Music

Live Shots: another Nobunny Halloween

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Walking to the Brick and Mortar Music Hall on Halloween night for the Nobunny show, I was disappointed by how few costumed people were roaming the streets of San Francisco. Doesn’t anyone have time for fun anymore? Turns out I need not have worried. My Halloween-loving peers pulled through, turning the small, darkened venue into a veritable haunted house full of Jedi, devils, skeletons, cats, and so much more. Read more »

Localized Appreesh: The Parmesans

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Localized Appreesh is our thank-you column to the musicians that make the Bay. To be considered, contact emilysavage@sfbg.com.

That’ll teach me to judge a book by its cover; or better yet, to judge a whole lineup by its headliners. I first caught the Parmesans opening up for Buffalo Tooth, Poor Sons, and Uzi Rash at Elbo Room this summer, so I naturally assumed they’d be in the same thrashy vein, or at least, they’d play some variation on the loud rockn’roll theme. Untrue: they lined up, strumming guitars, banjos, a mandolin, a stand-up bass, and the like, and launched into a fun set of bluegrass, folk, and Americana ditties, some covers and some originals. Read more »

Heads Up: 7 must-see concerts this week

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The Giants World Series sweep, Halloween endless, worrying about our East Coast brethren. It feels like everyone has ADD right about now, our Twitter feeds overfloweth, and we're all being stretched in a million different directions. The world may indeed be coming to an end. But AU and Zammuto are coming to SF, as are Woodkid, Dark Dark Dark, and R. Kelly's bedroom ballads. Already on our soil we have the SF Symphony's Dia de los Muertos concert, Halloween tricks at Thee Parkside, and even more Nobunny. Read more »

Skipping Bridge School: a happenstance Saturday in San Francisco

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For me, things usually go better when the unexpected happens, like this past weekend when my half-assed plans to attend Saturday’s installment of Neil Young’s Bridge School Benefit Concert fell through. Instead of seeing Axl, as he reportedly flubbed the lyrics to “Welcome to the Jungle,” I stayed local to witness part of a San Francisco tradition and later, one of the more sensory provoking and delightfully weirdo art performances I’ve seen in a while. This surprise night out-on-the town turned out to be a success. Read more »

Live Shots: Crystal Castles at the Fox

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Arriving early to the Crystal Castles show Monday at the Fox Theater, discovering that one opener, HEALTH, had canceled its performance, and that the photo pit would be off limits for the other, Kontravoid, I was left with some unexpected time on my hands. Time that I spent trying to recall where I had seen the eerily familiar image hung over the stage, of a veiled figure cradling a fragile, vulnerable looking man in their arms.

Presented without context, it could be potentially tenderly romantic or gothically morbid, an ambiguity which seemed to typically invite the sort of let-me-Google-that mystery that recent bands have found so chic.* Read more »

Telegenic Band Check: Elegy

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See video

After spending an afternoon with Bay Area punk band Elegy, I learned that the band will not only rock your socks off, they can also style your hair, give you legal advice, and probably knit you a pair of socks. That's pretty punk rock.

Heads Up: 7 must-see concerts this week

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The beauty of Halloween occurring on a Wednesday (next week, of course) is that you basically get a full week of fiendish, costumed, creepy-crawly shows, many of which take place the weekend before, then continue on out through the week days...of horror.

Trust me, you'll be getting a thick list packed with the bulk of those shows in the paper this coming issue. But for Heads Up, I pulled out a few must-sees, including shows without the ghoulish holiday affiliation, but that are still worthy of your eyes and ears: Seattle's Crypts, LA's Flying Lotus, Portland's Red Fang, Brooklyn artist SSION, Jascha singing Caetano Veloso, and more. Read more »

Crucial sounds

Artists and techies beat down the old system at SF MusicTech

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MUSIC Can the declining sales from physical albums ever be replaced by digital music apps and services? Can an independent artist make a decent living from services such as Pandora radio, BAMM.TV, or SoundCloud? Will the starving musician finally get a good meal?Read more »

Living the dream of the 1840s

Big whale, lusty tale in SF Opera's 'Moby-Dick'

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MUSIC There's no better time for local composer Jake Heggie's 2010 opera Moby-Dick to wash up on our shores, especially in terms of men's fashion. Seriously — peacoats galore, henleys-and-suspenders perfection, button-up trousers, glorious galoshes, and perfectly nor'easter-tousled haircuts, not to mention a stubbly wealth of seafarin' beards. The whole cast, outfitted by ace costume designer Jane Greenwood, might have dropped onto the stage from this fall's All Saints Spitalfields lookbook. Read more »

Live Shots: David Byrne and St. Vincent at the Orpheum

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David Byrne opened his show with St. Vincent on Monday night by thanking the Orpheum for breaking its run of The Lion King for their performance. The David Byrne-St. Vincent show wasn't too far off from the theater’s regular selection though. The eight piece brass band doing choreographed marching behind the duo had a theatrical effect, feeling somewhere between a Stop Making Sense-themed halftime show and an instrument-bearing ensemble in West Side Story.

The 60-year-old musical giant and 30-year-old indie star brought out a diverse crowd. Byrne was carrying on the legacy of art-school punk-turned-pop band, the Talking Heads, but some in the crowd seemed to be wondering “who is this pretty young talent helping espouse his eccentric philosophies?” The scalpers outside were only selling Byrne’s name on the tickets and there was an overabundant amount of “we love you David” cries from the audience.

Read more »