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Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Premiere: Owl Paws' "The Things I Forgot"

Posted By on Wed, Jun 17, 2015 at 9:17 AM

  • Owl Paws
San Francisco's Owl Paws, who have been in the studio for a year and a half, move into avant-garde territory with their upcoming 12-track album Reservoir, due out July 10.

The folk-rock trio, featuring singer-guitarist Derek Schultz, bassist Tim Vickers, and drummer Lucas Siobal, stays true to their signature blend of emo and indie but experiment with more layers of decorative melodies and push progressive rhythms throughout the album. The groovy, jam-rock feel recalls indie bands Minus the Bear and Circa Survive, with a jazz-like drive. But there are also hints of world-fusion sprinkled throughout the album, creating serene moments of realization that are almost spiritual. And because the group rocks acoustic instruments, adding mostly ornamental electric guitar, reverb soaked piano, and an occasional bow across Vickers' upright bass, Owl Paws finds themselves in a shuffle suitable for fans of the Shins and the Arcade Fire.

Overall, Owl Paws' Reservoir is nostalgic, yet fresh — simple, but unbelievably technical.

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Monday, June 15, 2015

Delta Spirit and Friends Bring Independent Crowd to Tears

Posted By on Mon, Jun 15, 2015 at 9:34 AM

Delta Spirit and Friends
Including: Jessica Dobson, Sam Owens, Ivan and Alyosha, and Tumbleweed Wanderers
Saturday, June 13, 2015
The Independent

Better Than: Falling for any opening band.

It was five years ago that Matthew Vasquez of Delta Spirit pitched his white Fender Jazzmaster across the stage of the House of Blues in San Diego. It pierced his half-stack and fed back, buzzing on the hardwood floor as he and the band walked off stage. The energy was explosive, and for Delta Spirit, that's par for the course. Over the weekend, at The Independent in San Francisco, Delta Spirit took a softer approach.

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Monday, June 8, 2015

BFD Festival Delivers a Lineup of the Summer's Top Hit Singles

Posted By on Mon, Jun 8, 2015 at 11:58 AM

  • Steve Jennings
  • Modest Mouse
Over 24,000 Bay Area fans gathered at the Shoreline Amphitheatre this past weekend for Live 105’s BFD Festival. Anyone who’s turned the radio on in the past decade were rewarded with familiar hits played by this year’s main stage performances by Cold War Kids, Panic! At The Disco, Of Monsters and Men, and Modest Mouse.

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The Stone Foxes Sweat Through Their Shirts at GAMH

Posted By on Mon, Jun 8, 2015 at 10:35 AM

  • Kristina Bakrevski
The Stone Foxes
Trendy Dad
Andy Cabic
June 6, 2015
The Great American Music Hall

The Stone Foxes have claimed the keys to the city of San Francisco.

The will call line at the GAMH Saturday night snake-tailed back all the way to the venue's neighbors, a well-known Tenderloin gentleman’s club with a couple arguing outside of it ("Babe, you said it was cool, now you're acting all mad. I was just watching!").

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Sufjan Stevens Plays The Fox, Shares Bacteria with a Stranger

Posted By on Mon, Jun 8, 2015 at 9:39 AM

Sufjan Stevens
Helado Negro

June 5, 2015
The Fox, Oakland

Better Than: Seeing a gas station across from the Fox offering $2.78/gallon for gas and getting pretty excited until get closer and realize part of the neon on the number is just broken and it’s actually $3.78.

Sufjan Stevens is halfway through his set Friday night at the Fox Theater in Oakland when he decides to speak for the first time. “I’m not allowed to talk before I wear the green hat,” he explains, pointing to the tarnished baseball cap he’s just put on.

Finally empowered to address his adoring crowd, a group that has spent the first 11 songs of the evening in silent rapture, Sufjan offers a slipstream take on a number of subjects. They include the infinite forms that grief can take, a childhood addiction to Twizzlers brought about by the death of his pet rat Mr. Bossypants, and the joy of New Orleans funerals versus listening to the Cure alone. He leaps from one topic to the next with ease, never looking back or apologetic of an abrupt transition.

