Treasure Island Music Festival

Treasure hunting


Tuckered out from Hardly Strictly Bluegrass? Yeah, us too.

Thing is, October — that’s San Francisco’s summer, if you’re a newbie — is just getting started. Next up is Treasure Island Music Festival (Oct. 18-19), now in its eighth year, aka your annual opportunity to look out at the bay and the twinkling city in the distance, pull your hoodie tighter around yourself, and say “I should come out here more often.”

Even if it’s the only time of year you find yourself on the isle, it’s a damn good one. TIMF is a beauty of festival, design-wise: Two stages within shouting distance of each other plus staggered performances throughout the day mean you don’t get caught up in festival FOMO. And the visual art and DJs it attracts thanks to the Silent Frisco stage pump it up with a distinctly San Franciscan flair (in case, for example, you ingest so much of something that the temperature and skyline aren’t enough to help you remember where you are).

Here are our picks for the best of the fest.

TV on the Radio
Very few bands can accurately claim to sound like the future and the past at once, but these Brooklyn rockers — who have been teasing singles from their new release Seeds, out this November — zoom pretty effortlessly back and forth, with bass, synths, keys, and horns that come together for a damn good dance party.

Ana Tijoux
We first fell for the French-Chilean artist’s textured, colorful blend of Spanish language hip-hop with jazz and traditional South American instruments in 2006 — when her collaboration with Julieta Venegas was everywhere, and we didn’t even get sick of it. Since then she’s only grown more intriguing, and less like pretty much anything else happening in Latin music. Check out this year’s Vengo if you need convincing.

The Growlers
Psych-y surf-punk from Costa Mesa that can help you visualize beach weather, regardless of that middle-of-the-bay breeze cutting through your clothes.

This Icelandic folk-tronica phenom is only 22, but he’s already been buzzy (especially abroad) for a good chunk of his adult life. We’re curious to hear how the lush songs off his debut album translate live.



Oct. 18-19, $89.50-$295

Treasure Island

Two-fer Tuesday: New music videos from Cathedrals and The Stone Foxes


Because nothing showcases the breadth of music being made in the Bay Area better than some chilled-out electro R&B followed by a driving blues-rock sprint of a song: Here are the latest music videos from local faves Cathedrals and the Stone Foxes. 

The Cathedrals‘ first music video, for their song “Unbound,” marks one year since the duo began releasing music online — beginning with that tune, with Brodie Jenkins’ seductive singalong of a chorus over a layered symphony of Johnny Hwin’s guitar and synths. For the video, released today, the pair recruited Maria Kochetkova, a dancer with the San Francisco Ballet, to perform in front of a light sculpture called Sugar Cubes, by SF artist Alex Green. Cathedrals’ debut EP came out this month on Neon Gold, and they’ll play Treasure Island Music Festival Oct. 19.

And in an entirely different vein, The Stone Foxes,  who are home this week after a whirlwind tour of the West Coast, gave us this brand-new video for “Locomotion,” in which our heroes — showcasing a good sense of humor alongside their lack of physical prowess — challenge a bunch of guys who actually know how to play basketball to an ill-fated game. “We thought, what kind of video could encapsulate the song’s story of the [band members] Koehler Brothers’ great grandfather running away from the authorities in newly communist Russia? A sports movie of course!” wrote the band by way of explanation. Gonna call that one a slam dunk.

The band promises to release new music the first Friday of every month for the next year, building up to an album in late 2015. For now, the Stone Foxes will kick off a residency at The Chapel Nov. 1 with Strange Vine. 


Live shots: Beck christens the new Masonic


It’s not often that you get to see a new venue on opening night — so yeah, even if Beck hadn’t been part of the deal, we would’ve been stoked to spend Friday evening at the newly refurbished and rebranded Masonic.

While it’s not technically a new venue, it might as well be: After months of construction (and literally years of fighting with Nob Hill neighbors) the historic Masonic temple reopened this weekend with a new sound system, completely revamped stage and seating areas, new bars and concessions, a shmancy new VIP section, you name it.


The renovations also upped the venue’s capacity to 3,300 — compare that to, say, the Warfield’s 2,300 — which makes it all the more impressive that the jam-packed amphitheater-shaped, with seats on the upper level and standing-room only on the floor — actually felt pretty intimate. Of course, several hundred strangers sweating on you will also do that.

“There’s no opener tonight, so we’re kind of gonna open for ourselves,” Beck told the crowd, to cheers of approval. “And we’ve been playing a lot of festivals. We thought we’d play some of the new album for you first, which we haven’t really gotten to do — this’ll be nice to stretch out a little.”


Accordingly, the first 30 minutes or so were made up of harmony-heavy, melancholy numbers off February’s Morning Phase, which Beck has said was intended as a companion to 2002’s Sea Change, his other (truly masterful) collection of heartbreakingly beautiful songs to take along on a solo post-breakup road trip. “Blue Moon” was as triumphant and warm as it was, well, blue; accompanied by an image of a werewolf-howl-worthy moon on the giant video screen behind him, the song lulled the crowd into a reflective state. The always-welcome “Golden Age” sealed the mood, with our ringleader at the guitar and harmonica.


And then, very abruptly, it was time to dance.

One almost forgets exactly how many hits Beck Hansen has written over the course of his 20-year career, until one sees them performed back-to-back. “Devil’s Haircut,” “Loser,” “Where It’s At” — if you were a young person in the 90s, there’s a good chance these lyrics are wedged permanently into some corner of your brain. A super-heavy “E-Pro” devolved into band members physically crashing into each other and falling down in a pile of guitar reverb, after which Beck, straight-faced, turned it into a crime scene, stretching a piece of yellow caution tape across the stage.

The highlight, though? Devotees of Beck’s live show will know to expect “Debra” — quite likely the best tongue-in-cheek sexytime jam ever written, and certainly the best one about wanting to romance both an intended paramour and her sister — but it doesn’t matter how much you’re anticipating it, or, say, if you saw him do it last year at Treasure Island Music Festival. When he catapults his voice into that falsetto, then busts out the regional specifics (“I’m gonna head to the East Bay, maybe to Emeryville, to the shopping center where you work at the fashion outlet…”), and actually looks like he’s still having fun with it, no matter how long he’s been doing this — well, that shit’s contagious. 


If we have any complaints, it’s that the show was encore-less. But when you open for yourself and play a solid, nearly two-hour set that spans 13 studio albums, with roughly half of the songs involving running around the stage like a madman in a little sport jacket and Amish-looking hat, and don’t seem to have broken a sweat by the end of all of it — we’ll forgive you. Billboard recently called Beck “the coolest weirdo in the room,” which, seeing as this room was in San Francisco, at the start of Folsom Street Fair weekend, that might have been a stretch.

On the other hand, we’ve had this stuck in our heads for the past three days. Keep doing what you do, sir. We’ll probably be in the crowd next time, too.



This Week’s Picks: Sept 17-23, 2014





Multiple Mary and Invisible Jane

Flyaway Productions, the aerial dance company that aims to “expose the range and power of female physicality,” will use an 80-foot wall offered up by the UC Hastings College of the Law to perform its new, site-specific dance created for the Tenderloin. If you’ve never seen aerial dance before, get ready to hold your breath as you watch dancers careen, tumble, and pirouette some seven stories up into the stratosphere. But the social justice themes for this performance keep its spirit on the streets, while dancers Erin Mei-Ling Stuart, Alayna Stroud, Marystarr Hope, Becca Dean, Laura Ellis, and Esther Wrobel fly through the air: Multiple Mary and Invisible Jane was choreographed by Jo Kreiter to narrate the experience of homeless women in San Francisco, in a neighborhood where extreme privilege and poverty collide. This afternoon’s performance will also have tabling with housing activists from Tenants Together. (Emma Silvers)

Wed/17-Thu/18 at noon and 8pm; Fri/19-Sat/20 at 8 and 9pm; free

UC Hastings School of the Law

333 Golden Gate, SF

(415) 672-4111







Some know quaaludes as a sedative that was popular in the disco era for its dizzying side effects. Others more hip to San Francisco’s independent music scene know Quaaludes as an all-girl quartet from the city by the Bay. Combining elements of grunge, post-punk, and riot grrrl, the band is unapologetically fierce when it comes to its live shows and lyric matter. In the band’s latest conquest to conquer a primarily male-dominated scene, Quaaludes is releasing its newest 7″ EP, dubbed Nothing New, on Dollskin and Thrillhouse Records this week. In celebration of this and their upcoming tour, the band will be playing with Generation Loss, Bad Daddies and Man Hands at everybody’s favorite Bernal Heights’ dive bar, The Knockout. (Erin Dage)

With Generation Loss, Bad Daddies, Man Hands

10pm, $7


3223 Mission, SF

(415) 550-6994






Eat Real Festival

Do you like noshing on food that’s as tasty as it is wallet-friendly? (If the answer is negative, the follow-up is: Do you have a pulse?) Oakland’s Eat Real Festival lures some of the most tempting food trucks and vendors in the Bay Area to Jack London Square, none of which will charge more than eight bucks for whatever’s on the menu. Besides affordable, sustainable and local are other key buzzwords at play, but the loudest buzz of all will be emanating from the hungry as they feast on mac n’ cheese, tacos, BBQ, falafel, vegan delights, sweet treats, and more. (Cheryl Eddy)

Today, 1-9pm; Sat/20, 10:30am-9pm; Sun/21, 10:30am-5pm, free

Jack London Square

55 Harrison, Oakl.





Cine+Mas 6th Annual SF Latino Film Festival

Filmmakers, young and old, parading their versions of the provoca-creative relationship between the eye behind the lens and the image in front of the camera. This 6th edition of the San Francisco Latino Film Festival not only highlights most genres and styles of cinematography but a substantial example of the new Latin American film current. The result might well outshine Hollywood. In El Salvador, there is still a lot to do to settle scores with one of its most prolific (and ignored) poets, and the film Roque Dalton, Let’s Shoot the Night! (Austria, El Salvador, Cuba) is one step forward. In Peru’s Trip to Timbuktu, teenagers Ana and Lucho use love to hide from the social unrest of the ’80s. The festival opens with LA’s Alberto Barboza Cry Now. Films will also be shown in Berkeley, Oakland, and San Jose. (Fernando A. Torres)

Through Sept. 27

7pm, $15 (prices and times vary)

Brava Theater

2781 24th St., SF

(415) 754-9580





In case you hadn’t heard, the Nob Hill Masonic Center recently had a little work done — a nip here, a tuck there, the installation of 3,300 brand-new seats, a few new bars, food options, and a rather expensive state-of-the-art sound system. Kicking things off at the new-and-improved music venue that will henceforth be known as The Masonic is Beck, who seemingly never ages, and whom you can count on to christen the stage but good with his idiosyncratic blend of funk, rock, and melancholy blues (this year’s Moon Phase was on the mopier side of the spectrum, but in a darn pretty way). The last time we saw him we were freezing our butts off at the Treasure Island Music Festival, so we’re excited to see him moonwalk again (hopefully!) in slightly cozier pastures. (Silvers)

8pm, $85-$120


1111 California, SF

(415) 776-7475







“Silent Autumn”

Good news, SF Silent Film Festival fans: The popular “Silent Winter” program is now “Silent Autumn,” and its movie magic (with live musical accompaniment) arrives at the Castro months earlier than usual. The day is packed with top-notch programming, but if you must narrow it down: The British Film Institute-curated “A Night at the Cinema in 1914” showcases newsreels (think votes-for-women protestors and World War I reports), comedies (early Chaplin!), a Perils of Pauline episode, and more; while the freshly restored, memorably creepy German expressionist classic The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) gets its US premiere. (Eddy)

First program at 11am, $15

Castro Theatre

429 Castro, SF





After the breakup of the original Misfits in 1983, Glenn Danzig built upon the horror punk foundation of his first band and added even darker lyrical content, and later on, a more metal sound to the mix, creating Samhain — a group that would go on to release three records before the singer re-tooled the lineup and adopted the eponymous moniker of Danzig. When original members Steve Zing and London May join Danzig on stage in San Francisco tonight — one of only seven gigs that the band is playing on this special reunion tour — you can be assured that “All Hell Breaks Loose!” (Sean McCourt)

With Goatwhore and Kyng

8pm, $30-$45

The Warfield

982 Market, SF








Berkeley World Music Festival

Telegraph Avenue is enough of a spectacle in and of itself on an average day, but on day two of this free fest — which marks the first time organizers have thrown a fall party in addition to the spring festival — the whole street will become a stage, as organizers have closed the Ave to cars between Dwight and Durant. Get ready to hear Zydeco and Canjun sounds, Klezmer tunes, Moroccan Chaabi pop, Zimbabwean dance numbers, Sufi trance, and just about every other kind of international music you can think of. A kids’ section will have puppet shows and street art, while a special beer garden on Telegraph at Haste serves to benefit Berkeley’s beloved Ashkenaz Music & Dance Community Center. No passport necessary. (Silvers)

Starts Sat/20, noon to 6pm, free

Telegraph between Dwight and Durant, Berk.

