review

I have been watching Chicano Batman over the past five years, and I have got to say that I am really impressed on how much they’ve grown. Each time they come back to The Bay, they end up playing bigger and bigger venues. It puts a tear in my eye and makes me feel part of their growth. Not only do they deserve it, the world straight-up needs to hear their soulful, passionate grooves filled with positive messages of love and hope. You felt the love in that crowd starting with the first band in the lineup, The Shacks. [read the whole post]

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It may not be winter, but Sleigh Bells are always lovely

The music festival night show: a time honored tradition, when nightclubs around town host a band playing said festival to also play a smaller show after curfew is over at the main event. There is good and bad with these; the good side is that you get your band playing a full length set, in a crowd of just fans in a smaller venue than you’d normally see them at; the bad side is that these shows start really late, you have to get to them from the festival (which is never an easy affair), and it also means that you’ll be working on very little sleep the next day. This might, however, just be because I insist on showing up at doors, and leaving when the last note has played; I guess not everyone else is crazy like me.

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METALLICA! And nothing else matters…

Photo by Ben Irwin

Day 2 of any festival is a little rough. Your energy is a little bit zapped from the day before. You can’t seem to drink enough water or coffee. Your legs are sore. So when you finally get there, you need something to kick yourself into gear. And I managed to stumble across that band at 12:00 on the dot. [read the whole post]

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Celebrating 10 years of walking through the park

My 10th Outside Lands began by listening to Hundred Waters close out their set on the Lands End stage. For a set at noon on Friday, the crowd was massive. They were warm and bright, perfect for getting warmed up for a day of music. These folks also curate the FORM festival in Acrosanti, AZ, one of the most intimate music festivals in America. So intimate that, historically, you needed to be invited to attend. [read the whole post]

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The first taste of summer: BottleRock Napa Valley, the 2016 edition. (Photo credit: BottleRock Napa Valley / Latitude 38 Entertainment)

The first taste of summer: BottleRock Napa Valley, the 2016 edition. (Photo credit: BottleRock Napa Valley / Latitude 38 Entertainment)

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 something more exciting (hard to imagine now, but at the time Napa was still a relatively small town without a lot to do). I had some oats to sow, and was gone for 5-6 years, but returned about a decade ago to go back to school. Since then, I often say that “this town and I grew up together,” as we’ve both evolved into something more worth enjoying. While once I was a kid from a small town most had never heard of (and because of which I often claimed SF or the Bay Area to those unfamiliar), I have since become a “townie,” and that’s okay with me. This place is something special, and I can’t imagine ever leaving. True, it was once far quieter (and okay, far more dull), but these days it’s really something to behold, and has earned its reputation as a world-famous, world-class destination on bucket lists the world over. So, add to that a phenomenal music festival that showcases not just the mind-blowing wines and taste-bud-tantalizing food for which we’re known, but consistently impressive musical lineups that offer something for everyone, year after year? How could I not love BottleRock? I’m happy to say that I’ve been BottleRocking since the very beginning, and I can’t imagine what it might take to keep me away. As you can imagine, I’m already looking forward to next year’s festival!

Okay, onward…this year, BottleRock was scheduled to fall on Memorial Day weekend. While I personally heard the frustration of local business owners (for many of whom the beloved festival pulls away business all weekend long), I didn’t have any reason to lament spending a long, beautiful-weathered weekend wandering the Napa Valley Expo grounds last weekend more or less than any other.

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Mortified-Logo-Handwritten

Makes me wish I’d kept journals & the like.

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 both were taking place in the same venue (Swedish American Hall). The only minor caveat was that I got so excited about this fact (and that I have been to the former venue next door so many times I know the area well), that I forgot to take what a bitch it is to find parking in the neighborhood. Making matters worse, I stood in a line of people wanting to buy tickets for at least five minutes before I realized I could bypass them all and go find a spot in what was now standing-room-only. And yet, it was absolutely worth it! (The only thing I’d do differently is give myself an exorbitant amount of time for parking next time…) [read the whole post]

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SF Sketchfest Review: Tribute to Sally Field, ‘Hello, My Name is Doris’ Screening and Q&A with Sally Field and Michael Showalter, 1/22/16 at Alamo Drafthouse

January 28, 2016

Okay, it’s taken me almost a week and I still haven’t been able to decide: do I want to call Sally Field “radiant,” or is “luminous” the right word? I swear, that’s a big part of the reason it’s taken me five days to publish my review. (It also doesn’t help that I’ve been as […]

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SF Sketchfest Review: Workjuice Theatre with Paget Brewster, Craig Cackowski, Mark Gagliardi, Marc Evan Jackson, Hal Lublin, Busy Philipps, Paul F. Tompkins and more, 1/9/2016 at Brava Theater Center

January 11, 2016

This year would have been my fifth consecutive year watching The Thrilling Adventure Hour at SF Sketchfest. Sadly, it seems I must finally admit that I’m a terrible podcast fan. I adore this show, but I’m a little behind. Ok, a lot behind: what I mean is, I never listen to podcasts. Like, ever. So […]

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SF Sketchfest Review: Mara Wilson’s What Are You Afraid Of? with guests John Ross Bowie and Sarah Thyre, 1/8/2016 at Eureka Theatre

January 11, 2016

So, I follow Mara Wilson on Twitter. It’s not specifically because she was the cutest-ever child star who happens to still be equal parts clever, funny, and brilliant. (See her in Matilda or Mrs. Doubtfire for further evidence on the aforementioned childhood cuteness.) See, I found Mara through a circle of funny ladies on the […]

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Show Review: TV On The Radio, Nostalghia at The Fox Theater – Oakland, 3/31/15

April 8, 2015

TV On The Radio are at an interesting point in their career. The band’s age is such that they are no longer actively buzzed about, yet they don’t stay far enough removed from the music scene to ever be experiencing a “comeback.” A lot of bands can become a little lazy at this point, opting […]

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