Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe expands at Terrapin Crossroads as Phil Lesh joins the party

Karl Denson's Tiny Universe with Phil LeshBy James Nagel //

Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe //
Terrapin Crossroads – San Rafael, CA
March 27th, 2017 //

Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe brought the funk to Terrapin Crossroads for a two-set, sold-out performance last Friday. Denson and company started things off slowly but eventually put fans into a frenzy with a jazzy cover of ZZ Top’s “Just Got Paid”. After that, the show turned into an energizing dance party for the rest of the night.

Though it might have been a surprise to some, regulars at Terrapin Crossroads have come to expect frequent guest appearances by the Grateful Dead’s Phil Lesh. With three songs left in the first set, Lesh stepped onstage and helped out with a cover of “Shakedown Street”. All in all, it was a very fun, jammy, jazzy and smiles-all-around show.

Special guests rule the night at Karl Denson’s post-Outside Lands superjam

Karl Denson's Tiny UniverseBy Steve Carlson //

Outside Lands night show: Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe superjam with special guests //
The Independent – San Francisco
August 9th, 2015 //

Karl Denson brought his jazz/funk band Tiny Universe and a variety of special guests to The Independent to close out Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival 2015 with one last late-night jam, and a capacity crowd was on hand to party along with him into the night.

The show was scheduled to start around 10 p.m., just after Elton John officially closed the festival at Golden Gate Park, but to the frustration of more than a few, including some fans who had traveled from as far away as Monterey, Calif., the show didn’t kick off until nearly 11:30 p.m. Once Denson took the stage and launched into “New Ammo” though, all was quickly forgiven.

Karl Denson's Tiny Universe

Over the course of the next two hours, Denson brought out guest after guest to help keep the party going, whether it was his old friends in Slightly Stoopid, Ian Neville of Dumpstaphunk, Alex Bleeker of Real Estate (for a beautiful rendition of The Dead’s “New Speedway Boogie”) or perhaps the biggest surprise of the whole evening, Paul Janeway of St. Paul and the Broken Bones, who had ditched his trademark suit for a T-shirt and baseball cap and proceeded to improvise a passionate cover of Otis Redding’s “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long” for the rapturous audience.

The show also leaned heavily on hometown talent with local favorite Nicki Bluhm taking the stage for a few songs, including a cover of The Rolling Stones’ “Tumblin’ Dice”, while the always-magnetic Ziek McCarter of Con Brio made an unannounced appearance after his Outside Lands “Sexual Chocolate” set with Denson earlier in the day. It was nice to see Denson give both Bluhm and McCarter generous stage time, reminding everybody in the house how lucky we are to have such incredible talent right here in SF.

Going to Outside Lands this weekend? Take a bite out of our 2015 food guide

Outside Lands 2015 food guideWritten by Molly Kish //

We are less than a day away from this year’s Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival, and our stomachs are starting to growl. Beyond the stellar music and comedy lineups, the festival continues to draw crowds by celebrating the best of what the Bay Area’s culinary masters have to offer.

From local favorites to Michelin-rated cuisine, the holy trifecta of Beer Lands, Wine Lands and of course Choco Lands + Cheese Lands returns. Highlighting the mouth-watering fare of more than 75 regional vendors along with a boutique stage devoted to cooking performances and artist collaborations, Outside Lands has continued to evolve its food and beverage programs into the festival’s eighth year with its most impressive music lineup to date.

Although we could spend an entire weekend gorging ourselves on all of the grub each magical “land” has to offer, we’ve decided to streamline your experience with our top-five picks and pairings from this year’s “Taste of the Bay Area” at Outside Lands 2015.

By the way, here’s a pro tip: take some notes and print out a festival map here to better navigate your edible endeavors.

View the 2015 schedule and create your custom grid to share with friends!


El Huarache Loco

Eatery: El Huarache Loco
Dish: Huaraches

These Mexican treats are to be eaten during Hot Chip’s late Sunday afternoon set. We highly recommend chomping down on one during the opening beats of “Huarache Lights” to make the most of the moment.

Paired with: Sierra Nevada’s Outside Lands Saison

Humphrey Slocombe

Eatery: Humphry Slocombe
Dish: “Secret” Breakfast Ice Cream or Bourbon Coke Floats

Perking you up on Day 2 of the festival, Humphry Slocombe’s “Secret” Breakfast Ice Cream and/or Bourbon Coke Floats, either individually or as a combo, will get your engines revved up as you catch a riotous Outside Lands debut from the Chicago punk rockers in Twin Peaks.

Paired with: Even more whiskey or Calicraft Brewing Company’s Buzzerkeley

AQ Restaurant & Bar

Eatery: AQ Restaurant & Bar
Dish: Sweet, Spicy and Shroomy Waffles

Tap into your earth child and get your cruelty-free protein fix while tripping out to the heady vibes that will shine through during Aussie neo-psych rockers Tame Impala’s Saturday sunset set on the Lands End Stage.

