Dancing the night away with Cut Copy in LA

Cut CopyBy Josh Herwitt //

Cut Copy with Kauf //
The Wiltern – Los Angeles
September 7th, 2018 //

Cut Copy are no strangers to LA. If you didn’t know any better, you might think the synthpop outfit that spawned out of Dan Whitford’s solo DJ project actually lived in the City of Angels.

But the Australian four-piece undoubtedly enjoys coming to California every time it drops a new album, and with the release of their fifth LP Haiku from Zero nearly a year ago now, the past 12 months have been action-packed for Whitford (vocals, keyboards, guitar), Tim Hoey (guitars), Ben Browning (bass, vocals) and Mitchell Scott (drums, vocals).

Cut Copy

For those in LA who missed Cut Copy 10 months ago when they visited the Shrine Expo Hall with De Lux, Palmbomen II and Cooper Saver also on the bill, their headlining performance last Friday at The Wiltern was another chance to dance the night away upon hearing several classics such as “Need You Now”, “Free Your Mind”, “Future”, “Hearts on Fire” and to close, “Lights & Music”. In fact, the last time that we caught them back in March, a mini downpour erupted at Shaun White’s Air + Style (read our festival review here), but it didn’t phase them. Who said playing — and dancing — in the rain isn’t fun anyway?

Nevertheless, Cut Copy always know how to throw one of the best dance parties in the biz, and though they just finished their latest tour with three West Coast shows in LA, Berkeley (supporting Phoenix) and Portland last weekend, it’s plausible that these Aussies could be back in the states next year for some more dates, particularly once festival season officially returns. Until then, this one should hold us over.

Need You Now
Black Rainbows
Nobody Lost, Nobody Found
Living Upside Down
Free Your Mind
Counting Down
Pharaohs & Pyramids
Hearts on Fire
Standing in the Middle of the Field
Take Me Over
Out There on the Ice

Meet Me in a House of Love
Lights & Music

SF Oysterfest 2016: ‘Better wet than dry’

SF Oysterfest 2016 - ChromeoPhotos by Kory Thibeault // Written by Molly Kish //

San Francisco Oysterfest //
Golden Gate Park – San Francisco
May 7th, 2016 //

Last weekend O’Reilly’s 17th annual Oysterfest was greeted with less-than-accommodating weather as sparse rain fell throughout much of the morning and afternoon. Boasting one of the best lineups that included a headlining performance by Chromeo, the festival was slated for a benchmark year.

Because SF Oysterfest didn’t end up selling out, the grounds were navigated comfortably, with much of the crowd arriving late due to the wavering micro-climate conditions. But those who were willing to brave the brief showers were treated to a bill featuring local legends, emerging Bay Area talent and a sunshine-fueled dance party commandeered by Chromeo, the Canadian “funk lords” themselves.

Early-afternoon acts De Lux and Kinky got the raw end of the deal, weathering the storm amid a lack of attendance and enthusiasm. Those who were there from the very start appeared to be more concerned about getting their $1 oyster discounts than investing their attention in these buzz-worthy performers. Although both bands battled the weather conditions to deliver great performances, they were unfortunately overshadowed by ominous clouds and discouraging showers. Here’s hoping that they both return to the Bay Area for an indoor show soon, giving those who were either distracted or detoured by the rain a second chance.

SF Oysterfest 2016 - Chromeo

Once the day moved into the late afternoon, SF deep house legend Miguel Migs hit the decks and energized the damp crowd, DJing a bass-heavy set that led right into Iamsu!’s powerful hip-hop performance and the festival’s annual “Suck n’ Shuck” competition. The Bay Area emcee got the audience moving with a squad full of local talent that hyped the Guinness-saturated audience into a collective sway throughout Sharon Meadow.

After guests finished sloppily entertaining the crowd by competitively attempting to shuck and slurp oysters, Chromeo took the stage as the sun peaked through during the group’s entrance chant of “Chro-me-ooo-eee-oooo-o.” Playing a number of crowd favorites and igniting a full-on singalong/dance party, the “funk lords” wrapped up the festival with a strong, hour-long set.

Even in the wet conditions playfully referred to by the audience as #moisturefest on social media, the audience kept its spirits high and the SF Oysterfest tradition forged on, proving that the local sentiment during these conditions still remains in festive favor. As a result, it solidified the consensus that at any festival, especially at one focused on gourmet seafood and a spectrum of craft beverages, will always be better served wet than dry.