MONDAY/22 The Raveonettes Grafting lush harmonies, catchy song structures, and timeless production values from 1950s rock ‘n’ roll pioneers such as Buddy Holly and the Everly Brothers onto a modern indie approach, The Raveonettes have created an ethereal sound that is virtually all their own. Sune Rose Wagner and Sharin Foo have added fuzz-tone guitars and more on top of their history-steeped musical foundation over the course of several records to great effect, including their latest, Pe’ahi, which hit stores in July. Based on tracks like “Endless Sleeper,” it appears that living in Los Angeles has added a ripping surf twang to their guitar sound — along with other welcome, varied instrumentation. (McCourt) 8pm, $28 Bimbo’s 365 Club 1025 Columbus, SF (415) 474-0365 TUESDAY/23 Robin Williams Double Feature: The World According to Garp and The Birdcage What is there to say about the beloved comedian that hasn’t already been said? Better to let him speak — rant, sing, preach — for himself, in any of the countless, ridiculous voices in which he spoke. The 1982 adaptation of John Irving’s novel sees Williams in the title role of Garp, alongside Glenn Close making her feature debut, plus John Lithgow’s Academy Award-nominated turn as a transgender jock. And The Birdcage, Mike Nichols’ classic, uproarious 1996 adaptation of La Cage aux Folles, pairs Williams with two of the other finest comedic actors of his generation, Hank Azaria and Nathan Lane, for the original Meet the Parents, so to speak. (Hint: It’s funnier when one of the couples owns a gay nightclub in South Beach.) Shoes optional? (Silvers) 4:45pm, 7pm, 9:30pm, $11 Castro Theatre 429 Castro, SF George Thorogood Celebrating 40 years of bringing blues and booze-fueled good times to fans around the globe, George Thorogood and The Destroyers continue to be the unabashedly best bar band in the world. Just hearing the first few notes or verses of songs like “Move It On Over,” “I Drink Alone,” “Who Do You Love,” and of course, “Bad to the Bone” transports listeners to a jumpin’ juke joint of yesteryear, where you forget all your daily troubles and just dance the night away — and you know what to order when the bartender asks. Of course, it’s “One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer!” (McCourt) 8pm, $38.50 The Fillmore 1805 Geary, SF (415) 346-3000 The Guardian listings deadline is two weeks prior to our Wednesday publication date. To submit an item for consideration, please include the title of the event, a brief description of the event, date and time, venue name, street address (listing cross streets only isn’t sufficient), city, telephone number readers can call for more information, telephone number for media, and admission costs. Send information to Listings, the Guardian, 835 Market Street, Suite 550, SF, CA 94103; or e-mail (paste press release into e-mail body — no attachments, please) to Digital photos may be submitted in jpeg format; the image must be at least 240 dpi and four inches by six inches in size. We regret we cannot accept listings over the phone.

A show a day: Your fall music calendar


What’s going on in Bay Area music these next three months? Glad you asked. 

Like a daily multivitamin wards off the sniffles, getting the SFBG’s official recommended dose of live shows is crucial to maintaining optimal mental health, fun levels, and skin tone, especially as the days get shorter and the weather turns ever-so-slightly cooler.

Here’s your musical agenda from Labor Day through Thanksgiving, with highlights from our favorite fall festivals (see this week’s issue for lots more).

Aug. 28 Black Cobra Vipers with French Cassettes The Chapel, SF.

Aug. 29 Blind Willies Viracocha, SF.

Aug. 30 Mistah F.A.B. Slim’s, SF.

Aug. 31 LIVE 105’s Punk Rock Picnic with The Offspring, Bad Religion, Pennywise, and more. Are you a late-thirties/early-forties punk rock guy or gal who can’t agree on much of anything with your 13-year-old these days? Doesn’t get much better than this lineup. Bonus points for screaming along to all the swearing on The Offspring’s “Bad Habit.” Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mountain View.

Sept. 1 Hiero Day. Souls of Mischief, Del, and the rest of the guys have promised some pretty big guest stars at this week’s fest, but even without ’em — a free block party with beer from Linden Street Brewery and music from some of the Bay Area’s best underground rappers? Guests, schmests. Downtown Oakland,

Sept. 2 Ghost & Gale Brick and Mortar, SF.

Sept. 3 Joey Cape Thee Parkside, SF.

Sept. 4 Carletta Sue Kay Hemlock Tavern, SF.

Sept. 4-13 Mission Creek Oakland Music & Arts Festival. With a range of heavy hitters — from B. Hamilton and Bill Baird to Whiskerman — this is a showcase of the fertile ground that is Oakland’s indie rock scene right now, most with door prices you’re not likely to see from these bands again. Venues throughout Oakland,

Sept. 5 Sam Chase with Rin Tin Tiger Uptown, Oakl.

Sept. 6 Bart Davenport, Foxtails Brigade, more Block Party, downtown Oakland,

Sept. 7 Coheed and Cambria, Fox Theater, Oakl.

Sept. 8 The Rentals Slim’s, SF.

Sept. 9 Wild Eyes Knockout, SF.

Sept. 10 Kyrsten Bean New Parish, Oakl.,

Sept. 11 Sonny & The Sunsets Eagle Tavern, SF.

Sept. 11-14 Downtown Berkeley MusicFest. A range of bluesy, folky, dancey bands from all over the Bay — especially recommended: the First Person Singular presentation of Beck’s Song Reader Sept. 11 and The Parmesans at Jupiter Sept. 14. Venues all over Berkeley,

Sept. 12-14, 15th Annual Electronic Music Festival Brava Theater Center, SF.

Sept. 13 The Breeders Fillmore, SF.

Sept. 13-14 Forever Never Land, “California’s only 21+ music festival,” Avila Beach Golf Resort,

Sept. 15 Vulfpeck Brick and Mortar, SF.

Sept. 16 Lil Dicky Independent, SF.

Sept. 17 Anais Mitchell The Chapel, SF.

Sept. 18 Silent Comedy and Strange Vine Bottom of the Hill, SF.

Sept. 19 Blake Mills, The Chapel, SF.

Sept. 20 Old Crow Medicine Show The Masonic, SF.

Sept. 20-21 Berkeley World Music Festival All over Berkeley,

Sept. 20-21 Russian River Jazz & Blues Festival, with Larry Graham & Graham Central Station, more.

Sept. 21 Oakland Music Festival with The Coup, Kev Choice, more Downtown Oakland,

Sept. 22 La Roux Fox Theater, Oakl.

Sept. 23 Cello Joe The Chapel Bar, SF.

Sept. 24 Skeletonwitch, Black Anvil DNA Lounge, SF.

Sept. 25-28 Philip Glass’ Days and Nights Festival Henry Miller Memorial Library, Big Sur; Sunset Cultural Center, Carmel-by-the-Sea,

Sept. 26 Bob Mould Fillmore, SF.

Sept. 27 Wu-Tang Clan Warfield, SF.

Sept. 27 Redwood City Sala Festival Courthouse Square, Redwood City,

Sept. 28 Sam Smith Fox Theater, Oakl.

Sept. 29 Motown on Mondays Legionnaire Saloon, Oakl.

Sept. 30 Pixies The Masonic, SF.

Oct. 1 Rhymesayers presents Brother Ali, Bambu Bottom of the Hill, SF.

Oct. 2 Lorde Greek Theatre, Berk.

Oct. 3-5 Berkeley Hawaiian Music Festival Freight and Salvage, Berkl.

Oct. 3-5 Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival, Golden Gate Park, SF.

Oct 3-5 TBD Festival. Emerging Bay Area acts like 8th Grader mingle with the big kids (Blondie, Moby, Danny Brown, Kurt Vile) at this seventh annual celebration of “music, art, design, and food.” A low-key vibe and great chance to see some huge acts in a seemingly unlikely location. Riverfront, West Sacramento.

Oct. 4 Cibo Matto The Chapel, SF.

Oct. 5 Bombay Bicycle Club Warfield, SF.

Oct. 6 The War on Drugs with Cass McCombs Fillmore, SF.

Oct. 7 Thurston Moore Great American Music Hall, SF.

Oct. 8 The King Khan & BBQ Show Great American Music Hall, SF.

Oct. 9 Imelda May Fillmore, SF.

Oct. 10 Too Short Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mountain View.

Oct. 11 Pomplamoose Fillmore, SF.

Oct. 12 Jack Beats Mezzanine, SF.

Oct. 13 Mutual Benefit Independent,

Oct. 14-15 Culture Collide. This new-to-the-Bay-Area party has been rocking LA for the past few years, but it seems to have taken on an appropriately Mission-esque flavor for its first Mission takeover: Local kids like Grmln alongside national acts like Cloud Nothings and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah alongside a whole host of buzzy Korean, Australian, and UK bands? Yeah, we’re there. Up and down Valencia in the Mission, with multiple stages including the Elbo Room.

Oct. 15 Of Montreal Great American Music Hall, SF.

Oct. 16 Russian Red Independent, SF.

Oct. 17 Pup Brick and Mortar Music Hall,

Oct. 18-19 Treasure Island Music Festival, with Outkast, Massive Attack, more Treasure Island.

Oct. 20 Kimbra Independent, SF.

Oct. 21 Melvins Great American Music Hall, SF.

Oct. 22 Kat Edmonson Great American Music Hall, SF.

Oct. 23 The Blank Tapes Brick and Mortar Music Hall,

Oct. 24 Foxygen Fillmore, SF.

Oct. 25 Titan Ups and Carletta Sue Kay DNA Lounge, SF.

Oct. 26 Bridget Everett Independent, SF.

Oct. 27 Warpaint Regency Ballroom, SF.

Oct. 28 Broken Bells The Masonic, SF.

Oct. 29 King Tuff Great American Music Hall, SF. www.

Oct. 30 Tycho Fox Theater, Oakl.

Oct. 31 LIVE 105’s Spookfest with Chromeo, Alesso, more Oracle Arena, Oakl.,

Nov. 1 Stone Foxes with Strange Vine The Chapel, SF.

Nov. 2 Citizen Cope Catalyst, Santa Cruz.

Nov. 3 The Black Keys Oracle Arena, Oakl.,

Nov. 4 Frankie Rose with Cold Beat Bottom of the Hill, SF.

Nov. 5 Finch, Maps & Atlases Slim’s, SF.

Nov. 6 Bleachers Independent, SF.

Nov. 7 Slowdive Warfield, SF.

Nov. 8 Shovels & Rope Fillmore, SF.

Nov. 9 Mirah Independent, SF.

Nov. 10 Psychedelic Furs, Lemonheads Fillmore, SF.

Nov. 11 Mac DeMarco Fillmore, SF.

Nov. 12 Shakey Graves Independent, SF.

Nov. 13 Generationals The Chapel, SF.

Nov. 14 Deltron 3030 Catalyst, Santa Cruz.

Nov. 15 J. Mascis Independent, SF.

Nov. 16 Hot Water Music Slim’s, SF.

Nov. 17 Culture Club Fox Theater, Oakl.

Nov. 18 The 1975 The Masonic, SF.

Nov. 19 Har Mar Superstar Bottom of the Hill, SF.

Nov. 20 Minus the Bear Slim’s, SF.

Nov. 21 Seu Jorge Bimbo’s 365 Club, SF.

Nov. 22 Peanut Butter Wolf Brick and Mortar Music Hall,

Nov. 23 Lucero Slim’s, SF.

Your Treasure Island Music Festival lineup: Outkast, Massive Attack, and more


Thanks to a glitch in Ticketmaster’s system (or a human who works for Ticketmaster who is now having a very bad day), we got the lineup for this year’s Treasure Island Music Festival (Oct. 18 and 19) a little earlier than promoters Another Planet Entertainment were planning on announcing it. [Update as of noon-ish: The lineup’s now on the festival’s official website, too.] Here we go:

Massive Attack
TV On the Radio
Janelle Monae
The New Pornographers
Washed Out
St. Lucia
White Denim

The Growlers
Chet Faker
Ryan Hemsworth
Ana Tijoux
Painted Palms

With the exception of Painted Palms and Waters (good on ya, boys), it’s a pretty non-local crowd — but otherwise a pleasant mix of electronic and indie/garagey kids, which is of course in line with the crowd the festival usually draws. And if you missed Outkast at Coachella and BottleRock (where they were somewhat disappointing and excellent, respectively), well, here’s your next chance. At this point, honestly, we just hope it’s warmer than last year, because the chilled-to-the-bone memory of chugging overpriced wine and wondering if our hands would ever regain feeling again while waiting for Beck to come on is still alarmingly fresh.

Tickets go on sale this Thursday at 10am. Other thoughts on the lineup, folks?

Live Shots: Treasure Island Music Festival 2013


Maybe people just don’t know how to party anymore, but I didn’t come across vomit once at the Treasure Island Music Festival. The crowd’s vibe was more or less well-behaved all weekend — pretty chill considering how many people were clustered on the island for the fests’ seventh successful installment.

