Duran DuranThe children who grew watching episodes of The Muppet Show came of age in the early eighties, so it’s only fitting that the other big nostalgia act of the weekend was one of the biggest pop sensations of the decade, Duran Duran. The years have been kind to both the remaining original members and their catalog of hits. Unlike many of their contemporaries Duran Duran crafted songs of lasting complexity to accompany their insidious hooks and the mixture of sentimentality and rock solid song craft had the Friday Polo Fields stage crowd begging for more when the trip down memory lane concluded. But then, they say it’s always best to leave the crowd “Hungry Like The Wolf.” E-40 and Warren GToward the back of the main stage area were two small-venue domes designated the Heineken House. Various DJs and smaller acts played there over the weekend, but the main attraction came on a tiny makeshift stage outside it for the surprise reunion between the Bay Area’s E-40 and SoCal’s Warren G Saturday evening. Naturally, the massive turnout led to a logistical nightmare, with bottlenecks trapping fans at the back of the crowd and those walking to Radiohead. But the breezy performance was a highlight reel of rap history. Classics like “Super Hyphy,” “Saturday,” and “Tell Me When To Go” were mixed with more recent tracks like Big Sean’s “IDFWU.” Whether it was a Bay Area diehard, a hip-hop historian, or an interested passerby, that packed-in performance was one that everyone involved will never forget. Any music festival that has an offering called “Wine Lands” understands the idea that things get better with age. Outside Lands is the embodiment of that.After nine years, the festival become one of the premier weekends of San Francisco live music calendar, with a developed personality and an eclectic culture that surrounds it. There are after parties and late night shows in every room in the city. From musicians to fans and everything in-between, the late-summer ways of the Bay Area are beaming for those three days in August.This year’s edition on August 5-7 boasted one of the strongest festival line-ups in the country, with trailblazers from every genre and generational heavyweights playing throughout. But, the early sets and up-and-coming acts more than held their own. Outside Lands always helps artists reel in new fans and, like every good festival, rewards the open-minded. Load remaining images LCD SoundsystemThe first moment Outside Lands really came together was when LCD Soundsystem just shut up and played the hits on Friday night. Since reuniting this year after a five-year hiatus, the New York City collective has come back with serious intentions, rocking every single gig like only they can. The energy was palpable as James Murphy showed no signs of decline, maintaining sky-high intensity on “Losing My Edge,” a masterfully built “Get Innocuous!” and the steady ways of “Home.” The sing-along to “New York, I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down” was elevated to “Dance Yrself Clean” and “All My Friends” to close things on a high note. Dr.Teeth & The Electric MayhemIn a weekend full of nostalgic moments, the Dr.Teeth & The Electric Mayhem set stood head and shoulders above the rest, not unlike how the puppets themselves were literally head and shoulders above the deftly skilled puppeteers hidden below the stage. A spell was cast over the audience, bringing cherished childhood memories to life before the misty eyes of children of all ages. With sly nods to the adults in the audience the short set featured a few skits, a few videos, a couple of classic rock covers and literally all the love in the park the true spirit of Jim Henson came alive in the hearts of all within earshot. LettuceBrooklyn based leaders of the future of funk, Lettuce ended a three festival in three day scramble across the country with a blistering set of deep funk and crowd pleasing jams that showed no signs of weariness from time keeper Adam Deitch, Shmeeans or the rest of the boys as the tore through a packed set of funk from the opening of the first notes of “The Force” until the last echoes faded. Though they somehow recovered enough strength to put on a late night show out in the city when Lettuce left the stage in the park they were clearly being held up by the deafening cheers from the astounded crowd. There’s so much happening at once over the course of the three days by the bay during Outside Lands that it is impossible to see it all, and pointless to try. With so many opportunities to be exposed to new sights, sounds and flavors as well as relieving heart warming touch stones of your past the key to getting the most out of Outside Lands it to trust that wherever you are in the bustling festival grounds, you are bound to be surrounded by the magic of creation and love.Check out a full gallery of photos from Outside Lands by our own Rex Thomson below. Big GramsThe collaboration between Big Boi and Phantogram continues to be a favorite addition to festival line-ups throughout the country, and was placed perfectly into the late afternoon on Saturday. With a studio album and a year under their belt, this marriage of hip-hop and electronic music is on full display on “Fell in the Sun” and “Lights On.” And, as they’ve done since their inaugural performance across the Bay Bridge at Treasure Island last year, Big Boi worked in Outkast originals, leading a crowd-pleasing “Ms. Jackson.” Maybe just as important, though, was that Big Grams’ laid the foundation for the uncomfortably crowded pop-up show outside the Heineken House a few hours later. Here were ten of our favorite sets from this year’s event.RadioheadThese titans of experimental alternative