Clifton Lemon

SF Station Writer

Clifton Lemon's Articles
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Get It While You Can
By Clifton Lemon (Mar 09, 2016)
Five minutes into "Love, Janis", and I’m totally like “Whoa. Dude. The 60s.” Unlike many of you out there, I was around then and still remember a lot of it, like hearing Janis on the radio every day, along with Jimmy and Aretha and Carlos Santana and Sam and Dave and the Doors and the Mamas and the Papas and a lot more, all on the same station. I can honestly say that "Love, Janis" made me remember what acid flashbacks (or at least what we thought were acid flashbacks) felt like. More »
Pick a Number
By Clifton Lemon (Feb 30, 2016)
“Mentalists” have been around for centuries, and there is a rich tradition of performance in the genre, with figures like Uri Geller, The Amazing Kreskin, and Derren Brown among the prominent practitioners. Rasputin was even seen as a practitioner of mentalism, which emphasizes the ability to exert uncanny influence upon others with non-verbal cues. Marc Salem is in this camp, but true to form, prefers the term “purveyor of mental games.” More »
O Glorious Cheesy Triangle!
By Clifton Lemon (Feb 10, 2016)
"Il Barbiere di Siviglia", Rossini’s best known work, is a facile and silly confection, and according to [b]Opera America[/b], the fifth most performed opera in North America. Like Mozart, to whom he was sometimes compared, Rossini was a prolific and lighting-quick producer of music. He wrote this opera in just thirteen days -- the zippy, spontaneous delivery is evident in the work. More »
Lost in Translation
By Clifton Lemon (Jan 12, 2016)
Federico García Lorca was by all accounts a complex, gifted, but deeply troubled character. Like Rimbaud and other hardcore romantics, his flamboyant and brief life (he was executed by Nationalist Fascist troops at the age of 38) still allowed him plenty of time to churn out enough poetry and plays to earn a spot in the pantheon of Western Art. More »
A Dam Shame
By Clifton Lemon (Jan 10, 2016)
Are dams evil? Are they necessary? What are their “hidden” costs, and, even if these costs turn out to be much greater than the supposed benefits (as is usually the case), why do we keep building them? The answers to these questions are as varied as the groups that conceive, approve, finance, construct, and operate dams, and the groups that oppose them, fight them actively, or lose their land, livelihoods, and cultures to them. More »
Internal Dialog
By Clifton Lemon (Oct 08, 2015)
One can easily imagine the ecstasy of 15th and 16th century artists and anatomists, especially Leonardo da Vinci, had they been able to see what we can now do -- carefully and accurately preserve human bodies, dissected, sliced, and revealed in almost any way possible. Thanks to a technology called plastination, whereby water and lipids in biological tissues are replaced by curable polymers (otherwise known as plastic), cadavers can be transformed into odorless, dry, durable specimens invaluable for anatomical study and analysis. More »
The Logo is Mightier than the Sword
By Clifton Lemon (Jul 06, 2015)
This compact exhibit of graphic arts explores the political agendas of American social activist movements and the potent symbols used to convey their underlying messages. The historical range of these movements spans abolitionism through gay rights, and includes the United Farm Workers, Black Panthers, AFL-CIO, anarchism, IWW, ecology, nuclear disarmament, feminism, and the Resistance. More »
Frolicking in the Fertile Fountain of Fabulousness
By Clifton Lemon (May 27, 2015)
So what are you wearing right now? Wait, let me guess: jeans, t- shirt, hoody, sneakers, mostly in dark shades. I know I’m right. That’s what we all wear in this country, the only difference in San Francisco is that everything’s usually in shades of gray or black. For a city that the rest of the country thinks is hip and cool (well, they used to think that at least) our collective fashion sense now seems to be located somewhere between Nihilistic Schlump and Generic Gap. What happened to our flamboyance, joie de vivre, and iconoclastic freedom? Vivienne Westwood wants to help. More »
Baroque Modern
By Clifton Lemon (Jul 25, 2013)
Vampires, with all their attendant darkness, sensuality, decadence, and existential complexity, always carry the promise of a good show. The vampire theme, like vampires themselves, is eerily eternal and disturbingly familiar. Perhaps it's one of the elemental story lines embedded in our collective unconscious, if there is such a thing. The collaboration of Anne Rice (novel), Elton John (music), and Bernie Taupin (lyrics) did not disappoint, and there are many surprises in this work. More »
Standing in the Light
By Clifton Lemon (Jun 12, 2013)
This complex, mystical, and powerful work is the ninth in August Wilson's ten play cycle about the twentieth century African-American experience. [b]Gem of the Ocean[/b]'s setting, Pittsburgh in 1904, is the earliest chronologically; it introduces characters referred to in the cycle's plays set in later decades. It paints a vivid historical picture of life in the post-Emancipation North that's as full of pain, joy, humor, and resonance as it is devoid of sentimentality, sanctimoniousness, or prejudice. More »
Clifton Lemon's Articles
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