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

Wednesday, Sep 21 2011


• There were fascinating conversations to be found at the biannual S.F. MusicTech Conference. One that captured our ears included, among others, locals Jack Conte of Pomplamoose and cellist Zoe Keating. She said a shout-out on NPR did more for her music sales than any social networking, while Conte said he doubts people will still be paying to download song files in five years. How will artists make a living then? We don't know — but there are a lot of smart people trying to figure it out.

• Sept. 13 was officially declared Jimi Hendrix Winterland Day in San Francisco, in celebration of the six fabled shows that the late guitar legend played at the now-defunct concert venue in October 1968. This year's occasion was the issue of a box set of recordings from those concerts. We didn't know our city cared about Seattle native Hendrix so much, but we're really happy it does.

• Ever set foot in the sprawling, expensive, crowded Union Square nightclub Ruby Skye? Us neither — but when we went to check out Dutch house duo Chocolate Puma, we found an exquisite sound system, bewildering lighting arrays, and a diverse crowd that just wanted to have a good time.


The Twilight Singers performed all of their 2003 classic Blackberry Belle at Great American Music Hall — the latest aging band to capitalize on the cash cow of playing fan-favorite albums in their entirety. The performance of the record was a bit stiff, though a second set of mixed material fared much better.

• We're sad to report that the shows Broken Social Scene will play in S.F. on Oct. 1 — at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass in the afternoon and the Fillmore in the evening — will be the Canadian collective's last shows for a while. BSS is going on an indefinite hiatus so the members can relax and work on other projects. It's not over for good, but it sounds like it's over for now.

Rascal Flatts, which played Shoreline last week, is the worst hugely popular music act in America. No, really it is: Take cheap pop influences, run them through the bland Nashville production blender, put singer Gary LeVox's hideous caterwaul over them, and Rascal Flatts is what you get. Call it abstinence-only rock 'n' roll.

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