The organizers rely on big names, the unique setting, a variety of vendors, and plenty of distracting flash (including the nearly iconic 60-foot Ferris wheel you can ride at $5 a pop) in order to keep this thing a destination. 

It was my first TIMF experience and I’ll admit the lineup wasn’t exactly the selling point for me. I thought at least I could get nostalgic over Beck, while Detroit-duo ADULT. still holds a degree of allure. I figured I’d spend most of my time milling around (highly recommended for optimal people watching; plenty of fur) and hoped to stuff my face with tons of good food (the mac and cheese hit the spot, the fish and chips got too cold too fast, but the chicken and shrimp paella was a winner).

Kudos to the show’s producers, Another Planet Entertainment and Noise Pop Industries, in their efforts at keeping this ship running tight on many levels. It’s often noted that concertgoers won’t experience any scheduling conflicts between the two stages at this event (Outside Lands, you’ve been one-upped in this category). Plus the purchase of your ticket, which could have cost up to $150 for two-day general admission or $275 for VIP (depending on how you roll) entitled you to a free ride on their massive fleet of shuttle buses that ran back and forth from the island to the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium drop off/pick-up point.

Even the Porta-Potty situation wasn’t anything near the bladder-punishing clusterfuck I’ve experienced at the free Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival in Golden Gate Park (that’s free vs. a couple hundred bucks for ya). Entire sections of what resembled fairgrounds were dedicated to ample, underused, and very clean johns. So clean I didn’t think twice about picking up a wadded $20 bill that had another inside of it!

That may sound questionable, but I was too busy enjoying the warmth of my makeshift shelter since the temperature seemed to drop by more than 20 degrees on the island during Night One. Thom Yorke complained during his Atoms for Peace headlining set when he mentioned how he came to the Cali sun to get away from the British cold and gloom. No such luck for the rock star. The winds were relentless. Sunday seemed to grow even colder, and the winds whipped up even earlier than the day before. 

From a curator’s standpoint, the musical difference between days one and two were notable. Saturday was much heavier on the electronic and hip-hop side. That day’s lineup included a ridiculous hype-filled set by duo Major Lazer, which passed out party whistles as soon as it hit the stage, shot t-shirts from a handheld air cannon, and at one point, a member (maybe Diplo?) ran on top of the crowd inside a giant-inflatable ball that resembled a hamster’s toy. It all seemed like an over-budgeted high-school pep rally, but the crowd ate it up. Indeed, it was an impressive spectacle.

Sunday seemed less druggy (the day before, the same man somehow managed to ask me twice at different locations of the largely anonymous-feeling fest, where he could get some “MDMA”) less attended, and more laid back in tone. Children and adults alike ran through a trippy bubble display put on by a carnie-type vendor. Acts like Japandroids, Sleigh Bells, and Animal Collective provided respective returns to rock, power pop, and instrumental intensive sets with a global flare.

Beck’s set relied heavily on post-Midnite Vultures material, but I was happy to hear him sing about those old “hotwax residues.” He brought Sleigh Bells’ Alexis Krauss on stage with him just as I was heading back to the shuttle busses. Apparently I missed the cover of MJ’s “Billie Jean.”  Instead, I rode in luxury through a thick wall of fog to the mainland where a treasure of a local music scene lies waiting, markedly untapped this year. 

Heads Up: 7 must-see concerts this week


Well the biggest music news in the city this weekend (or just outside its technical geographic mainland limits) is likely the annual Treasure Island Music Festival. But beyond that, there’s Goblin’s first ever SF show — for fans of Italian horror — along with the Dodos’ glorious return, Har Mar Superstar, Clairy Brown & the Bangin’ Rackettes, GWAR, and more.

Given the costumes and output of many of these acts, it would seem Halloween season is already full swing. And no, we’re not taking into account all those pumpkin-flavored disasters. Get truly spooky, don a mask, and watch some live music in the dark of night.

Here are your must-see shows: 

Har Mar Superstar
The real maturing of Minnesota-bred, New York-based Har Mar Superstar, aka Sean Tillmann, can be heard on new record Bye Bye 17 (Cult Records). On it, Har Mar glides gracefully from old school soul on “Lady, You Shot Me” to doo-wop on “www” to Beck-worthy retro funk on “We Don’t Sleep.” It’s all a far cry from raunchy earlier beat-based releases like cult Beth Ditto collaboration “Power Lunch.”
Tue/15, 8:30pm, $12
Bottom of the Hill
1233 17th St, SF

The Dodos

This is the Dodos homecoming show for a new album that deserves an intimate headphones-preferred listen: Carrier (Polyvinyl Records), the band’s fourth full-length release. It’s a moody, solemn affair for the indie folk-rock band, said to be partially informed by the death of one-time Dodos guitarist Christopher Reimer. And on said record, check orchestral pop single “Substance,” which features fellow locals Minna Choi’s Magik Magik Orchestra. Besides the mood, the biggest difference here is in Meric Long’s guitar work — he’s switched it up from acoustic to still-tranquil electric, gently emboldening the Dodos’ sea change, backed up neatly by Logan Kroeber’s hammering drums. 
With Dustin Wong
Wed/16, 8pm, $21
Great American Music Hall
859 O’Farrell, SF

Imagine a trippy 1960s psych band (maybe playing a party in Beyond the Valley of the Dolls?) learning the dark arts of witchcraft and jumping through a crystalline mirror, coming out the other end in glitter-crusted Brooklyn 2013. Thus, you have Widowspeak, the slinky, sexy, eerie duo made up of guitarist-vocalist Molly Hamilton and guitarist Robert Earl Thomas. Next week, the duo releases a dizzying six-song EP (The Swamps), a follow-up to 2012’s Captured Tracks full-length, Almanac.
With Crystal Stilts, Pure Bathing Culture
Fri/18, 9pm, $20 
777 Valencia, SF

Clairy Browne & the Bangin’ Rackettes
Clairy Browne & the Bangin’ Rackettes should be world-famous megastars by now. But the nine-piece Australian soul band might be a tad too strange to blow up massive just yet. With pounding soul output, all those band members, and candy-coated retro fashion straight out of a John Waters flick, they might scare off the mainstreamers still, delaying their inevitable world takeover. That is to say, this wait is ludicrous. Clairy Browne’s pipes growl and coo, entice and coyly deflect, the Bangin’ Rackettes back it all up with classic girl group harmonies, guitar, drums, and baritone sax. The band’s a win-win. Just give it a damn chance. Oh, and listen below to handclap-worthy “Love Letter” off 2013’s Baby Caught the Bus (Vanguard).
With Ironsides feat. Gene Washington
Fri/18, 9pm, $18-$20
1025 Columbus, SF

Treasure Island Music Festival

This forward-thinking two-day fest out on windswept Treasure Island — ahen, the Treasure Island Music Festival — returns with Thom Yorke’s Atoms for Peace, Beck, Major Lazer, Little Dragon, Animal Collective, James Blake, Holy Ghost!, Sleigh Bells, and more. Giraffage, and Antwon are the locals on the bill. Sadly, Tricky had visa issues and had to back out (damn you, government!) however the replacement is nearly as exciting: it’s weirdo rapper Danny Brown.
Sat/18-Sun/19, noon-11pm
Treasure Island, SF

“Here’s to almost three decades of rubber masks, obscene lyrics, tasteless humor, and lots and lots of fake blood. Yes, we’re talking about GWAR, the Virginia-based heavy metal shock rock group and its foam penises, staged crucifixions, and exposed butts (among other onstage delights), which will be celebrating its 30th anniversary next year. Despite more than 18 different lineups and 26 members throughout the band’s history, little has changed about the essence of GWAR. If you’re looking to have a night to remember, get your clothes stained permanently by red dye, and maybe even see a Billy Ocean cover (GWAR recently took on “Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car” for the A.V. Club) look no further than Oderus Urungus and his monstrous minions.” — Haley Zaremba
With Whitechapel, Iron Reagan, A Band of Orcs
Sun/20, 7:30pm, $28
Regency Ballroom
1300 Van Ness, SF

“Fans of horror films know how important a soundtrack can be — the best-known examples are probably the shrieking strings of Psycho (1960) and John Carpenter’s iconic synth score for 1978’s Halloween. Fans of Euro horror, however, share a fondness for Goblin, Italian purveyors of the creepy, pulsating, proggy, keyboard-driven music that enhanced many films by macabre master Dario Argento (including 1977’s Suspiria), not to mention George Romero’s 1978 zombie classic Dawn of the Dead. Touring North America for the first time, the veteran band swoops into San Francisco to make Goblin-faithful dreams (and nightmares) come true.” — Cheryl Eddy
With Secret Chiefs 3, DJ Omar Perez
Sun/20 8pm, $28–<\d>$75
982 Market, SF

The procrastinator’s Treasure Island Music Festival to-do list


From snatching that perfect pair of tolerably uncomfortable shoes to sourcing stamina-inducing party favors, pre-music festival preparations are key.

Unfortunately I’m a procrastinator to the highest degree  — a gal who thrives on the thrill of a deadline and thereby ends up highly caffeinated on Saturday morning, buzzing between projects: weaving flower crowns with foliage from the backyard, trying on all my bras in search of the one that will best cozy my flask, baking sugary snacks that minimize long line-induced irritation, taking shots, doing lunges, and yelping with excitement.

I am also a big fan of the to-do list. And since the Treasure Island Music Festival is a personal favorite fully laced with woozy, mushy memories, I’m getting a few-day head start on this year’s to-do list to make sure the fest goes swimmingly. (Treasure Island Music Festival takes place this Sat/19-Sun/20.

My Treasure Island To-Do List

1. Cool it — I ain’t makin’ no schedule.

Treasure Island is the perfect babysitter for indecisive music-lovers. I’m gonna shuffle between stages, passing beer tents and high-fiving neighbors, co-workers, and awkward exes along the way. I’m confident in my ability to mosey into just the right kind of trouble.

2. Valet that bike — make someone else worry about parking.

No lock means I can save the room in the mini backpack for a burrito (aka tallboy wrapped in a tortilla).

3. Booze on the way — duh.

Whisky pulls during the 15-minute bus ride make for happy islanders.  

4. Sail away — time to flirt starboard side.

People have boats. Companies are chartering boats. All I’m saying is that there are boat rides to be had. There’s also rumor that one of said vessels will have the boys of Lord Huron on deck. Time to swoon in my stripes.

5. Show up early — fashionably late isn’t fashionable.

I always foolishly take my damn time and land on the island mid-afternoon, sorta sour and wishing I had just packed a bag brunch and picnicked on the grass. Quit pretending like there are better things to do — it’s an island, with music, and sunshine. Done.

6. Pack smart — not light.

Is that sandwich too heavy? Is that trail mix hurting my back? No it’s not because it’s in my belly and I’m happy. The food on site provides a nice array of local fare, but there’s no rule against brining some of your own treats, too.

7. Convince the HAIM sisters to be my bffs — get crafty.

I sincerely think we’d make great friends. We could braid each other’s long locks, listen to records while drinking milkshakes, and swap leather jackets. The plan: make friendship bracelets these girls can’t refuse. Camp DIY will have all the supplies and badass crafter, Kelly Malone of Workshop SF will be on island to make sure things are just as charming as they are rock and roll.
8. Track down the balloon chain guy. Just because.

9. Be sunset ready — no bathroom line or trinket shopping during the ball drop.

The sun will set at approximately 6:25 both evenings, meaning I’ll be feeling some sky love during Major Lazer’s set Saturday and James Blake come Sunday. Take a puff and make a thoughtful toast to that beautiful Bay called home.

10. Make-out on the 60-foot Century Ferris Wheel — no excuses.

11. Watch Nelson Loskamp cut people’s hair…from afar.

He tapes you down, covers your eyes and mouth, and sonically hacks at your hair with sound-wired scissors. I don’t understand what this means but I’m terrified and beyond curious.
12. Throw down — then stretch.

“When a fire starts to burn, right? And starts to spread? She gonna bring that attitude to halt…”

13. Get weird with strangers — we’re all smashed together anyway.  

A few dirty lyrics, pulsing bass, and silky voices — acts like Antwon and Little Dragon could encourage a few folks to get fresh. I’ll be sure to provide encouragement.

14. Be observant — and/or some light stalking.

Where or where will the Atoms For Peace crew be hanging out post show? How about Animal Collective? Beck? I probably wouldn’t be able to speak if I find them, but I’m not ashamed to drool in their presence.

15. Solid prep — Monday is for recovery.

Start that fake cough on Friday in order to avoid all work, responsibilities, and obligations come Monday. Sleigh Bells is sure to have me wrecked and amped for hooky.

Boiler Room is coming to SF


Boiler Room (aka the world’s leading underground music show) is coming to San Francisco for the first time. That SF Boiler Room event, which will be beamed to laptops and cellphones worldwide, is the official Treasure Island Music Festival after party. It features a DJ set from legendary DJ-producer-MC Madlib and super secret special guests.

