Friday, June 28, 2013

Watch: New Videos From Yeah Yeah Yeahs, M.I.A, The Uncluded, Die Antwoord, Adam Goldberg

by Sarah Burke
Fri, Jun 28, 2013 at 1:30 PM

If you're like me, then you’ve spent too much of the past few days staring at Miley Cyrus’ music video for “We Can't Stop”— which just broke VEVO’s record for the most-viewed video in 24 hours — and are faced with an existential crisis caused by the experience of hating something so much that you can’t stop watching it. What is she doing? What am I doing? What is LIFE? So many questions, indeed.

Ellen recommended a critique of the video that might offer some rational, soothing insight. But my prescription is this list of new music videos that will snap you out of that hopeless, twerk-induced coma. Don’t believe what Miley tells you. We CAN stop.

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Weekender: This Weekend's Top Five Events

Fri, Jun 28, 2013 at 10:55 AM


2013 Montclair Village Beer & Wine Festival
What better way to support a lovely and historic Oakland neighborhood than by drinking your way through its charming main street? Admission to the Montclair Village Beer & Wine Celebration (Medau Pl. and Mountain Blvd., Oakland) is free for sightseers; for those who want to sip, the price of a commemorative glass permits unlimited tasting of artisanal wines and craft beers at booths representing local brewers, vintners, and retailers. The family-friendly all-day celebration also features live music, art on display, and kids' activities. Proceeds benefit community-enhancement projects through the Montclair Business Improvement District. Sat., June 29, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. beer/wine tasting is $30 per person, $50 per couple — Anneli Rufus

"Friends, Family, Neighbors"
As distressing as the National Security Administration's recentlyexposed dragnet system is, the proliferation of unmanned drones forsurveillance and military strike is a perhaps more chilling aspect ofwhat today counts for normal. In a small exhibition at Royal NonesuchGallery, David Gregory Wallace presents several works that reflect onprevailing drone narratives, each wedding a sense of childhoodinnocence (or vulnerability) to one of looming dread. In a windowpiece that clicks on nightly, a projector casts a series ofphotographic portraits of the artist's friends, colleagues, and lovedones upon the gallery window, while a rotating mobile positioned inbetween casts moving shadows of birds and one large predator drone upon theimages. The main piece in the show is a short film that follows ayoung boy as he guides a toy drone around the East Bay. The interspersed footage of actual drone strikes — which the Department of Defense posts as propaganda material on its website — is jarring, but it is the child's eerie contentedness that leaves the strongest impression.Friends, Family, Neighbors runs through June 30 at Royal NonesuchGallery. 415-652-1623 or — Alex Bigman

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Thursday, June 27, 2013

Live Review: Quicksand, Mastodon, High on Fire, Saviours at Slim’s

by Kathleen Richards
Thu, Jun 27, 2013 at 11:39 AM

While supporters of gay marriage were holding impromptu celebrations in the streets around the Bay Area last night, fans of heavy music were having their own celebration of sorts — inside Slim’s, where a lucky group of fans packed inside to see a dream lineup: Quicksand, Mastodon, High on Fire, Saviours, and Hot Lunch. The show was part of a free, five-day concert series put on by Converse (the shoe company) to promote the opening of its San Francisco store. Each night of “Converse Represent” featured its own theme: electronic (Hot Chip), indie-rock (Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, DIIV), hip-hop (Blackalicious, Deltron 3030), and punk (Suicidal Tendencies).

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New Music: Steel Cranes Premiere, Trails and Ways, oOoOO, Weekend

by Sarah Burke
Thu, Jun 27, 2013 at 11:05 AM

Steel Cranes — “Boat Song” (Premiere)

Amanda Schukle and Tracy Shapiro are Oakland rock duo Steel Cranes. With Schukle on drums and Shapiro on vocals, the two are rumbling the Bay Area music scene with their raw vibes. After knowing each other for only about a year and a half, the two are preparing to release a debut album entitled Ouroboros. We have the honor of premiering their first single, “Boat Song,” a hefty, droning five minutes of noise and lamentation. The two women exude a fervent-yet-slow, seeping energy into this song, which they say they recorded in one take. Set on maintaining the roughness of their live performances, the pair insisted on putting the whole album on tape. To do so, they teamed up with engineer Eli Crews of New, Improved Recording who has worked previously with tUnE-yArDs, Deerhoof and Questlove. Ouroboros is scheduled for release on September 24th.

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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Pandora Pisses Off Pink Floyd (Among Others)

by Whitney Phaneuf
Wed, Jun 26, 2013 at 3:19 PM

After lobbying Congress to cut the royalty rates it has to pay artists, Pandora's attempts to make amends with artists appear to be backfiring. The Oakland-based internet radio company's most recent enemies? Roger Waters, David Gilmour, and Nick Mason, the three remaining members of Pink Floyd.

More than 130 artists, including Pink Floyd, united to oppose Pandora's bill, which did not move past the committee stage. Now, Pandora founder Tim Westergren is apparently trying to damage control by sending emails to musicians asking them to "be part of a conversation" and sign a "letter of support" for Internet radio. Pink Floyd fired back with an op-ed in USA Today, which argues that Pandora is "trying to trick artists" into supporting a pay cut.

