Author: Mark Paniagua

Mark Paniagua is a bay area native who grew up on the SF music scene as a musician and sound engineer. Playing local clubs since the late 80's in bands such as Ringchildren, Sorrow Town Choir, and Fuzzbucket, Mark is an accomplished bassist and vocalist. He has also played and performed in a number of rock musical productions with Buzz Skycastle crew, including Jesus Christ Superstar, Pink Floyd's The Wall, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and Abigail the Rock Opera.

All Them Witches The Chapel May 10, 2017 All photos by Jeff Spirer. Given the current climate of ‘fake news’ and alt-right conservatism running rampant through many parts of the country, the headline of a coven of witches taking over a Chapel would cause alarm with religious zealots and conformists and send them into a fear mongering frenzy. However here in San Francisco the thought of All Them Witches (ATW), the beguiling psychedelic-stoner-blues quartet from Nashville, casting musical spells at the Mission’s hidden live music gem The Chapel, is an occasion to be celebrated. The only cause for alarm would…

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The Mind of a Misfit in San Francisco San Francisco has long been regarded a mecca of cutting edge artists, drawing mad geniuses and immensely talented misfits from across the country and around the globe to spread their wings and realize their full potential. When Kat Robichaud, landed in San Francisco by way of the North Carolina, little did she know that she would find within herself the Darling Misfit that has blossomed into the most innovative and refreshing talent in the San Francisco underground. Onstage she drips enormous natural talent wrapped in glitter. She has an easy yet booming…

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Willie Nelson The Fillmore May 4th, 2017 The line of people outside the tour bus parked on the corner of Fillmore and Geary was thick. Thick with people holding pictures, guitars, album covers, and magazines….thick with marijuana smoke. All hoping to get a glimpse of their hero, or to get some piece of memorabilia signed, or get a handshake from none other than the legendary Willie Nelson. As the door to the bus opened, a few handlers emerged first to clear a path, then suddenly Willie appeared wearing a cowboy hat with a hand raised to the crowd….chaos ensued, though…

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Deadmau5 Fox Theater, Oakland April 24, 2017 All photos by Raymond Ahner. There has been a long running argument amongst music fans. A conundrum that has cut a wide swath of opinion between music aficionados and artists themselves. It centers on the question of whether or not EDM (Electronic Dance Music) should be considered ‘real’ music. Further, and at the heart of the argument is whether its originators can be considered ‘real’ musicians. On one side are the musical purists. Those who only consider it true music when it comes from musicians who play traditional instruments to create and…

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Crystal Fighters Mezzanine March 27, 2017  All photos by Jeff Spirer. Crystal Fighters sailed through Mezzanine in San Francisco bringing with them a load of positively charged vibrations which lifted the room and kept the crowd floating on their infectious beats and multiple part harmonies. The European band, which started in the UK and now calls Spain home base, is one of the better kept secrets in music right now. Given this performance, which kicked off the U.S. leg of their Everything Is My Family tour and the raucous reaction of their fans, this will not be the case for…

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Early Bird Metal Show with Devil Driver and Death Angel The Regency Ballroom March 3, 2017 All photos by Raymond Ahner. The space-time continuum was torn at the Regency Theater in San Francisco to accommodate raucous California metal bands DevilDriver and Death Angel. The thought of a show with this proportion of these bigger than life metal merchants evokes images of late night debauchery on a heralded stage. What occurred for this edition of the Bound by the Road Tour was a show that started early and ended early, on a stage that was different than what most had anticipated.…

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Galactic The Warfield February 18, 2017 All photographs by Paul Piazza. With all of the recent rain and the general epidemic malaise that has affected much of the United States since the onset of 2017, a strong gathering of music fans recently assembled at the Warfield Theater in San Francisco looking for a remedy. A remedy that would consist of community, positivity, and fun…of people coming together to remind each other that everything will be OK as long as folks stay together. A remedy that would come in the form of a good down-home tonic of New Orleans gumbo funk.…

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Twenty One Pilots SAP Center, San Jose February 10, 2017 All photos by Cedric Letsch. Twenty One Pilots (TOP) descended on SAP Center Friday evening and the newly minted Grammy winners showed a sellout crowd exactly why they are one of the biggest up and coming acts in the popular music stratosphere. SAP Center was sparking with anticipation and energy as the packed house of predominantly late teens and early twenty somethings (and most of those female), along with a number of tweens accompanied by parents, all took their seats early to make sure they did not miss a second…

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DNCE The Fillmore Auditorium January 22, 2017 All photos by Cedric Letsch. What does international pop star and actor Joe Jonas do after 4 mega-hit albums with his siblings in the bubblegum boy band the Jonas Brothers, a couple of hit shows on the Disney Channel, a series of guest performances with chart topping mega-stars such as Demi Lovato and Nelly, and a successful solo album? Well, start a DNCE party of course. DNCE, the new band fronted by Joe Jonas, rolled through the Fillmore and turned on a packed house of young millennials (predominantly female) with an energetic yet…

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Stickmen/Neal Morse Band The Regency Ballroom January 18, 2017 All photos by Jeff Spirer ‘Progressive’ rock is one of the more polarizing genres on the musical spectrum. Most people either love it or loathe it. To the uneducated, progressive rock equates to over-indulgent songs about fantasy worlds that are too long, with too many parts, and are designed predominantly for an audience of nerdy males. To diehard fans, prog rock is the only real kind of music. The last bastion of true musicianship, created by artisans who have honed their craft over a lifetime, and pour themselves into each creation.…

