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The first in a chain of semi-slick, semi-arty local bars owned by the same entrepreneurial team (see also: Bullitt, Rebel, Dr. Teeth & the Electric Mayhem), Tonic is sunny, relaxed, and casual during its late afternoon opening hours, then gets crowded as the Russian Hill pub crawlers, gossip girls, and scammer lads file their way in. The walls feature rotating art displays (usually involving some sort of ironic pop-culture reference), while a mural depicting Rubenesque nudes in various states of S.F.-related debauchery keeps permanent watch over the semi-circular booth in the rear. If you tire of eyeing the well-dressed young things around the room, look up and check out the overhead fans - which look like ordinary desk fans that have spun themselves upside-down and sprouted an extra head - or ponder the foamy ceiling pads that spread across the ceiling in an inverted checkerboard pattern. Standard drink prices start in the $5-$6 range, and custom cocktails hover closer to $10, but happy hour deals (e.g., buy a straight shot and get a beer for free) provide more affordable options for those with tight budgets.

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  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"

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