Thursday, February 28, 2008

5 essential shows for March 2008

Yes, March is just bursting with concerts for the Bay Area this year. In fact, the entire spring is shaping up to be absolutely incredible. But I've decided to compile a list of the five essential shows for March. If you can, do make it to a concert every night, because there are many many out there you cannot miss.
In the mean time though, make sure to check out these wonderful performers and their stunning live shows, music, originality and all around noble greatness:

1. Why? at The Great American Music Hall on March 6th.
Why? Why? (Aaah I love that). Because we have watched him shoot up in the indie community and become a sort of living legend, something to be marveled at from afar. Except no more! You can see him up close on March 6th, if you are so lucky.

Tickets: $13
Doors @ 8, show @ 9

2. Atlas Sound at Bottom of the Hill on March 8th
The lead singer of Deerhunter's side project, Atlas Sound, could not be hotter right now, or more creatively and artisticly pleasing. The ears have not felt this kind of joy in a long time.

Tickets: $10
Doors @ 8:30, show @ 10

3. Beach House at Bottom of the Hill on March 15th
This dreamy, almost psychedelic duo of magical music makers are trance enducing, gorgeous sounding, and all around pleasing to the ears. At a chill hang out like BOTH, the music could not make a more ambient feeling. Atmospheric and eerie, expect to hear a lot from the new album as well as favorites from their self titled.

Tickets: $10 advance/$12 at the door
Doors @ 8:30, show @ 10

4. Jens Lekman at Bimbo's 365 Club on March 22nd
All I can say is, Lekman's jazzy, Frank Sinatra influenced classy ritzy music will not sound better in any other venue. Bimbo's is ideal in it's art deco furnishings. Not only that, I have heard only positive things about Mr. Lekman and his fantastic shows, how flamboyant they can become, how enganging. Try not to dance. I dare you.

BONUS! The Honeydrips, an incredible emmerging indie group, are opening.

Tickets: $18
Doors @ 8, show @ 9

5. Justice at The Concourse on March 27th
Okay so the venue blows; it cannot stop these guys from putting on an amazing show. Their album, "Cross", made it onto practically every best of 2007 list and there is a reason. And their live show only adds to the entire experience.

Tickets: $35
Doors @ 7, show @ 8

Other shows you should check out!
-The Pillows @ Slim's
-The Boredoms @ The Fillmore
-Born Ruffians @ Bottom of the Hill
-Say Hi @ Bottom of the Hill

And these...if you can get a ticket. They are in high demand.
-Explosions in the Sky @ Great American Music Hall
-Vampire Weekend @ Rickshaw Stop or The Independent

Monday, February 25, 2008

Urban Transformation Exhibit in Hayes Valley

Painting entitled "Pastel Pause" by Mitchell Confer, mixed media, 22" x 28", on linen.

Last Friday, I made my way to the middle of Hayes Valley to see an exhibit at the Hayes Valley Market Gallery called "Ancient City". The exhibit is an extremely interesting one. All the artwork on display explores the art of urban transformation and how it effects us as people living in an urban setting. The tagline on the card for exhibit states "15 Bay Area artists explore time, texture, and construct."

Among the artists showing work there in the exhibit are Ken Berman, Mitchell Confer, Vera Fainshtein, Terri Garland, Yong Han, Barbara Holmes, Kay Kang, Alexandre Koulouris, Grayson Malone, Liz Mamorsky, Alan Mazzetti, Yvonne Mouser, Daniel Newman, Scott Reilly, Charles Trapolin. Quite a bundle, yes. All of the bring something completely unique, new, and intricate to the showcase. Out of all these artists, perhaps my two favorites were the work of Mitchell Confer and Liz Mamorsky. Confer explores the cramped piled up feel of our city while at the same time retaining a peaceful calm atmosphere. Mamorsky creates statues out of found industrial and man made objects. One statue resembles a giraffe, another a robot...they are very original and fun.

Mitchell Confer's cityscape art:
Liz Mamorsky's site:

Do take a look at both these artists.

The exhibit runs till March 1st.

Offical exhibit website:

Location: 580 Hayes (@ Laguna)
Hours: 12 to 7pm

All artworks in this exhibit are on sale.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Across The Universe...literally

Today, NASA did something incredible.

To commemerate their 50th anniversary and the 40th anniversary of the song "Across The Universe" by The Beatles, NASA broadcasted the song all the way to the North Star of Polaris, literally sending it across the galaxy. Apparently, it will take the song 431 years to reach Polaris; Polaris is 2.5 quadrillion miles away. Meh. No biggy. It'll get there eventually.

I quote the article from my city paper: "NASA loaded an MP3 of the song, just under four minutes in its original version, and will transmit it digitally at 7 p.m. EST Monday [today] from its giant antenna in Madrid, Spain. But if you wanted to hear it on Polaris, you would need an antenna and a receiver to convert it back to music, the same way people receive satellite television."

Apparently Paul McCartney was quoted as saying "Give my regards to the aliens". Aaah he is so witty.

Personally, I find this to be incredible, amazing, and wonderful.
I don't know why. Perhaps it's because I feel like technology really can do wonderful things. Yes, so this isn't solving world hunger, curing AIDS, or creating world peace once and for all. But it's a kind gesture. And simple in form. While I'm sure it takes dollars and dollars of technology and planning, the idea of sending a beautiful song into space to travel among the stars is just so simply gorgeous to me. I like to imagine the song echoing throughout the galaxy, over and over, just those beautiful melodies and lyrics...

Nothings gonna change my world.

More info:
Official NASA article: Click here
SFGate article: Click here

Note: I would upload Across the Universe, but I think distributing Beatles songs is punishable by death.
Hm. I wonder if the life forms on Polaris are going to pay royalties.

End sarcasm. Begin your own nostalgic sighing.