Brick and Mortar Music Hall may have had some noise complaint troubles with the San Francisco Sound Commission earlier this summer, but that hasn’t kept the venue or Kymberli Jenson, of Kymberli’s Music Box Presents, from putting on great shows. Last Saturday’s bill included the Asteroid #4 and the Richmond Sluts. It was a handful of loud rock’n’roll bands that blasted us back through the decades with sounds echoing 1960s and ‘70s psychedelia and punk, but also hints of the late ‘90s and early 2000s , when these bands were fresh on the music scene. Read more »
Maybe it’s been too long, maybe you’ve lost your chops, maybe you’re getting old and things just aren’t working the way they used to. Maybe your drummer doesn’t want to play. In the case of Black Sabbath, thankfully, only the latter was true (and it didn’t seem to matter much), and as fans at the Shoreline Ampitheatre witnessed on Monday night, reunions can be a beautiful thing. Read more »
Hall & Oates, or Trombone Shorty? Willie Nelson, or Vampire Weekend? This year's Outside Lands presented its 65,000 attendees with some perplexing choices, resulting in what might've been the festival's most eclectic lineup of its now six-year run. As always, Golden Gate Park was a most picturesque venue, with patches of sunlight punctuating the heavy fog, great nighttime atmosphere provided by the purply-lit trees, and a generous smattering of what Grizzly Bear's Edward Droste called, "the bougiest food stands I've ever seen at a festival."Read more »
The smells of deliciousness were overwhelming. Where do we start?!
As Sam Love and I wandered around the La Cocina media preview for August 17's San Francisco Street Food Festival, everywhere we looked there were delightful taste treats, colorful, fresh and also deep fried. I'll take four of each, thank you.
We made the rounds, chatting with fantastic chefs who are living their dreams, whipping up flavors from around the world. We tried everything and, while we enjoyed it all, becoming clean plate champions many times over, there were three highlights that made our short list. If you don't have the stomach to make it to all the vendors at the Street Food Festival, we'd recommend trying these first:
I came to an Undisclosed Cavernous Area (let’s call it U.C.A from here out) on Saturday in the greater Bay Area with the promise of two things. First, that I would see an array of garage and surf punk bands for free -- and second, that I would be going to something possibly illegal, which is fairly punk, as well.
The setting was, as mentioned, a fairly damp U.C. A. The stage was to be determined by the bands that played. Powered by a generator and dimly lit with a couple of clamp lamps, the show boasted dozens of people gathered close to hear the bands and to (literally) be kept in the light. Read more »
I fully expected the Hot Chip show last night to be a giant advertisement for Converse. In the last few weeks I’d been noticing the ads around town, with that new slogan* and figured there was something else behind the big marketing push. So when a series of free “Represent SF” concerts was announced at Slim’s, in conjunction with a store opening, it made sense. But what I didn’t expect the event to be, was an advertisement for Google Glass.
As someone who covers live music, a “free” show doesn’t in itself mean much, since entry is most often comped in exchange for publicity, whether good or bad. That deal was basically given to everyone at Slim’s last night, since they received a wristband with an RFID tag upon entry. Different stations throughout the club were “interactive,” and would give you the opportunity to win prizes, swag, and (I assume) shoes. All you have to do is register the RFID to your Twitter and Facebook account, in which case Converse would also make automated posts on your behalf through the night. Read more »
The night started with shrieks. Well, back up. It actually started sedate. Opener Still Corners had cancelled at the last minute, due to visa issues*,” so we knew it would be a bit of a wait before headliner Chvrches came to the stage at Mezzanine. In the meantime, we stood around commenting how nice it was that there was no one under 21.
The show had originally been scheduled at the Rickshaw Stop, but when it sold out quickly, it was moved to Mezzanine, and anyone under drinking age was issued a refund. This meant there wasn’t the early crush of teenagers permanently camped out at the front of the stage.** I know, I know, it’s not nice to gloat over someone else’s exclusion. Maybe I forget about being that age and not understanding how I wouldn’t get to see my newest musical obsession live, just because the venue was 21+. I remember now, though, because twenty minutes before start time the other side of the spectrum arrived: the banshees.*** Read more »
With purple lightning bolts of electricity jagging toward one another in a steel cage center-stage, powerful pipes that reverberated through the pavilion and rippled out onto the sea, and a fuzzy Snow Cone wig of every color -- cherry red, orange, lime green -- Björk seemed like the mad scientist of the natural world last night at the relatively intimate Craneway in Richmond, Calif.
She also thanked the audience often, 't-ank you, Bay Area, gggrrrratitude!" (she rolls her Rs beautifully) and offered up a 16-piece coven of sequined and hooded Icelandic choir princesses, so you can assume she's the benevolent type of creator. Read more »
The last time I saw Yo La Tengo, on its fabulously gimmicky Spinning Wheel tour, the trio delivered an abrasive, garage-y opening set under an alter-ego, Dump, and closed with a Jackson Browne cover. This past Friday, the band took the Fillmore stage with a loose, meditative acoustic set, before eventually closing with an incendiary rendition of a Black Flag song. There's no predicting the content, or structure of a Yo La Tengo show; yet, no matter how vigorously it flips from one genre to the next, it sounds unmistakably like Yo La Tengo.
From its yearly run of Hanukkah shows, to its infamously vast archive of cover songs, the Hoboken, NJ trio of Ira Kaplan, Georgia Hubley, and James McNew has cultivated a rich mythology over nearly three decades as a band. It’s also maintained remarkable consistency and prolificacy within its recorded material, which, like Stereolab, has caused many a fan to take its casual greatness for granted. Alternating between insistently bouncy pop songs, blissfully droned-out jams, and cozy ballads to wear your autumn sweater by, Yo La Tengo has assembled a wildly eclectic back-catalogue that continues to pleasantly surprise, and occasionally confound live audiences. Read more »
I like a little grit. Usually I feel that a great show combines unpredictability, recklessness, and some raw, unpolished vulnerability. That’s what makes live music exciting and dynamic. If we wanted flawless vocals and sonically airbrushed instrumentals, we’d just stay at home and listen to the music on iTunes. So I’m trying to figure out why Marina and the Diamonds’ shiny, choreographed, factory-sealed set at the Warfield Sunday night felt so right. Read more »