Drama Talk & Drinks: Shout-out

As big fans of Crowded Fire Theater we were really excited to hear about their collaboration with AXIS Dance Company, Star Finch, and Ensemble Mik Nawooj to create a new immersive multidisciplinary experience that merges “hip-hop, contemporary dance, and theater into a boundary-pushing work featuring a 12-person orchestra”. Sounds intriguing right?!

Unfortunately there are only 3 performances over 2 days, which means we won’t be reviewing it, but we felt strongly that a show as unique as this needed a shout-out. We definitely recommend checking it out. We will be.

Photo by Ian Davis.

Photo by Ian Davis.

WHAT:

DEATH BECOME LIFE: BANISH DARKNESS - a future vision by Crowded Fire Theater, AXIS Dance Company, Star Finch, and Ensemble Mik Nawooj

WHERE:

Bayview Opera House Ruth Williams Memorial Theatre, 4705 3rd Street, San Francisco

WHEN:

November 16, 8:00pm

November 17, 3:00pm and 8:00pm

Tickets $25: Visit www.crowdedfire.org/dbl-banish-darkness for more information and to purchase tickets.

 

Drama Talk & Drinks: Men On Boats – “It looked so cool when they were going over waterfalls!”

I knew when I heard about Men On Boats, a play described as “Spinning historical, theatrical, and gender conventions on their heads, this subversive tale of 10 men, four boats, and two rivers contains none of the above”, I needed to go with one of my awesome lady friends. So I brought my friend Kim, lawyer by day, and theater goer by night, to A.C.T’s Strand Theater for a night of drama talk and drinks.

John Wesley Powell (Liz Sklar, standing center) leads a brawny and eclectic band of explorers on an expedition through the canyons of the Green and Colorado Rivers | Photo: Kevin Berne

John Wesley Powell (Liz Sklar, standing center) leads a brawny and eclectic band of explorers on an expedition through the canyons of the Green and Colorado Rivers | Photo: Kevin Berne

 

Kim: If I read this play in script form I would be convinced I would hate seeing it put on stage but actually I was surprisingly pleased, and it was a lot of fun.

Katie: I was very entertained, I really didn’t think I would like this show as much as I did. I mean, we just saw a group of women play narcissistic white men from the 19th century. That sounds annoying to me and yet I really cared about the characters.

Kim: That’s definitely part of the theme that’s going on there. If they had actually been all white men, it would have been impossible to swallow. This all female cast really nailed it, their comic timing was really good. It was very charactery, campy acting throughout, which worked in the context of this play.

Katie: On top of the cast being so strong I was very impressed by the set, lighting, and sound design. You really believed they were in boats on a river to the Grand Canyon. It looked so cool when they were going over waterfalls!

The Verdict: Very well done new approach to an old narrative. This is storytelling at its finest. Go!

The Drama Talk: The ups and downs of the plot, interesting character development, cool set, and strong all female cast, created a tight and entertaining 90 minute adventure. The story and style of this play creates multiple layers in this show that different people will enjoy. For those who want an entertaining show that will make you laugh, you can come and watch this play and have fun. For those looking to question the patriarchy, manifest destiny, and the power structures in America you this play does not disappoint.

The Drinks: The Strand was serving drinks after this opening night performance, but assuming that doesn’t happen every performance we recommend going around the corner to Mr. Smiths.

Men On Boats plays through December 16th at A.C.T’s Strand Theater. Tickets range from $30-$100 and can be purchased on the ACT website. Right now there are discounted tickets available on Goldstar.

  

Old Time Relijun back from the grave plus Rocky’s band Turqoiuz Noiz!

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OTR hasn’t toured in like 10 years, but they’re back, at the Chapel! And Rocky’s band Turqouiz Noiz is opening!

RSVP and invite your friends!

What’s happening for Halloween???

1.) First there’s happy hour:

CountryReggae

STAND BY YOUR MON!
Classic Country & Classic Reggae
w/ your selectors DJ Dukes + DJ Nutzeffekt
ALL vinyl, ALL irie, ALL my exes live in Texas

“Jah bless America!”

RSVP and invite your friends!

2.) Then there’s cover bands:

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Everyone Is Doorsy (as The Doors)
Down Dirty Shake (as The Spice Girls)
Mayya & The Revolutionary Hell Yeah! (as Iggy Pop)
Blue Lotus and the Lagoons (premier showing)
+ DJ Neil Martinson

RSVP and invite your friends!

