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Live Shots: Treasure Island Music Festival 2013

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Maybe people just don’t know how to party anymore, but I didn’t come across vomit once at the Treasure Island Music Festival. The crowd’s vibe was more or less well-behaved all weekend -- pretty chill considering how many people were clustered on the island for the fests’ seventh successful installment.

The organizers rely on big names, the unique setting, a variety of vendors, and plenty of distracting flash (including the nearly iconic 60-foot Ferris wheel you can ride at $5 a pop) in order to keep this thing a destination.  Read more »

Live Shots: The Dodos at Great American Music Hall

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All photos by Charles Russo

Fans of the Dodos flocked to the Great American Music Hall on Wednesday night, to catch the band’s final performance of its latest tour. It was a glorious homecoming played out before an adoring Bay Area crowd as Meric Long and company turned out a dynamic set that seamlessly alternated between quietly beautiful and downright fierce. Read more »

Hunx on running into Elvira, life in LA, and his all-time favorite punk bands

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Hunx (aka Seth Bogart) is something of a hometown hero in San Francisco. While technically he grew up in Tucson, Ariz, his name and music became synonymous with the Bay Area underground garage sound. A former member of electroclash cheerleaders Gravy Train!!!!, he collected the chant-worthy fun elements of that group and added Wall-of-Sound backup singers, doo-wop, and party punk layers to his next group, Hunx and His Punx.

Since then, Hunx has released a handful of Hunx and His Punx records, a weepy solo album (Hairdresser Blues, Hardly Art), a few naughty singles, and a line of eye-popping t-shirts, along with other people’s records through his own label, Wacky Wacko. And in the midst of all this, that hometown descriptor slipped away: Hunx moved to LA and says it kind of saved his life. Read more »

Live Shots: Har Mar Superstar at Bottom of the Hill

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Have you ever heard of a snowball? (Not the frozen thing, the sugary treat, or some kind of sex act). I’m talking about the totally wholesome retro swing dance thing in which eager dancers surround a couple or two on the floor. The band yells out “snowball!” and the dancers separate and grab someone else from the outer circle. “Snowball!” again and the circle widens, leading eventually to concentric circles of revelers swishing and swirling to live music.

Last night at Bottom of the Hill, Har Mar Superstar -- the Minnesota-bred soulful R&B and pop singer -- led the eager Tuesday night crowd in a rapidly devolving snowball. On first mention he yelled out, “It’s called a snowball! Go roller skating once 25 years ago!” And then continued to nudge the audience to keep finding new partners: “snowball!” “Snowball again!” Read more »

Heads Up: 7 must-see concerts this week

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Well the biggest music news in the city this weekend (or just outside its technical geographic mainland limits) is likely the annual Treasure Island Music Festival. But beyond that, there’s Goblin’s first ever SF show — for fans of Italian horror — along with the Dodos’ glorious return, Har Mar Superstar, Clairy Brown & the Bangin’ Rackettes, GWAR, and more. Read more »

The procrastinator’s Treasure Island Music Festival to-do list

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From snatching that perfect pair of tolerably uncomfortable shoes to sourcing stamina-inducing party favors, pre-music festival preparations are key.

Unfortunately I’m a procrastinator to the highest degree  — a gal who thrives on the thrill of a deadline and thereby ends up highly caffeinated on Saturday morning, buzzing between projects: weaving flower crowns with foliage from the backyard, trying on all my bras in search of the one that will best cozy my flask, baking sugary snacks that minimize long line-induced irritation, taking shots, doing lunges, and yelping with excitement.

I am also a big fan of the to-do list. And since the Treasure Island Music Festival is a personal favorite fully laced with woozy, mushy memories, I’m getting a few-day head start on this year’s to-do list to make sure the fest goes swimmingly. (Treasure Island Music Festival takes place this Sat/19-Sun/20. www.treasureislandfestival.com.)

Read more »

Thee Oh Sees, OBN III's, and more shake up the Chapel

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Once (three years ago) I broke my wrist at a Thee Oh Sees show, and despite the gnawing pain from my misshapen wrist, I stayed to watch the rest of the set.

You see, you just don’t leave a Thee Oh Sees show early. It is a band you experience, because it’s not that often that you get the chance to see a band that enjoys what it's doing quite so much, and may just want to pull you into the hectic fun.

My most recent encounter with Thee Oh Sees was last Thursday at the Chapel; the band was kicking off its sold-out, three-night residency with spooky electronic act Fryborg, proto-punk worshippers OBN III's and precise psych-rock band the Blind Shake. Read more »

Boiler Room is coming to SF

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Boiler Room (aka the world’s leading underground music show) is coming to San Francisco for the first time. That SF Boiler Room event, which will be beamed to laptops and cellphones worldwide, is the official Treasure Island Music Festival after party. It features a DJ set from legendary DJ-producer-MC Madlib and super secret special guests.

You have to RSVP here to get the secret location. But we do know it’ll be Oct. 19 from 10pm-4am. Read more »

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass: A rookie recap

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By Kaylen Baker

“This,” said a friend, turning and surveying a backlit crowd, bopping and blazing under an unlikely October sun, “is the real San Francisco.”

I’m new to this city, and its croaking cables, faddish food trends, steep hills, all-aboard attitude, and free bluegrass festival have captivated me.
   
I was stuck in the largest forested mob I’d ever seen, between the nubby hills that form Hellman’s Hollow. To my left a drunk woman shouted into her cell on the shoulders of a drunk man, to my right a bare-chested beer-bellied man flapped his arms above his head,  and ahead, the String Cheese Incident spread a bluesy beach jam over this valley of ears.

Back up to day one of Hardly Strictly Bluegrass. Read more »

Heads Up: 6 must-see concerts this week

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Have you recovered from Hardly Strictly Bluegrass/the Castro Street Fair yet? Can you believe how hot and sticky San Francisco was last weekend? Do you need more salted caramel liquid nitrogen ice cream? These are all rhetorical questions. It’s time to move on, because this week Fuck Buttons are in town, as are the Babies, King Khan and the Shrines, rapper Le1f (at a arcade themed dance party, no less), and Andrew W.K. singing classic Ramones songs with drummer Marky Ramone.  Read more »