Live Shots

Live Shots: Kinna Grannis at the Swedish American Hall, 5/10/11-5/11/11

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It's rare these days to go to a concert and feel like you really saw something truly wholesome. It's more likely you leave smelling of booze, covered in dance-floor sweat, and with the beat of the drums still pounding in your ears. Luckily, there are still musicians like Kinna Grannis making beautiful, simple songs that can make an audience just sit in total silence as gentle guitar chords wave over them. Grannis is performing at the Swedish American Hall for two nights this week (last night and tonight, Weds/11). Read more »

Our very own Eco-Opolis: Earth Day at Civic Center Plaza

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“Have you been to Eco-Opolis?” a woman asked me as I leaned in to look at a miniature green city complete with recycled soap bottle skyscrapers and strawberry basket fences. The set-up was part of a phalanx of carnival booths with very green themes -- just one part of this year's Earth Day Festival in Civic Center Plaza.Read more »

Live Shots: Bomba Estéreo at the Independent, 4/19/11

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Do you ever go to a concert and realize that the lead singer is your new style icon? From the peacock feather in her hair to the flamingo tee-shirt and chipped red nails, Liliana from Bomba Estéreo has got definite style chops. But the sold out audience at the Independent last night, April 19, wasn't there just to see what hip threads Liliana might throw on. They were there to hear the band's utterly unique music, a mix of electronica and traditional Colombian beats.Read more »

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 »