You have to RSVP here to get the secret location. But we do know it’ll be Oct. 19 from 10pm-4am.

Boiler Room has hosted webstreaming live sets by up-and-coming DJs and hip-hop artists for years now. It began in London, focused on underground dance music, but has since exploded far beyond those bounds. Recent Boiler Room artists include Chvrches in London, Truss in Amsterdam, Femme En Fourrure in Helsinki, Jerome LOL in LA, and Marcel Dettmann in Berlin.

Earlier this year, Boiler Room founder and CEO Blaise Bellville told Billboard,  “Especially in the UK, everyone knows what Boiler Room is…It’s become an absolute essential for any artist to promote — any artist in the credible music world, whether they’re aspiring pop musicians, or whether they want to stay underground. Everyone has to play at Boiler Room because it offers more license than any other live or archive platform there is.”

Check some popular previous Boiler Room episodes below:

Get to the show, weirdos


FALL ARTS There are so many things competing for your precious time: long lines for pricey gourmet coffee, civic responsibilities and volunteer work, actual work, glazed fake cronuts or whatever the kids are into these days. Make live music a priority as well — your days will float by on a pink cloud of fuzzy, hangover-fueled memories.

As we’re lucky enough to live in a region stuffed with musicians and venues that take in touring acts, the options for every week are damn near endless. Here are some shows to take note of this season, one for (nearly) every day of the upcoming months. (Note that dates and locations are subject to change, so always check the venue site.)


Plug them in to your Google Calendar. Better yet, stick this list to your wall with chewed-up bubblegum. Either way, impress your friends with superior show knowledge:

Aug. 30 [UPDATE: postponed due to illness] Icona Pop: As silly as it’s always been, bubbly Swedish electro-pop duo Icona Pop is in the running for the arbitrary media-hyped “song of the summer” (or as Slate puts it, the yearly “Summer Song–Industrial Complex”) thanks to party track, “I Love It,” featuring fellow up-and-comer Charli XCX. And, get this, the album from which “Love It” springs, This Is… (Record Company Ten/Big Beat Records), isn’t even out until Sept. 24. Squeeze out the last bits of this very poppy season and hold out for the recorded versions by taking in this live set. Fillmore, SF.

Aug. 31 [Here’s another to make up for that cancellation above] Rin Tin Tiger, French Cassettes Great American Music Hall, SF.

Aug. 31 Sonny and the Sunsets, Shannon and the Clams Chapel, SF.

Sept. 2 Ty Segall Great American Music Hall, SF.

Sept. 3 Superchunk and Mikal Cronin Fillmore, SF.

Sept. 4 Zomby (live) Public Works, SF.

Sept. 5-6 “UnderCover Presents Bob Dylan’s Highway 61 Revisited:” For this event, the UnderCover Presents collective dives deep into the introspective, folk-rock world of Bob Dylan’s ’65 gem (which gave us “Like a Rolling Stone”) with covers by Carletta Sue Kay, Quinn DeVeaux, Whiskerman, Beth Lisick, and guest music director Karina Denike, among others. Freight & Salvage. Also Sept. 8, Contemporary Jewish Museum.

Sept. 6 Mission Creek Oakland: The month-long fall music and arts festival packs a punch with dozens of local bands playing 15 East Bay venues, including the Uptown, the Stork Club, and Children’s Fairyland (!). It kicks off with a free opening party tonight at the Uptown with Naytronix, Clipd Beaks, YNGBMS, and Safeword. Various venues, Oakl.

Sept. 7 Push the Feeling with Exray’s Underground SF,

Sept. 8 Lil Bub book signing with Nobunny: So Lil Bub is this famous Internet cat and Nobunny is the infamous IRL punky masked Bunny-Man; together they’ll claw through the Rickshaw Stop all day and night. This multipart Burger Bub Mini-Fest includes a Lil Bub book signing and doc film screening, plus live sets by Nobunny, Colleen Green, the Monster Women, and the Shanghais. Paws up, everyone. Rickshaw Stop, SF.

Sept. 9 Sex Snobs Elbo Room, SF.

Sept. 10 Bleeding Rainbow Rickshaw Stop, SF.

Sept. 11 Moving Units DNA Lounge, SF.

Sept. 12 Julie Holter Great American Music Hall, SF.

Sept. 13 120 minutes presents Death in June Mezzanine, SF.

Sept. 14 Rock the Bells: the annual touring hip-hop fest returns, headlined by Kid Cudi, A$AP Mob. feat. A$AP Rocky, E-40, and Too $hort, Common, and Bone Thugs-N-Harmony on Sept. 14; Wu-Tang Clan, Black Hippy feat. Kendrick Lamar, and Deltron 3000 on Sept. 15. Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mtn View.

Sept. 16 Kate Boy Rickshaw Stop, SF.

Sept 17 Julie Ruin: Kathleen Hanna returns to her pre-Le Tigre output but beefs it up with a full band including fellow Bikini Kill bandmate Kathi Wilcox and is set to release bouncy feminist dancepop record Run Fast Sept. 3. A few weeks later the Brooklyn band lands in SF. Slim’s, SF.

Sept. 18 Berkeley Old Time Music Convention Various venues, Berk.

Sept. 19 Hard Skin 1-2-3-4 Go!, Oakl.

Sept. 20 Foxygen Independent, SF.

Sept. 21 Tape Deck Mountain and Battlehooch El Rio, SF.

Sept. 22 “Radio Silence presents: Doe Eye performing Arcade Fire” Brick and Mortar Music Hall, SF.

Sept. 24 Wax Tailor Mezzanine.

Sept. 26 Zola Jesus Palace of Fine Arts, SF.

Sept. 27 Peter Hook and the Light Mezzanine, SF.

Sept. 28 “Station to Station:” This train-travelin’ art and music experiment, organized by artist Doug Aitken, pulls a stop in Oakland with live performances by Dan Deacon, Savages, No Age, Sun Araw and the Congos, Twin Shadow, and more. And the train itself is designed as a moving kinetic light sculpture, so expect a bright show. 16th St. Station, Oakl.

Sept. 30 Chelsea Wolfe Great American Music Hall, SF.

Oct. 1 Peach Kelli Pop Hemlock Tavern, SF.

Oct. 3Brick and Mortar Music Hall, SF.

Oct. 4-6 Hardly Strictly Bluegrass: Bonnie Raitt, Bettye LaVette, Nicki Bluhm & the Gramblers, Devil Makes Three, Chris Isaak, Mark Lanegan, First Aid Kit, Sallie Ford & the Sound Outside. As the free annual fest releases lineup names in glorious song medleys, this is who we know for sure will fill GG Park with folk-country-hardly-strictly-bluegrass notes this year, as of press time. There will be more added in the coming weeks, so check the site. Golden Gate Park, SF.

Oct. 5 Har Mar Superstar Bottom of the Hill, SF.

Oct. 7 No Joy Brick and Mortar Music Hall, SF.

Oct. 8 Fucked Up Terror Oakland Metro Opera House, Oakl.

Oct. 9 Iceage Rickshaw Stop, SF.

Oct. 10 Thee Oh Sees Chapel, SF.

Oct. 11 Extra Action Marching Band Mezzanine, SF.

Oct. 12 Marky Ramone with Andrew W.K.: Is this pairing crazy enough that it just might work? While Joey Ramone has sadly passed on to punk rock heaven (lots of leather and skinny jeans), drummer Marky Ramone is carrying on the legacy by enlisting pizza guitar-having party rocker Andrew W.K. as his frontperson. The band known as Marky Ramone’s Blitzkrieg performs classic Ramones songs. Independent, SF.

Oct. 13 Legendary Pink Dots DNA Lounge, SF.

Oct. 14 Langhorne Slim Great American Music Hall, SF.

Oct. 15 Tim Kasher Rickshaw Stop, SF.

Oct. 16 Dustin Wong Great American Music Hall, SF.

Oct. 17 CHVRCHES Fox Theater, Oakl.

Oct. 18 Robert Glasper Experiment SFJazz Center, SF.

Oct. 19 Treasure Island Music Festival: the forward-thinking two-day fest out on windswept Treasure Island includes Atoms for Peace, Beck, Major Lazer, Little Dragon, Animal Collective, James Blake, Holy Ghost!, Sleigh Bells, and more. Giraffage, and Antwon are the locals on the bill. Treasure Island, SF.

Oct. 20 Goblin Warfield Theatre, SF.

Oct. 21 Hunx & His Punx Chapel, SF.

Oct. 22 Brian Wilson and Jeff Beck Paramount Theater, Oakl.

Oct. 23 Oh Land Independent, SF.

Oct. 24 Woodkid Regency Ballroom, SF.

Oct. 25 The Blow Bottom of the Hill.

Oct. 26 Airfield Broadcasts: For this large-scale event, composer Lisa Bielawa will turn Chrissy Field into a giant “musical canvas” in which listeners can interact with broad sounds floating through the area with the help of nearly a thousand professional and student musicians including orchestras, choruses, bands, and experimental new groups. The musicians will begin in the center of the field then slowly move outwards, playing Bielawa’s original score. Chrissy Field, SF.

Oct. 29 The Jazz Coffin Emergency Ensemble El Rio, SF.

Oct. 30 Save Ferris Regency Ballroom, SF.

Oct. 31 Danzig Warfield, SF.

Nov. 1 Janelle Monáe: Futurist soul crooner Janelle Monáe has had a big year, releasing “Q.U.E.E.N.” with Erykah Badu in the spring, and more recently she fired off Miguel duet “PrimeTime.” The last time the pompodoured singer made it to SF she was dancing down the aisles at the SF Symphony’s Spring Gala (earlier this year), but a darkened venue is much more her speed. Think she’ll be wearing black and white? Warfield Theatre, SF.

Nov. 7 Wanda Jackson: The stylish rockabilly queen, and former real life Elvis paramour — and crackling vocalist behind tracks like “Fujiyama Mama” and “Let’s Have a Party” — is still brash and still touring at age 75. And she’s still putting out new tunes too, with her own 2012 LP Unfinished Business, and just before that a collaboration with Jack White on The Party Ain’t Over (2011). Yes, the party continues. Chapel, SF.

Nov. 8 Of Montreal Great American Music Hall, SF.

Nov. 13 Those Darlins Chapel, SF.

Nov. 14 Kayhan Kalhor and Ali Bahrami Fard SFJazz Center, SF.

Nov. 16 Melt Banana Oakland Metro Opera House, Oakl.

Nov. 17 Rhys Chatham: This is vastly bigger than your average rock concert. See, avant-punk composer Rhys Chatham will perform the West Coast premiere of his “A Secret Rose” with an orchestra of 100 electric guitars. That’s right, 100-times the shred. The Other Minds-presented hourlong performance will include musicians from Guided By Voices, Akron/Family, Tristeza, and more. Craneway Pavilion, Richmond.

Nov. 18 Misfits Oakland Metro Opera House, Oakl.

Nov. 22 Kate Nash Fillmore, SF.


Rise and snack


TOFU AND WHISKEY Listening to infectious Terry Malts track “I Do” on a blissed-out drive across the bridge to Oakland last weekend, I was struck by how the song has grown so ingrained in my psyche.

With its driving hook and repetitive “I do/I do/I do/oh-oh” chorus about young punks in love, it’s like an underground college radio hit earworm, or the song you methodically skip to with a carful of friends on a sweaty sojourn to the beach, triumphantly pushing play on the old tape deck. It has that timeless, enduring quality. It feels like its always been in my collection.

And yet, the upbeat punk song is less than two years old, created by the San Francisco trio for its debut 2012 LP Killing Time (Slumberland). It’s got this nostalgic pull inherent in the band, and might be the best example of such among its back catalog. Returning to Killing Time left me wondering what was next for the group. Lo and behold, Terry Malts just announced the sophomore follow-up: Nobody Realizes This Is Nowhere, which will be released Sept. 10 also via Slumberland Records. The announcement came with a first single, driving, noisier, “I Was Not There.” Sensing a theme here?

Terry Malts were featured in my inaugural “On the Rise” cover story, in 2012 (it’s now a yearly tradition in the first couple months of the year), and it made me wonder how the others were doing.

As luck would have it, there was also news last week that chilly synch duo Silver Swans (Jonathan Waters and Ann Yu) returned with new track “Sea of Love,” off upcoming album Touch.

Likely the group I’ve most followed since the story, rockers Dirty Ghosts have grown tighter and louder in the past year or so, and have played both the Treasure Island Music Festival and a raucous, shred-worthy Noise Pop slot opening for the Thermals.

And then there’s multi-instrumentalist Jhameel, who has since moved to LA, but has kept up with a steady stream of beat-friendly R&B and pop releases, music vids, and drunk YouTube clips for fans, most recently collaborating with Giraffage and DWNTWN on the track “Move Me,” which showed up on the Kitsuné America 2 compilation.



