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Appetite: 2012's top new restaurants brought surprise tastes, culinary depth

This Week's Paper

YEAR IN MUSIC 2012: local rock, indie, hip-hop, nightlife, more. Plus: top new restaurants, same-sex cases, Japanese brands, Central Park Five, "Woyzeck." Read the online version here, or flip though the digital edition here.

From the Blogs

Calling these guns what they are

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We spent a trillion dollars and almost 5,000 American lives trying to root out non-existent weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. We fret about Iran getting a WMD, and we worry that North Korea already has one. Nuclear nonproliferation has been a key part of US foreign policy since the end of World War II.Read more »

Michael Krimper's Endless Desire List

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For our annual Year in Music issue, I asked local musicians, rappers, producers, and music writers to sound off on the year's best songs, album releases, shows – pretty much anything they wanted, music-wise. For the next few days, I'll be posting them up individually on the Noise blog. You can also check the full list here. Ed. note.

Michael Krimper, Guardian
The Endless Desire List

(in no particular order, or, out of order)

1. Les Sins/"Fetch"/12" (Jiaolong)
Run, fall, catch your desire. Read more »

Tycho's Top Bay Area and Bay Area-Affiliated Acts

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For our annual Year in Music issue, I asked local musicians, rappers, producers, and music writers to sound off on the year's best songs, album releases, shows – pretty much anything they wanted, music-wise. For the next few days, I'll be posting them up individually on the Noise blog. You can also check the full list here.

Tycho deals in vivid imagery. From blustery waves and bleached sands below orange sunsets to retro film cells, the graphic designer-producer blends sight and sound in mesmerizing live shows – two of which he'll perform next month at the Independent (Jan. 18 and 19). This year, he gained fans touring the world thanks to shows built on 2011's Dive (Ghostly International). This winter, he began work on a followup record. Read more »

Live Shots: SantaCon sleighed SF

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Photos by Bowerbird Photography

A city wide pub crawl wearing santa costumes. How could San Francisco not be thrilled for this annual event, the city where everyone loves to dress up and drink! (Well, OK, some of us were terrified of the more tipsier St. Nicholas cohorts, who may have gotten a little too jolly. But still.)

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Dick Meister: Home care workers need presidential help

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By Dick Meister

Bay Guardian columnist Dick Meister, former labor editor of the SF Chronicle and KQED-TV Newsroom, has covered labor and politics for more than a half-century. Contact him through his website, www.dickmeister.com, which includes more than 350 of his columns.

The country's 2½ million home care workers have been waiting a whole year now for President Obama to make good on his promise to grant them the federal minimum wage and overtime pay protections they so badly need.

The need for immediate presidential action was made abundantly clear in a letter to the White House on Dec. 13 that was released by the National Employment Law Project – NELP, as it's called. The signers include people who are receiving home care, those who employ them and those who provide the care.

NELP's figures show that the average national wage of home care workers, including those working at for-profit home care agencies, is $9.40 an hour. Which means that one in five caregivers live at or below the poverty level, even in the 21 states with minimum wage and overtime laws that cover them. Read more »

Louis Dunn: So long, Spain!

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Guardian artist Louis Dunn salutes Manuel "Spain" Rodriguez, the iconic underground artist who died of cancer at his Bernal Heights home on Nov. 28 with his daughter and wife at his bedside.  He was 72.

Spain, as he was known and as he signed his work, did 12 or so front page graphics for the Guardian, each one a gem.  Editor Tim Redmond wrote in Spain's obituary that working with Spain was a pleasure and that he "was just a wonderful guy who happened to be one of the most talented artists of his generation."

He ran his "Flashman" comic strip in the early Guardian and then in the 1980s his comic strip "Factwino V. Armageddon Man," which also became a Mime Troupe play.

Tim wrote that when he went to see his wife Susan Stern, to get some pieces of art to run with his Guardian obit, Susan showed Tim the amazing unfinished mural he was doing

on the wall of his studio.  "He worked on it every day," she said.  "It was as if he had to draw or die." Read more »

On the Om Front: MC Yogi's Gandhi connection

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You know yoga has arrived when yoga teachers are up at the mic giving a TED talk.

This past October, the Bay Area’s very own yoga teacher-rapper-extraordinaire MC Yogi took the stage at Madrone Studios in the Mission to address a room full of movers, thinkers, and shakers as part of an event called TED X City 2.0. The event was created to bring together bright, urban visionaries to speak about how to create more sustainable cities. I caught up with the MC Yogi this week to ask him about the experience, and how yoga teaches us in the Bay Area to be more sustainable.  

