Live Shots

The Rolling Stones rock hard, bring surprise guests, almost make up for outrageous ticket prices

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It’s one of those things about attending a concert – any concert – at HP Pavilion in San Jose: no matter how you approach the venue, you’re likely to run into those hardline Jesus freaks waving signs and condemning you to hell for whatever music you’re about to enjoy. So, like clockwork, last night as I walked towards the ticket office outside the arena, one of them turned his bullhorn on the bunch of us crossing the intersection and, in full brimstone righteousness, shouted - “what are you gonna tell the lord after you die?” To which, a lone voice from the crowd responded – “I’m gonna tell him I saw the Rolling Stones.” Read more »

Live shots: Baby Dee and Little Annie at Amnesia

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Baby Dee and Little Annie are a match made in camp heaven. The women, nearing their 60s, may have only been playing for 25 people, but boy did they put on a
show Thu/25 at Amnesia.

The two looked like characters out of a B movie or a dirty New York speakeasy. Annie, a diminutive little creature, looked like a gypsy in a headwrap and heavy eyeliner. Dee towered over her in an '80s-esque leopard print sweater and leggings with a pink tulle skirt. When Baby Dee finally appeared an hour after the show was advertised to begin, she sat down at the piano and called into the microphone, "If anyone sees Little Annie, tell her the show has started."

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Bat for Lashes brings an occult celebration to the Regency Ballroom

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There’s an idea in literary theory that co-opts the philosophical notion of the concrete universal. The value of a poem, character, or story, it says, can be determined by the particular balance of how general and specific an entity it represents.

The remarkable thing about the music on the three albums of Bat For Lashes, the moniker of British musician Natasha Khan, is its melding of opposites. The songs simultaneously exist in the realm of the ancient and the new, the weird and the ordinary, and the grand and the intimate. And the even more remarkable thing is that seeing it embodied on the Regency Ballroom stage in front of an audience didn’t compromise these effects; it heightened them. Read more »

Live Shots: Burgerama II outtakes

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Ed. note: Andre Torrez's feature story on Burger Records, tape culture, and Burgerama II will be in next week's issue of the Guardian. Here's photographer Dallis Willard's images and impressions of the Santa Ana festival. Read more »

Delicious beginnings: Chocolate 101 at Dandelion

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Photos by Bowerbird Photography

"Hi. My name is ______, and I'm a chocoholic."

The rest of us took turns, going around the room, introducing ourselves and proclaiming our unabashed love for chocolate. We were all gathered at Dandelion Chocolate the bean-to-bar chocolate company on Valencia Street, for Chocolate 101, an introductory class which included comparison tastings, a tour through their manufacturing area, and a slideshow presentation on farming.

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Live Shots: Keystone XL pipeline protest

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Photos by Bowerbird Photography

SFBG's Rebecca Bowe reported on the anti-pipeline protesters who greeted President Obama yesterday in the cold and fog. SFBG photographers from Bowerbird Photography were there as well. After the jump, Ariel of Bowerbird's take on the scene. 

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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 »

Major Lazer showers the Independent with cash, vuvuzelas, dead memes, and a giant bubble

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It comes as a surprise to me that Diplo didn’t at least have a cameo in Spring Breakers — the film that takes place in his home state of Florida – considering his penchant for egregious hedonism.

His quest for indulgent nirvana was on full display last Thursday at the Independent, when he and his Major Lazer crew lead a 90-minute uber-bash of trap, electro, dancehall, moombahton, and dubstep. Read more »

Live Shots: Flume at the Rickshaw Stop

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Every time I've been to Popscene in the last few years, and I mean every time, I see the same guy. Deep 30s, clean cut, and so meticulously well-dressed that it's conspicuous. Particularly conspicuous when he's gravitating around a pair of black lingerie wearing girls dancing like they can't drink. But I guess that mix is fairly typical of Thursdays at the Rickshaw Stop, for the weekly event that always brings in a new crowd by being an 18+ dance party, while maintaining a certain following with the promise of seeing an emerging music act that "could be the next big thing."

Or, as the case was with Australian electronic producer Flume on Thursday night, the next Porter Robinson. As in "OMG, can you believe he's only 20?" and the additional hype that goes with it. The crowd was sold out and eager to hear him DJ, many in the audience probably choosing the show over more established popular EDM acts playing that night like Major Lazer at the Independent or the Skrillex/Diplo (he's everywhere) event going on for the video game convention. Read more »

Foxygen works its uncanny magic at Brick and Mortar Music Hall

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I experienced a strange phenomenon in the few days leading up to Tuesday’s sold out concert at Brick and Mortar Music Hall. The first in a series of strange events occurred in a coffee shop. I overheard one barista say to another, “Put on that Foxygen song.”

“Who?” she asked.

“It’s like ‘oxygen’ but with an ‘F.’”

The next day, one of my favorite websites listed Foxygen’s “Shuggie” as the “Song of the Day,” and later that evening, a friend mentioned the band in a conversation that had very little to do with music. Read more »