This Thanksgiving, remember to give thanks for San Francisco’s neverending bounty of world-class and underbelly music.
Experimental soul-rockers Bells Atlas continue their residency at New Parish, and we could get used to this. If you haven’t seen this Oakland-based band yet, consider it your prerogative. Last week’s show at New Parish was a glorious revelation — the recorded tracks take on unimaginable dimension in the live setting. Derek Barber’s boundless, formless guitar riffs simply need to be heard live to be appreciated.
What happens when every song is a brilliant party-starter and party-ender (the kind of song you save for the perfect moment)? That's producer/songwriter Robert DeLong’s only problem. On his latest album, In the Cards, DeLong set out to write songs that were, as he told Examiner.com, “more compact ... that spanned a lot of different genres as opposed to some sort of extended electronic jam."
The Mission is home turf for Afrolicious, which got its start at the Elbo Room in 2007. Back then, shows resembled celebratory parties more than proper gigs. DJs of various stripes would spin soul, Afro-house, salsa, Brazilian funk, you name it. The band now has albums upon albums to play and re-imagine, but those days and that all-for-one, one-for-all spirit are hardly forgotten.
One more round of applause for The Chapel, which has managed to book one of the seminal rock acts of the late-’70s/early-’80s post punk scene out of London. Public Image Ltd. is somehow still ticking, touring, cutting new material, and making damn good albums. Their latest release, the cheekily titled What the World Needs Now, ranks among their best, which is saying something considering they’re now 10 albums deep into their discography. Mojo summed up the album adequately, calling it a “record of disarming directness.”
I’m not sure even Shakespeare could adequately describe the absurdly ambitious, genre-defying Oneohtrix Point Never. Is it avant-garde algorithm tweaking? Is this what happens when the machines take over and start jamming? Is it just electronic music? Whatever it is, it’s intoxicating, unnerving and compelling to the last note and node.
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