Live Shots

Tobacco-free cigarettes and Alika: Reggae on the River, through a lens

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Last week I decided it would be fun to check out Reggae on the River for the first time. I called up my brother DJ Guacamole to see if he'd like to come along, only to discover that he was DJing the late-night dancehall dome at Cooks Valley Campground. Without any further hesitation I jumped in my vintage Beemer and headed up to Sebastopol to meet up with him and his DJ buddy, Jacques of WBLK. Luckily for me, Jacques and Guac are well-connected in the NorCal reggae scene. We piled our stuff in Guac's van, I stuffed myself into the rear seat between sleeping bags and coolers full of Guinness. Three hours later we were greeted by Guac's dreaded friend in charge, Chris Tafari. He set us up with an awesome campsite just behind the dome stage. Read more »

Fountains of Wayne thanks fans for not going to see Ray Davies

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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 »

Live Shots: Phono Del Sol

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Hosting an all-day outdoor festival in the middle of a chilly SF summer was a crapshoot, but the Bay Bridged bet well. The sun sizzled so strongly over Phono Del Sol attendees and bands last Saturday that one musician had to call out into the crowd for coverage. Read more »

Werk It Out! dances under the disco ball

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Add a disco ball to any situation and you will not decrease its likelihood of becoming a party. When I stopped by ODC Theater earlier this week to snap some photos of the Alyce Finwall Dance Theater's rehearsals for the upcoming three-day dance festival Werk It Out!, it appeared that the dancers were in a festive mood. Read more »

Live Shots: Quintron and Miss Pussycat at New Parish

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Peer pressure is the key to any good party. “Don’t leave, don’t leave,” Miss Pussycat called out from the stage Friday night at New Parish, not so much begging or pleading, but in a tone that suggested the couple heading towards the door with their coats were crazy. Read more »

Live Shots: The Mountain Goats at Swedish American Hall

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“Oh god, I’m not remembering the third verse,” John Darnielle of the Mountain Goats said Wednesday at the Swedish American Hall, and continued to play familiar chords as someone from the second row shouted out the next line. His memory jogged, the singer finished “Isaiah 45:23” from 2009’s The Life of the World to Come and asked the woman he apparently recognized, “was that you?” She nodded, and he smiled, saying how great it was when someone who has been a fan from the beginning knows the words to one of the newer songs. Read more »

THEESatisfaction communicates its boldly cosmic agenda at the Independent

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Amid the reign of Kanye, it can be easy to overlook the humble beginnings of hip-hop: a populist genre designed to be executed with minimal resources. Seattle duo THEESatisfaction’s reverence for this history was on full display at the Independent last Friday night, as they “turned off the swag” to deliver a remarkably unadorned performance, in support of the acclaimed awE naturalE, released earlier this year. Two microphones and a MacBook were all Catherine Harris-White and Stasia Irons needed to communicate their boldly cosmic agenda. Read more »

Scandinavian prudishness surprises Extra Action Marching Band

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By Lasse Lundberg Andreasen
Photos by Pelle Rink

The young festival worker only offers one piece of advice: “Do not enter their hotel room. They are wack. They will flip you upside down and snort coke from your ass. Also, they might be gay”. Read more »

Tasting the rainbow at CUESA's Stone Fruit Tour

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Photos by Bowerbird Photography

As a child, my mom remembers driving with her father to a cherry farm to check out the farmer's crop. My grandfather was a wholesale produce man whose job was to visit farms and buy whole harvests for the season. The farmer would give her huge cherries bigger than her hand and allowed her to gorge on the juicy fruit. My grandfather died when my mom was five years old, and so this memory is special to her. This story is important to me as well, since I never met my grandfather, and have always been curious about California's orchards.

CUESA, which organizes the farmers' market at the Ferry Building, also hosts farm tours. I signed up for the Stone Fruit Tour, and boarded a bus on Fri/15 which left the Ferry Building and took us to the Central Valley, first stopping at Bella Viva orchards in Denair, about two hours east of the city.

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Live Shots: The Temper Trap at Warfield

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Australian indie rock band the Temper Trap played to a nearly-full Warfield theater on Saturday night, where devoted fans screamed every word along with singer Dougy Mandagi. Read more »