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Music, All Shook Down 5 Rock Vocalists Whose Voices Have Completely Changed

5 Rock Vocalists Whose Voices Have Completely Changed

The goal for all successful artists is to have as long of a career as they can possibly muster. The downside to this is having the world watching your every move, as you grow, change and explore other avenues that…
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Music, Hidden Agenda Komodo Punks and the Journeyman Balladeer

Komodo Punks and the Journeyman Balladeer

Bodies and Control and Money and Power is the laundry list of a title that introduces the debut album from Washington, D.C., punk band Priests. Each capitalized letter is outlined in white atop a rage-red album cover, and the lyrics…
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Calendar, Night&Day I'm Your Man

I'm Your Man

Sylvie Simmons' marvelous biography I'm Your Man: the Life of Leonard Cohen is written like a love letter, not with the servile fawning of a young devotee but the worldly temper of one who knows what is at stake.…
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Dining, Eat The Bulletproof Waltz: An Ode to Nightlife

The Bulletproof Waltz: An Ode to Nightlife

We're hanging out in Martuni's, the last great gay piano bar in San Francisco. Once, these majestic animals roamed the hills like mastodon; now, they are nearly extinct. On a good night, it seems like every professional singer in town…
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Music, Sizzle & Fizzle Sizzle & Fizzle: Highs and Lows from the Last Week in S.F. Music

Sizzle & Fizzle: Highs and Lows from the Last Week in S.F. Music

Sizzle • Noise Pop 2013 offered great sets by Thao Nugyen, Toro y Moi, and the Ty Segall project Fuzz, among many others. The festival ended with a surprise show Sunday night by instrumental electronic act Tycho at 1772 Market,…
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Music, Sylvie Simmons: S.F. Music Journalist, Rock 'n' Roll Detective

Sylvie Simmons: S.F. Music Journalist, Rock 'n' Roll Detective

Writing a good biography is an extremely personal piece of detective work. At least, that's Sylvie Simmons' take on it. The veteran music journalist, British expat, and Mission District resident spent three years sifting through the minutiae of revered Canadian…
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Calendar, Night&Day The Beautiful Ugly Truth

The Beautiful Ugly Truth

Lori Shantzis' ex might not recognize the bombshell cooing “My Heart Belongs to Daddy” beneath the platinum blonde wig, but transformation is the keystone of Shantzis' one-woman burlesque show. Loved by You tells the tale of a young girl who…
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Music, Hear This Crooked Fingers: Show Preview

Crooked Fingers: Show Preview

Archers of Loaf played its first show in 13 years last January, but the indie-punk abstractionists' heralded return hasn't caused Eric Bachmann to abandon Crooked Fingers, the project that's occupied him since 2000. On the contrary, Breaks in the Armor,…
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Calendar, Night&Day Suzanne Took Us Down

Suzanne Took Us Down

The last time we saw the all-male a capella Leonard Cohen choir, the musical director of the Conspiracy of Beards lost his patience with amplification. At his gesture, the large group of suit-and-hat-wearing men calmly stepped from the stage onto…
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Calendar, Night&Day It’s the Only Thing That There’s Just Too Little Of

It’s the Only Thing That There’s Just Too Little Of

Most likely, the first song ever written had something to do with love. Perhaps it was penned by a Cro-Magnon besotted with some lady or triceratops. These days, it's just what songs are about: love of man, woman, God, baseball,…
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Calendar, Night&Day They’re Your Men

They’re Your Men

Once upon a time at the Make-Out Room, at one of those shows with a huge lineup of bands (a Seaweed Sway showcase, probably), we thought the crowd looked unusually sharp. "Next up, the Conspiracy of Beards!" the emcee yelled.…
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Calendar, Night&Day Fay Th

Fay Th

Popularity contest winner and Fresh & Onlys frontman Tim Cohen has a newish band celebrating a record release tonight. Magic Trick also includes the truly talented Noelle Cahill, on a number of instruments: sad banjo, angel vox, etc. The whole…
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Calendar, Night&Day No Relation to Ian, Far's We Know

No Relation to Ian, Far's We Know

You probably know someone who, if they were not so ferociously nice-looking, would be a giant nerd. Nellie McKay is like that; as a musician, she's also a semiclassically trained, uh-oh intelligent, and liltingly tuneful young songbird. Her sorta Tin-Pan-Alley–inspired…
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Music, All Shook Down Leonard Cohen Comes to the Paramount in Oakland this December

Leonard Cohen Comes to the Paramount in Oakland this December

"Famous Blue Raincoat?" "Hallelujah?" Any of the other dozens of classic tearjerking plaints and pleads this Canadian standard, Leonard Cohen, has authored? Well, if you haven't seen him play them yet, here is your chance.…
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Music, Hear This Conspiracy of Beards

Conspiracy of Beards

Conspiracy of Beards is a group of some 30 men who gather on small stages to sing a cappella versions of Leonard Cohen songs. That's their entire repertoire — tunes crafted by the revered Canadian songwriter. The result is haunting,…
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Music, Leonard Cohen dwells where the scars run deep

Leonard Cohen dwells where the scars run deep

Among the singer-songwriter breed, few are genuine trailblazers. Leonard Cohen is a poet pioneer rooted in that Dylan pantheon in terms of artistic influence and resilience. But while Cohen's '60s songwriting brethren aimed for catharsis, his songs have always been…
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Music, <i>Beware</i> of the real Will Oldham

Beware of the real Will Oldham

Will Oldham masks his feelings with a thick beard, a devilish grin, and a stage persona known as Bonnie "Prince" Billy. The 38-year-old songwriter makes no apologies about the fact that Bonnie is an act, a vehicle for his music…
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Music, Antony and the Johnsons' mysteries require few definite answers

Antony and the Johnsons' mysteries require few definite answers

No matter how much you've got it all figured out, your first encounter with the androgynous leader of the exquisitely sincere chamber-pop outfit Antony and the Johnsons could give serious pause. Even Lou Reed, upon first getting a load of…
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Calendar, Night&Day Folk Sounds Like Fuck

Folk Sounds Like Fuck

Once upon a time, folk and folk-rock were played on mainstream radio. Try to imagine Live 105 playing Joni Mitchell. Yeah right! That could never happen now, because it would be very threatening to someone's penis. But back in the…
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Music, Hear This The Australian Evangelist

The Australian Evangelist

The Go-Betweens were one of the classiest, most literate new wave combos of the 1980s. The Australian act was led by Grant McLennan and Robert Forster, who combined plaintive vocals, droll wordplay, and achingly pretty melodies. The Go-Bs were around…
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