Eric Podolsky

Chromeo: Fox Theater, Oakland, CA 2/18/11

For a DJ act, the Fox was a massive venue for Chromeo to play, and they succeeded in turning the regal, palace-like confines of the venue into a freaky, throwback dance party.  The lack of dynamics which the pre-recorded tracks afforded didn't bother the crowd one bit, which was clearly there to get down long and hard.

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Cake: The Fillmore, San Francisco, CA 2/16/11

It appears that the market for Cake's finely-crafted music is as strong as ever, as the band quite unexpectedly sold out four nights in a row at the Fillmore.  Not bad for a band that just released their first album in seven years.

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Little Dragon: The Independent, San Francisco, CA 2/4/11

How to describe the music that Swedish-based band Little Dragon creates?  The genre-defying sounds  pulsing off the stage on this sold-out night in San Francisco defied classification in any simple sense.  Using 80's electro-R&B as their core sound, these four Swedes brought the packed, hyped-up crowd at the Independent into their unique world of synth-washed outer space beats and minimalist, mid-tempo pop.

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The Budos Band: The Independent, San Francisco, CA 1/15/11

For a nine-piece, groove-based band with no vocals, the Budos Band can sure pack a house. The anticipation for this Daptoe Records-flavored ensemble was certainly at a fever pitch, as the sold-out crowd at the Independent could attest to on Friday night.  There is no question these guys have built a reputation as a no-holds-barred, funk-blast of a band, and this sweaty night was no exception.  With a gritty Staten Island-flavored street swagger, Budos dug deep into their catalog of minor-key grooves and exercised their craft of selfless ensemble playing.

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Velvet Revolver: Live In Houston

Considering the fact that this supergroup hasn't really existed for three years, this DVD release of a 2005 Velvet Revolver performance shows that for a short period, these guys were a real force to be reckoned with.  The set captures the band at that brief moment in time when they were on the top of their game and on top of the world: their debut album Contraband had just hit #1, and all band members were sober (something which was soon to change as their tour continued).

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Tom Tom Club: Great American Music Hall, San Francisco, CA 10/8/10

Those at the Great American Music Hall who truly knew the full history of this band called Tom Tom Club knew they were in for a rare treat on this night, as live Tom Tom Club shows these days are few and far between. The band has pretty much always functioned as a side project for its married rhythm section Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz, whether it was as a creative outlet from their other band in the 80's  (you know, that one), or for sporadic reunions throughout the 2000's.

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