This Week In Live Music: Sam Smith, Bush, & More


Big week on the live music tip, folks. Dig deep and get your act together and check out the following acts.

Tuesday/Wednesday: Bill Frisell at Yoshi's (Oakland)

Bill Frisell transcends genres so consistently, he’s basically created his new genre — a signature blend of jazz, blues, rock and country. (We’ll call it jablurocko!) The virtuoso guitarist/composer/bandleader is getting back to his roots with his most recent album, Guitar in the Space Age!, and The Colorado native recently told the Aspen Times, “I’m looking at the music that got me really fired up about music in the first place, but also realizing I’ve never really played it."

Thursday/Friday: Ty Segall at Great American Music Hall

Let’s face it: San Francisco isn’t the fertile breeding ground for musicians it used to be. Money comes into a city, artists leave (or never come in the first place). But there are great exceptions to that generally agreed-upon theory, and Ty Segall is at the fore. The garage rocker just released a new album for the series Live in San Francisco, presented by Castle Rock Records, the label run by fellow San Francisco rock hero John Dwyer of The Oh Sees. Stream the album and cross your fingers that San Francisco can still produce spirited musicianship like this 10 years from now.

Friday: Sage Francis at Mezzanine

Street cred, thy name is Sage Francis. The long-vaunted and accomplished rapper made his mark as one of the genre’s most skilled lyricists, taking down rap heroes in battles, checking the establishment, and writing...poetry? Yep. He recently told the Coachella Valley Independent about his dual life, explaining, “It’s kind of like being bilingual...It takes different parts of the brain, but when you merge them together, it all makes sense. " 

Friday: Bush at Nob Hill Masonic Center

Yep, this is happening. Bush — that Bush — is kicking off a North American Tour at the newly renovated Nob Hill Masonic Center. And '90s alternarock posterboy Gavin Rossdale and mates dropped an album, Man on the Run, just last fall, searching for that hard-but-not-impossible-to-revisit garage sound. They told USA Today they used “pawn-shop guitars, really old amps and really futuristic technology to try to find that middle ground where the hybrid fits," with each song written with a live set in mind. Prepare yourself for new material. There’s more than just nostalgia going on here.

Saturday: Sam Smith at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium

The awards are already piling up for 22-year-old wunderkind Sam Smith, the voice behind Disclosure’s omnipresent hit single "Latch." Smith has been nominated for a series of Brit Awards for his essential modern pop work In The Lonely Hour: Best British Male, Best Breakthrough Artist, and Best Album. But the good news comes with bad news. Smith recently announced a split with his model boyfriend on Instagram, and his band Disclosure was just slapped with a lawsuit over the lyrics to several songs on their LP, Settle. Welcome to international fame, Mr. Smith.

For more words like these, follow @ChrisTrenchard


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