San Jose

Maverick Spirit Award recipient Nicolas Cage

This week marks the beginning of one of California’s favorite film festivals, San Jose’s Cinequest. Running from 2/27 – 3/11 in a series of South Bay venues, this year Cinequest will present 229 feature and short films, including 74 world premieres over its two-week span. And you know what else? Nic Cage is going to be there.

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Conan, by Frazetta

Appearing Monday, March 21 at The Metro in Oakland

St. Patrick’s Day. Irishness! Excellent.

To go with this week in the Bay Area we also have metal, self-described “country-fed punkabilly,” and the Melvins. Also! Bilingual punk rock with horns as well as bilingual Rickenbacker-wielding one-woman guitar rock. And Conan. Conan!

Let’s preview. Faugh A Ballagh! [read the whole post]


We love you still, Ralph McQuarrie.

We love you still, Ralph McQuarrie.

Star Wars! Star Wars! Star Wars! Star Wars! Can you believe it? It’s difficult to believe! But it’s here! This week! B… [cough]… it’s… it’s been… a long time since it was possible to look forward to a Star Wars anything. It’s here! Extraordinary feelings.

Now, let’s talk about what’s coming up this week. Let’s preview. Hyperdrive go! [read the whole post]


Emmylou Harris

She put the “Hardly” in the Hardly Strictly.

It’s a packed week with Hardly Strictly Bluegrass in Golden Gate Park and Alternative Press Expo in San Jose.

Coming up we have concerts by old people, young old people, and very old people who don’t much age. Let’s preview! [read the whole post]


I can't even say how much I needed a good show like this one.

I can’t even say how much I needed a good show like this one.

Over the past three decades, I’ve called many a band my favorites, but of course over time, preferences change and so have I. For me, the ones that “stick” are those that tend to have qualities I can’t find elsewhere: a voice so unique I recognize it even a new song, a melody I can’t get out of my head, or lyrics that make me feel like I’ve been spied on… No matter what, though, the favorite bands I come back to again and again always share one quality in particular: they sound even better live than they do on their albums. Seriously: imagine that seeing concerts regularly is what you do, and after the zillionth time of getting amped up to see a band you’ve been into, you discover they’re less than stellar live. Trust me, it sucks, and it definitely always sours my love for not-so-amazing-live bands. (At least a little.) So after a year and a half spent devouring every single Imagine Dragons song I can get my ears on (and a little preview at a festival last summer), I was beyond ready to see if these Dragons had what it takes to launch a long-term love affair with me. I don’t subject myself to standing-room-only general admission floor tickets for just any act (I may be getting too old for all of that), but there I was on Thursday night, about six rows back from the stage at SAP Center, waiting for the lights to go down. [read the whole post]


Wake up and go to shows this week! So many shows...

Wake up and go to shows this week! So many shows…

The thirteenth annual SF Sketchfest is upon us, littering San Francisco with night after night of too many good things at once.

To help with these sorts of problems, please consult “A Nerd’s Guide To Sketchfest 2014.” Yes, Dakin’s full-on once-over of this year’s fest is just the right guide to help you make those wrenching nerd decisions about which one-of-a-kind Sketchfest show to choose from on each jam-packed night. Too much good stuff is a good/ANNOYING problem to have. You are fortunate. We are fortunate.

This week! We have Canadiens! Sleepwalkers! Metal! Tim! Punk rock benefit shows! And science! O you lucky person, you — to have all of these awesome things to choose from.

Here’s what’s coming up this week.

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Spinning Platters Weekly Guide to Bay Area Concerts, 1/15/14-1/22/14

January 15, 2014

You need to know what concerts are coming to The Bay Area this week? You’ve come to the right place. We’ve got folk rock, pop metal, malicious metal, the cosmic intersection of country and rock, and the most highly-weaponized pop that US dollars can purchase. It’s a good week. Here’s what’s coming up.

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Show Review: Pink with New Politics at SAP Center, 10/15/2013

October 17, 2013

To sum up P!nk in one word seems at first like an impossible challenge. And then you see her live, and if you’re a word lover like me, the right one might dawn on you, just as it did me when I saw her Tuesday in San Jose at SAP Center on The Truth About […]

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Show Review: Depeche Mode at Shoreline Amphitheatre, 9/26/2013

September 27, 2013

In 1993, I was introduced to the music of Depeche Mode by a girl who lived across the hall from me at boarding school. Of course I was already familiar with hits “People are People,” “Strangelove,” “Enjoy the Silence,” and the phenomenal “Personal Jesus.” It was this friend’s influence, however, that led me to fall […]

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Show Review: The Package Tour – New Kids on the Block, Boyz II Men, and 98° at HP Pavilion, 7/7/2013

July 8, 2013

In the little world that exists between the New Kids on the Block and their fans, I’m what’s affectionately referred to as a “BH:” a Blockhead. I don’t say this with any level of chagrin or irony, and there’s nothing I feel guilty about in the pleasure I take from this group. The fact of […]

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