Live Shots

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 »

SxSW Music Diary: Day 1

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After making it to Dallas on the early flight from SFO we found gate A36 (connecting to Austin), a hipster ghetto in DFW's sea of middle Americans. A friend spotted Toro y Moi in the crowd... and off we were to the live music capital of the world.

We got credentialed and then attempted to go to Fader Fort to check out Raphael Saadiq who was going on soon. But the line to get wristbands stretched literally as far as the eye could see, wrapping around a huge field. The best estimate I got for the wait was over 2 hours. Nevermind.Read more »

Noise Pop Live Shots: robbinschilds at SF MOMA, 02/24/2011

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The fact that there was a dance performance going on as part of the annual music festival Noise Pop, was unique in and of itself, but then it was happening at the SF MOMA, and I knew I had to go check it out. Read more »

Noise Pop Live Review: Dominant Legs and How to Dress Well

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Synth and bass, rock and roll, some combinations are easily matched, but when you put How to Dress Well on the roster, pairings aren't as obvious. Dominant Legs' mangy pop was an odd precursor to Saturday night's How to Dress Well performance at Cafe Du Nord, but then again, what flatters eerie falsetto and awkward emotions? 

San Francisco's Dominant Legs played like summer in a bottle. Happy guitars, lots of cowbell and rad bass made the winter weather outside melt. The only thing missing was sunshine, or lights in general. Half the band was hidden from the crowd due to a lack of lighting-- particularly the adorable Hannah Hunt. One disgruntled lady in the audience voiced her disapproval by shouting, "We can't see the pretty girl in the blue dress," to which Hunt meekly responded, "It's green." Case in point. 

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Live Shots: Pearls over Shanghai at the Hypnodrome, 2/19/2011

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Glitter, check. Feathers, check. Pearls, check. Add in some fabulous lyrics, a few wildly inappropriate lines, and you've got yourself a full blown production of “Pearls over Shanghai,” performed by the fantastic Thrillpeddlers.

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