put on a powerful performance in the headliner spot Saturday night. After a somber opening with “Burn the Witch” and “Daydreaming,” Radiohead and its faithful went on a journey dominated by some of their most captivating ballads as Thom Yorke conducted every turn. “Pyramid Song,” “Everything In Its Right Place,” and “Nude” were broken apart by more danceable pieces like “Lotus Flower” and “The Gloaming.” Radiohead mixed fan favorites with deep cuts like all the greats can. It was a vastly different experience to those who chose Zedd, which was given an unfortunate slot on the schedule. Those that stuck with Radiohead were given what they wanted, and that was a breathtaking set by one of the best to ever to do it. Kamasi WashingtonRising jazz talent Kamasi Washington continued the unearthly display of skill and improvisation that has made his shows with elements of his band The Next Step and the collective The West Coast Get Down. It’s been a long time since such a deeply instrumental and progressive jazz voice has found such a wide and main stream following, and it stems from Washington’s undeniable brilliance. His ability as a band leader, knowing when to not only let his fellow players shine but to dutifully call out their efforts for praise, made his scene stealing leads all the most impressive for the honest love for the craft behind them. Third Eye BlindA welcome blast from the 1990s, Third Eye Blind turned nostalgic listeners into enthusiastic participants, running through the hits like “Jumper,” “Graduate” and “Never Let Go” as tens of thousands echoed frontman Stephan Jenkins’ vocals. He praised the band’s longtime support from the San Francisco Bay Area, which gave way to one of the highlights of the weekend. The band brought out members of the Magik Magik Orchestra for a portion of the set, including a well-received David Bowie tribute in red Ziggy Stardust wigs.Jack GarrattThe electronic Swiss Army Knife Jack Garratt breathed life and helped welcome the sunshine back into Golden Gate Park Sunday afternoon. The one-man show from the UK had the intimate hills of the Sutro Stage vibing with every beat as he flawlessly turned loops into dense compositions. His humility was met with support when the crowd provided the vocal sample on “The Love You’re Given” and welcomed all of his debuted tracks with open arms. It’s also hard to not win over a crowd when the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme is worked into the set list. His skill for mixing electronic, hip-hop with the structure of an R&B song was as smooth as butter, and turned new listeners into new fans relatively quickly during his 50-minute set. VulfpeckVulfpeck has been skyrocketing in 2016, and led a light-hearted afternoon set at the Panhandle Stage. On day one, the do-it-all foursome showcased their mastery of minimalist funk as each member bounced from one instrument to the next. Theo Katzman kept the audience not only engaged but participating throughout, somehow directing the crowd to sing in three different keys on multiple occasions, including a lively rendition of “Back Pocket.” After everyone got acquainted with an “Outro” opener, Vulfpeck flashed their instrumentation on numbers like “Fugue State” and “Christmas in L.A.” that was properly adapted to “Christmas in The Bay.” A welcome Antwaun Stanley appearance also meant “1612” and “Funky Duck” had their moments to shine.
A small group of scientists gathered last week at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study to share ideas about a medical mystery: the increasing evidence that some types of weight loss surgery affect not just the stomach, but the brain as well.The procedures, two types of bariatric surgery known as gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy, physically bypass or remove a portion of the stomach. Used only for obese patients whose weight threatens their health, the surgeries have proven dramatically effective, reducing patients’ excess weight in the months and years following surgery by 50, 60, and even 80 percent.The procedures were initially thought to work through simple physical means: Patients with smaller stomachs wouldn’t be able to eat as much, allowing them to lose weight and also giving them an opportunity to reform eating habits.James Mitchell, one of the authors of the JAMA study, said research showed that the risk factors for developing alcohol problems post-surgery include pre-surgery smoking, recreational drug use, and regular alcohol use.But in recent years, scientists have noticed side effects of the surgery that hint at something entirely different: that the surgery somehow affects not just the stomach, but the body’s broader metabolism and even the brain.The Radcliffe event brought together scientists whose research is relevant to obesity and addiction to investigate an increased incidence of alcohol abuse among those who have had the surgery and, through that, the possible impact of the surgery on the brain circuits that control addiction.The effect, reported in a handful of studies in recent years, was highlighted in June, when a large survey of more than 1,900 bariatric surgery patients was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). The survey showed that alcohol abuse increased significantly in the second year following gastric bypass surgery and that, among those reporting post-surgery alcohol problems, 60.5 percent hadn’t had drinking problems before.The seminar was organized by two assistant professors at Harvard Medical School (HMS), Janey Pratt, co-director of the Weight Center at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital and assistant professor in surgery, and Stephanie Sogg, staff psychologist at the MGH Weight Center and assistant professor in psychology.The first day was dominated by presentations from the 18 invited scientists on everything from background on the surgical procedures to the use of functional magnetic resonance imaging to monitor brain activity to the latest work on the chemical signals involved in hunger, fullness, the pleasurable aspects of eating, and addiction. The second day focused on future research, with discussion of collaborative projects and potential funding sources.