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

Wednesday, May 9 2012


• Don't let Fleet Foxes' seriousness fool you: Ex-drummer Josh Tillman's new group, Father John Misty, is musically gifted and lots of fun, too. On Saturday, Tillman goofed around onstage instead of taking an encore break, and told fans to stop fawning over him. ("Fuck my hair.") FJM's rootsy rock went down well, too — no wonder he quit Fleet Foxes to go solo.

• We rounded up the most cocaine-influenced albums of all time in a decadent list that included obvious rockers like David Bowie and Fleetwood Mac, but also jazz sax great Art Pepper, country misfit Waylon Jennings, and former Bay Area star Sly Stone. The project proved Rick James' famous saying: "Cocaine's a helluva drug."

• The Stern Grove Festival announced its 2012 lineup of free Sunday concerts, which includes Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Ozomatli, and OK Go, along with annual performances by the San Francisco Symphony and Ballet. Let the summertime Sunday tradition begin!


• It will take a while for the music world to accept the loss of Beastie Boys member Adam Yauch, aka MCA, who died last Friday after a battle with cancer. In addition to founding the group and serving as a key MC, Yauch directed classic videos like "Sabotage" and helped lead the band's humanitarian campaigns. Yauch was only 47. He will be dearly missed.

• On an utterly less important note, the Black Keys proved largely disappointing during their sold-out Oracle Arena show. The whole thing was marred by booming, clattery sound — Auerbach's overloud guitar was a major culprit — and the band squelched all the subtlety we love in what seemed like a search for arena-level pomp.

• So the Morning Benders are now called POP ETC — but we're still thinking (and hoping and praying) their whole recent transformation is a joke. The new video for "Live It Up" has singer Chris Chu moaning like Usher in a tank top over a sultry beat. But the louche come-ons don't work so well when he starts laughing at himself at the end.

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