Live Shots

Live Shots: Bonaparte at Public Works

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I felt a little bad about leaving one of my friends by himself, while I squeezed around snapping photos of Berlin’s Bonaparte last night at Public Works. He lives in Concord, works in a meat department, likes hunting and riding dirtbikes. Which is to say, our interests don’t necessarily overlap. He refers to the last show I took him to – Bear in Heaven at Rickshaw Stop – as “the Ron Burgandy band,” for obvious reasons that continue to elude me.Read more »

SXSW Music Highlights: Photographer Brittany Powell's snaps

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In addition to our other coverage of the SXSW music festival, the Guardian also had photographer Brittany Powell pounding Austin's pavement in search of great music. Here are some of her photos and impressions from the week.

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Zola Jesus, Shabazz Palaces, and more at Creators Project

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Along with all the epic-sized Lite-Brites and wing-flapping guardian angels at Creators Project this weekend in soggy Fort Mason, there also was plenty of super bass-heavy, heart-pumping, mind-expanding live music. Again, all free. Read more »

Live Shots: Women's History Month office intrigue with 3 Girls Theatre

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In celebration of Women's History Month, 3 Girls Theatre is staging a lunar cycle chockful of girl power greatness. Read more »

Image Comic Expo showcases new stars and the old guard

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Comic cons serve a variety of functions. They can be press junkets, costume parties, swap meets, social retreats, even museums. Comics writer Warren Ellis has a habit of referring to San Diego’s huge Comic Con as “nerd prom,” which perfectly captures the glow of excitement for mass socialization in funny costumes. By contrast, this year’s Image Comic Expo was more like a nerd Sadie Hawkins dance – a deliberate reversal of the standard hierarchy, where creator-owned books are championed over the widely beloved DC and Marvel franchises that sometimes seem to oversaturate the comics market. It was also a little less garish and hectic than some larger cons, but the sense of community and pride was still richly evident. Read more »

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 »