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Power Pop

Mountain View native's 'Tiger Beat' explores sexism and representation in pop music Read More

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Power Pop

As society begins to reemerge, so too has discussion about the shameful treatment of female celebrities over the last two decades and beyond. In recent years, Britney Spears, Megan Fox, Paris Hilton and Jessica Simpson have all spoken out about their mistreatment by the press and public. With each story, new heartbreaking admissions illuminate the abuse these women and others faced in the endless churn of celebrity. » Read More

Poetic Push

This June, Reed won its first Pushcart Prize, a national award for small presses considered "the most honored literary project in America." The selected poem was "Father's Belt," an intense and emotionally complex work by former Onion and McSweeny's writer Kurt Luchs. "Father's Belt" appeared in Reed Issue 153. Released toward the beginning of the COVID-19 lockdown, with all content chosen in 2019, the issue serves as something of a "time capsule," Smith says. Throughout 2019, Reed had made a renewed outreach to literary presences throughout the Bay Area, holding events with San Francisco's Litquake and SJSU's own Legacy of Poetry Festival. » Read More

Don't Blink

Like many traveling exhibits, the Cantor Arts Center's When Home Won't Let You Stay: Migration through Contemporary Art spent months in the planning. Starting as a mockup in 3-D software, it morphed continuously over the bumpy ride of re-thinkings and adaptations driven by Covid-19. » Read More

Pandemic Poetic

Janice Lobo Sapigao didn't expect her first year as the Santa Clara County Poet Laureate would be sucker punched by a global pandemic, but she's determined not to let that stop her from getting South Bay kids to love their own words. The Silicon Valley native took over the two-year poet laureate position in January. The honorary post comes with a mandate to increase poetry awareness and celebration. Sapigao, a Filipina American poet, author, writer, educator and active community member, has plenty of ideas for that. » Read More

Post No Bills

The text on the marquee said it all: "The Ritz Closed Until Further Notice." The news came as a disappointment to fans of Xavier Dprehpaulezz--the imaginative blues singer and songwriter who performs under the moniker Fantastic Negrito--who was scheduled to wow the crowds at The Ritz on March 19. As the county and state ramp up efforts to prevent a spike in novel coronavirus cases, bars, nightclubs and live music venues are shutting down, and it is unclear when they will open again. » Read More

All Talk, No Sense

Talk, talk everywhere but not a drop of trust. "Opinion has become our driving force," says Quinn, who brings his new show, The Wrong Side of History, to Stanford for four performances March 13 and 14. "Free speech, exchange of opinion, open communication: These things are automatically thought of as evolutionary ways to get to enlightenment. But my whole show is, hey, maybe we've gone too far with free speech, once we have electronically made opinion this thing that everyone gives out all day, every day." » Read More

Written Word

It's not a bird. It's not a plane. And it's definitely not Superman. But on the right side of Enrique Chagoya's canvas, you can make out part of the Man of Steel's familiar logo. SUPER is spelled out in the familiar block lettering but the word is reversed (REPUS) and falling off the chest of a Frankenstein-like figure. The face doesn't belong to Kal-El, the comic-book alien sent to Earth from Krypton. It's a jumble of seven or eight faces collaged together. Supergirl's cape is flying freely behind her back but the logo covers her face and upper torso. Superman himself does make an appearance. He's flying straight into the "S" but you can only catch a glimpse of one full leg and both of his red ankle boots as they disappear upwards. » Read More

Big Data

"Biorhythm" displays Rapoport's work from the 1970s and '80s but you can see the through-line connecting her computer paper-printouts to the artificial intelligence indifferently clicking and swaying through the open archway. Rapoport received an MA in painting from UC Berkeley in 1949. Assistant Curator Kathryn Wade, who organized this show, includes one painting from the artist's early forays into abstract expressionism. Pink and Gray (1958) is an almost-sculptural oil-on-canvas, the thick brushstrokes building up a hardened impasto crust. Depending on how you circle the gallery, it's either the first painting you'll engage with or the last. But it stands out as an example of an artist at the beginning of her career, experimenting with » Read More

Tom Papa is Utterly Optimisitic

Over the course of his two decades in stand-up, Papa has never felt comfortable trafficking in the kind of cynicism and negativity that drives so much of today's comedy. But even for this well-known "nice guy" comic, such a message doesn't come naturally. "It really came out of my touring over the last couple of years," Papa says of the inspiration behind You're Doing Great! "I learned that people all over were having this overwhelming feeling that they weren't doing enough, weren't working hard enough, weren't happy enough. It was this weird kind of tension that people couldn't identify." » Read More

Priceless Artifacts

"I've always been interested in the way that the collective memory of a family's history is passed down through generations," says photographer Kija Lucas. She records those memories in the Montalvo Arts Center exhibit, "The Museum of Sentimental Taxonomy." Lucas sends an open call to the public, asking that people bring in objects that are meaningful to them. Then she arranges a temporary space in a community center or library in order to document the objects. "A participant will come in with their object, or multiple objects," Lucas explains. After she photographs it, they'll either write something down or she'll interview them to hear the backstory. » Read More

Young Minds

Novelist Viet Thanh Nguyen has already won the Pulitzer Prize for his book, The Sympathizer. East Bay cartoonist Thi Bui has already won the American Book Award for her graphic novel, The Best We Could Do: An Illustrated Memoir. Now their sons have collaborated on a new children's book, Chicken of the Sea. The party continues at Kepler's Books this weekend. In the book, a band of intrepid chickens bail from the boredom of farm life to join the crew of the pirate ship Pitiless. After seeking fortune on the high seas, they wind up battling the Dog Knights, learning lessons of mercy and camaraderie in the process. Ellison Nguyen, now age 6, conjured up the narrative arc of the story, while Hien Bui-Stafford, 13, illustrated the images. » Read More

California's Dark Chapter

When he read that phrase, Gonzales-Day came to the conclusion that he didn't have a clear understanding of California history. To make sense of his discovery, he began to work on the series of photographs that's now known as "Erased Lynching" (2006). The Santa Clara University Art Department's exhibit "Ken Gonzales-Day" features several of his photographs from the collection. In "Hanging Trees: The Untold Story of Lynching in California," an episode of the KCET program Lost L.A., the filmmakers interview Gonzales-Day and author Jared Farmer. Farmer's book Trees in Paradise: A California History is a field guide to trees from a historian's point of view. He provides the missing context for the photographer's discovery. » Read More

Photo Shop

The paintbrush has a mind of its own in Clive McCarthy's series of "Electric Paintings." Sitting in the gallery's semi-darkness in front of Painting the Internet (is worse than dial-up), an invisible hand scribbles brush strokes across a digital canvas. The video screen fills up with colors and textures until a scene completes itself. Then the image is erased and a new painting starts to fill up the screen. The experience is as soothing as watching fish swim by in an aquarium. Of course, it's McCarthy's mind that programs the brush to move. It's a bewitching effect that suggests the presence of a ghost hidden in the room as well as in the machine. » Read More