Pictures

All Photos by Dakin Hardwick

No Two Doves. They didn’t play Two Doves! Two years ago my compadre (from here on out known as The Editor) tried to convince me to see Dirty Projectors at the Fillmore. I bailed on him for Vampire Weekend, Beach House, and The Very Best at the Greek (I don’t think that was a complete fail, one band with harmonies and African beats for another. And fun fact! According to Wikipedia, Ezra once played sax for Dirty Projectors!). The point of this rambling intro being that my only knowledge of Dirty Projectors was their song Two Doves, a lovely but slow emotional song. Not something I’d want to spend all night listening to. In other words, I was an idiot.

So this time, after some more research, I accepted El Editoro’s invitation to see the band at The Fox Theater in Oakland. After all they serve some tasty nachos at the Fox.

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Carrie Brownstein might be the hardest working person in show business. Not only has she, within about a year, assembled one of the most explosive and critically acclaimed new bands in rock music, she is the star of the highest rated program on IFC, the sketch comedy series “Portlandia.” Now she’s managed to squeeze some time out of her busy schedule to piece together a Portlandia stage show, alongside her costar on the program, Saturday Night Live’s Fred Armisen. All of this getting done, of course, before they unleash a new season of Portlandia. And then, her band Wild Flag will be launching a big Spring tour; and then, she will probably write two or three books, make a movie, and cure cancer all before June.

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SPOILER: This is how the show ended

Givers. There is something about this band that piqued my interest before hearing a single note. It may be the publicity photo that I keep seeing, with the incredibly pretty girl in it. It may be the fact that there is absolutely nothing bad on their label, Glassnote Records. Or it could just be my sixth sense about bands. Anyways, I uncovered by copy of their debut full length record that was sent to me from the label. I started listening, and maybe a week later, I realized that it’s all I wanted to listen to. Then, I noticed that they were playing. So, as expected, I decided to seize the moment and go see this band.

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PJ Harvey is simply an artist.  It just so happens her medium is music.  Every tour for each new record is an engrossing sensory experience, completely different than the last.  Having seen her perform at the Warfield for every record, minus White Chalk, (she left SF off the tiny tour), since 1998, I’ve had the pleasure and privilege to experience more than my share.

All of the shows up until now, have been full of the energy, gusto, and a hauntingly excitable sound that had left fans floored.  Every show ends with just about the biggest display of genuine applause I’ve ever seen or been apart of for an artist.  PJ Harvey fans seem to connect with the music fully in both a primal, intellectual, and emotional level, which doesn’t always happen with most artists.

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About 18 months ago, I saw TV On The Radio play a show at The Fox Theater. The opening band was a group called Dirty Projectors. I thought they had a lot of brilliant ideas, but seemed a bit “loose.” The songs never seemed to end, they just crashed, but they had some great singers and it looked like, once they took the time to solidify their sound, they were going to become great. A short while later, a record called Bitte Orca was released, a stunning blend of I-Three’s inspired reggae, 21st century classical composition and indie pop. It became my favorite record of 2009. I was curious to see how they would bring this sound to the live show, especially after seeing their live show before the finished the record. After three visits that sold out rather quickly, I finally got to see it.

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paramore

I usually never drink at shows. On occasion I might be up for a whiskey on the rocks, but rarely do I ever booze it up a show that I’m really into. I can’t tell you exactly why I decided to drink at this particular show; it could be because I was one of the handful of people over 21, or because I have the day off tomorrow (today) or whatever. The $7 it cost for a Red Stripe didn’t even deter me. It just felt like the right night to indulge, so I did. 2 beers, a whiskey on the rocks, and a shared Sex on the Beach with my companion later, I was thoroughly rocking out at the Paramore show.

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