Live Shots

Boning and binding spines (the old-fashioned way) at SF Center for the Book

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When was the last time you sat down and made a book? You know what I'm talking about -- those beautiful bound things that are filled with words and pictures.

They're pretty awesome, in my opinion, and they are seriously celebrated and loved at the SF Center for the Book. For years I had been wanting to take a class from them and last week the opportunity arose to join in on an intro to bookbinding class, taught by Nina Eve Zeininger-Byrne. It was fun to hear, after a few quick introductions, that most students in the class had also had an inkling to take a class at the SFCB for years and were finally taking the leap.

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Live Shots: Jessie Ware at the Rickshaw Stop

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It’s only a matter of time before British R&B-pop sensation Jessie Ware outgrows the small, cozy Rickshaw Stops of the music world. Last Thursday, at her first-ever SF show, Ware’s commanding, poised performance showed massive potential, more befitting of a full-on diva for the 21st century than a blog-popster du jour.

While her stateside popularity hasn’t yet caught up to her reputation across the pond, Ware captured the full attention of the indie-music press with her debut LP, Devotion, released last year. Influenced by her earlier work with producers like SBTRKT, the album demonstrated a level of artfulness and musical nuance, atypical of your average vocal pop album. Much like Katy B and AlunaGeorge, Ware has raised eyebrows by integrating big, upfront, Sade-esque vocals into the music-first world of bloggy electronica.

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Do brew: Coffee class with the author of 'Left Coast Roast'

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Hanna Neuschwander loves coffee. She adores it so much, that she's written a whole book about coffee roasters called Left Coast Roast. On a chilly evening this week, she had a small crowd of equally excited coffee aficionados join her for a home brew coffee class at 18 Reasons in the Mission.Read more »

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 »

Estamos atentos: Photos and lessons from Friday's anti-violence march in the Mission

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It's hard to say if the march of neighbors from the 16th Street BART station, to Valencia Street, to 24th Street, and back down Mission Street will stop attacks like the January 6th assault on 23rd and Guerrero Streets that inspired last Friday's anti-violence demonstration and walk. But for a community that feels nervous about walking one's own sidewalks at times due to an ongoing spate of sexual assaults, that wasn't really the point. 

"No violence, no police! From the bathroom, to the streets!" went the crowd's chant, led by an ambulatory drum circle past the 1,000 new restaurant seats on Valencia and the tourists snapping photos of the massive, swaying protest puppets above our heads. Making the violence visible? Check. A disempowering situation turned into a show of strength? Check. Read more »

Pitting before dinner: Trash Talk, MellowHype, Sabertooth Zombie, and Antwon at DNA Lounge

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By Greg Weissel
All photos by Matthew Reamer

A half hardcore, half hip-hop bill at 6pm on a Monday in San Francisco. What could possibly go wrong? Nothing, in fact, did go wrong – and the writhing masses wreathed in weed smoke hovering over the concrete dance floor at DNA Lounge proved that mixed bills can make for the most energetic live shows.

The mood for the night was one of joyful irreverence, marked by the line of young men and women lined up on 11th Street, holding their skateboards, wearing Odd Future or punk rock shirts, cutting in line and hassling the strict bouncers. Read more »

Live Shots: SantaCon sleighed SF

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Photos by Bowerbird Photography

A city wide pub crawl wearing santa costumes. How could San Francisco not be thrilled for this annual event, the city where everyone loves to dress up and drink! (Well, OK, some of us were terrified of the more tipsier St. Nicholas cohorts, who may have gotten a little too jolly. But still.)

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Live Shots: Santigold at the Fox Theater

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Santigold was barely a full song into her sold-out performance at the Fox Theater Wednesday night when she began to stoke the lovefest with her Bay Area fans. "You know you're my favorite place to perform...you guys have so much energy!" In a different room to a different crowd it may have come off as a cheaply-pedaled stage sentiment, but the show that ensued lived up to her assessment: the crowd never stopped dancing and Santigold never stopped smiling. Read more »

Sufjan Stevens as the Christmas Unicorn at Great American Music Hall

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When I walked into the Great American Music Hall on Wednesday night, I was handed a Christ-Mess Sing-a-Long booklet with a unicorn on the cover. While I had already gathered from the name of the event — Surfjohn Stevens’ Christmas Sing-A-Long: Seasonal Affective Disorder Yuletide Disaster Pageant on Ice — that it wasn’t going to be a standard holiday concert, I wasn’t quite prepared for the awesome eccentricities that awaited me.

The Great American, which is already one of the Bay’s most gorgeous venues, was literally aglow with strings of Christmas lights reflecting off bows and baubles attached to headbands, elf ears, vests, and ugly sweaters throughout the dedicated audience. On stage, incense was burning and guitar techs were wading through piles of inflatable Santas and unicorns. Read more »

Live Shots: Drag Queens on Ice (with the SF Bulls!)

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They twirled, twisted, leapt, and also sometimes fell, on their very well-padded booties. Glitter dusted the smooth rink, as the drag queens took the ice.

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