Live Shots

Live Shots: Bowie beatification at Stardust Sunday

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We made a point to sleep in late on Sunday morning to make sure we made it to church. Services started at 9:30 p.m. that evening, so we had to be sure to get our beauty sleep before putting on our Sunday best. Once ensconsed the holy space, there was singing and readings. We were repeatedly told that yes, we are loved... by Bowie. Public Works was hosting Stardust Sunday, the ecstatic services propagated by the First Church of the Sacred Silversexual, an entity devoted to the worship of all things David Bowie. Read more »

Promising newish acts at Noise Pop 2012: Surf Club and FIDLAR

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He asked if there were drink tickets. The bartender nodded, saying that the band could have wine now, and then beers on stage. Neither of those options would work for Stockton’s Surf Club, whose members were all sporting big black X’s — the mark of the underaged — at their Café Du Nord Noise Pop appearance. Read more »

From California to Ethiopia with Allah-Las and the Budos Band

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If you could handpick its most redeeming qualities and inhabitants from any time period in the past half century, Los Angeles could actually be a rather magical place. Pluck the psychedelic guitar strains reverberating through Laurel Canyon, scoop a fistful of bronzed sun-kissed surfers and sparkling waves from the coast, add two shakes of downtown weirdness, and you'd likely come up with something along the lines of Allah-Las, the quartet that opened for Budos Band during the Noise Pop lineup at the Independent Thursday. Read more »

Live Shots: Grimes, Born Gold, oOoOO, and Yalls at Rickshaw Stop

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Cecil Frena described the lineup at Rickshaw Stop last night simply as "weird music." He should know. Performing with his synth-fueled electronic dance trio, Born Gold (formerly Gobble Gobble,) Frena stood in front of a camera-slash-iPad pulpit, singing and conducting a third of the group’s sound via a motion-captured, clearly homemade, Janet Jackson Rhythm Nation era-esque military jacket. Read more »

Cursive gets candid during Noise Pop

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Tears, booze, sex, pain, martyrdom, regret. Against my better judgment, I was singing along with the band. I was singing carefully, with my eyes closed and likely a smile creeping up in the corners of my mouth. I couldn't help it, it came from within, as much as that particular act generally annoys me in packed settings. The swell of angular guitar and thundering drums pulled back mostly leaving higher octave vocals from a scale that slides to and fro: "Your tears are only alibis/To prove you still feel/You only feel sorry for yourself/Well get on that cross/That's all you're good for." Read more »

Spanning time with the Flaming Lips

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I ran into a temporal anomaly while driving. My first warning sign was the police cruiser with one headlight flashing its sirens behind me. Wrong place at the wrong time? Well, I was getting pulled over in Sebastopol on the way to Richmond from SF, but when the cop told me I was doing 78 in a 55, it suggested one thing —speeding. Read more »

Live Shots: Surreal Valentine's re-wedding at Eternity Ball

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Photos by Bowerbird Photography

For Valentine's Day, Sam Love and I celebrated by going to one gigantic wedding reception. Oh wait, there was a wedding ceremony too. Actually a re-commitment ceremony, where a popular SF wedding officiant, Cynthia Gregory, in her formal black robe, honored a husband and wife's 20 years of marriage together and blessed them and their continued union. The bride still fit in her wonderfully fluffy satin wedding dress a-la 1992, cinched tight in the back with a gigantic bow.Read more »

Live Shots: Los Campesinos! and Parenthetical Girls at Great American Music Hall

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When I last caught Parenthetical Girls in SF, singer Zac Pennington closed the show in a memorable way: traipsing around the room with a single drum stick, tapping out the solemn beat of “Stolen Children” on every available pint glass, shattering them and covering the floor in shards. Read more »

Live Shots: Making truffles with Neo Cocoa at La Cocina

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“Ganache is proof that God loves us,” exclaimed a student with pink and purple hair, as Neo Cocoa founder Christine Doerr rapidly whisked a bowl of melted chocolate and poured it into a metal frame for cooling. We all stood around a huge table at La Cocina, learning how to make Doerr's award-winning chocolate delights, essentially the soft and rich insides of a classic truffle without the hard outer shell. After a quick demo, it was time to get to work ourselves, rolling the chocolate in our hands to form balls and then dusting them in all variety of coatings, from fennel powder to cacao nibs.

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Live Shots: Golden Glass 2012 slow food and wine festival

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Wine was flowing freely at 11 a.m. on Sat/4 for the pre-show press tasting. We had prepped ourselves by carb-loading on whole wheat oatmeal pancakes before heading to Fort Mason for the Eighth Annual Golden Glass festival (which raised awareness and funds for slow food programs) preparing ourselves to indulge in a smorgasbord of carefully vetted, sustainably produced wines. Read more »