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Monday, June 24, 2013

What We Like: The Perfect Cantaloupe, Mystery Science Theater 3000, Miley Cyrus

by Whitney Phaneuf
Mon, Jun 24, 2013 at 9:38 AM

Ever listened to a song and recognized another track being sampled, then went completely insane until you figured out its source? Search, a database of songs and artists who sample and have been sampled. — Whitney Phaneuf

If, by some CRAZY CIRCUMSTANCE, you haven't watched the new Miley Cyrus video, do so immediately — and then read Dodai Stewart's searingly insightful piece about the video, "rachet culture," and racial appropriation. — Ellen Cushing

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Friday, June 21, 2013

Weekender: This Weekend's Top Five Events

Fri, Jun 21, 2013 at 6:00 AM

It's the weekend, so in the spirit of the new Miley Cyrus song, it's time to experiment with party drugs, twerk, and bash around piñatas filled with hot dogs! Or, in the tried-and-true spirit of old Miley, you can just Party in the USA. Or just not go to work. Here are five things to do with yourself this weekend:

The Medea Hypothesis
Attempt to adapt a Greek tragedy to the context of contemporary Manhattan, and it should hardly come as a surprise when the result turns out to be dynamite soap opera — though of a decidedly daytime variety. In Marian Berges' The Medea Hypothesis, now at Central Works, Euripides' famously infanticidal character takes the form of Em, a busy executive who ranks perhaps a little short of Mom of the Year. Abandoned by her husband for a younger woman and attached to an ominously monotone, trigger-happy assistant, Em finds her thoughts becoming murderous with baffling speed — but not before a tryst with a hunky plumber and a series of bizarre, improbable, and often philosophical video-chat dates with her ex's father-in-law-to-be, a shady Eastern European businessman named Carl. Running through this pulpy melodrama is a poignant strain about a mother losing her sanity while perhaps regaining her compassion. Mostly it's a mess, though, and a first-rate one at that. Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m. and Sundays, 5 p.m. Continues through June 23 — Alex Bigman

  • Leslie Kalohi

Tom Tom Magazine Showcase
Carla Azar. Sara Lund. Sheila E. What do they have in common? They're all powerhouse drummers (for, among others, Autolux, Unwound, and Prince, respectively), and they also happen to be women. Yet they haven't received nearly the level of acclaim that their male counterparts have because, despite their growing presence, female drummers are still largely considered an anomaly. Tom Tom Magazine aims to change that: The Brooklyn-based publication, which comes out four times a year, profiles various female drummers and includes practical things like stretching exercises, tablature, and gear reviews. But it needs help. The magazine, along with co-organizers Mission Creek Oakland, will hold a fundraiser at The Uptown featuring local bands with female drummers, including the garage-punk duo Dark Beach, lo-fi indie-poppers Upside Drown, twee twosome Bam!Bam!, and Silver Shadows, which describes itself as "hardcore new wave." If drumming isn't your thang, there will also be a "nail art fundraiser." (Full disclosure: The Express is co-presenting the event.) Sat., June 22, 9 p.m. — Kathleen Richards

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Monday, June 17, 2013

What We Like: Stone Fruit, Public Art, Summer Drinking

by Whitney Phaneuf
Mon, Jun 17, 2013 at 6:00 AM

It’s summer, which means lotsa stone fruits, which means lotsa creative usages of said stone fruit. Try this DELICIOUS nectarine galette over at Smitten Kitchen. If tart is more your thing, try this delish caramelized plum galette from the babely ladies over at Tanglewood Baked Goods. Azeen Ghorayshi

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Friday, June 14, 2013

Weekender: This Weekend's Top Five Events

Fri, Jun 14, 2013 at 10:12 AM

FUN FACT: Tomorrow is both Ice Cube's birthday AND World Juggling Day. This weekend is pretty much destined for greatness. Herewith, the top five things to do with your body/brain/time:

Bloomsday in Berkeley
Bloomsday in Dublin is an annual event that celebrates the life of author James Joyce on the day that the events of his epic novel Ulysses are set. It's traditionally filled with readings, dramatizations, and a retracing of Ulysses protagonist Leopold Bloom's route around Dublin —essentially a theatrical pub crawl in Edwardian attire. While attendees of the Bloomsday in Berkeley at the Garden Gate Creativity Center (2911 Claremont Ave., Berkeley) won't be able to walk the same streets as those in Joyce's tome, the event will include staged readings, a performance of the theater piece Portrait of the Artist's Mother by Dublin artist Marion McEvoy, and plenty of Joyce love. Sat., June 15, 5-10 p.m. and Sun., June 16, 2-6 p.m. $20-$25 — Azeen Ghorayshi

Bells Atlas: Bewitching! Unique! Playing the New Parish tonight!
  • Bells Atlas: Bewitching! Unique! Playing the New Parish tonight!
Bells Atlas
Oakland's self-described "Afro-indie soul" group Bells Atlas draws from a wide range of influences, including hip-hop, samba, R&B, indie rock, and pop, to craft its unique, lush sound. Nigerian-American lead vocalist Sandra Lawson-Ndu's smooth, sensual voice twinkles, lilts, and lifts, anchored by polished guitar stylings and steady drum beats. The band's music captivates and bewitches with a balance of jazz and pop beats, invoking good feelings and the urge to move. The band sounds even better live, which is why you should check out its upcoming show, which will celebrate the release of its debut self-titled album, at The New Parish (579 18th St., Oakland), along with seven-piece Bay Area band The Seshen, whose own dreamy vocals, mix of live and electronic instrumentation, and Afro-Caribbean vibes will serve as a perfect introduction. With DJ Treat-U-Nice. Fri., June 14, 9 p.m. $7, $10 — Madeleine Key

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Monday, June 10, 2013

What We Like: Coffee, Bloody Mary Season, Nine Inch Nails

by Whitney Phaneuf
Mon, Jun 10, 2013 at 10:19 AM

If you, like me, are more-or-less obsessed with the tech boom/bubble and what it means for the Bay Area, society, THE WORLD, etc. etc., I can’t recomment this piece, by a (n extraordinarily self-aware) programmer, enough. — Ellen Cushing

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