Ryan Prendiville

Live Shots: The Robert Glasper Experiment at New Parish

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It really wasn't a question whether the Robert Glasper Experiment would be any good at the New Parish on Friday night  – but how it would go about replicating the success of Black Radio, which recently won the Grammy for R&B album of the year.

That’s an album that features notable collaborators on each track – Erykah Badu, Lupe Fiasco, Bilal, Mos Def/Yasiin Bey, etc. – which could leave pianist Glasper a lot to make up for live. Going into the show I had a few theories: maybe the group would use pre-recorded vocal tracks in places, maybe up-and-coming vocalists would be pulled on stage from Oakland’s music scene, or maybe some surprise guest would be introduced. (Singer José James was nearby at the San Jose Jazz Winter Fest. Maybe he’d finish in a timely manner over there and stop by?) Read more »

Live Shots: Passion Pit, Icona Pop, Matt and Kim at the Bill Graham

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Swedish duo Icona Pop made the typical announcement about being really happy to finish up its tour in San Francisco, last Thursday at the Passion Pit/Icona Pop/Matt and Kim show at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium.

Things likely have changed for Icona Pop, which specializes in bouncy, dubstep-inflected pop about “heartbreak,” particularly since the song “I Love It”* was appropriately included in the episode of HBO’s Girls where TV’s most self-centered character** goes on a coke binge. Read more »

Noise Pop 2013: YACHT, Shock, and Future Twin at Slim's

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When I went to see YACHT, a couple years ago during the Treasure Island Music Festival, it was playing outdoors in the afternoon, and it seemed like the wrong time and place. Last year at the Fox, the conceptual electropop band seemed stifled by the combination of the large venue and sparse crowd, and also mired by the same lackluster audio conditions that made headliner Hot Chip sound like it was playing underwater. But Saturday at Slim's, on my last night of Noise Pop, it seemed just...

Fuck, I've wandered into the Goldilocks cliché. Read more »

Do want

New York electronic artist Autre Ne Veut chips away at layers of R&B harmonies and futuristic free jazz

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Noise Pop 2013: The Crystal Ark at the Mezzanine

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"Dude, a satchel? That's the gayest shit I've ever seen."
"What?" I asked.
"Your purse," he said, pointing to my camera bag, as his apparent girlfriend giggled and tried to cover his mouth. "That's so fucking gay. Are you from America?"
"Thank you," I said, as I finished putting in my ear plugs, mostly disinterested but half curious what he made of the two guys making out 10 feet across the dance floor.

Given that the last time I was in this situation, at Mezzanine to see NYC's disco band the Crystal Ark supported by "San Francisco's coveted queer DJ collective" Honey Soundsystem, was during Pride weekend, this was an odd encounter. But I'd already expected the crowd to be a little off, given that it was seemingly a late addition to the Noise Pop Festival and had to compete with packed, sold-out events in the vicinity. Read more »

Noise Pop 2013: !!!, White Arrows, the Mallard at Great American Music Hall

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It's hard to be Nic Offer. Not because he's a tortured artist struggling with celebrity or some other cliche, but because he busts it on stage in a way that's difficult to match. A couple songs into !!!/Chk Chk Chk's Noise Pop show at the Great American Music Hall last night, the lead singer and number one dancer hustled along the row of tables between the crowd and the stage. "I need my catwalk," he said, picking up all the glasses, water cups, and beer bottles along the way. Read more »

Noise Pop 2013: R. Stevie Moore is cool, plays Bottom of the Hill

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R. Stevie Moore is cool. When was the last time you saw a 60-odd-year-old* man standing on stage shouting "where my bitches at" and repeated calls of "swag"? That kind of thing never happens.** (Though it did last night at the Noise Pop show at Bottom of the Hill with Moore, Fresh and Onlys, Plateaus, and Burnt Ones). Read more »

Harmon's way

Dan Harmon charts his own course through the comedy universe

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arts@sfbg.com

THEATER Dan Harmon, performing at this year's SF Sketchfest, is on the phone, talking about therapy. He's explaining his belief that a person can find a mental illness for anything they can name, with some fetishistic examples. "There are people out there who like to be walked on," the creator and former show runner of NBC's Community says. "There's people who like to eat human fecal matter. There's people who want to have sex with kites."Read more »

He likes to talk: extended Dan Harmon interview

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Note: don't miss Ryan Prendiville's article on SF Sketchfest's Harmontown event in tomorrow's paper.

"I like to talk," Dan Harmon said at the end of our Harmontown phone interview, while I was apologizing for going over the scheduled time. "And then everyone goes 'I'm sorry, I love this but you know this is a 50-word piece next to the weather.' I get, I get it." Given that, post-Community, Harmon co-created a series for Cartoon Network, successfully crowd sourced an animated Charlie Kaufman film, pitched a Harmontown spin-off Dungeons & Dragons web series, and written pilots for Fox and CBS, there were a lot of topics to cover. Here's an extended Q&A for the Harmonites.

San Francisco Bay Guardian With the options you have now with the internet and cable channels like Cartoon Network, why go back to network TV?

Dan Harmon That's easy. Because nobody gets offered those opportunities, and although the networks are losing out to an increasingly fragmented media, you can still reach more people with a CBS sitcom in a half hour than with other things in a few weeks.

Read more »

YEAR IN MUSIC 2012: Bottom line

The majors, streaming sites, and independent artists dance to the tune of economic decline

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arts@sfbg.com

YEAR IN MUSIC If you wanna rob a bank you must be aware. You gotta use the computer upstairs.Read more »