Mia Sullivan

The Spring Standards on genre jumping, Fleetwood Mac, and SF pizza

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The Spring Standards kids grew up together on the Delaware/Pennsylvania border and got their start playing small folk festivals and around the campfire back in high school. After a break from their collaboration, Heather Robb, James Cleare, and James Smith found themselves in Brooklyn, inspired to pick up where they left off. They’ve been playing together as the Spring Standards for four years and released double EP yellow//gold last spring. Read more »

Six Organs of Admittance march into battle at Bottom of the Hill

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On Saturday night, a small cadre of dedicated fans waited patiently for Ben Chasny’s psychedelic folk project, Six Organs of Admittance, to take the stage at Bottom of the Hill just before midnight. Six Organs is currently touring the West Coast in support of their LP Ascent, which was released last month on Drag City. Members of his other project, the noise rock group Comets on Fire, accompanied Chasny on the album and onstage at BOH.

Lead guitarist Chasny and supporting guitarist Noel Harmonson, bassist Ben Flashman, and drummer Utrillo Kushner effectively drenched the punkish, gently swaying crowd in raw, unplugged, cacophonic tribal noise as they orchestrated spooky guitar symphonies, hard rock riffs, and fuzzed-out surf numbers. About half of Six Organs’ jams possessed an epic “I’m marching into battle with a large horned animal” vibe, and Chasny’s intermittent vocals felt dark, scratchy, wispy, and perhaps slightly demonic. Read more »

Trans-formation

Mark Matos crawls back from the brink with a cosmic new alter-ego
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arts@sfbg.com

MUSIC After touring on 2009's Words of the Knife with his band Os Beaches, Mark Matos' world fell crashing from the cosmos. Internal struggles compelled him to fire his producer and his guitarist; Os Beaches' practice space that doubled as a crash pad burned down (relegating the fresh-off-the-road group back to van sleeping); and Matos began to develop a destructive relationship with drugs.Read more »

Sketching Sixth Street: In new show, Joel Phillips renders the unseen

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“I’m really interested in the idea of anonymity within a dense urban environment and how the denser an urban population is, the easier it is to be overlooked,” Joel Phillips says over a glass of red wine on a far too windy night in the Mission. His show, “No Regrets in Life,” opens tonight at Satellite66 and will feature seven charcoal and graphite drawings of men and women he’s met on the corner of Sixth St. and Mission.
 
Phillips, a few months shy of 23, has spent significant chunks of time in Seattle, Santa Barbara, San Francisco, and New York. While he was living in New York, he started thinking more about the social dynamics of cities and how some people tend to get lost in the mix. “In New York no one really looks you in the eye, everyone brushes past you and moves past you,” Phillips says.

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Green shopping guide: 6 earth-conscious fashion outposts

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We've been shopping green for a week now -- check out our previous guides to housewares, kid's stuff, gardening resources, and local beauty

Let’s face it. Finding an oversized sweater in your mom’s closet that looks good on you tends to make you feel better than purchasing one at a corporate retail store because (a) you hate homogeneity, (b) you like saving money, (c) you’re rocking something straight out of the 80s, and (d) you’re relieved of the guilt associated with buying an item produced overseas. Here are a few suggestions on where to shop locally for you tree-hugging, fashion-conscious souls. Read more »

Green shopping guide: 8 shops to jump-start your spring garden

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You can turn your slice of this concrete jungle into jungle, with a bit of elbow grease and ingenuity. Oh, and resources might help, too. Whether you're looking to build a succulent-laden sanctuary, an extensive drip irrigation system, or a simple window box, our local gardening centers and shops have you covered. Come for the enthusiastic and knowledgeable staffs, quirky clientele, and a chance to momentarily forget you live in a hectic city.

Flora Grubb Gardens

For those of us who like our plants and gardening implements flawlessly presented to us, Flora Grubb’s where it’s at. A gardening virgin won't escape this place without picking up something beautiful and fertile. Read more »

Peter Whitehead manipulates strange and beautiful sounds using unlikely materials

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“When I hear instrumental music, I often see how it’s designed – the movement of the different shapes in space; the changing of colors,” says Peter Whitehead, a San Francisco-based musician-visual artist who makes instruments out of found materials and visual art that represents his world of sound. Read more »

7 spots for wine and wi-fi

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Are those cubicle walls closing in? For those of us who prefer to pair our work with a side of wine, here are some places to consider retreating to when the office begins to feel stale.

The Grove

Curl up in a comfy chair or communal wooden bench with a glass of red wine at one of this quaint café’s three locations, and you won’t want to leave. 

Mon.-Thu. 7 a.m.-11 p.m.; Fri. 7 a.m.-11:30 p.m.; Sat. 8 a.m.-11:30 p.m.; Sun. 8 a.m.-11 p.m. 2016 Fillmore, SF. (415) 474-1419 Read more »

Moment of Zen

Pioneering musician Laurie Anderson on meditation, art, and human contact

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arts@sfbg.com

MUSIC When I spoke with art legend-cult hero Laurie Anderson — known for her experimental music involving invented instruments and poetry — her soothing manner caught me off guard. She's critical, yet positive; accomplished, yet humble. She's also somewhat of a Zen goddess (although she'd probably dislike that tag).Read more »

Outerlands: Serving sunshine by the seashore

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Speaking with surfing-baking co-owner Dave Mueller about the Outer Sunset hotspot

I’m on the southeast corner of Judah Street and 45th Avenue—roughly five blocks from the cold, churning sea—on a bright winter morning. Outerlands will open for lunch in an hour, and the restaurant’s chef and a couple of employees are swiftly making preparations. Dave Muller offers me a cappuccino, which he whips up seamlessly, and asks if we can chat outside in the sun.

Muller co-owns this cozy Outer Sunset eating space known for its savory soups and sandwiches, handcrafted bread, and earthy atmosphere with his wife, Lana Porcello. Muller and Porcello had teamed up on visual art and music projects before Outerlands, but Muller calls the restaurant their most 50/50 artistic collaboration.

Noticing a need for food in this remote San Francisco neighborhood pressed up against the Pacific, Muller and Porcello set out in 2008 to design and build a soup kitchen of sorts. “We planned on serving a few soups a day and fresh-baked bread,” Muller says, smiling. “Simple.”

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