“It was the first time everybody was in one room together. The intellectual energy, it was amazing, one idea launched into another,” Sogg said. “The whole thing was just remarkable.”“It was the first time everybody was in one room together. The intellectual energy, it was amazing, one idea launched into another,” said Stephanie Sogg (right), staff psychologist at the MGH Weight Center. Joining Sogg was Nicole Avena (left), a research neuroscientist and expert in the fields of nutrition, diet, and addiction.James Mitchell, one of the authors of the JAMA study and chair of the Department of Clinical Neuroscience at the University of North Dakota Medical School, described the results of the recent report and of another published in 2001. The 2001 paper showed that one in five bariatric patients reported getting drunk on fewer drinks and about a third reported getting intoxicated in less time. A number of respondents, concerned about the effects they were seeing, decreased or stopped drinking.The more recent JAMA study showed that the risk factors for developing alcohol problems post-surgery include pre-surgery smoking, recreational drug use, and regular alcohol use, Mitchell said.A pair of researchers from the University of Cincinnati — Associate Professor of Psychiatry Stephen Benoit and research scientist Jon Davis — presented an overview of recent work connecting obesity and addiction. Because people have to eat to survive, many in the addiction field have resisted the idea of food addiction. That resistance has weakened since 2000, in response to studies investigating “hedonic eating” and dopamine release in the brain.Research highlighted by Benoit and Davis showed that leptin, a hormone that inhibits appetite, also affects the release of dopamine, a key player in drug abuse circuitry. Other hormones possibly implicated in linking obesity and addiction are GLP-1, or glucagon like peptitide-1, whose levels skyrocket in patients after bariatric surgery, and ghrelin, a hormone considered a complement to leptin in controlling appetite that is produced in the part of the stomach frequently removed or bypassed in bariatric surgery.“Clearly, being obese is affecting the addiction circuitry,” Benoit said.New research by Davis, Benoit, and colleagues complicates the picture, highlighting how gastric bypass surgery can not only induce excessive drinking in people without alcohol problems before surgery, but can also reduce drinking in people who reported some level of alcohol consumption before surgery.The study, which appeared in March in the journal Biological Psychiatry, surveyed more than 6,000 patients who received gastric bypass surgery and found that a significant number who reported occasional to frequent alcohol use before surgery reported decreased use afterward. The researchers then used lab rats to understand which hormones were involved, showing that GLP-1 is implicated in inducing alcohol aversion while ghrelin can restore the rats’ appetite for alcohol.Ashley Gearhardt, who is set to start as an assistant professor at the University of Michigan in the fall after earning a doctoral degree from Yale University, used the existing psychiatric definition of substance dependence to develop a diagnostic survey for “food addiction,” the Yale Food Addiction Scale.Gearhardt described the scale, already being used by researchers as a tool to diagnose food addiction, and outlined the results of initial studies using it.One study of 233 normal-weight, college-aged women showed that 11.4 percent of them met the definition of food addiction, said seminar participant Ashley Gearhardt.One study of 233 normal-weight, college-aged women showed that 11.4 percent of them met the definition of food addiction, Gearhardt said. Researchers also evaluated the scale against similar diagnostic criteria for binge-eating disorder to make sure they’re measuring something different. They found, in a study of 81 obese people seeking treatment for binge eating, that just 57 percent met the definition of food addiction. This finding shows, Gearhardt said, that while there is overlap, the two conditions are separate. In other research, Gearhardt and colleagues demonstrated similarities in brain activation between people who are substance dependent and those with high measures on the food addiction scale.Mitchell suggested that researchers pay attention to cognitive decline and liver disease, because liver functioning has been shown to temporarily decline after surgery and because physicians are starting to see improving cognitive function in patients after bariatric surgery. Obesity has been linked to cognitive decline and an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease.During discussions about future courses of research, the scientists agreed that weight loss patients should be followed over longer periods of time and that more work is needed on the neural mechanisms linking obesity and the brain.Bariatric surgery “was seen as merely an anatomical restriction,” Sogg said. “We now know that is the least of the reasons why it works. We have a pretty good idea that the real mechanism of action is all about gut-brain communication.”