For those who’ve yet to experience “symphonic ambisonic soundscapes” deep down in the coral reefs: Soundwave SonicLAB, MEDIATE, and the Bold Italic present this sound-heavy Cal Academy Nightlife event with electronic composer-musician Christopher Willits (owner of experimental label on the soundscapes, and local garage pop act the Mantles playing live among the fishies. And for the more scientific angle, there’ll be a talk by oceanographer and National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence (best title ever) Dr. Sylvia A. Earle.

Thu/18, 6-10pm, $12. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park, SF.


Vintage children’s tales always seem to take on a slightly creepy quality, and the same can be said for experimental folk songstress, Miwa Gemini. The Brooklyn singer-songwriter makes moody narrative lullabies that sound like campfire tales, told in a crisp singsongy voice over pah-pum drums and guitar lines that bend from Western twang to plucky surf. With Zoe Muth, Margaret Glasby.

Thu/18, 9pm, $10. Amnesia, 853 Valencia, SF.


That blissful drive last weekend? It was the route to Burger Boogaloo, the punk rock summer camp in Oakland’s Mosswood Park. Put together by Burger Records and Total Trash Booking, the fest boasted noisy punks, retro-inspired doo-wop groups, and sloppy surf-rock bands mostly from the Bay Area, LA, and Portland, Ore.,plus Jonathan Richman. There was great warm weather, a fenced off beer plot, vintage clothes and records for sale, and the sugary vegan donut burger made by Hella Vegan Eats.

Our Weekly Picks




Seven years after meeting in Costa Rica, Martin Folb and Josh Mayer are still doing their thing as seductive bass collaboration PANTyRAiD, even while each has achieved solo success as the Glitch Mob’s Ooah and MartyParty respectively. New album PillowTalk has the right touch of move and groove while keeping an arm’s length from booming, bro-centric dubstep or ear-shattering electro. PANTyRAids like to jump from genre to genre, dropping some trap here and some glitch there, keeping listeners on their toes. Standout track “Just For You” showcases the duo’s slick handling of hip-hop drums, brooding basslines, and melodic synths. Call it mood music for the bass-minded. (Kevin Lee)

10pm, $20-25

1015 Folsom

(415) 431-1200


Upright bass, acoustic guitars, and mandolin (quickly strummed and finger-picked) fill out Fruition’s sound, but don’t clutter its performance. And this show will feature Bridget Law of Elephant Revival, an addition that only upgrades the night. Bluegrass itself requires a lot of emotion and passion to sound right, but Fruition harbors a certain old-back-road, last drop of sunlight through the trees kind of passion. “Make me an angel that flies from Montgomery,” sings the group in gorgeous country harmonies, in its cover of John Prine’s “Angel from Montgomery.” (Hillary Smith)

7pm, free

Brick and Mortar Music Hall

1710 Mission, SF

(415) 371-1631



Oil and Water

It just wouldn’t be summer in the Bay Area without the San Francisco Mime Troupe — so thank goodness the veteran company was able to raise enough funds (in part through crowdsourcing, a testament to its loyal supporters) for its 54th season. Though the 2013 musical will still be performed mostly for free, and comes complete with a political theme (corporations vs. environmental activists), the format is different this year. The show is broken into two musical one-acts: Crude Intentions and Deal With the Devil, both written by Pat Moran And Adolfo Mejia. Per tradition, the show opens July 4 in Dolores Park before spreading its jolly satire ’round NorCal parks through Labor Day; check website for additional shows this week in Golden Gate Park and beyond. (Cheryl Eddy)

Through Sept. 2

Thu/4, 2pm, free

Dolores Park

18th St. and Dolores, SF



San Francisco-based futuristic dream R&B producer Charlie Yin has made some big leaps in 2013, with a performance at SXSW along with upcoming gigs at Southern California’s Lightning in a Bottle festival and SF’s Treasure Island Music Festival. His new album Needs on Los Angeles label Alpha Pup Records is a thesis in music manipulation, a comprehensive counterargument to straightforward 4/4. Vocal samples are up-shifted in tempo to lend a playful mood. Tracks are sometimes dipped in sonic mud halfway through, decelerating to a crawl before jumping back to normal time. But Needs never feels jerky, which owes to Yin’s tight transitions and harmonious melodies throughout. The sensual, infectious, shifty third track “Money” sounds like it will be played in lounges in 2050. (Lee)

With Mister Lies, Bobby Browser

9:30pm, $13–$15

Rickshaw Stop

155 Fell

(415) 861-2011



“Fiestas Fridas”

There’s a reason this three-day event is subtitled “celebrating the 103rd and 106th birthday of Frida Kahlo:” the iconic Mexican painter was actually born in 1907, but she liked to say she was born in 1910 — the year the Mexican revolution began. The fest kicks off with a gala dinner featuring Kahlo’s own recipes (cooked by Puerto Alegre, Gracias Madre, Mijita, and other restaurants), with proceeds going to Cine + Mas; Saturday brings film screenings and Kahlo-inspired performances. The fest wraps up Sunday with an afternoon and evening of live art, dance, DJs, and more family-friendly fun, like a costume contest with a variety of categories: Best Frida and Diego, Best “Little Frida,” and Best “FriDRAG.” (Eddy)

Opening dinner tonight, 6-11pm, $50

Mission Cultural Center

2868 Mission, SF

Film screening and performance, Sat/6, 5-11pm, $35

Victoria Theater

2961 16th St, SF

Community event, Sun/7, 2-9pm, $10 suggested donation

Women’s Building

3543 18th St, SF



Johnny Mathis with San Francisco Symphony

Legendary crooner Johnny Mathis’ family moved to San Francisco when he was very young, and it was here in the city that he developed his love for music; while studying at San Francisco State University, he began performing at the Black Hawk nightclub and eventually garnered the attention of some high-profile promoters. In early 1956, Mathis recorded his first album, and he continues to this day. Singing hit songs such as “Chances Are,” “Wonderful! Wonderful!,” “A Certain Smile,” and many more, Mathis has been going strong for nearly 70 years now — don’t miss you chance to see a true icon this weekend, performing with the San Francisco Symphony (Sean McCourt)

Also Sat/6, 8pm, $20–$125

Davies Symphony Hall

201 Van Ness, SF

(415) 864-6000


Accidental Bear Queer Summer Tour

What, you thought just because DOMA got overturned and same-sex couples might be getting married again this summer that our work was over? And also that we’re too hungover from Pride to start partying again? Queer mental health issues and suicide risk are still a huge concern in the community, and hyperenergetic SF gay blogger Mike Enders, a.k.a Accidental Bear, is trying to break the stigma and bring awareness — by throwing a big, fun, charitable concert and party, of course. Colorful gay novelty rappers Rica Shay and Big Dipper (let the double entendre zingers fly!), dazzlingly alien outfit Conquistador, local electro heartthrobs Darling Gunsel, and soulful tunesmith Logan Lynn fill the bill, with proceeds going to the Stonewall Project, the Ali Forney Center, and more. (Marke B.)

8pm, $15


314 11th St., SF.




Beast Crawl

Now in its second year, Beast Crawl is a free literary festival featuring more than 140 writers in one night. It’s probably pretty hard to go wrong with that many options. Spread out over 26 local galleries, restaurants, bars, and cafes, the annual event offers a place and performance for everyone. Beast Crawl has four legs — the first one beginning at 5pm, and the last one (the after-party) starts at 9pm. Visit the Uptown, have a drink at Telegraph Beer Garden, open your eyes at Awaken Café, all while taking in some of the best Bay Area authors, poets, and even stand-ups. You know how you always hear people say “I went to this rad little poetry reading the other night,” and then wonder where the hell they always are? Well, here’s your chance to finally check out one, or 20. (Smith)

5pm, free

Uptown, Oakland

(415) 706-9128


Audiobus Mission Creek

Properly executed, music should take you on a mental voyage, a mini musical vacation, if you will. It’s not to remove all thought, but to direct your attention elsewhere momentarily, in the direction the sound dictates. The AudioBus, a mobile venue, will delete the figurative from that jaunt, and take you on a literal trip down a specific San Francisco route. For AudioBus Mission Creek — a Soundwave SonicLAB event — sound artists Jeffy Ray and Jorge Bachmann will sonically guide passengers through the old and new Mission District, narrated by Adobe Books’ Andrew Mckinley. Together, they’ll explore “profound themes of the past, from nostalgia to displacement, and the future ideas of technology and possibility.” The sound-tour will leave the temporary station twice tonight, once for a sunset tour and then again on a starry night ride. A reminder: the bus waits for no one, so don’t miss your stop. (Emily Savage)

8 and 9pm, $16

Bus station: Adobe Books

3130 24th St., SF


Fillmore Jazz Festival

Live jazz music, crafts, and gourmet food, all in one place (and most of it is free to check out). The Fillmore Jazz Festival is the largest of its kind on the West Coast, reportedly luring in a mind-blowing 100,000 visitors over the two-day event. Considering the history and popularity of the neighborhood — and the sheer amount of bands and musicians playing the fest — that number starts to make sense. Sultry local vocalist Kim Nalley will bring her jazzy blues blend to the stage, as will instrumentalist-composer Peter Apfelbaum, Mara Hruby, John Santos Sextet, Beth Custer Ensemble, Crystal Money Hall, Bayonics, and Afrolicious, among many others. Stroll through the 12 blocks, and you’re bound to find some acts that give you a reason to pause. (Smith)

Also Sun/7, 10am-6pm, free

Fillmore Street between Jackson and Eddy, SF (800) 310-6563



I miss Kevin Meenan’s show listings at At one time it was a go-to for highlights of small shows going on in the city, filler free, and super reliable for finding a new act to see live. Meenan has since dropped the showlist (perhaps made redundant with the availability of social apps), but is still active with his regular event Push The Feeling. This edition features a DJ set by English born, LA musician, Simon “Woolfy” James, whose eclectic and spacey post-punk dance sensibility first got my attention with the caressingly Balearic “Looking Glass” and the recent James Murphy-esque snappy cut on Permanent Release, “Junior’s Throwin’ Craze.” (Ryan Prendiville)

With Bruse (Live), YR SKULL, and epicsauce DJs

9pm-2am, $6, free before 10 w/ RSVP

Underground SF

424 Haight, SF




The backstory that looms over 1963’s Cleopatra is very nearly as glorious as the film itself, which ain’t no small feat; Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s epic take on the legendary Queen of Egypt ran famously over-budget, but damn if all those dollars aren’t one hundred percent visible, with lavish sets, costumes, and blingy whatnots filling every frame. But really, who cares about overapplied eye make-up and historical inaccuracies when you have the Elizabeth Taylor-Richard Burton romance playing out before your very eyes? There’s no better way to relive the drama — oh, the drama — than in this 50th anniversary restored DCP screening, a one-day-only affair at the Castro. (Eddy)

2 and 7pm, $8.50–$11

Castro Theatre

429 Castro, SF



Chef Hubert Keller

Hubert Keller is a culinary celebrity as a multiple James Beard Award winner and the owner and executive chef of trendy restaurants across the country, including the highly-praised San Francisco-based Fleur de Lys. But the classically trained French chef is not all expensive, showy cuisine — during the first season of Top Chef Masters, he earned the respect of broke college kids and amateur foodies everywhere when he resourcefully used a dorm room shower to cool a pot of pasta. Last year, he collaborated with co-author Penolope Wisner to publish Hubert Keller’s Souvenirs: Stories and Recipes from My Life, a memoir-cookbook featuring instructions on 120 dishes. (Lee)

In conversation with Narsai David

6pm, $25 (students, $7)

Commonwealth Club

595 Market, SF

(415) 597-6700

Heads Up: 6 must-see concerts this week


Not to give this family any more attention, but here I go. Are you aware of the fact that the Balloon Boy is now a long-hair tween, in a darker Hanson trio with his brothers, singing operatic heavy metal bits? It’s all here, in a Gawker long-read post. The article notes that the group (Heene Boyz) considers itself the “World’s Youngest Metal Band.” — don’t we have that already here in the Bay with our own Haunted by Heroes? Take that, Balloon Boy. (Whatever, technically they’re billed as “The World’s Youngest Rock Band.”)

But my real point is this: America, home of the free, free to whore oneself and one’s family out on reality TV, to sneak kids into homemade balloon UFOs, to shoot for fame from birth. Happy Fourth of July week, everyone. Celebrate it with the bedlam of Bob Log III, the annual Big Time Freedom Fest at El Rio or Fillmore Jazz Festival, dreamy R&B producer Giraffage, or, the snacktastic Burger Boogaloo fest with headliners Redd Kross, the Oblivians, the Trashwomen, and more! Paint your face red, white, and blue, stick a sparkler behind your ear, and rage out into the night, it’s what the founding fathers would have wanted.

