Link roundup

Happy Hour: The week in music


Happy Friday, friends, and welcome to August. We’re only about a month away from summer weather!

As happy hour draws closer, here’s a look back at the best music and music news we heard and saw this past week:

Sharon Van Etten shone in a free, intimate (though packed-to-the-gills), Pandora-presented evening at The Chapel on Tuesday night [July 29]. “I wrote this song while living in my parents’ basement…I was 26,” she said with a laugh in her voice. “How many of you have ever tried to move back in with your parents’ when you were in your twenties?” [Loud whooping from most of the room.]

“I think that just usually means you’re trying to figure out who you are, that you’re still finding your path, you know?” she continued. “I mean, if you really knew who you were by the time you were 20, fuck you. No, sorry, that’s great. Anyway, this song is about trying to get your shit together.” Millennial anthem for the ages?

— New for this year at Outside Lands: an entire stage devoted to food events, called “GastroMagic.” Some of said events are paired somewhat hilariously with accompanying musical acts, like the “Beignets & Bounce Brunch with Big Freedia and Brenda’s French Soul Food,” in which audience members who answer the Queen of Bounce’s call to twerk will be “awarded with beignets.” No word on the distribution method, exactly, but we pictured t-shirt cannons?


This NPR piece on why band photos look the way they do is relevant to our interests. Specifically, if any banjo-laden alt-country/Americana band ever sends us an EPK that includes a photo shoot in an alley full of burning crash cans, we will run it.

Speaking of Americana: This is a fun piece from the Bay Bridged about the boys of Goodnight, Texas, who make it work despite being in what amounts to a four-way long-distance relationship. Are there Cosmo tips for that yet? Get with it, lady mags. Anyway, GN,TX’s new album Uncle John Farquhar drops Aug. 5, and it’s rather good.

Here’s a smart essay at Ebony about the shitstorm that ensued this week from Nicki Minaj’s new album, um, art for Anaconda.

Like much of the music-related Internet, we too got obsessed with a little-known Canadian singer-songwriter named Tobias Jesso Jr., who by all appearances is a young reincarnation of Harry Nilsson mixed with shades of Joe Jackson and who hasn’t even put out an album yet, but damn does he need to hurry up (quick, while Stereogum, Pitchfork, Consequence of Sound, your local PTA president, etc., are addicted to this song):

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass keeps dropping hints about this year’s lineup. Listen here and tell us your guesses.

Andrew Bird is a self-deprecating sweetheart in addition to being very good at songwriting and whistling, as you can see in this SFist interview, and he’s playing Stern Grove for free this Sunday at 2pm.


Happy Hour: The week in music


Hey you. Yeah, you. Are you still sitting at your desk, despite it being a beautiful day outside, and despite the proximity of large-screen TVs tuned to the World Cup inside multiple alcohol-serving establishments within three blocks of you in every direction?

Give yourself a pat on the back. You deserve it. And you have less than an hour to go!

To help kill those last few minutes of clock-watching, here are some musical highlights of the past week, and a thing or two to do this weekend:

1. YouTube is about to fuck up 95 percent of what you and I use YouTube for. Sorry, not cat videos; I meant listening to audio and watching videos from independent artists. An executive from the Google-owned giant recently told the Financial Times that YouTube was prepared to remove videos from labels that didn’t sign their contract for the new YouTube Music Pass (a paid licensing program) “within days.” Reps from a lot of these labels (like 4AD — see ya, The National, tUnE-yArDs, Deerhunter, et al) have said they’ve been offered the extraordinarily shitty end of the terms stick.

2. If you’re sticking around the Bay Area this weekend — unlike the 8 out of 10 musicians I’ve talked to in the past few days who are all taking off for Hickey Fest — you could do a lot worse than to check out the ULUV Music Day, a festival of free music featuring more than 100 bands playing throughout the day at parklets, BART stations, and other public locations in every neighborhood in the city from noon to 5pm. At 6pm, head over to Dolores Park for a “music flash mob” and official proclamation from the City of San Francisco.

3. New owners for Yoshi’s SF (following bankruptcy under the current ownership) signal “an all-but-final blow to the original aims of the Fillmore Jazz Preservation District,” says SF Weekly.

4. Biopics are in the works about NWA and Aaliyah, though the latter’s family is none too happy about it. By contrast, Ashanti has hit the county fair circuit.

5. Jack White (who’ll be at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium Aug. 22 and 23) debuted his latest, Lazaretto, at #1 on the Billboard charts, selling 138,000 copies in its first week — some 40,000 of them vinyl. That broke Pearl Jam’s record for the largest sales week for a vinyl album, a title that previously went to 1991’s Vitalogy. Let’s compare and contrast (quick, before YouTube takes them down).

Now then. Beer time?


Happy Hour: The week in music


— The 2014 Music Video Race, the competition that pairs local bands with filmmakers for the 48-hour speed-creation of music video magic, is now accepting applications from musicians and filmmakers. The filmmaking weekend is July 11-13, and the screening/party, due to popular demand, has been upgraded to The Independent on July 20. Yours truly will be one of the judges, so, er, make this tough for me.

— The Stern Grove Festival, AKA one of the few summer festivals that delivers killer live performances without killing your hopes of ever sending your unborn kids to college, announced this year’s lineup of Sunday afternoon shows. For the low price of zero dollars, you’ll get such heavy hitters as Smokey Robinson, Rufus Wainwright, Andrew Bird, Darlene Love, Allen Stone, and plenty of other local stars, like LoCura, Vetiver, and, of course, the SF Symphony. Pack a picnic, bring a jacket (this is summer in San Francisco, after all) and get there early if you actually want to see the stage.