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Strummerville Bottom of the Hill January 14, 2017 All photos by Tom Dellinger. Strummerville, the better known name of the global non-profit Joe Strummer Foundation, popped up one recent weekend at the Bottom of the Hill (BotH) for an evening celebrating the power of music. Founded in the memory of the legendary punk guitarist / vocalist Joe Strummer after his death in 2002, the mission of The Joe Strummer Foundation is to give opportunities to aspiring musicians, and support to projects around the world that create social mobility through music. The San Francisco version of Strummerville arrived at the Potrero…

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Neurosis The Regency Ballroom December 17, 2016 Photos by Elizabeth Gohr. Many Bay Area bands came home to roost over the recent holidays for memorable shows to close out 2016. This was evident especially for the heaviest of local heavy music mavens, as Death Angel, Metallica, and Neurosis all recently took turns to pummel nearby stages. Neurosis made its return to the Regency by offering up a set that was dramatically different in content and delivery than the last time the East Bay sonic masters were seen locally. Neurosis’ 30th Anniversary shows at the Regency back in March showcased the…

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Death Angel Slim’s December 16, 2016 All photos by Raymond Ahner. Traditions make the holidays special. They are what we look forward to and often are the occasions which reconnect us to friends and family during the holidays. One San Francisco holiday tradition that is trending up for festive bay area rockers is the annual ‘Another Death Angel Christmas’ show. The festival coordinated by and featuring Bay Area OG thrashers Death Angel is hosted at Slim’s, another of San Francisco’s musical icons, and has grown year to year (now encompassing two days). This year the gathering is celebrating its 3rd…

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Stevie Nicks and The Pretenders SAP Center, San Jose December 14, 2016 All photos by Raymond Ahner. During the holidays you can never be sure what you are going to unwrap from under the tree, especially when pulling presents from the live music tree here in the Bay Area. Case in point, on a Wednesday night at the SAP center in San Jose, a filled arena was treated to the unlikely duo Stevie Nicks and The Pretenders. Stevie Nicks Sure there are similarities. Stevie Nicks and Chrissie Hynde are both rock and roll hall of famers that were inducted with…

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Helmet The Independent December 4, 2016 All photos by Raymond Ahner. Many a class has been cut in the name of hard rock, drinking, and smoking, but The Independent in the Haight served as a nexus for all of the above for everyone in attendance this past Sunday night, as the house was packed to witness the post-punk theory of Helmet. Helmet Led by guitarist/vocalist Paige Hamilton (who founded the band in New York in 1989), Helmet was at the spearhead of the alternative metal movement that eventually exploded into the grunge sound that reigned supreme in the early 90’s.…

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K. Flay Great American Music Hall October 27, 2016 Thursday night the Great American Music Hall was exploding with fresh faces in modern music. Along with the burgeoning young bands also came loads of fresh faced music fans to sellout GAMH for an all-ages show featuring the ascending star of K.Flay. K.Flay K.Flay (Kristine Flaherty) is a Bay Area transplant, finding her way west from Illinois to pursue higher education at Stanford. Little did she know that higher education for her would be spelled M-U-S-I-C, and would eventually land her alongside the likes of Santigold, Snoop Dogg, and Awolnation, be…

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Sleep The Warfield October 21, 2016 All photos by Raymond Ahner.  Sleep, the extremely influential and incredibly heavy band hailing from San Jose, induced a communal state of transcendental meditation for a crowded house of rockers at the Warfield Theater on Friday night. Founding members Al Cisneros (bass/vocals) and Matt Pike (guitars), were joined by drummer Jason Roeder (Neurosis), as Sleep awoke from its hibernation to blow away the Market Street venue with truckloads of heavy handed riffage and gargantuan volume. Underground guitar hero Matt Pike, taking a brief break from his High on Fire tour, joined Cisneros in reaching…

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Clutch with Zakk Sabbath and Kyng Regency Ballroom October 16, 2016 All photos by Raymond Ahner. Riff rock is alive and doing very well if this past Sunday at the Regency Ballroom is any indication. Loud, pulsing, hard charging, drive real fast rock that rattles your teeth and puts a buzz in your brain. That’s what the crowd was served in huge portions, and it was Clutch and their head banging associates Zakk Sabbath and Kyng that were delivering the goods. Clutch, the quartet from Maryland that puts the northeastern stamp of hard rock firmly on the forehead of anyone…

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The Heavy Mezzanine September 27, 2016 All photos by Jon Bauer. British band The Heavy (Bath, England) swooped through San Francisco last Tuesday playing an energetic set at Mezzanine in support of their most recent release Hurt & the Merciless (Counter Records 2016). The Heavy Stitching together thick neo-soul rhythms to R&B funk and delivering it in an overdriven garage rock package, The Heavy has a vibe that is altogether fresh and familiar. Walking onstage to a spookily spoken background soundscape that would be at home in a 60’s sci-fi movie, vocalist Kelvin Swaby and his mates leaned into the…

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Die Antwoord….Now what was the Question? Bill Graham Civic Auditorium September 21, 2016 All photos by Jeff Spirer What was the coolest band to see to celebrate the last day of summer 2016 in San Francisco? The answer is literally Die Antwoord. Led by the dynamic duo of rappers Ninja and Yo-Landi Vi$$er (from Cape Town, South Africa), Die Antwoord present one of the most perplexing and exciting acts to hit popular music in recent memory, and this past Wednesday they brought their strobing cavalcade of musical oddities to the Civic Auditorium. Revealing that you are into Die Antwoord instantly…

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