Morris Is Still Cool [Review]

Morris Day and The Time | Friday, November, 11th, 2011 | Mezzanine | San Francisco

Purple Rain has been one of my favorite cult movies for quite some time mostly because I love Prince, but also because I saw it with my wife on one of our first dates. So naturally when I saw that Morris Day and The Time were coming to play the San Francisco Funk Fest at the Mezzanine, I jumped at the opportunity to attend. And let me tell you, Morris is still cool.

Morris is still cool. Photo by Brian Thomas.

My wife and I arrived right around 11pm, and Morris and the band came to the stage in full suits right at 11:11pm. This was the first time in quite a while that I made it to a show at the perfect time. Completely in character, Morris hit the stage with a mirror in tow and immediately started checking himself out and combing through his hair. The band then went on an hour-long soul-funk journey, barely taking a single break. In fact, the only break I recall consisted of Morris taking out a handkerchief to wipe his forehead while telling the audience, “Morris isn’t sweating, he is condensating. Morris is still cool.” He couldn’t have been more correct.

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Dance Party with Yelle at Mezzanine [Review]

Yelle | Dirty Ghosts | Saturday, November 12, 2011 | Mezzanine | San Francisco

Yelle. Photo by Joey Pangilinan.

Some nights when going to a show, you just have this feeling in your stomach that lets you know that the entire night will be this epic, sprawling adventure. Approaching the entrance of the Mezzanine last Saturday night, you could feel the energy just by looking at the line of people still waiting to get inside with the music blaring out the front doors. I felt even more amped up when I entered the venue and saw the crowd of people already inside anxiously awaiting the dancey, electronic-pop sounds of Yelle. By the time my friends and I got inside, Dirty Ghosts was nearing the end of its set. Local to San Francisco, Dirty Ghosts had won a contest to open up for the French-headliners. Although we didn’t get to see much of its set, the band had clearly worked the room into a mood to dance and party.

The sold out show at Mezzanine was originally meant to be the second stop on this month-long tour for Yelle, but unfortunately, due to complications with visas, the tour opener at The Wiltern in Los Angeles had to be rescheduled until a few days after the San Francisco show. Thus, in the last 24-36 hours leading up to the show at Mezzanine, my friends and I were a bit nervous about the possibility of our show having to be postponed as well.

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Hatsune Miku Live Concert Sapporo [Review]

Screening of Hatsune Miku Live Concert Sapporo | Thursday, November 10 | Century Theatres Centre 9 | San Francisco

On Thursday, November 10th, Tabia C. and I sat down in SF’s Westfield Century Theatres Centre 9 to watch a screening of Hatsune Miku’s live Sapporo concert. In case you haven’t heard of her, Hatsune Miku is a Japanese pop star whose album topped Japanese charts in 2010. She has been selling out concerts in LA and all over Asia ever since. This is what she looks like:

That’s right–Hatsune Miku is a hologram that was developed by Crypton Future Media. She was illustrated by KEI, and her voice is made of a composite of samples from voice actress Fujita Saki. She was the first in a series of vocaloids (singing synthesizers) to implement Yamaha’s Vocaloid2 software, and is part of a stable of vocaloids that are under the KarenT label.

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Little Red Toddies and Big Dickels to Keep You Warm [Live Review]

Little Red / Yalls / Bleeding Knees Club / Oona | Saturday, November 5th | Rickshaw Stop | San Francisco

It was Saturday night after a bout of rain when a couple of friends and I strolled up to Rickshaw Stop. I was ready for my dose of feel-good rock in the form of Australian quintet, Little Red.

Little Red. Photo courtesy of Tell All Your Friends PR.

The group is currently touring their latest album, Midnight Remember. Unfortunately, the ‘Stop’s doors weren’t open yet. I guess we got a little overzealous. We did what any respectable concert attendee would in said case and had a drink down the street. The city streets had a chill that made the inside of the venue feel like a paradise once we got there. As far as concert spots go, the Eden parallel is not too far from the truth. One can rock out by the stage with the bartender only a hop away. There are also two upstairs balcony areas furnished with benches and couches. Yes, couches. Needless to say, we spent a big part of the evening lounging in the warmth, enjoying the atmosphere and sipping our specialty drinks of the evening: Little Red Toddies (add a bit of grenadine) and Big Dickels. The namesake of the toddy was obvious, while I was left wondering if the latter was dubbed so in honor of the first performer, Bleeding Knees Club.

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Das Racist @ Ruby Skye [Live Review]

Das Racist | Friday, November 4th | Ruby Skye | San Francisco

In hindsight, some warning signs had definitely sprung up prior to Das Racist’s Bay Area performance last Friday night that may have hinted at the bizarre and entirely lackluster show that was to come.

Photo courtesy of Das Racist.

Originally slotted to take place in Berkeley, the show changed dates, times and venues on more than one occasion before finally being confirmed at San Francisco’s Ruby Skye. Predominantly a nightclub, the venue dictated an early 8 PM start time that meant signs posted all over the place ensuring everyone understood they’d promptly be kicked out at 10 PM sharp to make way for the evening’s dance crowd. Ruby Skye seemed completely ill-equipped and uninterested in the show from the get-go—further evidenced by the muddy sound and frequently malfunctioning microphones—so I can understand the frustration performers must have when they’re unreasonably made to feel like they’re a burden on a venue. But that’s about where my sympathy for Das Racist ends in this particular instance.

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Kings of Convenience at The Fillmore 10/28/2011 [Review]

San Francisco had waited six years for the Kings of Convenience to return to the Bay Area; The Fillmore was sold out and the crowd was eager, but good natured. In fact, they were so laid-back it took a few moments for them to realize that Erlend Øye himself had bounded on-stage to introduce the openers. Seth Petterson and the Undertow capitalized on the feel-good vibe that permeated the venue by playing its special brand of power folk-rock, interspersed with melancholic chords and an old-school sound that was impossible not to be charmed by. A rousing version of Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams” swallowed the audience whole; we were ready for KoC but, as one delighted crowd member called out, Seth Petterson and the Undertow “nailed it.”

Seth Peterson and the Undertow. Photo by Korrena Bailie

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Ana Sia/Frite Nite Surreal Estate Tour – Mezzanine 10/22/2011 [Review]

Frite Nite is a dance music label based in San Francisco that is helmed by producer Paul Salva. On Saturday October 22nd its crew celebrated the release of Ana Sia’s mix CD Surreal Estate with a party at the Mezzanine. The organizers stressed that a formal attire was strongly encouraged, and the male DJs that I saw indeed wore sharp suits. As for the audience, the prospect of dressing formally appealed mostly to the ladies, as most of the guys were wearing regular T-shirts. What my husband and I were wearing illustrated that point perfectly.

To anyone who still doubts the voraciousness of the contemporary bass music scene, the Frite Nite event should have proven a potent counterpoint. The party was fairly eclectic, cohering stuff like funky psychedelia (B. Bravo and the Starship Connection), hard-hitting beats (DjG) and echoes of dancehall and early-nineties rave (Chrissy Murderbot, whom I missed–shucks) into a trendy whole. Some of the music I heard was unmemorable but OK to dance to, some was more gratifying.

Comma. Photo by Julia Glosemeyer.

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