Photos: The ‘Stagecoach Spotlight’ tour with Lukas Nelson at Great American Music Hall

Lukas Nelson (photo: William Wayland) Words by William Wayland Lukas Nelson sounds just like his father, but — with all due respect — might be even more talented. He plays a style all his own that starts off country but at some point during the set, the cowboy hat comes off and there’s no mistaking his rock and roll energy. Nelson co-headlined the Stagecoach Spotlight tour at the Great American Music Hall on April 23, 2018. Everything he plays becomes his own, including "Georgia on My Mind" by Ray Charles and Paul Simon's "Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes.” In [...]

By |April 27, 2018|Tags: |

Sponsored: It’s gonna be May at the Independent

Dolores hangs, A's games, and numerous other opportunities to drink beer outdoors: After months and months (and months) of rain, spring has finally made her grand entrance to the Bay. Nowhere is that more apparent than at the Independent next month. Though festival season is revving its engine and summer tours are starting to roll out, the Indy's May schedule is bringing the heat with an exciting array of acts that will invigorate and energize you — you might not have to leave home to see some of the best shows you'll see all year. The Divisadero Street venue has [...]

By |April 26, 2018|Tags: |

Sponsored: David Byrne promises new levels of amibition at Bill Graham

David Byrne's name is synonymous with musical ambition. Making his name as a founding member of art-pop heroes Talking Heads and parlaying it into a long career as a solo artist, label head, and author, Byrne not only understands how to write music, but how to break it down in the most precise ways possible. So when the man himself promises "the most ambitious show I’ve done since the shows that were filmed for Stop Making Sense," you better get yourself to that show. Stop Making Sense, for those of you born in the Clinton administration and later, is a [...]

By |April 25, 2018|Tags: |

Hip-Hop Harmony: The surprising connection between the Bay and Detroit

(illustration: Rob Goodman) Words by Jequcory M. Davis “If you’ve rode in Detroit a lot, or if you’ve rode in Oakland a lot, you hear this recurring phrase: In Detroit, it’s a lot of ‘Aye (Too) $hort, you know I got some cousins in Oakland,' or you hang out in Oakland and they always like,'You know my cousins in Detroit?' Somehow, these two crazy cities are related. Through spirit and through blood there is a connection through Oakland and Detroit.” Those are the words of Oakland native Too $hort, who has hung around Detroit and worked with their artists for [...]

By |April 24, 2018|Tags: , |

Photos: Judas Priest at the Warfield

Judas Priest (photo: Jon Bauer) Words by Aaron Rubin I last saw Judas Priest over 35 years ago at the Long Beach Arena on the band’s Screaming for Vengeance tour — it was my first real concert. For me, a 15-year-old metalhead in those prelapsarian days (i.e., before the rise of hair metal), Judas Priest represented the Platonic ideal of a heavy metal band. Perhaps if push had come to shove, I would have said Van Halen was my favorite band — they were the hometown heroes, after all — and perhaps Iron Maiden was pushing boundaries in more innovative ways. [...]

By |April 23, 2018|Tags: |

Photos + Review: The Longshot at the Ivy Room

The Longshot (photo: Aaron Rubin) Words by Aaron Rubin Billie Joe Armstrong is restless. Or so it seems, given the flurry of new projects that have come from the Green Day frontman in recent months. Earlier this year, we saw the singer, along with some of his Green Day bandmates, play a string of dates as a cover band called the Coverups. Now comes a new original band, the Longshot, comprising Billie Joe, guitarist Kevin Preston, drummer David S. Field, and Green Day touring guitarist Jeff Matika on bass. The group has already released a full-length record called Love Is for [...]

By |April 23, 2018|Tags: |

Mixtape: The Bay Area’s Standout Hip Hop and R&B Producers

This episode first ran on KQED.org. Download: Mixtape: The Bay Area's Standout Hip Hop and R&B Producers (Podcast #426) The Bay Area's vibrant hip hop and R&B scenes include a wealth of talented MCs and singers, but it's often easy to forget the important behind-the-scenes role that music producers play in crafting great songs. A skilled producer doesn't just provide a instrumental backdrop for an artist to showcase their craft; instead, the best producers elevate their artists, adding emphasis that highlights a song's melodic immediacy or depth that demands repeat listens. This mixtape showcases a dozen songs from local hip [...]

Some important news about Phono del Sol Music & Food Festival

Dear Friends, For 7 years, we’ve been extremely proud to bring you the Phono del Sol Music & Food Festival, our annual summer festival showcasing great local and touring bands in San Francisco’s Potrero del Sol Park. Phono del Sol started in 2011 as something of a lark, an opportunity to bring some rad bands to one of the City’s hidden gems, a secluded park quietly tucked between a hospital and a freeway, with a beautiful and tragically underutilized bandshell. The positive response to the first year’s festival was overwhelming, and subsequent installments saw Phono del Sol grow from its [...]

By |April 18, 2018|Tags: |

Photos: The Breeders at the Masonic

The Breeders (photo: William Wayland) Words by Elaine Blakely Good morning, San Francisco, it’s the Breeders! Back on tour after 10 years and bringing the original crew from 1993, the Breeders pedaled into perfection their latest LP All Nerve kicking off their US and European tour. Kim Deal, lead vocalist and guitarist and former bassist for the Pixies, appeared fresh and ready play with an all-around happy go-lucky-vibe as she strummed bass-heavy melodies along with Kelley Deal on guitar, Josephine Wiggs on bass, and Jim Macpherson on drums. In between songs, Kim fussed and fidgeted to bring all the distortion and [...]

By |April 17, 2018|Tags: |

Sponsored: King Krule oozes and awes the Fox on Monday

London musician Archy Marshall, better known by his stage name King Krule, stops by Oakland as part of his King Krule tour, in support of his most recent album, The Ooz. Released back in October, The Ooz has received high acclaim from several publications. It's the second under the King Krule name, and follows 2013’s 6 Feet Beneath the Moon. The Ooz goes through a deep exploration of music styles while pulling from Marshall’s own personal struggles with depression and self-doubt. Jazzy vibes for a consistent undertone to this particular record, as he mixes in elements of jazz, dark wave, [...]

By |April 12, 2018|Tags: |
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