Live Review

Six Organs of Admittance march into battle at Bottom of the Hill

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On Saturday night, a small cadre of dedicated fans waited patiently for Ben Chasny’s psychedelic folk project, Six Organs of Admittance, to take the stage at Bottom of the Hill just before midnight. Six Organs is currently touring the West Coast in support of their LP Ascent, which was released last month on Drag City. Members of his other project, the noise rock group Comets on Fire, accompanied Chasny on the album and onstage at BOH.

Lead guitarist Chasny and supporting guitarist Noel Harmonson, bassist Ben Flashman, and drummer Utrillo Kushner effectively drenched the punkish, gently swaying crowd in raw, unplugged, cacophonic tribal noise as they orchestrated spooky guitar symphonies, hard rock riffs, and fuzzed-out surf numbers. About half of Six Organs’ jams possessed an epic “I’m marching into battle with a large horned animal” vibe, and Chasny’s intermittent vocals felt dark, scratchy, wispy, and perhaps slightly demonic. Read more »

The Tallest Man on Earth throws down his pick

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On a long BART ride to Oakland after a longer day at school, I thought I probably couldn’t stay awake at a punk show, much less an acoustic folk concert. When I arrived at the Fox and saw that the Tallest Man on Earth show was seated, I was sure that I was doomed.

The stage setup was minimal, with one chair, a circle of monitors, and one keyboard. I stifled a yawn as Kristian Matsson, a.k.a the Tallest Man on Earth, skipped onto the stage in a white tank top and black skinny jeans, looking ironically small on the large, sparse stage. Matsson picked up his guitar, strummed, and wailed out his first note, sending the audience into hysterics. Read more »

Live Shots: Buraka Som Sistema at the Independent

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How much space does a person need to dance? If you’ve been to a packed, over-sold massive EDM show lately, the answer could be zero, as being rooted in place and fist-pumpin’ seems to be all the rage. Really, though, if you’re at least going to move your feet then a little more room* is required.

Which is why I was relieved to find that the Independent, while crowded, wasn’t packed to the walls last night. Because Portugal’s Buraka Som Sistema likes to get down in a very specific way. In that way that Tribe liked to get down – devoted to the art of moving butts.

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Lindsey Buckingham's live show comes down to one

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With an arsenal of a dozen guitars and several amplifiers lined up behind him, Lindsey Buckingham wasted no time delving into his extensive catalog of songs Monday night at the Fillmore.

Striding up to a lone microphone stand wearing his signature blue jeans, v-neck t-shirt, and black leather jacket, the singer and guitarist launched into an hour and 15 minute set that spanned a broad spectrum of his career, covering a wide swath of solo material in addition to some of the mega hits he created as a member of Fleetwood Mac.Read more »

Frankie Rose's brief, enthralling Brick and Mortar stop

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In case you hadn't noticed, Frankie Rose's got the Internet goin' nutz. The 33 year-old has served time in two super buzzy groups of girls (Dum Dum & Vivian) and NYC critical darlings the Crystal Stilts and is about to kick off a tour with Real Estate.

The blogosphere's thickest rims have been falling over themselves to praise her sparkling sophomore LP, Interstellar (Slumberland, 2012), and on Saturday night, Rose took herself and that buzz (I hear it needs its own van) to a sold-out Brick and Mortar Music Hall for an brief yet enthralling 10-song set. Read more »

The crowd goes ballistic for Gotye's hit song

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There is nothing quite like hearing the song that’s been stuck in your head — persistently playing on repeat — finally materialize in front of you.

When the all-too-recognizable trickles of the xylophone and Gotye’s effortlessly poignant voice introduced  “Someone That I Used To Know” last night at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, the crowd went ballistic; a collective jolt of ecstatic bliss took over, followed by a vigil of raised iPhones and Androids. Read more »

Get your hands up: Wild Flag at Fillmore

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San Franciscans faced a sort of litmus test Wednesday night: which popular band would they see live when given copious quality options, what does that say about their whole being, and who among us chose best? Thanks to Coachella and just lucky circumstance, there were major acts playing sold out or close-to-it shows all around town last night: Godspeed, Gotye, Refused, and Wild Flag. Read more »

Live Shots: Radiohead at HP Pavilion, 04/11/2012

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The first time I saw Radiohead, it was opening up for Belly, back when “Creep” was an exquisite oddball of a radio hit.

Actually, it wasn't so much opening for Belly as it was a double bill, but Radiohead played first and Thom Yorke had a platinum rock star hairdo and the band was touring on an unspectacular album with a title gleaned from a Jerky Boy’s joke. Read more »

GWAR honors deceased guitarist's return to the home planet

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Those sleazy, salacious scumdogs of the universe in GWAR wasted no time in unleashing their riotous brand of musical mayhem on Friday night before a packed audience at the Regency Ballroom, with fake blood spraying and splattering the audience as quickly as the first notes came screaming out of the amplifiers. Read more »

Hot Snakes reunion thrills

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Right out of the gate, late '90s San Diego post-hardcore supergroup Hot Snakes kicked off its reunion show at Bottom of the Hill Friday with "I Hate the Kids" (Suicide Invoice, 2002). Read more »