Stopping by the Independent last night on his 10,000LB Hamburger Tour wunderkind A-Trak made it clear that the 90’s are making a come back. The Montreal native, clad in his signature ensemble of a leather jacket and shades rocked the crowd of 20-somethings with a sample-filled electro set. Remixes of cult favorites like Daft Punk and Justice were interlaced with hip-hop throwbacks that had us feeling nostalgic for our youth. Safe to say if you were looking for a hot summer dance party in the midst of the chilling San Francisco weather last night’s show is where you would have found it.
These days, we're all about anything that's free. And when what's free happens to be an annual, venerable SF event - an institution in many ways - we're all about it. Yep, it's Stern Grove Festival time again, and it's kicking off this weekend beneath the eucalyptus trees in the Grove on 19th Avenue and Sloat (which, for festival newbies, is not to be mistaken for Golden Gate Park). This season's performers run the gamut - there's folk, opera, ballet and rap in the mix. Get excited for Roberta Flack, the SF Symphony (July 5), Lyrics Born (July 26), Joan Baez (July 12) and the SF Ballet (August 16). So grab a blanket and head out to the Sunset to enjoy some good, free summer fun.
If you’re anything like us, simply hearing the words “Limited Edition” is enough to elevate your heart rate. Imagine our excitement when we heard that on June 15th the boys of Nice Collective are launching The StoreRoom, an online “community” shop that will carry custom, rare pieces for their loyal devotees. The exclusive hand-made products ranging from clothing to home décor will be produced in extremely limited quantities and sold online only for a short time. The debut list includes the Scrap Metal Combat Boot, a vintage skeleton key necklace and a weathered wallet, but with a monthly rotation we’d find it hard to believe if there isn’t a special piece that catches your eye.
There is no better way to describe the sound of Passion Pit than feel-good. Their full-length album "Manners" dropped barely a week ago but last night they managed to get the crowd at Bimbo's 365 Club singing along to every hit (of which there are many). With an onstage orgy of keyboards and falsetto vocals that would make even Mariah Carey jealous it's no surprise that Boston's hottest electro-pop group has been selling out shows across the country. Despite minor technical difficulties with his microphone, Michael Angelakos and his posse put on a stellar performance that managed to leave the crowd begging for more long after the lights came on.
When you take three born and bred New Yorkers with a penchant for slightly scandalous song lyrics, a style that blends pop-rock with a dash of disco and a loyal following of fashionistas and hipsters alike what you get is the Virgins. Front man Donald Cumming, who’s been starting bands since grade school, formed The Virgins with fellow band mates Wade Oates and Nick Zarin-Ackerman in just 2006 but they were quickly labeled by critics as the “Next Big Thing” (which isn’t a surprise when you’ve opened up Paris Fashion Week with Patti Smith and provided the soundtrack for an entire episode of Gossip Girl).
Take one look at Yuja Wang’s YouTube videos and you’ll quickly learn why the 22-year old pianist has been dubbed a prodigy. With an impressive resume that boasts performances with major orchestras from the Los Angeles Philharmonic to the London Symphony Orchestra and her astounding ability to command the ivories, it’s no wonder she’s acclaimed as the future of classical music. If you don’t take our word for it, witness for yourself when Wang makes her 3rd return to Davies Symphony Hall to perform Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto #2 led by Michael Tilson Thomas on May 22nd and 23rd.
SFIFF is a must-attend on the San Francisco cultural and social calendar. But with over 150 films and live events, it can be a bit harrowing to figure how to divvy up your time. Here, we distill the glitziest of the glitzy and the best of the best. Get your tickets now, these will fill up fast.
Opening Night: La Mission Premiere
What, may you ask, stopped us in our tracks, derailed us from our afternoon lunch run and drew us into the Shotwell boutique downtown? These convertible silk wrap dresses by Please Dress Up!, the San Francisco label launched by indie designers Grant Doolittle and Judy Berbarian, who relocated to Paris in November. (Clearly our loss and Paris’ gain by the looks of their Spring/Summer ’09 Infinite Possibilities collection).