— Here is an insane new video from A Million Billion Dying Suns:

— The women of Warpaint stuck their feet in their pretty mouths, calling out Beyoncé and Rihanna for dressing like “sluts,” then they apologized. Some people had some smart things to say about it.

— Best rap feud ever.

Happy hump day music news!


Hiatus, schmiatus: Thee Oh Sees have been added to an already-dreamy Burger Boogaloo lineup. Catch ’em alongside OFF!, Shannon and the Clams, Nobunny, Terry Malts, and of course the inimitable Miss Ronnie Spector herself, July 5-6 at Mosswood Park in Oakland.

Who needs Coachella anyway? In between their two weekend stints at that shitshow of a music festival down south, Waxahatchee is playing a free show at UC Berkeley’s Sproul Plaza today at 5pm. Are you in Berkeley? It’s goddamn beautiful out. You should go.

Start your itinerizing: Outsidelands just announced each day’s lineup and put single-day tickets on sale. Are you in more of a Kanye-Disclosure-Warpaint-Mikal Cronin kind of mood? Or a Tom Petty-Tycho-Big Freedia head space? These are the tough questions.

Cocktails grow up: Don’t worry, one of SF’s favorite fuzz-power-pop bands hasn’t gone and gotten lame, though. This new track, “Tough Love,” off Adult Life, suggests the five-piece has gotten a little tighter and just a little slicker, in a good way. That record won’t be out until June 17, but you can probably hear a lot of it at the Rickshaw Stop this Fri/18, when they open at the EP release party for The She’s.

“My brain is a little addled in terms of my long-term memory.” That’s Courtney Love, in an excellent oral history of Hole’s Live Through This, in honor of the album’s 20th anniversary. No matter what you think of her or her Dave Grohl reconciliation or her mediocre missing airplane-finding skills, this album is still gorgeous and important and yes I will fight you about that.

Also, this interview.

The top 7 music-related things on the Internet that have nothing to do with Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin


Hey, did you hear that Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin, lead singer of Coldplay, are splitting up? Of course you did. Did you actually read through an entire news item about it before remembering that Gwyneth Paltrow is the most insufferable actress you can think of, and that’s really saying something because there are a lot of them? Then there’s the fact that Coldplay is, without exaggeration, one of the most boring bands that currently exists in the vast, vast landscape of offensively boring, mall-friendly, easily digested pop-rock music. It’s the musical equivalent of an unsalted rice cake.

The idea that any music fan is spending any amount of time today reading clickbait about this topic hurts us. It hurts our hearts. With that in mind: Here are seven good music-related things to do on the Internet today, none of which are trying desperately to sound like a watered-down version of Radiohead and failing.

1. Read our feature on Sharon Jones kicking cancer’s ass and coming back stronger and sassier than ever before — with a brand-new album and an indignant stance on American healthcare.

2. Listen to a track off Mikal Cronin’s new record, which drops next Tuesday.

3. Watch Jon Stewart talk about his punk days in Jersey with the Butthole Surfers’ Gibby Haynes.

4. Read our interview with Stephen Malkmus, in which he discusses the Jicks’ new album, name-checks Ty Segall and tUnE-yArDs, and advises teens to stop sexting and start a band.

5. Read the East Bay Express’ profile of Meklit Hadero, cover star of our On the Rise issue last week.

6. Check out LA-based funksters Vulfpeck‘s highly creative use of Spotify to simultaneously fund a bunch of free shows and call out Spotify for not supporting musicians more, with a full album of silent songs that clock in at just over 30 seconds each, the length of time after which Spotify pays bands whopping royalties. Just kidding about the whopping part.

7. Pay your respects: Today, March 26, is both Steven Tyler’s and Diana Ross’ birthday. Tyler, 66, is celebrating by advocating for copyright protections in our nation’s capital. Ross, 70, appears to be doing a lot of casino shows throughout the Midwest, and also still looks goddamn fabulous in a sparkly gown. It’s also the 17th anniversary of the Heaven’s Gate mass suicide.

Sorry. Um. Celebrate/mourn that one however you will. We’ll be over here with Alicia Silverstone.


Happy Hour: The week in music


Dearest clock-watchers! If you hadn’t noticed, it’s almost the weekend. In the event that your excitement is currently tempered with social anxiety about which pop culture topics to discuss over happy hour beverages — a very sad and all-too-common affliction — here are a few gems from the music world that the Internet bestowed upon us this week.

— The 5th annual Burger Boogaloo, one of the spunkiest (and most affordable!) festivals in the Bay Area’s grand feast of summer festival offerings, announced its lineup yesterday, and it’s a good one. What says “summer” more than the legendary Ronnie Spector crooning “Be My Baby” as hipsters play drunken kickball around you in Mosswood Park?

— Oakland noir-pop rockers DRMS released this epically and mysteriously engaging 17-and-a-half-minute film set to some of the most experimental music we’ve heard from them yet. They’re at the Rickshaw Stop tomorrow night [Sat/22], if you wanna get good and dreamy.

— The city of Abderdeen, Wash., home of one Kurt Cobain, celebrated its first annual “Kurt Cobain Day” yesterday, Feb. 20, on what would have been the rocker’s 47th birthday. With what, you ask? Why, a giant, weird, crying, Jesus-like Kurt Cobain statue, of course. Because that definitely seems like something he would have wanted.

— The SFJAZZ Center is a very precocious one-year-old. [SFGate]

Kelis will finally get to share her milkshake recipe with the world — or at least viewers of the Cooking Channel — thus eliminating the need for boys to even come to her yard at all.

Cranky dude at the Thermals show last night at The Chapel: You’re unhelpful. [via Mission Mission]

Go forth, my friends. Stay hydrated.