Live Music

Heads Up: 7 must-see concerts this week

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This week’s must-sees include a riot grrl legend with a shiny new project, a crew of gritty Brooklyn punks, an Oakland music fest (the Oakland Music Festival), a former Closer Musik member, and an experimental vocalist, formerly of Swans. Plus, Blouse, Dirty Beaches, and oh, so-much-more! Read more »

Gary Numan: dark music done right at the Oakland Metro

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From Metallica to This Mortal Coil, there's a sense of canned melodrama about most "dark" music that I've long found goofy and unconvincing. On that note, Massive Attack's Mezzanine has always struck me as dark music done right, leaving the angsty ostentation behind, in favor of casually luring the listener downward into its imposing dungeon of groove.

As Gary Numan took the stage in Oakland last Tuesday night, the British artist displayed a similarly nuanced sensibility of what makes dark music work, delivering a relentlessly groove-based set of songs that brooded and seethed with total conviction. Read more »

Which Noise Pop show is right for you?

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It’s all about choice, people. Noise Pop is a well-oiled festival machine at this point — now in its 21st year — cranking out dozens of concerts, nightlife happenings, film screenings, culture club events, photography showings, and all that good stuff we’ve come to expect from the homegrown indie fest. But given all those choices for the week of Feb. 26 through March 3, restless souls such as myself always tend to feel a bit well, overwhelmed. Read more »

Adam Green and Binki Shapiro pair up at the Chapel

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Adam Green and Binki Shapiro make an odd couple.

Green is a Manhattanite and acoustic singer-songwriter whose extensive lyrical topics center around black humor, blue language, and one Miss Jessica Simpson. He is best known for his role as half of the Moldy Peaches alongside Kimya Dawson. Shapiro, formerly of Echo Park’s American-Brazilian rockers Little Joy, is a retro-fashion icon in LA. She is perhaps best known for dating rock stars.

So what happens when east meets west and the social elite meets the man who once wrote a song called “Choke on a Cock?” An unexpectedly tender album of heartbroken duets and breakup ballads in a unique style, something we jaded listeners have yet to hear. Green’s humble baritone and Shapiro’s silky timbre blend beautifully, and in the recordings their joined voices soar to poignant, vulnerable heights. Read more »

Six Organs of Admittance march into battle at Bottom of the Hill

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On Saturday night, a small cadre of dedicated fans waited patiently for Ben Chasny’s psychedelic folk project, Six Organs of Admittance, to take the stage at Bottom of the Hill just before midnight. Six Organs is currently touring the West Coast in support of their LP Ascent, which was released last month on Drag City. Members of his other project, the noise rock group Comets on Fire, accompanied Chasny on the album and onstage at BOH.

Lead guitarist Chasny and supporting guitarist Noel Harmonson, bassist Ben Flashman, and drummer Utrillo Kushner effectively drenched the punkish, gently swaying crowd in raw, unplugged, cacophonic tribal noise as they orchestrated spooky guitar symphonies, hard rock riffs, and fuzzed-out surf numbers. About half of Six Organs’ jams possessed an epic “I’m marching into battle with a large horned animal” vibe, and Chasny’s intermittent vocals felt dark, scratchy, wispy, and perhaps slightly demonic. Read more »

Behind the scenes at Nick Waterhouse's cover shoot

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In this week's issue Landon Moblad profiles retro rock purveyor Nick Waterhouse. Here are a few audio clips from Nick's shoot at the Swedish American Hall with photographer Matthew Reamer. Nick talks about why he's excited to play San Francisco's Verdi Club (tonight), and sums up how he's usually summed up by the press.

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Heads Up: 6 must-see concerts this week

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Is it mundane to still be talking about the weather? What if we’re reminiscing about fickle San Francisco, and a rejuvenating weekend full of beaming hot sun, melted sundaes, and stretches of eternity park lounging with thousands of your closest compatriots?

What if that much-needed industrial shot of Vitamin D super charged our brains for the week ahead? Why can’t we believe in the goodness of the occasional bright weekend to dismiss week in, week out monotony? Read more »

Live Shots: Melvins at Great American Music Hall, 04/12/2012

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Though the lightning storm delayed my +1 who was coming in from California's stoney north coast, we arrived at the Great American Music Hall just in time to see the sludgy gods take the stage. Read more »

The Magnetic Fields play '69 Love Songs' and then some at the Fox

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While the Magnetic Fields' newest album, Love at the Bottom of the Sea, recaptured the group’s love for synthesizers and electronics, Saturday night’s Fox Theater performance was a testament to the timeless quality of its stripped-down acoustic format. Read more »

Heads Up: 6 must-see concerts this week

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Lots of leading ladies in the music mix this week. These shows boast a punk legend/folk songstress, a female vocalist who inhabits the soul of animals, a girl-fronted '60s Wall-of-Sound meets modern indie pop act (with a punch) – and yes, maybe even an underground famous dude or two. Read more »