Music + Nightlife
Ah, Iceland, with its bubbling volcanic action, pervasive fairy magic, and recent unfortunate financial meltdown. Such a small, sweet, chilly country – and yet it boasts such a seethingly creative music scene, one that encompasses both Bjork to Sigur Ros, both haunting traditional folk song and light-as-air indie-pop in the form of Emiliana Torrini.
Not So Silent Night, the annual holiday concert brought to you by the golden ears at Live 105 is a gift you don't have to feel guilty opening early. This year's extravaganza at the Oracle Arena on December 11th features Muse (England's reigning prog rock champs), AFI (get out the mascara), 30 Seconds to Mars (Jordan Catalano's–err Jared Leto's–emo rock band), Ivy League hipsters Vampire Weekend, and Canada's Metric, fronted by the smoking hot Emily Haines.
Although The Dodos have been on our radar for quite some time, we've kind of taken having these guys in our backyard for granted. We recently featured them in our Hot 20 Under 40, and not to toot our own horn, but man were we right. Making their last stop of the stateside leg of the tour really was kind of sentimental for them and you could really tell that they put their heart and soul into every note. But emotions aside, these guys (consisting of singer/guitarist Meric Long, drummer Logan Kroeber, and newbie on the vibraphones Keaton Snyder) were polished to perfection.
Sound the horns: violin soloist Elizabeth Pitcairn and her red violin (which would be THE red violin) are coming to the Bay Area. And they're playing (we say "they" because she refers to the violin as "her partner" and "soul mate") pretty much the most iconic/recognized violin concerto ever written: Vivaldi's Four Seasons. The storied violin (a Red Mendelssohn Stradivarius of 1720 and the inspiration for the feature film, The Red Violin) was purchased for a cool $1.66 million by Pitcairn's grandfather at a Christie's Auction back in 1990. It's fabled that the violin holds transformative musical powers (it was crafted by Antonio Stradivari, the most famous violin maker of all time, disappeared for 200 years, and then made its way into Mendelssohn's hands).
Remember Loverboy? Remember “Working for the Weekend”? UK dance-pop savant Calvin Harris isn’t about to mess with that golden pop formula and instead doubles his pleasure with a similar sentiment, the title of his second album, Ready for the Weekend (Ultra).
With Halloween just in sight, all the creepy ghouls and goblins are coming out for special super late-night shows into the dawn. There will be DJ sets galore, so get your vampire fangs on and get ready to get down, we've got some amazing shows coming your way.
Love that Doug Martsch: grunge survivor, underground-bred character on par with fellow bearded wonder Will Oldham, and a soulful musicmaker who keeps finding new twists and turns in the Built to Spill sound. When I spoke with him three years ago, he was still reeling from a series of injuries suffered during pickup games on the basketball court -- a major Martsch passion. He detached a retina at one point, and on another occasion, while playing ball at the Tenderloin’s Golden Gate YMCA, he popped an eardrum and went deaf in one ear for a few months.
The ridiculous and unfounded war on SF's all-ages music venues continues. Threats have gotten serious. Accusations ridiculous. A litany of SF's problems (think murder and violent crime) have all been blamed on all-age venues such as Slim's, Cafe Du Nord and the Great American Music Hall. Clearly, rock, jazz, folk and bluegrass are dangerous for our youth. A vocal group of ultra-conservative neighbors have gotten their panties in a bundle and are using the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control as their a-bomb. Check out our video on the issue below and then click here to find out more about what you can do.
Brandi Carlile took the stage Tuesday night and whipped the The Fillmore into a frenzy, telling fans she'd been waiting the entire tour to return to the famous venue. But Carlile didn't have to stroke San Francisco egos to win the the crowd over; the Washington-bred singer had the audience in the palm of her hand from the moment she stepped onstage.
A self-professed former backup singer for an Elvis impersonator (that story in itself was a standout moment at Tuesday's show), Carlile effortlessly blends rock, pop, folk and country influences. Add to the mix her pitch-perfect vocals, commanding stage presence and irresistible charm, and it's clear why fans were worked up as soon as the singer launched into a stripped-down version of her song, "Oh Dear."
The phrase musical legend gets tossed around far too often for most music critics’ comfort, but when it comes to Daniel Johnston the appellation’s perfectly acceptable and understandable. The man is an original, a true-blue all-America outsider artist who made music despite the odds, despite the outright oddness of his vision. The Sacramento-born savant has made more than 30 albums, written jillions of songs, collaborated with artists like Sonic Youth and Sparklehorse, found fans in musicians like Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain, played to initiates the world over, and was the subject of the ‘05 doc, The Devil and Daniel Johnston.