Music

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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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.

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Raise your skinny fists

Savanna Jazz struggles to keep its building, Clarion Alley Block Party is coming, Dirty Three and Saint Vitus hit SF, Godspeed releases its first album in a decade

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emilysavage@sfbg.com

TOFU AND WHISKEY Sitting on a pilled blanket out in Golden Gate Park, watching Australia's folk-noise instrumental outfit Dirty Three tear shit up on violin, petting my SPCA-adopted chug and sipping my homemade beer, I thought, "this is magic." And then, "I'm pretty drunk." And finally, out loud, "I'm a cliché right now."Read more »

Live Shots: Treasure Island Music Festival 2012

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Music nerds talk lineups the way sports fans manage fantasy teams, particularly with festivals, where suddenly strategy becomes a part of catching a show. Treasure Island Music Festival, is sort of an exception, since in theory you can catch every single act, given the two alternating stages. At the same time, this means that unless you head to the silent disco or take a nap, one of those geeks will be standing behind you during a set, obsessively talking about how the lineup should be slotted differently. Read more »

Heads Up: 8 must-see concerts this week

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As the seasons change – whatever casual seasonal changes we get here in the Bay – the interminable cycle of music, of bands, of life, spins on. Men of a certain age keep playing (Bob Dylan at the Bill Graham, Iron Lung at the Knockout), local legends fall apart (Uzi Rash is splitting up) and newer sounds enter our consciousness: Coo Coo Birds, Allah-Las. Don't grow too maudlin, there's always another block party around the corner (Clarion Alley Block Party). Read more »

End of days for Uzi Rash

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Finito. Doneski. Kaput. Well, that may be putting it harshly, but Uzi Rash’s five years of fame is just about up. So says frontman Max Nordile who is winding down this East Bay band with two last hurrahs.  They’ll simultaneously release one last LP, Coreless Roll Can-Liner (1234 Go! Records) as they kick off “Uzi Rash (2007-2012) End Days Last Tour” on Oct. 28. There is also word that a final, final cassette release, The Garbageman’s Uniform is near completion.

In the meantime you should go bananas and watch this Dan Shaw-directed, lo-fi video shot on a giant, grainy, camcorder that actually records using full-size VHS tapes (full disclosure: I make a cameo appearance — my music video debut right around the 1:30 mark). Read more »