Dylan Carlson formed Earth in 1989 and became a major figure of Washington drone metal, along with Sunn O))) and Burning Witch. (Check out 1993′s Earth 2: Special Low Frequency Version here). Drone is metal’s answer to ambient music or post-rock; it consists of heavily distorted guitars and overpowering low tones at either very slow tempos, or no tempo at all. The track lengths are astronomical, and they’re usually sans voice, beside the occasional chanting. It’s the perfect soundtrack for contemplating a deep black abyss.
Contemporary composer, Philip Glass, returns with his highly anticipated Days and Nights Festival at the end of this month (September 25–28) with four days of performances in Big Sur and Carmel, CA. The weekend’s events include performances with his cousin and well-regard public radio host, Ira Glass; a screening of the film version of Brian Greene’s “Icarus at the Edge of Time” accompanied by a live performance of Glass’ score conducted by Michael Riesman; an evening of music and spoken word with Glass on piano, spoken word artists Jerry Quickley and Mike Garry, and renowned instrumentalists Tim Fain (vioin), Matt Haimovitz (cello) and Jaron Lanier; and a screening of Visitors, the latest collaboration between Glass and director Godfrey Reggio, accompanied by a live Q&A.
Tickets are currently on sale, and available here: www.daysandnightsfestival.com
The festival—now in its fourth year—is the brainchild of Glass’s non-profit organization The Philip Glass Center’s that is founded on the premise that interdisciplinary collaborations can expand imagination and produce understanding and discoveries beyond what can be accomplished by any individual discipline.
Let it never be said that there was nothing to do in San Francisco. Here are a few of the shows we’re keeping an eye on this weekend:
Friday night pick by Annie:
Eric + Erica at Viracocha
998 Valencia St. SF
Friday 9/5 doors at 8p, $8
w/ Michael Musika, BBQ Bungalow and Hod
Erica’s voice is otherworldly and shockingly beautiful. The first time I saw them perform in Ann Arbor, MI, my chin dropped to the ground. It was a little bit Joan Baez with hints of Ireland and Jenny Lewis, and the ability to resound epically even in whisper. Eric plays eight million instruments. (He’s played with Sean Hayes most notably, as well as a great collaboration with the enchanting Michael Musika who’s sharing the bill.) They are seriously great and also quirky, but comfortably so. The North Carolina duo are passing through SF (their former home) on a month long west coast tour. More dates here, including a return to SF in November at the Independent. Check out their new EP with the gorgeous “What a Fine Day” starting it off:
Saturday night pick by Victoria:
To know him is to love him. MUNDY is one of Irelands most beloved contemporary artists. His single “Galway Girl,” released in 2008, was the #1 most downloaded song in Ireland, ever. It was the most popular single in Ireland for two years. His humble beginnings were busking on the streets of Dublin until a chance meeting presented the opportunity to write a song for Baz Luhrmann’s film adaptation of Romeo + Juliet starring Leonardo DiCaprio. The song, “To You I Bestow”, and his album Jelly Legs, put out by Epic Records, rocketed the 19 year old to a promising career. Mundy has played every stage and festival in Ireland. Watch him, below, perform the iconic “July” live at Oxegen Music Festival. Enjoying Irish success, Mundy found it hard to break away from the gratitude and familiarity of Ireland and has literally never had to made an electronic press kit that would enable him to play to new lands that will love him. However, he is ready now.
Sunday night pick by Bob:
Barcelona at Bottom of the Hill
1233 17th Street, SF
Sunday 9/7, doors 7:30p $12 advance/$14 door
w/ The Young Wild & Midnight Cinema
Barcelona’s brand of electro pop is centered by the groups soulful, gripping vocals and features synth lines and kicks that obviously call back to the 80s. The lyrics and harmonies are front and center, very much like James Blake or SOHN. They also have some pretty delightful covers of songs like ‘Call Your Girlfriend” by Robin and “Fast Car” by Tracy Chapman. Personally I really dig the song “Fall in Love” for its brooding, Miami Vice-esque feel.
Balanced Breakfast, a local music community organization, started less than a year ago with audio engineer Andy Freeman and SF Intercom/ Deli Radio Art Director/ Mutiny Radio DJ Stefan Aronsen getting a burger at Super Duper. After two meetings, Freeman clamored, “We should do this more regularly.” Aronson agreed, though added “It’s not viable for you and I to meet alone … Let’s invite our friends.” This birthed the regular Thursday morning breakfast meetings (at 8am so they know you are serious) of San Francisco music industry enthusiasts, from band managers, singers, writers, engineers, publicists, label execs and through the spectrum. The meetings create a community of shared knowledge, inspiration and a sense of team spirit in tackling issues of what the music scene needs and how it can be provided.
