Hillary Smith

The Moondoggies croon sweetly at Brick and Mortar Music Hall

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I've yet to be disappointed with a Brick and Mortar show, and the Moondoggies concert was no exception. When the Seattle rockers came on stage last Thursday night, they dove straightaway into bluesy rock songs. Read more »

Celebrating food (and the food biz) at La Cocina's Food and Entrepreneurship Conference

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La Cocina — known for its ability to break down cultural barriers through food and for aiding low-income food entrepreneurs in their journey to sustainability — drew many fresh faces to its fourth annual Food and Entrepreneurship Conference Sun/18. The conference wrapped up a busy weekend for the organization, which also hosted the fifth annual San Francisco Street Food Festival Sat/17.

The all-day conference, held at SOMArts Cultural Center, was a mixing bowl of talented women cooks, curious food-business pioneers, new volunteers, and delicious food. Needless to say, the atmosphere was buzzing.

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Pre-park quickies

Spitballing with Outside Lands artists

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arts@sfbg.com

MUSIC Unless you've been living under a gemstone, you know that Outside Lands is this weekend, Fri/9-Sun/11 in Golden Gate Park (www.sfoutsidelands.com). And Paul McCartney, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nine Inch Nails, and Phoenix are headlining, but there are a great many smaller acts filling up those days as well.Read more »

Before Outside Lands: Midi Matilda on its favorite live shows and OSL fantasies

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San Francisco based duo Midi Matilda has managed to worm its way into a corner of electro-pop music that is highly accessible. As the musicians put it, they aren’t DJs and they aren’t a live band either.Read more »

Video Q&A: Tyler Bryant and the Shakedown

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See video

Tyler Bryant and the Shakedown are tearing up the stage, and people are taking notice. The Nashville-based country and blues-rock group released its well-crafted, guitar-heavy, debut album Wild Child in January of this year, and just wrapped a lengthy tour through the States, which included a stop in San Francisco. Read more »

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 »

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 »

Before Outside Lands: Youth Lagoon on Art Garfunkel, the spiritual significance of pelicans

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Youth Lagoon, the aloof youth that is Trevor Powers, has explored new land in latest album Wondrous Bughouse (Fat Possum). Revealing, yet withholding, the album proved his ability to not just create cosmic bliss, but deliver a few deep messages while doing it.

With the album, the 24-year-old Idaho native takes us through the fires of temptation in song “Mute,” dances with death on “Raspberry Cane” and paints an immensely disturbing and bloody image of love and sacrifice in “Pelican Man."

Currently on tour in Europe, Powers will be here in SF to perform at Outside Lands this Aug. 9-11 (he plays Saturday, Aug. 10).The professional effects tinkerer and melody craftsman talked with me about his afro days, his penchant for destroy-and-create-again style of making music, and how bloody violence can really be sweet:  Read more »

Q&A: Dita Von Teese on gaining sexual confidence, creating beauty on her own terms

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She is classy, beautiful, and sexually poised. She’s seductive, creative, and ambitious. She is world-famous burlesque dancer Dita Von Teese, and she is coming to SF this week (Wed/26 -Sat/29).

Von Teese recently designed her own line of lingerie, which you can check out here, and is on a tri-city tour with her sexy show "Burlesque: Strip Strip Hooray!" featuring MC Murray Hill. Her performances are much like Von Teese herself -- epic and glamorous. Read more »

Before Outside Lands: death and train-tripping with Wavves

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As we collectively await Outside Lands 2013 (August 9-11, Golden Gate Park) and attempt to enjoy summer -- the sun’s actually here, in the city! -- I decided to get productive. This year’s lineup for the festival is again a juxtaposition of big names like Paul McCartney, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Vampire Weekend and kick-ass local artists like the Easy Leaves and Midi Matilda. Oh yeah, and there are, of course, tons more acts in between, which you can check out here.

Wanting to check in on bands during the pre-festival festivities, I’m kicking off this series with a quick and dirty email interview with San Diego-based garage rock group, Wavves. Given the indie band's track record with journalists, it seems I was pretty lucky to have received a reply. Frontperson Nathan Williams talks practical jokes and dying while bassist Stephen Pope recounts a horrific mushrooms experience (never trip on a train) and explains why he doesn't mess with people. Read more »