Gordon Gano of Violent Femmes

Gordon Gano of Violent Femmes (all photos by Daniel Martinez)

Nothing would have made the Violent Femmes a better band, because they were perfect. Gordon Gano sings like he’s a sick cat and has been drunk-crying all day; he has a kind of nasal whine, full of defeat, with a timbre as refined as cheap whiskey with generic Cherry Coke. I love his voice like I love cheap, shitty cocktails; it’s a love fueled by disillusionment and a longing for my more reckless and grimier youth when I didn’t care so much for creature comforts or sleep. The musical structure of their songs, like most punk pieces, is simple. But, like a lot of punk, their catchy songs about needing/wanting or frustration/disappointment are embittered perfection driven by a stripped, primitive skill and sound, and all of this sits squarely and perfectly with some of my perpetually adolescent tendencies.

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Grateful Dead

Appearing for another farewell bow at The Fillmore this week.

This week in The Bay Area we have refusals, memoirs, and those who wear purple. We have clowns, the dead, and war. Should be a pretty good time.

Now, let’s get to the previews. Preview time now. Let’s preview and then we’ll be ready for the week. Previews, starting now. [read the whole post]

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Stupidness getting stupider somehow makes it better.

Sample of the silly antics prevalent in Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising

Sample of the silly antics prevalent in Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising

 

Not only was I expecting to hate Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising, but I kinda wanted to. I wanted a chance to get all my pent up anger and frustration out in a gorgeous scathing review. But dammit, it was a fun movie. [read the whole post]

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The impossibility of getting away from it all, rendered beautifully

Dinner is never just dinner in Luca Guadagnino's newest film.

Dinner is never just dinner in Luca Guadagnino’s newest film.

Sometimes you want to go to the movies and see four actors doing amazing work in a wonderful film. That’s what you’re going to get when you see Luca Guadagnino’s A Bigger Splash.  This is a movie with layers of meaning, with people saying things when they shouldn’t, and not saying things when they should. It’s a bit contrived, but very real. Let’s try to convince you to see it so we can talk about it later. Here’s my best shot.

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An utterly unique (surrealist) romantic comedy that inadvertently subverts all other romantic comedies.

Name the defining characteristic of each of these three.

Name the defining characteristic of each of these three.

To all you single folks — do you feel the pressure of finding a partner? Well, imagine that you have 45 days to do so otherwise you’ll be turned into an animal. How’s that for pressure? That’s the boiled-down premise of Yorgos Lanthimos’s The Lobster, a fascinatingly bizarre and dark dramedy romance (you could say it transcends multiple genres). Of course, there’s a lot more to The Lobster than just the 45 day ultimatum tidbit. The film eschews most everything that remotely resembles normal storytelling yet manages to convey a uniquely human story within its dystopian setting. The Lobster is a sharp satirical look at the oppressive nature of our societal coupledom, maintaining a steady level of surrealist humor even as it descends into darker and darker territory and an appropriately uneven finish.

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Russell and Ryan, a match made in dark comedy heaven.

Mr. Nice Gosling and Mr. Nice Crowe

Mr. Nice Gosling and Mr. Nice Crowe

The Nice Guys isn’t the first time that director Shane Black has dabbled in the Los Angeles neo-noir comedy genre, and not the first time his LA neo-noir comedy has featured the pairing of an odd couple solving a crime. 2005’s Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is a highly under-appreciated noir caper with hysterical performances from Val Kilmer and Robert Downey Jr. Truth be told, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is a smarter, funnier, and all around better movie than The Nice Guys, but the latter is very entertaining and deserves a lot of credit. Despite a quasi-tonal mess that it actually ends up embracing, the film’s laid back trivial attitude and hilarious performances from its two leads make The Nice Guys a satisfying early summer romp.

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Photo Set: Andrew Bird at The Masonic, 4/16/2016

May 19, 2016

This past Monday night, in support of his twelfth album, Are You Serious, Andrew Bird performed an hour-and-a-half set to a near-capacity crowd at San Francisco’s Masonic. Flanked by a rhythm section for the first time in a career where he’s held his own as a solo artist, the music swelled and climaxed at all […]

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Film Review: Money Monster

May 13, 2016
youtu.be/qr_nGAbFkmk

Foster’s uneven Monster lacks bite   With Money Monster, the actress Jodie Foster wears her feature film director’s cap for the first time since 2011’s Mel Gibson-helmed The Beaver (she’s done TV work in the interim, including Orange is the New Black and House of Cards), and the result, unfortunately, is nowhere near as good as an […]

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Spinning Platters Weekly Guide to Bay Area Concerts: 2016-05-11 – 2016-05-15

May 11, 2016

This week in The Bay Area we have violence, arguments, wolves on an unlucky day, modern language usages, and raising money against cancer. Good. ‘Cause cancer sucks. And now, the previews. Let’s get previewing. The time to preview is now and is now that we will preview. Previews, now.

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SFIFF59 Spotlights #8 – Wrap-up: The Bandit / Wiener-Dog / Suite Armoricaine / Mel Novikoff Award / Kanbar Storytelling Award

May 8, 2016

Spinning Platters wraps up its coverage of the 59th San Francisco International Film Festival, which ended last Thursday, May 5th, after showcasing nearly 200 films from over 40 countries. The Fest may be over, but many of its offerings will be released throughout the year, so be sure to use our eight spotlight posts as a guide for potential future viewing. We conclude […]

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