Grammys got you in the mood for some live music? Good thing you’re surrounded by the stuff. With that in mind, the unofficial Award for Best Bay Area Shows of the Week go to… (fumbles envelope):
Forget everything you knew about Ra Ra Riot. The one-time chamber pop band went back to the drawing board when cellist Alexandra Lawn stepped down from her post last year. In short, they've changed. Instead of bittersweet string arrangements, RRR now champions a synthed-out, radio-ready sound. Their brand-spanking-new release Beta Love sounds like something Passion Pit could have dreamed up, and it works. Case in point, the ridiculously catchy title track:
Read it again. Soundgarden lives. One of the key bands of the grunge movement has reunited and released an album of new material for the first time in 16 years (yes, you’re really old). They call it King Animal, and it’s a triumph for anyone who can still appreciate grunge and the need for more of it. Don't be surprised that there are still plenty of devoted fans out there, despite the world turning a few thousand times since they were last relevant. The market has spoken and the band’s hungry fanbase have TWO chances at the Fox Theatre to catch one of the most important bands of a not-lost era.
The psychy, lo-fi charm of this Portland outfit sinks in quickly. Shades of Tame Impala abound, but they’re clearly doing their own thing. The band’s recently released album II has been winning praise from all corners of the music press. We’ll chalk it up to a mysterious, confident swagger that permeates every second of sound. Only one way to find out what they’re really all about, if you don’t count the virtual live experience. See below to cheat:
Fresh off his Grammy win for Best Blues Album for Locked Down, Dr. John will treat Bay Area lovers and blues-lovers to Valentine’s Eve and -Day soirees. The New Orleans legend remains one of the most important card-carrying members of the modern jazz/blues movement. And part of that has to do with his willingness to branch out into new territories with his sound. For Locked Down, Dr. John collaborated with Black Keys guitarist Dan Auerbach. You can hear Auerbach’s producer touch throughout the album, and anyone who saw the two perform together last night on the Grammy’s broadcast knows this is a match made in blues heaven.
Don’t you worry child, this show will be excellent. And significant. If you prefer your house beats larger than life, mildly emotional and wildly fun, you’re gonna want to be here. The Stockholm-based DJ trio is in the midst of its farewell tour…so again, be here. For the uninitiated, Swedish House Mafia rose to international prominence in 2010 with a coup of a performance at the ultra-influential Ultra Music Festival in Miami. They’re widely considered posterboys of the mainstram electronic music movement, alongside the likes of Tiesto, Deadmau5 and Skrillex. And their departure from the scene is a huge loss for the industry, but I’ll bet these guys reunite in a few years when Coachella flashes dollar signs in front of their eyes.
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