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Hardly Strictly Bluegrass and So Much More This Week

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The 10th annual FREE Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival is going on this weekend, with possibly the most insane and diverse lineup I’ve seen in years. There are the big names like Joan Baez, Emmylou Harris, Steve Earle, Justin Townes Earle (dude is a walking namesake), Elvis Costello, T Bone Burnett, Patty Griffin, Ralph Stanley, Doc Watson, and Gillian Welch. Then there are the names that lure a bigger (hipper) audience (as if past years weren’t claustrophobic enough), like Jenny and Johnny (Jenny Lewis and Johnathan Rice), Conor Oberst, Bonnie Prince Billy, and the Avett Brothers.  There are the strictly vagina-music names, like…well really I just mean the Indigo Girls. And of course what bluegrass festival would be complete without MC Hammer? Hammer returns for the third year in a row…by popular demand, obviously. God I wish I could be a fly on the wall when he meets Ralph Stanley.

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass
Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, October 1st, 2nd & 3rd
Speedway Meadow [Golden Gate Park]

Bluegrass and hammer pants, the perfect duo

But this post is hardly strictly about Hardly Strictly. There are a ton of smaller, less agoraphobia-inducing shows happening in the next two weeks as well. Catch these folks at small venues now so that one day when they’re playing huge festivals like Hardly Strictly, you can say “I saw them when…” Here are my picks:

Tonight head over to Amnesia to catch one of the best (and most unique) new SF bands, Honeycomb, along with the Dovekins and Sleepy Todd. There will be nothing sleepy about this show. Honeycomb is really a treat to watch.

Tuesday, September 28th, 9pm
853 Valencia St. [Mission]


Described as “a candle-lit performance in the dungeon of a beautiful antique shop,” this show at Viracocha features Foxtails Brigade, Ramon & Jessica, and Audiafauna.

Thursday, September 30, 8pm
998 Valencia St. [Mission]


Last week I posted about the Beehive Market and now I am reminding you to go buy produce and see the amazing Jen Grady and Ephriam Nagler play cello/wurlitzer as You Are Plural.

Saturday, October 2nd, noon
The Beehive Market
1701 San Pablo Ave. [West Berkeley]



The Penny Arcade is always fun. This month’s lineup consists of Tim Cohen‘s (of the Fresh and Onlys) new band Magick Trick, Sam Flax Keener and The Higher Color, Doctor Nurse, and Hélène Renaut.

Wednesday, October 6th, 8pm
The Make Out Room
3225 22nd St. [Mission]


Some more local favorites play at Amnesia: Devotionals (featuring Tyson of Two Gallants), David and Joanna, and Michael Musika.

Thursday, October 7th, 9pm
853 Valencia St. [Mission]



Celebrate 10.10.10 and bicycle advocacy with this show at Café Du Nord. Here’s the deal: the Kestral Sound Review Vol. II, benefitting the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, presents Battle of the One Man Bands. Plus the  host is the SF Air Guitar Champion, so there’s that.

Sunday, October 10th, 8pm
Café Du Nord
2170 Market St.
$10 (for a good cause!)

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Chloe - Pennywise Reporter

Chloe - Pennywise Reporter

Chloe's youth was split between California and Kauai, frolicking on a macadamia nut farm in the tropics and landing finally in the Bay Area. Raised by super-Jew hippies, and the youngest of three sisters, Chloe learned early the virtues of thrift, economy, and green living. To the chagrin of her parents (who hoped, of course, for a Jewish doctor or lawyer), Chloe has put her degree from UC Berkeley to great use by becoming a folk singer. As "Chloe Makes Music" she plays shows throughout SF and beyond, donning vintage frocks, selling handmade merch, and pinching pennies as she sings for her supper. Calling Berkeley home for the last six years, you can think of Chloe as the website's East Bay Correspondent, opening your eyes to the hippie-filled, tree-hugging, organic-loving, vegan-eating, but way-overlooked and awesome assets of Berkeley, Oakland, and beyond.