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BottleRock Countdown: The Black Crowes

Posted by on May 1, 2013

Because rock and roll is what this festival is really all about, and because we haven’t seen this video since circa 1996, our second countdown pick is “She Talks To Angels” by The Black Crowes. Aside from the video’s awesomely grainy 1990s shadow play, the song defines a generation of melancholy rock star culture: it is supposedly about a heroin-goth dilettante that lead singer Chris Robinson once met in Atlanta. We really hope they play mostly the classics.

BottleRock Countdown: The Black Keys

Posted by on May 1, 2013

There is exactly one week remaining until the biggest music festival the North Bay has ever seen. In honor of the lucky concert-goers who are about to embark on a massive planning mission that will likely involve hours of calculated preparation to see as many bands as possible, we’ve decided to post some of our favorite studio and live recordings of the bands, art troupes and comedians you probably shouldn’t miss.

It’ll be impossible to highlight everyone scheduled to perform, but this unabashedly discerning (and totally subjective) must-see list should help guide you through the mind-blowing five days, 4 stages, and 60 bands at BottleRock this year. If anything, it will help ensure you don’t end up like these Coachella kooks.

Only because they are the best damn rock and roll band to come out of Ohio in the last decade, first on our BottleRock Countdown list is Akron duo The Black Keys. They just won three Grammy Awards for best rock album, best rock song, and best rock performance. There really isn’t a better reason to stop everything and get as close to the stage as possible. Check out this video of “Strange Times”, live at the Crystal Ballroom in Portland:

In News

Dave Grohl Kicking Off BottleRock in Napa

Posted by on Apr 30, 2013

Consider this your final heads up: BottleRock Napa Valley is coming to kick out the jams in wine country like never before.

Kicking off with Macklemore on Wednesday, May 8, the festival continues through Sunday, May 12 with a lineup rivaling that of any other major festival: The Black Keys, Alabama Shakes, Flaming Lips, Jackson Browne, the Avett Brothers, Bad Religion, Jane’s Addiction, Zac Brown Band, Furthur, Dirty Projectors, Primus, Kings of Leon and many, many others. A comedy lineup with Kristen Schaal, Tig Notaro, Jim Gaffigan, Rob Delaney and more is on tap, as well as tons of food, wine and other summertime kickoff fun.

This Monday, BottleRock presents Dave Grohl (Nirvana, Foo Fighters) in person at the Uptown Theatre, screening his film Sound City and conducting a Q&A. Tickets are $100, but in keeping with the BottleRock mission at large, it’s a benefit for autism causes. You can grab tickets here. (UPDATE: Last-minute rush tickets will be available at the door for $25; line starts at 6:15pm.)

Dave Grohl in Napa? Announced at the last minute? Is there anything these crazy BottleRock guys can’t do? Be in the presence of Nirvana royalty on Monday, May 6, at the Uptown Theatre. 1350 Third St., Napa. 6pm. $100. 707.259.0123.

Live Review: Prince at the DNA Lounge, San Francisco

Posted by on Apr 25, 2013 5 Comments

[Image via Twitter]

“You know how many hits I got? We could be here all night.”

4:12am.

Ears ringing. Laying on the couch. Can’t sleep.

“Sign ‘o’ the Times” riff stuck in head on endless repeat.

Still thinking about the silhouette of his hair against the blue lights.

THWACK! at the screen door. What the…?

Oh, right. It’s the next day’s newspaper.

A steamrolled body, an obliterated brain, both riding out an adrenaline buzz: this is how I finally went to bed last night after Prince’s final show of a two-night, four-show stand at the small, 800-capacity DNA Lounge in San Francisco.

Was it worth it, you ask? Tickets were $275, the wait in line was two hours, about 50 line-jumpers cut in front of us drinking and smoking weed, and as a half-naked guy rollerskated up and down Harrison St., the doors finally opened. Inside, there was a strict no-photo policy during the show, and it was impossible to move—people packed in shoulder-to-shoulder—while idling out another hour-long wait.

Prince finally took the stage at 11:40pm. . . . and Lord, it was fucking incredible. (more…)

In News

Alia Sharrief Releases New Video

Posted by on Apr 24, 2013

Berkeley-based hip hop artist Alia Sharrief released her newest music video “Tough Love” this week, showcasing both her talent as a respected rhymer and as an up-and-coming film director. Representing a new generation of female rappers, Alia throws down neo-soul Bay Area flavor with class and finesse. Check it.

In News

Outside Lands 2013: Paul McCartney, Nine Inch Nails, D’Angelo, Willie Nelson, Hall & Oates, More

Posted by on Apr 16, 2013

The lineup for Outside Lands 2013 has been announced, and it includes Paul McCartney, Nine Inch Nails, D’Angelo, Willie Nelson, Phoenix, Vampire Weekend, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, the National, Kaskade, Grizzly Bear, Jessie Ware and many, many more. (Like the Red Hot Chili Peppers.)

