Week two of Fauxchella starts tomorrow, and the culturally rich get richer here in SF. It’s absurd how much of the world’s best musical talent will come through the Bay Area in the weeks before, during and after this year’s two-week Coachella experiment. There’s so much, in fact, that our normal five-bullet point column won’t suffice.
Faux-chella — that wondrous time of year where we NorCal leaches suck from the teat that is Coachella — has arrived. There are some major must-see shows this week if you’re not heading south for the big party in the desert this weekend (or, for that matter, weekend No. 2): Radiohead at HP Pavilion (Wednesday), M. Ward at the Fillmore (Wednesday), Andrew Bird at the Fox (Friday), Damien Jurado at Bottom of the Hill (Friday), and on and on…
Listen up and listen here:
March forth, audial soldiers.
The name fits in the case of Islands, a band that seems inspired by something exotic at almost every compositional turn. Their collective musical imagination puts them on a conceptual — wait for it — island (sorry) unto themselves, where songs double as recitations of elaborate opium dreams. The occasional steel drum doesn’t hurt the connotation, either. Bandleader Nicholas Thorburn (aka Nick Diamonds, also of The Unicorns and Mister Heavenly) is at the wheel of this always-fascinating project, and is largely responsible for the genius of the sprawling 2006 album Return to Sea, and the recent abstract musings of A Sleep & A Forgetting, which has been massaging critics’ brains this year. Trust that you’d be wise to get thyself over to Hotel Utah for a tropical vacation of the mind.
Let's get right into it, party persons:
Consider Geographer our fair city’s answer to Passion Pit. The local electro chamber-pop trio wins hearts and minds and ears the same way, with big synths and clicky percussion and Nathan Blaz’ electric cello atmospherics. And there’s also that same sense of intimacy, like a devoted friend whispering secrets at a high school dance.
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