Ed. note – Ahead of Sharon Van Etten's long-sold out show in SF this week, Ryan Prendiville had the chance to catch up with the rising indie folk singer-songwriter (who recently released critically lauded third album 'Tramp') to discuss her songwriting process, lessons of South by Southwest pasts, and the influence of Nick Cave:
SFBG:How many shows are you playing at SXSW? Sharon Van Etten: Just two. Last year we did eight in three days. It was really stupid. I burnt out and lost my voice for three days when we had just started a tour. I decided this year it just wasn’t worth it. Read more »
So let’s just pretend I made a clever joke about Napoleon invading and just skip to the point: Bonaparte, an electro rock'n'roll circus led by an inspired madman, is hitting San Francisco for the first time next week (after playing SXSW and Dim Mak Studios in LA). Read more »
No one likes to be shushed. The most intense shushing I ever endured was at the Independent, during an Owen Pallett show. I was talking to a friend as the lights went down, when the woman standing in front of me turned around, stuck her finger closer to my mouth than hers, and said “shush.” Maybe it was because Pallett is associated with Arcade Fire and plays violin – two things that demand musical respect, right? – but considering that the dude hadn’t even picked up his instrument yet, and we were standing back under the balcony, I thought the least this stranger could do was let a guy finish his thought. That said, I would have preferred all the preempting, anal shushers in the world to the shitheads at the EMA show last night. Read more »
MVP for Noise Pop coverage this year goes to Ryan Prendiville. See below to find out why – Ed. TUESDAY: The Flaming Lips at Bimbo's
Time, for the Flaming Lips, is important. Because as a band — one that has been through all sorts of well documented shit — the Flaming Lips know the value of time (particularly borrowed) and have made it their work to not just create music but get into the complete manufacture of moments. Which is a tricky business, because moments are bastards.
He asked if there were drink tickets. The bartender nodded, saying that the band could have wine now, and then beers on stage. Neither of those options would work for Stockton’s Surf Club, whose members were all sporting big black X’s — the mark of the underaged — at their Café Du Nord Noise Pop appearance. Read more »
Cecil Frena described the lineup at Rickshaw Stop last night simply as "weird music." He should know. Performing with his synth-fueled electronic dance trio, Born Gold (formerly Gobble Gobble,) Frena stood in front of a camera-slash-iPad pulpit, singing and conducting a third of the group’s sound via a motion-captured, clearly homemade, Janet Jackson Rhythm Nation era-esque military jacket. Read more »
I ran into a temporal anomaly while driving. My first warning sign was the police cruiser with one headlight flashing its sirens behind me. Wrong place at the wrong time? Well, I was getting pulled over in Sebastopol on the way to Richmond from SF, but when the cop told me I was doing 78 in a 55, it suggested one thing —speeding. Read more »
“Well you gonna know my name, by the end of the night,” Gary Clark Jr. sings during his take off Jimmy Reed’s blues classic, “Bright Lights, Big City.” The Animals, Rolling Stones, Clapton, Dylan – many have had their take on it, but Clark flipped the tale of urban intoxication, giving it extra bravado and, with a notable performance at the Crossroads Guitar Festival 2010 and resulting Warner Bros record contract, turned it into an announcement of his own impending stardom (with risks involved). Read more »
Editor's Note: Unfortunately this show has been cancelled due to Big Freedia's health. We wish her well and hope to see her again soon!Please read this revealing interview with her multi-talented DJ and producer, Rusty Lazer.
When I last caught Parenthetical Girls in SF, singer Zac Pennington closed the show in a memorable way: traipsing around the room with a single drum stick, tapping out the solemn beat of “Stolen Children” on every available pint glass, shattering them and covering the floor in shards. Read more »