Did I mention, also: Daryl Hall and John Oates?

Full lineup is below.

Three-day passes are currently $235, and will go on sale this Thursday, April 18, at noon. Grab them here before they go up to $250.

The Skatalites to Perform at the Last Day Saloon

Posted by on Apr 14, 2013 One Comment

Legendary Jamaican rockers the Skatalites perform tonight at the Last Day Saloon, and it will be one of the last shows at the venue as we know it—it’s slated to close May 5.

It has been a year since the Skatalites came through Northern California, nearly selling out their last show in Santa Rosa. Although only one founding member remains, the band sounds as true to its roots as it did thirty years ago.

Last year, we wrote about The Skatalites celebrating Jamaica’s 50th anniversary as an independent nation. The band was collecting instruments to take back to the Alpha Boys School in Kingston, which over the years has transformed orphaned boys into some of reggae’s biggest stars. Their new album Walk With Me contains some of the last recordings done with founding drummer Lloyd Knibb; it’s a tribute to all the members who played with the band from the beginning in 1964 until each passed away.

Widely considered the founding fathers of ska music, tonight could very well be one of the last opportunities to see an original member of one of the best ska bands in the history of reggae music play on stage.

The Skatalites headline with local favorites Our Vinyl Vows and DJ Konnex tonight at the Last Day Saloon, 120 Fifth St., Santa Rosa. $20-$25. 707.545.5876.

Photos: Steve Kimock & Bernie Worrell at Hopmonk Novato

Posted by on Apr 11, 2013

Unbeatable guitarist Steve Kimock has been raising a pretty fiery noise with keyboardist Bernie Worrell lately—and the band took to the brand-new Session Room at the Hopmonk Tavern in Novato last week. Our photographer Jamie Soja was there. See a full photo slideshow below.

Click for photo slideshow

How’d They Do It: The New Trust’s ‘Marigolds’ Video

Posted by on Apr 11, 2013

Santa Rosa trio the New Trust has released a stunning video for “Marigolds,” a song from their forthcoming fifth album, Keep Dreaming. The entire thing is one long, time-lapse shot of flowers sprouting, growing, blooming and then dying. Below, guitarist and photographer Sara Sanger describes the process of making the video, the challenges of photographing plants and why her sister probably now hates both flowers and photography.

The New Trust – Marigolds from The New Trust on Vimeo.

How long did this take to shoot, start to finish?

I started the photography in early November, and finished in March. Almost four months.

What was your setup and process?

I searched seed catalogs for dwarf variety marigolds, as most grow almost 12-18 inches tall and that wasn’t going to work out. I ended up planting a few varieties that I found that grew under 8 inches tall.

I started with a shallow Tupperware storage box, added some drip/soaker tubing underneath the soil, with a tube to get water under the dirt, as opposed to on top. I used a good tripod, a constant source of power for my camera (plugged in direct, battery wouldn’t last more than a half day), and an intervalumeter that was set to take a photo every 10 minutes.

Once the files were done, I found out that Photoshop CS6 has some pretty good basic movie editing capabilities. I was pleasantly surprised by the way that the growth and movement of the flowers moves along with the song pretty well. I had visualized that it might work out, but I don’t have any experience with time-lapse so I really didn’t know. I did not know that plants moved as much as they do, and was really happy to find a lot more motion than I had ever expected.

I shot about twice the amount of frames than I needed. Our song is 3:40, or 220 seconds, so for a standard 30 frames per second I needed 6,600 frames total. I was lucky I had shot more than I needed, since I have found the antique electricity in my house fluctuates pretty wildly—I had to sit and edit out frames that appeared to have less light or more light. Those few days staring at these flowers was hallucination-inducing. (more…)

Live Review: Nick Cave at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium

Posted by on Apr 10, 2013 One Comment

How I’ve gone this long without seeing Nick Cave live is beyond me, especially since I’ve always… well, “always been a fan” wouldn’t be accurate. (I own three of his albums.) More truthful would be to say that Nick Cave’s music has never, ever irritated me. Considering Cave’s extensive output, that’s saying something. Combine it with the full-blown “holy shit” moments his songs have given to me—like hearing “Nobody’s Baby Now” while nursing a $1 PBR at EJ’s in Portland, in 1997—well, Nick Cave finally demanded to be seen live.

If you’ve seen him, you know. If you haven’t, imagine a rail-thin circus ringmaster whipping a band of lions not out of but into aggressiveness. A flamboyant offspring of Valentino and Satan, Cave channels 55 years of romantic bandwidth into sharp, stinging things called “songs,” which are more like forays across continents than things you might sing in the shower. These forays are not for the faint of heart, or, evidently, for the young: tonight, he had a children’s choir backing him up, and when they exited the stage, they covered their ears and looked terrified. (more…)