Here are your must-see Bay Area concerts this week/end:

Bob Log III
What’s more US of A than a lone multi-instrumentalist on stage in a glittery bodysuit and microphone-affixed motorcycle helmet, looking like a futuristic Bowie-esque alien, and sounding like a punky blues madman, or a scrappier Bo Diddley meets the Coachwhips, on slide guitar. As the Kansas City Star puts it, “If he hired a drummer, ditched his helmet, and requested a standard swizzle stick to stir his scotch, Bob Log III would still draw an audience. His music is that entertaining.”
With The Okmoniks, Los Vincent Black Shadows (Mexico City).
Wed/3, 8:30pm, $15
Hemlock Tavern
1131 Polk, SF

Big Time Freedom Fest
It’s back, El Rio’s annual Fourth of July patio party Big Time Freedom Fest is here again, and this time brings out the worthy local Black Sabbath tribute act that is Bobb Saggeth, fronted by wailing female powerhouse Meryl Press. The band isn’t nearly as active as I’d prefer, but always plays parties on Halloween and Fourth of July, usually at places like Thee Parkside, Hemlock Tavern, and yes, El Rio. Plus, newish local heavy-psych band Golden Void headlines the show, and Wild Eyes, Couches, and Upside Drown open. And it’s all on the back patio, so you can officially say you spent the holiday outdoors, (with your favorite local rock‘n’rollers).
Thu/4, 3:30pm, $8
El Rio
3158 Mission, SF

“San Francisco-based futuristic dream R&B producer Charlie Yin has made some big leaps in 2013, with a performance at SXSW along with upcoming gigs at Southern California’s Lightning in a Bottle festival and SF’s Treasure Island Music Festival. His new album Needs on Los Angeles label Alpha Pup Records is a thesis in music manipulation, a comprehensive counterargument to straightforward 4/4. Vocal samples are up-shifted in tempo to lend a playful mood. Tracks are sometimes dipped in sonic mud halfway through, decelerating to a crawl before jumping back to normal time. But Needs never feels jerky, which owes to Yin’s tight transitions and harmonious melodies throughout. The sensual, infectious, shifty third track “Money” sounds like it will be played in lounges in 2050.” — Kevin Lee
With Mister Lies, Bobby Browser
Thu/4, 9:30pm, $13–$15
Rickshaw Stop
155 Fell
(415) 861-2011

Fillmore Jazz Festival
“Live jazz music, crafts, and gourmet food, all in one place (and most of it is free to check out). The Fillmore Jazz Festival is the largest of its kind on the West Coast, reportedly luring in a mind-blowing 100,000 visitors over the two-day event. Sultry local vocalist Kim Nalley will again bring her jazzy blues blend to the stage, as will instrumentalist-composer Peter Apfelbaum, Mara Hruby, John Santos Sextet, Beth Custer Ensemble, Crystal Money Hall, Bayonics, and Afrolicious, among many others.” — Hillary Smith
Sat/6-Sun/7, 10am-6pm, free
Fillmore Street between Jackson and Eddy, SF (800) 310-6563

“I miss Kevin Meenan’s show listings at At one time it was a go-to for highlights of small shows going on in the city, filler free, and super reliable for finding a new act to see live. Meenan has since dropped the showlist (perhaps made redundant with the availability of social apps), but is still active with his regular event Push The Feeling. This edition features a DJ set by English born, LA musician, Simon ‘Woolfy’ James, whose eclectic and spacey post-punk dance sensibility first got my attention with the caressingly Balearic “Looking Glass” and the recent James Murphy-esque snappy cut on Permanent Release, ‘Junior’s Throwin’ Craze.’” — Ryan Prendiville
With Bruse (Live), YR SKULL, and epicsauce DJs
Sat/6, 9pm-2am, $6, free before 10 w/ RSVP
Underground SF
424 Haight, SF

Burger Boogaloo
We blurbed this early: everyone is talking about the disparate headliners early LA punk band Redd Kross and Modern Lover/singer-songwriter Jonathan Richman — and rightfully so, they are incredible — but can we also take a minute to thank satan for the Trashwomen addition to the lineup? For those somehow unaware, the Trashwomen are Bay Area noisy surf-punk royalty, born of the ‘90s, and featuring Tina Lucchesi (of every band, ever), Danielle Pimm, and Elka Zolot (Kreayshawn’s hot mama). Check the paper this week for an interview with the Trashwomen. And check Mosswood Park for a sloppy soul dance party.
With the Zeroes, Oblivians, Fuzz, Mikal Cronin, Audacity, Guantanamo Baywatch, Mean Jeans, Pangea
Sat/6-Sun/7, noon-9pm, $25
Mosswood Park
3612 Webster, Oakl.

Noise Pop 2013: YACHT, Shock, and Future Twin at Slim’s


When I went to see YACHT, a couple years ago during the Treasure Island Music Festival, it was playing outdoors in the afternoon, and it seemed like the wrong time and place. Last year at the Fox, the conceptual electropop band seemed stifled by the combination of the large venue and sparse crowd, and also mired by the same lackluster audio conditions that made headliner Hot Chip sound like it was playing underwater. But Saturday at Slim’s, on my last night of Noise Pop, it seemed just…

Fuck, I’ve wandered into the Goldilocks cliché.

Anyway, YACHT likes to keep it personal. Personable? The duo of Jona Bechtolt and Claire L. Evans (bolstered by other band members on tour) affect a borderline cultish air — utopian ideals were all over its last album Shangri-La and lead track, um, “Utopia” — that plays better when the audience is kept close, in a intimate venue.

“Ahhh, your hair is so long!” a woman in the sold out crowd screamed, when singer Evans first appeared on stage during the sound check, dark roots showing under what was previously close cropped and bleached blonde. It struck me as the kind of thing you say to a close friend you haven’t seen in a while. (“She’s much better looking than the last time I saw her,” someone else near me judged later in the show.)

This friendly rapport makes a lot of sense, given how much effort the group makes towards fostering it. Hopping off stage and tangling the crowd up in a mic cord has basically become a rock party trick at this point (probably because it’s an almost foolproof way to charm the crowd). Evans employed it as a starter, but went on to continually flatter fans and solicit questions, indulging in requests for hugs and spare beers. Throughout this course of events, singer, multi-instrumentalist, and YACHT founder Bechtolt competed for the larger cult of personality with a hopped-up glee.

Somewhat listless at the Fox performance, YACHT was nothing but efficient on Saturday. Maybe it was limited on time to begin with, but the set clicked by, highlighted by high-energy renditions of “I Walked Along” and “Utopia” — better than any I’ve heard.

An obvious encore followed (right after Bechtolt assured someone — probably the guy up front waving a sticker sheet and Sharpie since the sound check —that he’d sign anything five minutes after the show was over) with “Ring the Bell,” a super snappy version of shout-along “Psychic City,” and “Second Summer.” It was all done with an intentionality that could be either super endearing to a fan or off-putting viewed as an outsider, but I’m increasingly finding myself group with the former.


Shock: “We only have two minutes left and our songs are like seven minutes,” singer and bassist Terri Loewenthal of Shock said, after playing three tracks of slinky synth funk with slow vocals and lots of glissando. Five or so minutes later, the ground finished its set and she added, “So that was the short version.” Which was pretty satisfying.

Future Twin: Future Twin was precociously San Francisco, noting that one song was about trying to find affordable housing and cracking dead on delivery jokes about the nudity ban only applying out on the streets. But with dynamic singer and guitarist Jean Yaste  — whose voice recalls equally parts Corin Tucker and Exene Cervenka — and drummer Antonio Roman-Alcala, this band can get away with saying whatever it wants during mic breaks. Its upcoming benefit for the Roxie at the Verdi Club with Thee Oh Sees and Sonny and the Sunsets has it in good company.

Tussle: It’s been three years since I last saw Tussle at Milk Bar, and given the recordings the group released since then I had high expectations to see it much improved. But trouble with setting up a ton of equipment and subsequent delays really hobbled its start, and the group never seemed to quite overcome it. Unintentional tempo shifts seemed common, the double drummers never quite seemed to sync, and the generally structureless songs seemed to only end when every member came to the sudden realization that someone else was cuing them to wrap it up.

On the Cheap Listings


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Pre-Thanksgiving Farmers Market Ferry Plaza, SF. 10am-2pm, free. If you want to really impress your incoming family members with a fine and sustainable T-Day spread, then you must head to town’s most swank farmers market to take care of last-minute shopping. Watch for the free recipe booklets staff will be handing out if you need ideas for what to actually do with all those veggies.


Vegetarian/vegan Thanksgiving potluck The Loughborough Center, 1184 Broderick, SF. RSVP at (415) 498-0385. 3pm, $1 donation with food contribution, $10 without contribution. East Bay: Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Church, 1606 Bonita, Berk. RSVP at or (510) 562-9934. 4pm, $2 donation with food contribution, $12 without contribution. Intentional community is the name of the game at these two animal-free potlucks, sponsored by the venerable SF Vegetarian Society. Cook for your fellow veg-heads this year. Vegan dishes are preferred. Bring utensils and plates to minimize landfill impact. Give thanks for healthy food, and an aware community.


Pizzichillo and Gordon glass art Pizzichillo and Gordon Studio, 2680 Union, Oakl. (510) 832-8380, Through Dec/15. Opening reception: 10am-4pm, free. Bruce Pizzichillo and Dari Gordon have been making vibrant and unique pieces of glass artwork since 1980, and are inviting you to peruse this assemblage of their masterpieces, featuring vases, bowls, pitchers, and jewelry. Take note, those of you looking to buy arty gifts for friends, relatives, and anyone you hold dear in your life — this is a great place for local browsing.

Language of Cloth winter pop-up sale The Language of Cloth, 650A Guerrero, SF. (415) 431-7761, Open every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday through Dec.30. 10am-6pm, free. If you’re looking for gifts that possess color and personality, look no further than this temporary story in a Mission garage. The man behind the sale is Daniel Gundlach, who is so committed to providing San Francisco with quality textiles he goes on yearly excursions to countries like Thailand and Laos, sometimes spending half the year in Indonesia.

Food Social The New Parish, 579 18th St., Oakl. (510) 409-0651, 5-9pm, $5. An event on the opposite of the stress spectrum from Black Friday shopping, FuncheapSF would like you to come by and relax in Oakland’s Uptown neighborhood. A $5 ticket gets you a complimentary beer and a raffle ticket to win prizes such as an iPad Mini. Good food, good music, good vibes, why would you ever hit the mall?


Craftswomen Celebration Herbst Pavilion, Fort Mason, SF. (650) 615-6838, Sat/24-Sun/25 and Dec. 1-2, 10am-5pm, free. Over 150 female artists display their fine arts and crafts at the 34th year of this fair. Come by to shop, to eat, to listen to live music, and place a bet in the silent auction.


Treasure Island Flea Market Great Lawn, Ave of the Palms, Treasure Island, SF. 10am-4pm, $3. Treasure Island isn’t just some place that hosts a kick ass festival once a year every October, other things happen there too. One of the non-Treasure Island Music Festival happenings is the Treasure Island Flea Market where there’ll be various designers, outdoor exhibits, scavenger hunts, and food trucks present.

Womyn of Color Arts and Crafts Show La Peña Cultural Center, 3105 Shattuck, Berk. (510) 849-2568, 10:30am-4:30pm, free. This East Bay center of song, dance, art, and community hosts a gift fair showcasing women of color, for the 18th year in a row.


Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me The Booksmith, 1644 Haight, SF. (415) 863-8688, 7:30pm, free. Storytelling is a much a part of Ellen Forney as fog is a part of SF weather. Diagnosed with bipolar disorder before her 30th birthday, Forney turned what most people saw as an obstacle into inspiration for her new book and memoir Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me. Come hear her talk about her struggles and triumphs with bipolar disorder.


"Native Plants of San Francisco" St. Philip’s Catholic Church, 725 Diamond, SF. (415) 750-9986, 7pm, $5. Despite being the second densest big city in the country, San Francisco is blessed with stunning native flora. Native San Franciscan and natural world devotee Greg Gaar would like to inform you on the evolution of our fair city’s beaches, coastal prairies, trees, creeks, lakes, and marshes at his presentation at the St. Philip’s Church, sponsored by the SF History Association.

Nerd Nite The Stork Club, 2330 Telegraph, Oakl. (510) 444-6174, 7pm, $8. Calling all nerds! Calling all nerds! Last month’s East Bay Nerd Nite was so well-received, organizers are presenting an encore of the geekalicious event. At this installment, there’ll be talks by a UC Berkeley low-temperature physicist and a presentation by a chemist on all things luminescent.

Live Shots: Treasure Island Music Festival 2012


Music nerds talk lineups the way sports fans manage fantasy teams, particularly with festivals, where suddenly strategy becomes a part of catching a show. Treasure Island Music Festival, is sort of an exception, since in theory you can catch every single act, given the two alternating stages. At the same time, this means that unless you head to the silent disco or take a nap, one of those geeks will be standing behind you during a set, obsessively talking about how the lineup should be slotted differently.

Day 1
SF’s Dirty Ghosts had the challenging task of being a rock band opening the festival on the traditional hip-hop/electronic day. K. Flay followed, and told the crowd “I know it’s early, but we can still party,” and the local MC proceeded to give a hair tossing performance that had her drummer breaking a snare. It was a decent lead in for Oakland’s the Coup. Boots Riley has been off my radar for a bit, but it appears our ambassador of P-funked rap has been keeping more than his afro tight – pulling from now-more-appropriate-than-ever classics like “5 Million Ways to Kill a C.E.O” and the upcoming Sorry to Bother You.

