You probably already knew that the Super Bowl is coming to San Francisco, but are you aware of all the live music coming with it? Highlights include: Dave Matthews Band playing Pier 70, the SF Symphony paying homage to the drama-soaked NFL Films soundtracks, and Coldplay bringing down Levi's Stadium at halftime.
After canceling a show at the Independent a year ago, Kelela is FINALLY paying a visit to San Francisco. Kelela is one of a growing number of forward-thinking R&B artists forging a new genre, traversing unfamiliar soundscapes, and jazzy atmospheres. Her debut mixtape, Cut 4 Me, initially caught the ear of tastemakers such as Bjork and Solange, and a hype train was born. Her 2015 EP Hallucinogen delivers on the promise, and it's easy to see why — nodding to FKA Twigs' surreal motifs, with her own idiosyncratic authenticity.
Muse is not very good at making music, but they’re quite good at making spectacles! On the band’s current Drones tour, the stage sits right smack in the middle of the crowd, and turns. Cool! "There's always a reason to not do it because it's a bit more complicated," drummer Dominic Howard told Oregon Live. "We've always thought about playing right in the middle of the audience." Get dizzy, bros.
Gradstudent-core rock band Okkervil River is out there teaching classes on Okkervil River's meteoric ascension to critical darlinghood. Will Sheff, one of the previous decade's smartest songwriters, was once a relative unknown, before releasing Black Sheep Boy in 2005. The album impressed critics and indie kids alike, and 10 years later the band is paying us all back with a nostalgia tour.
Miguel, author of the best R&B album of 2015, is taking a victory lap around the country after a gig at the Fox Theater this past summer. Wildheart, which earned near-universal critical plaudits, counts as one of the great R&B/rock crossover albums these ears have heard in years. “Hollywood Dreams,” below, should qualify as perhaps the most ambitious tracks of the year in any genre.
Beach House gave us TWO genius albums this year. The first, Depression Cherry, marked "another impeccably measured step forward," in the eyes of tastemakers at Pitchfork. Then, barely a month later, Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally announce another full-length album, Thank Your Lucky Stars (we did), as if three years had passed. And it's just as good! The thing is, the band easily could have calculated things and waited another two years to release the material, as many do, but that would have been selfish? Yeah I think so! These songs are done, recorded, and they’re for the public now. Note to other bands: if you love your song, set it free. Don’t be like Wu-Tang.
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