Live Shots

Live Shots: ABADA-Capoeira's "The Spirit of Brazil"

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Sparking machetes. Lots of them, clanking against each other, as the dancers holding them ran in circles.

I'll be honest, sitting in the front row was slightly intimidating, and also rather exhilarating! The ABADÁ-Capoeira dance troupe, plus special guests from as far Switzerland, filled the stage with pure energy, in rehearsal for the troupe's "Spirit of Brazil" show, running Thu/18-Sun/20. Read more »

Live Shots: Treasure Island Music Festival 2012

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Music nerds talk lineups the way sports fans manage fantasy teams, particularly with festivals, where suddenly strategy becomes a part of catching a show. Treasure Island Music Festival, is sort of an exception, since in theory you can catch every single act, given the two alternating stages. At the same time, this means that unless you head to the silent disco or take a nap, one of those geeks will be standing behind you during a set, obsessively talking about how the lineup should be slotted differently. Read more »

Live Shots: Peter Gabriel at HP Pavilion

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Peter Gabriel strolled onto the stage at HP Pavilion on Tuesday with the house lights still glaring and the upper tier of the arena empty save for a scant few concertgoers sprinkled throughout the vast space.

Standing at the center stage microphone, Gabriel matter-of-factly began to explain to the audience how the concert would be structured for the rest of the evening. For an ever artistically-minded musician known for the theatrical nature of his live performances, it was a strangely stilted beginning to the start of his concert, exuding all the excitement of a CPR certification course. Read more »

Amanda (Fucking) Palmer unites the freaks at the Fillmore

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Theatrics! Camp! Bravado! Glitter! Body hair! Going to an Amanda Palmer concert is like taking a trip to the island of misfit toys. Standing in the crowd, I was surrounded by top hats, tutus, tuxedos, pink mohawks, steampunk creations, and many more accessories that I can’t begin to identify. 

The audience at the Fillmore last Wednesday was incredibly diverse in age, gender, and style, seemingly united only by their love for the many artistic eccentricities of Amanda Fucking Palmer, as her fans call her. Read more »

Beach House lets its music do the talking

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Do you remember the museum scene in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986) where Sloane and Ferris kiss, while Cameron is off by himself, getting lost in a Seurat painting? There’s no dialogue. Just a particularly contemplative Dream Academy cover of a Smiths song, the museum awash in blue light. It’s a quiet, slow spot in the movie, but it had a big impact – partly because it was so simply done.

There was a moment like that at Beach House’s sold-out show at the Fox Theater in Oakland on Friday. Maybe a few moments. Read more »

Live Shots: Aesop Rock at the Fillmore

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The anticipation was killing me. After waiting through 10 weeks of postponement and three openers, I just wanted to see Aesop Rock. Well over two hours past showtime on a Sunday night at the Fillmore, the audience was getting restless. Read more »

Live Shots: Rock Make Festival

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Crafting DIY-style is already pretty punk rock -- but combine it with actual live tunes, and you've got yourself the Rock Make Street Festival, a street celebration of music and art.

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Live Shots: Blondie and Devo at the Warfield

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I was flipping around on my car’s FM dial last week and had the bleeding-from-the-ears misfortune of coming upon Taylor Swift’s staggeringly awful new single. I thought for a moment that I landed on some kind of Disney or Nickelodeon channel, where corporate-oriented bands score those awkward tween TV shows. In reality though, Swift is currently selling the shit out of the thing on iTunes…and leaving me to question my faith in humanity’s hearing.
 
So I was all the more enthusiastic as I headed to the Warfield on Monday night for the Devo and Blondie double bill. Clearly, I was in need of some kind of authentic audio to counter balance the heavy dose of vapid pop I had stumbled into on the airwaves. And even as their 1979 heyday grows ever more distant, Blondie and Devo delivered in a big way on Monday. Read more »

3D knits, canapes, moving mannequins: Shots from Fashion's Night Out

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Shots by Bowerbird Photography

Models and mannequins started to blend together. Downtown SF was abuzz with fashion frenzy on Thursday for Fashion's Night Out -- a multi-store extravaganza taking place in urban areas across the country.

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Spiritual bump and grind at Purity Ring

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The luminous, blinking cocoons that have been rumored to grace the stages of Purity Ring’s live shows — as boasted by the lucky ones who have been able to get tickets to these consistently sold out performances — glowed with aqua-blue precision at Bottom of the Hill on Labor Day.

It was one of those elusive evenings the music gods hand craft. Every member of the crowd seemed to be in on this magical energy, knowing that sonic-satisfaction was promised to each and all by the end of the night. The Potrero Hill venue bustled with unanimous glee as the audience waited anxiously, gratefully, for the Halifax-Montreal-based duo to bring elegant live justice to its prodigious debut album, Shrines.

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