At this point I have no idea when this show is going to start, but it’s 9:22 and there’s another loner type rubbing the wood grain pillar in the middle of Mighty. He’s got his hood up as if keeping a low-profile, but blowing it otherwise. It looks like he took the wrong drugs, slowing down when he might want to speed up. Because at this point in the evening, with some crew members apparently still wiring up the massive amount of lights on stage, he might be in for a wait.Read more »
Kanye West is at an enviable place in his career. Everyone knows who he is. He’s reached near iconic, almost mythic status. The problem is, everyone knows who Kanye West is, even if they don’t listen to his music. I’m fairly certain there are people I’m related to who are only familiar with him largely because he impregnated and proposed to a beautiful woman with a large, rich family, sextape, hard-working publicist, and contract with an unscrupulous cable TV network (in roughly that order). They likely also know him as an egotistical and crazy loudmouth, for reasons too long to detail here.
In sum, Mr. West’s celebrity has threatened to obscure and confuse his accomplishments. Luckily, his newest stage production, Yeezus, represents the history of Kanye West, according to Kanye West. Read more »
John Dwyer stood holding his guitar, smiling and making small talk with the crowd, having been asked by a Phono del Sol staffer to hold off while, presumably, the band on the other stage finished up its set. “Alright, I think we’re just going to get started,” he said, seemingly without cue, and Thee Oh Sees began playing, giving the day a much needed jolt in energy. Read more »
I fully expected the Hot Chip show last night to be a giant advertisement for Converse. In the last few weeks I’d been noticing the ads around town, with that new slogan* and figured there was something else behind the big marketing push. So when a series of free “Represent SF” concerts was announced at Slim’s, in conjunction with a store opening, it made sense. But what I didn’t expect the event to be, was an advertisement for Google Glass.
As someone who covers live music, a “free” show doesn’t in itself mean much, since entry is most often comped in exchange for publicity, whether good or bad. That deal was basically given to everyone at Slim’s last night, since they received a wristband with an RFID tag upon entry. Different stations throughout the club were “interactive,” and would give you the opportunity to win prizes, swag, and (I assume) shoes. All you have to do is register the RFID to your Twitter and Facebook account, in which case Converse would also make automated posts on your behalf through the night. Read more »
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 »
MUSIC "Tastemaker" is a word that gets thrown around enough to be meaningless. Anyone can share a track on Facebook or attempt social apotheosis via Twitter, most likely to find that Pitchfork reposts get drowned in the echo chamber and Do415 accounts are D.O.A. Not everyone can be Gilles Peterson, a DJ in every sense. Whether in a club, as a compiler of obscurities, or as a pirate radio turned BBC radio personality and interviewer, when Peterson plays a song, people actually listen.Read more »
Bands have hierarchies. James Murphy was essentially LCD Soundsystem, Alexis Taylor and Joe Goddard are Hot Chip. If anyone knows this, it's Al Doyle; the multi-instrumentalist was the guitarist for LCD before it disbanded in 2011, and continues to be a crucial member in Hot Chip.Read more »
Every time I've been to Popscene in the last few years, and I mean every time, I see the same guy. Deep 30s, clean cut, and so meticulously well-dressed that it's conspicuous. Particularly conspicuous when he's gravitating around a pair of black lingerie wearing girls dancing like they can't drink. But I guess that mix is fairly typical of Thursdays at the Rickshaw Stop, for the weekly event that always brings in a new crowd by being an 18+ dance party, while maintaining a certain following with the promise of seeing an emerging music act that "could be the next big thing."
Or, as the case was with Australian electronic producer Flume on Thursday night, the next Porter Robinson. As in "OMG, can you believe he's only 20?" and the additional hype that goes with it. The crowd was sold out and eager to hear him DJ, many in the audience probably choosing the show over more established popular EDM acts playing that night like Major Lazer at the Independent or the Skrillex/Diplo (he's everywhere) event going on for the video game convention. Read more »