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  • Most Animated Museum

    Cartoon Art Museum

    To the uninitiated, the Cartoon Art Museum has a musty ring to it, pointing toward Hanna-Barbera cels and Krazy Kat. It does have that, but it far from ignores the new tribes of graphic novelists and young comics artists who continually reinvent the form for new generations. Like any great museum, it doesn't ignore the city that surrounds it. Over the past year, the Small Press Spotlight, featuring exhibits that highlight innovators in alternative and small-press comics, has welcomed locals... More >>

  • Best New Drag Show


    While the drag mainstays in town are well established at this point, a few new festive freak shows have popped up in the last year with the ambition to provide San Francisco with even more fluidly gendered, three-minute onstage histrionics. While a handful fizzled out after a whirl or two, humble start-up Cocktailgate spent the year building a larger audience and a more expansive roster of local performers. Occurring every Sunday at the unusually reasonable hour of 9 p.m. (or... More >>

  • Best New Art Gallery

    Fecal Face Dot Gallery

    If you're a fan of street art and its roots and offshoots, chances are you already know about Fecal Face. A more West Coast–oriented version of the Wooster Collective, has long dished out the good stuff on artists, galleries, events, and art news. In February, its well-connected folks opened a physical space dedicated to their favorite impresarios. The debut show featured artists Maya Hayuk, Jeremy Fish, Kyle Ranson, Tara Foley, Andrew Schoultz, and Hilary Pecis — all of whom... More >>

  • Best Nomadic Art Gallery

    Southern Exposure Gallery

    Every city needs a small gallery with a big brain. The ambitious Southern Exposure has long fostered S.F.'s geeky art scene, specializing in institutional critique and participatory projects. Last year, after a temporary layover at Mission and 25th streets, the artist-run gallery found itself homeless. Rather than curling up in a cardboard box, however, Southern Exposure collaborated with other galleries and organizations on public art projects such as panel discussions and audio walking tours. In September, it found a temporary... More >>

  • Best Store as Art Project

    Frankenart Mart

    Open the door to Frankenart, and you walk into another dimension — one where commerce becomes conceptual, art is for everybody, and you may find yourself talking to a cat who has occupied your chair. Every four months or so, owner Leslie Henslee establishes a theme and then asks people to make art about it. Over those months, the tiny 200-square-foot storefront she occupies in the Inner Richmond fills with contributions. Artists can sell their work on consignment, or trade... More >>

  • Best Rockin' Art Gallery

    Queen's Nails Projects

    The four-year-old Queen's Nails Annex is a hurricane, a monsoon, a swarm of locusts. Hey, it just might be the second coming. It's also an edgy, funkadelic gallery in the Mission conveniently located next to Queen's Nails (hence the folks at this gallery simply add "annex" to their name and — poof! — they're able to ride their neighbor's sign). With the guidance of its directors Mike Bianco, Julio Cesar Morales, and Brian Storts, Annex shows revel in everything from... More >>

  • Best Bonus Theater Experience

    The Hypnodrome

    Grand Guignol is French for "what people watched before horror movies existed." Before electricity brought us Evil Dead 2, obviously some folks had to figure out how to make that kind of thing happen onstage, and they did, and it was about as popular as slasher flicks are today. Described by one Yelper as "a series of vignettes that follow a shit your pants/boner/shit your pants/boner sequence," the art form has its own dedicated theater space, the Hypnodrome, here in... More >>

  • Best Jukebox

    Lucky 13

    Jukeboxes, like everything music-related, are in flux. Some of us prefer the old-fashioned kind, with 45 rpm vinyl records visible through the curved plate glass, but most working boxes these days are digitized, sanitized, and smeared with tech-macho graphics that might have been cool for a minute at the tail end of the Faith No More "punk funk" 1990s. At Lucky 13, the jukebox is no beauty queen, boasting a nondescript CD-changer aesthetic. But, you're already screaming, "It's the music... More >>

  • Best Place to See Live Music

    Great American Music Hall

    The mother lode of all San Francisco music venues is none other than the Great American Music Hall, which was a bordello in a previous life. You can tell bands truly love to play here — it has a reputation for treating musicians well and actually feeding them. With its gilded mirrors, ornate cornices, and a pre-show "dinner" available to showgoers — wild mushroom and goat cheese tamale, anyone? — this joint is not only the best venue in a... More >>

  • Best New Gay Club Night

    The Bar on Church

    Hard-working drag den mother Juanita More has thrown her fair share of parties in recent years, but none quite so reliably photographed as "Booty Call," which began happening every Wednesday last fall. The rollicking club night includes a backroom photo studio where attendees can pose in a new set every week and have their portraits taken, only to have them appear on MySpace days later. The appeal of a party with a built-in profile picture, along with attractive music and... More >>

  • Best Dance Club


    Many of San Francisco's nightclubs have a gimmick; something that a venue is known for. That can be a good thing, but all too often it makes a place predictable. Mezzanine is a spot that is thankfully hard to pigeonhole, and the crowd varies widely depending on the night, giving it a chameleonic quality. To hip-hop fans, it's often a packed-to-the-gills sweatbox that's the only place to see national artists who might not have otherwise stopped here. To electronic music... More >>

  • Best Feminist Peep Show

    Lusty Lady Theatre

    In this category, there's just no competition. Literally. The Lusty Lady, a unionized North Beach strip joint, remains the only gig in town that allows you to walk into a dark booth, cough up a dollar, and watch live, Suicide Girls-style dancers fuck themselves with dildos. You don't even have to feel guilty about it, because these business-savvy strippers, who bought the club from its former owners in 2003, are getting paid as much as $27 an hour and sharing... More >>

  • Best Intellectual Use of a Soapbox

    Bernal Bubbles

    The Laundromat is not typically a highly intellectual environment. The thrum of the washers and the hum of the dryers could lull even Einstein into a snooze. On the first Saturday of every month, however, Bernal Bubbles transforms into a mini lecture hall, full of listeners eager to learn about art, culture, science, and other high-falutin' topics. Artist and owner Ray Beldner began his aptly named Soapbox Lecture Series in February 2007, and has since featured notables such as Leonard... More >>

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