Skip to Navigation Skip to Content

Chris Trenchard

Memory Tapes Defy Genre at Slim's

Can chillwave really be all that “chill” in the live setting? With apologies to the kids too baked to move, live instrumentation has a way of turning blissful ambiance into head-thrusting, dance-pop affairs. We saw it a few weeks ago with Washed Out at GAMH, which turned trippy pop experimentation into an orgiastic dance affair. And last night at Slim’s, The Memory Tapes inspired something similar, winning dancing hearts and head-bobbing minds with a sound more rooted in tradition pop ideas than any new genre-of-the-moment branding would suggest.

The Purple Onion's New Weekly Comedy Series to Showcase Local Talent on the Rise

Ever since the Purple Onion tried to re-establish itself as a comedy destination some seven years ago, weekly series have come and gone, and the place has mostly been a spot for fledgling local comics to find stage time. A good thing, to be sure.

The historic laugh lounge's latest stab at renaissance is its new weekly Comedy & Cocktails series, a free show featuring a long list of comics of varying experience levels. We'll assume that means short sets for all involved, save the headliner. Like speed dating, but with comedians.

SNL's Jay Pharoah Sketches Himself in 2D at Cobb's

If imitation is indeed the sincerest form of flattery, Jay Pharoah sure loves to kiss some arse. Thursday night at Cobb’s Comedy Club, the SNL prodigy spent the first 40 minutes of his set mimicking the patriarchs of hip-hop and Hollywood, as if he were rehearsing for a hosting gig at the BET Awards. The kid is clearly skilled, if a tad one-dimensional.

The 23-year-old Virginia native tills the same comedic soil as MadTV’s Aries Spears, who brought a very similar routine to Cobb’s earlier this year. Both are virtuoso impersonators, holding up mirrors to high-profile rappers and other idiosyncratic personalities of urban culture.

E-Harmonious: ODC Theater Flirts with Greatness in Latest Musical, OMFG

We’re all too familiar with the narrative infrastructure of ODC Theater’s latest musical, OMFG: Lonely man meets lonely woman. They flirt. They exaggerate their case for why they’d make ideal companions. True identities are revealed. Love is in the balance.

Once upon a time these types of encounters were the marked territory of contrived rom-com cinema, but the veils and deceptions of the Internet have made everyone with a laptop a potential author of such yarns. All the virtual world is a stage (too), the perfect place to ignore what we see in the mirror. So people bend the truth and hide insecurities as best they can. Until they can’t anymore.

L.A. Comic Dan Cummins Makes His Art Like Few Others Do

Like any great artist, comic Dan Cummins knows how to source his inspiration — or where to source his inspiration, to be exact. In his weekly Off the Pot YouTube series, Cummins goes to that last solitary place where man can escape the distractions of modern life and be alone with his thoughts — the porcelain god. OK, so it's not exactly Walden Pond, but there's a certain genius to it. He riffs topically, and quite cleverly. It's potty humor, technically, but it's not.

Cummins has been on the comedy beat for some ten years now, having matriculated to Los Angeles from the Pacific Northwest to pursue comedy and all its related fields: TV, film, novel writing, web series, etc. His tongue has sharpened and he seems primed to be L.A.'s next great comic you may or may not have heard of. Before his stint at Punchline this week, he took a moment to answer some of our questions:

Local Buzz Boy Ty Segall Conjures Grunge Gods at The Independent

There’s something vaguely Cobainian about San Francisco’s latest prodigal punk son gone national, Ty Segall. Perhaps it’s all on the surface — the stringy blond hair covering his face, his nihilistic, alyrical groan, his haphazard yet taut soloing. But there’s a certain grunginess to his band’s aesthetic, also a nuts ‘n’ bolts alignment of guitar, bass and drums. All of it begged a certain question: were we watching something special on Saturday night at The Independent? Was this what it was like to see Bleach-era Nirvana in a Seattle club in the mid-‘90s, when all that mattered was the channeling of angst?