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Heroic shorties return! "The Hobbit" and more new movies

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One more week until Hollywood unleashes a mighty flood of new films, in honor of noted multiplex fan Baby Jesus. This week's only big release is Peter Jackson's return to Middle-earth, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, which at two hours and 46 minutes is definitely a pee-before, bring-snacks-to-eat-during experience. My review below the jump, along with takes on the Alan Cumming showcase Any Day Now and Israeli coming-of-age drama The Matchmaker.

Also worth the popcorn calories: documentarian Ken Burns' provocative look at one of New York City's most infamous crimes, The Central Park Five; less so is the FDR dramedy Hyde Park on Hudson, which does star Bill Murray, so at least it has that goin' for it, which is nice. I review both films here. Read more »

Antwon's Top 10 Rap Jamz of 2012

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For our annual Year in Music issue, I asked local musicians, rappers, producers, and music writers to sound off on the year's best songs, album releases, shows – pretty much anything they wanted, music-wise. For the next few days, I'll be posting them up individually on the Noise blog. You can also check the full list here.

If you've somehow been off the web all year, you might have missed San Jose rapper, Antwon. I certainly didn't – I blogged about his awesome “Helicopter” video when it first went up in February, caught him live at Public Works, handed him a Best of the Bay award this summer, and wrote a print feature on his mixtapes, all in 2012. So naturally, I begged him to contribute to the Top 10s. Read more »

About that dog Charlie

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Nothing like a dog story to captivate a city that has so much else going on. And while there are (sadly) dogs euthanized in this city fairly often, mostly because they're unadoptable or found to be dangerous, the particulars of Charlie's story -- and the press attention it's gotten -- has turned this one incident into a world-wide campaign against the Canine Death Penalty.Read more »

Hot sexy events: An end to violence, and a beginning of pantlessness

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Before we get to the week in Bay Area sex events, here is something you will want to be aware of: the ingenious ad campaign perpetuated by Baltimore activists from Force: Upsetting Rape Culture, who riffed off of questionable underwear design from Victoria's Secret. In doing so [as Baltimore Fishbowl reports], the group ended up giving the company irrefutable proof that yes, their clientele cares about consent when in comes to sex. 

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Look out for fracking (and how to stop it)

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There's enough oil (maybe) under Central California to make petro companies vastly rich, and to keep people driving around in their carbon-spewing private cars for many years to come. Only problem is you have to use hydrofracking to bust up the shale deposits to get at it. And that involves toxic chemicals and possible contamination of water supplies.Read more »

Nite Trax: Ana Sia, back on home court

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For those of you who haven't been listening: Ana Sia is kind of a big deal. One of those quaintly San Francisco nightlife things -- you blink for a hot minute, and someone familiar on the scene blows up, their hard work rewarded with major festival gigs, a large and growing following, and DJ sets being featured on NPR. Heeeey.

I've been a fan of the poised yet energetic Ana for a long while, and I must say I'm pleased as punch for her continued success -- and to see what she's got in store for us as she plays again in SF. (She's one of the headliners, along with the UK's excellently house and techy Ben UFO, at Friday night's As You Like It party at Beat Box.) Onstage, the local Frite Nite label head quickly pulls you into her zone, tempering a concentration born of pure appreciation of the music with some playful bouncing and disarming charm. "I'm having a shit-ton of fun!" you can hear her shouting from the decks.

Categorizing her actual sound, however, can prove challenging.

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Live Shots: Santigold at the Fox Theater

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Santigold was barely a full song into her sold-out performance at the Fox Theater Wednesday night when she began to stoke the lovefest with her Bay Area fans. "You know you're my favorite place to perform...you guys have so much energy!" In a different room to a different crowd it may have come off as a cheaply-pedaled stage sentiment, but the show that ensued lived up to her assessment: the crowd never stopped dancing and Santigold never stopped smiling. Read more »

The Performant: Poetry in motion

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"You Need to Read Poetry" and "Ragged Wing" take flight

Against the back curtain of the stage, empty save a couple of small platforms, a mysterious tree, represented by a rainbow of colored scarves, stretched its silken boughs. Cut to the “great before,” when humans were still a figment of the future, and Mol’-luk (Liz Wand), a brooding, powerful condor, sat perched on a rock, little suspecting that the “mountain” is pregnant with his peregrine falcon son, Wek Wek (Juliana Lustenader), whose dramatic birth by fire was further facilitated by a chorus of rattlesnakes (select members of the oddience armed with noisemakers).

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