Deafheaven graced hometown San Francisco with a thrilling, tour-ending show on Wednesday night at the Great American Music Hall. Frontman George Clarke motioned to the packed crowd to get as close to the stage as possible with his deliberate and commanding movements before the first song started. The crowd responded with a roar of energy, sustained throughout the entire performance, an emotionally charged, soul shaking, aural assault that left it all on the floor.
A small but passionate crowd gathered last Saturday at Mission venue Brick & Mortar Music Hall for an intimate evening featuring Austin trio, Pure X. To warm things up, Bay Area band Sam Flax set the perfect atmosphere with their catchy psychedelic-pop tunes that had the audience quickly up on their feet. With a setlist consisting mostly of songs from their LP Age Waves, Sam Flax was able to capture us all with little words and a lot of music. Their single, “Fire Doesn’t Burn Itself,” closed the set on a high note. Read More
There is no better way to charge hard into America’s birthday than spending a Tuesday night at the Independent seeing two amazing NYC electronic acts put a charge into a shoulder-to-shoulder, sold out crowd. My playlists are filthy with tracks from both The Knocks and ASTR, so I tried to keep my expectations low before the show, but honestly, both acts brought their “A game” and did not disappoint.
First up was ASTR touring on their recent EP Varsity. I was first seduced by their sound when I heard the killer cover of Drake’s “Hold On We’re Going Home.” Vocalist Zoe ASTR (Silverman) and Producer Adam ASTR (Pallin) pull off the unimaginable: taking a Drake song and making me not tired of it, with intricate beats and deeply soulful lyrics. I highly recommend you listen to the full Varsity EP front to back. Adam is an experienced and skilled producer, and the songs are just plain fun. The background of the duo is also super interesting too, you can read about it here in the Village Voice. Read More
Wednesday night, The City was treated to a solid trio of acts touring on amazing new albums. SFCritic photographer Pedro Paredes was armed with his camera, and I was sporting my Giants cap fresh off the Tim Lincecum no-hitter as we took in a show that, on paper at least, was a rather odd pairing of acts.
The opener was SF local Yesway. Even though I had listened to their newly-announced, self titled album Yesway, I was a little surprised to see a vibraphone (yes I had to look it up) on stage. Friend’s Emily Ritz and Kacey Johansing moved the crowd with vocal harmonies that paired with synchronized folk guitar melodies. A little meek when talking to the crowd, once they were performing the soulful lyrics poured from the duo’s bodies, creating a great base for the shredding rock that followed. Read More
George Evelyn, aka Nightmares On Wax (NOW), is celebrating 25 years of making music with Warp Records. He’s touring all over the world promoting his recently released double CD called N.O.W Is The Time. The CD is a compilation of NOW hits dating back to 1989. During the tour, Evelyn is accompanied by vocalists Ricky Ranking and Mozez (Zero 7), and drummer Grant Kershaw. Together, they brought to life 25 years worth of classics at the Regency Ballroom in San Francisco on Saturday night.
Early songs such as “Les Nuit” and “You Wish” kept the crowd immersed in those smooth downtempo beats, hypnotizing everyone in the room. Soon, the air was filled with bliss and medical smoke. The geometric visuals triggered by Evelyn in his DJ booth only enhanced the ‘chillout’ vibe everyone was enjoying. Read More
Thursday night, Emoh Instead (Chris Emerson) — DJ, Producer, and one half of the Sydney-based duo What So Not that also includes Flume (Harley Streten) — dropped a massive set on a raucous, sweaty, and almost universally out of it crowd at 1015 Folsom.
As a duo, What So Not does not shy away from the bass. Their songs can best be described as a hyperactive take on trap music. They recently released songs under the EP The Quack and are promising to release more new material soon. Emoh ended his set with the duo’s popular single “Jaguar,” which turned the crowd into a sea of jumping bodies and pumping fists. Read More
Press Photo by Steve Gullick
Woman’s Hour recently dropped the single “Conversations” from their forthcoming LP of the same name, which is being released July 15th on the Secretly Canadian label. If you haven’t had a chance to listen yet, do yourself a favor and take it for a spin! The shoe-gaze like synth mixed with occasional rockabilly chords is a bewitching journey through a modern musical spectrum. Lead singer Fiona Burgess’ raw emotions entice and seduce, demanding the listener console her.
A few days ago Ghostly International artist Fort Romeau released a remix of “Conversations” on xlr8r, which has the funky vibes of a Daft Punk tune and the structure of a Kraftwerk composition.
And here’s the original song:
Another one,“Her Ghost,” haunts with Stratocaster-reverb and perfectly executed breakup song lyrics.
The band is coming stateside for a tour this fall including a show at the Rickshaw Stop in San Francisco October 10th. Full tour dates here. Woman’s Hour’s unique sound has garnered them a significant following United Kingdom and no doubt they’ll pick up more fans here in the good ole US of A.
Next Friday night, veteran singer Lee Fields will bring the soul back to The Fillmore along with his backing band The Expressions. The group’s new album, Emma Jean, was released two weeks ago on Brooklyn’s Truth & Soul Records, which is home to similar soul revivalist artists including Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings. At a time when critics are looking at hip hop artists skeptically, “don’t talk the talk talk, if you can’t walk the walk,” Truth & Soul Records’ artist like Fields’ are the truth, through and through. A fan ever since his Curtis Mayfield-styled joint, “Ladies,” I can’t help but feel that Fields’ timeless style continues to age, gracefully, and complexly. On the new album’s highlighted single, a cover of JJ Cale’s track “Magnolia,” Fields’ vocals wax smoother than ever, slightly giving into a twang that almost pays homage to the late great singer’s country rockability.
We’re excited to offer a pair of tickets to one lucky winner to see Lee Fields & The Expressions in action. All you have to do is sign up and activate your subscription for our mailing list below. (We’ll announce the winner next Wednesday at 5pm PST. Make sure to use a valid email, or we won’t be able to contact you!) Read More
Phil Elverum, known as The Microphones and more recently as Mount Eerie, brought a subdued solo performance to The Chapel last Thursday night that I didn’t quite expect. While his albums as Eerie evoke the hugeness of nature with their sprawling instrumentation, Elverum’s live performance featured only his acoustic guitar, his voice, and a few musical gadgets lying around. Only after did I realize–to understand Elverum is to expect the unexpected.
In 2012, Elverum released his fifth album as Mount Eerie, Clear Moon. On Moon and other Eerie albums, Elverum creates intricate soundscapes: soft layers of dusty analog keyboards, sparse drumming that is more textural than rhythmic, and heaps of toneless guitar feedback that sound like being dragged underwater at 100 miles per hour. Jayson Greene, in his review for Pitchfork, wrote: “[it] has the misty-but-tactile feeling of a sense memory…like anxious, living beings that are trying to whisper something to you that you don’t want to know.”
Well I guess the “fucking awesome” is very subjective, but for me personally if I were to put together a festival in the middle of San Francisco Bay these would be many of the acts I would include. Also great news for anyone who wanted to see Outkast this summer at BottleRock but not necessarily Smash Mouth or The Fray.
Tickets go on sale Thursday at 10am PT. Lineup here:
- Massive Attack
- TV on the Radio
- The New Pornographers
- Washed Out
- St. Lucia (OMG OMG- Bob emphasis added)