New York based instrumental rock trio, The Psychic Paramount has been on a tour of the states, including stops at Chicago’s Pitchfork Festival, and a few forays into Canada. Last week they made their way through the Golden State, stopping in San Francisco to record new music at Lucky Cat Studio, and to play a set at new Mission Street music venue, Brick and Mortar.
All posts tagged reviews
- The Pyschic Paramount - After Hours
Meshell Ndegecello stopped by the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco on her way to a three-night gig in Chicago. I’da missed the show had drummer artiste, Deantoni Parks not called me an hour or so before they went on to remind me he was in town. The drive from Sacramento to SF took me an hour as opposed to the standard two, ya dig.
This was not my first time seeing Meshell in concert, but the last time I did Tupac had just been shot, and she was in no kind of celebratory mood. It was also the time when she was bucking against the “angry lesbian” label having just came out with her masterpiece “Peace Beyond Passion” and receiving some flack for her incendiary track “Leviticus: Faggot.”
Dayum, let me tell you, I never seen so many hip black folk in Boulder, Colorado, which was the last place I saw her. It was a beautiful night. Religious. Truly, she had a choir of three to ensure the analogy stuck (though I doubt it was intentional). Passionate tears were shed by many. She commanded that stage, with clear-eyed fire and laser brimstone. Standing front and center in the spotlight she asked us to take a moment to consider the life of Tupac Shakur and dedicated the performance to him.
Sixteen years and seven albums later the peace beyond passion she yearned for back then must have been attained. On stage at the Great American she chose to stand further back, allowing her touring band to perform as the collaborators they are, rather than hired hands. The set ranged from a shoe-gaze soul (I just coined that term, thank you) rendition of “Lady Cab Driver” (Prince) to the romantically spare “Oysters” ending with the punked out jam “Lola” – this is where Parks went buck-wild on his kit. Though she sang one tune from her debut, “Plantation Lullabies” it wasn’t her neo-soul hit, If That’s Your Boyfriend (He Wasn’t Last Night) and there were no songs from my favorite “Peace Beyond Passion,” which I have to admit made me a little sad, but then, she’s beyond that now having traversed many musical landscapes since her inception.
I agree with the anonymous voice from the audience: She has gotten better.
A cold and rainy night did not dissuade fans from coming out to see Sacramento’s native sons, Tera Melos, on the last night of their U.S. Tour with Marnie Stern. There were sound issues throughout both of their sets, not to mention the dance music blasting from the floor below, which was distracting at points, but altogether it was a highly enjoyable evening.
Perhaps because I was born in Texas to a bunch of brisket-snorting Southern carnivores, I love a good, meaty sports movie – will he catch it, thus saving the day and earning the love of his father? No…no…no, oh wait, yes – and happy ending! So, I was biased in favor of this year’s meatiest sports flick, Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan, starring Natalie Portman as the striving athlete trying to catch the ball, save the day, and live up to the expectations of her creepy, vicariously striving stagemom, played by the excellent Barbara Hershey.
Given the glowing political conversation surrounding director Lisa Cholodenko’s gay family portrait, The Kids Are All Right, I expected a tight little PSA-portrait of a happy, healthy lesbian couple raising a family rather than an actual film. Instead, what I found was a layered, interesting story of an unconventional family upended by the arrival of a long-lost (pseudo) member whose subsequent attempts at integration/usurpation cause the others to re-evaluate their own lives and relationships.
Nic (Annette Bening) and Jules (Julianne Moore) are a long-term lesbian couple living in California with their two children, Joni (Mia Wasikowska) and Laser (Josh Hutcherson). The kids – who are very well adjusted to begin with – decide to look up their sperm donor, Paul (played with animalistic sensuality by Mark Ruffalo). They meet, without Nic and Jules at first, then at an awkward dinner hosted by their moms, and begin to spend time with him. Jules, who is starting a new landscaping business, takes on the task of landscaping for Paul’s new, ultra-hip, locavore restaurant, and ends up sleeping with him. The two begin an affair that lasts about the length of the landscaping project; Nic finds out about it when she discovers Jules’ hair in the bathroom of Paul’s house while they are having dinner there with the kids. The family must then come to grips with what happened – Paul is eventually shut out, and Nic and Jules have to deal with the weaknesses in their relationship.