Kat Renz

San Francisco Blues Festival

Three days of dancin', groovin', and bluesin'
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PREVIEW Oh baby, baby, baby, have you got them blues? I did, big time, a couple weeks ago after ODing on the metal and all its scenesterness. I nearly wrote off going to shows entirely. This silly sentiment lasted one hot minute, sure, but the blues remained. The blues remained. The blues remained. Read more »

Victorian sensibilities

Green City: "The greenest building is the one that exists now"
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news@sfbg.com

GREEN CITY It's hard to argue with Craig Nikitas when he says, "The greenest building is the one that exists now."

As a senior planner with the San Francisco Planning Department, Nikitas knows that a ton of energy is wasted tearing down the old and erecting the new. Energy embedded in the original materials and construction — which often last a century or longer — is also destroyed. Read more »

SF Electronic Music Festival

Science-derived computer music, synth-y innovation,s and rearranged Persian classics
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PREVIEW Five days, 18 performers, one ensemble, countless cords and magic boxes, and weird sounds times infinity. I mean, hell, if you've got an electric current and an instrument (in its broadest interpretation), you may as well use 'em together.

In this spirit, eight Bay Area sound-art wizards have organized the San Francisco Electronic Music Festival for eager electro-lovin' ears for the ninth year in a row. Could there be a musical gathering more eclectic than this? Not likely. Read more »

"Japanese Wolf"

When girl meets animal kingdom
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P>REVIEW When was the last time you chatted on your cell in a crowd of yaks? Or honored the dewy lavender morning with a steaming cup of green tea and a goat friend? Or crouched with a pack of sunset wolves howling on your back?

No offense, but I bet your social circle isn't this diverse. For the girl-woman at the center of Yumiko Kayukawa's paintings, though, communing with nonhuman creatures is typical. Born in the small town of Naie in Hokkaido, Japan, Kayukawa found her muses amid the land's sweeping beauty and native fauna. Read more »

Enviro-metalists

Wolves in the Throne Room's loud love of the land
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"There was this fateful moment where we were like, 'Fuck this shit! Hippie commune? Black metal band? Let's do this!'<0x2009>" Wolves in the Throne Room drummer Aaron Weaver says, describing the synergistic beginnings of his group's music and their 10-acre working farm, Calliope.

WITTR is living every nature-loving hessian's dream. Read more »

Opening the corridor

San Francisco is a dangerous town for butterflies
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news@sfbg.com

San Francisco is a dangerous town for butterflies. Xerces blue, a species that once thrived in the city's dunes, suffered a catastrophic demise in 1941, the first butterfly extinction in the United States caused by urban development.

In the years since, local butterflies haven't fared much better. According to lepidopterist Liam O'Brien, 24 of 58 local species have been wiped out in regional extinctions caused mainly by habitat destruction. Read more »

Stoner rock

Black Summer of Doom and Fuzz
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PREVIEW One morning futzing around on Craigslist trying to avoid the addictive looky-loo temptation of "casual encounters," I decided to waste time checking out what "musicians" were up to instead. I must've been directed there by a higher power, for I, curious, had clicked on a desperate request from a fan of seminal mid-1990s San Jose stoner-metal trio Sleep seeking any footage of their Sabbath-y riffage. Holy cannabis! Read more »

I'm here with lonesome

Mission Creek 2008: Copping the White Buffalo stance
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Loneliness is invoked on three of four songs on the White Buffalo's MySpace page: "Love Song 1" finds its narrator on an island for one, staring at the sun; "The Moon" visits the shadows and grays of solo days; and "10 'Til 2" revolves around hopes to screw a hooker in the morning. Yet the White Buffalo's main man himself — a.k.a. Jake Smith — is far from some namby-pamby Elliott Smith or any number of whiny hand-me-a-tissue, I'm-not-long-for-this-tortured-life modern singer-songwriters. Read more »

Cream-colored slumbers

Mission Creek 2008: Foxtails Brigade float beyond experimental folk
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Thank you, Brian Martinez. Were it not for this mutual friend, guitarist-vocalist Laura Weinbach and violinist Sivan Sadeh may have never met, and Foxtails Brigade — perhaps best but weakly described as experimental folk — may never have formed. And the two 25-year-old, classically trained musicians would miss the synergy they possess playing à deux. As Weinbach raved over the phone while the pair drove around San Francisco: "What's really cool about violin and Sivan in particular is it's really like having two to three vocal lines. Read more »

Asunder

Can doom be dynamic? That's a death-metal affirmative
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PREVIEW Listening to Asunder is freaking me out. It's the middle of the night, the moon is full, and I was barely paying attention to the plodding funereal doom. That is, until I glimpsed a foreign movement from the corner of my eye and, sensing a phantasmic force, my heart plummeted into my guts. Read more »