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Monday, July 25, 2016

Live Review: Weird Al Yankovic Needs to Work on His Live Shows

Posted By on Mon, Jul 25, 2016 at 10:20 AM

  • Courtesy of Weird Al Yankovic
I wasn't entirely sure what to expect out of Weird Al Yankovic's The Mandatory World Tour when it stopped at the City National Civic in San Jose Sunday night. Though I'm more of a casual Weird Al fan ("UHF" is downright hilarious), there are a few songs of his that I find myself listening to quite often, and I've always been one to enjoy musical parodies.

The show opened with Yankovic's "Tacky" — his parody of Pharrell Williams' "Happy" — with live footage of the comedic singer displayed on large screens showing him outside the venue, entering the theater, and walking through the crowd before joining his backing band on stage. The crowd erupted in a roar that for a moment seemed to overpower the song itself.

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Friday, July 1, 2016

Deep House Yoga Brings The Yogi Mindset to The Club

Posted By on Fri, Jul 1, 2016 at 12:31 PM

  • Sarah Purkrabek
There’s a line to get into Public Works, our temple for the evening. I don’t mean that ironically — it’s just after 6 p.m., and this crowd is toting yoga mats and water bottles instead of energy drinks spiked with vodka.

We’re all waiting for Deep House Yoga SF, a San Francisco-born pop-up yoga event that partners with venues like Public Works and Love & Propaganda, to throw these almost-weekly yoga parties.

Jill McDonald and Julie Tran are the creative minds behind the idea — the two were each combining house music and yoga on their own before serendipitously meeting at McDonald’s first Deep House Yoga event in the city a year ago. The partnership clicked — both McDonald and Tran are certified yoga teachers, and McDonald is a DJ — and ever since, the duo has been working to bring the pop-up to different locations throughout the city, with greater and greater turnouts each time.

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Thursday, May 26, 2016

Live Review: The Dwyer Downunder — King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard at The Independent

Posted By on Thu, May 26, 2016 at 1:31 PM

  • Amber Schadewald
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard
The Murlocs
The Independent
May 25, 2016

There were no gizzards and no lizards, but there were definitely wizards at Melbourne psych-rock septet King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard's sold-out show at The Independent on Wednesday night. With greasy guitars and yelps galore, the John Dwyer-esque vibes were strong, and it made every organ ache just right. But don’t trip — these Australian creeps are no copycats. They’re wizards, remember?  And Wednesday night’s set was one glorious trip, with no breaks or shitty banter.

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Friday, May 13, 2016

Live Review: The Portland Cello Project Was a Far Cry From What I Was Expecting

Posted By on Fri, May 13, 2016 at 1:30 PM

Rock'n'roll the Portland Cello Project is not. - WILLIE CLARK
  • Willie Clark
  • Rock'n'roll the Portland Cello Project is not.

I did not enjoy my first experience with PCP.

The band, that is, not the drug. The Portland Cello Project played Thursday evening at Slim's, and it was more Bach than rock, and I was not digging it.

The 9-year-old collective is billed as a crossover act, mixing jazz, classical, and rock, but on that particular night, PCP (which consists of four cellists and one percussionist) leaned heavily on its classical roots and never played anything that was more than an extension of the idea that it might be cool to take a song not written for cello and play it on, well, cello.

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Monday, April 25, 2016

Twenty Years After They Split, British Shoegaze Band Lush Still Knows How To Put On A Stellar Show

Posted By on Mon, Apr 25, 2016 at 11:53 AM

Miki Berenyl - RAYMOND AHNER
  • Raymond Ahner
  • Miki Berenyl
Sunday, April, 24 
The Warfield

Despite the fact that the band broke up almost 20 years ago, London’s short-lived queens and kings of ethereal and psychedelic pop fare, Lush, returned to San Francisco to play for an at-capacity crowd of much older, but no less enthused fans. Before the band's split in 1998, the group only released a handful of full-length albums and extended plays, yet they still managed to make an indelible mark on both the indie and shoegaze scenes as evidenced by the crowd at last night's reunion show at The Warfield.  (In addition to playing the United States, Lush will be heading back overseas to play the festival circuit followed by yet another round of dates in major markets.)

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Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Chvrches Opened Every Eye Monday Night at the Fox Theater in Oakland

Posted By on Tue, Apr 19, 2016 at 2:59 PM

  • Photo: Zack Ruskin

The floor was actually bending.

I’ve been to many shows at Oakland’s The Fox Theater, but Monday night was the first time I had to stop and consider the building’s structural integrity mid-concert. The culprit for the rattle beneath my feet was Chvrches, the Scottish electronic trio with two stellar records under their belt and a seemingly limitless supply of energy. The cause for their show was the (unfortunately titled) concept of “Baychella,” the week between Coachella festivals when bands on the bill get the hell out of Indio to play the Bay Area outside of their normal touring schedules.

