Bimbo's

Sandra Bernhard thinks I'm groovy (feeling's mutual) [UPDATED]

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Raise your hand if performance comedy stylist Sandra Bernhard is an ever-present entity in your cultural firmament. Is she the voice of your internal monolouge when you're feeling powerful? 

Bernhard's mark on popular culture is everywhere. Remember her cameo in Truth or Dare, in which she encourages Madonna to go ahead and meet that young Spanish actor Antonio Banderas? I like to imagine that Bernhard (“Sandra”) and I have it like that -- I can fly her out to my hotel room when I'm just sooo bored of hanging out with the back-up dancers. I want her always sitting on a stool with that wall of '90s hair, gold hoops, knotted silk button-down, a la 1990’s Without You I’m Nothing. May she drawl about tambourines and poppers 4eva. Read more »

Live Shots: Texas is the Reason at Bimbo’s

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Texas is the Reason’s show at Bimbo’s was not sold out, but it sure seemed packed as I struggled to find a good vantage point on Friday night. When I eventually got a clear view, I saw that the stage was hazily lit by dark blue-purple lights. The amplifiers and drum kit on stage were glowing, heavily draped with white Christmas lights. The visual, in its stark simplicity, was stunning.

This perfect, quiet kickoff was the reassurance I needed to prove that this wouldn’t be the gaudy, overwrought reunion that I had feared, but the graceful, tasteful gathering that I had hoped for. Read more »

Christmas in February: The Residents come home

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Bimbo's was packed to the rafters Sunday night for the triumphal homecoming show of music-and-neo-surrealism group the Residents, which was celebrating 40 years of relative obscurity with a blowout tour.

The stage was set with a whimsically unseasonal Christmas theme — huge inflatable candy canes, Santa, and Frosty the Snowman — draped with a hand-lettered banner emblazoned simply with the band name. 

The days of elaborate sets and 16-piece ensembles are over for the Residents, and their current incarnation — a stripped-down trio of masked musicians known simply as “Randy,” “Chuck,” and “Bob” — relies mostly on electronic sampling and assorted effects to create the unsettling soundscapes and dissonant jangles they’ve been (un)known for since their very first public release in 1972 — the “Santa Dog” single.

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Pinback delights fans at annual Bimbo's show

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The audience at Pinback’s sold-out show this Saturday night filled Bimbo’s with a pleasant air of mellow enthusiasm. The eclectic (albeit extremely white) crowd was excited without being obnoxious, and its quiet, genuine appreciation was the perfect match for Pinback’s own casual expertise.Read more »