Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Photos: Sonoma County Fair

Horses, hats, rides and more - a photo slideshow from the fair

Posted By on Tue, Jul 31, 2012 at 4:50 PM

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Monday, July 30, 2012

Woody Allen is Filming in Marin County: Wanna Be an Extra?

Looking for "clean cut, sophisticated, conservative looking Marin types 30s-40s."

Posted By on Mon, Jul 30, 2012 at 9:06 AM

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According to this casting call, Woody Allen will be filming a "daytime party scene" on Aug. 6 in Marin County, and he's looking for extras! Here's your chance to pretend to be high society while rubbing shoulders with the likes of Alan Alda, or Owen Wilson, or whatever rambling, hand-wringing doppelganger Woody Allen's opted to play himself in this, his 4,345th film.

Allen's looking for actors both union (probably not you) and non-SAG (this means you!). But take note—cutoff-wearin' schlubs need not apply. Allen's looking for "clean cut, sophisticated, conservative looking Marin types 30s-40s . . . Must have upscale attire options, suits, dresses etc."

Why he doesn't just go to Corte Madera and ask customers at Anthropologie is beyond me, but anyway, the job actually pays eight bucks an hour. You'll need to be available all day on Monday, August 6. Are you in? Read up, log in, and sign up here.

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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Tex Wasabi Finishes 7th

Guy Fieri's team of ringers fails to repeat as Grand Champions

Posted By on Thu, Jul 19, 2012 at 10:51 AM

Tex Wasabi’s All-Star ringers did not repeat as Grand Champion of the Wine Country Big Q Kansas City Barbecue Society barbecue competition last weekend in Santa Rosa. They aren’t Reserve Champions, either. In fact, the team finished seventh overall, a respectable finish for some but not for the New York Yankees of BBQ.

This team had Ray Lampe, known as Dr. BBQ for his unmatched precision on the grill, and Gorilla of the famed Gorilla BBQ of Pacifica (I can personally attest to the amazingness of Gorilla). But the Bronx Bombers of BBQ fell to six teams, including favorites IAB 30 (who finished second overall) and champion R&R BBQ, who will go on to compete in the KCBS Royal Invitational, the World Series of BBQ.

Tex Wasabi finished third in ribs, but out of the four categories that was their highest placement. They finished in the middle of the pack in pork, one of the most important categories.

This could kick Guy Fieri into high gear and prompt him to don a chef’s coat for next year’s competition, even if it is way more fun to drink beer in a tank top instead of sweat over the heat of a grill. Pride is on the line!

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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Lawrence Ferlinghetti: Death, Sex and Art in Sonoma

Posted By on Wed, Jul 18, 2012 at 10:40 AM

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Is the new Lawrence Ferlinghetti show at the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art his last? Maybe so! At 93, the poet, publisher, bookstore owner (of City Lights), and painter clearly has death and dying on his mind. Or so his dazzling art, up now at the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art, suggests.

One of the most dramatic works on display, “The Golden Bird of Memory Attends Proust on his Deathbed,” depicts the last living moments of the famed French writer, Marcel Proust. Not just artists, but cities are also dying in Ferlinghetti’s phantasmagoric world. “Cross-Pollination” is the name of the show and it highlights the impact of poetry on art and art on poetry. It also shows the power of sex to influence both poetry and art. At 93, Ferlinghetti still has sex on the mind, and if viewers want to psychoanalyze him and his work, he doesn’t mind.

“Freud” depicts two naked figures: a black man with a white penis and a longhaired white woman, who look as though they’ve just had sex. But neither the museum’s executive director, Kate Eilertsen, nor the guest curator, Diane Roby, are playing up the sex and the death, but rather Ferlinghetti’s dedication to his medium, whether oils, acrylics, or pen and ink sketches from his notebooks. “In Ferlinghetti’s art words give rise to image-making, and word and image meld in paint,” Roby says.

