St. Vincent performs in Oakland

When St. Vincent, The Actor, Takes Center


Annie Clark doesn’t so much engage her audience as pummel them. During her performance at the Fox Theater Saturday night, she left most of the talking to her guitar, which she wielded like one of those massacre-inducing hammers that occasionally fall from the sky in Super Smash Bros. Throughout the entire set, from the enormous crunching riffs of ‘Regret,’ ‘Birth in Reverse’ and ‘Huey Newton’ to extended wheeling solos in ‘Rattlesnake’ and ‘Surgeon,’ the guitar overpowered everything else on stage (including Clark’s own voice). But no one seemed to mind, least of all Clark herself.
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The Lonely Forrest

POPSCENE: The Lonely Forest, Semi Precious Weapons, Break Down Valentine


Popscene, SF’s premiere indie music club, has taken over (most recently) the Rickshaw Stop on Thursday nights for a decade. Hosted by LIVE105 music director DJ Aaron Axelson, this particular Thursday night was filled with billowing synthesizer hooks and psychedelic electric guitar riffs, complete with melodramatic lyrics. This week’s Popscene: The Lonely Forest, Semi Precious Weapons, Break Down Valentine.

Break Down Valentine, the first of the three bands, had the crowd hooting in approval to their dark industrial electro-pop introduction. After a shaky first song, nerves subsided, and goth-chic singer Olivia Barchard’s confidence and vocals grew stronger with each dark-wave, Depeche Mode-reminiscent track. The band’s 80′s flashback, post-industrial sound clicked with the Popscene scene; under-age front row fans got their dance on to the band’s slower and faster tempos, as heard on their debut EP Beautiful Distraction. Though their set ended right when they seemed to find their comfort zone, the SF-based band did a good job warming up the growing crowd for the second act of the night, Semi Precious Weapons.
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Actress Ingrid Schumacher Serban

Singer-storyteller, FOREST SUN, sings across the Golden Gate with INGRID SERBAN


Forest Sun is a rambling man who tucks himself away in a one room cabin in the hills of Mill Valley, CA. “I don’t go looking for shows anymore. I let them ask me. I want to play for people that want to listen.” Accompanied by Transylvanian chanteuse Ingrid Serban, Forest has just released his 9th studio recording ‘Just Begun’ on Painted Sun Records.

His bio tells us that this “troubadour and award-winning songwriter enlivens audiences around the globe with his wealth of songs and stories, all sung and told with a laid-back, California style. Sun’s soulful music draws on a deep well of Americana and is compared to everyone from Jack Johnson, John Mayer and The Avett Brothers to Van Morrison and Bob Dylan. He’s opened for Bonnie Raitt, The Beach Boys, Steve Earle, Lyle Lovett, Jackson Browne, Keb Mo and Brett Dennen among others and musical collaborations include Jolie Holland, Sean Hayes, ALO and Hot Buttered Rum.”

If you want to get to know him better, you could go on a 4-day cruise with Forest and crew through the San Juan and Orcas Islands this August. Here’s some info on that: FOREST SUN CRUISE

Meanwhile, hear a little tune while we drive and Forest Sun sings across the Golden Gate:

Photo and video by Victoria Smith

Sweden's The Sounds perform.

THE SOUNDS rumble The Regency Ballroom


The Sounds. I did not know. I was not ready. How did this band of 16 years slip between my jaded fingers? Swedish lead babe Maja Ivarsson was cool from the start: black leather jacket (like me), white shirt (like me), heels (like me), hair pulled back with bangs (like me) — I love me, she was IN and that’s not just why. Ivarsson lit a cigarette on the Regency’s stage, which is her law-given right under a cabaret license, and, when finished, flicked it strong and long into the crowd. Why does this activity rile us so?

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Tycho’s Dream Comes True With Sold Out Fillmore Show w/ Trails and Ways


San Francisco based Tycho (Scott Hansen) gave the hometown crowd a thrill Thursday night at The Fillmore, telling fans that playing the sold out venue was “a dream come true.” Hansen, who produces ambient-leaning electronic music under the moniker Tycho, brought his studio creations to life with the help of a drummer, guitarist and bassist. The lush mix of guitar riffs, electronic beats and intense drumming felt similar to shows put on by M83, but without lyrics.

Hansen is also a visual artist and each song was accompanied by a blend of video and graphic design projected on a screen two stories high behind the stage. Mellow melodies played out on guitar and synthesizer were accompanied by highly-saturated, slow motion footage of birds flying, surfers and other mind-bending, kaleidoscope video creations. The spectacle was truly performance art. Read More


Grab Your Tambourine and Check Out “The Stone” by Terraplane Sun


Today Venice, CA based Terraplane Sun announced its upcoming album Generation Blues. As the album title suggests, the group plays a kind of modern indie blues rock with some great dancing potential. They also dropped the single “The Stone” which you can check out below. The track has a great beat and a ton of great energy and character. I will be keeping an eye out for the full album in June.

Check out “The Stone” below and let us know what you think.

