Let’s admit it — in the Bay Area, music fans are spoiled. The train of fascinating world-class music is never-ending, even during the holidays. We were reminded of this last night on Thanksgiving Eve, when the tribal jazz pop of adopted Oaklanders tUnE-YarDs filled the Regency Ballroom. In that spirit, here are 9 reasons we were thankful:
1) Bandleader/multi-instrumentalist/singer Merrill Garbus’ seemingly infinite vocal range. She grunts, she incants, she chants, and generally sings gnarly from the throat. And then, often in the same breath, she sings like an angel. No register is left unturned. Girl has a gift.
When we get past the pomp and circumstance, pageantry and omnipotence and media ubiquity and 12 million Twitter followers of Katy Perry, when we dig deeper than the 30-second sound bytes and three-minute music videos, when we’re confronted with the actual person, rather than the image bestowed, what are we left with? What is this thing underneath the guise of Katy Perryness?
Who says music can’t be both intellectually stimulating and shamelessly fun?
There are few better endorsements in the world of electronica than an opening gig for LCD Soundsystem (obligatory “long live James Murphy” mention) and/or Aussie dance party heroes Cut Copy. Theirs is the word of godly dance saints, so it was written, or possibly decreed, probably rumored, until death do us part, amen, the father, the son, and—
You'd better have checked your music biz-related cynicism at the door if you were in attendance at BeatBox last night in SOMA, where Bay Area music industry movers and shakers gathered to welcome what could be a very valuable tool for the local music scene: the musician networking/discovering hub Hear it Local SF.
To put it in terms Architecture in Helsinki fans can appreciate, music consumers can generally be divided into two camps: those frustratingly picky prudes, and the weak-kneed whores. Prudes prefer their music to put in some work, and themselves to be wooed in novel ways; in other words, they like to play hard to get, and that’s why they listen to all that obscure ‘60s Brazilian Tropicalia b-sides that are literally hard to get. Then, god, the whores — they give up their affection at the first hint of pop melodicism and major chord synth sounds, preferring their lyrics of the bubblegum variety and their song structures predictable, swooning over anything that moves.
It’s hard to say exactly how Brent Weinbach — one of the Bay Area’s comic talents truly deserving of wider recognition — is funny. His shtick is inconceivably awkward, his delivery of punchlines uber-droll, his voice that of an unbearably uncharismatic statistics professor, with all the stage presence of a To Catch a Predator star.
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