Just a thought: next time a San Francisco landmark turns 75 years old and dazzles citizens with a mind-blowing light show, can we blast electronic music downward from the sky via blimps? Right?
Moving on. Put these five shows on your radar this week and keep the party going:
Now known best for their status as Jimmy Fallon’s house band, The Roots didn’t always have a vast audience. The absurdly fun soul/funk/hip-hop act has been paying dues for well over two decades. They’ve managed to maintain their artistic cred as a house band, probably because they still have the coolest tuba player in the world, Damon "Tuba Gooding Jr." Bryson.
When Philadelphia songsmith Kurt Vile sends his words through his uncut, unmanaged hair, the lyrics seem to go through a reverse filter, coming out dingier than how we would otherwise understand them. It’s odd to say, but Vile’s songs are dark to begin with, but his unkempt mane colors them in an even bleaker light. Comparisons to Bob Dylan and Springsteen are apt, and his album Smoke Ring for my Halo is must-listen fare.
We featured S.F’s own soundscape engineer Tycho earlier this year, and then we saw him with our own eyes. Now I can’t help but feel compelled to mention him every time he gigs in town. The songs are only half of the Tycho experience; his visual backdrops take imaginative listeners to a different mental place. See him now, or see him soon.
Another San Francisco act that must be seen to really be appreciated, Weekend rocks in the hardest way, and with robust layers at every turn. Be sure to listen at max volume if you’re tuning in at home — yep, that’s our city’s best answer to My Bloody Valentine.
No lyrics are necessary when Mogwai jams it out. Think Explosions in the Sky but a bit moodier. Somehow there is volumes of information to process in their music despite a void of language. How they manage that, we’ll never know.