At 2:31pm, a guy in a tie-dye Quicksilver shirt was vomiting near where Grimes was playing: the festival had started. Like Matthew Dear and Porter Robinson, Grimes is a returning acts from this year’s Noise Pop. Maybe it was just her bandmate’s flowing iridescent ponchos, but Grimes’ sound seemed lighter than at the Rickshaw Stop. I decided I preferred this side of Grimes, but the Euro bubblegum quality of the creepily infantile “Phone Sex” was pushing it. Matthew Dear seemed out of place in full sun on the Bridge Stage, fog machines pumping. His set was similar to what I heard at Public Works, but progressed slowly. Nearing the end of his set the band got into a groove with “You Put a Smell on Me” but it’ was a little late.

Toro y Moi sounded just like when I saw it a couple years back, but would probably have fit in better somewhere on Sunday. Near the end you could hear a DJ on the other stage playing snippets and raising the crowd, partly using soundcheck to hype for Public Enemy. When actually starting, Chuck D arrived on stage, introducing the whole support crew but saved Flavor Flav for last.

The hyperbolic performance took me back to a time before reality TV. Chuck D was outspoken (Fuck BET. Fuck urban radio. Fuck Viacom.) but used time well. Flavor was Flavor, and rambled for five minutes after his time is up. AraabMusik, waiting on the Tunnel Stage didn’t seem to mind: he gave an impressive, sample stuttering finger drumming MPC performance, after having a smoke with his crew.

At 6:01 I saw the guy who’d been throwing up earlier, walking arm in arm with a girl, both smiling and probably holding each other up.

Things started to blur, the time between switching stages seemed to decrease. Porter Robinson left no impression on me. Tycho sounded like a person making slow, thoughtful love to a synthesizer, but whereas it could have been a great lead-in to the xx, suffered from being between Robinson and a high energy performance from the Presets.

Speaking of which, I’ve had an aversion to the Presets (largely stemming from issues I have with Australian pop), but their performance, particularly “If I Know You” won me over. An awkward soundcheck delay for the following band, SBTRKT, meant the worst thing I could say about it is that it felt too short. Producer Aaron Jerome and singer Sampha played to their strengths, closing with “Wildfire” and having what seemed like the whole crowd leaning back and strutting like they were the sexiest, smoothest motherfuckers on the field.

Girl Talk opened with the awesome (and oft utilized) “International Player’s Anthem” by UGK before quickly triggering “Dancin’ in the Dark.” I hear the Boss at least once more before I leave twenty minutes later. I’m sure there was confetti.  

Day 2

Between openers Imperial Teen and Joanna Newsom, things were rather low-key, just all around relaxing, emotional, sunny music (including my returning favorites, Hospitality.) The crowd trickled in steadily and the field fills up with blankets faster than the day before. It’s a rather sedate afternoon, aside from one thing.

Who scheduled Ty Segall – noted garage thrasher, guitar mangler, and kick drum stomper – in that mid-afternoon slot? Love the dude, he sounded great, but he was not much appreciated outside the pit. The blanket crowd? It didn’t dig that. Particularly right between Youth Lagoon’s indie emo Bob Dylan and Gavin’s second cousin. That’s prime time nap time, especially when the first half of Joanna Newsom’s performance can’t be heard past the soundbooth. (Seriously, can Nap Time with Joanna Newsom be a real thing? On Nick Jr. after Yo Gabba Gabba?) The collective bombast of Los Campesinos picked things up – back to back with Segall would have been a hell of a way to wake up.

And bake up. Because Best Coast was playing with the sun going down. When this festival is at its best, the music and the environment seem to play into one another, and from there out, it basically went perfect. I haven’t seen the band since a sloppy show at Regency Ballroom with Wavves a few years back. The basic sound is still the same – beachy guitar pop with a stony edge – but has developed since then. Part of it’s lineup changes, as the new drummer is a lot tighter than before (and has easily the loudest snare of the weekend), part of it’s just improvement. Bethany Consentino apologized for singing a slow song, but there’ was no reason. She can definitely carry a ballad now.

Anticipation iwas high for Divine Fits, the “supergroup” featuring Dan Boeckner, Britt Daniels, and Sam Brown. Mainly I’m sure because a lot of fans were there for the Bay Area debut, but also because of the glorious, Hollywood matte painting skyline waiting for them behind the Tunnel Stage. As soon as they hit the chorus of “Baby Get Worse,” complete with the ’80s throwback keyboard, I was sold. Halfway through the set someone up front was apparently amped enough for Boeckner to ask, “Dude, are you on PCP?” Elsewhere in the crowd people pleasantly remarked, “Hey, this sounds like Spoon.”

Previously I’d thought the crowd seemed thicker due to all the blankets, but when I walked back towards the Bridge Stage, I realizes that simply way more people turned out for some combination of the last three bands.

M83 – returning to the Bay for the first time since their sold out Fillmore shows in the spring – opened with an alien, had lots of lasers, and played that one song. One thing I now know for sure: it is possible to play percussion while doing the running man.

The last act on the Tunnel Stage, Gossip was one of the only real surprises for me this festival. Punk diva Beth Ditto opened by welcoming the audience to comedy night, later commenting that the band hadn’t toured the US in three years, because the Euro is stronger. Crowded at the front of the stage were possibly the most intense fans I saw all weekend, clearly attached not only to Ditto’s vocal talent, but also her empowering, Aretha Franklin-esque sense of Pride. Pointing to the already crowded photo pit, Ditto said cruelly, “I wish there was a lot less space. And a lot more photographers.”

You couldn’t really have more photographers than there were in the pit at the end of the night for the xx, stopping in the Bay Area for the last festival date on their current tour, supporting the sophomore album Coexist.

It was clear that in their live performance the xx tries to capture the same sort of intimacy as their albums, with a stark and stripped down stage and singers Romy Madley Croft and Oliver Sim in the front. Either singer could do well alone, but together there’s an undeniable chemistry, like lovers in dialogue.

In their live show they definitely play into that, while producer Jamie XX stays literally more in the shadows; Sunday night he was up a level behind the pair, manning a series of controllers, cymbals, and drum pads to creates the fundamental beats that the guitars wash over. The resulting music takes its time – I’d call it shoegaze dance if that weren’t such an idiotic concept – and the xx did as well, opening with the enrapturing “Angels,” setting a sensual mood that stayed till then end.

Earlier Ditto had called them, obviously, the Sex Sex. Anyone who really felt that way – or just wanted to get to John Talabot and Jamie XX at Public Works – hopefully caught a cab, as the wait for shuttles off the island at the end of the night were upwards of an hour and a half. Note to self: work that factor into the TIMF strategy next year.

Heads Up: 8 must-see concerts this week


With the xx – at Treasure Island Music Festival – and Nouvelle Vague both in town this week, there’s a whole lot of sexy, sex-making music coming. Also popping up in the Bay in the next few days: Dinosaur Jr., Grave Babies with 2:54, Saint Vitus, and Wreckless Eric and Amy Rigby.

These shows, as of press time, still have tickets. Lucky you. There is another band in town, however, whose Bay Area stop is long-sold out: Grizzly Bear, the Brooklyn act that was featured in the much-discussed New York Magazine cover story last week, “Is Rock Stardom Any Way To Make A Living?”

The main crux of the story’s thesis is that more than ever, bands have to tour (and license songs) to make ends meet. So, go support your favorite musicians live, their livelihood depends on it. Also, actually buy the album. As Grizzly Bear’s Ed Droste puts it in the article, a record costs about as much as “a fucking appetizer, a large popcorn at the movie theater, and you’ll have it forever, and they took two years to make it.”

Here are your must-see Bay Area concerts this week/end:

Wreckless Eric and Amy Rigby
English rocker Wreckless Eric first found Amy Rigby when he happened upon the singer-songwriter covering his classic, whisper-to-shout post-punk love song, “(I’d Go the) Whole Wide World.” (She was playing in the wrong key, but he got up on stage and joined in.) They’re now married and play adorable acoustic sets together and are about to release another joint record, A Working Museum (Southern Domestic, Oct. 30). 
Tue/9, 8:30pm, $10 
Hemlock Tavern
1131 Polk, SF
(415) 923-0923

Saint Vitus
The legendary LA doom metal band, Saint Vitus, comparatively molasses slow and full of despair, has played together in some form or another since 1978. This week, it plays the Independent, which is so out of wildly character for the venue, it’s got to be good. There will be headbanging.
With Weed Eater, Sourvein
Tue/9, 8pm, $25
628 Divisadero, SF
(415) 771-1421

Il Gato
This week, local baroque pop trio Il Gato released Tongues and Teeth (self-released), a folkier follow-up to last year’s All Those Slippery Things EP, and 2010’s All These Slippery Things LP. “The main themes are regarding the truth we hold inside us — from our bodies internal wisdom, to our intuition, to our patterns and rituals — and the beauty and struggle of being able to both think and feel,” says spiritual singer Daimian Holiday Scott.
With Immanu El, Wolf and Crow
Wed/10, 8pm, $10
Rickshaw Stop,
155 Fell, SF.

Dinosaur Jr.
“We don’t need to tell you that Dinosaur Jr. was one of the most influential alternative rock bands of the 1990s or that these dudes can really shred. We’ll just let their 28-year career attest to that. What we will tell you is that their new album is not to be overlooked or underestimated. I Bet on Sky, their 10th full-length, is a loudmouthed snarl of a record. It features all the best quirks of Dinosaur Jr.’s extensive catalogue: frightening amounts of fuzz, weirdly engaging hooks, and deep dark lyrics in J Mascis’ disengaged nasal yowls. Don’t forget to bring earplugs.” –Haley Zaremba
Wed/10, 8pm, $32.50
1805 Geary, SF
(415) 346-3000

Grave Babies
Seattle’s “scuzziest goth rockers,” Grave Babies, recently got the remix treatment for their haunting new wave song “Fuck Off” by Total Control and Eddy Current Suppression Ring’s Mikey Young, which resulted in an even spookier, deeper-in-to-outer-space trip.
With 2:54
Thu/11, 9pm, $10-$13
Brick and Mortar Music Hall
1710 Mission, SF
(415) 371-1631

Sic Alps
The best and biggest surprise from local garage rock band Sic Alps on its newest self-titled full-length (Drag City, Sept. 18) was the inclusion of a string section. It adds a sparkly additional layer to an already textured and loopy blanket, er, release.
With Thee Oh Sees, Sonny and the Sunsets, the Mallard.
Fri/12, 8:30pm, $15
Great American Music Hall
859 O’Farrell, SF

Treasure Island Music Festival
This year, I’m most curious about luminous Beth Ditto’s Gossip, to see how they work this glossy new dance-pop sound live, Grimes, to hear if her tiny voice can carry, and Public Enemy, because, it’s Public Enemy. There’s also M83, Joanna Newsom, and Divine Fits. Also, Sunday’s headliners the xx just released shimmering new LP, Coexist, which should create a sexy, foggy atmosphere. Though the best part about Treasure Island — besides the outstanding views — is the lack of set-time conflicts.
Sat/13-Sun/14, noon, single day $75; two-day, $129.50
Treasure Island, SF

Nouvelle Vague
Nouvelle Vague has the ability to turn anything – moody ’80s new wave (the band’s namesake), post-punk grinders, Dead Kennedy’s “Too Drunk to Fuck” – into a sexy French pop classic. Everything they rework and perform turns into Françoise Hardy over bossa nova arrangements. Past covers include “Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t’ve),” “Heart if Glass,” and “Master and Servant.” This makes it difficult not to purse your lips and sing along in a faux-Francophone tribute; but you’d look silly, please leave it to these experts.
Sun/14, 8pm, $25-$28
1025 Columbus, SF
(415) 474-0365

Our Weekly Picks: August 1-7



Erol Alkan

A couple years ago it was easier to define Erol Alkan. He was electro. People would say it like it was the best thing in the world or the worst, but it was clear cut, straightforward, easily understood. Recently, though, the London producer’s already impeccable remix work — for bands including Tame Impala, Metronomy, and St. Etienne — has shown increased range, patience, and emotion. While his continued team-up with Boys Noize shows he’s not afraid to still go HARD, with Connan Mockasin’s “Forever Dolphin Love” (a song so nice, he reworked it twice) Alkan went in an entirely other direction, arguably surpassed the original, and created what might be the ultimate comedown track. (Ryan Prendiville)

