Live Shots

Cherry Blossom Festival in Japantown, 4/17/11

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Every which way you turned, there was someone else you wanted to get your picture taken with, from the big wooly Totoro to people decked out in over-the-top anime costumes. The annual Cherry Blossom Festival in Japantown was in full bloom this weekend, April 16-17, and everyone in town seemed to be there. The streets were packed with yummy eats, colorful clothing, and of course, lots of stands dedicated to raising money for Japan and their rescue relief efforts. Read more »

Live Shots: PJ Harvey at the Warfield, 4/14/11

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PJ Harvey has taken the Warfield stage at numerous points and in many forms during her career over the past two decades – never predictable, always engaging. Her performance on Thursday night, a pre-Coachella warm-up gig, was the sort of wonderfully unexpected showing you’d come to expect from Polly Jean. Read more »

Live Shots: Fact/SF at The Garage, 4/14/11

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I remember when I was a little girl, I used to live down at my Grandma Kay's house in Belmont. She had a big living room, with floor to ceiling windows that looked out over the bay. I used to dance around on the wooden floors in my socks to her Peggy Lee and Patsy Cline cassettes, which I played over and over again. It was a strange time. Grandma Kay was sick with cancer and I was too young to totally understand what was going on. Read more »

Live Shots: Queens of the Stone Age, Fox Theater, 4/11/11

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Racing up and down the pavement on Telegraph Avenue, the scalpers were grinding hard outside the Fox Theater on Monday night, perhaps with an inkling that the venue might not be standing by the time the Queens of the Stone Age left the stage in a few hours. True to form, Josh Homme and crew all but blew the Fox to pieces with a monstrous rendering of their debut album, as well as two hefty encores that showcased the stoner age rock royalty in all of their primal glory.

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Live Shots: Caitlin Rose at Cafe du Nord, 4/7/11

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To be honest, I could have cared less who the Cafe Du Nord headliners were that night. I was there for only one reason: to see the opener, Nashville-born singer Caitlin Rose.

I found Caitlin Rose's music on one of those lucky Youtube click-happy sessions. You know what I'm talking about. Where you go from one “recommended” video to the next, until finally you land on something good. And that goodness was Caitlin Rose's “Own Side,” a melancholy, sweet bluesy, twang-licious song. Oh yes, this was a very good recommendation. And as luck would have it, she was going to be coming to San Francisco in less than three weeks. Perfection. Read more »

Live Shots: Nrityagram Dance Ensemble at the Palace of Fine Arts, 3/31/11

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You could hear the dancers before you could actually see them. The stage was dark, but there was a jingling of a hundred bells that encased the dancer's ankles and jangled with each of their movements. When the lights went up, the audience came face to face with an array of brilliant colors as the dancers moved across the stage in dazzling Indian saris.

These performers have traveled all around the world to share dances that go back to dates that end in B.C. We're talking ancient movements, ones that have been passed down for tens of generations. But what makes Nrityagram Dance Ensemble so unique is not the dances they perform, but the way in which they learn them. Read more »

Live Shots: Naughty By Nature at Yoshi's San Francisco, 3/24/11

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Everyone get ready for a blast from the past -- and the sudden realization that maybe we're getting old. That's right, turning into real fogies. That's how it goes down when you're at the concert of a group you listened to when you were young and sprightly and they keep throwing words out like “time machine” and “1989” -- it's like, wow, I'm at a 20th anniversary reunion concert for a band I actually like. Weird.

Luckily, Naughty by Nature, the award-winning hip-hop trio from New Jersey, don't look like they've aged a bit and they've definitely still got the same contagiously groovin' energy that made us love them so much in the first place, way back when. Read more »

Live Shots: Whole Beast Supper Club Rabbit Tasting Dinner, 3/18/2011

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Growing up, my best friend Suzy Q (then and now) used to raise bunny rabbits in her backyard in Pacifica. In the spring, there would sometimes be two or three new litters at the same time, and we would set up a tent on the lawn and let the dozens of fluff balls run around us in circles. Although many of the bunnies were sold once they got big enough, there were some extremely special ones, like Mr. Casey, who used to ride around on Suzy Q's shoulder like a parrot and who I became the loving godmother of at a full-blown bunny baptism. So, you can imagine my tangle of emotions when I spent last Friday night at a pop-up rabbit tasting dinner at La Victoria Bakery, for a meal with the Whole Beast Supper Club.

The concept of this dining group is absolutely righteous. Eat the whole animal and also try out new parts of plants that you might not have thought of before as edible. The rabbits for the meal were provided by Devil's Gulch Ranch in Nicasio. The farmer, Mark Pasternak, was also at the dinner to see for himself what an all rabbit meal would be like.

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Live Shots: Fujiya and Miyagi with Fol Chen, the Independent, 3/21/2011

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Techno spaz dance-off. That's how the evening started.

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SxSW Music Diary: Day 2

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Got a late start and biked downtown in the Texas heat, straight to a loft party featuring Brasileira MC Zuzuka Poderosa. She was spitting out her Funk Carioca lyrics on top of beats being mastered by DJ Disco Tits while the small crowd danced up a storm.Read more »