San Francisco Venue, The Masonic, to Re-Open September 2014 Following Extensive Renovations


The Nob Hill Masonic Center will re-open its doors this September, finalizing the extensive renovations that started in the spring of this year. The venue which has been home to five decades of live entertainment, will now include a new concert stage, sound system, art installations, and increased general admission seating, as well as a modernized name, “The Masonic.”

The upcoming months are already full of many notable acts including, Read More


tUnE-yArDs Come Home for Sold Out Show @ The Fillmore with Sylvan Esso


Friday night tUnE-yArDs returned to the Bay Area for the first of two sold-out nights at the Fillmore. The evening was filled with songs from the new album nikki nack, fan favorites and experiment lo-fi jam sessions. Opening the night were up and comers Sylvan Esso, who if you haven’t had a chance to listen to yet–is a must a listen. Esso got the crowd jumping and hollering with their banging beats and lead singer Amelia Meath’s amazing dance moves (shown below). Read More


The Kazbah Fundraiser: Rob Garza & James Teej


The Kazbah fundraiser was the first time the collective organized a public event beyond The Playa. The crowd consisted of the diversity Burning Man tends to offer. From break dancers, to House Heads, to Burners, people were getting their dance on, rubbing shoulders and other body parts to the hypnotic music at Public Works.

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Chipotle Cultivate Festival Wins a Critic Over


We’re over saturated with brands trying to get our attention. At bus stops, commercials before movie previews, advertisements in bathroom stalls, billboard after billboard, between tweets or Facebook posts, flashing banners on webpages–we’re inundated with brands saying “Look at me!” And so, when Chipotle decides to organize a music festival the skeptic in me can only think “More marketing, yeesh!” But there’s something different about Chipotle’s Cultivate, which took place yesterday at Golden Gate Park.

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Rejoice! Caribou announces New Album, hear the first track now


Photo by Dan Dennison/NME

Following up his critically-acclaimed, perfectly-executed full-length Swim in 2010, Caribou has (finally) announced a new album that is set to be released October 8th. The album title is Our Love, with a track list that seems to imply the almost complete separation of themes and motifs of his previous record.

From a personal standpoint, this is extremely exciting news, as the Swim record was a personal favorite and has easily topped the charts of my iTunes and Spotify play count lists over the past four years. As if the announcement weren’t enough, we’ve also been given the opportunity to hear the first track off the record, which is titled, ‘Can’t Do Without You.’ Read More

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Lightning in a Bottle 2014: A Colorful Taste of Heaven


Last Memorial Day weekend, the annual Lightning in a Bottle festival descended upon the rugged San Antonio Reservoir Recreation Area, in California’s Central Valley, treating attendees to four days of thoughtfully curated content from visual and interactive art, workshops, yoga, group meditations, and oh yeah… music. Artists such as Moby, Phantogram, Little Dragon, and more promised to add up to a crowd-pleasing weekend of awesomeness.

And that it certainly was. The Polish Ambassador and Gramatik got us off to a groovy start on the main Lightning Stage Friday evening with the perfect blend of jazzy electro-funk-hop. As the sun went down over the distant golden mountains, everybody was wearing their brightest smile and so many neon blinking lights the audience looked like a living, breathing NASA command center viewed through a kaleidoscope. Later, Moby threw down a high-energy big-beat electro-house DJ set that felt far more intense than his studio material would suggest he’s capable of, regularly stepping out from behind the decks to engage the crowd. Read More

Melvoy’s Ode to San Francisco Keeps the Wheels Moving


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“San Francisco” the first single off Melvoy’s debut LP Irrelevant Elephants is quite the doozy. The track pays homage to the city lead singer, Emmanuel Castro, now calls home by way of San Diego–taking note of the absurd amounts of deification and hipsters’ fascination with jeans, while singing with a ferocity that never looks back. Read More

Foals & Cage @ The Fox 497

Front-loaded: A Review of Foals & Cage the Elephant @ The Fox Theater


Last Tuesday, I finally got to see UK indie outfit Foals when they stopped by Oakland’s Fox Theater with Kentucky natives Cage the Elephant in tow.

We have a lot of Foals fans at SFCritic, and I fought my staff to cover this show. Their brand of emotional, yet cerebral math rock is both intellectually challenging and rewarding, and I was lucky to witness it live. I knew they’d kill it, and they did. What I didn’t expect, however, was to be blown away by the opening band.

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Win Concert Tickets To See tUnE-yArDs and Sylvan Esso


Bay Area based band, tUnE-yArDs, led by Merrill Garbus, will take the stage at The Fillmore next Friday (June 6th). Known for their “forward movement—whether because of her explosive performance style or the always-surprising way in which her songs unfold,” the band will be joined by Sylvan Esso. The burgeoning stars juxtapose Amelia Meath’s bluesy, folk vocals with infectious dance rhythms to form pop singles fitting for both a Top 50 radio station or a music bloggers’ unveiling of the “next best thing.” Their self-titled debut is out now and is a must grab.

We’re excited to offer a pair of tickets to one lucky winner to catch both one of our favorite local bands and up and coming. Oh, did we mention the show is sold-out? All you have to do is sign up and activate your subscription for our mailing list. (We’ll announce the winner next Thursday at 5pm PST. Make sure to use a valid email, or we won’t be able to contact you!)  Read More

Chet Faker

Photos: Chet Faker “Drops Game” on Sold Out Independent


There is no better way to close out a long weekend than catching a great act in the comfy confines of The Independent. Monday, Australian artist Chet Faker showed me why he is a rising star, combining unique samples and synth beats with an unbelievably soulful voice. The rich sound enveloped the crowd commanding full attention from everyone in attendance. The show had some in the crowd yelling “I love you!” to which he deftly responded “I love you too.”

Faker is touring on his first full-length album Built on Glass. In an interview with Pedestrian TV he described the struggle of putting together the CD — first he tried to please everyone and ended up hating it; later he tried to go too avant-garde and ended up not liking the finished product. Built on Glass is a compromise of sorts and the result is magical. The music is similar to Londoner James Blake in that it’s electronic, but the elements are sometimes more subtle and support the weight of Faker’s powerful lyrics. Faker takes pride in handcrafting his music from lyrics, samples, and arrangements, to the recording and mixing, and credits the power of the Internet for allowing an artist like himself to reach such a wide audience.

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