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Monday, August 15, 2016

Live Review: Alabama Shakes and Kurt Vile Made Their Own Weather at the Greek

Posted By on Mon, Aug 15, 2016 at 11:58 AM

Alabama Shakes at the Greek, Berkeley - PHOTO: ZACK RUSKIN
  • Photo: Zack Ruskin
  • Alabama Shakes at the Greek, Berkeley

Brittany Howard didn’t chat much between songs, but with a voice like that, why waste it on talking?

Taking the stage for the second of two sold out shows at Berkeley’s Greek Theatre, the Alabama Shake's singer made sure to introduce the other members of the band, to thank the crowd for their energy, and to remark on the beauty of the venue. But mainly she sang: shrieks and high notes mingling together into something altogether magical. Trying to peg Howard’s voice is a futile exercise, because while there are traces of Janis Joplin and Robert Plant to be found in it, no comparison would rightly do it justice.

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Premiere: Dangermaker's New Single "I Won't Let You Down" Is A Love Song, But It's Definitely Not Mushy

Posted By on Mon, Aug 15, 2016 at 10:43 AM

Dark-pop quartet Dangermaker aren't known for crafting love songs. Formed in 2008, the San Francisco band has released three EPs and one full-length album, all the while managing to avoid the mushy topic of love, focusing instead on subjects related to personal struggles and growth. 

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Friday, August 12, 2016

The Pessimist: Experiencing "1 Night" With Lil Yachty

Posted By on Fri, Aug 12, 2016 at 12:21 PM

  • Regency Ballroom/Instagram
  • Lil Yachty

Eighteen-year-old rapper Lil Yachty has been making headlines for the last seven months, starting with his modeling stunt at Kanye West's Yeezy Season 3 fashion show/album release party at Madison Square Garden. Since then, he's been remarkably active.

The flame-haired Atlanta native dropped his debut album, Lil Boat, in March, and I kid you not when I say that every single song on the 14-track record has at least one million listens on SoundCloud, with single "1 Night" topping the list at 32.6 million plays. He made it on the cover of XXL's 2016 Freshman Class issue, modeled for Puma and Pink Dolphin, appeared on Drake's OVO Sound Radio, and became the first artist to collaborate on a song with reality star and, arguably the world's most famous then-18-year-old, Kylie Jenner. He's performed with Young Thug, held a show at the Museum of Modern Art, and collaborated with some of the biggest of-the-moment artists in hip-hop, like PARTYNEXTDOOR, French Montana, Ty Dolla Sign, Desiigner, and ilovemakonnen. And, though he's currently on his Boat Show Tour, he'll hit the road again later this year to tour as an opener for Rae Sremmurd. 

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Thursday, August 11, 2016

UK Post-Punkers, Shopping, Are The Best Band You've Never Heard Of

Posted By on Thu, Aug 11, 2016 at 10:00 AM

  • Steve Glashier
  • Shopping

Who said punk music isn't for dancing? Certainly not the members of UK trio Shopping, because, well, that's exactly what their fast-paced, bass-heavy music is meant for. 

Formed in 2012, the band released its debut album, Consumer Complaints, last year, and followed it up this year with Why Choose, an even stronger sophomore effort. We chatted with the disco-inspired punkers ahead of their Saturday, August 13 show, about making the album, their favorite venues to play at, and that time they won over a group of football-obsessed bros. 

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Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Kurt Vile Is Not Depressed — He's Just Moody

Posted By on Wed, Aug 10, 2016 at 2:02 PM

  • Marina Chavez
  • Kurt Vile

Kurt Vile is an artist whose lyricism revels in the dark alleys of existentialism and identity crisis, yet is somehow simultaneously sprinkled with comic relief in the bluntest of ways. His most recent album b’lieve i’m going down…, released on Matador Records last September, was widely-lauded as one of the greatest albums of 2015, gaining recognition from Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon and accolades from Rolling Stone for being "his most introspective tapestry yet."

