Jounce with us, if you will, through the Guardian staff's frenzied weekend. Here's our live reviews, hot raging, random sightings.
***Blow Up is reputed to be the best party in the city. I’ll say it’s almost certainly the best regular event for the 18+ crowd. But rule number one of going to a 18+ club event: don’t wear your nice shoes, even if the code does say “dress to impress.” It was only thanks to sheer luck and repeat viewings of The Matrix that I managed to avoid a geyser of projectile vomit in The Factory’s overcrowded men’s room Saturday night at Blow Up Forever II. “You go here.” I said, guiding the poor kid to the urinal I was about to use. “I’ll wait for the stall.” Click here for full story. (Ryan Prendiville)
***Stationary bikes snuggled into the corners of Public Works' sweaty cavern of a first floor, but the realness of the Bikes and Beats party on Friday was onstage. The event was billed as J Boogie's album release party and the DJ spent the night doing what he does best: orchestrating sick collaborations. At one point he had Jazz Mafia (including emcee Aima the Dreamer) and Duece Eclipse sharing the stage with him simultaneously. That's a lot of local live luminaries to look at. (Caitlin Donohue)
***Overt-sweetness ran emboldened through Twin Sister's set opening for Pains of Being Pure at Heart on Friday at Slim's, leaving a trail of cotton candy kisses in its wake. Lead singer Andrea Estella, hugging herself tightly, laid out tender and girlish vocals over the band's funked out disco'd-Cardigans tone. The Long Island band, spread across stage in a perfect line at the front, pulled through decorated versions of “Bad Street” and other tunes off its highly enjoyable, recently released album, In Heaven. The only misstep, in my mind, is the oddly nasally pop tune “Saturday Sunday.” It's too cutesy, the call and response of weekend days is at times cloying. By contrast, Pains of Being Pure at Heart kept it moody, with songs like “Heart in Your Heartbreak” recalling the darkened club scenes from Nic Cage classic, Valley Girl, when the Plimsouls' thrust into “A Million Miles Away.” Quick tip: Slim's has a pretty decent hummus plate. (Emily Savage)
***Completely inappropriate for a blog feature called the Hangover, but nonetheless we must give props to the Life Is Living Festival on Saturday in West Oakland's De Femery Park for being the Bay's feel-good event of the year. Was it the way the breakdancing children spun blithely on their heads? Maybe the youth parkour obstacle course, spoken word stage, or arts and crafts tables? Probs an amalgamation of it all. Plus, Los Rakas and ?uestlove made for a slammin' live block party soundtrack. Click here for full story. (Donohue)
***(See accompanying photo) Someone had to make a statement at this weekend's West Coast Cannabis and Music Festival -- the medical marijuana industry is in absolute turmoil after last week's forboding ruling by the IRS about Harborside Health Center's tax status. Speaker Senator John Vasconsellos spoke to a multitudinous crowd at one stage (perhaps the free joints that promoters promised to anyone willing to take a seat upped number a little), and outside in the sunshine Rock the Bike bravely endeavored to keep the music stage pedal-powered, despite a location off the festival's beaten track and corresponding dearth of volunteers.
***Emotions ran high for the second consecutive sold-out Girls show at the Great American Music Hall last night. Chris Owens, JR White, and their talented ensemble were perfectly in sync as they treated us to a lengthy set highlighted by a trio of charismatic female vocalists. A powerful solo from one of the ladies made for an especially moving rendition of “Vomit.” Girls played nearly every song from Father Son Holy Ghost as well as old favorites like “Heartbreaker,” “Hellhole Ratrace,” and “Lust For Life.” The high point for me was the tender encore of “Jamie Marie,” which began with just Owens and his guitar on the flower ornamented stage before the rest of the band stepped out to resounding applause. The rapport between band members was palpable and I couldn’t help feeling a little bummed to be witnessing the closing chapter of their national tour. (Frances Capell)
***"This is the only mayoral candidate that's doing drag events!" The woman at the door was, of course, wrong -- just last week Lil Miss Hot Mess coupled with Queers for John Avalos to through the high school-themed Homo Homecoming at the Verdi Club. But last night's Bevan Dufty's "Politics is a Drag" campaign fundraiser was staged by the mayoral race's only gay candidate, which was good enough reason to attract a Florence and the Machine-themed number from La Monistat and a return to the Sarah Palin costume that Anna Conda donned for a Work More! event -- a reprise of a number she choreographed with the help of Guardian Managing Editor Marke B. (Caitlin Donohue)
***The Stevie Nicks show at The Fillmore on Sunday night was like a time warp to an early 1980s high school. Although most of the women in the audience were in their 40s and 50s, they were competing for “Best Dressed” like girls more than half their age. They paid tribute to their Queen Stevie in dark velvet, shimmering shawls, and long skirts. If I didn’t know better, I would say they’d kept those clothes in their closets for 20 years just for this occasion. But shopping with my mom has taught me that they sell it all at Chico’s. Click here for full story. (Ann Edwards)