Live Music

Hans-Joachim Roedelius celebrates his 77th birthday at Cafe Du Nord

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“What a cerebral evening,” a show companion observed as we exited Cafe Du Nord last night, pushing the doors open to a whoosh of cool fall air. Indeed. For the man who's seen it all, first as a child actor in 1930s Germany, then as a reluctant member of the Hitler Youth, and finally a pioneer of early experimental krautrock in the 1970s and ambient jazz, Hans-Joachim Roedelius (Cluster/Harmonia) was not the confrontational artist one might expect. Tall and bald with wire-rimmed glasses, he was erudite, pleasant, subdued. Read more »

Himalayan Bear turns out one of the greatest shows of the year at Hemlock Tavern

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Tuesday night, while all my friends tweeted incessantly about Male Bonding at the Rickshaw Stop, I was quietly preparing for Himalayan Bear at the Hemlock Tavern. After writing an article on Himalayan Bear’s Hard Times (Absolutely Kosher), I found myself obsessively revisiting the album. Read more »

Live Shots: Gold Panda at the Independent

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The endangered giant panda. The vulnerable red panda. But, the most rare variety of all, the elusive Gold Panda, emerged under the cover of a hooded sweatshirt (as is his nature) at the Independent Tuesday night, drawn out by the lure of a MPC, samples, and a sold out crowd. Read more »

Unknown Mortal Orchestra returns to the Bay, digs Dolores Park

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No one could have predicted what was about to happen when Ruban Nielson uploaded a single  track – the fuzzy, undeniably catchy “Ffunny Ffriends” – to Bandcamp in late 2010.  A mere 24 hours later, Pitchfork had seized upon “Ffunny Ffriends,” posted the song on its site, and bloggers were going nuts for the new project, Unknown Mortal Orchestra. Read more »

Theophilus London goes beyond fashion at the Rickshaw Stop

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Let's talk about what Theophilus London was wearing last night at his concert at Rickshaw Stop and get it out of the way. Read more »

Frothing group hugs at Metronomy's Rickshaw Stop show

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It’s safe to say that next time Metronomy comes to town, it will be playing a bigger venue. Friday’s show at the Rickshaw Stop was full, and had, to the surprise and dismay of at least a few, sold out a month before. Singer Joseph Mount graciously thanked the audience for snatching up tickets at the rate they did. It’s a sign of the growth Metronomy has had over the course  of three albums, a solo instrumental electronic project of Mount’s now grown into a tight, cool pop group. Read more »

Live Shots: Gardens & Villa and Waterstrider at Bottom of the Hill

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Rarely, if ever, do I see such unbridled joy at shows these days, at least not in the way I saw it last night for every band at Bottom of the Hill. Read more »

The drama and the fantasy: Stevie Nicks at the Fillmore

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By Ann Edwards
arts@sfbg.com

The Stevie Nicks show at the Fillmore on Sunday night was like a time warp to an early 1980s high school. Although most of the women in the audience were in their 40s and 50s, they were competing for “Best Dressed” like girls more than half their age. They paid tribute to their Queen Stevie in dark velvet, shimmering shawls, and long skirts. If I didn’t know better, I would say they’d kept those clothes in their closets for 20 years just for this occasion. But shopping with my mom has taught me that they sell it all at Chico’s. Read more »

Live Shots: Dum Dum Girls/Crocodiles at the Great American Music Hall

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The new Dum Dum Girls album, Only in Dreams, has left such an indelible impression on me, that I was surprised when the four-piece surf-garage band jumped into “Bhang Bhang, I'm a Burnout” for its second song last night at the Great American Music Hall. I'd all but forgotten about the song, a tune that I'd fallen in love with – hard – not more than a year prior when it appeared on the band's debut, I Will Be. It was a welcome reminder, as was the rest of the set, of both its strong lo-fi past, and hard-earned rock future – those descriptors mostly applying to electrifying frontperson Dee Dee. Read more »

Beirut brings the county fair to the Fox

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We teased you with the show mention in the Hangover column,  now here's the goods:

With flickering string lights strung from the center of the grand ballroom and splayed out brass instruments across the stage, Beirut's performance at the Fox Theater in Oakland on Saturday warmed liked a fancy indoor county fair. The sound, which can be bass-problematic at the Fox, was good this evening, near perfect for the otherworldly folk-marching band from Santa Fe. Ringleader Zach Condon switched back and forth from ukulele to his beloved trumpet, singing in deep baritone throughout, once stepping to his newly rediscovered favorite, the keys. Read more »