It really wasn't a question whether the Robert Glasper Experiment would be any good at the New Parish on Friday night – but how it would go about replicating the success of Black Radio, which recently won the Grammy for R&B album of the year.
That’s an album that features notable collaborators on each track – Erykah Badu, Lupe Fiasco, Bilal, Mos Def/Yasiin Bey, etc. – which could leave pianist Glasper a lot to make up for live. Going into the show I had a few theories: maybe the group would use pre-recorded vocal tracks in places, maybe up-and-coming vocalists would be pulled on stage from Oakland’s music scene, or maybe some surprise guest would be introduced. (Singer José James was nearby at the San Jose Jazz Winter Fest. Maybe he’d finish in a timely manner over there and stop by?) Read more »
San Francisco’s VOWS has come a long way from its beginning in 2007. As with many creative enterprises, the band -- which plays the Rickshaw Stop Wed/13 -- formed out of the ashes of some good old-fashioned turmoil.
Guitarist Luke Sweeney and drummer Scott Tomio Noda, pals since high school, had just broken up with their band, and bassist Jitsun Sandoval, a friend with whom they sometimes played music, had just split with his wife. The three formed a band whose name signaled the start of restored commitment. Read more »
If you're avoiding the hype and heat of Austin for that annual indie, not indie music-and-film massacre that is South By Southwest (er, SXSW, nerds), fear not – there are still plenty of acts to catch live in our town this week. That list includes Martha Wainwright, PANTyRAID, Autre Ne Veut, the Dodos, an annual St. Patty's Day punk blowout, and plenty more.
Here are your must-see Bay Area concerts this week/end: Read more »
We've been hearing a lot about the Night Light thanks to its hosting of quality local shows; in the past year there have been performances by Warm Soda, Burnt Ones, Religious Girls, Jaberi and Deutsch, and the like. This Saturday, to celebrate 12 months of life, the bar-venue is hosting a free party, and there'll be eight bands, seven DJs, and three comedians to check out throughout the night. Yes, all free. Read more »
TOFU AND WHISKEY This week? It's Pony Time. No, that doesn't mean we're taking you to Ikea for meatballs. I'm talking about the band, which will be traveling here soon, and given its predilection toward weird news and pop culture, I feel like it might enjoy the above reference.Read more »
When I went to see YACHT, a couple years ago during the Treasure Island Music Festival, it was playing outdoors in the afternoon, and it seemed like the wrong time and place. Last year at the Fox, the conceptual electropop band seemed stifled by the combination of the large venue and sparse crowd, and also mired by the same lackluster audio conditions that made headliner Hot Chip sound like it was playing underwater. But Saturday at Slim's, on my last night of Noise Pop, it seemed just...
Fuck, I've wandered into the Goldilocks cliché. Read more »
Our beloved kings and queen of trash rock and doo-wop hybrid Shannon and the Clams released “Rip Van Winkle,” the first single off their upcoming Hardly Art release, Dreams in Rat House (coming May 21).
The song, which features back-up by Magic Trick's Noelle Cahill, is again the perfect blend of garage pop and beachy surf punk a la the Trashwomen, and has that cool hiccuping guitar effect kicking off the hip-shaking, foot-stomping, hand-clappy new track. As expected, chainsaw vocalist-bassist Shannon Shaw's distinctive pipes stand out above all else. This all just serves to further excite us for the release of Dreams in Rat House. Read more »
It's hard to be Nic Offer. Not because he's a tortured artist struggling with celebrity or some other cliche, but because he busts it on stage in a way that's difficult to match. A couple songs into !!!/Chk Chk Chk's Noise Pop show at the Great American Music Hall last night, the lead singer and number one dancer hustled along the row of tables between the crowd and the stage. "I need my catwalk," he said, picking up all the glasses, water cups, and beer bottles along the way. Read more »
It's a low-key kind of Noise Pop year compared to the past three or four, without the huge, attention-grabbing headliners of yore (looking at you, Flaming Lips at Bimbo's), but Wednesday's show at the Hemlock Tavern could have been nuzzled in nicely in any very early NP lineups, which is what made it feel authentically true to the inherent spirit of the festival.
No pomp or glitz, no big names or sold-out, packed-to-the-gills chaos. I initially went to see Olympia, Wash.'s Lake, a twee, lo-fi indie pop quartet with great hooks, but found much enjoyment out of the two bands that sandwiched that act (Cruel Summer and Blank Tapes), perhaps even more so? Read more »