tune-yards

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We may be experiencing the biggest storm in decades in the Bay Area, however, that doesn’t mean you don’t need to rock.

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When I hear the name "Nashville Pussy," this is what I think of. Also, there's a benefit for Cat Town tonight.

When I hear the name “Nashville Pussy,” this is what I think of. Also, there’s a benefit for Cat Town tonight.

Thursday, June 5th [read the whole post]

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Photo by Pamela Gentile, courtesy of San Francisco Film Society

One of the great traditions of the San Francisco International Film Festival has been pairing up an indie rock band with a classic silent film. In past years these have always been classier films, such as 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea or A Page Of Madness. It seemed to be a risky move to do something as populist as the slapstick comedy of Buster Keaton. Of course, in a genius move, they called upon Merrill Garbus, the mastermind behind Oakland’s experimental pop outfit tUnE-yArDs to compose and perform an all new score for four classic Buster Keaton short films. Garbus called up local avant garde guitarist Ava Mendoza to help compose the score, which they also performed live, alongside Nate Brenner on bass, and a horns section made up of Noah Bernstein and Matt Nelson.

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The leading ladies of the evening

The leading ladies of the evening

If you asked someone what their favorite record by a female singer in 2011 was, odds are you would have gotten a reply that fit one of two options: 21 by Adele, or Ceremonials by Florence and the Machine. Both topped charts, and the former swept the Grammys, taking home the coveted Album Of The Year award, among others. Sadly, out of the spotlight (and off the radar for many a casual music fan) were a pair of records that rounded out Spinning Platters’ 2nd and 3rd place winners for our Album Picks of 2011, both by extraordinary women who have been captivating audiences all over the country, perhaps even the world, with their otherworldly but gorgeously eclectic brand of experimental indie rock. To pair the two together is a feat in and of itself, as the two have very different backgrounds — both in their own respective songwriting and in their own performing history — but it was, no doubt, an effective combination, as evidenced by the near sold-out crowd that arrived at Oakland’s Fox Theater on Tuesday night. The pair had skipped briefly across the country, even between two weekends at Coachella, and now were coming to the end of their trip: the Oklahoma-born, Manhattan-based Annie Clark, better known by her stage name St. Vincent, and Oakland’s own Merrill Garbus, more well known under the zanily-punctuated pseudonym of tUnE-yArDs.

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This year’s edition of the San Francisco International Film Festival will transpire in theaters around the city from April 19 to May 3. Last year’s SFIFF marked the Bay Area premieres of such critically acclaimed hits as Beginners, Another Earth, and The Future. This year’s reliably diverse lineup looks just as promising, featuring new work from actors like Shirley MacLaine, Jack Black, Diane Kruger, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Greta Gerwig, John Krasinski, Freida Pinto, Emily Blunt, Val Kilmer, Lili Taylor, James Franco, Susan Sarandon, and Common, filmmakers like Richard Linklater, Michael Winterbottom, Lynn Shelton, Andrea Arnold, Lena Dunham, and little-known local winemaker Francis Ford Coppola, and documentaries on subjects ranging from Diana Vreeland and Marina Abramovic to ACT UP and the epidemic of sexual violence against women in the military. The festival will also feature several events, notably tributes to Kenneth Branagh and Judy Davis (both of whom will attend), a Midnight Mass tribute to the late Ken Russell featuring a Peaches Christ-hosted screening of Tommy, and perhaps most awesomely, a program of Buster Keaton short films with live musical accompaniment by Merrill Garbus and her tUnE-yArDs crew.

After the jump, we break down the 20 films we’re most excited to see this year into three categories: World Cinema, New Directors, and Documentaries. All film descriptions are courtesy of the San Francisco Film Society.

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Finished 11th, but I really like it.

 While other magazines, blogs and newspapers release their Best Albums of the Year super early, obviously before they’ve even heard some of the albums on their list, we wait until the last possible minute, sharing dozens of nominations with each other while participating in an overly complicated voting process that leads to a Top 10 that looks completely different from anyone else’s. It’s rewarding and fun, and we always find room for small albums that usually get ignored. One person’s favorite gets a real chance to get heard in our system as it becomes the favorite of many. So know, dear reader, that the albums you’re about to see listed have passed a multi-level test of quality. And now, I end my introduction by asking you to click the more tag and see our Official List of the Top 10 Albums of 2011.

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Spinning Platters Weekly Guide to Bay Area Concerts, 11/17/11-11/23/11

November 16, 2011

Dakin’s taking the week off from recommending shows. He’s busy shopping for just the right turkey for his Thanksgiving dinner, I guess. Personally, I recommend getting a bottle of Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau to bring wherever you do end up going for Thanksgiving. It’s the ultimate Thanksgiving wine.  But enough booze talk. Let’s go see […]

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San Francisco’s 2011 Outside Lands Festival, Day 3

August 18, 2011
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tcxNIfVIUdU

60,000 is an extremely large number, especially when you’re speaking in terms of human beings. The largest amphitheater in the Bay Area, the Shoreline in Mountain View, holds around 30,000 with its lawn fully filled, and most shows that can completely fill it to the brim are multi-platinum megastars, or great music festivals that last […]

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Spinning Platters Weekly Guide to Bay Area Concerts, 8/12/11-8/17/11

August 12, 2011

It’s a busy week, you guys. In addition to the Outside Lands Festival (or, as I know it, Stay the Hell Away From Golden Gate Park Weekend) and the San Jose Jazz Festival, the Bay Area will also host concerts from two of the most defining artists on the pop landscape, for better and worse […]

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Spinning Platters Tackles Your Tough Outside Lands 2011 Decisions

August 7, 2011
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jGiMORMNfPA”>httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vKJ8PJLip8o

For four years running now, the good people at Another Planet and Superfly have put together a massive outdoor music festival in the part of San Francisco so far west that most people don’t even know it exists. The weather is unpredictable, the terrain in this portion of Golden Gate Park is difficult, and with […]

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