Five Hottest SF Concerts of the Week, NYE Edition
No time for small talk; it’s time to party.
TONIGHT, NEW YEAR’S EVE
Believe it or not, Montreal’s A-Trak has been an elite name in the DJ/EDM world ever since he won the reputable 1997 DMC World DJ Championship at the age of 15. He’s won five DJ world championships since, but the mainstream only really got wind of the 30-year-old spinner last year thanks to the track “Barbara Streisand,” a product of his wildly successful Duck Sauce side project. Now the dude’s chilling on the cover of Billboard magazine with Diplo and Skrillex, collaborating with Kanye West and headlining mini festivals like the Streets of NYE event going down at Fort Mason tonight, an anticipated encore to the Wintersalt Music Fest over the weekend.
If there’s one thing folks from the Big Easy know, it’s how to throw a party. So you’d be wise to check out New Orleans jazz/funk legend-in-the-making Trombone Shorty’ return to town for another NYE gig at the Fillmore. The 26-year-old virtuoso trombonist is one of the stronger forces keeping jazz fresh and alive for the next generation of funk fans. Treasure him now, and treasure him later. He’ll be carrying the jazz torch for decades to come.
Gogol Bordello is a vortex of gypsy flair, confrontational gesturing and spectacle. It’s not quite sensory overload, more like comprehensive sensory satisfaction. Lead singer Eugene Hutz looks like an ‘80s porn star on the hunt for hallucinogens. Hutz and his merry band of oddballs headline a super eclectic lineup of bands, DJs and performance art troupes tonight. The event comes equipped with a theme: “…perhaps even our most deeply held beliefs are little more than shadows cast by the precious moon, which remember – is the cause of all seas rising and falling, all tides ebbing and flowing – both in the world and within us as well.” Yeah. Sure. Let's party.
Attention Joanna Newsom fans: you will love Marissa Nadler. Pretty simple. Girl’s got the same angelic, otherworldy voice, the same contemplative string arrangements and the same old-soul sensibility. Hers is a wondrous universe to navigate, where it pays to get lost. Her ambitious, sweeping 2012 album The Sister is where you’ll want to start your trip through Nadler’s fantasyland, and then The Chapel. It’ll go something like this:
Calling it now: We Became Owls will be the next great Bay Area folk outfit. Singer-songwriter Andrew Blair makes believers quickly with his soulful howl, set over a collection of strings and soft percussion. It’s a classic but entirely fresh Americana sound, the latest offshoot of the folk tradition set forth by Woodie Guthrie and Bob Dylan ages ago. You can hear the history and the authenticity at every turn, but we’ll let you listen for yourself.