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Best Web Site for Live Indie Rock Tips San Francisco 2003 - Playing in Fog

There are just too many live-music options in San Francisco. How are you supposed to separate the wheat from the chaff, the peanut butter from the jelly, the indie rock buzz from the musical never-was? Even with clubs closing faster than a Catholic squeezes out babies, there are still a shitload of shows to decide among. And in these recessed times, cash-strapped music fans need to pick and choose. The question Ry Cooder once posed -- "How can a poor man stand such times and live?" -- never seemed so apropos. Luckily, there's www.playinginfog.com. The locally based Web site began in 2000 as a way for music lover Deb Zeller to let her pal, KUSF veteran Kate "Squid" Izquierdo, know what concerts she was planning on attending. Squid then suggested they make an online journal out of the site, with Squid providing cheeky show reviews and Zeller snapping the accompanying photos. After garnering a healthy following, the pair split ways in early 2002: Squid pursued other musical avenues, and Zeller tapped local lad Jake Thomas to pen reviews. Now, besides including a wealth of information about local and national indie rock acts and dreamy photos of same (Zeller's been published in Rolling Stone and Devil in the Woods magazines since starting the site), PIF hosts a calendar with live recommendations for nearly every day of the month. Zeller has impeccable taste -- everything from the sad-and-pretty folk of Vetiver to the epic noise-sprawl of Stratford 4 -- which she also showcases during her monthly "Playing in Fog" events at the Hemlock Tavern. This is one site that plays in -- and cuts through -- the showgoing haze.

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