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70′s Cop Shows, Music & Beer: An Interview with Kyle Hollingsworth

09/20/2014

For those of you who don’t know, Kyle Hollingsworth is somewhat of a living legend. After Jerry Garcia died in ’95, and the Grateful Dead began to slow down, a few key jam bands stepped in to help not only fill the devastating void left behind, but to push forward the new, youthful, and incredibly high-energy style of jam that we know today. Hollingsworth is the famed keyboardist for one of these bands, The String Cheese Incident.

Undoubtedly one of the most popular jam bands in history, String Cheese, along with other jam bands like Widespread Panic and Phish, have developed an wildly dedicated, passionate cult following. Solo, Hollingsworth’s presence and tone radiate through his keyboard, and his live sound is extremely identifiable — the type that can be picked right out of a lineup. He just released his third studio album, Speed of Life, on August 19th and will be releasing three limited edition home brews (crafted by himself) that will be nationally distributed by three renowned breweries from across the country. Read More

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Photos: Rising Act Odesza Ignites Crowd at Sold Out Mezzanine

09/20/2014

Odesza is arguably one of electronic music’s biggest rising acts, and Thursday night the Seattle-based duo showed us why they deserve that distinction with the first of two sold out shows at Mezzanine. Back when we last saw Harrison Mills and Clayton Knight in April, they were already establishing themselves as a solid act to follow, selling out the Independent on the strength of their debut album Summers Gone. Today, Odesza is selling out two days at the larger Mezzanine, months in advance.

A big part of the increased buzz around their music has been the release of the new album In Return. Released September 9th, the album is excellent start to finish, and is definitely one of my personal favorites of 2014. I have described Odesza’s sound in the past as “flowing ambient melodies and electronic beats that are heavy on pitch changes” or like someone remixing the classic New Age compilation Pure Moods. The new album doesn’t stray from their roots, but builds on their skill producing music. The detail on each synth note, custom drum kick and pitch change is impeccable. There is also a new maturity and intensity to the songs, probably most evident in the collaborations with vocal artists, bringing a whole new level of depth to the tracks. Read More

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Photos: CHVRCHES @ The Fox

09/20/2014

It was a cold August day when all the Bay Area CHVRCHES fans’ hearts were crushed; due to very unfortunate circumstances, they were forced to cancel their performance at this year’s Outside Lands Music Festival. Thursday night at the Fox Theater, the Scottish synth-pop trio performed one heck of a redemption show. Front woman, Lauren Mayberry, expressed the band’s deepest regrets for having to cancel the festival. She graciously thanked all the fans in attendance for their continuous support.

CHVRCHES played a majority of the songs off their debut album, The Bones of What You Believe, including crowd favorites, “Recover,” and “The Mother We Share.” In between the jams, Mayberry opened up to the crowd. She spoke on topics ranging from the Scottish Independence Referendum (happening while they were onstage), to playing their very first show in the United States (it was at the Independent, SF). The conversations made everyone laugh and cheer. The crowd got a sense that CHVRCHES are some really down to earth people. Read More

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Earth Plays Sold out Show at Bottom of the Hill

09/13/2014

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.

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Days and Nights Festival Philip Glass

Don’t Miss Philip Glass’ Days And Nights Festival

09/08/2014

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.

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Shows To See This Weekend

09/04/2014

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:

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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:

Mundy

Mundy at the Irish Cultural Center
2700 45th Avenue SF
Saturday 9/6, doors 7p/show 8:30p, $35
w/ comedians Joe Rooney and Andrew Stanley

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-3

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.

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BALANCED BREAKFAST music community birth & residency at NECK OF THE WOODS

09/02/2014

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

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And Then They Were O

08/30/2014

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.

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A Night in Reznor’s World: Nine Inch Nails Rules the Night at Shoreline

08/28/2014

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.

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