Show Reviews

All Photos by Tommy Lau

I’m going to make a very bold statement: If Dick Cavett never existed, late night television would be unrecognizable. As a writer and a talent coordinator of the original Tonight Show with Jack Paar, he helped shape the structure of the show, and stayed on for a bit as Johnny Carson took over. He continued to work on The Jerry Lewis Show before getting the opportunity to host his own talk show, The Dick Cavett Show, which lasted in some iteration from 1968 ‘til 1996, then back again from 2006-2007, bouncing between networks and time slots, but still keeping the same basic premise of edgy humor and probing interviews.

Tonight was a little bit different for Cavett. Tonight, Cavett became the subject of the interview, not the conductor. Tonight was special. And the person taking on the role of Cavett for the task in interviewing Cavett? Mr. John Hodgman. [read the whole post]


John Dwyer & Ty Segall have been doing their holiday benefit for the SF Coalition on Homelessness for quite a few years now. They have been doing it for so many years that it’s become an established Bay Area Holiday Tradition. However, Thee Oh Sees and Ty both have played the Bay Area twice already this year, which, at first, made me question whether or not this was going to happen this year. Happily, the gigs still happened. And, instead of playing it straight, we got two very, very surprising sets by two of the most prolific acts in modern music. [read the whole post]


A concert in a graveyard? Why not!


What exactly is it about Canada that produces such intriguing rock and roll acts? The great North is home to dozens of groups that broke through international barriers and still continue to impress to this day. Of course there are the obvious examples like Neil Young, Rush, The Guess Who, Arcade Fire, and NoMeansNo, but there is also that unique brand of indie/art with groups like Metric, Godspeed! You Black Emperor, The New Pornographers, and Broken Social Scene, the indie super band of which Amy Millan and Evan Cranley are members. Easily one of my favorites of all of them is Stars who take up a special place with their lush production and exploration of the various themes of love and heartbreak. In support of their recent double LP release, There Is No Love In Fluorescent Light, the band took over the Masonic Lodge at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery for three whole days of intimacy with their long-time fans and first timers alike.

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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]


Kesha, with her Mom. Photo by Dakin Hardwick.

Author’s note: We at Spinning Platters stand with survivors, and we believe women when they come forward and tell stories of having been assaulted. Due to the code of journalistic ethics, we are forced to refer to Dr Luke as an “alleged abuser” while the case is still pending in court.

Whatever you think of her music, Kesha deserves your respect. Kesha’s album Rainbow and its accompanying tour come after a long public and risky battle to take control over her career from the man who allegedly abused her. Had she lost this fight, she would have been forced to continue her close work with her alleged rapist to create new content. Had she won, but not had such strong continuing fan support on social media, she might have been able to fulfill her contract and make records, but but the label might have simply cut their losses and granted her no touring budget or promotional budget. [read the whole post]


This show had all of the essentials needed for a great metal show. Andrew WK, the patron saint of partying, leading his six piece backup band of very loud and technically adept musicians. Two members of his backup band were women, which made the party even better, as did the pizza guitar he played mid-set. AWK is a live wire with big, metal voice, but at the show, he seemed a little dampened. It happens – a lot of us have had the crud, and if he did I hope he feels better. This didn’t lower show’s wattage though, or cause anyone to party any less hard. A great metal show also has a fist pumping crowd in the back,  and mosh pit up by the stage. Here, at an AWK show, all of these are accounted for. AWK writes great hooks that keep you moving and joyful, and his touring band brings them to a higher level of musicianship than the original recorded version. [read the whole post]


Show Review: Deerhoof, Christina Schneider’s Genius Grant, Mayya and the Revolutionary Hell Yeah at Teragram Ballroom, 09/22/17

September 25, 2017

Deeeeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrhooooooooooofff! I cannot start this without immediately stating my bias. I love Deerhoof. I’ve been in love with this strange quirky band since I was 16 years old in high school, and a friend of mine played the cleanest version that exists of “Gore in Crown,” though we knew it as “Gore in Beans.” They […]

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Show Review: Dead Cross, Qui, Secret Chiefs 3 at El Rey, 8.21-22.17

August 28, 2017

“Nothing stops this tour!” Since supergroups seem to be the big deal right now, it’s hard to recognize any band who comes together in collaboration as anything but. However, it becomes crystal clear, when the band performs live, that “supergroup” is not as appropriate of a term. When talking about Dead Cross it is completely […]

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Outside Lands Night Show Review: Sleigh Bells, Jel at The Independent, 8/11/17

August 22, 2017

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 […]

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Outside Lands Journal: Day 3, 8/13/17

August 21, 2017

Karl The Fog even showed up to see Lee Fields We arrived at Day Three of Outside Lands, commonly known as “Sunday” to the real world. There was definitely a different energy in the air within the park, as much of the crowd was unaware of the extent of the activity happening in Charlottesville, VA […]

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