Live Review

Jimmy Cliff high-kicks his way through 50 years of music at the Fillmore

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Jimmy Cliff is a goddamn maniac. It's about 45 minutes into his 90-minute set at the Fillmore on Saturday night [July 19], and while the sheer volume of ganja smoke in the packed room is making real movement — beyond the standard shuffle/sidestep, white reggae fan head-bob, and occasional 30-second pogo accompanied by the triumphant fist-in-the-air move — seem an insurmountable challenge for most everyone on the dancefloor, 66-year-old Jimmy Cliff is onstage in matching bright yellow-and-red pants, a robe, and a hat, quite literally running circles around everyone. Read more »

Live Shots: OK Go power through technical difficulties at The Independent

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Ok Go’s catalog is the sonic equivalent of Fruit Loops. Bright, fun, tasty, and far from satisfying or substantive. They are also one of our generation’s greatest bands. Because what Ok Go lacks in musical imagination and originality, they make up for tenfold with the way they have revolutionized and thoroughly dominated the art of the music video.Read more »

Live Shots: Phono del Sol 2014

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So, what did you get up to on Saturday?

From an abundance of flamingo decorations to the sight of skateboarders with a penchant for performing dangerous acrobatics off stage barricades, July 12's Phono del Sol — the hometown pride-filled music festival thrown with a new level of fervor each year by the Bay Bridged at Potrero del Sol Park — showcased a variety of genres and kept the musical midsummer blues at bay.

Here’s the best of Phono del Sol 2014. Read more »

Mac DeMarco underwhelms at Amoeba — until he busts out the covers

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Mac DeMarco has one of the most charismatic, clearly defined personas of anyone in indie rock. He chain-smokes, cross-dresses, makes out with interviewers, and -- in what might be the key piece of apocryphal Mac mythology -- once stuck his thumb up his ass at a gig. Read more »

Live Shots: Nick Cave hypnotizes the Warfield two nights in a row

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It took Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds all of two songs to whip the audience into a mighty frenzy at the Warfield Theater on Monday night [during the first of a pair of sold-out shows at the venue]. Not totally surprising, but all the more impressive when considering that Cave and company pulled it off by playing new material, a pair of tracks from their latest album, Push the Sky Away.Read more »

Live Shots: Burger Boogaloo 2014, Take #1

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About 30 minutes into this year's Burger Boogaloo, I noticed a guy walking around in a Tool shirt. Ten minutes later, I saw another dude walking around in a Meshuggah shirt. This wouldn't be so remarkable at most concerts, but it's worth keeping in mind that this was ostensibly an indie rock concert. Most fans of progressive metal wouldn't dare enter that often rigid and snobbish universe, just as most indie fans would consider those heavy-but-impeccably-produced bands well outside the accepted parameters of "cool."Read more »

Future, the Auto-Tune rapper du jour, had a very lazy night at the Regency

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Future, America's Auto-Tune rapper du jour, is in a cushy position. His recent album Honest is one of the year's most critically acclaimed rap albums so far, and it's moved enough units to establish him as a major presence on 2014's hip-hop scene. Hip-hop fans know who he is, as do a lot of indie kids who've stumbled across fawning reviews of his work online. But he's not yet a star.Read more »

Robyn + Röyskopp + Pride = lots and lots of glitter

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By Tiffany Rapp

When two major figures in the Scandinavian electronic music scene collaborate for a mini-album and tour, it's bound to feel like something special. But when a Röyskopp and Robyn tour comes to San Francisco and it’s Pride weekend — when there's always a little magic (and quite literally glitter) in the air, anyway — it almost seems like strobe-lit, sparkly fate.Read more »

Sharon Van Etten banters happily through the sad songs at The Independent

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Sharon Van Etten had yet to play a note before someone in the crowd shouted forth a marriage proposal toward the stage. The term “adoring fans” might sound generic, but it’s apt in describing the audience at Van Etten’s first of a pair of sold-out shows at The Independent last night [Sun/29 -- the second is tonight].  For just short of two hours they sang along and showered the 33-year old singer with love at every chance they got.Read more »

LA siren BANKS enchants The Independent

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On Wednesday night at The Independent, a sold-out crowd anxiously awaits the mysterious creature known as BANKS. Cloaked in layers of black fabric that fall to her ankles, the dark chanteuse struts deliberately to center stage, where a spotlight shines onto her pale face. The L.A.-based signer-songwriter seductively sets into the dark R&B track “Before I Ever Met You,” recalling instrumentals by The Weeknd, with whom she toured last year.Read more »