“Cross-Pollination” offers a breathtaking introduction to Ferlinghetti’s life and work as a poet and as a painter that began in Paris in the 1940s. A recording of Ferlinghetti performing his poetry brings his voice to life. On display are his books, including The Coney Island of The Mind, which has sold more than one million copies since it was first published in 1955. English majors will get the literary references to James Joyce and T.S. Eliot’s anti-hero, J. Alfred Prufrock. Art majors will recognize Pablo Picasso. But you don’t have to know Eliot’s poetry or Picasso’s art to appreciate the work of the last of the original Bay Area bohemians. “Cross-Pollination” pays homage to an artist who won’t give up and who hasn’t called it quits. Locals have taken to staking out the museum, hoping for a glimpse of a genius just reaching his prime at 93.

Cross-Pollination: The Art of Lawrence Ferlinghetti. The Sonoma Valley Museum of Art, 551 Broadway, Sonoma, through September 23, 2012. Wednesdays through Sundays, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. $5; free for students grades K-12 and for all visitors, Wednesdays. www.svma.org and (707) 939-7862.

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Monday, July 16, 2012

Smells Like Teen Spirit: Battle of the Teen Bands

Posted By on Mon, Jul 16, 2012 at 2:03 PM

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Don’t just play your music to dustballs behind closed doors anymore! The Sonoma County Fair is looking for young talent, so bring your garage band out to play in the Battle of the Teen Bands! The competition will be held in Community Theater (previously known as Redwood Theater) on Saturday, Aug. 11.

Groups will be awarded based on vocal/instrumental ability (up to 40 points) and up to 20 points in the following three categories: group performance ability, stage presence, and audience reaction. There’s also an optional bonus of up to 5 points for those performing original music.

And sweet prizes await—first place takes $1,000 home, along with a trophy and a contract to perform on the Park Stage at the 2013 Sonoma County Fair! Second place receives $500! Third place receives $250! What’s there to lose? Sign up before Saturday, July 21!

Your requirements?

Age: All performers must be between 12 and 24 years of age. Additionally, at least two band members must be 12 — 18 years old, and no more than two members can be between 18 and 24.

Be careful when you apply: Once the Entry Form is filled out, each act entered must only perform with the people listed on it. No changes or substitutions will be allowed. Individuals can only perform with one act during the entire competition.

Don’t be late: Contestants must arrive at the Community Theater (Redwood Theater) by 6pm on the day of the contest, Saturday, August 11.

The act: Acts must be performed live—vocally and/or instrumentally. No props or special effects can be used otherwise. A professional quality drum kit will be provided and contestants are expected to use that rather than their own.

Watch the clock: Acts are 20 minutes total, including set-up, performance, and tear-down.

Have good taste: No music or lyrics that the Sonoma County Fair and its representatives considers offensive may be performed.

Be original: If contestants perform their own music, they can receive extra 5 bonus points from the judges. Music eligible for bonus points is any piece that is written or co-written by at least two band members. And don’t lie about it either; any band claiming to be playing their own music may be disqualified if a copyright exists for the music that does not name a member of the band as author or contributor.

So what are you waiting for? Rock out!

To enter, email specialevents@sonomacountyfair.com with BATTLE OF THE TEEN BANDS in the subject line. Include the name of a contact person, mailing address, phone number, email address, the name/age/instrument of each band member, as well as a photograph and demo. Deadline is Saturday, July 21.

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A Re'collection' of Napa's History

Posted By on Mon, Jul 16, 2012 at 1:55 PM

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Ensuring that we are not going to forget it, the Memory Bank returns again with a subsequent project, Memory Bank II, which will also run as an exhibition that will be displayed from Saturday, August 11 through Sunday, September 23 at the Napa Valley Museum. This community preservation project is an annual intensive endeavor by Preservation Napa Valley, a grass roots non-profit organization that seeks to proudly celebrate and raise awareness for the cultural heritage of Napa County.

