Micachu Levi may not be reinventing the wheel with her inviting melange of tweeting synths, noise shards and bent rhythms. But the adeptness with which she has synthesized 21st century American underground indies as varied as Deerhoof and Dan Deacon, Matt and Kim and High Places, and their avant-hardcore resistance to traditional song structures and hip-hop/electronic music-affiliated affinity for cut-and-paste appropriation, is tough to deny. It would be like dismissing electricity as flash-in-the-pan trendy.
If your band is handpicked by Joan Jett to join her label and your all-time hero, Morrissey, invites you to join him on tour, you must be something special. And Texas trio, Girl in a Coma definitely is. Sisters Phanie and Nina Diaz, and pal Jenn Alva have achieved more in less than a decade than most bands could dream of attaining in a lifetime. Named for the Smiths’ song, “Girlfriend in a Coma,” the group has gained critical acclaim and toured the nation both as an opening act and as a headliner. Now the girls are on the road yet again, promoting their new album, Trio B.C., and coming to SF’s Bottom of the Hill on Thursday, June 16. Find out below what lead singer Nina has to say about working with a punk rock queen, returning to SF, and adding a few tattoos along the way.
Just last night, while tending bar at Cantina (which I do most Mondays), I chatted with a lovely young couple on vacation from Tuscon. With plans already to see Alcatraz, etc, they asked me what I thought they should do while in town. "Get out and walk the neighborhoods," I told them. "That's where the heart and the identity of San Francisco is. And it's the most fun you can have to see what they're all about."
The latest show to hit SF Art Exchange, “Chairman of the Board. Knight of the Realm,” chronicles the careers of Frank Sinatra and Sir Elton John by famed British photographer Terry O'Neill. Lining opposite walls of the gallery space, this rare solo exhibition pits 20+ photographs of an effortlessly polished Sinatra against 20+ of a quirkily dynamic John. Masterfully arranged in a mix of both black-and-white and color, the show tells not only of the men being shot but also sheds light on the man behind the camera. We caught up with the talented Terry O’Neill at last week’s preview event at the Clift to talk photography, music and celebrity.
When did you become interested in photography?
Get your audible obsession fix this week at any number of showstoppers all around the Bay Area.
Blonde Redhead & Thee Oh Sees, The Independent, 7/14-15: With a semi-cult following, this Big Apple-based trio has been making waves in the underground indie scenes for years. They’ve had a somewhat tumultuous past with a rotating door of cast members, but the solid state they’re in now makes them an absolute must-see. Local favorites, Thee Oh Sees are set to open. Ps – both of the shows are sold out, so we wish you the best of luck scalping outside or hounding Craigslist sellers.
“Tracking down the perfect chicken korma became something like a vision quest for me. Honestly, I took out $100 from the bank and then went to nine Indian restaurants. In a row. My favorite place is Lahore Karahi—their korma is different than what I normally like. It’s a little less creamy than the usual, but the spicing is perfect. They don’t sell alcohol there, but you can buy Kirin at the corner store and it’s a perfect match for the korma—better even than [Indian lager] Taj Mahal. And it’s cheap—a plate of korma, with rice, is only $9.80 and it can easily feed two. My second favorite spot is Little Delhi, on Eddy. It’s like an old ’50’s diner converted to an Indian restaurant.
“I lived in the Mission for 9 years, right around the corner from El Tonayense taco truck parked on 22nd and Harrison. I’d go twice a week for the cabeza [head] and carne asado tacos, because they are cheap and the ingredients are in perfect proportions. Cancun is another favorite—I always overdue it, ordering enough for 3 people even if I’m alone. I usually get a few carnitas and carne asado tacos, a side of grilled onions and a quesadilla or two. I eat half and then take the other half for later—I have to stock up now that I no longer live in the Mission. Now I live in the Sunset, and Tommy’s has become my new local Mexican joint as a result of the Mission withdrawal. At Tommy’s my favorite is the panucho, which is offered only as a special.
We recently had the chance to learn a few new tricks from sought-after San Francisco makeup artist Robert Williams, a runway show veteran who’s spent the last three decades working with everyone from Naomi Campbell to Nancy Pelosi and was recently tapped to head up all things beauty at Saks Fifth Avenue’s The Fifth Avenue Club.
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