Live Shots

Sufjan Stevens as the Christmas Unicorn at Great American Music Hall

|
(0)

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!)

|
(2)

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.

Read more »

Live Shots: Death Grips at Slim's

|
(0)

When I first saw Sacramento's Death Grips — about a year or so ago at 1015 Folsom — they had to work especially hard. The room was half full and Stefan Burnett made up the difference, jumping down into the crowd and taunting it into action. The intervening time before a repeat performance was longer than expected (Death Grips suddenly canceled their last scheduled tour to finish their second album of the year) and at Slim's Monday the crowd seemed prewound, eager to see the sold-out show, jockeying for position near the front, and admiring freshly purchased t-shirts showcasing the attention-baiting cover art for No Love Deep Web. Read more »

Baby steps: Pregnant Ana Tijoux headlines at an evolving La Peña Cultural Center

|
(0)

Unlike the last time I saw her perform in California, there was no reason for Chilean rapper Ana Tijoux to apologize to her audience for her English in the La Peña Cultural Center at her pre-Thanksgiving show on Wednesday.

"Quien no habla español?" she asked the crowd. "Muy bien," she continued when no one could understand Spanish well enough to yell out that they don't understand Spanish. "El mejor publico in los Estados Unidos." Read more »

Flamenco goosebumps: Buika at Herbst Theater

|
(4)

Large portions of my life have been chronicled by music. Chopin waltzes from when I was starting to learn piano, Iron and Wine from my college Seattle days, and this summer, Spanish flamenco singer Buika. Sam Love and I have had her music playing literally non-stop, whether it’s while we’re editing photos, having dinner parties with friends, or driving north to Point Reyes for a hike. We’re totally addicted.Read more »

Tango at Red Poppy Art House: A photographic foray

|
(0)

Tango is spicy music. It makes you think of deep red dresses, glasses of rich wine, and warm nights for taking a long walk with your lover. Although we didn’t have one-way tickets to Argentina, an evening with the Redwood Tango Ensemble at the intimate and tiny Red Poppy Art House made the audience feel like they were that much closer to the real deal.Read more »

Put some cream on it: Warming up the holiday kitchen with Studio of Good Living

|
(0)

Five yogis walk into a kitchen and prepare seven dishes made with heavy cream.

This sounds like the beginning of a ridiculous and hilarious joke, but in all honesty, it’s pretty much how Saturday morning started out, with the very first recipe being homemade Irish cream (note: it was 11am). Things were off to an awesome start at the Studio of Good Living, Phoebe Schilla's school of experiential cooking.Read more »

Live Shots: Tame Impala at the Fillmore

|
(0)

Man, there were a lot of beards at the Fillmore last Thursday. Not the close-cropped beards that I swear some Bay Area men grow in hopes that a girl or boy wants to talk about it. But shaggy ones. The kind that you really can’t make a statement about. Because they aren’t a statement, unless it’s about their state of unwash.

I was at the Tame Impala show, and the beards were out in force. There were also a smattering of mods and hippies, a larger group of rocker girls with tough eyes and shiny hair, with their boyfriends, and a small slice of older music lovers. Read more »

Live Shots: Titus Andronicus at Great American Music Hall

|
(0)

If you want to stay in the good graces of Titus Andronicus (which played Great American Music Hall this Tuesday), don’t mention frontman Patrick Stickles' beard, or his recent lack of beard, or his uncanny vocal likeness to Bright Eyes vocalist Conor Oberst, or really much of anything else. But you didn’t hear it from me. Because of his sensitivity, Stickles has been churning out some of the best anger and angst-driven punk rock of this century. In spite of his sensitivity, he still seems to be a super nice guy. Read more »

Live Shots: La Sera at the Chapel

|
(0)

It was nice to see that “Kickball” Katy Goodman hasn’t grown up too much since leaving the Vivian Girls. Her big smile, bubbling stage banter, and virginal attire—a lacy white dress to match her white Fender bass guitar — added a saccharine candy coating to the dark, jangly pop of La Sera, her Los Angeles-based solo project.

Swaying and hopping across the Chapel stage last Saturday night in all black Converse All Stars, Goodman whipped her all-male backing band through a surprisingly short set, clocking in at just around 45 minutes. Read more »