Before we get into this week’s best live music bets, a very enthusiastic kudos to the folks who staged another successful Phono Del Sol mini-fest at Potrero Del Sol Park on Saturday. Thee Oh Sees, Marnie Stern and YACHT headlined a perfect day of live music set to the visual backdrop of kids owning the skate park behind one of the stages. More please.
Moving onto this week's slate, which features some obvious must-sees and some hidden gems, as if that wasn't always the case in our music mecca. Let's see who makes the cut...
Julie Ann Baenziger’s musical project continues to pick up momentum. The Sacramento-based pop group has won testimonials from LA Weekly, NPR, Portland Mercury, and beyond. Baenziger and her merry band of oddballs garnered buzz from their sophomore album Orangefarben, a deeply personal and often haunting experiment. Be your own judge:
Counting Crows, America’s Cup Pavillion, Thursday (with The Wallflowers)
Caution, the following information will make you feel old: Counting Crows debut album August and Everything After is 20 years old this year. The album that introduced this Bay Area band to the world still resonates decades later, on classic rock radio and everywhere else nostalgia resides. Folks are still turning up to their live shows and singing along to “Mr. Jones,” but there’s plenty more to explore in the band’s subsequent discography. Their latest album, Underwater Sunshine (Or What We Did on Our Summer Vacation) is the sixth proper album since August and Everything, and arguably its best.
Beloved San Francisco band Girls may be a thing of the past, but the band’s former members keep pushing forth. Christopher Owens has gone solo, but to mixed results, while former drummer Darren Weiss has started his own project PAPA. It’s markedly less psychy and expansive, but rather more straightforward rock 'n' roll, and percussion is unsurprisingly more of a focus. Be on the lookout; big things are a-coming in this band's future...
Former Talking Heads frontman David Byrne has found a perfect, if unlikely, complement in indie rock darling St. Vincent (aka Annie Clark). The two were been born 30 years apart, but they share many important traits, not the least of which is an uncompromising artistic ethos. The result: exhilarating alt-dream pop. The duo’s 2012 album Love This Giant has been hailed by The Independent as a “funky instant classic,” and their live sets are vast productions: Prepare for a 10-piece band that includes French horn, sousaphone, trumpets, saxophones, trombones, keyboards, drums and more. An easy prediction: This will be one of the best Bay Area shows of the summer.
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