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Music, Hear This Yesway: Show Preview

Yesway: Show Preview

Yesway is an experimental folk project fronted by former Bay Area residents Emily Ritz (DRMS and Honeycomb) and Kacey Johansing (Honeycomb). Sumptuous harmonies and two chiming acoustic guitars are the duo's hallmark, but they stretch the boundaries of traditional songwriting…
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Calendar, Night&Day Back to Basie

Back to Basie

Why is American jazz band leader William “Count” Basie a classic? Basie pioneered the Kansas City jazz style that has come to define music of the pre-war era. He had a penchant for sniffing out emerging talent and proved his…
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Music, All Shook Down Five Dogs Made Famous By Musicians (Hang in There, Fiona Apple)

Five Dogs Made Famous By Musicians (Hang in There, Fiona Apple)

Yesterday, Fiona Apple reduced us -- and about a million other people -- to the kinds of tears that usually only come after watching one of those Sarah McLachlan dog shelter commercials while hungover and pre-menstrual. The cause was a…
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Music, Bouncer Bouncer Ponders the N Word at the Mark Twain Hotel

Bouncer Ponders the N Word at the Mark Twain Hotel

Don't get me wrong: I don't mind the fact that San Franciscans love to associate themselves with Mark Twain, even though he was just passing through town in the 1860s. It's just that, seein' as I am from an area…
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Music, All Shook Down Top Six Songs About Muni That We'd Love to Play on Muni

Top Six Songs About Muni That We'd Love to Play on Muni

Okay, so none of these songs -- with the possible exception of one -- are technically about our transit system here in San Francisco. But this post on Muni Diaries got us thinking: What music would we play if we…
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Calendar, Night&Day Cosmic Disco Dragons

Cosmic Disco Dragons

Nestled among the all-star cast of guests on Gorillaz’ horizon-chasing opus, Plastic Beach, is a name that might not be familiar. The Swedish quartet Little Dragon appears on the stark duets “Empire Ants” and “To Binge,” co-written by singer Yukimi…
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Calendar, Night&Day Prewar Punk

Prewar Punk

Squirrel Nut Zippers were always a bit too weird for the swing revival. The North Carolina troupe was also incredibly well-studied, flitting among decades-old sounds with an authentic ear. The second half of the ’90s proved a boon, as the…
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Calendar, Night&Day Christ! <i>Mas</i>!

Christ! Mas!

Christmas music sucks. Most of it is saccharine, faux-pious, emotionally manipulative crap, recorded embalmingly. To the rescue is local blues and jazz singer Kim Nalley, who's famous for three things: a great voice, a pretty face, and a dirty mind.…
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Music, Thao Nguyen and the Get Down Stay Down give breakups a pop beat

Thao Nguyen and the Get Down Stay Down give breakups a pop beat

It's said that necessity is the mother of invention. Adversity may then be the father, that uncompromising taskmaster whose coaching you don't appreciate until later. One recent example of the latter: indie rocker Thao Nguyen, whose romantic breakup drives Know…
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Dining, Eat Coda gives us all that jazz, and food too

Coda gives us all that jazz, and food too

The local jazz scene hasn't really thrived since the days when the Fillmore played host to Billie Holiday, Charlie Parker, and John Coltrane, while Miles Davis held court at the Blackhawk in the Tenderloin and Duke Ellington premiered his Concert…
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Music, Jolie Holland's storytelling grows in scope

Jolie Holland's storytelling grows in scope

Say you wandered into the Rite Spot at 17th and Mission streets sometime in 1999. There's a crowd of dot-com cubicle monkeys unwinding at the bar, and a few couples lit by candlelight at a handful of tables. In front…
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Music, Bouncer

Working out the balance of the universe in North Beach

Things fall apart. Yet despite the dips and valleys in life, in the end, I believe that the universe evens itself out. I suppose this is the sort of thinking that someone who has never had a major tragedy befall…
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Culture, Stage Cracked Crystal

Cracked Crystal

There comes a point in many a celebrity's career when he or she feels compelled to get out of the fast lane for a while and concentrate on something more wholesome. Some, like Paul Newman, make salad dressing; others, such…
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Music, Reviewed Patty Waters

Patty Waters

She released but two albums in the mid-1960s on the iconoclastic ESP label, but avant-garde vocalist Patty Waters had considerable impact, influencing no less a singer than Diamanda Galas. Then she "disappeared" (to be a mom), re-emerging in the mid-'90s…
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Best of San Francisco, Arts & Entertainment

Best Crooner

Spencer Day Utah-born singer/songwriter Spencer Day packs fans into any joint where he's tickling the keys, and not just because of his boyish good looks. What makes the twentysomething's vocal stylings special is Day's lack of affected cool,…
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Calendar, Sports/Outdoors Noise in the 'Hood

Noise in the 'Hood

SAT 2/26 Saunter down Fillmore Street on the blocks surrounding Geary and what do you notice? A Safeway, fast-food restaurants, liquor stores, and check-cashing outlets. But historian and author John Williams Templeton (who penned the illustrated four-volume anthology Our Roots…
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Music, Reviewed Lhasa


Globe-trotting singer/songwriter Lhasa de Sela's long-awaited second album (following 1998's ear-opening La Llorona) is breathtaking in its melodic beauty, which draws on the poetic power of no fewer than three languages: Spanish, French, and English. Yet despite its polyglot sophistication,…
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Calendar, Performance <i>Holiday</i> -- Celebrate

Holiday -- Celebrate

ONGOING 9/15-10/10 Duke Ellington wrote more than 200 songs during his 75 years, but he wrote the score to only three musicals, one of which was Beggar's Holiday. No doubt this ticket was one hot paper stub back in 1946,…
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Best of San Francisco, Arts & Entertainment

Best Nouveau Old-Timey Musician

Ever get in one of those moods, the kind where people all seem the same, busy going to the gym and buying groceries, while you wonder if there isn't something more to life? If you're lucky, at about that time…
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Music, Reviewed Jolie Holland

Jolie Holland

San Francisco singer/songwriter Jolie Holland's 2003 debut album, Catalpa, was a collection of hazy demos that nevertheless won the acclaim of critics worldwide. Now we have her first proper studio recording, Escondida, and while the intriguing murk and mumbled inscrutability…
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