Six professional photographers, including Jess Knubis and Suzanne Becker Bronk, and one filmmaker collaborated to capture the people and places of Napa. The photographs are reminiscent of Dorthea Lange’s work (“Migrant Mother,” shot during the Great Depression, is the photograph that we know best from her), just as beautiful, powerful, and captivating. The four short documentaries transport its audience to incredible locations during interviews of those that lived and worked in a Napa very different from today’s, offering viewers an inside scoop of Napa’s rich history.

Additionally during the time of exhibition, behind the scene talks, gathering, and events compliment Memory Bank II, including panels of those that worked on the project, the Memory Bank “Old Timers” that had been interviewed, and of the photographers that contributed.

The board members of Preservation Napa Valley are currently raising money to fund turning Memory Book II as a book and DVD, which will be available for a limited time. “Memory Bank is not pursuing nostalgia but asking us to see, feel and understand how this Valley came to be, to the place it is now...to get beneath the golden shimmer into a long and fascinating heritage,” states Wendy Ward, director of the organization in their funding campaign site. “If we understand the past, we are richer for it and may perhaps see today and the future clearer.”

Memory Book II aims to capture the “true Napa, one reflective of all peoples” and this year, is focusing on the diverse cultures (among them, Chinese Japanese, Mexican, and European) that have come to Napa and shaped its evolution across generations. And while the photographs are in black and white, the images they hold will not be fading for long.

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Winners of the 2012 NorBay Awards!

Without further ado, the winners of the 2012 NorBay Awards.

Posted By on Mon, Jul 16, 2012 at 8:57 AM

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The 2012 NorBay Awards winners were announced to an overflow crowd at the Arlene Francis Center on Saturday night, and though we'll have photos and video up soon, here, for now, are the awardees.

What a tremendous turnout we had in voting this year with 1,637 total votes! But the gold records can only go to one winner in each category. Without further ado, the winners of the 2012 NorBay Awards are:

Blues / R&B: Levi Lloyd

Country / Americana: The Crux

DJ: Zack Darling

Folk / Acoustic: Church Marching Band

Hip-Hop / Electronic: Radioactive

Indie: Girls and Boys

Jazz: Hot Club Beelzebub

Punk / Metal: No Sir

Rock: Baby Seal Club

World / Reggae: Dgiin

Thanks to everyone who made it such a special night. Here’s to next year!

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Thursday, July 12, 2012

The World Without You by Joshua Henkin

Posted By on Thu, Jul 12, 2012 at 1:27 PM

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The World Without You, the new novel by New York-based writer Joshua Henkin, opens with a big event. After 42 years of marriage and four children, upper-middle class New York couple Marilyn and David Frankel are separating. The separation will occur soon after the memorial for their son Leo, a journalist who was killed in Iraq one year previous. Marilyn hasn't been able to get over Leo's death, "Sometimes she feels like she could die, that she'd like to die, it would be better that way," Henkin writes in the prologue. While her husband drowns his sorrows in running, reading and classes on the proper way to cut vegetables, Marilyn channels her energy into writing anti-war op-eds with the fervor of someone fruitlessly trying to bring back the dead. But before the separation, the couple will host their three surviving children, plus various grandchildren and spouses, and their daughter-in law (Leo's wife) Thisbe who brings their three year-old grandchild Calder, at the family's vacation home in the Berkshires. The family is getting together, possibly for the last time as a unit, for Leo's one-year memorial, which happens to fall on 4th of July. It's an occasion that most of them approach with dread, especially Thisbe, who has a new boyfriend in Berkeley, and doesn't know how to break the news to her in-laws.

In a review on The Rumpus, Bezalel Stern called the novel, "that rare breed: the twenty-first century domestic novel," which is exactly right. By digging into the inner lives of all three daughters: the tempestous Noelle, now an Orthodox Jew living in Israel with her headstrong husband and four children, Clarissa—the eldest—whose life, at 39, has become consumed with trying to conceive a baby, and Lily, the middle daughter with unresolved anger issues towards just about everyone. The combination of characters is like a pressure keg about to burst with the combustible combination of family resentment and love; It's a tightrope act performed amongst the land mines brought about by the death of a beloved youngest child and brother. The character's are drawn with fine detail and empathy, and even the generally unlikable Noelle has her moments, enough to where I didn't end up hating her even when I wanted to. Just like in life, everything's complicated by the messy, complex, reality of being a human in a world where true human psychological binaries are nothing but a myth.

