The Live Act: Broken Bells

Concerts are the best. The absolute, without a doubt, best. And after you’ve been to a variety of shows, festivals, bars, lounges, and arenas, you begin to appreciate the performances that truly stand out. The ones that make your jaw drop or your skin tingle—the ones that make you shut your eyes tight and fall into the epic immediacy of live sound.


Now, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I am in love with James Mercer. He is calm and brilliant, understated and gifted — arguably the most influential singer songwriter to serenade my mid-20’s. Broken Bells, his side project (The Shins is his main band), is a collaboration of Mercer’s musical talents and mastermind Dangermouse, legendary producer of Gnarls Barkley, among others.

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Land’s End: Escape From the City of Noise

The hum of a city can creep into your skin. The endless flow of wheels on pavement, of six-second car alarms, of cops hooting and pedestrians blocking your every move. The simple act of parking your car, if you have a car, can turn into the ultimate test (and in my case, fail) of patience.

In Oakland, the city sure creeps. But in San Francisco, that golden dream across a bridge, there is no end to the level of mental and soul-sucking interfusion that can occur. I love these places, I really do, but sometimes you need quiet. You need peace. You need a strong gale of wind stretched into a wide expanse of land or sea and the calm loss of all that hulking metal.

In search of such invigorating peace I reached to the very edge of San Francisco: Land’s End. Yes, it’s a clothing brand, but in S.F. it’s the most northern, far reaching point the city has to offer.

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