Noise Pop 2020: Vacationer commands crowd at the New Parish with dreamy melodies

Vacationer (photo: Cindy Huang) On Thursday February 27, the line at the New Parish is out the door and approaching the restaurant on the corner. Guests are clad in sparkly outfits and bubble with excitement.  Vacationer takes the stage around 9:30pm. Normally a four-piece band, only lead vocalist Kenny Vasoli is present. He’s there to play Wavelengths, the band’s fourth studio album, which was released in September. Wavelengths is a 14-track album devoid of the sky-shouting vocals (or rather any vocals) that once characterized Vasoli. Formerly part of emo/pop-punk band the Starting Line, Vasoli founded Vacationer in 2010 to escape the [...]

By |March 1, 2020|Tags: |

Noise Pop 2020: Mannequin Pussy, Best Coast wash away grief at the Regency

“So much happens that makes me want to scream. Our fucked-up collective pain leaves us nowhere safe to do this. So we created a place to scream." That's certainly one way to frame frustration. These were the words of Mannequin Pussy's Marisa Dabice as she introduced the searing, scorched-earth tune, "F.U.C.A.W.," during their opening set Saturday night at the Regency. If you haven't caught on, Mannequin Pussy doesn't exactly do things lightly. Their set was blistering, with Dabice's shredding guitars and screams throughout. It seemed an odd placement to be opening for the happy-go-lucky stoner dreams of Best Coast, but beneath [...]

By |February 29, 2020|Tags: , |

Noise Pop 2020: Ami Dang, Lower Dens sift through societal pressures at Rickshaw Stop

In the midst of a consistently volatile social environment, one trope continues to prove true: the personal is political. It's rampant in our our self-expression and how we view ourselves, our social lives, and of course, in our art and music. Even if you're not aiming to posture in such an overtly calculated way, the undercutting subtext of simply existing is enough for a narrative to be created, intended or not. This hyper-awareness, or, rather, overexposure to the elements in our culture is enough for anyone to feel debilitated, demoralized, and violated by forces that are not in our control. And while [...]

By |February 29, 2020|Tags: |

Noise Pop 2020: The Seshen and Mahawam shine at Rickshaw Stop

Last night, people packed Rickshaw Stop to see the Seshen, the Oakland R&B/jazz/soul/whatever-genre-they-feel-like group that's we've seen in settings as varied as Outside Lands and London. However, the standout to me was Oakland's Mahawam. The Seshen were reliably good (actually, they were great), but during Mahawam's opening set, it became crystal clear why our writers have been praising them since early in their career — they present an alluring mix of R&B, hip-hop, pop, and electronic. The music can be a bit serious, but it's broken up by their charming stage presence: In-between asides were filled with humor, bold statements, [...]

By |February 28, 2020|Tags: , , |

Noise Pop 2020: Helado Negro, Angelica Garcia, Meerna and Tré Burt mesmerize the crowd

On the third night of Noise Pop 2020 at Great American Music Hall, Meerna opened the night with a room-silencing cover of Joan Baez’s “Silver Dagger” and set the stage for what would be a lovely and soulful performance. Never have I seen an audience so silent, so willfully watching the first opening act. Meerna frontwoman Carly Bond, who typically plays with a full band, braved the stage solo and confessed, “Guys, I’m scared,” then tuning her guitar added in a drawn out voice, “Soooo scared,” to audience chuckles. After busting out an old favorite, “Good Luck,” Bond tuned her [...]

Noise Pop 2020: Sandu Ndu, Velvet Negroni, Sudan Archives light up the ballroom at Starline

Although the first night of Night Pop at Starline Social Club started on a quite somber note, night two was a rambunctious endeavor. In the upstairs ballroom, Sandu Ndu, Velvet Negroni, and Sudan Archives all showcased their individual visions of R&B and soul with a lot of swagger. And though openers Sandu and Velvet Negroni (Jeremy Nutzman) faced some sound issues, each managed to break through the crowd's chatter (Ndu with her crisp voice, Nutzman with his sheer personality and occasional yelps). What was emphatically clear, though, was that this was Brittney Parks' night to shine. As producer, singer, and [...]

By |February 27, 2020|Tags: , |

Noise Pop 2020: Stephen Steinbrink, Mutual Benefit soothe souls at Starline

On the first night of Noise Pop, festival attendees at Starline Social Club were greeted by a calming presence in the form of Stephen Steinbrink, Sonoda, and Mutual Benefit. Often, "intimate" is an overly romanticized way to harp on the ability of an artist to command a room, but here, it was clear that the small audience of under 100 were willing to be captured from the start. Steinbrink, an Oakland-based artist, opened the night with an acoustic set, beckoning others to settle into the night. In the small room, audience members mostly sat as Steinbrink worked through much of [...]

Noise Pop 2020: Joshua Radin + Friends at Great American Music Hall

From left: William Fitzsimmons, Joshua Radin, Ben Kweller (photo: Cindy Huang) Acoustic shows at the Great American Music Hall always guarantee an intimate experience with the artist. Singer-songwriter Joshua Radin certainly delivered on this promise as he took us on a soulful journey through the inner workings of his songwriting that tugs at your heartstrings. He was joined onstage for the duration of the show by longtime friend William Fitzsimmons and Ben Kweller whom he recently befriended four days prior to the show. Radin later revealed that he came to know Kweller’s work by way of a hand-me-down Jeep, which [...]

Review + Photos: George Clinton + Parliament Funkadelic at the Mystic Theatre

George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic (photo: Carolyn McCoy) Words by Carolyn McCoy As I walk into Petaluma’s Mystic Theatre, I hear this in passing: “The Mothership has landed!” That statement pertains to the show at hand, with the master of all things funky and freaky, George Clinton and his new generation of Parliament Funkadelic. Let’s just say that the psychedelic circus has come to town with all its wacky, high-energy glory, and I was there to witness the magic. Sadly, this is George Clinton’s farewell tour. At 79 years old, it’s time to settle down — but not before giving his [...]

Photos: Metronomy at the The UC Theatre

Metronomy (photo: Vanessa Solis) British electronic group Metronomy performed at The UC Theatre in support of their latest album, Metronomy Forever, which came out last year. Our photographer Vanessa Solis was at the show can caught the photos from the night that you can check out in the gallery below.

By |February 24, 2020|Tags: |
Go to Top