Live Music

Bangarang: DIY hip-hop collective Doomtree is back

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There's something undeniably envy-inducing about a music collective. Everyone lives their separate lives yet they have continuing influence on one another; they hover nearby for comfort and camaraderie, maintain a steadfast family, and encourage a breeding ground for creatives. The emcees, DJs, lyricists, and producers in the Twin Cities-based DIY hip-hop collective/label Doomtree seem to have that system down pat. Under their own monikers, they create praise-worthy individual records. Together, the group carves out quality time and records masterpieces. Read more »

Telegenic Band Check: Lia Rose

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Berkeley-based musician Lia Rose enchanted SFBG videographer Ariel Soto-Suver and a handful of others with her beautiful voice during an intimate living room concert in the Castro hills last week. Read more »

Live Shots: Mara Hruby at Yoshi's Oakland

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The nice thing about playing a major stage in your hometown is that you can count on support from old friends. On the other hand, it also means that those same people can shout out whatever they want during the mic breaks. “Man, they just had to bring out my childhood nickname,” a slightly blushing Mara Hruby said Wednesday night, responding to a slightly inaudible call from someone from way back in the back of the sold-out crowd at Yoshi’s Oakland. Read more »

Cunt Sparrer is heading to San Francisco for New Year’s Eve Eve

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It starts off in your basic living room, two girls laughing then launching into a sweet, stripped down lo-fi version of Cock Sparrer’s oi classic “Take ‘Em All.” The musicians, Jennie Cotterill and Sara Lyons, play acoustic guitar and organ respectively, and harmonize “Take 'em all, take 'em all/Put 'em up against a wall and shoot 'em.” The disparity between the lyrics, origins, and this whole set-up encapsulates the appeal of Long Beach’s Cunt Sparrer, a trio that also includes Jen Kirk-Carlson and sometimes Myra Gallarza of Cotterill and Kirk-Carlson's other band Bad Cop/Bad Cop on drums. Read more »

Live Shots: Dinosaur Jr. at the Fillmore

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By Jolene Torr

The nostalgia factor of a night spent at the Fillmore, watching Dinosaur Jr. play the entirety of its classic Bug album while the scents of weed and that cloying old familiar CK One (I shit you not) steeped into my clothes, is hard to ignore. Though I was too young to appreciate Bug in 1988, watching the slacker-rock trio indulge in sprawling guitar solos and dense, chugging bass lines undoubtedly evoked a longing for grunge and those impetuous '90s. Read more »

Cass McCombs greets the Great American Music Hall crowd warmly

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There’s been a lot of talk about how Cass McCombs is an impenetrable character, so much so that it’s become tiring. We’ve heard about his elusiveness and nomadic lifestyle; about his tendency to either act bitterly in interviews (i.e. Pitchfork interview) or shun them altogether. Oh, and that he’s never happy. Admittedly, McCombs has shaped this cryptic persona himself — he’s even made it difficult to know what he looks like (recent photographs have been vague, he’s always altering his “look”). It was an enormous pleasure then on Sunday night to be able to experience the songwriter first hand when he performed at the Great American Music Hall, where it was all about the music. Read more »

Mark Sultan (BBQ) on vitamins, 'Seinfeld,' and the death of rock'n'roll

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Mark Sultan is an embattled crusader for true rock'n'roll. Though in prose, he'll have you believe that it must be destroyed – to save it from itself. Read more »

Future Islands release the beast within at Bottom of the Hill

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As I retreated from the Bottom of the Hill’s courtyard into the venue Tuesday night, Future Islands vocalist Sam Herring held the door open and flashed me a dazzling smile. As soon as Herring took to the stage, however, gone was the polite Southern gentleman I’d met outside. He transformed into a raving beast that would hold his audience captive for an intensely theatrical and cathartic performance. Read more »

Shrouded in black, Lykke Li makes eye contact with us at the Fox

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Lykke Li doesn’t want you. Let’s just get that straight.

Lykke Li wants me. Or at least I think so. Because even though it’s a cliche to say that it sounds like someone is singing just to you, that’s what she does. Particularly when the most common word in her lyrics is the word “you,” and you’re standing in the pit at the Fox Theater on Wednesday night, and you (you!) seem to make eye contact right when she says it, so that suddenly it’s not the royal “you,” it’s you, as in "Hey you. You in the tan coat. Hi." And you – or at least I – blush, for a moment, not caring at all who this Jerome guy is, although he may just be her noisy upstairs neighbor. Read more »

Amanda Palmer and Neil Gaiman get intimate at the Palace of Fine Arts

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There’s no real way of knowing how much crossover there was between the fans of Dresden Dolls singer/solo artist Amanda Palmer and fiction writer/poet Neil Gaiman before the two married last year. Now though? Well, it would have been amazingly helpful if the seating arrangement at the Palace of Fine Arts Friday night had been his and hers – to properly delineate whose fans wear more Victorian-styled coats, Sherlock Holmes hats, video game references, tucked in long-sleeves t-shirts with jeans, and early '90s Jean-Claude Van Damme haircuts – but since that didn’t happen, it was up to the audience to stake their own claims. “We’ve been Amanda fans for quite a while,” one man told the people sitting in front of him, arm draped over his companion. “We’ve been with her longer than he has.” Read more »