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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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.
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 »
The sunny, indie rock jams of Ridgewood, NJ’s Real Estate cured my rainy day blues on Friday night at Slim’s. San Francisco’s unshaven, flannel-clad urban lumberjacks showed up en masse to seek shelter from the rain and soak up some seriously good vibes. The five-piece kicked off with “Suburban Beverage” from its 2009 self-titled debut. Inviting us to mellow out, leader Martin Courtney repeated the song’s only words, “Budweiser, Sprite, do you feel alright?” Fans responded with blissful head-nodding. Read more »
Japanese pop and the Ramones; it's a combination you might not hear anywhere else besides a Shonen Knife show (or on the band's tribute album Osaka Ramones). On Friday night at Bottom of the Hill, the Osaka-bred trio of pop punk rockers wound up an already-worked over crowd with a full encore set of Ramones songs. Read more »
On Thursday November 3rd the Guardian family descended upon Buck Tavern to toast 45 years of "Printing the News and Raising Hell." The cadre included current and former staffers, as well as SF politicos and friends of the Guardian from over the years. While Chris Daly and his staff kept busy slinging stiff drinks and setting out yummy snacks, the Guardian family was aglow in celebrating four and half decades of representing San Francisco values. Hip Hip Hooray!