The Spitboy Rule


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When Michelle Cruz Gonzales read excerpts from The Spitboy Rule: Tales of a Xicana in a Female Punk Band this summer, she took me back to the early ’90s when I was in school at UC Santa Cruz, first heard seminal Bay Area band Jawbreaker, and discovered my church being sandwiched between the stage and the edge of the mosh pit. I learned about veganism and institutional racism, anarchy and “No Means No!”, how to skank and how to bleach my hair before using Manic Panic hair dye.

All I knew about Spitboy was their rad logo on my classmate’s t-shirt so when I found the split record with Los Crudos, I devoured the liner notes studying the lyrics and absorbing each bandmates’ thank yous. Todd Spitboy merged her punk name with her legal name: Todd Michelle Christine Gonzales, and with Los Crudos’ lyrics in Spanish, coupled with the portrait of the Indian on the cover, I had no idea that this was Michelle’s “coming out” as a woman of color.

In this candid memoir, Michelle explores the Spitboy days with a professor’s maturity and critical lens of race and class. Have a listen as I talk with her about confronting hecklers at their live shows, how her Chicana heritage could be lost to a punk name, and the Bay Area punk scene in the mid-90s.

Broadcast History:
La Raza Chronicles
Women’s Magazine

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We know that art can have a profound impact on people’s lives. Studies have shown how nursing home patients transform when they are given ipods with music from their youth, how young people who participate in the arts outperform their peers, and how dancing is good for your brain. Hospitality House, a nonprofit addressing homelessness and poverty in San Francisco’s Tenderloin, has provided a free-of-charge, fine arts studio to the neighborhood’s residents since 1969!

On Friday, May 8th, Hospitality House celebrates the 30th anniversary of it’s annual art auction, which supports their Community Arts Program. Robynn Takayama brings us this segment with Ivan Vera, Hospitality House’s Community Arts Program Manager, and Ira Watkins, one of the artist honorees at the event.

Broadcast History:
La Raza Chronicles

 

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Drs. Saucedo and Garcia drumming for healing

For many Latinos, mental health was once a taboo subject. But in the 1970’s, Dr. Concha Saucedo Martinez did her part to change that by founding the Instituto Familiar de la Raza in San Francisco’s Mission District. Dr. Saucedo revolutionized mental health practices by providing her clients with spiritual and culturally sensitive workshops and services. More importantly, she made therapy and psychiatric care more accessible and affordable to the Latino community in San Francisco.

I really love honoring pieces, and though this initially started out to be about the organization, it quickly evolved into featuring the vision of Dr. Saucedo and it was a privilege to meet her and the current director Estela Garcia. The challenge was creating sound-rich scenes with the constraints of confidentiality required when dealing with mental health.

This segment is part of Latino USA’s year-long look at Latinos and Health.

Broadcast History:
Latino USA

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Central Market between 6th and 7th street is a tableaux of transition: individuals getting their lives on track, new businesses starting up, and artists decorating vacant storefronts. Amidst this yearning for change is Piper’s Jewelers, where used items are bought and sold, and time seems to stand still.

No longer run by Mr. Piper, meet the family members that sell used jewelry, time pieces, and collectibles, and the man who was called in to repair the clock in the bell tower of Old St. Mary’s Cathedral. Read the rest of this entry »

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The American Conservatory Theater, or A.C.T., is an internationally recognized theatre and school that puts on magnificent shows every year. But most people don’t know about their offices on Market Street, where they manage their massive costume collection. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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Central Market was once the hub of big-screen entertainment celebrating seven theaters within two-blocks during the pre-television era. Today, these historic theaters, may be found in three states: abandoned, in the sex biz, or still going.

The Warfield on Market Streets is STILL going and regularly welcomes sold-out audiences. Built in 1922, the Warfield is one of the neighborhood’s few historic theaters still functioning as an entertainment venue and boasts performers such as Louis Armstrong, the Grateful Dead, Bob Dylan, and the Pixies.

Tune into this podcast to learn about the building and its underground speakeasy run by Al Capone. Read the rest of this entry »

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Hibernia Bank, at the corner of McAllister and Jones streets, is arguably one of the city’s most prized historical buildings. Over a century old, it survived the 1906 earthquake. But today, people pass the boarded up building without batting an eye.
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Until this spring, we knew almost nothing about the palatial white facade going up on at 1025 Market Street. We heard rumors of saffron-robed monks shuffling in and out – and about a live stream flowing through the building. This March, the International Art Museum of America opened its doors, revealing a surreal oasis on Central Market. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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Professor Hiroshi Fukurai

For Apex Express, I talked with Hiroshi Fukurai, professor at UC Santa Cruz, for a more critical look at what’s going on in Japan.

Professor Fukurai was born in Sendai, the epicenter of last month’s monstrous 9.0 earthquake. His family still lives in the region. He talked with me about the nuclear power system in Japan, Tokyo Electric Power Company’s heavy hand over the media, and Japan’s recent passage of an internet surveillance act.

Broadcast History
Apex Express 4/21/11

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Francisco Aquino talking with youth at his mural. Photo by Michele Kraus.

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StreetSmARTS is a partnership between the San Francisco Arts Commission and the Department of Public Works that connects established urban artists with private property owners to create vibrant murals and make the property less likely to be vandalized. Since the program launched in 2010, the mural sites have seen a dramatic decrease in tagging. Listen to this podcast to learn about the program and hear an artist profile on StreetSmARTS artist Francisco Aquino, who started doing graffiti in the early days of hip-hop.

Special thanks to Paper Son for allowing us use of his re-mix, “Old Man Raps.”

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