John Vanderslice and Magik*Magik Orchestra Anniversary Show at Herbst Theater + Ticket Giveaway


Indie darling John Vanderslice made a name for himself years ago performing with John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats and as part of the defunct local band Mk Ultra, but hit the big time after starting an all-analog recording studio in the Mission. His cult studio, Tiny Telephone, has attracted such big talent as Death Cab and Okkervil River, placing him prominently on the map as the industry's go-to indie guy for more than a decade.

King of collaborations, Vanderslice appointed SF ensemble the Magik*Magik Orchestra, founded and directed by local star Minna Choi, as the studio's house orchestra. A force in their own right, Magik*Magik has also worked with big guns, including Sting, Carlos Santana, Chicago, Death Cab, the Dodos, and more. Vanderslice and Magik*Magik have since worked together in a major way—they released their first album, White Wilderness, earlier this year to much acclaim.

Which brings us to the present: On June 17, the two will share the stage at Herbst Theater in a joint performance celebrating their new record and three years of indie orchestral collaboration. The show is the official three-year anniversary concert for Magik*Magik and marks their return to Herbst, where they performed their very first show back in 2008. This special event is the only time the album will be performed live with full orchestra (all original players featured on White Wilderness, including a 25-piece arrangement of strings, winds, brass, keyboard, guitar, drums, and a six-piece women's choir). If you've had the privilege of seeing the musical chemistry between John and Minna onstage, then you know that this is a performance not to be missed. If you haven't, take note that this collaboration should most definitely be on your radar.

Interested in checking it out? We're giving away a pair of tickets to one lucky winner. Be the first to email us the name of your favorite song from White Wilderness at

$20-$55; 8 p.m., Friday, June 17, Herbst Theater, 401 Van Ness Ave., or

*tickets include a pre-show live workshop and a post-show meet-and-greet with the musicians.

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