South By SF

April 19, 2009

Filed under: Blog Housecleaning — Gordon @ 10:36 pm

I just wanted to announce that we’ve moved all of our content to our new permanent home,

We don’t have the look quite right, but that’s due to our complete lack of web design skills.  We’re learning on the job, and hopefully it will look like a real website very soon.

Thanks for reading, and please join us there!

The Black Keys at the Fox Oakland, April 18, 2009

Filed under: Show Reviews — Tags: , , — Caroline @ 7:47 pm
Coming to a living room near you!

Coming to a living room near you!

A mere four hours before the show, I get a call from a friend of mine asking me if I want to usher the Black Keys show at the Fox, telling me I could sell my tickets and watch the show for free. After giving it a moment’s thought, I politely declined knowing full well that I wanted to plant myself up in front of that stage to get the full experience I had been waiting for since first falling in love with the band.

And plant myself, I did. After hurriedly eating a snack at The Den, I rushed over to make sure I could find a spot where there wasn’t a 6’5″ dude standing in front of me (being only 5’2″, this is usually a problem). Third layer from the railing, and a bunch of girls similar in height meant I should be fine once the show actually started.

There was only one opening band, calling themselves The Makeout Party. Hailing from Anaheim, California, they reminded me of The Muppet Band, complete with that 70’s look and songs about birthday suits and kitties. I wish I could have heard the lyrics better as they seemed like a band I would actually enjoy. Their set lasted about 30 minutes, but they seemed concerned about running out of material in that time, as there was plenty of banter in between songs.

At 9:15 pm the lights go down, and The Black Keys come on stage. The set begins with “Everywhere I Go” from Thickfreakness. I close my eyes and let the guitar grooves wash over me.

I understand that there are different genres of music out there. I myself have been on a synth, dance-pop binge as of late. But it’s damn refreshing to hear some good, unadulterated  Rock N’ Roll. No keyboards, no mixers on stage, there’s not even a bass! Just some excellent guitar playing provided by Dan Auerbach, and foot thumping drumming from Patrick Carney. There’s no room for hip shaking here, you must bang your head. I even had to bring out my air guitar for one of my favorite songs, “Your Touch,” which was extended from the album version.

This is the kind of music for which Guitar Hero and Rock Band were made. It’s  just too bad The Black Keys songs are not available to download, otherwise I’d be Dan Auerbach playing live from my living room.

My only qualms with the whole show was that it ended way to early, around 10:30 pm, and they only played two songs for the encore. The last BART back to the city isn’t until 12:45 am! Come on!

Regardless, seeing The Black Keys at the incredibly beautiful and “fancy” Fox Theater was awesome.

p.s. it’s not Rock N’ Roll to throw your drink at the lead singer, it’s drunk and disorderly.

April 17, 2009

Late of the Pier at Popscene, April 16, 2009

Filed under: Show Reviews — Tags: , , , , — David Price @ 3:22 am

Jack Paradise and Sam Eastgate of Late of the Pier

Jack Paradise and Sam Eastgate of Late of the Pier

It’s been one month since I watched the stage crew for Direct TV’s SXSW Bat Bar single handedly tear apart Late of the Pier, oh, and then watch them get the plug pulled on them after three songs at their day show. Needless to say I was more then ready to watch the real thing after the teasers in Austin.

The crowd is ready and aggressive not to lose their hard earned spot up close to the stage which only stands a few feet taller then us. Sequin covered, they emerge from house right. Smiles to me are a good thing; they are ready and so am I. (more…)

April 16, 2009

Green Day at The Uptown Nightclub, 4/15/2009

Filed under: Show Reviews — Tags: , , — Gordon @ 11:10 am

I hadn’t planned to attend tonight’s Green Day show at the Uptown in Oakland.  I knew it was happening, but I wasn’t going to get there early enough to get in line, skip Franz Ferdinand, and spend another late night with Green Day.  I wanted to, but I was just going to do something different.

Then a funny thing happened. (more…)

April 14, 2009

Leonard Cohen at The Paramount Theater, 4/13/2009

Filed under: Show Reviews — Tags: , , — Gordon @ 10:51 am
It's a bit blurry because it all seemed like a strange dream, or because I took it with my Blackberry

It's a bit blurry because it all seemed like a strange dream, or because I took it with my Blackberry

There was a lot of discussion in the weeks leading up to this show about why it was happening now.  None of that seemed to matter when I saw the marquee, pictured above, with the name and dates.  It was really Leonard Cohen, live in concert!

I’d listened to the NPR recording a few times; needed to make sure he was still going to sound good at age 74 before I made the effort to go to the show.  There’s nothing worse than going to see a legendary act and have that act look and sound awful.  It can ruin all the memories.  But the NPR recording sounded so good, I came in with high hopes. (more…)

April 13, 2009

Beirut: March of the Zapotec/Holland

Filed under: Album Reviews — Tags: , , , , — Caroline @ 11:33 pm
Beware the back slash

Beware the back slash

Beirut-March of the Zapotec/Holland

Release Date: February 16, 2009

As a girl who claims to be quite a huge Beirut fan, my natural reaction when I first heard about the newest production from said band was, OMG! I had read in an article in Fader Magazine that front man, Zac Condon, had traveled down to the Oaxaca region of Mexico and recorded with a troop of local musicians known as Banda Jimenez of Teotitlan del Valle. This bit of information made Zapotec all the more exciting, as a blogger of Mexican decent, to feast my ears on. (more…)

Outside Lands Festival Lineup Analysis

Outside Lands Festivalgoers dancing to Manu Chao last year...