Expecting to max out at 5 or 6 in attendance, the biggest breakfast was 35 and over 200 have attended at one point or another, according to Aronsen. “We decided to do a residency to put to practice all the best practices we’ve talked about at breakfast. PLUS, there are a lot of VERY talented musicians attending each week and we wanted to highlight their skills.” So, Balanced Breakfast is presenting their debut residency showcase at Neck of the Woods EVERY Thursday this September at 8pm. Read More
I went to check out the Black Cobra Vipers Thursday night and when I noticed they weren’t on the marquee, I began to panic. Did I get the dates wrong? Had the show been canceled, due to calamity, or ineptitude at some level?
As it turned out, the Black Cobra Viper is extinct. Two days ago, there were three left. Now, they’re O.
Sunday night less than 24 hours after a 6.1 magnitude earthquake shook the Bay Area, Nine Inch Nails sent shockwaves through the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View. Of course, this unreal show was just another day’s work for the iconic, genre bending rock band. But for us mere mortals who got the chance to spend a night in Reznor’s world, it brought us closer to God.
Around 9:28 PM, juggling all the over priced beer I could carry, I scrambled back to my seat to find that all the venue lighting had been flipped on. I turned to my friend, clearly concerned that the show might be in jeopardy and he just grinned at me and said, “Don’t worry, Trent’s got you covered.” I should have never doubted Trent. Moments later the familiar intro to “Copy of A” began pulsing through the amphitheater and the band played the first three minutes or so drenched in stadium light before it went dark, allowing rapid-fire spot lights to throw their silhouettes against massive white screens positioned at the rear of the stage.
Our friends at Tricycle Records are celebrating their 8th Anniversary by dropping a new record to celebrate. Oakland art rock quartet, Everyone Is Dirty. Join the locals-only roster to release their debut LP, Dying I Fun. See what all the buzz is about and catch them live Friday, September 5th at Rickshaw Stop for their record release show. You won’t be disappointed.
Animal Collective fans can rejoice. Though AC have fallen off in productivity and quality following their meteoric ascent (cresting at 2009′s Merriweather Post Pavilion), their creative visionaries remain hard at work. Panda Bear relocated to Lisbon, recorded two well-regarded solo albums and even appeared on a Daft Punk song. Avey Tare, meanwhile, has created….this.
Jack White covered two hours of ground on his second night at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium. With a clean haircut, some new looking muscles and a bruised, rolled ankle from the night before, Jack came out in a flurry — hard, heavy and full of moxie. He rang off hits, from tracks off the new best-selling vinyl record since 1994, Lazaretto, to hitting the spots with White Stripes’ classics like “Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground,” “Hardest Button to Button,” and “Fell in Love with a Girl.” He hit up The Dead Weather’s “Cut Like a Buffalo” and The Raconteurs “Steady as She Goes.” He performed what I’d call ‘shy’ covers of Jimi Hendrix and Sting, although making a point to say he was covering Stuart Copeland and not Sting. Urging people with sons, or future sons, to introduce them first to drummers such as Copeland, Mitch Mitchell, John Bonham and Keith Moon. Stating in essence, if their tastes start there, everything else will fall into the right place (i.e. they will have the pallet to distinguish the best players of all other instruments).
Tuesday night Kiwi rocker Liam Finn went outright insane on the stage, in an act that was anything but ordinary. This has to be the first (or at least the first weekday) show I have ever attended where an artist tore off their shirt mid-set and threw it out to the crowd. Whether anyone in the crowd really wanted his sweaty shirt is beyond the point, Liam Finn’s live set is definitely a unique experience.
If the surname Finn sounds familiar it might be because he is the son of Neil Finn, well known New Zealand recording artist and and frontman of Crowded House. Like his father, his lyrics often have a dreamy pop quality to them and he backs up the vocals with biting indie rock guitar riffs. Sometimes I hear elements of The Shins or even 60s British Invasion rock. Other times electronic elements enhance the pop qualities, much like Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr. Finn was joined by four other musicians and backup singers for his live performance, playing mostly new songs off his recently released album The Nihilist.