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Live shots: Modest Mouse sweat it out at the Masonic

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Modest Mouse got hot and heavy at the Masonic Sept. 26, and we were there to catch them in all their sweaty glory. Mimicking Birds (first photo below) opened.


All photos by Emily Sevin.

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The Mountain Goats' John Darnielle on his first novel, unreliable narrators, and the joys of getting real mail

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John Darnielle’s brain seems like it runs at just a slightly higher RPM than other people’s.

One could get this impression from listening to the tightly crafted mini-universe he creates inside each track on a Mountain Goats record — take your pick, he’s penned some 14 full-length studio LPs inside the last 18 years, not counting a slew of singles and B-sides and other assorted treats — or from his Twitter feed, which zooms from his enthusiasm for black metal to witty commentary about televised wrestling to on-point, eloquent opining about Ferguson, vegetarianism, or abortion rights. Read more »

Arca underwhelms at Gray Area

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By Ryland Walker Knight

Gray Area Arts & Technology is a newish venue, admittedly a work in progress, with construction and renovation continuing when the doors are closed, but they are already booking unique electronica acts. My first visit was, as it happens, the first time Tim Hecker played a show in San Francisco (late July; great waves of processed sounds), and my second, Tuesday night (Sept. 23), was one of the five stops on Arca’s current DJ tour along the West Coast.

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Tough decisions ahead: The Bay Area Record Fair, the Oakland Music Festival, and more

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Ever get so overwhelmed by all the awesome events in the Bay Area on a given weekend that you give up on trying to decide between any of them and find yourself just hanging with whomever you can get to come to your house to drink with you and your cats? Or, if you're feeling really adventurous, venturing 50 yards down the street to watch baseball at the closest bar with a TV?Read more »

Live shots: Beck christens the new Masonic

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It's not often that you get to see a new venue on opening night — so yeah, even if Beck hadn't been part of the deal, we would've been stoked to spend Friday evening at the newly refurbished and rebranded Masonic.

While it's not technically a new venue, it might as well be: After months of construction (and literally years of fighting with Nob Hill neighbors) the historic Masonic temple reopened this weekend with a new sound system, completely revamped stage and seating areas, new bars and concessions, a shmancy new VIP section, you name it. Read more »

Double Duchess is back, and this time they've brought Kelly Osbourne

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Is the drab Friday weather outside getting you down as you gear up for a weekend full of leather- and whip-filled debauchery?

Never fear! You just need a dose of Double Duchess, the Bay's favorite queer electro duo, who invited Kelly Osbourne to do a Jem and the Holograms-style bit in this video for "Good Girl Freak Out," which also features LA's Future People.Read more »

Folsom Special: Zbörnak wants to rock your "Dikpix"

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"Expect glitter, expect Twitter (don't expect Twitter), expect foul language and talking about dicks, expect body dysmorphia, but like in the opposite direction. The greatest expectation, however, should be all-killer-no-filler face-melting community building," says Greg Der Ananian, lead singer of energetic homo-punk band Zbörnak, of the group's two appearances this week.

Opening Sat/20 for !!! and Jello Biafra in the SF Eagle's outdoor lot (5pm, $20, 12th Street and Harrison, SF; www.sf-eagle.com), and kicking things off 11am, Sun/21 on main stage of Folsom Street Fair (10th Street and Howard, SF; www.folsomstreetfair.com), the fearsome foursome will surely launch into recent, too-catchy hit "Dikpix" while letting the Golden Girls references fly.

I talked to the lively Der Ananian about Zbörnak's deal.

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Folsom Special: Guerrilla Queer Bar returns as leather "Pop-Up"

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Picture it: the Marina, 2000, a club called Trap Door playing goofy throwback hip-hop, shirty dudes and "woo" girls playing the heter-mating game with hetero-abando.

In strut a gaggle of rough and ready queers, me included, part of Guerrilla Queer Bar, to shake things up and sprinkle a little unicorn rainbow dust (and wig hair) on the proceedings. Web 1.0 was in full effect, queers were losing their spaces, and so we wanted to "take it back" by invading "straight" neighborhoods and wreaking a little lavender havoc -- you know, to even things out and have fun. It was kind of the original flashmob, spread only by the limited social media of the time (i.e. email listservs). 

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Locals only: Split Screens

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There's something overwhelmingly dreamlike about Jessie Cafiero's songwriting, to the point that it makes a listener feel like they're sleepwalking: The ebbs and flows of cinematic, orchestral pop conjure a surreal sense of nearly floating around one's city. It's not surprising, then, to hear that the singer-guitarist often draws inspiration from walking around these foggy hills of ours. Read more »

Party Radar: Whip it good at Folsom Week parties

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Folsom Street Fair is coming hard upon us -- don't be left hanging upside down without a solid party plan. The following picks will help you whip your way through the lame into the hard, dark, wet embrace of excellent nightlife.

First our video spirit guide: This excellent short film shot by Leo Herrera and Aron Kantor of last year's fair - from cameras mounted on their leather puppy masks.

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