Andre Torrez

The sound of America

Hits and history mix in 'Motown the Musical'

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arts@sfbg.com

THEATER As recently as last month, Berry Gordy Jr., the 84-year-old music mogul, founder, and creator of Motown Records, was hailed as an American icon and an African American hero. Those were Congresswoman Barbara Lee's words Aug. 18 when it was declared "Berry Gordy Day in the East Bay."Read more »

The shaman, the oracle, and the engineer

Sleep Genius bands are pushing boundaries — and proving the Bay Area underground is alive and well

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On the Rise: Useless Eaters

"Angular punk"

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"On the Rise" almost feels inappropriate for Useless Eaters, since it began in 2008 as Seth Sutton's bedroom recording project in Memphis, Tennessee. On the scene (now that its founding and creative force relocated to the Bay Area last year) and ready to take over might be a more appropriate description.Read more »

Live Shots: Hether Fortune gets cathartic at the Night Light

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Last Friday it was Valentine’s Day, but all I saw was tears. I’ve wondered before how some musicians can sing some of their more emotional songs during live performance without becoming visibly emotional themselves. Aren’t they attached to those lyrics (especially if they’ve written them)? Are they desensitized by the one-hundredth time they play that song about having their heart ripped out by the one who doesn’t even love them anymore? Or worse yet — the one who never did? Read more »

Goldies 2014 Performance/Music: Brontez Purnell

"I romanticize the outsider. There's always going to be this running theme of me versus the world."

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GOLDIES After being informed that Bay Guardian editors and a theater critic vetted his Goldie nomination, Brontez Purnell reacts. "I think it's fuckin' rad. I'm pretty into it. A theater critic? Was I criticized?"Read more »

Cover me bad

The art of the Halloween tribute band tradition

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MUSIC Halloween's like Christmastime for crafty weirdoes. But for me, crudely sewn, elaborate costumes are only half the fun. Around these parts, creativity seems to peak during what is arguably the most wonderful time of the year. The Bay Area particularly steps it up by honoring the punk band tradition of the Halloween cover show (where legendary bands are paid tribute through song and dress).Read more »

Live Shots: Treasure Island Music Festival 2013

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Maybe people just don’t know how to party anymore, but I didn’t come across vomit once at the Treasure Island Music Festival. The crowd’s vibe was more or less well-behaved all weekend -- pretty chill considering how many people were clustered on the island for the fests’ seventh successful installment.

The organizers rely on big names, the unique setting, a variety of vendors, and plenty of distracting flash (including the nearly iconic 60-foot Ferris wheel you can ride at $5 a pop) in order to keep this thing a destination.  Read more »

Mexican summer

Exploring the Mexico City punk scene through house shows and tumultuous SF pit stops

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Undercover Juggalo

Could an outsider infiltrate the juggalo sect during Insane Clown Posse's Oakland stopover?

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arts@sfbg.com

MUSIC When I pitched attending one of the Insane Clown Posse's shows from its two-night stand at the Oakland Metro as an "undercover juggalo," I felt the need to make it clear to my editor that I was not a fan. This would just be for a story and fun pics. I wanted documentation of the Detroit "horrorcore"-rap duo's strange appearance in the Bay Area, but more importantly, of the fucked-up subculture and fan base that ICP has bred over the years.Read more »

Video Premiere: The Trashies do the worm

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See video

The view from my studio apartment’s bay windows includes a clear view of my building’s garbage chute. Often times the chute gets clogged and the trash piles high for days. I think about it and freak out over how it will fester and potentially attract vermin. Obviously, I don’t like it when that happens, but I’ve thought to myself, “Man, that dude from Uzi Rash would really love it here.”

So what’s the Oakland frontperson (with an affinity for making his own refuse-themed jams) been up to since the Rash cleared up? Well, as this video post depicts, Max Nordile is literally writhing around in muck and he’s got some friends in the Trashies that have joined him. Read more »