Photo Credit: Mark Maryanovich

Moby, Little Dragon, Phantogram & Gramatik to Headline Lightning In A Bottle Festival 2014



The music lineup for the Lightning in a Bottle Festival 2014 has been announced, and it features Moby, Little Dragon, Phantogram, Gramatik, Beats Antique, Amon Tobin, Baauer, Gold Panda, Simian Mobile Disco, Claude VonStroke and more.

This internationally renowned transformative music and art experience, celebrating its 9th year, also includes the sounds of The Polish Ambassador, Damian Lazarus, Cashmere Cat, Chet Faker, Lee Burridge, and the Lucent Dossier Experience

This year the festival is Memorial Day Weekend - May 22-26 2014, at a location closer to San Francisco than in previous years: San Antonio Recreation Area in Bradley, CA, down in Monterey County.

Organizers say: “Lightning in a Bottle is a fusion of electronic music and introspective qualities of installation art, live performance, spiritual workshops, and an overarching embodiment of cultural and environmental consciousness.

Much of Lightning in a Bottle’s intimate singularity is expressed through The Lucent Temple of Consciousness, a sanctuary for all participants who inspire to enrich the soul and spirit. The 2014 schedule inside the Lucent Temple, built out of recycled and found objects, will include over 300 different experiences in yoga, workshops, speakers and exotic world music.”

Check out the Temple’s Line-up:


and the Yoga Line-Up:IXECQvgr90NzRoLLNBJhttjY-ydlXHBEu7ALrksw_uTXK-dtSIuGPopn-1F0AeWfiM4JlIYf6H8CgyuhCr69tUi9jNJmdP9JgPEOlm6vtczJwg24UTzVlt6qdj4AHocamzR7IMKshL_4VgLe=s0-d-e1-ft

For the 5th year in a row, the Grand Artique Stage will be back at Lightning in a Bottle, and this year they are aiming to go bigger than ever.  Bringing back to life their town Frontierville, a fully immersive Trading Post/General Store and a heavy-hitting line-up to rip up their own Live Music Stage.   9tx05M1vAvIFW-UCFN_N-hVc9UpGeikcbSsj0MZDHgY5b8VrYyUJIhY2_NhB5l-AF75XOC68zJAJFsGrW2-OwWusO-DHm_tA24C9fCclcjFA_1Ux7AjGzrI-PulY-ol_f32p9LffE2vVuQ=s0-d-e1-ft


The Do LaB just released a new video highlighting the lure and magic of the festival. Check it out and buy your tickets early at

BottleRock Napa Valley Drops 2014 Lineup – Outkast, The Cure, Robert Earl Keen and More



BottleRock Napa Valley music festival announced their preliminary lineup today, and it’s a doozy — as an ATLien, and a breathing human being, this lineup has me pumped. With Outkast, The Cure, and Eric Church at the top of the bill, the festival is jam packed with some serious talent. The festival is set for May 30 – June 1 at the Napa Expo Center in downtown Napa.
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Beck Tour 2014 for Morning Phase


We don’t often share tour dates, but in the case of Beck we hope this is seen as a plea to his troupe to add a Bay Area date. (Beck, please add a Bay Area date.) As an artist who’s catalogue remains fresh, even fifteen years later, Beck’s latest album Morning Phase is no different. The highly lauded album is already a contender for best in 2014, spending its second week in the top 10 of the U.S. album chart since its release in late February.

As someone fortunate enough to have caught his performance for Pop-up Magazine’s “Music Magazine” last year–if you have the opportunity to catch him–don’t let it slip by. His calendar is open for the Bay Area’s slated Outside Lands. Could it be a sign? You heard the rumor here first. Read More

G-eazy_sfcritic 10

It’s Happening for G Eazy – These Things Happen Tour Review at The Fillmore


“These things happen.” G-Eazy repeats that phrase a few times in the night instead of saying, “Wow, this is amazing.”

It’s his current hashtag motto, as well as the title of his tour. It’s fitting. Becoming a celebrity, headlining large venues, then selling them out, and having models tweet that you’re “boss”—these things do happen for G-Eazy. Three years since graduating from Loyola University, the rapper, born Gerald Gillum, is quickly ascending into the celebrity heartthrob status of which many have always dreamed.

It’s a Wednesday night, and The Fillmore is sold out (the show sold out a month in advance)–yet it feels oddly empty. Only after our photographer struggles to get closer to the stage for photos does it become clear that crowd full of teen girls, wearing belly cut shirts, are packed so tightly to the front that the back of the room seems sparse. Center stage, the rapper stands atop a small raised platform that is illuminated by a brightly lit “G-Eazy” sign. Compared to the grandiose sets of current pop stars, this setup looks bare. But it serves its perfunctory purpose throughout the night: G climbs the stairs–making sure he’s in sight of all the girls in the crowd–then either adjusts his hair or pulls his shirt up over his face, wiping the sweat from his brow, each action receiving the same high pitched screams and calls of “We love you!” from the audience. It’s almost too much, but these things happen. Read More

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