Courtney Barnett at the Rickshaw Stop Monday night.
By Sloane Martin
Standing outside the Rickshaw Stop before Courtney Barnett's set, I'm watching her chat with her bandmates when one of the girls working merch pops out to let Barnett know that they've run out of everything — shirts, albums, posters. "Oh, hang on," Barnett cries. "I think we have a couple more t-shirts in the car!" And she's off, grabbing the minivan keys from her drummer so she can dig out something to sell to San Francisco. Despite the shaggy hair and the tomboy-cool outfit of striped t-shirt, jeans, and Chelsea boots, she genuinely has appreciation for the fans who have come out.
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 »
It’s only a matter of time before British R&B-pop sensation Jessie Ware outgrows the small, cozy Rickshaw Stops of the music world. Last Thursday, at her first-ever SF show, Ware’s commanding, poised performance showed massive potential, more befitting of a full-on diva for the 21st century than a blog-popster du jour.
While her stateside popularity hasn’t yet caught up to her reputation across the pond, Ware captured the full attention of the indie-music press with her debut LP, Devotion, released last year. Influenced by her earlier work with producers like SBTRKT, the album demonstrated a level of artfulness and musical nuance, atypical of your average vocal pop album. Much like Katy B and AlunaGeorge, Ware has raised eyebrows by integrating big, upfront, Sade-esque vocals into the music-first world of bloggy electronica.
No one likes to be shushed. The most intense shushing I ever endured was at the Independent, during an Owen Pallett show. I was talking to a friend as the lights went down, when the woman standing in front of me turned around, stuck her finger closer to my mouth than hers, and said “shush.” Maybe it was because Pallett is associated with Arcade Fire and plays violin – two things that demand musical respect, right? – but considering that the dude hadn’t even picked up his instrument yet, and we were standing back under the balcony, I thought the least this stranger could do was let a guy finish his thought. That said, I would have preferred all the preempting, anal shushers in the world to the shitheads at the EMA show last night. Read more »