Paired with: Crossbarn Winery’s 2012 Cabernet

Nojo Restaurant

Eatery: Nojo Restaurant
Dish: Spicy Japanese Style Tater Tots

Matching your flavor palette with your body temperature that will be both equally rising during D’Angleo and The Vanguard’s set on Friday night, Nojo provides some taste-bud tinglers served up in bite-size potato form and easy enough to simply pop in your mouth while you’re getting down to the sexiest act of the weekend. They could just be the perfect culinary scapegoat for a potentially drool-inducing performance.

Paired with: SakeOne’s Momokawa Pearl

Long Meadow Ranch

Eatery: Long Meadow Ranch
Dish: Cheese or Charcuterie Plate

Kendrick Lamar may be far from a “thug eating cheese from the government,” but be sure to pull some leaves from those “Money Trees” and treat yourself at Cheese Lands on the walk over to Twin Peaks before catching K-Dot on Saturday night.

Paired with: Almanac Beer Company’s Farmer’s Reserve Blackberry

Straw

HONORABLE MENTIONS:

Eatery: Rocko’s Ice Cream Tacos
Dish: Ice Cream Tacos or Frozen Bananas

Eatery: Three Babes Bakeshop
Dish: Chicken Pot Pie, Peach Pie or Apple Cider

Eatery: Stones Throw
Dish: Chicken Parmesan Sandwiches

Eatery: Namu Street Food
Dish: Japanese Pizza or Ra Bap Ramen Soup

Eatery: Straw
Dish: “The Ringmaster” Donut Cheeseburgers

Check out the full “Taste of the Bay Area” lineup here, the full Beer Lands lineup here and the full Wine Lands lineup here.

Wine Lands

WINE LANDS REMINDER:

Wine Lands will be completely cashless this year, and your Outside Lands wristband will be both your ticket and digital wallet. Also, be sure to stock up on “Bison Bucks” before the festival and select the “Enable Auto Top-Up” option. For every 75 “Bison Bucks” that is added to your cashless account before Friday at 10 a.m., Outside Lands will add five bonus “Bison Bucks” to your account. Begin your “cashless” registration here.

Beignets & Bounce Brunch

GASTROMAGIC WEEKEND HIGHLIGHTS:

Friday, August 7th

Event: “Morimoto Karaoke”
Time: 5:30-6 p.m.

Iron Chef Morimoto shares his expertise in the art of sushi rolling and rocks the stage with his hidden talent. It’s only rock ‘n’ roll, but he likes it.

Saturday, August 8th

Event: “Truffle Shuffle” with Mina Test Kitchen and DJ Vin Sol
Time: 1:50-2:20 p.m.

Chef Adam Sobel from The Mina Group will be joined by dance instructor Julia Hubara to reinterpret the infamous “Truffle Shuffle” from 1985 cult classic “The Goonies”. Fans must “shuffle” for a taste of Sobel’s Truffle Ribeye Cheesesteak.

Event: “Beignets & Bounce Brunch” with Big Freedia and Brenda’s Soul Food
Time: 3:10-3:40 p.m.

New Orleans queen diva Big Freedia is back to shake and bounce during the second annual bounce brunch. Beignets from Brenda’s Soul Food will be available for those willing to twerk.

Event: “PopStars” with Emilie Baltz and Dan Deacon
Time: 6-6:30 p.m.

Baltimore-based electronic musician Dan Deacon provides the sweet sounds for this lickable popsicle orchestra imagined by experiential artist and storyteller Emilie Baltz. Join them on stage to help bring this concept to life, one lick at a time.

Sunday, August 9th

Event: “Sexual Chocolate” with Karl Denson and Guittard Chocolate Company
Time: 5:20pm – 5:50pm

The “Sexual Chocolate” band led by Karl Denson is going to take us back in time while renowned pastry chef Donald Wressell explores chocolate art. Make sure to look out for delicious Guittard chocolate bars, too.

Event: Mac Sabbath with Richie Nakano
Time: 6:50-7:35 p.m.

Los Angeles parody heavy metal tribute band Mac Sabbath bring their one-of-a-kind “Drive Thru Metal” show to GastroMagic while local chef Richie Nakano, formerly of Hapa Ramen, creates his “one time only” Nakano Nuggets. Join in if you dare!

View the full GastroMagic schedule here.


Outside Lands Shows of the Week // GO4FREE to The Knocks, Classixx & STRFKR or Karl Denson

The Knocks & ClassixxWritten by Josh Herwitt //

Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival is almost here, and as we mentioned a few weeks ago, the party doesn’t have to stop after the music ends at Golden Gate Park each day. For all of you who want to dance and get your groove on well past midnight, the festival is hosting a number of late-night shows throughout the Bay Area — and Showbams has your tickets to three of the best taking place this weekend.

Win a pair of free tickets to one of our Outside Lands Shows of the Week by entering your name and email below.




The Knocks (DJ set): August 7th (FRI) @ Mezzanine // BUY TICKETS

New York-based producers and electronic music duo The Knocks return to SF after they turned The Independent into a raging house party back in June. And after releasing their latest EP So Classic this year, Ben “B-Roc” Ruttner and James “JPatt” Patterson are coming a knockin’ again. This time, they’ll take their bass-driven, high-energy show to Mezzanine for a DJ set with Cut Snake and The Aston Shuffle also hitting the decks beforehand.

