In honor of the late Philip Seymour Hoffman, let’s remember one of his greatest lines from one of cinema’s finest studies on the music business, Almost Famous: “The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what we share with someone else when we're uncool.” (h/t to Slate for the reminder). Amen, Mr. Hoffman, and rest in peace.
Few artists have the clout or taste for innovative programming to do what Skrillex is doing with his city Takeovers 2014 concept. Sonny Moore, the man behind the Skrillex moniker and occasional San Francisco resident, is taking over some of San Francisco’s finest venues this week in what essentially amounts to a mini tour of the city. The DJ/producer phenom just turned 26 but has already conquered the electronic music world. If he wants to play six different venues in a major U.S. city, nobody says no. He explained his reasoning to the Chronicle this past week: "The more I tour and the more I play shows, I realize it's so important to really think about location and what you're doin. It's so easy for artists these days to take a Live Nation deal - and I'm not knocking those who do - and for the next few years, you play big arenas and sheds and you're limited to doing that one thing."
White Denim singer/guitarist James Petralli describes the band’s latest critically acclaimed rock album, Corsicana Lemonade, as a “barbecue record.” Which is remarkably apt. Compared to the maverick virtuosic guitar meanderings of breakthrough 2011 album D, Corsicana Lemonade is tastefully subdued (and who doesn’t like lemonade with barbecue?). Anyone who’s ever been to Austin, TX — where White Denim calls home — knows how important barbecue is to the local culture, so it’s only natural the band derives influence from the smokers and sauces peppering every aspect of Austin life. I’m hungry.
Long celebrated for their innovative programming, Kronos Quartet continues the tradition this week when they feature the latest installment of their Under 30 World Premiere series. Bay Area native Mary Kouyoumdjian is the featured artist, but each concert this week will differ from the next, opening each event with a performance by a local artist, including Friction Quartet, Mobius Trio, The Living Earth Show, and Amy X Neuburg. The residency will also feature work from the quartet’s own: Krzysztof Penderecki, John Oswald, Bryce Dessner, and Dan Becker on Thursday and Friday; and works by Krzysztof Penderecki, John Oswald, Geeshie Wiley, Laurie Anderson, Terry Riley, and more on Saturday and Sunday.
Nobody was happier to put 2013 in the rearview mirror than Spanish electro band Delorean. Last October, while touring through Mexico City, bandmembers were kidnapped and held for ransom. The story is absolutely surreal. After spending 30 hours in captivity, a coalition of law enforcement somehow rescued the band. In a statement, the band described the incident as “an experience where the threat of death was real due to the psychological manipulation inflicted on us by our kidnappers.” How you move on from that, we’re not sure, but the band is soldiering on this winter after a prolonged break, turning its focus back to touring in support of last year’s underrated album “Apar,” a collection of life-affirming dance-pop that sounds vastly different knowing what the band has recently endured.
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