Joshua Henkin reads from The World Without You on Friday, July 13 at Book Passage. 51 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera. 1pm. Free. 415. 927.0960.

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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Quicksilver Mine Co. to Close

Well-loved Forestville gallery to close at end of 2012

Posted By on Wed, Jul 11, 2012 at 11:53 AM

Since 1983, the Quicksilver Mine Co. has been displaying fine art created by local artists in Sonoma County and Northern California. After more than 30 years, however, owner Khysie Horn has decided to let the well-loved gallery rest, with plans to close it at the end of this year.

“I’ve been doing this for the past 30 years, and I love what I’m doing, but it’s time for some change,” explains Horn, adding that it isn’t because of any funding or monetary issues. The gallery will still host exhibits straight through to its closing at the end of 2012, when it holds a large group show called “The Last Hurrah” running from November onward.

It’s hard to imagine a Sonoma County without the Quicksilver Mine Co., really. Throughout its long, widely respected run, it’s featured a diverse selection of two- and three-dimensional art and maintains an outdoor sculpture garden, additionally hosting small cultural events which include artist receptions, gallery talks and music concerts.

“I’m not moving or going anywhere,” Horn promises. But will she continue to be involved in the art community? She laughs softly, saying she’s planning on taking some time off, some of which will be spent visiting family. “I’m going to miss the artists and all the people that I’ve worked with in Guerneville, Sebastopol and other places,” she adds.

But indeed, “30 years is a long time,” Horn says. “One of my younger artists told me, ‘I don’t even have a grip on what 30 years is.’”

Quicksilver Mine Co., 6671 Front St., Forestville. 707.887.0799.

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Shone Farm Olive Oil Wins Double Gold on First Try

Posted By on Wed, Jul 11, 2012 at 10:26 AM

Shone Farms winning olive oil.
  • Courtesy SRJC
  • Shone Farm's winning olive oil.

There must be something magical in the soil at Shone Farm. The first time the student-run operation pressed the fruit into oil, it won double gold in the 2012 Sonoma County Harvest Fair.

"It was a student project," says Dean of Agriculture and Natural Resources Ganesan Srinivasan. "They wanted to try it for the first time."

Only 165 bottles were produced, currently on sale at the SRJC bookstore and the Wineyard in Santa Rosa for $18 per bottle. "This is not like the ones you can find at Costco," says Srinivasan.

Srinivasan joined the SRJC faculty a month ago from Fresno State, where he managed a 1,000-acre farm that produced similar products and won several awards doing so. With this trial run proving fruitful, the farm will be making its own olive oil each year. Srinivasan says the current operation has capability to make about 50 cases (600 bottles) of olive oil per year.

Only about three of the 365 acres on the farm are devoted to olives. That's small potatoes compared to the 70 acres devoted to grapes. Those grapes are used by students in the viticulture program, and finish their lives fermenting in barrels. The entire process is run by students, soil to palate, including marketing. The olive oil program is going to copy that model.

"Olive oil is getting to be like wine," says Srinivasan. "You have the bulk wine, and you have the fine wines. This is what you'd consider a fine olive oil."

Marketing and palate training are part of the program. Being able to tell the difference between a fine olive oil and a cheap olive oil may be easy, but try discerning if one's grown in Spain or Greece without looking at the bottle. "People are getting more understanding about the different varieties," says Srinivasan. "There are a lot of cheap imports, we want our students to be able to distinguish between good and cheap."

The farm is also providing ingredients to SRJC's expanded culinary program. "It's a growing industry, and we want to help it grow," says Srinivasan.

Students picked about 700 pounds of olives from 1,800 trees in December. A mixture of Arbosana, Arbequina and Koroneiki varieties were blended for the winning entry in the Sonoma County-grown, medium-flavored olive oil category. Two other entries in the category earned a silver medal.

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