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Friday, September 12, 2014

New Century Chamber Orchestra Delights, 9/11/14

Posted By on Fri, Sep 12, 2014 at 12:42 PM

New Century Chamber Orchestra
  • New Century Chamber Orchestra

New Century Chamber Orchestra
Violinist and Music Director Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, Composer and clarinetist Derek Bermel
Thursday, Sept. 11, 2014
First Congregational Church, Berkeley

Better than: Geometry. The concert was all about angles and surfaces, but unlike anything force-fed in a 10th grade mathematics class.

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Monday, August 25, 2014

Jack White Unleashes Blazing, Unpredictable Set at Bill Graham

Posted By on Mon, Aug 25, 2014 at 12:58 PM

Jack White, circa 1958 - SUGARWOLF
  • Sugarwolf
  • Jack White, circa 1958

“Are you all ready for a rock ‘n’ roll show?” asked a member of Jack White’s fedora-and-suit sporting road crew before the main event began Friday night at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium. After responding with an enthusiastic roar, the audience was politely but firmly asked to keep cell phones put away and experience the moment rather than trying to capture blurry digital memories with their handheld devices. If White’s fiery, freewheeling performance proved anything, it was the guitarist’s whole-hearted commitment to living in the here and now.

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Thursday, August 14, 2014

FKA Twigs Hypnotizes the Great American Music Hall, 8/13/14

Posted By on Thu, Aug 14, 2014 at 1:38 PM

  • Gabe Meline
FKA Twigs
w/ P. Morris
Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014
Great American Music Hall

I'm not one for predictions of fame, but any moron with an internet connection can tell you that FKA Twigs' star is swiftly on the ascendance, and a solitary moment during last night's show at the Great American Music Hall evinced why.

It was a moment, essentially, where she did nothing.

Partway through "Pendulum," the singer writhed her arm up into the air like a cobra, arched her back, threw her head up, seized her beady eyes on a distant point and... froze. The music stopped. The sold-out crowd roared. Pose stricken, flag planted.

FKA Twigs is the stage name of Tahliah Barnett, a supremely talented new artist from the U.K. with the imagery of Aaliyah, the wardrobe of TLC, the minimalist production of mid-aughts Björk, the frenetic arm flailing of Drake and the tense vibe of Portishead. Her voice remains solely its own, as does her utterly compelling songwriting. Barnett's debut album, LP1, was released two days ago. In the gigantic ocean that is music today, it has no close peer, and her show last night proved just as revelatory.

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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Future Overcomes the Monday Curse at Regency Ballroom, 6/30/14

Posted By on Tue, Jul 1, 2014 at 2:01 PM

Future at the Regency Ballroom - GABE MELINE
  • Gabe Meline
  • Future at the Regency Ballroom

w/ Rico Love, Test & Zona Man
Monday, June 30, 2014
Regency Ballroom

Monday can be the cruelest night of the week. Certainly, that initially seemed to be the case for Future's show at the Regency Ballroom last night, when after the tepid openers (who drew an audience reaction somewhere between "What should I eat for breakfast tomorrow morning?" and "I am watching a nature documentary"), the venue remained half-full. For one of the most unique voices in rap right now, and for the scattered fans who clearly spent two or three hours getting gussied up for the event, it felt a little underwhelming.

But Future, touring on his more-hits-than-misses sophomore album Honest, has a way of fighting off slumps. Hell, any artist with the sheer quantity of hooks as Future has a leg up in a live situation, and the unifying experience of standing amongst hundreds of like-minded fans, singing said hooks in unison with contagious optimism, can turn any staid Monday night into a party.

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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.'"