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

Wednesday, Nov 23 2011


DJ Harvey put on one of the best parties of the year at Public Works, mixing disco funk, classic house, and lots of rare grooves to keep an ecstatic crowd moving into the morning. The whole thing opened with a titanic drum solo, and Harvey had the rollers muttering about his perfect tracks all the way through.

Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds soared at the Orpheum, where the older Gallagher brother and former Oasis member showed why he was the Britpop legends' chief songwriter. His new cuts were reminiscent of the band's '90s heyday, but of course it was old hits like "Wonderwall" and "Don't Look Back in Anger" that inspired big, stupid grins all around the room.

• S.F.'s Third Eye Blind put out a song called "If There Ever Was a Time," in support of the Occupy movement. That's not totally surprising — frontman Stephan Jenkins is a brainy rockstar with his own antipoverty campaign. The new song feels breezy and catchy, not unlike "Semi-Charmed Life," and reminds us why we can't help but like the city-repping Jenkins.


• Any regulars of the S.F. nightclub Mighty will be familiar with one of its unique features: ample street parking. Too bad that city officials nearly proposed taking it away in an effort to stop the less fortunate from sleeping in their cars nearby. A storm of 800 letters in support of Mighty's spaces took that idea off the table, but only for now.

• After her latest breakdown, we have to seriously ask: Is Courtney Love mentally ill? Yelling at a Brazilian fan who held up a picture of Kurt Cobain during her show is only the most recent in a string of public incidents that, while they grab headlines, are deeply sad. She seems to need professional help — and maybe a little sympathy.

• Why do critics hate bland, gateway indie rock bands like Foster the People, Young the Giant, and Cage the Elephant? Because even though those bands write some decent songs, music scribes are keenly aware that more original and exciting music is out there being largely ignored. And ear candy like "Pumped Up Kicks" isn't gonna inspire many thinkpieces.

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