Full disclosure: I skipped out on Hardly Strictly Bluegrass. I know, I know. But from the looks of my twitter/facebook/whatevergram accounts I can confirm you’re all beautiful music-obsessed heathens. I’ll make up for my truancy with perfect attendance at these shows this week. You should too…
Delorean’s new album Apar is more of what we’ve come to expect — and love — from this Spanish electronic daydream of a band. Their feet tied to the dance floor and their heads floating in the clouds, Delorean continues to push for an even higher high in Apar. Rare are bands that can find moments of ecstasy so frequently in the course of a song. Seems unlikely they — or we — will ever have to come down with tunes like these.
A challenge to attendees of this show: let’s see if we can behave better than Portland when Fiona’s onstage. If anyone deserves undivided, polite attention, it’s Fiona. The artist does nothing but create innovative, thrilling pop for her audience, so let’s pay her some respect and give her a break. Deal? Challenge no. 2: Listen to her 2012 album The Idler Wheel Is Wiser than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More than Ropes Will Ever Do on repeat from now until the show. The album flew under many a radar, but it nevertheless qualifies as essential modern listening. It’s Fiona unmasked, bare, intimate, uncompromising, the only way we’ve ever known her.
There’s not much information about Oakland’s Religious Girls available, and of course that only adds to the intrigue of their fascinating sonic experimentations. Here’s what we know, from the band’s modest web site: “Religious Girls are a diverse group of multi-instrumentalists, with each member hailing from separate musical backgrounds that ranges from metal to noise to math rock and pop. Using their talents, Religious Girls focus their energy into creating beautiful harmonies and layering them over intricate percussive rhythms.” Sounds like our very own answer to Dan Deacon. About time.
In Thee Oh Sees we trust. As our resident San Francisco weirdcore representatives, this band can do no wrong in a city that celebrates oddity and shuns normalcy. No matter how bizarre their songs seem, there’s always the payoff a-Ha! moment. On their 2013 album Floating Coffin, said moments come early and often. Lead singer Billy Dwyer gets most of the credit. He makes his guitar bend and scream and twerk, and the effect is something out of a sick, twisted 1990s music video. For my money, 2012’s “So Nice” remains the band’s best song, a slow-motion piece of cunning that recalls a simpler, more effed-up time.
The hits speak for themselves, but John Fogerty continues to build on the Creedence Clearwater legacy and his own legacy at once. The man at the fore of songs such as “Fortunate Son,” “Have You Ever Seen the Rain” and “Bad Moon Rising” is also that man responsible for “Who’ll Stop the Rain,” “The Old Man Down the Road” and “Centerfield.” You can’t have one without the other, kind of like you can’t have Fogerty without America and America without Fogerty. I challenge anyone to suggest a more iconic American artist, and I look forward to your quizzical look.
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