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Phillip Phillips at the Fillmore.

Let’s face it: fame found as a result of an appearance on American Idol can be a mixed bag. On one hand, there’s the bad (William Hung, that guy who sang that “Pants on the Ground” song, Nikki McKibbin). On the other hand, without Idol none of us might ever have been exposed to Carrie Underwood, Jennifer Hudson, Kelly Clarkson… While I haven’t seen the ABC reboot of this show, I have been known to follow the show in the past. Ever since Phillip Phillips‘s audition with a brilliant cover of “Thriller,” I’ve been a big fan. Over the years, I’ve seen him go from a no-name hopeful on a reality TV singing competition to winning the whole shebang, to opening for John Mayer, to headlining a Napa music festival. Now he’s released his third album, Collateral, which he played San Francisco’s legendary Fillmore this week to promote. [read the whole post]

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Color me impressed, Mr. Gutt.

Gather round, children, it’s story time. (Well, okay, it’s really just more of a long-winded introduction, but bear with me here…) My brother is, by far, one of my favorite people on the planet. He’s a few years older than me, so he was a senior in high school when I was a freshman, and I was fortunate that he was nice to me in front of his peers. This meant that all the older, cooler kids accepted me rather than finding me annoying. This was also the time in our lives when we first started to agree on (and bond over) music. In particular, we loved Aerosmith (because who wasn’t obsessed with Get a Grip in the early/mid 90s?) and Stone Temple Pilots. So fast forward nearly 25 years, and you’d better believe we were both dying to catch the band at San Francisco’s legendary Fillmore. [read the whole post]

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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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I think Shakespeare might have been seeing into the future of BottleRock when he said “parting is such sweet sorrow.”  True story: on the last day of the inaugural festival in 2013, I remember thinking that I was like a kid at summer camp; I wanted to just keep coming back, but I knew that if I showed up the next day, all my friends would be gone and it would just be a big, sad mess that would leave me emotionally scarred.  Thankfully, though, after an amazing Day One and a lovely Day Two, I still had a whole final day to see, and this time, my bestie had come to join the fun. [read the whole post]

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After a smashingly successful day one, I couldn’t wait to see what BottleRock 2015 had in store for me on Day Two. I got a bit of a late start and arrived just in time for Scott Weiland and the Wildabouts.  This is one of the things I love most about the typical BRNV lineup: excellent blasts from the past, and you get a chance to see them in a whole new way.  (In BRNV years past I’ve been treated to Weezer, Heart, and the Spin Doctors, to name a few.)  I overheard someone saying that they thought the Wildabouts were “very STP,” and I can’t say I entirely agree.  Sure, it’s been quite a while since I heard much Stone Temple Pilots on the radio (much less even listened to the radio…), but I loved them, and so I remember enough.  Weiland and his Wildabouts were fun to watch, sounded great, and Weiland definitely still has the chops, but I think the biggest similarity between the two groups is simply Scott Weiland himself (and perhaps that both fall into the genre of rock).

Scott Weiland & the Wildabouts

Scott Weiland & the Wildabouts

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Ahhhh, BottleRock. It’s hands-down my favorite time of year. What could be better than waking up to the sounds of fantastic headliners sound-checking from my open bedroom window? (This year, specifically, it happened twice: once with Imagine Dragons, and again with No Doubt. Not bad. Not bad at all.) Anyway, besides the excellent wake-up call, it’s all mild May weather in my gorgeous hometown of Napa, full of the best food, wine, and beer you can find with fantastic bands. I’ve never missed a day of this festival’s three years (and counting), and hope I never have to. Here’s what you missed this year: [read the whole post]

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An Evening with Tony Lucca at Yoshi’s Oakland, 01/29/2015

February 4, 2015

Tony Lucca will always have a special place in my heart…and my career. I say that because it was just about this time four years ago that I wrote my first review for Spinning Platters. I had met editor Gordon Elgart not long prior and discussed writing for him, but it was completely spur of […]

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Show Review: Nick Carter & Jordan Knight at Regency Ballroom, 11/18/2014

December 10, 2014

If admitting that I’ve loved a boyband (one in particular, and pretty much only them) for my entire life makes me uncool, then so be it. I’m uncool. Having said that, I never really got into pop in the way many do. New Kids on the Block aside, there was only really ever one other […]

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Show Review: Gerard Way at the Fillmore 10/12/14

October 17, 2014

To be honest, I don’t think anything has made me feel older than waiting in line to get into a Gerard Way show, all alone, on a chilly San Francisco night. So many teenage girls with their moms who are closer to my age than they are. All pumped up with teenager energy and hormones. […]

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Show Review: Eric Hutchinson with Saints of Valory at The Fillmore, 5/1/2014

May 3, 2014

You can’t believe a word Eric Hutchinson says. Don’t believe me? See for yourself: his new album even admits it’s all Pure Fiction. Tall tales or no, I wanted to hear just what Mr. Hutchinson’s been up to since I saw him last, so I rounded up a couple girlfriends last night and headed out […]

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