A diverse crowd gathered on the dance floor for last night’s Dr. Dog show at the Fillmore: hip, metal-head moms with their young daughters in-tow; jocks in faux-hawks and Brian Wilson beards with their orange and black clad counterparts, fists still pumping from the Giants victory parade earlier in the day; hipster-geeks who spent the precious minutes between sets propped against the stage with their Mac-Books; be-dreaded pseudo-hippies with Klean Kanteens hanging from their belts.
You may have heard the buzz about Josh Ritter through your musical grapevine, but chances are, you've probably stalked his career progression through underground outlets, not your typical major label brand methods. Ritter, the master of under the radar success, has somehow managed to string along a massive following of fanatics just narrowly escaping the obnoxious obsessions from the teenybopper a-la-Justin Bieber crowd (which is quite surprising considering his God-given gorgeous baby blues would make any girl swoon).
In the past year and a half, pedal steel guitarist Robert Randolph has spent over $5,000 on iTunes. "Before this record, I didn't sift through music past the seventies," says Randolph. So he's been catching up. Guided by the legendary T Bone Burnett, Randolph mined the canon of 20th century African-American music, pulling from gospel, blues, rock and field recordings from as far back as the '20s to find inspiration for his new album, We Walk This Road, which comes out on June 22. "T Bone is a link between the past and the present," notes Randolph. "He listens to music our grandmothers would listen to as children - the music people working in the fields across the south likely sang nearly a century ago. These are the real roots of rock and roll, where everything comes from.
For one thing, these guys (and gals) love San Francisco. Kevin Drew could pretty much remember every single Bay Area show they've played over the last 5 years. Impressive considering their intense tour schedules. Not only that, but they kicked off their Forgiveness Rock Record tour right here in our City by the Bay...at the infamous Fillmore on Saturday night. Doesn't get much better than that folks. It being the first night of the tour, there were obviously a few technical glitches, but with seven mics and over a dozen different instruments, we're surprised it went as flawlessly as it did.
So apparently self-proclaimed "Cope Heads" consists of overly-affectionate couples, creepy single dudes looking to pick off the strays, and me... or at least those were the dynamics at Friday night's show. Despite the strange (and loud!) crowd chatter, Citizen Cope commanded the room, delivering consistent crowd pleasers (aka almost the entirety of The Clarence Greenwood Recordings), a surprising choice due to the heavy push for the brand new The Rain Water LP. Perhaps we caught him on the throwback night, as both of his 2-night stints at The Fillmore were said to be at capacity.
It feels like it was just yesterday when the festival touring circuit was over. Well, the winter hibernation is over, and with festivals like SXSW, Coachella, Sasquatch and Bonnaroo just around the corner, there are some big music decisions to make on the home front. Here are our March and April suggestions.
Quasi, The Independent, 3/10: These Portland staples have been touring and impressing fans since '93. Over the years, they've collectively toured and/or recorded with Sleater-Kinney, Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks, Built to Spill, Bright Eyes, and many others.