Live Shots

Live Shots: Dum Dum Girls/Crocodiles at the Great American Music Hall

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The new Dum Dum Girls album, Only in Dreams, has left such an indelible impression on me, that I was surprised when the four-piece surf-garage band jumped into “Bhang Bhang, I'm a Burnout” for its second song last night at the Great American Music Hall. I'd all but forgotten about the song, a tune that I'd fallen in love with – hard – not more than a year prior when it appeared on the band's debut, I Will Be. It was a welcome reminder, as was the rest of the set, of both its strong lo-fi past, and hard-earned rock future – those descriptors mostly applying to electrifying frontperson Dee Dee. Read more »

Live Shots: Odd Future at the Warfield, 9/30/11

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Hello, and welcome to the worst concert photography post ever! Let me explain. Odd Future's sold-out show at the Warfield on Friday was not a hip-hop show. Or it was – the group's wordplay and Shaolin-esque mythological persona is pretty unimpeachable – but it was mainly a grimy, sweaty, hopped-up-on-youth punk show. Read more »

Live Shots: Smuin Ballet in rehearsal at Palace of Fine Arts

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The stage was sheathed in a cloak of purple smoke, that coated the dancer's skin as they whirled their way across the black floor. Smuin Ballet was doing a final run through of their piece Tango Palace at the Palace of Fine Arts last week, in preparation for opening night, and I was there to snap a few photos of those final moments of rehearsal on 9/23/2011.

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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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