Not going to Outside Lands this weekend? Or maybe you’re going and need a pre-fest warm-up? Worry not, there’s plenty going on this week away from Golden Gate Park for folks in need of a live music fix. Here’s the best of the best:
“Sean Scolnick” doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, but “Langhorne Slim” sure manages to conjure the type of Americana tall-tale-telling Scolnick coaxes out of his increasingly relevant band. The name comes from Scolnick’s hometown in Pennsylvania, an area that fans will know well after a session listening to Slim’s stories that conjure a time and a place and a sentiment. Check out Langhorne Slim’s latest release over at NPR and see what all my fuss is about.
One of those bands that reminds us why guitars were built in the first place, the Brooklynite bros from Fang Island are all about one thing and one thing only: Shredding. Their self-titled album caught the ears of various influencers in the industry a few years back with a seizing, pennant-winning sound reminding of Ratatat at their best. Hooks are frequent and electrically electric (forgive the redundancy, but trust that it’s the best way to describe ‘em), but never predictable. Their latest work, Major, is equally ambitious and winning, and we won’t be surprised if these guys ever end up packing stadiums with peeps and crescendos.
Two Gallants, Wednesday, Rickshaw Stop
San Franciscans in the know routinely point to Two Gallants as one of the most important local bands from the aughts, having earned the record-deal seal of approval of Conor Oberst’s Saddle Creek record company and then the thumbs up from other peeps that matter. After a bit of a hiatus, the band is back in business with an upcoming Outside Lands gig and a thoroughly anticipated new album, The Bloom and the Blight, due out this fall. The duo is offering a taste of the new material over at NPR, but I’d recommend a full sweep of their brief but dynamic catalogue, emphasis on 2008’s The Throes.
In addition to the aforementioned Two Gallants show, the folks at Outside Lands are mercifully presenting more than a few “Night Shows” this week (See complete schedule here.) Included in the Night Show lineup is chillwave wizard Ernest Greene, aka Washed Out. Honestly, this show will be better than their outdoor experiment at the Polo Fields this weekend — Greene’s dancey, dizzying synth experiments are better suited for the indoor confines. And yes, you read that correctly — there will be dancing. Don’t be fooled by the chillwave moniker.
Legendary trumpeter-bandleader-composer-etc Terrence Blanchard is an American cultural treasure in every sense of the word. He’s been helping expand the definitions of jazz since 1980, an (pun alert) instrumental part of the 1980s Jazz Resurgence movement. Nowadays you can find him performing with his quintet, making folks smile and weep with his ridiculous range.