The Tropics Debut EP Wind House With Release Party at Rickshaw Stop


We have been following local indie pop rock act The Tropics since spring, so we were excited to hear about the release of debut EP Wind House. With Wind House the five piece band is finally releasing more of the songs we saw live in July, which led to us calling them one of SF’s most promising young pop acts. Last Friday, they took the stage at The Rickshaw Stop for their official record release party playing songs off the EP and a few yet-to-be-released tracks I assume are coming on their full album release.

The Tropics were born when singer Claire George and guitarist Eric Silverman responded to a Craigslist ad for an unrelated band, but soon found they had more in common with each other than the band they were trying to join. In 2012, they added current members Nate Skelton on bass, Rowan Peter on guitar, and Kern Sigala on drums for the full sound we hear today.

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Giveaway: The Stone Foxes Start Their Residency at The Chapel this Weekend, Win Tickets to November 8th Show


The Stone Foxes are now in the thick of their year-long Foxes First Friday campaign. They have already released two of the tracks from their upcoming album 12 Spells, and they intend to release one new track from the album each month until it is released in August of 2015. The first two tracks, “Locomotion” and “She Said Riot,” are up-tempo barn-burners that set the tone for the sweat soaked, white knuckled months ahead. The next track “It Ain’t Nothin’” is due Friday, November 7.

The Foxes will bring their explosive blues rock to their home turf in San Francisco, setting up shop at The Chapel for the next three Saturdays. It starts November 1st, and we are sure to hear some new material, and these boys are bound to blow the cobwebs out, and get their audience loose each Saturday night.

We are teaming up with the Chapel to give two lucky readers a pair of tickets to the November 8th show of their three week run. Entering is extremely easy and we will notify the winners with their prize Thursday November 6th.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Milky Chance

Milky Chance Makes SF Debut at Rickshaw Stop


Thursday night, rising star Milky Chance made its San Francisco debut in front of a sold out Popscene crowd at Rickshaw Stop. The electronic folk duo from Germany recently released their debut album Sadneccesary here in the U.S. (Check out our review to hear more about their music), after the album’s first single “Stolen Dance” racked up over 80 million YouTube views.

Milky Chance is one of those acts where you aren’t really sure what to expect going into the live experience. Waiting in line to get into the venue I overheard people trying to describe their music, “It’s like reggae right?” There are so many influences on their sound that it’s really hard to place it in a genre. There are folk, electronic and reggae influences, but the overall sound is unique and new. Perhaps that’s why, even as the opener, Milky Chance packed the Rickshaw Stop to the brim. The headliner, New York producer Chris Malinchak, was very good, but it was obvious most people were there to see Milky Chance. At least a quarter of the crowd left after their set.

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Treasure Island Day 2 Photos and Review: Massive Attack, alt-J, Chet Faker and More


Sunday at Treasure Island Music Festival was predictably chill. Like years past, Sunday’s lineup of indie rock and downtempo electronic artists served as the perfect “hair of the dog” to Saturday’s cocktail of electronic and hip hop acts. Even the weather mellowed by a cool five degrees. The crowd, far soberer, drifted between sedentary cigarette puffs and stages. With Massive Attack as the headliner, what could you expect?

For many, Sunday’s lineup was stacked. The coupling of older respected bands like The New Pornographers and Massive Attack with budding contemporaries like alt-J, Chet Faker and Washed Out left little for wanting: fans knew they’d imbibe in a heavy pour of chillwave, art rock, and the like. However, in reality, like a friend solemnly bemoaning a breakup, after a while you just want to say “Cheer up bud!” Read More


Treasure Island Day 1 Photos and Review


Every year the Treasure Island Music Festival marks the end of summer for me. With the nights becoming shorter, I was excited to get out of the city for a day, enjoy some live music, and break out the last summer outfit of the year. The weather in San Francisco is always perfect during this time in October.  This weekend was no exception, which helped make Day 1’s lineup the perfect beginning to fall.