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D'Angelo Comes Back to Life in Oakland

Posted By on Mon, Jun 8, 2015 at 9:19 AM

  • Adrian Spinelli
I'm not sure if I've ever anticipated a show this much before. It's been 15 years since D'Angelo's last US headlining tour, and I've waited and waited, being teased along the way with cancellations, rumors, dead ends... "D'Angelo playing a show!" became an urban legend. It got to the point where people just kind of laughed when a D'Angelo show was announced, because you knew it wasn't happening. But last night was different. Because last night actually did happen, and many of us in the crowd have waited half our lives or more for a chance to see D'Angelo come back to life.

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Monday, June 1, 2015

SF Tunes: Listen to The Dodos' Individ

Posted By on Mon, Jun 1, 2015 at 12:11 PM

The proliferation of musical duos since the widespread popularity of The White Stripes has been a positive thing if you're an indie music aficionado. Not only did the odd configuration produce music that sounded as grand if not better than a quartet, folks were also introduced to The Dodos.

For the better part of 10 years, Meric Long (vocals and guitar) and Logan Kroeber (drums) have proven their songwriting chops worthy of six full-length releases. The latest pairing of the band with Polyvinyl records — home to such artists as Of Montreal, STRFKR, Deerhoof, and Japandroids — has worked much better than the group's previous Frenchkiss releases. Now on a label with notable acts and solid distribution, the band's new album Individ can be found everywhere.

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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Gray Area Festival Delivers Its Message with Shigeto and Teebs

Posted By on Tue, May 26, 2015 at 10:01 AM

click image JUSTIN YEE
  • Justin Yee

San Francisco's Gray Area Art & Technology foundation had a huge weekend.

In celebrating the proverbial finish line for the renovation of its new facility in the Grand Theater on Mission street, the foundation, which champions "...the gray area between the arts, technology, and design," closed out a three-day conference with performances by Shigeto and Teebs, two artists who straddle that very same gray area of creativity.

Teebs, who puts his music out on Flying Lotus' L.A.-based Brainfeeder label, was manning the decks on the left side of the massive room; the Grand Theater's old main show-space, but without the seats and leveled off to expose the gargantuan projector screen. Standing in the front of the room, Teebs dropped hard, core-rattling boom clap bass tracks and smooth electro wavelengths — the signature Brainfeeder future-hop sound. But there was a subtle anxiety in the air as everyone stared at the lonely drum set on the main stage, that would soon be manned by the evening's star from Detroit. 

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Thursday, May 14, 2015

Celtic Folk Rock Band Tempest Release New Record The Tracks We Leave

Posted By on Thu, May 14, 2015 at 11:13 AM

For nearly 30 years, Leif Sorbye and his band of Celtic warriors have played all over the greater United States and become one of the most consistent draws in the Celtic Rock scene. The Tracks We Leave comes a full five years after the band's last release on the Magna Carta label, home to such disparate acts as Bozzio/Levin Stevens, Kansas, Ethan Brosh, Mike Portnoy (ex-Dream Theater), James LaBrie (Dream Theater), and countless others. Sorbye's group, Tempest, are the longest-running band on the label and have been releasing albums since the stellar 1996 full-length Turn Of The Wheel.

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Friday, November 28, 2014

Live Review: Common Is a Conscious Dick at Regency Ballroom

Posted By on Fri, Nov 28, 2014 at 3:02 PM

Jay Electronica
  • Jay Electronica

Jay Electronica
Wednesday, September 26, 2014
Regency Ballroom

Better than:
Thanksgiving at Erykah Badu’s house

For reasons I never bothered to ascertain, the Ohio neo-soul-hop duo Fly.Union never showed up, so Wednesday night’s show began around 8.30 p.m. with a set by the New Orleans-born, London-based, cosmos-oriented rapper Jay Electronica. In the interest of full disclosure I will say that I have held Jay Electronica in impossibly high, messiah-caliber esteem since about 2009; that he has done so little since then to validate or defy my expectations — his first LP has allegedly been done for more than three years, and your guess is as good as mine when we’ll hear it — is part of what I like about him. All the same, I was prepared to be disappointed, because if you can’t be bothered to drop your damn album by now, how likely is it that you can be bothered to put on a rewarding live show?

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  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    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.'"