With Omar (Popscene) 10pm, $10–$20


85 Campton Place, SF

(415) 433-8585



After a stint as a member of Bright Eyes’ touring band in 2011, Mynabirds frontwoman Laura Burhenn went back into the studio to work on her Saddle Creek indie collective’s sophomore release, Generals, a concept album about war, tragedy, and disarmament (inspired by Richard Avedon’s photo, “Generals of the Daughters of the American Revolution”). The result is a protest record that embodies the spirit of the Occupy Everything movement. Burhenn’s soulful voice soars over percussive, full-bodied pop melodies to sing about a wide array of conflicts, both political and personal. In a concurrent side project called the New Revolutionists, Burhenn uses a portrait series to highlight women who have taken the initiative to be disarmers and activists in their own communities around the country. (Haley Zaremba)

With Deep Time

9:30pm, $12

Cafe Du Nord

2170 Market, SF

(415) 861-5016



“City Scenes: Installment Four”

Never spent time with David Bowie’s album Diamond Dogs? Beloved San Francisco musician John Vanderslice wants to change that. In the Vogue Theatre’s fourth installment of its ongoing “City Scenes” series, Vanderslice will perform Diamond Dogs, followed by a screening of Michel Gondry’s The Science of Sleep (2006). Vanderslice says he loves the film because of its “vulnerable and personal vibe,” and he considers the Bowie album to be one of the most underrated records, calling it “casual, rugged, and handmade.” Vanderslice adds that the record, which was inspired by Orwell’s 1984,”[was] his most drugged out, freaked out work.” Gondry’s film, which follows Charlotte Gainsbourg and Gael Garcia Bernal on a journey through the human psyche, certainly connects to a Bowie’d musical introduction exploring the confines of state control on the mind. (Shauna C. Keddy)

8pm, $15

Vogue Theatre

3290 Sacramento, SF

(415) 346-2228



Sure, Aphex Twin and Boards of Canada are seasoned veterans of electronic powerhouse Warp Records, and rightly so; but where have they been lately? Squarepusher, on the other hand, has been churning out quality records for the UK label, with Woody Allenesque prolificacy, since 1996. From ’70s Miles Davis homages, to laptop geekfests, to Daft Punk nods, to virtuosic bass-guitar workouts worthy of a Steely Dan session player, Squarepusher mastermind Tom Jenkinson has built a career on defying expectations and constantly switching focus — which makes the prospect of a live appearance so damn interesting. (Taylor Kaplan)

With Eric Sharp 8pm, $30

Regency Ballroom

1290 Sutter, SF

888) 929-7849


Buraka Som Sistema

There’s just something fascinating about watching a crowd attempt to dance along to a beat that is as unfamiliar as it is irresistible. That was the scene at last year’s Treasure Island Music Festival, during the performance of Portugal’s Buraka Som Sistema. Buraka’s a reportedly rough and tumble neighborhood in Lisbon; Som Sistema quickly translates to “sound system”; put it together and you have a partying collective of DJs, producers, MCs, and dancers spreading the Angolan-originated, techno and hip-hop influenced genre of kuduro. Understanding Portuguese is not a prerequisite, as the group’s seemingly competitive desire to hype up a crowd (with easily recognizable calls to “shake that ass”) proves immediate and universal. (Prendiville)

9pm, $20  


628 Divisadero, SF

(415) 771-1421


Peaking Lights and Woods

One night, two up-and-coming bands with the blogosphere on their side. Woods might be from Brooklyn, but they forgo the New York state of mind in favor of a pastoral, sun-drenched, Byrds-worshipping brand of lo-fi pop, well suited to your next cabin retreat. Originally from the Bay Area, Madison, Wisconsin-based duo Peaking Lights weaves an infectiously stoney web of dub, Krautrock, and loopy, gloopy pop a la Panda Bear, seemingly tailor-made for record collectors and serial name-droppers. First acoustic, then electronic, on an enticing double-bill unlikely to result in any sense of redundancy. (Kaplan)

With Wet Illustrated 9pm, $16

Great American Music Hall

859 O’Farrell, SF

(415) 885-0750


Birds & Batteries

With the impending release of their new album Stray Light, Birds & Batteries will once grace our ears with chirping indie-pop bliss smashed with heavy electronic beats. Like the name, the band embraces a meeting of the natural and the digital. While their sound embraces vast expanses, it’s also crisp and wound tight; if you want to wave your arms around in the air like you’re at a bonfire dance circle, but also jump up and down like you would at any good rock show, this will be a lovely fit for you The band kicks off its US tour this weekend at the Rickshaw Stop. (Keddy)

With Radiation City, Trails & Ways

9pm, $10–$12

Rickshaw Stop

155 Fell, SF

(415) 861-2011


The Pharcyde

Gangsta rap was important and fun in the beginning — and, in retrospect, so kittenish that 50,000 white kids would end up singing along with an anachronistic hologram 20 years later in the California desert. But all the grim misogyny and hysterical homophobia sure got tired. Luckily, Cali also kept the flame alive in the ’90s for inventive, unabashedly intelligent hip-hop. Surreal lyrical genius-machine the Pharcyde blew up the charts with first album Bizarre Ride II in 1992, now original quartet members Fatlip and SlimKid3, with producers J-Swift and LA Jay, are giving the live full-band treatment to Bizarre. (Bootie Brown and Imani, who tried to jumpstart the band back in 2004 are doing their own thing, notably Bootie’s guest spots with Gorillaz.) SLICK, the graffitist responsible for Bizarre‘s cover, art directs the show. (Marke B.)

10pm-4am, $20–$25

1015 Folsom, SF.


Castro Theatre’s 90th anniversary

Single-screen movie palace the Castro Theater opened in 1922 — and 90 years later, it’s still going strong, with a robust calendar of festivals, first-run movies, rep screenings, and special events. Celebrate this happiest of birthdays by stopping by this weekend’s festivities (special programming, including a John Huston series, continues throughout August). Today, there’ll be a screening of 1964 classic Mary Poppins (presented sing-a-long style — chim-chim-chir-ee!) plus a Howard Hawks double feature of The Big Sleep (1946) and Where Danger Lives (1950), hosted by Noir City’s Eddie Muller, all with pre-show musical entertainment. Head over tomorrow for a couple of films you might have heard of (1941’s Citizen Kane, 1939’s Gone With the Wind), or mark your calendar for upcoming must-see-on-the-big-screen entries, including Roman Polanski’s 1974 Chinatown (Aug. 28). (Cheryl Eddy)

Mary Poppins, 2 p.m., $8.50–$15

Castro Theatre

429 Castro, SF


The English Beat

In 1979, the Beat (known in the US as the English Beat) emerged from struggling, blue-collar Birmingham, England. In an era of widespread unemployment and sociopolitical conflict, the band responded by writing simple, fun ska tunes about something we can all agree on: love. The Beat was an overnight success with its chart-topping cover of Smokey Robinson’s “Tears of a Clown.” These legendary musicians, now considered pioneers of two-tone ska along with the likes of the Specials and Madness, have been touring consistently since they reunited in 2003. In today’s similarly tumultuous political climate, perhaps a little love and skanking is what we all need. (Zaremba)

With the Champions Inc.

8pm, $25

Bimbo’s 365

1025 Columbus, SF

(415) 474-0365


Drift of a Curse

Supergroups of our time: Bad Company, Damn Yankees, Traveling Wilburys, uh … Asia? Does Asia count? Dunno. What’s important is that local supergroup of sorts Drift of a Curse (it started as an Old Grandad side project, and also features members of Hammers of Misfortune, Aerial Ruin, and Hazzard’s Cure) is reuniting for its first shows in two years. Tonight’s gig prefaces a mini tour to points Northwest; expect to hear songs off 2008 album The Wrong Witness, recorded before the band had played any live shows, and more in the vein of the group’s self-described sound: “melodic vocals, clean tones, and psychedelic soundscapes” with “elements of metal and rock.” Super! (Eddy)

With Hazzard’s Cure

10pm, $6

Bender’s Bar

806 S. Van Ness, SF

(415) 824-1800


Radio Moscow

This power trio is a blast from the psychedelic past. Drawing from Cream, Hendrix, and ZZ Top, the Story City, Iowa garage rockers play new-old stoner rock with fuzzed out guitar solos and bluesy, experimental jams as long as their Zeppelin-inspired hair. After the band handed a demo to Dan Auerbach at a Black Keys concert, the retro-rock guru got them signed to Alive Naturalsound Records and produced their first album, released in 2007. The band has since relocated to Northern California and after months on the road to support their third full-length, Radio Moscow is ending its national tour in San Francisco. (Zaremba)

With the Dirty Streets, Coo Coo Birds

8:30pm, $12

Cafe Du Nord

2170 Market, SF

(415) 861-5016


Sutekh Hexen

Juggling noise and ambience with a shrewd sense of balance rarely seen among metal outfits, SF’s own Sutekh Hexen specializes in that rare brand of distortion-based guitar chaos in which the darkness is completely convincing. Like Sunn O)))’s dronier passages, approached with the relentless tunnel-vision of Metal Machine Music, this trio’s output is as mentally/physically draining as it is hypnotic and bliss-inducing. Their newly released full-length, Behind the Throne, might as well be titled Ambient 5: Music for Melting Your Face Off. Might wanna bring some earplugs; this one’ll be a doozy. (Kaplan)

With Hallow, Rain and Endless Fall, Rigis

Elbo Room

647 Valencia, SF

(415) 552-7788 

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Exchange is good


MUSIC The heyday of the mixtape was the 1990s, when a mix required a gentle touch with the pause button, careful calculations to make sure the songs fit on the cassette, and a delicate winding of the tape spool with the pinky finger, advancing the clear tape to the magnetic. They took hours to complete. They were fragile, often made in a torrent of teenage lust and given with sweaty palms.

With the San Francisco Mixtape Society, you get a semblance of that experience.

Every few months, the group holds free mixtape exchanges at the Mission District’s Make-Out Room. What happens is this: people come to the event with a mix (cassette, CD, or USB stick), and everyone gets a number. When your number is picked, you give your mix to the person who called your number. Then, you pick a number, and you get a mix in return. Each event has its own theme, to give attendees a spark of inspiration.

Most mixtape exchanges occur by word of mouth, or by invitation-only. Co-founders Annie Lin and John Verrochi, Brooklyn transplants, met by attending similar events in Brooklyn, which were low-key, “just hang outs in bars. We wanted to create an event that could accommodate more people, and make it easier to participate,” Lin said in an interview last week. The two of them started the exchange partly because there weren’t any events like it in San Francisco at the time.

“When I moved here I felt like there wasn’t really a channel for people that like music to meet other people that like music. When you go to a show, you really can’t talk to people. Part of it grew out of wanting to meet cool people as a newcomer to the city with no established clique. The nice thing is that a lot of people have actually come together,” said Lin.

“There’s two connections that you’re forced to have,” explained Ashley Saks, a member and organizer of the society. “One is with the person you’re giving your [mixtape] to, and one is the person you’re getting the mixtape from.”

“There is a dating aspect,” said co-founder Verrochi, “though we don’t promote that. You usually make them for someone you care about, so it kind of has this courting thing to it. People have definitely hooked up.”

The society gives a free beer to those who make a mix on cassette, and awards prizes in categories such as Best Art.

“We were thinking we would get to see cool graphic art, like really cool album covers,” Verrochi said. (He works by day as an art director.) “But it’s turned into these art objects. Tiny sculptures.”

Cases have been hand knit, papier-mâché’d, and encased in world globes. One person made a 3-D dollhouse. Another made a lemonade stand out of Popsicle sticks. The winner of the last event — the theme was “Under the Covers” — made a coffin. Inside was a collection of mixes that together formed a skeleton. The track listing came in a funeral booklet.

“You never know what you’re going to get,” said Lin. “You know you’re going to get something. You might get something huge and crazy, like a Noah’s Ark.”

Besides winsome cover art, coveted mixes are well-sequenced and tell a story. “Editing is the secret,” said Lin. “In this era it’s so easy to say, ‘Let’s get on Spotify and do a search for titles that have the theme in the name.’ With a really good mixtape, someone really thought about the tone or the flavor of the theme, and how the songs come together over all. It’s more than just an algorithmic search for songs, which is easy to do.”

One memorable mixtape was made for a Treasure Island Music Festival event. The theme was “Hidden Treasure,” and the tape was called “Pirate’s Booty.” “Every single song on that mixtape was about ass,” Verrochi said.

Interest in the SF Mixtape Society has grown beyond its own events. Music festivals like SXSW have asked the group to run exchanges, and mixtape enthusiasts in Toronto and San Diego have asked how to start similar groups. It’s a reflection of people’s desire to do more than share music on the internet.

“We live in a curation culture,” said Lin. “People make playlists and share them on Spotify. Like, ‘Here’s all the songs that I’m listening to right now on this playlist in random order.’ A mixtape is sharing, yes, but it’s also selecting exactly what it is you’re going to share.”

“I think why people like our event is you actually have to show up in person, you have to create an object and hand it to them. And there’s this really tangible quality to it,” Verrochi said.

The SF Mixtape Society’s next event, themed “American Summer,” occurs Sun/15 at the Make-Out Room; a smaller exchange will take place as part of the California Academy of Sciences’ “Mixology, Mixtapes and Remixes at NightLife” event July 19. *