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Heads Up: 6 must-see concerts this week

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Hiatus Kaiyote, Yassou Benedict, Elvis Christ with Pookie and the Poodlez, Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine -- this week’s must-sees are a mouthful. A salty, appetizing taste of old school punk, the young and shoegazy, Australian future soul-makers, and more. There’s also locals Wild Moth, and the reliably bubbly J-POP Summit, which includes a performance by Kyary Pamyu Pamyu.

Not listed below, but there’s also a mid-‘90s nostalgia wave hitting our shores this week, with Courtney Love’s sold-out Independent show and Weezer at the America’s Cup Pavilion (both Thu/25) -- tickets to the latter are $47.50.

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

Fete or Fate: Minimal Wave mini-fest washes over Bay

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The minimal synth movement -- which revives obscure (and launches new) careers in the Cold Wave, analogue electronic DIY synthesizer sound of the early '80s -- has been going strong since it first hit the Internet radio and underground club scene nearly a decade ago. While SF no longer has a night really dedicated to the sounds of such overlooked yet amazing acts like Ausgang Verboten, Esplendor Geometrico, Eleven Pond, Xex, and Zwischenfall, we've managed to work tunes from their ilk onto the rosters of regular parties like OK Hole, Haceteria, Dark Room, and more.

Best of all for SF, we have DJ Josh Cheon's Dark Entries Records, leading the way with reissues and new works that beckon that chilly underground feeling of yore. Seriously, spend a minute browsing the catalogue and you're sure to be intrigued. 

And now it's time for a minimal mini-fest, huzzah.

Read more »

Lia Rose lets go on new album ‘Bricks and Bones’

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Bay Area country-folk artist Lia Rose is a ball of sunshine both on stage and off. But if you listened to her songs, you’d know it’s not because life’s been easy, it’s just that she’s chosen to face its struggles head on, chin up.

Rose played the Great American Music Hall with Blame Sally in early May and performed on NPR’s West Coast Live in April, where she met author Ruth Ozeki, with whom she’s currently collaborating on a song. Her second full-length solo album Bricks and Bones will be released this Sat/20, the night of her record-release party at the Chapel in San Francisco. In short, the bubbly, talented musician is doing quite well. Read more »

Live Shots: Phono del Sol 2013 with Thee Oh Sees, Marnie Stern, Surf Club

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John Dwyer stood holding his guitar, smiling and making small talk with the crowd, having been asked by a Phono del Sol staffer to hold off while, presumably, the band on the other stage finished up its set. “Alright, I think we’re just going to get started,” he said, seemingly without cue, and Thee Oh Sees began playing, giving the day a much needed jolt in energy. Read more »

Heads Up: 7 must-see concerts this week

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This week I learned that if I should ever be presented with the chance to interview Selena Gomez, I should decline. The Toronto Star published this biting commentary on the current state of press interviews with pop stars, and had more information leading up to the interview than the actual chat. Recommended reading: “Meeting Selena Gomez rule No. 1: Do not mention Justin Bieber.”

Often, the story behind the stage is even more compelling. And there are some storied acts playing live in SF this week: local emcee DaVinci busts out with a freebie, the long-running Flamin’ Groovies are back, as are LA's Happy Hollows, after a lineup shift and with a new album; we also welcome Weedeater, Japonize Elephants, and Acid Pauli. Plus the return of reliably great outdoor fest Phono Del Sol (Thee Oh Sees and YACHT headline this time). Read more »

When things get weird: X-Day, Weird Al, and more

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Today is weird. It’s in that black hole gap between a nationally recognized holiday (er, Fourth of July) and the actual weekend, which begins for many traditional workers around 5pm on Fridays. So with this weirdness, we celebrate both X-Day, a parody of cult holidays, and the more literal, Weird Al -- he shines down on the Alameda County Fair tonight with a beam of frizzy light. Read more »

Possibly the coolest queer mental health concert tour ever

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Accidental Bear Queer Music Summer Tour Benefit for LGBTQ Mental Health Services and Suicide Prevention. Now, that’s a mouthful.

“It’s the longest, most ridiculous title ever,” Accidental Bear blog owner and founder Mike Enders said in a Guardian interview.

It’s basically a really queer, really cool music concert series travelling to five cities with performances by Logan Lynn, Big Dipper, Conquistador, Darling Gunsel, and Rica Shay, who all put a different spin on the concept of "queer music."

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Heads Up: 6 must-see concerts this week

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Not to give this family any more attention, but here I go. Are you aware of the fact that the Balloon Boy is now a long-hair tween, in a darker Hanson trio with his brothers, singing operatic heavy metal bits? It’s all here, in a Gawker long-read post. The article notes that the group (Heene Boyz) considers itself the "World's Youngest Metal Band." -- don’t we have that already here in the Bay with our own Haunted by Heroes? Take that, Balloon Boy. (Whatever, technically they’re billed as "The World's Youngest Rock Band.”)

But my real point is this: America, home of the free, free to whore oneself and one’s family out on reality TV, to sneak kids into homemade balloon UFOs, to shoot for fame from birth. Happy Fourth of July week, everyone. Celebrate it with the bedlam of Bob Log III, the annual Big Time Freedom Fest at El Rio or Fillmore Jazz Festival, dreamy R&B producer Giraffage, or, the snacktastic Burger Boogaloo fest with headliners Redd Kross, the Oblivians, the Trashwomen, and more! Paint your face red, white, and blue, stick a sparkler behind your ear, and rage out into the night, it’s what the founding fathers would have wanted. Read more »

Before Outside Lands: Youth Lagoon on Art Garfunkel, the spiritual significance of pelicans

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Youth Lagoon, the aloof youth that is Trevor Powers, has explored new land in latest album Wondrous Bughouse (Fat Possum). Revealing, yet withholding, the album proved his ability to not just create cosmic bliss, but deliver a few deep messages while doing it.

With the album, the 24-year-old Idaho native takes us through the fires of temptation in song “Mute,” dances with death on “Raspberry Cane” and paints an immensely disturbing and bloody image of love and sacrifice in “Pelican Man."

Currently on tour in Europe, Powers will be here in SF to perform at Outside Lands this Aug. 9-11 (he plays Saturday, Aug. 10).The professional effects tinkerer and melody craftsman talked with me about his afro days, his penchant for destroy-and-create-again style of making music, and how bloody violence can really be sweet:  Read more »

....and here's your full freedom to marry dance mix, Mary

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Today already has an amazing (and in one case sad) soundtrack of excellent tunes. But Honey Soundsystem are first on the stick with an excellent mix of underground house and techno (and indie and acid and minimal synth) picks to play as you get ready for your big fat gay wedding, called, yes, "Marry in Ecstasy."

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