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Sizzle & Fizzle: Highs and Lows from the Last Week in S.F. Music 

Wednesday, Nov 16 2011


• In a brilliant twist on the play-a-classic-album-live trend, They Might Be Giants performed Flood in reverse at the Fillmore, and it was fantastic — a reminder of just how spirited and funny this band can be, even when it's not making jokes. The fact that the three great songs stacked on the a-side of the original release closed the set, instead of opening it, proved the band's inclinations correct.

Mary J. Blige didn't buck the album performance trend, she followed it — playing all of My Life at the Fox Theater for a rapt, constantly singing audience. Her voice is still an incredibly versatile and capable instrument, and the new songs Blige performed off the forthcoming My Life II were promising. We love how genuinely grateful she seemed for her fans, too.

Billboard's FutureSound conference, which hits S.F. this week, hopes to bring normally adversarial tech-heads and music copyright-holders together for a useful conversation about the future. We doubt attendees will find a solution to the music industry's problems in one day, but a cooperative approach can't hurt.


• San Francisco lost Jesse Morris last week, a well-known BART station busker and local musician with his own band, Jesse Morris and the Man Cougars. He was like the city's own Johnny Cash: full of energy, much of it fueled by demons of depression and anxiety. He took his own life barely a month after surviving a previous attempt. Morris was 28.

• Sadly, S.F. rapper Killa Keise was identified as the man found shot to death inside a crashed car alongside Interstate 80 in Vallejo last week. Keise, 28, was well known in the Bay Area rap scene. Stunned tributes from the likes of Bay rappers Kreayshawn, Moe Green, and the Jealous Guys poured out via Twitter following news of his death.

• Techno legends Derrick May and Kevin Saunderson played a highly anticipated show at Public Works, only to struggle against the venue's normally excellent sound system. May and Saunderson demonstrated their chops with long blends and quick cuts, but they didn't play any non-remixed versions of classic tracks, and continued into the early morning exhausting us with hard, punishing beats.

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