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.
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.
Sing it with me: ”It’s the most / wonderful time / of the year…” Yes, Noise Pop is here to rescue San Francisco music fans from their winter hibernation (well, semi-hibernation). There are way too many shows to list here, and many are sold out, so we tried to focus on the shows that somehow haven’t sold out yet. For all of you who don’t have tickets to Flaming Lips, Sleigh Bells, Bob Mould, Wye Oak, Budos Band, et al, try appeasing your FOMO with these Noise Poppers:
Craig Finn, Tuesday, 7 pm, Bottom of the Hill
May we suggest chasing your Valentine's Day love tonic with a musical back? We've got one V-Day concert on the docket and a bouquet of shows later in the week capturing our hearts, minds and ears:
When the seven musicians involved in Los Campesinos! sing in unison, the effect is jarring, like hearing an entire generation of 20-somethings speaking all at once. They seem to speak for a world of youths with an exuberance for life and honest expression and exclamatory punctuation, subtlety be damned.
The infectious yet carnage-minded pop punk outfit from Cardiff, Wales, plays Great American Music Hall Friday night, and fans will be bouncing off ornate pillars and singing along to the band's anthemic songbook if past gigs are any indication.
Six shows to get you through this second week of February.
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