Music

Heads Up: 6 must-see concerts this week

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It's likely your first full week back to work after the holidays – and just how does that feel? Painful? Like a dull, numbing pain creeping up your neck? Fix it with fun, like the kind you'll have seeing former Das Racist, Kool A.D. at Elbo Room, doom folk friends Chelsea Wolfe and King Dude at the Great American Music Hall, or producer Jerome LOL at Rickshaw Stop, punk act Kicker at Bender's, or club night Push the Feeling's one-year anniversary show at Underground SF.

Cheer up, Bay Area. There's plenty to hear in 2013.

Here are your must-see Bay Area concerts this week/end: Read more »

Gentle mosh

TOFU AND WHISKEY: Vetiver and Howlin Rain team up for a troika of shows

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TOFU AND WHISKEY Vetiver and Howlin Rain have both been haunting around the Bay for the better part of a decade. Sonically split, playing tender Americana folk and 1970s-tinged psychedelic rock, respectively, the bands share a common thread of superior musicanship and drive — each releasing a landmark album in the past year or so (Howlin Rain's The Russian Wilds and Vetiver's The Errant Charm). The other link? Mutual admiration.Read more »

The Mountain Goats unify a contemplative crowd at the Fillmore

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By the time the audience had gathered in the Fillmore on Friday night to see the Mountain Goats, news of the school shooting in Connecticut had jarred people across the country and incited countless conversations about gun regulation and mental health resources. Tragedy can spur these important discussions, but the events of Friday morning called for something else as well. John Darnielle, the man behind the Mountain Goats, opened by recognizing the tragedy as a huge disappointment — another thorn in our hope for humanity – but more importantly, as a reason for us to get together, make music, and spread joy. Read more »

Michael Krimper's Endless Desire List

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For our annual Year in Music issue, I asked local musicians, rappers, producers, and music writers to sound off on the year's best songs, album releases, shows – pretty much anything they wanted, music-wise. For the next few days, I'll be posting them up individually on the Noise blog. You can also check the full list here. Ed. note.

Michael Krimper, Guardian
The Endless Desire List

(in no particular order, or, out of order)

1. Les Sins/"Fetch"/12" (Jiaolong)
Run, fall, catch your desire. Read more »

Tycho's Top Bay Area and Bay Area-Affiliated Acts

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For our annual Year in Music issue, I asked local musicians, rappers, producers, and music writers to sound off on the year's best songs, album releases, shows – pretty much anything they wanted, music-wise. For the next few days, I'll be posting them up individually on the Noise blog. You can also check the full list here.

Tycho deals in vivid imagery. From blustery waves and bleached sands below orange sunsets to retro film cells, the graphic designer-producer blends sight and sound in mesmerizing live shows – two of which he'll perform next month at the Independent (Jan. 18 and 19). This year, he gained fans touring the world thanks to shows built on 2011's Dive (Ghostly International). This winter, he began work on a followup record. Read more »

Antwon's Top 10 Rap Jamz of 2012

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For our annual Year in Music issue, I asked local musicians, rappers, producers, and music writers to sound off on the year's best songs, album releases, shows – pretty much anything they wanted, music-wise. For the next few days, I'll be posting them up individually on the Noise blog. You can also check the full list here.

If you've somehow been off the web all year, you might have missed San Jose rapper, Antwon. I certainly didn't – I blogged about his awesome “Helicopter” video when it first went up in February, caught him live at Public Works, handed him a Best of the Bay award this summer, and wrote a print feature on his mixtapes, all in 2012. So naturally, I begged him to contribute to the Top 10s. Read more »

Live Shots: Santigold at the Fox Theater

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Santigold was barely a full song into her sold-out performance at the Fox Theater Wednesday night when she began to stoke the lovefest with her Bay Area fans. "You know you're my favorite place to perform...you guys have so much energy!" In a different room to a different crowd it may have come off as a cheaply-pedaled stage sentiment, but the show that ensued lived up to her assessment: the crowd never stopped dancing and Santigold never stopped smiling. Read more »

Heads Up: 7 must-see concerts this week

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Call it the influence of witch house on the folk scene, or don't –  those involved would probably hate that. But it does feel like there have been more and more “darkly spiritual acoustic-folk” acts of late, in the vein of Chelsea Wolfe and Father John Misty (albeit, on opposite ends of the spectrum), and in particular, King Dude, who returns to the Bay for a set of Oakland shows this weekend. There'll also be live sets this week by Lavender Diamond, less moody but certainly as spiritual and folk-infused, and the legendary, if snappier Mountain Goats.

Unrelated, but also performing in the Bay these next few days: Roy Loney and the Phantom Movers, Overwhelming Colorfast, and the Chuckleberries; Dee Dee from the Dum Dum Girls with her boo, Brandon from the Crocodiles; Wooden Shjips, Liturgy, and Barn Owl, at the same show. Plus, it's Chanukah, and the Subterranean Arthouse is celebrating with Yiddish bands and live klezmer. I hope for your sake you get some latkes this holiday season, my first batch was oily, crispy, and vegan – perfect. Read more »

Sufjan Stevens as the Christmas Unicorn at Great American Music Hall

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When I walked into the Great American Music Hall on Wednesday night, I was handed a Christ-Mess Sing-a-Long booklet with a unicorn on the cover. While I had already gathered from the name of the event — Surfjohn Stevens’ Christmas Sing-A-Long: Seasonal Affective Disorder Yuletide Disaster Pageant on Ice — that it wasn’t going to be a standard holiday concert, I wasn’t quite prepared for the awesome eccentricities that awaited me.

The Great American, which is already one of the Bay’s most gorgeous venues, was literally aglow with strings of Christmas lights reflecting off bows and baubles attached to headbands, elf ears, vests, and ugly sweaters throughout the dedicated audience. On stage, incense was burning and guitar techs were wading through piles of inflatable Santas and unicorns. Read more »

Thrill ride

Wooden Shjips and Barn Owl celebrate Thrill Jockey's 20th, Eliyahu Sills' reed flute record, the Babies and Antibalas return
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emilysavage@sfbg.com

Tofu and Whiskey Arbiter of good taste, Thrill Jockey Records is officially 20 years old. In another era, in another business, this would merely be a back-slapping milestone. In the present stuck-barreling-downwards roller coaster of the music industry, it's an anniversary worthy of widespread jubilation.

"It's a mind-boggling number of years," label founder Bettina Richards says during a phone call from the main office in Chicago, where the label's been based since 1995.Read more »