Live Shots

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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Jellyfish, oxtail, and more from the Street Food Festival

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The annual Street Food Festival enlivens blocks of the Mission every year with many of our great food trucks, booths manned by the kitchen staff of our favorite SF restaurants, and a few visiting guests -- which at this year's fest on August 18 included my favorite Portland food cart Eurotrash, and the adorable Linda Green of Ms Linda's Catering from New Orleans. Read more »

Live Shots: Desaparecidos at the Regency Ballroom

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A wave of nostalgia rolled fierce last night through the Regency Ballroom. It was everywhere – on stage with the Desaparecidos, a reformed group of five accomplished Omaha musicians, who seemed to lean on one another for comfort during noisy breakdowns, bending backward and lurching forward while playing all the tracks off their one album together, Read Music, Speak Spanish (Saddle Creek Records, 2002). It was in the rapturous, screaming crowd, mosh-pitting past its prime, and pumping skinny fists to the beat. And up on the balcony, it rose on my arms in the form of an endless series of goose pimples. Nostalgia sans irony. Read more »

Live Shots: Rock the Bells at Shoreline Amphitheater

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With a lineup jam packed with hip-hop artists from all across the genre’s increasingly diverse spectrum, Rock the Bells last weekend at Shoreline Amphitheater came and left Mountain View in a two-day flurry of generational hops.

The logistics: 35 acts from over two decades of hip-hop covering two stages in the span of a weekend. With just about any song, regardless of era, available via the web, this type of generational shuffling in music is becoming a normalized impulse. Read more »