SF Show of the Week // GO4FREE to Chromeo, Miguel Migs & Iamsu! at Oysterfest 5/7 (SAT)

Oysterfest 2016 lineupWritten by Molly Kish //

San Francisco Oysterfest //
Golden Gate Park – San Francisco
May 7th, 2016 //

Ready those shuckers and loosen your gullets, Bay Area! The 17th annual SF Oysterfest is back at Sharon Meadow this weekend, and Showbams wants you to suck up all the fun.

The West Coast’s largest oyster festival is taking over Golden Gate Park’s iconic “Hippie Hill” from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. this Saturday with an eclectic roster of music and culinary talent that’s bigger and better than ever.

The day will feature headlining performances from Canadian electro-funk duo Chromeo, SF deep house legend Miguel Miggs and Bay Area rapper/singer/producer Iamsu! (with special guests) as well as early-morning performances from post-disco buzz band De Lux, Mexico’s “avanzada regia” crossover pioneers Kinky, and local artists GZRUS and Johnny Maxwell.

Oysters, seafood and a variety of other local fare will be provided by Absolute BBQ Express, Bacon Bacon, Drip! Mobile Espresso & Coffee, El Porteno, Gerard’s Paella, Gourmet Faire, Mayes Oyster House, Me So Hungry SF, New Orleans Catering, Tante’s and Savourie Streets.

Plus, for the first time ever, the fest will be hosting a new wine and oyster pairing tent that offers guests the opportunity to sample a variety of the shellfish and caviar, along with an exclusive selection of wines chosen by a number of Bay Area chefs.

Early arrivals will not only get to choose from an abundance of seafood, but they will also receive $1 off all oysters prior to 2 p.m. Meanwhile, the crowd favorite “Suck and Shuck” contest returns once again this year, and those who are interested in participating should send an email to sfoysterfest@gmail.com.

GA tickets are almost gone but are still available to purchase here, while a limited number of tickets remain for the private tables backstage, which can seat up to eight and include a full bar, table service, table-side seafood platters, a buffet, expedited Will Call, a meet-and-greet opportunity, and an event T-shirt and tote bag. Children who are under the age of 12 and are accompanied by a parent will receive free admission. For more information, visit Oysterfest’s Twitter and Facebook pages.

Want to go for free this Saturday? Showbams has a pair of tickets with your name on it! Register below for your chance to win passes to SF Oysterfest.

Contest ends this Friday at Noon.

Follow Showbams on Twitter for more contest giveaways throughout the week. Be the first to respond to our contest tweets to GO4FREE to these shows:

La Gente: Friday, May 6th at The Chapel
Oakland Oddities: Friday, May 6th at The New Parish
Rogue Wave: Saturday, May 7th at The Independent


Enter your name (First and Last) along with your email below. If you win a contest, you’ll be notified on the day the contest ends (details above).

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Miami Horror trip out in SF, continue the party in LA

Miami Horror at The IndependentPhotos by Josh Herwitt & Justin Yee // Written by Josh Herwitt //

Miami Horror with De Lux //
The Independent – San Francisco & The Roxy Theatre – West Hollywood, CA
June 3rd, 2015 (SF) & June 5th, 2015 (LA) //

With the release of their sophomore record All Possible Futures this past April, Australian indietronica outfit Miami Horror are back on the road for the first time in a long time. Amid a 17-date tour across the U.S. with LA disco-rock band De Lux, which also have a brand-new album on the horizon, the Melbourne five-piece left its mark in SF and LA last week with sold-out shows at both The Independent and The Roxy Theatre.

The capacity crowds were a testament to how well Miami Horror have built a loyal fan base off the buzz that their 2010 debut Illumination generated, but as bandleader Benjamin Plant told Showbams in a recent interview, this was still their “reintroduction tour.”

Miami Horror at The Roxy Theatre

Yet, from the way it commanded the crowd in SF, you wouldn’t have known that the band had eaten psychedelic mushrooms (yes, really!) before stepping on stage. And from the way it had fans singing along to every word in LA — its new home after leaving Melbourne close to three years ago — two days later, you wouldn’t have thought that it has been almost five years between the band’s two LPs. After all, in this day and age where streaming services have come to rule the music industry and artists are now forced to continually churn out new material in order to tour and make ends meet, that’s quite a long layoff for a group that’s only other release, the five-track EP entitled Bravado, came out in November 2008.