Outside Lands Festivalgoers dancing to Manu Chao last year...

They released the initial line-up for this year’s Outside Lands Music & Arts Festival, and if you haven’t already seen it on the 20,000 other sites that are posting it, here it is…
Pearl Jam, Dave Matthews Band, Beastie Boys, Incubus, Black Eyed Peas, MIA, Jason Mraz, Ween, Band Of Horses, TV On The Radio, The Dead Weather, Atmosphere, The Mars Volta, Thievery Corporation, Modest Mouse, Tom Jones, Silversun Pickups, Robert Randolph & The Family Band, The National, Q-Tip, Brett Dennen, Built To Spill, Mastodon, Raphael Saadiq, Calexico, Os Mutantes, Midnite, JJ Grey & Mofro, Kinky, Deerhunter, Lila Downs, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Ave, The Dodos, Betty Lavette, Dengue Fever, Heartless Bastards, The Dirtbombs, Lenka, Akron/Family, John Vanderslice, Matt & Kim, Portugal. The Man, The Morning Benders, The Duke Spirit, Zee Avi, Blind Pilot, Sambada, Ryan Bingham, West Indian Girl, Extra Golden…

Now, I think it looks pretty good, and I can discuss all the bands at length if you wish, but I am a bit more worried about all of the things that can go wrong with this show. (more…)

April 12, 2009

The Anvil Experience at Slim’s 4/12/2009

Filed under: Film Reviews, Show Reviews — Tags: , , — Gordon @ 10:37 pm
A great movie about a not-so-great band

A great movie about a not-so-great band

The Anvil Experience at Slim’s promised a preview screening of the documentary Anvil! The Story of Anvil followed by a live performance by the band itself.  I figured this was going to the best possible way to see this movie, so off I went.

I’d be lying if I said I were familiar with Anvil.  Their name sounds familiar, but it’s so generic, it would sound familiar to anyone, I’d imagine.  They are a Canadian metal band that’s been playing together since 1978, and although they were influence on a few more famous bands, they never found success themselves.  Thirty years later, they still play together and try to make their rock and roll dreams come through.  The band goes on a comically bad tour of Europe, tries to get a record deal, and just try to keep themselves together as a band.

I’ve seen interviews where the band’s leader “Lips” does not like comparisons to This Is Spinal Tap, but here comes some.  And if he has anyone to blame, it’s the director.  There are some spoilers in the next bullet points, both for Anvil! and This Is Spinal Tap, so be warned. (more…)

Friendly Fires & White Lies at Slim’s 4/11/2009

Filed under: Show Reviews — Tags: , , , — Gordon @ 6:58 pm
This picture is not from this show, but the singer was wearing the same shirt.  Thanks to for allowing the share.

This picture is not from this show, but the singer was wearing the same shirt. Thanks to for allowing the share.

I thought I was seeing a White Lies show, and it was nice that Friendly Fires were playing. But by the time the show was over, it was clear I had seen a Friendly Fires show, and that it was nice that White Lies were playing.

I got there right as White Lies were taking the stage. (There was an opener called The Soft Pack but I was unable to see their set. Other reviewers might lie about this.) I like White Lies album a lot, and the music sounds good live. It’s just that they don’t do much on stage. They just stand there. Their music calls for them to be dressed better, too. I still like the album, but their set left me cold.

I scooted up front with some friends to watch Friendly Fires, and this band is a great time! The songs sound so lively on stage, and the band performs with a catchy intensity. It makes it hard to not dance. There was, in fact, much dancing. I still can’t recommend their album other than as a demo for their live show. Their set was only 40 minutes or so; they’re going to need more material to become a true headlining band. But if you are at a festival where they’re playing, make a point of visiting their stage.

April 8, 2009

Green Day at the Independent 4/7/2009

Filed under: Show Reviews — Tags: , , — Gordon @ 3:45 pm
Billie Joe's Setlist did not match the actual setlist.  Thanks to for allowing sharing of his photo!

Billie Joe's Setlist did not match the actual setlist. Thanks to for allowing sharing of his photo!

When the email came through announcing that Green Day was playing the Independent (a 500-or-so capacity venue in San Francisco) that same night, I bought tickets before I could consider whether I could actually go.  How did I get the email fast enough to buy tickets?  I thank Blackberry push email.  Thanks Blackberry!

When I arrived, there was still a lengthy line at will call.  There were folks walking up and down the line offering big money for tickets, but I decided $200 a ticket wasn’t worth both missing the show and the ribbing I would take from people for missing the show.  (My price was going to be $500 a ticket, but I wasn’t going to ask and no one was going to offer.)  Besides, you wouldn’t be reading this if I had taken the money, and you–the readers–are very important.

As expected the show leaned heavily on the material from the new album.  Thanks to the photo above and Wikipedia, I was able to determine the likely song titles for everything they played.  The setlists and my full review are below:


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