Kara Murphy

San Francisco is one of the more prominent hubs for music festivals in the country, if not the world. Starting with Noise Pop in February and reaching peak saturation in the Summer, and early Fall, with Outside Lands, Phono del Sol, and Treasure Island Music Festival, just to name a few, seeing an influential or up-and-coming artist perform live is an easily attainable feat (and a mere Lyft ride away for most people). We’ve even coined the term “Fauxchella” in honor of the fact that most of Coachella’s top headliners flock our way, year after year, in between weekends performing in the Indio desert.

Despite this embarrassment of riches, in a few weeks, I’ll be hopping on a plane and joining a group of Bay Area natives heading to a city in Texas that isn’t Austin, known as the live music capital of the world, for an event not related to SXSW in any way.

Day for Night, set to take place Friday, December 16th, through Monday, the 19th, is offering an experience that transcends the boundaries of the traditional festival circuit. One of many examples: they’ve managed amazing feats by booking Aphex Twin, who hasn’t performed live in the US for over 8 years, and Björk, who doesn’t perform often, either, and left many an Iceland Airwaves attendee, including myself, crestfallen with her sudden cancellation last year. Add in DJ Windows 98 (Arcade Fire’s Win Butler), who’ll be spinning Ticketfly’s annual Holiday bash, the night before he’s set to appear in Houston (let’s hope he doesn’t crash, ha), and the it’s clear that Free Press Houston and New York-based creative agency Work-Order know how to curate a festival fitting for a city that is rapidly approaching the distinction of becoming the third largest in the US.

Add the likes of Squarepusher, Run the Jewels, ODESZA, Kaskade, Ariel Pink, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Liars, Washed Out, SOPHIE, and SURVIVE – the creators of the hypnotic Stranger Things theme music – and you have a stellar, unconventional, and sought after group of artists that are extremely selective about which bills they attach their name. There’s a reason for this and it transcends the musical aspect of this event. Read on to find out why you should purchase tickets and book your flight immediately.

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Andrew Bird Masonic pkp-3674

Photo courtesy of Paige Parsons.

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 the right intervals while the lighting in the ornate, historic theatre complemented the intricate, complex melodies beautifully. [read the whole post]

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Forget Madonna, David Bowie knows how to consistently reinvent himself in new and interesting ways.

Forget Madonna, David Bowie knows how to consistently reinvent himself in new and interesting ways.

Hey there, it’s 2016 and this very day signifies the first major release of the year. Let’s go!

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Grace Jones at Fox Theatre Oakland

Grace Jones is an icon in her own right. Her sold out show in Oakland, this past September, exceeded my wildest expectations.

Like many people contributing to Spinning Platters, 2015 was a full and busy year to the point where I didn’t have the time to write and share as much as I would’ve liked. I didn’t go out often and chose to prioritize client work (and a burgeoning drone hobby) over excessive concert-going.

However, quality of the subjects trumped the quantity of shows I attended – especially compared to years past (apologies for the over-used analogy, my mind is on Holiday break). Legendary acts, big names, and a combination of both crossed my lens in the pit this year alongside some up-and-comers that should be on your radar if they’re not already.

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SF MusicTech SummitWe’re less than six weeks away from the Bay Area’s premiere music and tech conference, SF MusicTech Summit. Returning to San Francisco for the seventeenth (!) time, this must-attend gathering attracts top experts, developers, entrepreneurs, investors, and musicians from all around the globe. One year ago, organizers Brian and Shoshana Zisk declared that they would be retiring the event. However, due to popular demand, they’ve brought it back.

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Pitchfork

This Friday, July 17th, through Sunday, the 19th, 45+ bands will descend upon Chicago’s Union Park to perform at the 10th annual Pitchfork Music Festival. Tickets are officially sold out and that’s hardly a surprise. The stellar line-up consisting of the most iconic underground acts includes Wilco, Run the Jewels, Sleater-Kinney, Jamie XX, Future Islands, Perfume Genius, The Julie Ruin, Caribou, and Shamir.

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Photo Set: Phono del Sol Music Festival, 2015

July 13, 2015

They say it takes a village when it comes to the care and well-being of a child. A playground is also a bonus. Props to the very talented and kind Yoshi Kato for helping with my precocious little daughter while I took moments, here and there, to capture photos of the fifth annual Phono del […]

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Photo Set: Highlights from BottleRock Napa, 2015

June 5, 2015

The third annual BottleRock Napa festival was a blast and went smoothly…well, for the most part. The same elements that made the festival so appealing to attend, to begin with, including a generally laid-back, down-to-earth crowd, top-notch food from local high-end establishments, and reasonable lines, made the three-day event well worth the trip (as if […]

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Interview with the Handsome Family’s Rennie Sparks

May 26, 2015
www.youtube.com/watch?v=p4zluA60hjs

Husband-and-wife duo, Brett and Rennie Sparks, the core of goth Americana outfit the Handsome Family, have been releasing albums for the past twenty years. Their unique, eccentric tales of ghosts and folklore deftly weave through dark, highly unpredictable ballads. This fierce dedication to constantly challenging the listener has earned them a slow-and-steady cult following. However, they […]

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Photo Set: Jacco Gardner and Ultimate Painting at The Chapel

March 27, 2015

“If you’re going to San Francisco, be sure to wear some flowers in your hair.” The song that helped launch the infamous Monterey International Pop Music Festival in the ’60s could easily be applied to the crowded show room floor at the Chapel. San Franciscans tend to bemoan bygone eras without realizing that certain acts […]

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