On Friday morning I woke up with a scratch in my throat, by night’s end I was running a fever and had little-to-no-energy. No, this isn’t a sympathy call, just an ode to the fairly talented and cohesive UK brothers, Disclosure. Who, after what I gave ‘only’ a slightly above average performance rating at the Treasure Island Music Festival last year, absolutely killed on Friday night at the Greek Theater. Read More
By all accounts (ok–the two people I talked to who saw him at Coachella this year) Flume put on an amazing set, and a highlight was a previously unreleased remix of so-hot-right-now Lorde’s “Tennis Courts.” Yesterday, Flume officially unleashed the mix for your listening pleasure.
Go ahead and take a listen below and don’t be surprised if this ends up being in the artist’s set at Outside Lands coming up in August.
Broken Bells made the Bay Area debut of their new album After the Disco Saturday night at a sold out Fox Theater in Oakland. The seemingly-unlikely duo consisting of Brian Burton (AKA Danger Mouse) and The Shins frontman James Mercer brought the crowd to life with its blend of traditional rock riffs, synth, and samples.
Burton — who is known for pushing the envelope with Gnarls Barkley, The Gorillaz, and, of course, The Grey Album, his reimagining of the Beatles White Album melded with lyrics from Jay Z‘s The Black Album – has found a true partner in Mercer. Mercer’s uncanny ability to hit every note across multiple octaves, especially higher octaves, allows the duo to create music that seems to flow freely in and out of different genres. “Holding on for Life” makes you feel like you are seeing the Gibb brothers in the 70s, and songs like “After the Disco” are right at home in today’s alternative Top 40.
Thursday night San Francisco’s City Hall took on a new civic duty: thrilling a crowd of onlookers, as St Lucia and Conway filled the building’s intricate dome with an amazing night of music. It was a bit surreal. The bands took a stage set up right beneath the dome in front of a massive staircase. It felt especially out of place, since the last time I was in City Hall was for my sisters wedding. The free event was put on by Jack Daniel’s who was raising money for Operation Gratitude, which sends care packages to U.S. Military abroad. Jack Daniel’s also provided “the happiness” (read booze) as Jean-Philip Grobler of St Lucia put it.
The Knife took the stage in Oakland last night to a packed house. It was the second of two back to back shows, sandwiched between Coachella appearances. The group gave fans a taste of their progressive and experimental synth pop, performing many of their tracks from their fourth studio album, Shaking The Habitual. Check out below their video for “A Tooth For An Eye.”
We’ve been eagerly awaiting Yesway’s album ever since we were introduced to their single “Woahocean.” With the self-titled album’s release date (June 3rd) nearing, the best friend duo of Emily Ritz and Kacey Johansing have released today one of its singles entitled, “Howlin’ Face.” Their sound wanders into the avant-garde realms inhabited by Dirty Projectors and Animal Collective‘s fluttering and playful vocal styles, and cooly returns with almost ambient tones and rhythms befitting for a folky Chillout Session.
Kacey, in addition to a budding solo career following the release of her Grand Ghosts LP last year, has lent her talents to projects such as Geographer (watch “Wake With Me” here), while Emily is an active member of the band DRMS. Four years ago, the two began playing music together in the experimental folk ensemble Honeycomb, which initiated their path toward growing and weaving their creative song writing and soulful expression into a power duo. Read More
Between songs at The Chapel’s packed Thursday night show, Future Islands front man Samuel Herring relayed his first thought upon entering the venue, “Oh, we’re going to fuck this place up.” The crowd cheered; and he would deliver on his words. The Baltimore trio (quartet with touring drummer Denny Bowen) has been playing together for ten years and has amassed a loyal pack of fans through energetic, impassioned, leave-your-guts-on-the-stage performances.
That is, Herring’s performances primarily. The placid backing band lets their instruments do the talking; Garrit Welmers’ varied synth orchestration is often euphoric to the point of overjoy, while William Cashion’s driving fuzz bass is a certain catalyst for head banging. The unique combination of sounds occupies the nether region of electric pop and hardcore punk, hitting a sweet spot for an audience that can’t decide if it wants to mosh or get funky.
Herring is the ringleader of this circus—his operatic persona is an arresting combination of extremely affecting gestures and a rich baritone voice that shifts violently from croon to growl. Read More
The first time I interviewed Ed Schrader was in 2007 for a college radio show. During our hour-long chat he spoke in a fake British accent, spent most of the interview talking effusively about David Bowie and brought a girl who he claimed was his manager, but turned out to be a fellow student of mine.
Interviewing him this week at a café in San Francisco a couple of blocks from The Chapel, where he was set to open for Future Islands that evening, was an entirely different affair. In lieu of a fake manager he was accompanied by bassist Devlin Rice, the other half of his musical project Ed Schrader’s Music Beat. He spoke slower and quieter than he has in the past; the manic edge to his voice was gone. But his face beamed whenever he talked about the music he and Rice have created together. While Schrader holds on to much of the tongue-in-cheek humor that made him such a wonderful character, his music can now speak on its own.
In the seven intervening years since our first interview, I’ve seen Schrader perform in countless roles in Baltimore; he hosted a fake Letterman-style variety show, he played John Hammond in a theatrical rendition of Jurassic Park, he did stand-up comedy. Read More
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 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.