Contest ends this Friday at 3 p.m.




Classixx & STRFKR (DJ sets): August 8th (SAT) @ Mezzanine // BUY TICKETS

Los Angeles electronic music duo Classixx have come a long way since their early beginnings in 2008. After delivering the perfect set at Treasure Island Music Festival last fall, childhood friends Michael David and Tyler Blake have continued to show that they’re on the up and up, putting on an impressive main-stage performance at CRSSD Festival in March. At Mezzanine this Saturday, they’ll be joined by Portland electro-rockers STRFKR, who will play their own DJ set despite being absent from this year’s Outside Lands lineup.

Contest ends this Friday at 3 p.m.




Karl Denson superjam: August 9th (SUN) @ The Independent // BUY TICKETS

Funk/jazz virtuoso Karl Denson has stayed plenty busy over the past year. The San Diego native most recently toured with The Rolling Stones on their “Zip Code” tour and is getting ready to release a new album with his Tiny Universe crew in early 2016. To close out the 2015 edition of Outside Lands, the multi-instrumentalist (saxophone, flute, percussion, vocals) will take over The Independent for a special “superjam” with friends that will be one performance you won’t want to miss this weekend.

Contest ends this Friday at 3 p.m.


Win-2-Tickets

Pick the show you would like to attend from the dropdown, then enter your name (First and Last) along with your email. If you win a contest, you’ll be notified on the day the contest ends (details above).

Like Showbams on Facebook, follow Showbams on Twitter and follow Showbams on Instagram. Subscribe to our social channels for a better chance to win!

CONTEST CLOSED.

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Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe kick 2015 into high gear with Run DMC Remixed show

Karl Denson's Tiny UniversePhotos by Tom Dellinger // Written by Molly Kish //

Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe Presents Run DMC Remixed feat. Vokab Kompany, Amp Live //
The Independent – San Francisco
January 2nd, 2015 //

This past weekend at The Independent, SF was treated to a doubleheader of funk infusion provided by none other than Karl Denson and his always-entertaining Tiny Universe. The theme of this mini tour, which enlisted the MC skills of the Vokab Kompany’s vocalists, was “Run DMC Remixed”.

After a great opening set from Amp Live and a venue-packed performance from KDTU featuring a guest spot from guitar virtuoso Eric McFadden, the whole crew returned to the stage to “rock the mic” live. Busting out a greatest hits set of hip-hop classics, the stage full of performers paid homage to the party-igniting discography of Run DMC. Displaying an incredible blend of musical talent and prolonged celebratory energy from all the New Year’s festivities earlier in the week, the show was easily one of the best ways to kick 2015 into high gear.

Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe favoring blistering rock over jazz

Karl-Denison3Photos by Marc Fong // Written by Kevin Quandt

Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe with Quinn Deveaux and the Blue Beat Review //
The Independent – San Francisco
March 14th, 2014 //

A “funkified” evening of soul, jazz and rock was the prize for fans at The Independent last Friday as Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe helmed a superb bill along with local soulman Quinn Deveaux and the Blue Beat Review. Even though these artists generally play SF somewhat regularly, it’s the consistency of these bands that keep fans returning time and time again.

Deveaux opened the evening with a soul-leaning set as the charismatic frontman played to an enthusiastic, early-evening crowd. Among a bevy of strong original songs was a revelrous rendition of The Meters’ “They All Ask’d for You”, which bumped the energy up a little more as folks settled into the weekend.

Karl-Denison2

Denson is a modern, funky jazz legend, having been a sideman to some massive artists before breaking out on his own to form The Greyboy Allstars and KTDU more than a decade ago. The rotating membership of KTDU lends itself to a slightly different band and sound every couple of years.

The band’s current formation leans toward the rock end of the spectrum as compared to the jazz-odyssey style of past KTDU lineups. Guitarist DJ Williams is the likely culprit in creating this harder-edged sound that we currently hear from Denson and company. The group’s usual suspects, such as Chris Stillwell on bass and Chris Littlefield on trumpet, are still present on stage, so don’t fret.

Karl-Denison4

Tracks from Denson’s latest release New Ammo were plentiful as “My Baby” was performed early in the set, featuring Williams playing a swamp-funk slide guitar that mixed nicely into the many styles represented onstage throughout the night. “Everybody Knows That” was another highlight off the Stoopid Records release.

Though Denson started his career backing Lenny Kravitz, mainly keeping to his instruments, he truly is a dynamic leader as he effortlessly jumps between sax, flute, cowbell and vocals. The dance party arrived in the form of the classic KDTU track “Hey Sister”, which traditionally launches the crowd into euphoria as the mix of tempos truly keeps the participants on their toes. A tease of The White Stripes’ modern classic “Seven Nation Army” led to a full cover of this crowd-pleaser, which happens to be featured on the new album. As the evening came to a close after a strong encore, the devoted fans who stayed until the last note left filled to the brim with all that funk they crave so much.