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Chris Trenchard

The Whitest Kids U'Know Invade SF Sketchfest

Why the Whitest Kids U' Know May Be The Funniest Kids You Don't Know

I'm mid-interview with Sam Brown and Zach Cregger from the sketch comedy troupe The Whitest Kids U'Know, searching for the words that might explain what makes them hilarious, as if they needed one more testimonial. They don't, of course — their IFC show and millions of YouTube video fans are proof that something they're doing is working. But what is it, exactly, that runs through all of their sketches?

For one, they know when to not say "When." They'll often take ideas and extend them and milk them until no surplus jokes remain, and then they'll milk it a bit more.

Five Live Music Shows to Buzz About This Week

Milk Carton Kids at Cafe Du Nord, Tuesday

This minimalist duo has won praise from folks at NPR and Spinner while perfecting a specific blend of Americana, 1950s classic folk and compelling narrative. They've been compared to Ryan Adams and Iron & Wine, and it fits — their soft hush affects on multiple levels, a mind/body/soul trifecta.

John Oliver Smuggles Sage Advice into Cobb's Comedy Club

As a head writer and correspondent for The Daily Show, Jo

Seven Shows to Suit Your Revelatory Needs This Week

We hope some noise canceling earplugs were in your Christmas stocking, because the sounds of the Bay are gonna amp up a notch or two this week with New Year's concerts cropping up everywhere. Here's our our top 7 picks for ringing in the New Year with a ring in your eardrums:

'Twas the Week Before Christmas on the SF Concert Scene...

Scanning the local concert calendars on this particular pre-Christmas week is usually a good way to find some of the hardest working musicians in the game. There’s a certain amount of dedication required to brave the winter road, away from home and family. It’s also a great time to find local acts squeezing in gigs while home for the holidays. Here we are again, at the end of December in 2011, with dependable examples of both, five of which make us especially grateful for this calendarian coup de tat.

Five Can't-Miss Live Shows

This is usually the time of year when music fans hibernate until NoisePop rears its eclectic, beautiful head. Not this year. Here we are, in the middle of December, and venues are still spelling out recognized and beloved names on their marquees. Here’s this week’s roster:

Weekend Comedy Roundup: Bobby Slayton and Ben Bailey

Comedian Ben Bailey

If you’ve ever watched the Discovery Channel trivia game show “Cash Cab,” and found yourself thinking “hey, this host is kind of funny,” well, that’s because he is. Ben Bailey, he of the mighty testosteroned voice, shaved head and 6’6” frame, got his start in showbiz by standing up on a stage telling jokes to strangers — before he made a living driving a casino-lit NYC cab around asking strangers questions.

SF Sound Architect Tycho Building Buzz, Plays Independent Saturday

 Odds are, you don’t know Tycho, which is fine. But perhaps you know Scott Hansen, the San Francisco-based sound/visual artist behind the crypticism. He resides happily below the radar, where his sonic permutations can grow and change however his muse dictates.

My Morning Jacket at Bill Graham Civic

Not many rock bands seem wholly comfortable in their mid-career britches, when the street cred can begin to fade and the artistic edge becomes susceptible to dulling. But count My Morning Jacket — which played a sprawling 23-song set Friday night at the Bill Graham Civic Center — among the impervious rock bands aging gracefully and suitably (see also: Wilco, Radiohead, and, incidentally, another band who played Bill Graham over the weekend, The National).

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