“Baychella” is a gift that San Francisco has embraced even back when the festival was only one weekend – with venues like The Fillmore and The Fox serving as defacto warm-up gigs before bands take the big stage down in the desert. “Baychella” also affords the chance to create unique pairings on the bills. In this case, Chvrches took the opportunity to ask fellow Coachella act Wolf Alice to open their Oakland shows.

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Monday, March 28, 2016

Live Review: Sayonara Brian Fallon of Yore

Posted By on Mon, Mar 28, 2016 at 10:15 AM

Brian Fallon - WILLIE CLARK
  • Willie Clark
  • Brian Fallon

Brian Fallon is a snake.

Sure, it might not be the most complementary of metaphors, but it's fitting. During Fallon's set Friday night at the Great American Music Hall, it was clear that Fallon, much like a snake, is shedding his skin.

One would never guess this was the same New Jersey punk rocker who fronted The Gaslight Anthem through five albums, before the band went on hiatus last year.

Fallon and his backing band — billed as The Crowes for this tour — opened with "Last Rites " off of Elsie, the 2011-album that Fallon created under one of his side projects, The Horrible Crowes. It set the mood and tone for the evening, as if to say this show was going to be about as far from a Gaslight Anthem set as it could be. Punk be damned, this was the time for the slow and the sultry side of Fallon's musical personality to shine through.

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Monday, March 14, 2016

Live Review: A Springsteen Virgin Goes To His First Boss Show

Posted By on Mon, Mar 14, 2016 at 12:06 PM

  • Willie Clark
  • The Boss

Oh down to the river we'd ride...

It was cold, wet, and rainy as I made it down to the Oracle Area in Oakland on Sunday night to see Bruce Springsteen’s The River Tour, a celebration of The Boss's titular 1980 album of the same name.

In the grand scheme of things, I’m a casual Springsteen fan — and a new one at that. Sure, I finally added "Born to Run" and "Born in the U.S.A." to my collection a few years back, but if Springsteenism is a religion, I'm a new convert that shows up to services just for Easter and Christmas.

Before the show, I had actually never listened to The River (although I did yesterday to prep for the concert), and this was my first time seeing The Boss live. I wasn't sure what to expect — perhaps a quiz show testing my fandom before I was allowed to take my seat? I know of the Stony Pony at least...that has to count for something. I also knew Springsteen has a reputation for marathon-length sets. Even my car breaking down earlier this week (ironic, given Springsteen's many odes to wheels) wasn't going to stop me from making it.

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Saturday, March 5, 2016

Live Review: Prince Takes Oracle Arena to Church

Posted By on Sat, Mar 5, 2016 at 3:15 PM

The only photo of Prince we're allowed to show you. He's in charge. - NPG RECORDS
  • NPG Records
  • The only photo of Prince we're allowed to show you. He's in charge.

Prince likes us. After scheduling a pair of sold-out shows on Feb. 28 at Oakland's Paramount Theater — wherein Prince appeared on stage alone, save for a piano and a microphone, bestowing upon two back-to-back audiences something close to a religious experience — Mr. Rogers Nelson chose to stick around the Bay Area a little longer, scheduling another show (Friday night's show at Oracle Arena), which (also) sold out in minutes. 

He must like us a lot: All week, there were reports of Prince popping up at music venues in San Francisco. On Thursday, the night before his sold-out arena show, he scoped out the venue via a courtside seat at the Warriors game, where he stole the scene and outshone the world champion, record-breaking team, becoming the main attraction merely by sitting down. (After the game, Warriors point guard Steph Curry admitted that the place wasn't the same with Prince in the house. It had a certain aura to it).

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Monday, February 29, 2016

Live Review: Despite Interruptions, DIIV Powered Through Their Noise Pop Headlining Set

Posted By on Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 1:39 PM

  • Elle Coxon

with Tennis System and Summer Peaks
February 27, 2016
Brick and Mortar Music Hall

DIIV’s first headline set of Noise Pop was a fight to the finish.

The adversaries came early and often. Guitar and amplifier woes plagued frontman Zachary Cole Smith, who kicked his pedalboard back to life almost as many times as he used it to distort his guitar sound. At one point, someone from the audience started making chirping bird calls which created some confusion and distraction onstage. Smith had little in the way of easygoing stage banter, instead muttering, “We’re DIIV, we’re from New York,” at every given opportunity. Dude, we know who you are. It’s written in giant white letters behind your head.

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    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"