Live Shots

Live Shots: José James at New Parish

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A couple of phrases used (and possibly made up) to describe José James’s show Friday night: swoontastic and baby-making-music. The rising neo-crooner gigged in San Jose and SF the preceding two evenings, but it's hard to beat the intimacy of Oakland's the New Parish, which has a certain bohemian vibe. Read more »

Live Shots: A peep at the upcoming "Revolutionary Nutcracker Sweetie"

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Rehearsal was in full twirl this weekend, as dancers prepared to perform "The Revolutionary Nutcracker Sweetie" at Brava Theater this coming weekend.

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Live Shots: Iggy Pop at the Warfield

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It had been a long wait to see Iggy Pop live (not like, Morrissey-long, but more like three months later than anticipated). When I spoke with Pop back in September, he was ecstatic to be out on the road again. Read more »

Live Shots: Dan Deacon at New Parish

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You go to Dan Deacon in a bad mood – a no-good-reason sort of bad mood, where you’ve been sleeping a lot just to turn it off. (Works for a while, until the stress dreams start.) And even though you’d seen this guy a few times before, you have doubts about the show. Do you really enjoy the music, the high-pitched, manic indie electronics with screeching chipmunk vocals over it? Has he progressed enough as an artist to make a return worthwhile, or enough to brave the crush of an amped up, teenage and hyper crowd? Read more »

No more introduction needed: Pterodactyl at El Rio

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On Saturday night in the cloistered show room at El Rio, Joe Kremer of Pterodactyl passed through the idle crowd to consult the sound guy about his microphone reverb, making a whacking hand gesture to illustrate the slap back resonation he wanted -- something he's probably had to do at every venue between Brooklyn, NY, (where the band is from) and San Francisco because it’s so essential to Pterodactyl’s sound. Read more »

Live Shots: tUnE-yArDs at the Regency Ballroom

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tUnE-yArDs seemed so playful and free on Wednesday at the Regency, like a band of highly skilled children, in particular the ringleader-pied piper of the bunch, Merrill Garbus. Hopping around barefoot, playing with different toys – pedals and looping samples, ukuleles, and crash drums – all on a square of carpet that had a curvy gray racetrack: genius kindergartner. Or as a show companion described it, "it feels like the world's greatest camp band." Read more »

Live Shots: WU LYF at the Independent

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I showed up pretty early to catch WU LYF at the Independent on Monday night. A cold breeze drifting through the venue and the giant white Wucifix standing on an empty stage made for a decidedly ominous vibe. It quickly warmed up, though, as a sold out crowd filled the place to capacity for the Manchester, UK, quartet’s very first performance in San Francisco. Read more »

Live Shots: The Destiny Muhammad Jazz Trio at Red Poppy Art House

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 Destiny introduced herself to the audience as “your friendly harp player from the 'hood.” Word. This ain't your grandmama's tea parlor harp music. This is jazz harp – maybe the only jazz harp in the world – with all the syncopation and improvising you would expect to hear at any classic jazz joint. Read more »

Live Shots: Pilot 59 at ODC Dance Commons, 11/19/11

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After eleven weeks of creating, fine-tuning, and probably lots of serious sweating, six emerging choreographers presented their work this weekend at ODC for Pilot 59 that showed an eager, sold-out audience what they've got. It turns out, that entails quite a bit -- the diversity in dancers and themes was striking. Two pieces especially caught my eye.

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Live Shots: They Might Be Giants at the Fillmore

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They Might Be Giants wrapped up a busy weekend in the Bay Area last Sunday night, playing a second night at the Fillmore on top of a free show at the SF Amoeba Music earlier that day. Starting the show, Johns Flansburgh announced that the band would be playing Flood --which he later called the band’s “1990 near-breakthrough album”-- in its entirety. And, since the album was only about 43 minutes long, it would be padded first by some old and new hits. Read more »