Music + Nightlife
The crowd at Bottom of the Hill last night was overwhelmingly dude, with just a spattering of female support. It’s been twelve years since Far released their critically acclaimed second album, Water and Solutions, but the nostalgia for the emotive (though never weepy), post-hardcore album was very, very present. Last night’s show wasn’t just a reunion for the band; it was a reunion for the fans, some of whom have been waiting like, a decade to be in the same room with the Sacramento natives. Case in point: Matranga breaking mid-song to belt out his own rendition of Beyonce’s “Halo,” an improvisation that provoked sporadic hoots and hollers from the few girls in the room.
After somewhat quick and early success, these Glasgow-by-way-of-Edinburgh youngsters hopped on tour with (now labelmates) Frightened Rabbit last fall. Adam Thompson (singer/guitarist), Sean Smith (bass), Michael Palmer (guitar), and drummer Darren Lackie, all 22, gained fast fame across the world for a three-song demo, so when These Four Walls was finally released on FatCat Records, it was obviously met with critical acclaim.
Last night The Dodos and Magik*Magik took to the stage in a pysch folk, orchestral sandwich. The allegedly sold-out show began with a series of experimental Magik*Magik musicians tweaking the cello, manipulating percussion, mastering the marimba and closing with a melancholy ditty including special guest John Vanderslice. After a short break, The Dodos appeased an eager (and vocal) crowd with a long set of flawlessly performed hits. The always earnest Meric looked out to the audience early on and said, "Wow. This is a really busy place to play," as if the band hadn't just a few weeks ago entranced a packed audience of art enthusiasts for SFMOMA's anniversary weekend.
In true Noise Pop fashion, the first couple nights are always a bit hectic, and you never know what you're going to get. Unfortunately, due to communication problems, we were forced to enjoy our two favorite openers (Two Sheds and Man/Miracle) from the cold cement outside. Capacity issues aside, we were front and center for Princeton, the up-and-coming LA indie group that most recently has supported the likes of Ra Ra Riot, Vampire Weekend, and now Rogue Wave. Definitely not a bad resume.
Confession: I don't know Yoko Ono's music, I've never seen her perform and I had no idea what was in store for Noise Pop's opening night. But being that this marked the band's reunion tour after a 20+ year break, there was no question that I must go. And if the standing ovation Yoko got just by walking onto the stage was any indication, no matter what followed, she would do no wrong.
The 18th annual Noise Pop Festival has officially begun, and we already got you covered on all the must-see marquee acts playing throughout the jam packed week. We thought we would take a moment, however, to introduce you to some of Noise Pop's more overlooked local treasures -- those opening this year, headlining next year acts that you will wish you caught before they blew up. While Noise Pop is always a week of extremely difficult choices, below are five rising local artists we highly recommend checking out. Don't worry, you can thank us next year.
Nevada City native and Mills College drop out Joanna Newsom makes us want to geek out. She plays the freakin' harp, has the hot elf thing down pat (hello Armani modeling contract) and is dating SNL's Andy Samberg. She's also one of the most talented and prolific musicians of our day and just dropped a TRIPLE (yes, triple) album today entitled Have One On Me. And if that's not enough, there's now an entire scholarly book dedicated to her work, featuring fawning essays by Dave Eggers (who bemoans the fact that "she turned out to be pretty") and Christian Kiefer.
Jazz legend Jimmy Scott is rolling through town this week, with two shows at Yoshi's in the Fillmore. Scott, the favorite singer of artists ranging from Billie Holiday to Nancy Wilson, is renowned for his high, pure contralto singing voice. Legendary in his time, he gained new fans after appearing on the final episode of David Lynch's Twin Peaks (adding an extra hint of creepiness to the show's famously spooky Black Lodge). He's since recorded a track with Lou Reed, performed with David Byrne, Michael Stipe, and Antony & the Johnsons, and appeared at President Clinton's inauguration. He'll be performing with his band, the Jazz Expressions.