Live Shots

Live Shots: Twin Shadow, Diamond Rings at the Great American Music Hall

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If you truly believe that music is moving entirely forward – not cyclical – you need only to have peeked inside during any given moment of last night's Diamond Rings/Twin Shadow live musical appearances at the Great American Music Hall. Your impressions would shift. New wave revival remains viable, those electro-soaked keyboard jams on stage, the half-shaved heads and feathered accessories in the crowd (including the feathery bits attached to the young miss thang who was removed quickly after Twin Shadow began thanks to an illegal sip of costly beer). It's something I've grumbled about in the past, but for no good reason. Read more »

Live shots: Ladytron at the Regency Ballroom

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There are not a whole lot of degrees between cool and being cold. On record, Ladytron has always affected a certain disaffected air, and live they come close to crossing over to the alienating side of performance. Alienation can be intentional. Read more »

Live Shots: Hightower, Walken, and Black Cobra at YBCA

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It was all head banging and high-flying guitar yesterday evening in the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts' outdoor sculpture garden. With the wailing thrash of Hightower, the electric doom of Walken, and two-man hardcore power of Black Cobra, the event, dubbed Metal Mania, was a success. Read more »

Live Shots: Ke$ha, Fox Theater, 9/14/11

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Neon lights, glitter, and balloon drops certainly made for a bedazzled set, as Ke$ha took the stage, wearing the most glitz of all.

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Live Shots: White Hills, Carlton Melton, and Dirty Ghosts

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What if god – note lowercase emphasis – was a drummer? Assume that this god is the mythical male being you’ve come to know through Renaissance-era oil paintings, clutching lightning bolts, triumphant with lengthy white locks and foreboding upward gazes. What would this particular god do behind a drum kit? Read more »

Live Shots: Religious Girls, Part Time, and Born Gold

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Last night at the Knockout, Religious Girls killed it. It was a homecoming show of sorts for the local band after its late summer tour, and the feeling was all warm and fuzzy -- minus a drunken birthday boy fight in the crowd. The Knockout itself was crowded, but not that unbearable, sweat-running-down-the-walls packed it has been known to incur. The boys of Religious Girls, who we profiled earlier this week, played hard and tight; especially the drummer, who we're giving MVP for the night.

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Live Shots: Stepology at Herbst Theater, 8/21/2011

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At most performance rehearsals, there isn't the need to do a sound-check with the drummer and the dancers. At a tap show, it's a must. The beats are coming from both parties, so those amps better be set to pitch perfect.

This past weekend, metal-soled kicks took the stage, for a performance by the very talented Stepology, a local tap dance organization who is trying to preserve those classic tip-tappity steps through its annual Bay Area Tap Fest program. I stopped by the Stepologists' final rehearsal to get a taste of what they were up to, and was very glad I did. 

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Live Shots: GAPA Runway 23, 08/13/2011

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Fantasy Land was out in full force on the Herbst Theater stage this past weekend, for the 23rd annual Gay Asian Pacific Alliance (GAPA) Runway show and 2011 Mr. & Miss GAPA pageant. The contestants were dressed to impress and pulled out all the stops (and pulled off a few pairs of pants too), in hopes of winning over a panel of judges that included everyone from socialites like Holy McGrail and politician Fiona Ma. Everyone was bedazzled, especially by the host Tita Aida.

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Live Shots: Emily Wells and the Blank Tapes, Cafe du Nord, 7/24/11

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No one seemed to mind that it was a Sunday night and that we were probably all going to be up far past our bedtime on a work night. That's because it's worth staying up late to hear some darn good music, truly starting the week off right. Emily Wells and The Blank Tapes were at Cafe du Nord and they kept the tunes coming late into the evening.

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Live Shots: Soundgarden at the Civic Auditorium, 7/21/11

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After capping off a monstrous 20-plus song set yesterday, on Thursday, July 21, with the tortured grind of “Slaves & Bulldozers,” Soundgarden put an exclamation point on their performance with a six minute shake-the-building-foundations, horses-of-the-apocalypse audio assault.

Amid waves of controlled feedback and blaring Seattle Sonic resonance, I thought my dental fillings were shaking loose. I was worried the Civic Auditorium balcony would soon collapse. I suspected that teenagers might start exploding throughout the audience. Read more »