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

Wednesday, Oct 26 2011


Portishead brought its spellbinding moodscapes to a sold-out Greek Theatre on Friday, and dazzled an adoring crowd with all the tension, balance, and subtle despair that make its records so memorable. Beth Gibbons' lonely voice on a stripped-down "Wandering Stars" was one obvious highlight, but the whole show was incredible.

• Sunday saw metal heaven at the Warfield, with Anthrax and locals Testament and Death Angel thrashing onstage. In the audience were members of Slayer, Machine Head, and Metallica — the latter's Kirk Hammett even rocked out with the headliners. All in all, a very heavy night.

• What's MC Hammer up to (besides beefing with Jay-Z and rapping for the kiddies every year at Hardly Strictly)? Turns out he's helping fund a new search engine called WireDoo that shows users topics related to their search query. Guess this Bay legend is too legit to Google.


• We caught Four Tet and Thomas Bullock at 1015 Folsom, hoping to have our negative impression of the superclub's sound reversed. Turns out the system at this legendary nightspot excels at bass, but lacks punchy mids and crisp highs. Four Tet's set still went down like a colorfully melting dream, though.

Britney Spears and Rihanna unveiled gritty new videos that show a strange prejudice against England and its people. Rihanna's "We Found Love" portrays England as a "hopeless place," and gives her villainous boyfriend a British lilt. "Criminal" finds Britney rescued from an abusive limey by an American rogue amid scenes of gun violence far more common here than in the U.K. Really, ladies?

• We didn't think S.F. needed a stoner-rapper answer to Girls Gone Wild's Joe Francis, but now we have one. KMEL regular Berner is working on a Stoner Girls Gone Wild web series, which is about as stupidly NSFW as you'd imagine. He's even planning a DVD. We only wonder how soon Francis' cease-and-desist letter will arrive.

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