In many ways though, it felt like not much time had passed at all as Josh Moriarty (guitars, vocals) and Aaron Shanahan (co-production, guitar, synthesizer, vocals), with the sweat beads rapidly dripping down their faces, climbed on Kosta Theodosis’ drum kit and a few floor speakers at different points during both shows to pump the fans up — if they could actually be pumped up anymore than they already were. It just goes to show that after all this time, Miami Horror haven’t lost their charm one bit.

Molly Kish & Justin Yee contributed to this report.

Culture Collide Festival invades SF, LA with talent far and wide

Culture CollideBy Marc Fong and Josh Herwitt //

Culture Collide Festival //
Various venues in San Francisco and Los Angeles
October 14th-15th in SF; October 16th-18th in LA //

Culture Collide Festival stopped off in SF for the first time ever before making its way down to LA last weekend, bringing bands from around the globe to celebrate music, food and well, culture, of course. With U.S. headliners Cloud Nothings and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah leading the way, the festival also boasted plenty of international talent, from Israel’s SKYROADS to Colombia’s Quantic. Marc Fong hit up the festival in SF and Josh Herwitt was in LA to give their own takes on a dozen different acts.

Rock N Roll Radio

Rock N Roll Radio

Rock N Roll Radio (Korea): Though the vocals were a bit muffled and its English was rough, this Korean band communicated fun in the most basic of ways — through catchy, poppy riffs.

Go Back to the Zoo (Netherlands): The lyrics were a little repetitive, but their melodies were strong and soulful. Think early Kings of Leon.

Kamp! (Poland): Kamp!’s synth-heavy songs were fun, yet mellow, making for a slow ride into the night at the Elbo Room.

SKYROADS (Israel): Of Monsters and Men meet Freelance Whales. A little rough around the edges, this band has a strong radio sound, plus an amazing performance. Don’t be surprised to see and hear more from SKYROADS in the near future.

Everyone Is Dirty (USA): Gritty tunes from a gritty band by way of Oakland. They sound like garage rockers but with a lot of flare, great vocals and most notably, some kick-ass violin playing.

Cloud Nothings

Cloud Nothings

Cloud Nothings (USA): Cleveland pop-punk outfit Cloud Nothings brought a grisly sound to The Chapel with catchy hooks and fun, crunchy riffs. If you haven’t checked out their latest album Here and Nowhere Else (read our review here) yet, you should.

Nervous Nellie (Sweden): This four-piece out of Stockholm brought some fun indie-rock tunes from its Scandinavian homeland.

Beat Connection (USA): Reminiscent of early M83, these four guys from Seattle offered a fun way to fade into the night and close out the SF edition of the fest.

De Lux (USA): Fans of this burgeoning LA act got their weekend started early in Echo Park, moving and grooving to a funky set chock full of post-disco, dance-punk cuts that have drawn comparisons (and rightfully so) to Talking Heads, LCD Soundsystem and Hot Chip. After releasing their debut LP Voyage in April to much fanfare, Glendale natives Sean Guerin and Isaac Franco appear to have a promising career ahead of them.

(Denmark): Dropping their debut album No Mythologies to Follow in March, Karen Marie Ørsted and her sidekicks electrified the Echoplex with one electropop hook after another during their nearly hour-long show. It should be only a matter of time before the 26-year-old singer-songwriter is selling out venues all across the country. Her growing popularity, in fact, could very well skyrocket following her performance with Iggy Azalea on Saturday Night Live this month.

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah (USA): After revolutionizing independent music in the mid-2000s thanks to the interwebs, the Philly-based group has endured quite a few changes. Frontman Alec Ounsworth remains the only original member still in the band, and for all intents and purposes, it is clearly his band at this point. But the recent release of their fourth full-length album — and a relatively lackluster one — Only Run has CYHSY living off many of their earlier hits that once earned the attention of legends like David Bowie and David Byrne back in 2005.

Quantic (Colombia): Multi-instrumentalist, DJ and record producer Will Holland may be one of music’s biggest hidden talents. As one of Holland’s most prolific projects, Quantic pulls from a variety of styles, including cumbia, salsa, bossa nova, soul, funk and jazz, while the UK native works his way from one instrument to the next (his current arsenal includes guitar, bass, double bass, saxophone, accordion, piano, organ and various percussion instruments). Inside the diminutive and sweaty Echo Park United Methodist Church, Holland and his ensemble got some eager fans out of their seats just seconds after taking the stage. Though Holland said it would be Quantic’s last show for some time, they won over at least a few new fans that night, too.