Best Bets This Week in Live Bay Area Music
We sincerely hope you were lucky enough to witness at least one night of Live 105’s two-part Not So Silent Night festivities over the weekend. We can safely confirm that Arcade Fire, Phoenix and Alt-J are still rock gods after surveying Saturday’s event at Oracle arena. Bravo, Live 105 curators.
Not So Silent Night typically marks an unofficial end to concert season in a calendar year, but no rest for the wicked this year. Below are just a handful of the world-class fare at our footsteps this week:
They’re back! Long celebrated for their quirky oddballcore brand of indie rock, the Dismemberment Plan have officially returned from a 10-year hiatus, with a new album and proper tour and everything. FINALLY. The new album, Uncanney Valley, explores darker-than-meets-the-eye themes, whether you hear it or not in their schizophrenic melodies. The band recently participated in an Ask Me Anything on Reddit, in which lead Travis Morrison responded to claims the album was devoid of their signature “angst,” which have been greatly exagerated: “I find the claims that there's no angst on the record a little weird, I can't lie. Mexico City Christmas, Daddy... Living In Song... there's some big life issues on the record. Mexico City Christmas is dark as (heck). We can only be true to ourselves. Maybe there's a love song on there and that's freaking everyone out, I don't know. People are weird about hearing white males sing love songs. I guess white males have done some weird shit in history, maybe that's why, LOL -T."
The face and voice one of America’s most important rock bands is making the rounds by himself this winter, but it’s the other bands he’s channeling that make this tour especially noteworthy. Younger Wilco fans might not be aware the beloved frontman once involved himself with side projects such as Golden Smog and Loose Fur, which beg for discovery and obsessive-patronizing in their own right. Recent reports from Tweedy’s tour indicate he's sprinkling in songs from each of those long-lost side projects along with a few new solo numbers. Hardcore Tweedy fans, unite.
You’ve heard “Uncertainty,” the funky dance track making its way across DJ playlists across the land. You know these guys, and much of the buzzblog world is, well, buzzing about it. But there's so much more to love about this Australian electro/rock debut album Howlin, a collection of industrial house stencils colored in with a healthy dose of abstract experimentation. Matthew Dear fans should find something to latch onto here, most notably that signature sense of urgency and positive momentum, yet psychedelic throughout. Bring dancing shoes, bring the funk, leave buzzing.
Fifty years. FIFTY YEARS. That’s how long the Preservation Hall Jazz Band has endured. Of course, turnover and baton-passing are the key to enjoying that kind of longevity, but the spirit and aesthetic of the collective has never wavered, incredibly. Credit Ben Jaffe, son of PHJB founder Alan Jaffe, for pushing forth his father’s sacred vision and preserving a true American, New Orleans treasure.
Just give in already.
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