Stacy Scales

Sketchfest co-founder & all-around funny girl Janet Varney

I’ve always liked Janet Varney, who I knew almost exclusively from her work with Thrilling Adventure Hour, but once someone made the connection for me that she was one of the co-founders of SF Sketchfest, my admiration for her ratcheted up quite a few notches. So, she’s super funny, and likeable, and charming, and kind of a badass producer too? So cool! So this year, when I was perusing the schedule, and saw that she was doing a live podcast (The JV Club, it’s called) with Matt Nathanson, Rachel Dratch, and Jon Hamm? Hell yeah! I’d been trying to get to a Rachel Dratch appearance at Sketchfest for at least a year or two, and Jon Hamm is so fun when he’s in comedy mode (which I’d not yet seen live, either). I immediately put in my request and hoped I’d get to cover the show. Next thing I knew, there I was, at Brava Theater Center, last Saturday afternoon, with a great seat, just in time for the house lights to go down. [read the whole post]

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Special guest: the delightful “Weird Al” Yankovic

Show 2 of my 3 at this year’s SF Sketchfest was last weekend at Swedish American Hall on a chilly grey Saturday afternoon. What better way to spend such a day than laughing with Pat Francis taping a live Rock Solid podcast with Kyle Dodson and special guest “Weird Al” Yankovic? I couldn’t think of anything I’d rather do, either. [read the whole post]

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The lovely Kirsten Vangsness is a MESS.

It’s that time of year again: SF Sketchfest 2017 is in town, and as always, brings with it the promise of some great talent and good times. It also marks yet another anniversary for me with Spinning Platters (my 6th), which also always makes me smile. Anyway, this year is no exception in terms of the fun shows I went to, the first being this past weekend, at PianoFight. Kirsten Vangsness may be best known to many of us as her character Penelope Garcia on CBS’ Criminal Minds (or, as Shemar Moore’s character Derek Morgan called her, simply “Baby Girl”). But even if this is the only thing you know her from, my guess is that you, like me, adore her for the quirky, sweet lady she plays on the show. Her original one-woman show MESS intrigued me: I learned that she wrote it based on ideas from a TED Talk (which, admittedly, I haven’t had time yet to watch). I wondered if she would be anything like Garcia, or something else entirely. I admit, I had no idea what to expect, but I couldn’t wait to find out.
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What a fantastic weekend to look forward to!

Like anyone else who’s devoted to her favorite festival, I have been waiting for this morning for quite some time. Why? Because that’s when BottleRock Napa Valley was set to announce this year’s lineup — and announce it they did. I knew that Dave Grohl had said back in 2013 that if the festival made it another year, the Foo Fighters would play it, so it’s exciting to see that they’re making good on that promise. In addition, I’m looking forward to catching Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers again (whom I saw a few years ago at Outside Lands), as well as Maroon 5, who I haven’t seen live since the Songs About Jane era. And those are just the headliners.

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o.a.r. headlines Live in the Vineyard 2016 Night 1

o.a.r. headlines Live in the Vineyard 2016 Night 1

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s that time again: Live in the Vineyard. For those unfamiliar, this is a biannual celebration of food, wine, and music, featuring a mix of hit artists and those that are up-and-coming. Events take place in locations all over the Napa Valley, typically culminating each (weekend) day in a concert at Napa’s Uptown Theatre. The event is exclusive in the sense that essentially the only way to attend is to win tickets via one of many contests available via the internet or the radio. This year’s fall event took place last weekend, with Friday night’s show a representative mix of the new and the tried-and-true: Britain’s Got Talent star Calum Scott, bluesy soul married duo JOHNNYSWIM, up-and-coming singer/songwriter Wrabel, American Idol winner Phillip Phillips, and celebrating their 20th anniversary as a band, o.a.r.. [read the whole post]

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Need a break from the amazing wine? No problem: grab a cocktail instead! (Photo credit: BottleRock Napa Valley / Latitude 38 Entertainment)

Need a break from the amazing wine? No problem: grab a cocktail instead! (Photo credit: BottleRock Napa Valley / Latitude 38 Entertainment)

You’re reading Day 3. Have you checked out Day 1 and Day 2 as well?

Tye Trujillo follows in dad Robert's (of Metallica) footsteps. (Photo credit: BottleRock Napa Valley / Latitude 38 Entertainment)

Tye Trujillo follows in dad Robert’s (of Metallica) footsteps. (Photo credit: BottleRock Napa Valley / Latitude 38 Entertainment)

I don’t know why, but Day 3 always seems to be the day all my friends attend BottleRock. This year was no exception. Two friends came up from the South Bay, not wanting to miss a moment. While I waited for my bestie and her boyfriend to arrive, I heard the festival begin through my bedroom window. Before we left the house, I realized that the band on the main stage (the one I can hear) was killing a cover of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” so I texted one of my friends to find out who they were. She didn’t know, except to say that they were kids, and they were crushing it. I made a mental note to find out who they were and check them out. It turned out they were The Helmets, a band that includes Metallica bassist Robert Trujillo’s son Tye and three other kids, all currently aged 12 or under. I’m disappointed to have missed them, because from what I heard (literally from afar, as well as from those who were already present), they are an excellent band, kids or not! [read the whole post]

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BottleRock Napa Valley 2016 Festival Journal, Day 2

June 3, 2016

You’re reading this year’s Day 2. Don’t forget to check out Day 1 too! Day 2 got a bit of a late start, but once inside, I wasted no time at all stopping by Lagunitas for a cold Aunt Sally, which is easily my favorite beer they make, since it’s the least hop-driven! I went […]

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BottleRock Napa Valley 2016 Festival Journal, Day 1

June 3, 2016

Before I get into all the details of the gloriousness that was this year’s BottleRock Napa Valley, please allow me a moment, not just to digress but to explain why this festival is so important to me. I was born in Napa. As many Napa kids do, I moved away in my early 20s seeking […]

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SF Sketchfest Review: Mortified (The Extra Dirty Version), 1/23/16 at Swedish American Hall

February 3, 2016

That Mortified has been selling out shows for the past decade shouldn’t surprise me. What should is that this year was my first time getting to find out why. It was Sketchfest 2016’s final weekend (Saturday, 1/23, to be exact), and while I had booked myself back-to-back shows for the evening, I wasn’t concerned since […]

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SF Sketchfest Review: Bring the Rock with Greg Behrendt and guests Dana Gould, Andy Kindler, Kate Micucci and Janet Varney, 1/23/16 at Swedish American Hall

February 2, 2016

Sketchfest is always fun. It’s even better, though, when I get to see Greg Behrendt, and most of all when it’s for Bring the Rock, as was the case for the final weekend of Sketchfest 2016 at Swedish American Hall. It’s even sweeter than usual, though, because it marks my fifth anniversary with Spinning Platters: […]

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