push them to do more.

Faluda Islam

Faluda Islam is a drag queen rebel leader bent on liberating the Muslim world from the shackles of Western Imperialism. Infusing San Francisco ideals with a queer Muslim identity, she wants to show the world that Muslims are a nonviolent people. Even though they carry the stereotype of being terrorists, they are not actually responsible for a majority of the gun violence, or event acts of terrorism in America. Historically, more Americans are killed by right-wing extremists born right here. School shooters have a demonstrated profile, so why do we immediately think of Muslim terrorists? Faulda comes in peace. Muslims come in peace. They can come to escape violence or to find new homes. They can be queer, and they can also advocate against gun violence.

Raya Light


Our media landscape is fragmented. We have a greater number of media outlets, and those outlets are increasingly reaching specific, segmented audiences. We can get trapped in our own bubbles of influence, and it can be hard to separate fake news from real. What can you believe when there is a non-stop, escalating garbage dump of rhetoric? We can often feel disillusioned, defeated, and silenced, but we can break free from the chaos and find our voice. Listen to the victims of mass shootings. Listen to the Parkland kids. Listen to the survivors of Pulse. If we are going to fight gun violence, we must be engaged in the struggle for what is right. Surveys show that LGBT groups overwhelmingly support gun control measures, it’s just time for us to be a little bit louder about it.

June Glüm

We’re sick and tired of Thoughts and Prayers™. Our elected officials offer nothing but pithy platitudes after each mass shooting, and we’re done with it. Our nation is at a tipping point in the gun control movement, and this mass shooting feels different. The Parkland survivors are inspiring–particularly Emma Gonzalez and Delaney Tarr, two of the strong young women leading the charge–unequivocally rejecting and renouncing offers of thoughts and prayers and demanding action. Our nation has burned through all our thoughts and prayers over the years, and if our legislators won’t take action, WE are the ones who get burned by the continued inaction. Time’s Up for #thoughtsandprayers

Kristi Yummykochi

On February 27th, 2018, the Florida House Appropriations Committee passed a bill that included $67 million for a program to train teachers to carry guns. There is no good research showing that arming teachers, or even putting more armed police in schools is effective. In fact, the good guy with a gun narrative has shown to overwhelmingly incorrect. More guns means more death. Trump has said that “gun-free” zones are invitations for attackers, but then why aren’t guns allowed in congress? The teachers from Parkland and countless other school shootings have told is that they don’t want guns, they want gun control and funding for school supplies instead. It’s time to listen to them.

Panda Dulce

Gun control is a numbers game. It’s no secret that sponsorship of major politicians and mass marketing efforts is what gives the NRA its formidable political clout. In 2016, the group donated more than $30 million to get Trump elected — the highest amount ever spent on a presidential candidate. However, this statistic is indicative of a bigger problem: Over the past 15 years, spending on gun rights lobbying exponentially exceeded that of gun control by nearly tenfold. Not only are we lacking in voting numbers, but we also lack the monetary numbers necessary to bring safety to us all.

We need to unify a voting bloc and target donating entities. We need to fight numbers with numbers. We need to put our money where our mouth is.

You’re invited to the 48 Hills Fifth Anniversary May Day Gala!

Join Tim Redmond, Marke B, and all of us at 48 Hills to celebrate independent media and the revolutionary spirit of San Francisco. Get your tickets here for the 48 Hills Fifth Anniversary May Day Gala!

JUST ANNOUNCED: Rose Aguilar of KALW’s “Your Call” show and Tom Ammiano will be joining us! 

For five years, 48 Hills has been the essential, daily online voice for local news, arts, and culture in the Bay Area. We’ll also be celebrating the groundswell of resistance and peoples’ unity against corporate oppression that we’ve been documenting over the past half-decade.

Mingle with local cultural, arts, political, and labor leaders in the main gallery of the wonderful Mission Cultural Center! Enjoy food from Casa Sanchez restaurant, tasty libations, art by local Latinx artists, music by DJ Marke B., and very special guest speakers!

Best of all, you’ll be supporting important, corporate-free, locally produced journalism—the kind our democracy thrives on. Bring your friends!

Join us Tuesday, May 1, 6pm-8pm for an evening to remember! Get your tickets now.

IF YOU ARE UNABLE TO ATTEND, PLEASE DONATE! 48 Hills is completely community-supported and our Gala helps us raise funds for another year of in-depth reporting and lively arts coverage. Thank you for your support! 

48 Hills is a publication of the San Francisco Progressive Media Center, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. All donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law.