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This Week in Live Music: Robyn, Veruca Salt, Sharon Van Etten, and More

Rockin' Robyn

Swedish pop legend Robyn plays Bill Graham Civic Center with Roykskopp this Saturday. (photo courtesy of Robyn)

The Treasure Island Music Festival lineup was announced last week, and—shocker—it's packed with some of our favorite acts around right now. Headliners Outkast and Massive Attack are only a fraction of the draw—Alt-J, Washed Out, Zedd, TV on the Radio, and on and on and on, good lord, (New Pornographers!). If the festival isn’t sold out already, it will be soon, so . . . get on it already. Yeesh.

Wednesday: Steve Winwood at Mountain Winery

When forming your hypothetical all-time jam band, might we recommend living legend Steve Winwood? Every theoretical jam band desperately needs 1) a guy who understands that jam-outs need flits of intoxicating melody, and 2) that same guy to also realize we’re here to jam (pop song structures are much too limited). Ideally, he can belt out a chorus, too. That’s Winwood, former frontman for legendary rock groups The Spencer Davis Group, Blind Faith, and Traffic, a man who has given us some of pop music’s most iconic songs, including “Higher Love,” “Roll With It,” and “Gimme Some Lovin’."  Recently, Winwood’s live shows have taken on a more jammy approach. Assign him to your Jam band All-Star team while his stock is still peaking.

Thursday: Veruca Salt at The Independent

Remember? The Seether? God, Veruca Salt is SOOOOO ‘90s, in the most shamelessly, gloriously ‘90s way possible. The original incarnation of the band recently played its first live gig since 1996, on Conan, who incidentally hasn’t aged a lick since the mid-’90s. Check. This. Out.

Still got it.

Thursday: Pharoahe Monch at Mighty

2007’s Desire still stands as one of the most important hip-hop albums of the last decade. That’s where the NYC rapper first flaunted his swagger for a larger national audience, his mammoth hooks, his uncompromising wordsmithing, and his profound thinking, seizing the senses at every turn. Monch is currently touring in support of his latest entry into the genius hip-hop catalogue, the high-concept, high-reward album Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, which has earned plaudits from all over.   

Saturday: Robyn + Röyksopp at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium 

OMG! There aren’t enough fuzzy emojis in the world to capture our platonic lust for electropop noblewoman Robyn. The worshipped songstress just released a short and super sweet collection of songs with fellow Scandinavians Röyksopp. You’ve probably already heard the song “Do It Again,” an embarrassingly addicting and sugary synthpop wonder. As with most Robyn songs, best to just push all pretension to the side and shamelessly sing along to every word.

Sunday and Monday (June 30): Sharon Van Etten at The Independent

A quick shout out to Aidin Vaziri over at the SF Chronicle who always has a knack for getting to the heart of matters in his interviews. His recent Q+A with Sharon Van Etten touched on what matters most to Van Etten and her fans—the matters of the heart, and what happens when filters aren’t attendant. Vaziri asked Van Etten if she ever regrets her uber-personal approach to songwriting, and Van Etten was predictably frank: “I know. It's like, when am I going to write a song I'm excited to talk about? I know what I write about. Anyone that listens to my music knows what I write about. My friends know what I write about. Especially if you date me, you know what I'm going to write about. I never lie about who I am and what I do. I made my own bed and I'll lie in it.” That’s Van Etten in a nutshell, alright.

Follow @ChrisTrenchard on Twitter for more words like these.