It’s becoming increasingly clear San Francisco may never be bored again. Between music festivals, air parades, Giants playoff baseball (btw, in This Actually Happened news — Lil' Wayne led AT&T Park in a chorus of "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" last night) and what figures to be a Halloween fortnight, there’s no end in sight for the regular S.F. reveler. On top of all that, we just can’t imagine missing these buzzworthy shows. Buckle your chinstraps, people.
The upward trajectory of new-soul champion Allen Stone is STEEP. The 25-year-old Washington native is just starting grabbing headliner billing across the country, and his easy-access, American Idol-ready vocals have already helped to win over folks from MTV, the New York Times and NPR. He also looks like this:
If you prefer your indie rock poppy and straightforward and Prozac-y, then perhaps you know Irish trio Two Door Cinema Club. Gimmicks are few and far between here — think Death Cab for Cutie but a bit more synthed out and less proggy. The band’s recently released second album, Beacon, is a toe-tapper all the way through, and the charts and masses are taking notice. Booking the Fox is no small feat for a band that’s only had an international presence for a year or so.
Things may be terrible, hun, but Perfume Genius is here. Mike Hadreas’ solo project leverages spare instrumentals and tortured vocals to manage an oddly comforting effect. His songs are haunting, hallowed-out lullabies that have a way of lingering in the subconscious. His latest album, Put Your Back N 2 It, is an ever-so-slightly-more-produced entry than his breakthrough lo-fi masterpiece Learning, but the shivering vision is the same. Get up close and personal at Café du Nord and experience the emotional cleanse that is Perfume Genius.
This is the cutting edge, hyperbole be damned. Flying Lotus, aka Steven Ellison, makes a habit of pushing the artistic envelope with his sound collages — and a nasty-good habit, at that. Dude’s got a way with the studio buttons and triggers and all the sonic details that beg attention. His songs bear little resemblance to anything that could be considered accessible or mainstream, yet the people are starting to take a liking anyway. He takes the freeform jazz ethos to electronica, and the result is mind-numbing and –expanding at once.
Joey Youngman knows it’s a hell of a challenge for a DJ/producer to keep a signature sound and voice without repeating yourself. He, like few others, seems to embrace that challenge in every track. His set at Outside Lands nearly stole the show from fellow EDM wizard Skrillex, and hype is building fast for the understated 30 year old. My guess is fans will probably be in some sort of pre-Halloween mode, so costume up and caffeine up and weird up. Word up.