Live Music This Week: Smashing Pumpkins, Joanna Newsom, and More

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You know it’s the week after SXSW when every band coming through San Francisco has a new album out and seems to be generating lots of buzz. 


Monday: Chairlift at the Independent

Chairlift made savory, sensual noise last week in Austin. Austin360 noted in a review, “The duo has achieved synth-pop perfection in trading perfectly palatable and pretty for souful and pulsing with toe-tapping life. The band’s four live members (the core duo are joined by drums and honking saxophone) were dressed in black and white, but Chairlift, at their shiny, new best, is full-on technicolor.” Sounds like the Chairlift we know. // $20, Get tickets here

Tuesday: The Naked and Famous at the Independent

We want more Naked and Famous, please, and we want it right now. We're insatiable when it comes to their wildly imaginative, upbeat dreampop. According to an interview in Rappler, new songs are in the works. Lead singer Alisa Xayalith said, “Ee are working on it, day in and day out. It’s like this never-ending process and we’re right in the middle of everything. I will say, we really want to get this right. So time is necessary. We wouldn’t feel right if we rushed to release something. But with that being said, we all have a sense of urgency about having LP3 done. So more patience is needed and before you know it, the silence is going to be broken with something we feel super proud of.” // $30, Get tickets here

Friday: Smashing Pumpkins at the Masonic

You were expecting Zwan? While that infamous supergroup might need an introduction, Smashing Pumpkins does not. The iconic ’90s rock gods return to the Bay Area for the umpteenth time with a fresh sheen. They're calling their latest merry-go-round an “electroacoustic” tour, featuring re-worked songs from the band’s expansive catalogue. No surprise, really—change, rather than stagnation, has always defined this band. // $60-$355, Get tickets here

Saturday: Poliça at the Fillmore

Polica turned heads at SXSW last week. Austin360 caught their Wednesday set (which we’ll call a warmup for their Fillmore gig this week) saying, “the four-piece did well holding the attention of a SXSW audience that usually takes its brooding with guitars, beards, or irony. Instead, Poliça offered a pair of drummers...whose swirling beats and rhythms propelled Leaneagh’s verses. Bassist Chris Beirden’s grooves kept things from getting too dire.” // $30-$60, Get tickets here

Sunday: Joanna Newsom at the Fox Theatre

Joanna Newsom’s SXSW days are probably behind her, thanks to a catalogue that really needs no promotion. Newsom’s latest album, Divers, is her fourth complete work of brilliance. Consequence of Sound aptly described it: On Divers, Newsom’s music is anything but regular. Working without the net of attaching the album to a distinct point in her narrative, Newsom attempts something uniquely ambitious: making an album outside a traditional career arc and still finding a way to make it a success.” In other words, Newsom has transcended easy narrative descriptions, so you’re better off just witnessing her act yourself. // Get tickets here

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