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Emma Silvers

Music, The Adventures of Polaris (and Polaris)

The Adventures of Polaris (and Polaris)

Collective nostalgia is a powerful drug. One needn't look much further than the front page of BuzzFeed ("32 Things Only People Born In August 1986 Will Understand!") or headlines about the Hollywood reboot of the week (Ghostbusters, The X-Files, Full…
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Music, Hear This Brian Beattie: Show Preview

Brian Beattie: Show Preview

"It's a book, it's a record, it's a movie for your ears!" proclaims the tagline for this seriously imaginative project by veteran producer Brian Beattie. That's no joke: Ivy and the Wicker Suitcase is one of the most immersive, simultaneously…
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News, Feature No Rent: BDSM Meets Broadway in NOFX Frontman Fat Mike’s New Punk Musical <i>Home Street Home</i>

No Rent: BDSM Meets Broadway in NOFX Frontman Fat Mike’s New Punk Musical Home Street Home

Long before Fat Mike — the mohawked, frequently bratty, always larger-than-life frontman of NOFX — ever set foot on a stage, he was just little Michael John Burkett, an 8-year-old boy with a flair for the dramatic. Roll the tapes…
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Music, Hear This Show Preview: Don't Forget Me: Harry Nilsson Tribute Night

Show Preview: Don't Forget Me: Harry Nilsson Tribute Night

For those of us lucky enough to grow up on the sweet, psychedelia-laden weirdness that is The Point, there's no need to explain why underrated '70s singer-songwriter Harry Nilsson deserves his own tribute night, featuring interpretations of his songs by…
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Music, Hear This Show Preview: The Nile Project

Show Preview: The Nile Project

Founded in 2011 by a pair of powerhouses in Bay Area music — the Egyptian ethnomusicologist Mina Girgis and the Ethiopian-American singer Meklit Hadero — the Nile Project brings together performers from 11 countries along the Nile for wide-ranging performances…
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Music, Remembering The Jacka: The Bay Area’s Hip-Hop Community Mourns and Celebrates a Friend, Father, Rapper, and Mentor

Remembering The Jacka: The Bay Area’s Hip-Hop Community Mourns and Celebrates a Friend, Father, Rapper, and Mentor

When we first got word of The Jacka's death by gunshot in Oakland, close to midnight on Feb. 2, we didn't want to believe it. At 37, the Pittsburg, Calif.-born rapper had been hustling for roughly half his life, and…
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Music, Hear This St. Paul and the Broken Bones: Show Preview

St. Paul and the Broken Bones: Show Preview

Talk about a whirlwind year: When this Birmingham, Alabama-based seven-piece takes the Fillmore's storied stage this Valentine's Day, it will have been just under a year since it released Half the City, the band's first full-length. Since then, theirs is…
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Music, Two Gallants Come <i>Undone</i>: On Their Fifth Full-Length, S.F.'s Hard-Living City Boys Take to the Sea

Two Gallants Come Undone: On Their Fifth Full-Length, S.F.'s Hard-Living City Boys Take to the Sea

For a couple of guys in their early 30s, Adam Stephens and Tyson Vogel sure seem world-weary. As Two Gallants, the singer-guitarist and drummer, respectively, almost seem to have been born that way. Having known each other since age 12,…
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News, Feature Low Fidelity: Someone Is Selling Tickets They Shouldn't Be Selling. But No One Seems to Be Who They Seem

Low Fidelity: Someone Is Selling Tickets They Shouldn't Be Selling. But No One Seems to Be Who They Seem

December was a good month for the New Parish. With a capacity of 450, the downtown Oakland club normally fills its calendar with a steady stream of local and national acts, with an emphasis on hip-hop, soul, funk, reggae, and…
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Music, Back in the Groove: After a Nine-Year Hiatus, Erase Errata Returns (With Longer Songs!) to Fight the City's "Douchebag Element"

