Cooper Berkmoyer

Manchester Orchestra delivers the Southern riffs at the Regency Ballroom

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South by Southwest favorites White Denim helped draw a sizable crowd in support of Manchester Orchestra to the Regency Ballroom on the Friday before Halloween. The Austin, Texas locals did not, however, save for a few ripping solos and a lap around the stage that coincided with some lyrics about running (I think), perform memorably for the sparsely costumed audience. Read more »

Lit review: "Ambient Parking Lot"

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Ambient Parking Lot (Kenning Editions, $14.95) is a 187-page book about one band’s quest to capture the world’s most perfect ambient noise in a parking lot. Wait, don’t go away! It's great ... I swear. Author Pamela Lu’s novel follows the Ambient Parkers, a fictional collective of musicians and artists, as they rise to heights of fame or alternately cower under the weight of their shortcomings.

Their peaks and valleys shape a familiar refrain if you’ve ever been in a band; Lu uses the Ambient Parkers (they are otherwise anonymous) as a foil by which she is able to draw the whole business of the so-called underground art establishment under her perceptive and witty lens. The performance artist who joins the Ambient Parkers for a night of experimental dance, the respected radio DJ who rebukes their creative advances, and perhaps most impressively of all, us, the fickle and demanding public: these are just a handful of the cogs in a not-at-all-well-oiled (and certainly well worn) machine.

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The joy of joysticks

South Town Arcade is easy to miss -- but once within its "candy cabs" you may never leave

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GAMER On a sunny Sunday afternoon in late June, the crush of body-painted, thonged masses surged down Market Street, a trail of gold confetti, empty bottles, and promotional debris in its wake. Downtown was full to bursting with what seemed like everyone in the Bay Area celebrating Pride. But only a few blocks away, a very different scene was unfolding.Read more »