The first band I want to mention is London-based Jungle.  I had never heard the music, but their synth-funk grooves were appropriately scheduled as the sun started to set into the evening.  It felt like L.A… only a little breezier.  It also didn’t hurt that the backup singers harmonized with a falsetto style reminiscent of the Bee Gees.  Plus the keyboardist won us over with his SF Giants button up.  Smooth move dude. Read More


Devendra Banhart and Andy Cabic Play Intimate Set at BAM


Devendra Banhart and Andy Cabic have been friends and musical collaborators for over a decade, so it makes sense that their intimate show at the Berkeley Art Museum (BAM) was akin to watching two extremely talented pals have a jam session.

Together, Cabic and Barnhart created the record label Gnomonsong around 2005 with their first release being a solo album by Jana Hunter of Lower Dens. Here is a photograph of them from the old days when they both had significantly more hair than they do now:

old days

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Giveaway: 2 Tickets to RÜFÜS DU SOL Friday October 24th at Mezzanine


Today we are teaming up with Columbia Records to give one lucky fan a pair of tickets to see RÜFÜS DU SOL at the Mezzanine Friday October 24th. RÜFÜS DU SOL is one of those hard to miss acts over the summer, with break out single “Sundream” and the fantastic new album Atlas recently being released here in the U.S. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if Classixx busted out their remix of “Sundream” this weekend at Treasure Island Music Festival.

The group is based out of Sydney, Australia and creates fantastic synth pop/ dance music. If you like Cut Copy, Flume, Emoh Instead, Strange Talk, Bag Raiders or any number of the other great electronic acts from down under, you will love RÜFÜS. Don’t miss out on your chance to catch them, Hermitude and DJ Aaron Axelson, enter below.  Rafflecopter giveaway



Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr Returns to Rock The Fillmore October 22nd


One of our favorite acts, Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr, is coming back to play the Fillmore next Wednesday with Minature Tigers and Madi Diaz, it will be the best show you’ll ever see. It will literally melt your face off like when they opened the Ark in Indiana Jones. Well, maybe that is a bit over the top, but it will be a very fucking good show, and if you are free October 22nd you should definitely go.

We caught DEJJ last they hit the Fillmore and it was a fantastic night filled with great music, bubbles and dancing. They are a group that shrugs off labels and genres, giving you harmonies like The Beach Boys mixed with beats that sound like they were created with long-forgotten settings on an 80s Casio keyboard. We also saw them at First City Festival this year where Josh Epstein, (who sings and plays a little bit of everything including sax for the Detroit-based act), decided to spend some time singing with the crowd. Read More


Interview with Alyssa Robbins, Playing Hotel Utah This Friday Night


About two years ago, I had the opportunity to meet singer-songwriter Alyssa Robbins at a mutual friend’s house in Washington State. Since then, I have been following her career from afar as she continued to evolve her style in Brooklyn.

Recently, Robbins recorded her second album, her first since 2007, entitled Our Time Was Here We Just Forgot To Bea short album that manages to touch on many musical styles. Think Aimee Mann, Bonnie Raitt and a few surprises in between. She is touring on the new album and stopping here in SF to open for Two Man Gentleman Band Friday night. But before she does we asked her a few questions.

SFCritic(SFC): I have been enjoying your new album Our Time was Here We Just Forgot How To Be. It has a really different feel than your first album, both in the type of music you are playing and the way you use your voice. What changed or inspired you to evolve your sound since the last album? Read More

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Review: Milky Chance Release Sadneccesary Ahead of Show at Rickshaw Stop


Milky Chance is one of those acts that appears to come out of nowhere, but immediately makes its presence known. Similar to Gotye, their single “Stolen Dance” just emerges from thin air, and then you hear it everywhere. Recently, I heard it in a cab and at my favorite ramen spot on the same day. Although it is a major accomplishment to have a breakthrough single, more impressive is how many great songs appear on their debut album Sadneccesary. 

Hailing from Kassel, Germany duo Clemens Rehbein and Philipp Dausch met in the 11th grade and started creating music as Milky Chance in 2012. They must have clicked immediately because the two mix genres such as folk, reggae, spanish guitar and electronic together with a maturity and skill where many, many others try and fall flat. Read More

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