Ryan Prendiville

Live Shots: The Rapture play Blow Up Forever II at the Factory

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Blow Up is reputed to be the best party in the city. I’ll say it’s almost certainly the best regular event for the 18+ crowd. But rule number one of going to a 18+ club event: don’t wear your nice shoes, even if the code says  “dress to impress.” It was only thanks to sheer luck and repeat viewings of The Matrix that I managed to avoid a geyser of projectile vomit in the Factory’s overcrowded men’s room Saturday night at Blow Up Forever II. “You go here.” I said, guiding the poor kid to the urinal I was about to use. “I’ll wait for the stall.” Read more »

Jens Lekman, penguins, and choice words for Kirsten Dunst at the California Academy of Sciences

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Last Thursday, two girls rushed to the front of the stage at the California Academy of Sciences, one visibly shaking with a mix of excitement and concern, her friend trying to calm her. They stood particularly near the stage in the thin crowd watching Geoffrey O’Connor, where otherwise only photographers dared to tread. After bouncing through a song, they turned to each other, then tentatively towards me. “This isn’t Jens Lekman yet, is it?” one asked. “No, not until 8:30,” I said, and she shook my shoulders as a sign of approval, before being pulled away by her friend, to skip off together back inside the Academy, presumably to have a few more cocktails and look at the penguins. (I can relate to the confusion, though, I’m a huge Kanye West fan, even though I have no idea what he looks or sounds like.) Read more »

Time and space pilot

Electro-composer Amon Tobin returns from the future with ISAM -- and an alien, next-level stage show

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MUSIC Pioneering electronic composer Pierre Schaeffer used a specific word to describe his work, which took 'common' noises and manipulated them into music — acousmatic: "referring to sounds that one hears without seeing the causes behind it."Read more »

Live shots: Ladytron at the Regency Ballroom

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There are not a whole lot of degrees between cool and being cold. On record, Ladytron has always affected a certain disaffected air, and live they come close to crossing over to the alienating side of performance. Alienation can be intentional. Read more »

Flush with tips

A look at the world of the 21st-century bathroom attendant

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culture@sfbg.com

CULTURE I floated drunkenly into the second-story bathroom at 1015 Folsom. It's a tiny affair, and my head was just enough obscured to make navigating past the waiting bodies a sure difficulty. I did my business and realized that the man that I had squeezed by, near the sink, wasn't another patron, but some sort of bathroom attendant. In my inebriated state, it appeared to be an elaborate joke.Read more »

A public apology for recommending the recent Madlib live DJ set

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When you recommend an event, you're basically telegraphing expectations on an artist's body of work. However, there is risk involved with live appearances.

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Landmark to loudness

Happy Sanchez keeps the secrets beneath the noise in Secret Studios

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MUSIC Happy Sanchez's office is above the cafe, by the entrance. There are only a couple of windows. One opens onto the parking lot, where a car alarm blares during our interview. The other is dark; below it are the building's two hourly rehearsal rooms. Aside from the vibration of a double bass revving, we're cut off from the activity going on at Secret Studios. As the owner, Happy makes up for this isolation with a wall of closed-circuit TVs showing the hallways and common areas tying the Studio's 130 monthly rehearsal spaces together.Read more »

Killing Casiotone: Owen Ashworth says goodbye -- and looks ahead

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Owen Ashworth is on the phone with me, explaining his decision to retire Casiotone for the Painfully Alone:

“Definitely something has changed in me the last six or seven months where I haven’t enjoyed a lot of the things about making music the way I had. I feel like I haven’t been as nice of a person as I’m used to being. For the sake of my sanity I need to stop for a while. It’s been an insane couple of months doing these last tours, emotionally draining in ways that I didn’t anticipate. So I’m just really looking forward to being done for a while and coming back to it when I’m excited to come back to it.” Read more »

Drawn and quartered

Dysfunction is the law of the land in "Nine Nation Animation"

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arts@sfbg.com

FILM "I am not a cartoon cat," she wrote.Read more »

Reel around the practice space

Magic Bullets hears a new world, while paying the rent in this one

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arts@sfbg.com

MUSIC It's easy enough for Corey Cunningham, guitar player for Magic Bullets, to tell that I'm there to interview the band. Although 2200 César Chávez St. is bustling for 8:14 on a Wednesday night, I'm the only one around without an instrument. Magic Bullets practices in Secret Studios, a warehouse full of closets for bands to rehearse. "Lots of bands practice here," Cunningham said. Through the walls I can hear the muffled sounds of different groups putting work in on something between a hobby and a dream.Read more »