4.) And of course, more cover bands:

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Lucifudge
as DANZIG 12:15
Stereorehab
as STEREOLAB 11:30
Stephen & Kristin & Michael & Candice & Peter & Nicholas & Elizabeth
as BELLE & SEBASTIAN. 10:45
We have Joy
as KILLING JOKE 10:00
The Heelies
as THE FEELIEs 9:15
Bitcharge
as DISCHARGE 8:30

RSVP and invite your friends!

5.) Or you could always go to Weird Wednesday!

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This week is Polyester!

6.) Or you could see Suspiria Classic at the Roxie right before New Suspiria premieres everywhere else the following day:

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Tickets here!

What’s it gonna beeeeeee??????

Something out of a ’70s daydream: Tennis stripped down live at the Chapel [review + lots of lovely photos]

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By Valerie Luu / Photos by Ruchita Lalmalani

I knew nothing about Tennis before going to their show on a Tuesday night at The Chapel.

All I had was this memory: listening to “Young and Old,” their sophomore album released in 2012, which was on heavy rotation at Reveille Coffee in North Beach, where I would go for a pot of tea and to chat with my cafe crushes.

Their song “It All Feels the Same” reminds me of continuing that soundtrack as I put on headphones after leaving the cafe. I’d skate down Montgomery Street while the fog lifted and the sun filtered through skyscrapers and commuters emerged from BART with freshly ironed clothes and washed hair.

When I hear that song, I think about what a luxury it was to have all that time to banter with baristas, to push up Howard Street to the Mission and to witness the morning sunrise. Where have those days gone?

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I was curious what memories Tennis holds for other people, so I went into the show with this question: “Is there a Tennis song or album that reminds you of certain time in your life?”

Liz O’ Neal, 30, was the first person I spoke to. She was holding down a spot in front of the stage with her friend Hanna Steinberg, 29.

“How would you describe their music?” I asked, realizing that I hadn’t thought about how to classify their sound up until that point. “It’s dreamy, sexy rock,” she said. “It makes you want to go to the beach.”

Beaches and boats are a big part of the band’s mythology. Alaina Moore and Patrick Riley, the husband-and-wife duo of Tennis, met in a philosophy class at the University of Colorado, Denver. After graduation, they took sail for half a year along the Atlantic Coast. “Cape Dory,” their debut album, was written on their trip and is a diary of the places they visited — Maryland, South Carolina and Florida.

For O’ Neal, “Marathon” brings back memories of her sailing trip in Greece. “We hired this old sea captain, who looked like a sexy dad from ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding.’ He took us to all these tiny Greek islands for a week,” she said. “It reminds me of being happy and carefree.”

I had recently come back from island hopping in the Cyclades, the group of Greek islands known for their whitewashed and blue domed buildings, so I was able to imagine how “Cape Dory” could be a perfect soundtrack to hanging out on a boat, grilling fish on the secluded beaches and feeling your cares dissolve away in the saltwater and Mediterranean sun.

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For others, the songs are less about actual memories and more about a image.

For Serratia Krank, 22, “Baby Don’t Believe,” from Tennis’ most recent album, is a love song from a “wingman’s perspective.”

“When I hear the song, I see a guy with flowers at a woman’s window,” she said. “Or a guy in the back of a crowd watching his woman playing on stage. The crowd is going wild for her, but he doesn’t mind. He’s there for her.”

To Krank, an inspiring filmmaker, the song is about someone rooting on the sidelines — even if it’s yourself. Sometimes she’ll listen to the song while she looks at herself in the mirror. “I’m your biggest fan,” she says to herself, becoming the person in the crowd.

Her friend Jamie Banks, 24, said “10 Minutes 10 Years” resonates with him. “I think about their relationship,” he said of the married musicians. “If I ever wanted a relationship I would want to be like theirs.”

With that, the show started. Moore came out in a silver sequined dress and sat at a piano across from Riley, who was on guitar. Without speaking, they opened with “10 Minutes 10 Years,” blue lights illuminating her blonde afro.

Their current acoustic tour was inspired by an experience they had opening for Father John Misty. At one of his shows, he spontaneously went onstage without his band and played an unplugged set. “I was shocked that it was my favorite [part of the tour],” Moore said.

That inspired Tennis to strip embark on their “Solo in Stereo” tour with just the two of them — which required the couple to do things outside their comfort zones — for Moore it was playing the guitar and Riley, the drums.

The aim was a more raw, stripped down version that sounds closer to their demos. “It’s the most minimal, just like how we wrote it,” she said. “It’s four chords and the truth.”

