South By SF

April 13, 2009

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…)

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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 http://www.flickr.com/photos/fugutabetai/ for allowing the share.

This picture is not from this show, but the singer was wearing the same shirt. Thanks to http://www.flickr.com/photos/fugutabetai/ 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 http://www.flickr.com/photos/geekstinkbreath for allowing sharing of his photo!

Billie Joe's Setlist did not match the actual setlist. Thanks to http://www.flickr.com/photos/geekstinkbreath 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:

(more…)

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