I don’t know about you guys, but Noise Pop week has me in a state of blissful exhaustion. Personal highlights: STRFKR's wondrous dance pop spectacle (and furried friends) at the Regency on Friday, and Saturday night's celebration of all things chill at the Independent, via adopted hometown hero Toro y Moi. By all accounts, it was another banner year for Noise Pop.
This being San Francisco, the fun doesn't stop just because a festival ends. We'll call this Noise Pop Fallout week, which looks just as busy as last week:
Well, that was fast. The Alabama Shakes went from obscurity to the Grammys and an SNL appearance in about three seconds. The attention could not be more warranted — especially after a listen to Brittany Howard’s soul-smacking, to-hell-with-niceties voice. Their sudden rise is even more astonishing when you consider Howard was delivering mail for the US Postal Service as recently as 15 months ago. The blue-collar mentality shows in tracks like “Hold On”:
Following the recent surge of bands appealing to the nostalgic sensibilities of fans, geniuscore band Yes is performing three of its most celebrated albums — The Yes Album, Close to the Edge and Going for the One — from front to back on its current tour. For a band like Yes, where concept, continuity and context are part and parcel to the working philosophy, the album reproduction is a no-brainer. The Yes Album especially (below) is a must-listen for anyone who considers themselves a fan of prog/experimental rock.
Yes, this uber-sugary electro pop outfit makes music that cheers up the sappiest suckers walking the earth, but man, are the lyrics are a real bummer. But it starts to make a bit more sense when you learn Passion Pit lead singer Michael Angelakos is actually clinically bipolar. He’s become a quasi-spokesman for the disorder in recent weeks by accident. He made news this past week after going on a Twitter rant of sorts about the representation of bipolar characters in film and TV after discussing how the disease was portrayed in Academy Award-nominated film Silver Linings Playbook, and one tweet turned into a much larger, fascinating discussion. Food for thought — what you hear isn’t always what you’re meant to hear.
The story goes like this: Seattle-based band ditches the acoustic guitars and the alt-country identity in favor of a more soulful approach. Step 2: They proceed to blow up. The band now appears in prime position to make waves with its soon-to-be-released album Can’t Talk Medicine. Seattle Weekly recently asked the question — Is 2013 the Year of Pickwick? And it very well could be. The six-piece outfit actually shares a common aesthetic with Alabama Shakes — which clearly has a winning formula. Check ‘em out:
Consider me COMPLETELY on board with Alicia Keys attempt to bring sweat pants back. The leather baggies she rocked at the NBA All-Star Game caused a ridiculous stir on Twitter, and all the haters did what they gon' do. Alicia, I’ve got your back, and I know you’ll lead us back to the land of fashion-forward comfort. Behold:
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