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Gimme 5: Must-see shows this week (Noise Pop edition)

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Like sands through the hourglass, so are the festivals of San Francisco. Or something like that. SF Beer Week is over, dear readers, but fret not! It's the end of February, which is undoubtedly the cruelest month, no matter what T.S. Eliot said, when the darkest days of winter (in places that have that season) are finally over, and the first blossoms of spring are testing their sea legs like so many trepidatious Bambis. In these parts, that means one thing: Noise Pop is upon us.Read more »

Happy Hour: The week in music

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Dearest clock-watchers! If you hadn't noticed, it's almost the weekend. In the event that your excitement is currently tempered with social anxiety about which pop culture topics to discuss over happy hour beverages — a very sad and all-too-common affliction — here are a few gems from the music world that the Internet bestowed upon us this week.Read more »

Live Shots: Hether Fortune gets cathartic at the Night Light

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Last Friday it was Valentine’s Day, but all I saw was tears. I’ve wondered before how some musicians can sing some of their more emotional songs during live performance without becoming visibly emotional themselves. Aren’t they attached to those lyrics (especially if they’ve written them)? Are they desensitized by the one-hundredth time they play that song about having their heart ripped out by the one who doesn’t even love them anymore? Or worse yet — the one who never did? Read more »

Locals Only: Shareef Ali

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Is there anything more punk-rock, truly, than baring your soul in the form of a song? That's what came to mind the first time I heard Shareef Ali, an Oakland-based singer-songwriter whose debut album, A Place To Remember the Dead, will most likely land in the "folk" section of the record store (er, the iTunes store?) after it drops tomorrow, Feb. 19.Read more »

BARF-y, in a good way: Bay Area record labels draw a cattle drive of local music lovers

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On Saturday, the first annual Bay Area Record Label Fair (BARF) was born. As a labor of love between Father/Daughter Records and local promoters, Professional Fans, the event set out to be an ode to the ingenuity and entrepreneurial efforts of record labels in the Bay. Read more »

Tip some back at the Barworkers Ball

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Hey gorgeous bar slaves and cocktailistas! This night's for you (and your friends). The annual Mid-Winter Barworkers Ball raises a glass to all service industry workers 9pm-2am Tue/18 at Churchill. Don't worry, it's free to barwokers, there's free drinks, great music -- and games, of which I am a judge, bwahahaha. Here's the rundown from the release:

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Happy Valentine's Day from Horse Feathers, Bowerbirds, Fruit Bats, Marissa Nadler, Maps & Atlases, Mark Kozelek, and more

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Devon Reed is a San Francisco songwriter who also happens to be super-passionate about his volunteer work at 826 Valencia, everyone's favorite Dave Eggers-founded, pirate store-fronted, kids' literacy nonprofit in the Mission. A little over a year ago, he had the thought: What can I do that would combine the philanthropic and creative sides of my life?Read more »

Here, have a new Thee Oh Sees track

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It's been a while since any of us here in media-land mentioned John Dwyer in a non-despairing tone, let alone a context that actually involved a discussion of music.Read more »

Live Shots: Augustines get anthemic at The Independent

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by Stephen Sparks

When my girlfriend and I got into the cab for the ride to The Independent on Monday night, the Slavic driver was rocking out to “The Summer of ’69.”

“Do you like Bryan Adams,” he asked us immediately, making it feel like our answer determined whether he’d give us a ride. So, yeah, we like Bryan Adams alright. “Not everyone likes Bryan Adams,” he continued. “I don’t understand.”Read more »

Watch: Lia Rose's "Trainwreck Tuesday"

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"You ever been in that place where you really want to be in love, deep down you know you deserve love, but some part of you manages to mess every good thing up?" That's what SF indie-folk songstress Lia Rose says when asked what inspired the song "Trainwreck Tuesday." (Answer: Duh.) "So, that's where I was at when I wrote that song." Read more »