Five Must-See Concerts This Week
Feeling overwhelmed with the million things going on this month around the city? OK, let’s do this: take a deep breath, grab a coffee, and let me organize your nightlife schedule this week. Here’s what we’re gonna do:
Grizzly Bear, Fox Theater, Tuesday
Grizzly Bear may not have the record-selling cachet that Mumford and Sons has, but that doesn’t concern them, nor should it concern us. They’d much rather focus on crafting utterly fascinating visions; visions of internal and external gray areas, where dark thoughts collide expressive impulses. This isn’t light, casual fare; be prepared to dig deep into these songs. Trust that there’s a reward for the patient. But for those interested in said light, casual fare (and cultural curiosities), Grizzly Bear’s Chris Taylor is writing a cookbook. Because, why not?
Kurt Elling, Yoshi's Jazz Club (SF), Wednesday
Jazz vocalist recently released 1619 Broadway, The Brill Building Project, a tip of the cap to some of modernity’s greatest songwriters, including Burt Bacharach and Paul Simon. Album named after a building in midtown NYC, which housed some of the world’s greatest songwriters. All of these songs came out of this building. A fine concept, but the execution is what really impresses here. The legendary baritone is here for one night only, so seize the day.
Dinosaur Jr., The Fillmore, Wednesday
Fun fact: Dinosaur Jr. lead singer J Mascis recently confirmed that he considered accepting two separate authors to join Nirvana back in the day (and Built to Spill, too!). Hard to guess how things might have played out differently for both parties, but I suspect Mascis is perfectly fine with the way things turned out. His band has been on the alt-rock crusade on their own terms for decades. They’ve retained a specific, plaintive sound and a loyal following, and show few signs of doing anything besides churning out fascinating albums. Somehow, their latest album, I Bet on Sky, is another step forward, just when you thought there was nowhere else to go.
Smashing Pumpkins, Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, Friday
Yes, this is still happening. And it’s actually going quite well, despite the fact that Billy Corgan is the lone remaining original member. Gone are Jimmy Chamberlain and D’arcy Wretzky and James Iha. In their stead are hired guns Nicole Fiorentino (bass), drummer Mike Byrne and guitarist Jeff Schroeder. There’s a few schools of thought on such band alignments, but we should be thankful Corgan is still carrying the torch of one of the finest rock catalogues of the last 20 years. And the upshot is obvious: new blood can breathe fresh artistic energy into a veteran band — and that was certainly the case with 2012’s Oceania, a predictably ambitious, if sometimes predictable, entry into Corgan’s sprawling ouvre.
Jamie xx, Public Works, Sunday
After the xx wows the Treasure Island crowd (preview coming tomorrow!) Sunday night, bandmember/producer Jamie xx (real name: Jamie Smith) will do his own minimalist-club thing over at Public Works. Jamie xx has earned some cachet outside of his band's growing following. His remixes with the likes of Radiohead and others have earned the attention of tastemakers and influencers everywhere. Get on the first bus back to SF and cap off Treasure Island the right way.