Best Bets This Week in Live Bay Area Music


Next time you bemoan the high rents of San Francisco, remember to factor in the ridiculous wealth of live music we have here. You’re getting what you pay for, promise. Here’s the proof:

Digitalism, The Independent, Tuesday

German indie electro-house act Digitalism is on the warpath promoting 2012 DJ-Kicks compilation, joining a group of high-profile acts who have mixed the DJ-Kicks series. In Digitalism’s version, The Rapture, Vitalic and WhoMadeWho all get the Digitalism DJ treatment, plus some exclusive original tracks. The 10-year-old act is now best known for its 2011 record I Love You, Dude, the brilliance of which cannot be overstated.

But for now, rejoice in all that is new in Digitalism’s world:

Blackstreet, Yoshi's Jazz Club (SF), Wednesday


Kurt Vile, The Independent, Wednesday

For longtime fans of Philly singer-songwriter Vile, his new album Wakin on a Pretty Daze is less a revelation and more of a validation of his consistent artistic vision. More of a continuation of Smoke Ring for My Halo, which was striking for its grit and beauty and winking lyricism. Since the release of Smoke Ring, the 33-year-old songwriter has suddenly become an international sensation, touring Europe and North America over 300 days a year over the past two years. But Philly still means plenty to Vile, as we see in his latest video for “Never Run Away”:

Of Montreal, Slim's, Friday

En media res is where Kevin Barnes likes to start in his songs, and that’s where we always seem to catch him in his career. In the middle of things. Right now he’s in the middle of another cross-country tour, and his tour bus just broke down in Florida. Not good. But what is good is his band’s new record, Lousy With Sylvianbriar, a shout-out to Sylvia Plath, natch. The native Georgian wrote the album while he was living here in San Francisco, and it shows. The psychedelic quotient is up there, and it makes sense after he had his way with the vinyl of bands like the Grateful Dead, Gram Parsons, the Flying Burrito Brothers and the Rolling Stones.

Kate Nash, The Chapel, Saturday

How things change. Remember Kate Nash’s 2007 mega-hit Foundations? Yeah, that was forever ago. Her third album, Girl Talk, didn't benefit from the same traditional production blueprint, and was instead produced on a small crowd-funded budget. But ya know what? It’s just as good as anything she’s made to date. She recorded the album in a deserted mansion in Echo Park, Los Angeles, and you can feel the vague eeriness seep through.


Follow @ChrisTrenchard for more words like these.

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