Amber Schadewald

Live Shots: Passion Pit, The Warfield, 04/15/2010

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Immediately as Passion Pit took the stage, I felt like I stepped into hipster church for the masses. The synths hummed as the band members took their places, the electronic buzz replacing a pipe organ's call before mass. The over-produced stage lighting blinded my retinas like a messiah's second coming and shone a halo of white above front-man Michael Angelakos (even his name sounds heavenly). The kids roared with excitement, shouting hallelujahs in the form of song titles, all hands in the air, praising the dance party to rain down the beats.Read more »

Live Shots: The xx and Hot Chip, Fox Theater, 04/16/2010

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Cooler than their cucumber sound, The xx took a laid-back approach to their Friday night performance, showing little, if any, enthusiasm. The British three-piece is chill, totally sexy and anything but poppy on their recorded work; no one expected a party and yet fans were left with much to desire come the end of the show.Read more »

Record Store Day spins right round this Saturday

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Digital music files are the Snuggie of the music industry; so comfy, so easy, but it's fleece is cheap and one dimensional. Vinyl is a thick quilt, a layered labor of love Grandma crafted just for you-- a product that brings about a whole new quality of life when you're wrapped beneath it. Strange analogy, but if you're unfamiliar with the loveliness and depth of vinyl's sound possibilities, Record Store Day-- this Sat/17 at locations across the Bay-- is your day to give 'em a spin. Read more »

Major Lazer 'waan show you' his weapon of choice

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Major Lazer-- playing Fri/15 at Mezzanine-- is a cartoon Jamaican commando who lost an arm during the secret Zombie War of 1984 and then was ever so fortunate to have the US Military replace his flesh with a prosthetic laser gun. Diplo and Switch, a.k.a. the producers behind the music mascot, have quite the imaginations and as they put it, an extensive love for the Jamaican music our country often forgets to credit. Major Lazer is their way of exploiting the exploitation. 

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Beach House holds the keys to comfort

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Children often favor a stuffed animal or blankie as a source of comfort, but as an adult, security is found in much less predictable places. Maybe it's your favorite cup of tea, your lover's dirty t-shirt, a night-time drive or an album that never fails to help you regain balance. For me, it's Beach House -- playing tonight at Bimbo's 365 -- and for the band's members, their comfort comes by a collection of keys. 

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Powder room confessions with Sia

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I was expecting nothing but a stream of strange, awkward and amazing when I dialed up Australian singer Sia-- playing Wed/14 at the Regency Ballroom-- but her super quirky banter wouldn't be the only sound traveling the wires. Ring ring and the blondie answered with a cheery "How are you sweetie?", followed by, "How do you feel about me taking a leak while we chat?" 

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Up and at 'em! Guys, here's an egg of your own

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My penis envy hit hard when I saw these delicious little eggs on the sex store shelf this week. Delicately soft with squishy insides and intriguing texture choices, I couldn't imagine how much fun it would be to stick it into Tenga's Egg Masturbation sleeves. Whether or not you like to blow in the direction of a uterus or not, guys everywhere can fertilize a cute egg of their own without the threat of baby-daddy duties. Read more »

Avoiding sharks and difficult questions with Toro y Moi

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When you come out of the womb and your mama names you Chaz, life is going to be pretty cool. Mr. Chazwick Bundick is a child of the south, who from the sound of his uber laid-back synth melodies, must have grown up poolside, full pitcher of sweet tea attached at the hip.  The electro-musician goes by the moniker Toro y Moi-- playing Mon/12 at Bottom of the Hill-- and fully embodies the chillwave scene at its core, with layer upon layer of ambient wonder. And of course, Chaz is way chill. Read more »

Dolores Park Movie Night starts a fresh season of flicks

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Blanket. Booze in a paper sack. Treats. Those are probably the ingredients to any adventure at Dolores Park, but wouldn't it be better if Michael J Fox was there, too? Maybe not the real guy, but the cute '80s version in Back to the Future [Universal Pictures, 1985] could be cool, or at least it will be when Dolores Park Movie Night starts up this Thursday. Read more »

Snap Sounds: New Young Pony Club

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NEW YOUNG PONY CLUB

The Optimist

(The Numbers)

New Young Pony Club really got me revved when they released their debut album Fantastic Playroom [Modular, 2007] and packed it with a whole ranch full of songs for hot gallops and rapid romping. Now that it's been a good chunk of years, the London five-piece claims they've grown up and grown out of their label contracts-- they've become totally self-produced, self-funded and their new album The Optimist (fresh on the shelves this week) is self-released. Is it self-improved? Neigh (as in a horse noise and symbolizing my uncertainty).

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