Music + Nightlife
The Grouch (Living Legends solo phenom) finally released a music video for "Hot Air Balloons," the hot track off of his newest album Show You The World. While we're not usually huge fans of these videos, this one has some artistic elements and even features two of Living Legends' other superstars, Bicasso and Scaru.
There’s bluegrass, but there’s also newer-grass and jazz-grass.
At the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival, there’s green grass and that other kind of grass. But while it's free and open-air, the Golden Gate Park festival has pretty much outgrown its lazin' on a sunny afternoon appeal. It’s a massive crush of bodies and bicycles and the parking is hellish.
Slipping under the sonic radar is the San Francisco Bluegrass & Old-Time Festival, a non-profit, grassroots festival that runs for 9 days in local bars and small venues San Francisco, Berkeley, Piedmont and Fairfax.
While guys like Rufus Wainwright, Conor Oberst, and Sufjan Stevens rule the genre of sad-eyed, Beatles-influenced folk singer/songwriters, Bay Area troubadour Goh Nakamura probably deserves greater notoriety than the one-time success of “Embarcadero Blues,” a Youtube sensation (over one million viewers last year) and an ode to the SF service industry (watch it below). In his second album, Ulysses, Nakamura is up to his old tricks, singing about lost loves and impossible crushes over melodies that are as precise and sweet as they are complex. At his best, Nakamura will make you miss Elliot Smith badly. Goh Nakamura plays a birthday show tonight at Café Du Nord.
While their show at SF’s historic Great American Music Hall was underwhelming in attendance, their sound left behind no doubt that a power duo is impossible these days unless carried by a lame, “are-they-married-or-siblings” mystery. No, Wavves won’t leave you guessing. Straight forward and balls out, the San Diego twosome are the ultimate mash-up of Ramones meets Beach Boys meets anything else simple, sunny and riffy.
Romantic oddity Department of Eagles played sold-out back to back shows (two hours apart) last night at Café du Nord, proving that they've graduated from a budding hipster obsession to a full-blown sensation. Playing from last year's lauded album, In Ear Park, their performance was delightfully delicate and compellingly haunting. Daniel Rossen's vocals scatter but simultaneously remain immediate, sweet and eerie - the perfect compliment to a blustery San Francisco weekend.
For sheer Dap-ness, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings’ throne may have been usurped by Michelle and Barack – the first couple are no doubt the new king and queen of Dap. But anyone who saw Barack on Ellen knows his dancing genes came from the Kansas side. Meanwhile, Dap-Kings’ front woman Sharon Jones, is all soul, all funk and live at the Warfield tomorrow night.
After a long hiatus, DJ AM and Travis Barker of Blink 182 are back on the music scene. The somewhat last-minute show last Friday at Mezzanine marks the pair's first San Francisco show since last year’s tragic plane crash. The two reunited on New Year's Eve to play a party in Miami and have since developed an unlikely partnership—a live DJing and drumming set that they plan to take on tour. Props to the fresh concept, but does the act pan out onstage?
So, who knew this day could happen? Its hip to be patriotic.
Bush wrapped himself in the flag for so many years, you’d think we could never get the smell of hypocrisy out of that thing. But lo and behold, Facebook is full of feklempt Friscan bleeding hearts who felt the totally alien sensation of national pride when Aretha stirred souls with her not dog-calling version of Our Country 'Tis of Thee.
And she wasn’t the only relevant recording star to belt in out for Barack yesterday and Saturday, at the star-studded concert for we, the people.
The Fleet Foxes have had quite a year. We knew they were something else when the hype machine made it near impossible to score tickets to their Bottom of the Hill show last Spring (maybe one of the most amazing shows of last year). Then they played the Treasure Island Music Festival, drawing Jack White out from his trailer to watch the magic. They’ve secured the coveted number 1 spot on Pitchfork’s Best Albums of 2008, and this Saturday, will join the short list of indie label bands to perform on SNL. They’ll be performing “Blue Ridge Mountains,” (which Pitchfork crowned the