Back in the Groove: After a Nine-Year Hiatus, Erase Errata Returns (With Longer Songs!) to Fight the City's "Douchebag Element"

When news broke in December that San Francisco no-wave post-punk trio Erase Errata would be releasing a new full-length record come January, a certain corner of the music blog ecosystem began internet-hyperventilating. The descriptors "legendary" and "feminist" appeared more than…
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News, Feature Bigger Than Jesus' Hair: Our Love for the King of the Parody Is Stronger Than Ever

Bigger Than Jesus' Hair: Our Love for the King of the Parody Is Stronger Than Ever

Weird Al Yankovic, age 55, defies the rules of pop culture. His career in musical comedy now spans five decades; he's won three Grammys and sold more than 12 million records. He counts Lady Gaga and George Lucas among his…
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Music, Hear This Kronos Quartet: Show Preview

Kronos Quartet: Show Preview

For an ensemble made up of only four people, the San Francisco chamber group Kronos Quartet seems to have a foot in just about every aspect of the Bay Area music scene: Whether re-interpreting "Purple Haze" or "Marquee Moon," collaborating…
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Music, Hear This Flesh Eaters: Show Preview

Flesh Eaters: Show Preview

Who says rock critics can't also be rock stars? Though writer and Flesh Eaters frontman Chris Desjardins might disavow that second title, there's no question about the punk poet's influence on the West Coast scene throughout the '80s. Thanks to…
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Music, Hear This Bells Atlas: Show Preview

Bells Atlas: Show Preview

Oakland's Bells Atlas describes itself as "Missy Elliott meets Bjork meets the Malian-born love child of Annie Clark," and though that'd be a mouthful of a section divider at a record store, we…
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News, Feature Winter Arts: Music

Winter Arts: Music

After a jam-packed holiday season that culminates in a seriously overwhelming spate of shows and parties on New Year's Eve, venues' calendars in January and February can seem, well, sparse. Many national acts don't start touring until March, when South…
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Music, Hear This Kelly McFarling: Show Preview

Kelly McFarling: Show Preview

Between her viscerally emotional lyricism and breath-stoppingly strong voice, S.F. singer-songwriter/banjo- and guitar-player Kelly McFarling is one of those artists who, every time she performs, leaves at least a few audience members scratching their heads and whispering, "Why isn't she…
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News, Feature 2014: The Year in Music

2014: The Year in Music

To talk about the San Francisco music scene in 2014, you must talk about growing pains. Locally, the influx of wealth drove rent prices to outrageous heights, residential development threatened our favorite venues (see: any story about the Elbo Room),…
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Music, Lust For Local: The Bay Area Releases That Made Our Musical Honor Roll In 2014

Lust For Local: The Bay Area Releases That Made Our Musical Honor Roll In 2014

Ah, December: that time of year when music critics everywhere look back through their most-loved records and throw caution to the wind, ignoring everything that's true about the meaninglessness of hierarchy in art and the limits of genre to declare…
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Music, Work in Progress: Nearly Three Years After Coming Out, Against Me!'s Laura Jane Grace Is Mastering the Art of Telling Her Own Story

Work in Progress: Nearly Three Years After Coming Out, Against Me!'s Laura Jane Grace Is Mastering the Art of Telling Her Own Story

At the outset of 2012, the lead singer of Against Me! — the Florida anarcho-punk band that built a following throughout the aughts on raw, anthemic songs that were as emotional as they were political — should theoretically have been…
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Music, The Golden Age: On 'Berkeley to Bakersfield,' Cracker Grapples With Its Split Personality — and the Realities of the Music Industry

The Golden Age: On 'Berkeley to Bakersfield,' Cracker Grapples With Its Split Personality — and the Realities of the Music Industry

"We're kind of in our Joan Didion phase," says David Lowery, co-founder of Cracker, when asked what inspired the band's new California-centric double album, Berkeley to Bakersfield. The singer-guitarist is taking a break from his office at the University of…
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