With his Bob Dylan-esque vocals and tight guitar picking, Vile has a way of flirting with the complexities of life, but the 36-year-old is quick to remind us that things don’t always have to be so serious. In advance of his August 12 and 13 shows at The Greek Theatre, we chatted with the indie artist about the highlights of his most recent tour, April Fool's jokes, and wallabies vs. kangaroos. 

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Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Six Notable Acts From Outside Lands 2016

Posted By on Tue, Aug 9, 2016 at 12:55 PM

  • Senny Mau
This year's Outside Lands was about as memorable and successful as one could ask for. In between the fancy, albeit ridiculous food stands — think ramen burgers and donut burgers — there were standout performances from Radiohead and LCD Soundsystem, as well as a bizarre trend among some of the musicians, like Miike Snow and Miguel, to dress in all white. There was also that pop-up show from Griz that resulted in a mass mosh-pit and (literally) dozens of people getting pickpocketed. Not cool, bro. 

If you didn't make it to Golden Gate to partake in the festivities — or get your wallet stolen — we've rounded up six of the most notable acts for your perusal. Check it out and remember, if you're feeling bummed about missing out, there's always next year. 

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Earworm Weekly: "I Feel Beautiful" by Robyn Hitchcock

Posted By on Tue, Aug 9, 2016 at 10:00 AM

Not all earworms are former Billboard Top Ten successes, well-known by everyone who hears even a few notes of their melody. Some earworms can be obscure songs that come to have personal meaning to the listener. They get burned into your mind through repetition and conscious nurture. That's very much the case with me and this week's earworm, “I Feel Beautiful,” by Robyn Hitchcock.

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Monday, August 8, 2016

The 12 Best Songs With "Fuck" In Their Titles

Posted By on Mon, Aug 8, 2016 at 1:07 PM

"F" is for "fuck"
  • "F" is for "fuck"

I still remember the first time I heard someone my own age say the word "fuck." I was in second grade in Mrs. Wright's class, and  I was sitting on the bench behind the dugout waiting my turn at kickball. Josh Kaplan, a towheaded boy who also happened to be the class clown, was ahead of me, and when he kicked the ball out of bounds, he uttered the then-outlawed word, at which point I'm pretty sure every pre-pubescent jaw on the baseball field and beyond dropped. 

"Josh said the f-word," my classmates whispered to each other for the rest of the day. It was the talk not only of Mrs. Wright's class, but of the entire second grade. It was a BIG deal. 

And now it's not. Not only are we adults, but the f-word — and seemingly every other cuss word — is pretty much OK to utter, even if you are a kid. Blame it on the media, the proliferation of rap music, or bad parenting, but the fact is saying "fuck" just isn't that big of a deal anymore. 

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Friday, August 5, 2016

Folk From Avalon: Globelamp On Songwriting, Le Tigre, and Broken Teeth

Posted By on Fri, Aug 5, 2016 at 10:30 AM

Globelamp - ANGELA IZZO
  • Angela Izzo
  • Globelamp

Elizabeth Le Fey arranges her life in epiphanies.

The singer-songwriter experienced her first epiphany in Los Angeles at 15 courtesy of a babysitter who took her and a friend to see Le Tigre at the El Rey. That night, Le Fey  learned what powerful feminist rock looked like, and managed to get a hug from Kathleen Hanna. The next day, she stopped shaving her legs. Though the majority of her fellow classmates were oblivious to Hanna and the Riot grrrl movement, the show sparked a miniature feminist revolution within her high school friend group, led to the the creation of her now-defunct punk band Meowkins, and armored her against the torrents of sexist attacks she would later endure.

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Thursday, August 4, 2016

Not Going to Outside Lands? Here's How You Should Spend Your Weekend

Posted By on Thu, Aug 4, 2016 at 2:03 PM

  • Josh Hanford/Wikipedia
  • GRiZ
So you don't have a ticket to Outside Lands and you feel kind of bummed because seemingly all of your friends do and they can't stop gabbing about how stoked they are to see Radiohead and J.Cole. You're a bit jealous, but hey, don't worry, braddah. There are so many other shows going on this weekend that you can go to and then brag about to your friends later.

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  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"