Best Bets This Week in Live Bay Area Music
This is just the tip of the iceberg as far as live Bay Area music goes this week. Don’t sleep on Glasser Monday at the Chapel, Destroyer Monday at The Independent, Deerhoof Tuesday at Bottom of the Hill, and Blitzen Trapper on Tuesday at Regency, Wanda Jackson at the Chapel on Thursday, Family of the Year at the Fillmore on Thursday.
The French actor-turned-producer known as Kavinsky extracts melodrama from synthesizers with fascinating gravity. Perhaps that’s why his song “Nightcall” was featured in the 2011 blockbuster Drive; the song steals the show from the movie — a movie that cleaned up on the awards circuit, mind you. It’s no hyperbolic statement to say he transcends mediums — along with his acting past, Kavinsky’s love of (and involvement in) video games is well-documented and celebrated. Dude has made a video game himself. Think about that, then watch this:
HOW IS THIS HAPPENING? How is Television — one of the most iconic, transformative bands of a generation — playing the tiny (wonderful, to be sure), hyper-intimate Independent? Credit the folks behind KUSF in Exile for rallying the New York City post-punk gods to play what will surely be a surreal show. The band is recently reunited and figures to the lucky few to songs from their incredibly influential album Marquee Moon, if recent gigs are any indication. BTW, the title track of that album remains a must-listen for anyone with functioning ears.
It’s good for bands to evolve, but I’d be quite alright if Neon Indian kept the chill times going. Alan Palomo’s chillwave project captures and exudes a mood that we all necessitate at one point or another: the state and idea of relaxation. But within that framework, they also touch on the heartbreak and beauty of life in subtle but effective ways. The song “Fallout” — a reference to falling out of love with a — is anything but chill; it’s chilling. A selection from that mind-melter:
"Are you still coursing through my veins / Or is this rain? / Whispered message / Ear to ear / Tongued transmissions / Made unclear / Are you still carving out a man? / Is that the plan, is that the plan?"
Spectacle and cross-medium theatrics are critical to the Of Montreal working philosophy. Band-leader Kevin Barnes extrapolates grandiose musical ideas into stunning performance art in his live shows. You will be visually stunned — weirded out a bit, too — and you will be entertained. Should be very interesting to see how the band’s new material plays out onstage. Their new album lousy with sylvianbriar has earned rave reviews from places like Paste magazine, and I think I know why it’s so genius — Barnes recorded it here in San Francisco!
Speaking of spectacle, I present to you Peaches. The Canadian-born, German-based artist basks in performance art that challenges and shocks. Specifically, Merrill Beth Nisker is intensely interested in challenging conventional understanding of identity. Bring an open mind and forget what you’ve been taught about normal sexual relationships and body parts. Peaches doesn’t do normal.
Follow @ChrisTrenchard for more words like these.