Theatrics! Camp! Bravado! Glitter! Body hair! Going to an Amanda Palmer concert is like taking a trip to the island of misfit toys. Standing in the crowd, I was surrounded by top hats, tutus, tuxedos, pink mohawks, steampunk creations, and many more accessories that I can’t begin to identify.
The audience at the Fillmore last Wednesday was incredibly diverse in age, gender, and style, seemingly united only by their love for the many artistic eccentricities of Amanda Fucking Palmer, as her fans call her. Read more »
The anticipation was killing me. After waiting through 10 weeks of postponement and three openers, I just wanted to see Aesop Rock. Well over two hours past showtime on a Sunday night at the Fillmore, the audience was getting restless. Read more »
On a long BART ride to Oakland after a longer day at school, I thought I probably couldn’t stay awake at a punk show, much less an acoustic folk concert. When I arrived at the Fox and saw that the Tallest Man on Earth show was seated, I was sure that I was doomed.
The stage setup was minimal, with one chair, a circle of monitors, and one keyboard. I stifled a yawn as Kristian Matsson, a.k.a the Tallest Man on Earth, skipped onto the stage in a white tank top and black skinny jeans, looking ironically small on the large, sparse stage. Matsson picked up his guitar, strummed, and wailed out his first note, sending the audience into hysterics. Read more »
San Francisco resident Ian Bavitz, better known as Aesop Rock, is a hip-hop maverick with a quick tongue and sharp wit. His je ne sais quois coolness seems to increase exponentially with every move he makes, from collaborating with Atmosphere’s Slug to peppering his rhymes with obscure science fiction references to touring with alternative folk royalty Kimya Dawson to giving haircuts on stage, to writing a song about Grubstake, Polk Street’s notorious greasy spoon and late-night vomitorium. Read more »
Bromance was in the air Sunday night as Braid took the stage at Slim’s. The on-again, off-again band recently reunited after a seven-year hiatus just in time to play its 600th show, and the members seemed genuinely grateful for the opportunity. On the final stop of their West Coast tour, these Illinois post-hardcore trailblazers thanked their fans by playing through their beloved and influential 1998 album Frame & Canvas in its entirety. Read more »
Fountains of Wayne was exhausted, its effects pedals weren't working, and the crowd was only half full at the Great American Music Hall last Thursday night. But for some reason, despite the band's jet lag and the shortcomings of its borrowed equipment, the show sounded good. In fact, it sounded fantastic. Read more »
The musicians performing at Brainwash Cafe have a lot to compete with. The roar of the espresso machine, the chatter of other patrons, the dinging of pinball machines, and, surprisingly for a venue, the opening and closing of washing machines.
For more than 20 years Brainwash has been providing food, coffee, beer, and a laundromat to SOMA patrons. It also provides a venue for several different open mics: Mondays are spoken word, Tuesdays are music, and Thursdays are comedy. Read more »
Ohio bred singer-songwriter Baby Dee’s biography reads like a collage of about five people’s lives — five very different people. In her 59 years, she has been, among other things: a street musician, Coney Island sideshow act, tree surgeon, church organist, Gregorian chant enthusiast, and touring harpist for fellow transgender musician Antony Heggarty of the Bay Area’s Antony and the Johnsons. Now Baby Dee is living back in Cleveland and has significantly slowed her job-turnover rate, but not to worry — her big personality and sharp wit haven’t suffered for it. Read more »
“It’s about writing. We should start the interview with that.” Todd Tholke leans forward across the greasy café table. “The whole reason I came all the way over here today to meet with you is to tell you about this thing that we do that has to do with free speech.”
Tholke emcees open mics, which is something he’s been doing in San Francisco for over 15 years to showcase the works of local artists in a free venue. At present, Tholke is hosting acoustic nights every Thursday at Sacred Grounds Café, which lies north of the Panhandle. Read more »