Best Bets This Week in Live Bay Area Music
Not sure how we’re going to top this weekend’s Built to Spill show at Slim’s, but there’s hope.
Loads of hope, but not where we'd usually expect it to be.
Any three dudes can make a lot of sound, but it takes some vision and gumption to make it stick. Count METZ among the few bands in indie punk rock who use noise as a means to an end, rather than the goal. Pitchfork’s Stuart Berman had a related thought: “The biggest lie about punk rock is that anyone can do it. Sure, anyone can do crap punk rock, but there is a fine to art to taking a music fueled by destructive impulses and building it to last.” Of course, in the live setting, the noise becomes vitally important again. To wit:
San Francisco psych-rock-etcetera trio Sleepy Sun keeps the mood casual and listeners on their toes. In other words, expect the unexpected when these guys take the stage. Psych gives way to rockabilly, which gives way to slowcore jam-outs, which gives way to punk moments, and everything in between. They’ve been operating under the radar here in SF for sometime now, but have three albums under their belt and a growing audience outside of our city limits. Their most recent album, Spine Hits, can be heard and loved here.
Jazz fans have long celebrated Jason Moran’s maverick approach to art. Moran regularly collaborates with peers in dance and film with little regard for industry convention. He brings two shows to the SF Jazz Center this week, one involving live skateboarding and the other known as “Fats Waller Project,” a collaboration with famed bassist-vocalist Meshell Ndegeocello. In honor of Waller’s decidedly fun jazz themes, Moran and co. will open up the dance floor for a swingin’ dance party straight outta the ‘60s.
British composer/DJ Simon Green has ascended to the heights of the electronica movement, and the genre is better for it. Bonobo, as Green is known in wider circles, paints lush soundscapes with layers synth, intricate percussion and worldly odds and ends. His new album, The North Borders, is streaming over at NPR right now, and it's must-listen fare for casual fans of trip-hop/chillwave/Boards of Canada.
With two albums under her belt, Nashville singer/songwriter Caitlin Rose is making an impression. If you missed the darling at SXSW, catch her this weekend to experience her sweet, story-telling melodies. Influences from the likes of Linda Ronstadt, Bob Dylan, and Bonnie Raitt are manifested in her light voice; she evokes plenty of emotion without sounding over-sugary. Her latest work, The Stand-In, is a must in your rotation with catchy tracks like "No One to Call."
Legendary tropicalia pioneers Os Mutantes have lived through just about every stylistic era but have never felt the urge to be anything but themselves. The seven-piece still makes a living on eclectically arranged vocal harmonies and spazzy vocal motfis. There's still a welcomed theatricality to Os Mutantes, whether or not it’s by design or bandmembers genuinely loving the art of performance. And we still heart Os Mutantes.