Childrens Hospital Carries the Adult Swim Flag at Marines' Memorial Theatre

For over a decade now — yes, time flies even for insomniacs — Adult Swim has been a green-light-happy home to “alternative comedy,” whatever that means (our guess: the jokes involve long hair and abstract guitar play). The cult followings of shows such as Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Sealab 2021 and The Venture Bros. have paved a road for countless successful and not-so-successful live action and animated sitcoms to follow.

Myq Kaplan, Jester of Academia, Comes to Cobb's

Myq Kaplan (pronounced “Mike”) gets laughs the way your quirky math teacher did, turning what some might consider boring laws of the natural world into innuendo and snarky word play. He’ll make jokes about rhombuses and the difference between sets and subsets while making a point about dating or sex or other racier subjects. All with the charm and delivery of a sinister school boy turned Meghan’s Law regular (Bay Area comedy fans might draw comparisons to fellow creep-comic Brent Weinbach). Trust that it works, and regularly kills.

The Mountain Goats Rediscover California at the Fillmore

Before we discuss the Mountain Goats’ performance last night at the Fillmore, please accept this prerequisite information: It’s been documented that many of the great canonical authors of American literature had a particularly strong love-hate relationship with the areas that shaped who they became. Mark Twain, William Faulkner, John Steinbeck — all of them were distinctly of a place,  and a conflicted passion for their homeland informed their best works. Ask any English lit major; they probably BS’ed their way through a class on said argument.

Laugh Or Die: 7 Comedians Rocking the Local Scene

San Francisco comedians cracking up the local scene

San Francisco’s always been a fertile breeding ground for comedians, but the current crop of laugh-makers is especially prolific. Catch them now before they head off to the major leagues.

Daily Newsletters

Essential SF knowledge in your inbox

Sign up for our email newsletters to keep up on events, restaurants and SF haps.

Subscribe to 7x7
Renew
Give a Gift
FAQ's

Guides

The Big To-Do: 100 Things to Do In SF Before You Die

The Big Eat 2011: 100 Things to Try Before You Die

Pole Position: Our Subjective Guide to SF's Strip Clubs

Four Awesome Northern California Hot Springs

Refreshingly Unhip: SF's Old-School Pastrami Sandwiches

The 7 Best Carne Asada Burritos in San Francisco

The 10 Best Dishes Under $10 in Bernal Heights

The 10 Best Dishes Under $10 in the Lower Haight

The 10 Best Lunches in Union Square Under $10

The Path To Ramen Enlightenment

Secret Recipes: How to Make Some of the City's Best Dishes

Drink Up: SF's "Cocktail Movement" Bars

8 Solid First Date Ideas

Where to Learn An Instrument in SF

7 Local Musicians to Watch in 2011

The Best Wine Shops, Neighborhood by Neighborhood

The 7 Best San Francisco Albums of 2010

Refreshingly Unhip: The Best Glazed Dougnuts in SF

Tea: Our 7 Favorite Spots to Drink & Buy

Fireside Buzz: 7 Bars That'll Warm You Up

Beer Tasting Road Trip Itinerary of Sonoma & Mendocino Counties

Six Great Boots for Fall in San Francisco

Get A Room: Bars That Rent Private Spaces

The Best Phone Apps for the Food-Obsessed

9 Great San Francisco Football Bars

The Best Bowls of Soup (That Aren't Pho or Ramen) In SF

The 10 Best Burgers in San Francisco

Expert Advice on Parking in The City

Sonoma v. Napa: Which Does it Better?

Biking for Beginners: Routes to Take and Avoid

5 Ways to Get the Wine You Want in Restaurants

San Francisco's Best Dance Classes: 9 Places to Bust A Move

The Big Eat 2010: 100 Things to Try Before You Die

The Big Sweet 2010: 50 Treats to Try Before You Die