In trying to be minimalist, Moore realized her true nature. “Five minutes later, I found myself with five pianos and 20 drum machines,” she laughed. “Turns out I’m a maximalist — I tried to bring it down to zero and ended up with an afro and a 100 percent sequined dress.”

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In addition to the acoustic set, the stage design also made me feel like we were in their home recording studio. On stage at The Chapel was an upholstered green bench, vanilla shag rug and a side table with a velvet rose tablecloth which sat unused until “Island Music,” the last song on “Yours Conditionally” and the closing song of the night. Moore took a seat on the table and pressed a button, which turned it into a rotating pedestal.

Before the show started, I overheard Jamie Banks making a bet with Serratia Krank: “For every song you don’t dance to, you owe me a dollar,” he said. After Tennis finished “Island Music” and the house lights turned on, I turned to the two friends and asked if they had danced to every song.

“I did,” said Krank. As for Banks, he was coming out of a haze. “I didn’t dance to the last song,” he said. “I was so stunned by her beauty.”

As was I. “Island Music” now holds that image of Moore spinning onstage looking and sounding ethereal as she sang the lyrics “through the living and breathing and dreaming / like a daze” with tropical guitar sounds looping in the background. It was a magical ending, something out of a ’70s daydream.

Thanks to The Chapel, Allan Hough, and Tennis for the lovely, memorable show.

Valerie Luu chases grandmas for Chinatown Pretty and hustles at Rice Paper Scissors. She’s probably listened to “10 Minutes 10 Years” a hundred times.

Ruchita Lalmalani is a portrait and concert photographer. She’s available for prints, press and shoots at electric.spaceinvader@gmail.com.

[Editor's note: The Sadies are playing at the Chapel on Sunday afternoon and they are the BEST! Thanks Val!!!]

Clamped Down/Pumped Up, a ’70s-’80s punk and new wave night with cover band Space Force ’77!

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Here’s the deal:

CLAMPED DOWN/PUMPED UP
A Night of ’70s & ’80s Punk + New Wave

• SPACE FORCE ’77 live debut!
• DJ Nick Pal (Pal Family Records, BFF.fm, KALX)
• DJ Nutzeffekt (Hard-Boiled Babes, American Tripps, KDVS)

$3 before 8pm
$5 after 8pm

RSVP and invite your friends!

Music legend Lee “Scratch” Perry performs this Thursday in the Mission!

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It’s at the Chapel and here’s the deal:

Celebrating the 45th anniversary of Grammy winning dub & reggae pioneer Lee “Scratch” Perry’s landmark 1973 album “Blackboard Jungle Dub”, the world’s first dub album, Scratch, now 82 years young, will embark on a tour across North America performing his studio masterpiece live in its entirety for the first time, aided by the technology of NYC’s Subatomic Sound System, his hybrid band of new school electronics and veteran Jamaican musicians from the Black Ark era recordings.

RSVP and invite your friends here. Get tickets and more info here.

King Kong, the sandwich

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Turner’s Kitchen, of course:

Egg salad, roasted pork belly (sliced thin and gently reheated so it melts) baby spinach (place the warm pork belly on the spinach so it wilts just a little) crispy onions and fresh thyme-black pepper mayo on sliced sourdough.

[via Turner's on Instagram]

Edward Snowden LIVE in the Mission!

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It’s going down at the New Mission and also features Uma and Ethan:

When former intelligence officer Edward Snowden revealed in 2013 that the NSA was seizing the private records of billions of people, he helped spark the most significant reforms to U.S. surveillance policy since 1978—and his story read like a science fiction novel. In a special virtual conversation, Snowden will join former WIRED editor-in-chief Katrina Heron for a discussion about technology and its potentially dystopian future.

And then everybody watches Gattaca together! Get your tix here (there’s still a lotta good seats left).

Treasure Island Music Festival is this weekend! Not on Treasure Island! Heaps of Aussies mate!

This year’s Treasure Island Music Festival takes place across the bay at Middle Harbor Shoreline Park, amongst the Port of Oakland’s iconic bigass cranes. Here’s what the view will be like probably:

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The lineup is stacked with a mess of our favorite Australians: Tame Impala, Courtney Barnett, and Alex Cameron (who we first discovered in the Mission opening for Thee Oh Sees a few years back). Here’s the whole thing, organized by day:

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Transportation works thusly: take BART to West Oakland and hop on a special free shuttle.

Lots more info here. Pick up your tickets at the gate, or online here.

[Photo by Julean]