From Coffee Shops To A Sold Out Slims – La Dispute Gives A Crowd Something To Shout About (with Mansions & Pianos Become The Teeth)


By Patrick Czapla

In 2006, I went to my first show with a couple of friends on a Saturday afternoon. Five or six bands were playing that night at a tiny coffee shop in Valparaiso, Indiana. For some that was their first show, for others it was the biggest show they would ever play (there were about 30 people jammed into the shop around stacked tables) and then there was La Dispute.

A five person band, featuring one local and four guys from Grand Rapids, Michigan, stood out from the rest of the bands. By that I mean that when the lead singer’s microphone died mid-set, he just jumped into the crowd and started yelling all of his lyrics as loud as he could with anyone who was singing along. Talk about making a first impression: I loved it, and I hold that moment responsible for me spending most subsequent weekends in coffee shops, garages and bars going to whatever show looked most interesting. Read More


Oakland Drops Beats is Oakland’s “SXSW”


Oakland Drops Beats is downtown Oakland’s first ever music crawl. Spanning from 2 pm into the night, within a five block radius, including 10 different locations, and over 25 Oakland bands and event producers, the free and all ages event kicks off next Saturday, April 19th. Beginning at 2:00 on the outdoor stage at 15th St. and Webster with performances by youth non-profit organizations Youth Radio, Bay Area Girls Rock Camp, and Today’s Future Sound.

Read More


Jamie xx “Sleep Sound” Official Video – A Film About Silence & Beauty


Earlier this week, Jamie xx released a video for his upcoming single “Sleep Sound.” The London based producer, better known for his work in the band The xx, may have met his creative–visual–match in Sofia Mattioli. At the beginning, the director explains her video’s muse, “I was on a train listening to music, getting deep into it, and this girl started staring at me. After a while I took my headphones off and she came up to me, started signing and then wrote me a note to say that she was deaf but could almost feel the music by my movement.” Over the course of a day, Mattioli danced with 13 members of the Manchester Deaf Centre, letting the music’s vibrations and her gestures guide their performance. The result is an exploration of “how music can be created by only having silence and creating sound with the use of imagination.”

The single will be featured on a 12″ that is scheduled to be released May 12th off of Young Turks.
Read More


Outside Lands 2014 Lineup & Rumors – San Francisco Festival


Today is a big day for San Francisco festival goers: Outside Lands’ full lineup has been announced. The city’s love it or hate it festival (we lean to the former) is set to return this August 8th-10th bringing together the Bay Area’s hednosists’ offerings of everything artisan made by artisan for artisan palates. Food trucks with brick ovens, wine made forty miles north, south and east, beer that flows every different river of the IPA and what is sure to be an eclectic billing of artists–will fill the city’s Golden Gate park yet again for what is undoubtedly one of our favorite weekends of the year.

The festival has been leaking clues to the full lineup over the last few weeks through its Instagram profile. Before today, fans had been tipped that Nicki Bluhm & the Gramblers, Jagawar Ma, Gold Panda, Flaming Lips, Phosphorescent, Ben Howard, HAIM, SBTRKT, Kacey Musgraves, Local Natives, Run the Jewels (El-P and Killer Mike), Spoon, Lykke Li, Chromeo, Atmosphere and Paolo Nutini.

Today the festival announced that the lineup also includes Kanye West, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, The Killers, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Tiësto and more. See the full list below: Read More


New Music by Craft Spells, SIREN and Chrome Sparks


Yes its Sunday and many of us have to work tomorrow, but lets look on the bright side. It’s a beautiful day in SF, Game of Thrones returns tonight and we have some great new music to listen to!

First up is Craft Spells new track “Breaking the Angle Against the Tide.” The Seattle-based indie pop rock act has roots in Northern California, and I am really digging the mellow lyrics along with surf-inspired guitar and string instrument sections. Read More


Photos: Odesza Electrifies Crowd @ The Independent


Friday night Seattle production group Odesza took the stage at the Independent in front of a sold out crowd that packed closely to the front to catch a glimpse. The electronic duo of Harrison Mills and Clayton Knight teamed up in 2012 while attending Western Washington University, and have a generated a style of flowing ambient melodies and electronic beats that are heavy on pitch changes. Like most acts that come off more mellow in recordings, Odesza’s live takes their music to a higher, more immersive level. Both Mills and Knight would pump up their set by switching between a beat machine and drum pads to build the rhythms. The crowd’s response brought the dance floor alive with dancers.

