Friday, March 25, 2011
Jocelyn Kane explained the complex dynamics of neighbor relations, and how an equitable compromise is often the best way of settling conflicts over noise and petty crime (public urination being one of the foremost). Even if a compromise is slightly disappointing to all parties, it is better to share this disappointment equally than to ignore completely the demands of one party. Seniority in the neighborhood, she repeated, furnishes no privileges - residents and business owners must cooperate, with the mediation of the San Francisco Entertainment Commission and, if necessary, the SFPD, to settle any dispute that may arise. Both CMAC and the San Francisco Entertainment Commission are concerned with the prevention of the archetypal "guy who likes to fight" from doing just that.
This meeting seems to mark the beginning of a fruitful relationship between the SFPD, the San Francisco Entertainment Commission, and the venue staff, artists and music fans that comprise the California Music and Arts Association. We have CMAC to thank for protecting the interests of the Bay Area's entertainment community, and allowing venues to keep their doors open and the music pumping.
Don't miss out on the Revolt party at Mezzanine tomorrow night - we've got house legend David Harness, who has been described as 'a man who lives, breathes and emanates everything that is beautiful about deep house music and classic garage.' Harness has been active in the Bay Area since the 90s, and is the founder of the ongoing party 'Taboo' in the Mission, which showcases local talent as well as internationally-known DJs. He has established himself as a respected producer and remixer with his company DHJ Productions. Also spinning is the New Jersey-based, Dominican-born DJ Eddie Elias, who has been making his mark on the New York electronic scene, and San Francisco's own DJ Hawthorne, host of the weekly party 'Ghetto Disco.' It's gonna be a great party, get your tickets here!
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Friday, March 18, 2011
Friday, March 11, 2011
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Nick Urata of DeVotchKa once said of performing his music, “When you are standing naked up there, in the clutches of an attention-challenged audience, you find out immediately what works.” The knowledge of what works onstage and what doesn't is by no means an exact science. If DeVotchka's music contains healthy servings of Balkan revelry, should they prance about maniacally like their dark cousins in Gogol Bordello? Or should they focus on their impeccable musicianship, like the clarinet and kanun virtuosos of the Near East? Or should they focus on the lyrics, and embody the language of each individual song?
At their show on Monday, March 3rd at the Great American Music Hall, they seemed to do all of the above. Certainly, Nick comes off as more of a lovelorn poet than a gypsy-crazed rockstar. He is not a man of theatrics, but it would be a mistake to assume that he is not a great performer. His voice is clear, high, and otherworldly, á la Thom Yorke; his guitar playing is impressive yet relaxed, and he prefers the acoustic axe to his black magic Les Paul (which he is not afraid to crank up when the moment is right); he is a master of the underappreciated but astonishingly beautiful Greek instrument bouzouki; and most of all, he seems to mean every word he sings. Urata is a frontman with a powerful aura, who, without any fuss or pantomime, and seemingly without effort, had everyone enthralled.
Of course, the band's dynamics were in-fucking-credible. Tom Hagerman played the accordion, keyboard, and violin like he was born playing all three at once; Jeanie Shroder hefted her christmas-lighted sousaphone and slow-danced with her double bass unfalteringly, and Shawn King played the trumpet in one hand while drumming with the other. With a band like that, it's kind of hard to suck. And with a frontman like Nick Urata, it's kind of hard to not have to do 2 encores - which they did, with great flair. And even as Nick finished his champagne, a double whisky, and a half-bottle of wine onstage, the feeling of intimacy never left the room, and when he raised the bottle and toasted "the city of his dreams", the cacophonous applause was as genuine as the performance.
DeVotchKa's new album, 100 Lovers, was released on March 1st.
New Wave City is a monthly dance party thrown by DJs Skip and Shindog to celebrate the wonderfully liminal New Wave era of the late '70s - early '80s. Each event features a tribute to one of the seminal acts of the period, such as Depeche Mode, The Smiths, The Cure, New Order, Siouxsie and the Banshees, etc. You'll hear songs from the featured artist throughout the evening as well as the rest of the best of New Wave. Next month's party will be a tribute to New Order, to be hosted at Mezzanine on April 9th. The party New Wave City is, as the slogan says, "The First and Foremost 80's Dance Party" -- "first", as in, first on your list, and "foremost", as in, the 80's couldn't have done it better. Check out the promo video: