Music

Heads Up: 7 must-see concerts this week

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Dear 2 Chainz: we’d like to formally apologize on behalf of our city, if you were indeed robbed at gunpoint (details are a bit murky at this point). Terrible things happen in every city, and San Francisco is no exception. But we must trundle forward, as a city of sonic fiends who love this place called home, always exploding with new bands, and welcoming traveling acts from around the world.

This week, we celebrate a particularly beloved member of own pack: Sonny and the Sunsets has a new record, and it’s a leap in yet another direction for the singer-songwriter and his crew. There’s also a Date Palms album release, a visit from New Zealand rockers the Bats (locals the Mantles open), the return of Cold Cave, some existential slop-punk from the Trashies, and a tribute to “rock‘n’roll specialist” Buddy Holly. Music lives on, despite despair.

Here are your must-see Bay Area concerts this week/end: Read more »

Drama queens (and kings), start your engines: SF Opera's summer season is here

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The annual SF Opera summer season is always a treat -- the programmers get a little wild, and the risks, like last year's extraordinary Nixon in China, always pay off in adventurous spirit. (Ticket prices, starting at $22, aren't bad, either).

Honestly, I have no idea how they manage to squeeze all the creativity of three whole productions onstage in the space of one month, but that's opera for you. Kinda magic, kinda crazy, all pretty fascinating.

Oh, and music. Incredible music.

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Ohmigod, fine, we're that gay: Here's the Tonys great opening number

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See video

I was actually upset that Bette Midler did not get nominated. What is happening to me? Call out the jazz-hands police, I'm dancing along with Neil Patrick Harris tonight. PS: Mike Tyson. 

New NIN sounds like old NIN, and it's coming to Outside Lands

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Admit it, there was a time when a Nine Inch Nails album was the hardest music in your CD collection. You slipped your Downward Spiral disc in to drown out -- or perhaps embolden -- the bitter angst seething within. That was likely in the 1990s and you got way more hardcore following elementary school. Read more »

Heads Up: 8 must-see concerts this week

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When does cute become cloying? Because this newly viral video of a baby playing along to the Beatles with his dad is seriously tickling me pink -- it's pretty damn adorable -- but after watching it a dozen or so times, it’s left me longing for something noisy and gross, just to wash off the darlingness of it all.

And the best shows this week are something of demonstrative polar opposites as well. There’s sugary Australian pop act Lenka, and fellow Aussie post-punks Total Control, then global dream popsters Trails and Ways, and metal battlecruiser Slough Feg, Americana punks Parquet Courts, and the Sunset Island fest, known as the "electronic music picnic." They are all in the mix.

Here are your must-see Bay Area concerts this week/end: Read more »

Philip Glass at 75: an intoxicating series, live scores to 'La Belle et la Bête' and more

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Last June, legendary composer Philip Glass treated our fair city to a one-off collaborative performance with indie-folk visionary Joanna Newsom. Just two months ago, he made a joint appearance with Beach Boys collaborator and eccentric songsmith Van Dyke Parks, in NYC. Last weekend, Glass paid SF another visit with a career retrospective festival, featuring live productions of two original, highly influential film scores. Glass is no ordinary composer, and even at the age of 75, his prolificacy and flair for innovation challenge that of any working musician. Read more »

Live Shots: Chvrches at Mezzanine

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The night started with shrieks. Well, back up. It actually started sedate. Opener Still Corners had cancelled at the last minute, due to visa issues*,” so we knew it would be a bit of a wait before headliner Chvrches came to the stage at Mezzanine. In the meantime, we stood around commenting how nice it was that there was no one under 21.

The show had originally been scheduled at the Rickshaw Stop, but when it sold out quickly, it was moved to Mezzanine, and anyone under drinking age was issued a refund. This meant there wasn’t the early crush of teenagers permanently camped out at the front of the stage.** I know, I know, it’s not nice to gloat over someone else’s exclusion. Maybe I forget about being that age and not understanding how I wouldn’t get to see my newest musical obsession live, just because the venue was 21+. I remember now, though, because twenty minutes before start time the other side of the spectrum arrived: the banshees.*** Read more »

Here's your gentrification-eviction-displacement electro theme song. Let's dance.

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"Hey gurl, where you moving to? Moving to the East Bay, living life the broke way. SF keep your money. FUCK YOUR MONEY!"

In-our-face drag performer Persia has teamed up with phantasmic trio Daddies Plastik to create an ecstatic dance punk anthem for our insane SF economic times, "Google Google Apps Apps." It's really catchy! Gentrify me, gentrify me, gentrify my love.

And it all comes from personal experience.

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Treasure Island 2013 lineup is out! Animal Collective, James Blake, Little Dragon, Tricky, Cayucas, and...

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Hey look, it’s Animal Collective! Oh, and James Blake, Little Dragon, Tricky, Cayucas, Phantogram, Beck, and Deep Siver Diver, along with locals Antwon and Giraffage. Treasure Island 2013 (Oct. 19-20) is shaping up to be a pretty great festival season closer, heavy on the electronic.

Tickets are on sale this Fri/31 at 10am. Treasure Island Festival lays it all out here:

General admission tickets: Read more »

What we do is secret

New albums from locals: the Mantles, Rogue Wave, Shannon and the Clams. Plus, what's with this America's Cup Concert Series?

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emilysavage@sfbg.com

TOFU AND WHISKEY Bay Area garage pop quintet the Mantles will release Love Enough to Leave on Slumberland Records next month (June 18) and play the Rickshaw Stop a few short days before that (June 14). The breezy group formed in 2007, but sounds like it could just have easily been hanging out at Vesuvio in Jack Kerouac Alley or across the street at Specs Bar in 1968, grasping stiff drinks and talking politics and fashion with local drunks.Read more »