MUSIC Outside Lands has stepped up its game in its fourth year. The mix of bands this time around is truly inspired — if a bit pilfered from old lineups at other fests like Treasure Island. No matter, it's riding high in 2011.
This was not always the case. Last year, the Golden Gate Park festival seemed lackluster in the music department; the lineup wasn't as solid as it had been previously, and it lacked that one giant-but-dependably-awesome act like Radiohead (or this year's Arcade Fire). In the process, it may have lost a festival-goer or two.Read more »
Pentagram has had more members than many bands have songs. You could see the band three times and see 10 different people, with singer Bobby Liebling and his spooky, howling voice the only constant. But when Liebling takes the stage in San Francisco August 16, guitarist Victor Griffin will be beside him. Over the course of 30 years, their relationship has endured enough hardship and heartbreak to last a dozen lifetimes. When they stand together onstage, however, nothing can stop them.Read more »
MUSIC Remember the raw, heart-thumping heat of the Jukebox Jamboree in John Waters' 1990 cult classic Cry-Baby? A steamy musician (Johnny Depp) strums and snarls towards a crowd of excited nogoodniks. There was a similar scene a few Saturdays back at a garage rock show in Oakland, thanks largely to Cody S. Blanchard. He's a Clam (of local trio Shannon and the Clams) but he also moonlights as King Lollipop, a John Waters-esque character with highwater pants and a tin can tied atop his head.Read more »
LIGHTS OUT Ironically, the Bay Bridged founders Christian Cunningham and Ben Van Houten were on their yearly pilgrimage to South by Southwest when they came up with the idea for a local music website.
In 2006, the two were watching a San Francisco band whose name has since been lost to time, wondering why they'd come all the way to Austin to discover how much they liked this band from their own town. "It just struck us as odd," Van Houten explains.Read more »
MUSIC Oh, Michael. So much has happened in these two years since you've been gone. I left my man and got my heart broken by another, chipped my front tooth, had to pay all my taxes up front, and manually upgraded my ass into the kind of shape that gives a woman like me a certain pride. Things have been rough; things have been good. And 90 percent of the good shit, including the fruits of all that ass-pumping, I achieved together with you. Keep on with the force, don't stop. No, I'll never stop getting enough of you.Read more »
The sun is high and your freezie is melting at a rapid, uncontrollable pace. Somehow a trail of sticky red syrup traces a path from hand to elbow, where it casually drips onto your exposed thigh. You're seven and you don't flinch because in five minutes you'll be treading lake water. It's summer and it's damn hot. Life is simple and sweeter than high fructose corn syrup.Read more »
Heady, hoppy, smoky with the musky tang of interstellar, international exotica shot through a post-hardcore prism. Oakland psych-space-rock-drone outfit Lumerians' sound is intoxicatingly addictive enough to inspire that imaginary brewski review, even in the thick of the raging patio at Jack London Square's Beer Revolution. And if the band was a glass of sheer liquid refreshment, what would it be? A complex Cab, a supernatural Super Tuscan, or a solid stout?Read more »
The third annual San Francisco Popfest kicks off Wednesday, May 25 at Rickshaw Stop. The good news is that this year's festival has been expanded to five days, transforming Memorial Weekend into a music extravaganza. There are shows at Rickshaw, Cafe Du Nord, and Hemlock Tavern, as well as a secret Sunday show at Dolores Park. The bad news is that you can only be in one place at a time. Here are four must-see Bay Area groups.Read more »
Live music in the Bay Area this summer is bracketed by festivals, from the lowercase indoor venue indie pop of the San Francisco Pop Fest on Memorial Day weekend to the outdoor mid-August convergence of Outside Lands. The guide below aims to name some highlights from a wide variety of genres, with an emphasis on rare and first-time appearances in the Bay Area.