Read More

Born to be Rock Stars: A Review of Sleepy Sun @ The Chapel


Sleepy Sun headlined at the Chapel last Thursday, and good God almighty — I think I might have just found my new favorite local band in San Francisco, coming in the form of some strong psychedelic rock.

After about 30 minutes of Mystic Braves trying their hardest to be original and authentic, Sleepy Sun took the stage to show a nearly packed house just how it’s done. With an insane ability to play incredibly deep, powerful and energetic riffs at a slow tempo, the band unleashed a sound that is probably best described as “gnarly”. Lingering leads, trippy lights, and vocals that were reminiscent of a perfect mixture landing somewhere between Eddie Vedder and Kurt Cobain, Sleepy Sun was able to deliver a swell, or maybe even a wall, of intense, spot-on sound. It was blatantly obvious to anyone listening that this was not their first rodeo — recently releasing their fourth album, the San Francisco-native band got their start in 2005 and have toured with bands like the Arctic Monkeys and The Black Angels.

The band kicked the night off with a thunderous “New Age,” which was delightfully drum heavy. One thing that sets most bands apart for me, and is something that Sleepy Sun did, was seamlessly go from one song to the next — none of this quick, start-and-stop routine that you see so much of today. The band wove from one song to the next, hair flailing, guitar waving bad-assery that was largely present in 90’s bands.

One song that really stood out to me was “Open Eyes,” one that I had heard before but translated incredibly well live (really, all of their songs did — but this one comes immediately to mind). A creepy tune that was psychedelic, emotional and came with a generous portion of vibrato and reverb, it really set the mood for the rest of the night for me. They really are a band that no matter what size the crowd, whether that’s 50 or 500 people, plays with the heart and soul of one playing for a sold out,50,000 person arena. These folks were just born to be rock stars, and I’m excited to continue watch them grow and release new material. Sleepy Sun can truly be placed into the psychedelic category, without trying too hard or faking anything — it really is some “drop some acid and get weird” type of stuff, which is just the way it should be.

The entire band’s sound was dialed in to a tee, with the guitarist playing a creamy white Stratocaster, and having several sit in’s from other local musicians like Isaiah Mitchell during Maui Tears, among others. I highly recommend checking this band out if you get a chance. You can pre-order their latest album, Maui Tears, here, and can also check out their upcoming shows on their website as well.

Photo credit: Chloe Aftel

The War on Drugs

The War on Drugs Shreds as Sold-Out Independent Looks On


The War on Drugs took the stage Tuesday night in the first of two sold-out shows at the Independent. Formed in Philadelphia in 2005 by Adam Granduciel and Kurt Vile (who departed for his solo act), the band is known for smooth, haunting vocals mixed with heavily distorted guitar riffs laid on top of a mosaic of driving percussion and keyboard melodies. Depending on what you are reading, their sound is compared to Petty, Springsteen or Dylan; often you hear shades of all three within the set. The music sucks you in, and, at times, it felt like the crowd at the Independent was entranced.

For lead vocalist and guitarist Granduciel, the show was a bit of a homecoming having spent time living in Bernal Heights. More interested in giving the crowd a solid show than talking on stage, he still made time to recognize his former neighborhood of residence.

Check out “Red Eyes” from the newly released album Lost in the Dream:

Read More

Watch Wild Ones “Paia” Video


Another gem from Wild Ones, the Portland pop band that captivated us here at SFCritic with their cover of Drake’s “Hold On, We’re Going Home.” Today, the group shared with us their music video for “Paia,” which you can download for free on their track Soundcloud.

They’re currently on tour supporting Typhoon, but for some unfortunate reason they’re not scheduled to play here anytime soon. For those outside of SF, here’s their dates.


Newer Posts
Older Posts