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

Wednesday, Apr 25 2012


• It was a regular Monday night pub trivia game at Minx in the Tendernob — and then Australian pop star Gotye showed up. Fresh off his Saturday Night Live appearance, the "Somebody That I Used to Know" singer kicked everyone's ass at rock 'n' roll trivia. And he posed for lots of silly pictures, too.

• On the 29th anniversary of the release of the band's first album, Britpop heroes Pulp played the Warfield — and delivered what's likely to be one of the best concerts of the year. Pulp tore through hit singles like "Common People" as well as deep album cuts, and in between songs, frontman Jarvis Cocker delivered mini-lectures on sex and literature, even divulging that he reads the band's Wikipedia page. A night for the ages, it was.

Outside Lands announced the lineup for the festival's fifth year, and it's nothing to sniff at. Headliners include Metallica, Stevie Wonder, Neil Young and Crazy Horse, Foo Fighters, Skrillex, Beck, and Sigur Rós. Farther down the lineup, we're excited to see locals Wallpaper and Thee Oh Sees, as well as Aussie psych mavens Tame Impala and the grandiose chart-pop of Fun.


• The music world lost a titan with the passing of Levon Helm, drummer and singer for legendary Americana outfit the Band. His behind-the-beat drumming and parched vocal tone helped the group achieve a sepia-toned timelessness that still haunts songs like "Up on Cripple Creek" and "The Weight." Helm, a heavy smoker, died of cancer at age 71. He will be missed.

• So Tupac was revived in hologram form for Coachella? And Dr. Dre might take the illusion on tour? Gross. We can only imagine what bullshit someone will dream up next: hologram shows for Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston? Living artists "performing" in two places at once? Stop this madness now, before it's too late.

M83 opened its U.S. tour at the Fillmore on Sunday, and although the live ensemble was full of energy and dazzling lights, the set was sparse on actual musical ideas. Nearly every song evoked a driving-through-the-city-at-night vibe, and followed a similar build, drop, climax, repeat dynamic, which got tiresome. Main man Anthony Gonzalez has a charmingly sincere stage presence, though.

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