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Party Radar: Banjee Report reports on Sat/27

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Last May I "blew through" the huge International Mr. Leather Competition gathering in Chicago and, after I'd cleaned up a bit, had the pleasure of visiting one of the coolest Boystown spots, Wang's, a tiny, fog-filled opium den of a gay bar which, back then at least (it's since seen some upscale hetero incursion) was the place to be, at least if you were looking to somewhat escape the macho IML scene and get down to some sweet, sweet music.

One of the things that made Wang's pop for me was the totally hot guy at the door. "Oh he's from Banjee Report," DJ P-Play told me as we entered. "They're pretty much going to rule the queer hip-hop world in a couple years." Oh, hi there!

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Party Radar: Quick, dirty Dore Alley Fair guide

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Up Your Alley Fair, happening this Sun/28, is the scruffier, cruisier, gayer (yes, it's possible) version of Folsom Street Fair. It has a wonderful history, but will forever be known to a certain generation, ahem, as Dore Alley Fair -- as it was known in the '90s, before it expanded into the several-block to-do it is today.

It also, of late, has attracted a filthy halo of fun parties. Besides the huge, official Bay of Pigs fundraiser party on Sat/27 (usually just a mite too shirtless and circuit music-y for me, but hey, whatever floats your rimseat!) here are some tasty-nasty treats for your "manly" perusal. 

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Jello sounds off

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When setting up an interview with Jello Biafra, I got this light-hearted warning: “There is no such thing as a short interview with Jello.” It’s true, the legendary punk showman/spoken word enthusiast is full of political ideas, historical references, and elder-punk-dude tales. How can he be expected to keep it brief?

Below, we spend an intense half hour discussing the media, corruption, spoken word, Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine, Jello Biafra and the New Orleans Raunch and Soul All-Stars, and the future of underground rock’n’roll. (For the feature on Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine, see this week’s paper): Read more »

Party Radar: Kooky Scientist, Hunee, Regis, Atom, Kafana Balkan, Sacred Silversexual, Terrence Dixon, more

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So this week the Internet laughed at the Bronies, or rather at a devilishly edited video of a Bronycon rave somewhere, probably, in the upper Midwest. I admit I laughed and laughed -- it is impossible not to break down when the guy implores everyone to come to "Brony-Can, Canada's premiere My Little Pony convention" -- but not so much out of mean-spiritedness, at least in my own estimation.

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Before Outside Lands: the Easy Leaves prep for summer fests, hope to catch Willie Nelson

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Kevin Carducci and Sage Fifield of the Easy Leaves really are pretty easy-going. But take away their opportunity to do what they love and you might have a problem. Luckily, they’re currently living their dream. And lucky for us, it makes for some well-crafted, enjoyably smooth folk tunes.Read more »

Heads Up: 6 must-see concerts this week

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Hiatus Kaiyote, Yassou Benedict, Elvis Christ with Pookie and the Poodlez, Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine -- this week’s must-sees are a mouthful. A salty, appetizing taste of old school punk, the young and shoegazy, Australian future soul-makers, and more. There’s also locals Wild Moth, and the reliably bubbly J-POP Summit, which includes a performance by Kyary Pamyu Pamyu.

Not listed below, but there’s also a mid-‘90s nostalgia wave hitting our shores this week, with Courtney Love’s sold-out Independent show and Weezer at the America’s Cup Pavilion (both Thu/25) -- tickets to the latter are $47.50.

Here are your must-see Bay Area concerts this week/end: Read more »

Fete or Fate: Minimal Wave mini-fest washes over Bay

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The minimal synth movement -- which revives obscure (and launches new) careers in the Cold Wave, analogue electronic DIY synthesizer sound of the early '80s -- has been going strong since it first hit the Internet radio and underground club scene nearly a decade ago. While SF no longer has a night really dedicated to the sounds of such overlooked yet amazing acts like Ausgang Verboten, Esplendor Geometrico, Eleven Pond, Xex, and Zwischenfall, we've managed to work tunes from their ilk onto the rosters of regular parties like OK Hole, Haceteria, Dark Room, and more.

Best of all for SF, we have DJ Josh Cheon's Dark Entries Records, leading the way with reissues and new works that beckon that chilly underground feeling of yore. Seriously, spend a minute browsing the catalogue and you're sure to be intrigued. 

And now it's time for a minimal mini-fest, huzzah.

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Lia Rose lets go on new album ‘Bricks and Bones’

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Bay Area country-folk artist Lia Rose is a ball of sunshine both on stage and off. But if you listened to her songs, you’d know it’s not because life’s been easy, it’s just that she’s chosen to face its struggles head on, chin up.

Rose played the Great American Music Hall with Blame Sally in early May and performed on NPR’s West Coast Live in April, where she met author Ruth Ozeki, with whom she’s currently collaborating on a song. Her second full-length solo album Bricks and Bones will be released this Sat/20, the night of her record-release party at the Chapel in San Francisco. In short, the bubbly, talented musician is doing quite well. Read more »

Live Shots: Phono del Sol 2013 with Thee Oh Sees, Marnie Stern, Surf Club

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John Dwyer stood holding his guitar, smiling and making small talk with the crowd, having been asked by a Phono del Sol staffer to hold off while, presumably, the band on the other stage finished up its set. “Alright, I think we’re just going to get started,” he said, seemingly without cue, and Thee Oh Sees began playing, giving the day a much needed jolt in energy. Read more »

Heads Up: 7 must-see concerts this week

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This week I learned that if I should ever be presented with the chance to interview Selena Gomez, I should decline. The Toronto Star published this biting commentary on the current state of press interviews with pop stars, and had more information leading up to the interview than the actual chat. Recommended reading: “Meeting Selena Gomez rule No. 1: Do not mention Justin Bieber.”

Often, the story behind the stage is even more compelling. And there are some storied acts playing live in SF this week: local emcee DaVinci busts out with a freebie, the long-running Flamin’ Groovies are back, as are LA's Happy Hollows, after a lineup shift and with a new album; we also welcome Weedeater, Japonize Elephants, and Acid Pauli. Plus the return of reliably great outdoor fest Phono Del Sol (Thee Oh Sees and YACHT headline this time). Read more »