Music + Nightlife
The Pixies opened up their first of a three-night stint at The Fox with (not surprisingly) the infamous video that "Debaser" was based off of called Un Chien Andalou - it entails a woman's eye being slit open by a razor among other adult themes (when the directors are Luis Bunuel and Salvador Dali you can't really be that shocked). After a grand entrance involving what can only be described as light up crepe balls on hydraulics and a heavy smoke machine, the opening song was really the shocker. Having "Dancing The Manta Ray" as the first in the set list really set the tone for the entire show.
Seattle’s Dutchess and the Duke have a knack for throwing you for a loop: Jesse Lortz and Kimberly Morrison’s 2008 debut, She’s the Dutchess, He’s the Duke (Hardly Art), found new ways into seemingly played-out formulas -- namely an early electrified folk sound familiar to fans of Dylan’s Bring It All Back Home -- and the two’s new full-length, Sunset/Sunrise (Hardly Art), goes one better. The storytelling is sharp and surprising. The pop referents hark to the sweetly tough innocence of the Ronettes, as well as the earnest yarn-spinning skills of Phil Ochs. However you shuffle it, Sunset/Sunrise is a delight.
Let the dreamtime vocals and metallic synths wash over you. Wallow in Ray Orbison romanticism and Link Wray guitar-tough cool. NYC-by-way-of-Copenhagen duo the Raveonettes have strayed a bit as of late, away from the eerily claustrophic shoegaze bubblegum of the Jesus and Mary Chain, though the psychotic melodies remain on the twosome’s latest, In and Out of Control (Vice).
We caught up with Sharin Foo and Sune Rose Wagner via e-mail on the cusp of their SF show Monday, Nov. 9, at Bimbo’s 365 Club.
To those of you who have been keeping up on the phenomenally aggressive music scene we have here in the Bay Area, you're well acquainted with indie-pop meets country locals, Birds & Batteries. They first popped up on our radar when we featured them in our 2008 Hot 20 Under 40. Even then, we just knew they were going places. They've kept rather quiet since their last release, I'll Never Sleep Again in 2007, but there's nothing silent at all about their latest EP Up To No Good.
The Pixies are largely considered one of the most influential bands in indie history. Their long and turbulent ride as a band ended abruptly (although not surprisingly) in 1993 and remained on hiatus until 2004. Celebrating the 20-year anniversary of their iconic release, Doolittle, this weekend, they've decided to play it in its entirety not one, not two, but three straight nights at the equally-beloved venue in Oakland, The Fox.
From old nostalgic favorites to up-and-coming locals brandishing fresh material, and famous singers fronting other collectives, all we know is that by the end of this week our wallets will be drowning in emptiness and we'll need at least another week to recover. You know that old saying, "You can sleep when you're dead?" We'll be utilizing this theme to power through this thoroughly heargasmic week ahead of us.
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).