This week's new articles from the alternative weeklies...
- An Alameda Power Play? (East Bay Express)
...A series of investigations, recriminations, and apparent reprisals have left Alameda government in disarray. Allegations of misconduct are now commonplace, lawsuits have been filed, and the city manager and city attorney have been ousted. The dismissals, coupled with unfilled positions for fire chief, police chief, and economic development director, also have left a gaping hole in city leadership. The situation has undermined the faith Alameda voters place in their elected officials. "Alameda is in turmoil," said former Vice Mayor A.J. "Lil" Arnerich. Some island residents also are fearful that a new three-member majority on the city council is making a power play to seize greater control of the city, and undercut Alameda's strong-city-manager form of government.
- Masterminds 2011: SF Weekly Recognizes Local Artists (SF Weekly)
Now in its fourth year, SF Weekly's Artopia is continuing its efforts to spotlight Bay Area artists who deserve more attention. Vying for three $1,500 grants, more than 300 people — a record number — submitted entries. Our judges looked at paintings, posters, films, sculptures, photographs, cards, calligraphy, books, dances, fashion designs, installations, and other artwork — all of which moved us in one way or another. Though it was difficult to make a decision, make one we did. For now, there are 10 finalists, each of whom wants to be the next artist to make it big.
- Noise Pop 2011 highlights (San Francisco Bay Guardian)
The 2011 edition of Noise Pop finds the festival stretching the definition of noise pop ever further outward in order to swallow excellent sounds. Back in 1993, when Noise Pop originated, muted My Bloody Valentine-derivative bands with lowercase names evocative of junior-high lunch were the norm. This year, the fest taps into the recent, more sharp-edged shoegaze revival and the current California garage rock zeitgeist, while also making room for hip-hop, freak folk, and deep funk. It's safe to say that, unlike the character assassinated in Steely Dan's "Hey 19," Noise Pop at 19 knows about the queen of soul. Here's our guide to some of the event's best lineups.
THE ONLY San Jose psychedelic garage-rock band ever to share a member with the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics just completed a brand-new album. Originally disbanding 41 years ago, the Chocolate Watchband has been back together for at least 12 years now, with periodic spells of activity, since lead singer David Aguilar sets up shop in Boston, where he teaches astrophysics and writes science books for National Geographic. But now things are heating up. Just a few weeks ago, the band released a Greatest Hits album of tunes it rerecorded at KVP Studio in Santa Clara last year.