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Neutral Milk Hotel’s Jeff Mangum to Play Phoenix Theater

Posted by on Mar 5, 2013 One Comment

It’s official: Jeff Mangum, frontman and musical genius behind the band Neutral Milk Hotel, will play the Phoenix Theater in Petaluma on Tuesday, April 9.

Tickets, $30 each, go on sale Wednesday, March 6, at noon. They’ll be available at the Last Record Store in Santa Rosa—cash only, but only a $1 service charge—and through the Phoenix Theater’s site.

Mangum, a famously reclusive figure for a decade after releasing the landmark album In the Aeroplane Over the Sea, has slowly re-emerged and performed live over the last few years. (We reviewed his show at the Fox Theater in Oakland here.) In the Aeroplane still manages to hover near the top of most “Best Albums of the 1990s” lists, and shows no sign of slowing in terms of influence and scope.

This is another show for the history books at the Phoenix Theater, which has of late hosted instant-sellout shows with Snoop Dogg and Animal Collective. (And don’t forget Hanson, which had teenage girls camping outside the Phoenix Theater for two days before the show.) My guess is tickets will sell quickly for this one, too.

Luckily, as evidenced by his recent shows, Jeff Mangum plays well-arranged setlists of classic material, and still has that same reedy, hypnotizing voice. Get ready, folks.

Live Review: Fuzz at the Knockout, San Francisco

Posted by on Mar 1, 2013

Fuzz at the Knockout, SF


“Wow, this sounds a lot like Black Sabbath” was the first thought that popped into my head last night at the Fuzz show in San Francisco. “These long haired dudes kinda look like Black Sabbath, too,” I thought. “But that drummer isn’t hiding behind two bass drums and only has two cymbals. And there’s no singer. This is really, really great! I never liked Ozzy’s voice, and these guys sound like a way bigger band than just a three-piece.” But all these great conversation starters were wasted on my own mind, however, because Ty Segall’s latest musical venture was so damn loud nobody in the Knockout would have heard a stampede of elephants running down Mission Street.

Despite what it sounded like, there was only one guitarist, Charles Moothart. Segall is really the one known for cranking out the rockingest rock with his incredible his guitar tones, but here he’s on drums. More on that later. Moothart’s appropriately fuzzy guitar was fat, so fat, in fact, that it shook my ribcage. Maybe it was a warning, like by body was saying, This Is Almost Too Much Rock, Be Careful. His solos were tasty, like hot jam dripping off a shortbread biscuit tasty. And then there was the hair–so much hair, it was everywhere.

Now Segall, who is a guitarist in something like three other bands, might be on the hook for battery if those drums decide to press charges. He beat them like they owed him money, like they insulted his mother, like they keyed his 1967 Mustang. His ferocity did not dimish the speed of the band’s last song, which kept a blistering pace for four times longer than most punk songs. Not only this, but he sang for some of the songs, most of which were new and will probably have lyrics soon.

The crowd at this Noisepop show may have been a little too hip for its own good. The feeling on the tiny dance floor was that familiar precipice of moshing, where either age, vanity or self consciousness kept people from truly smashing into each other like idiots. Instead, a couple of buzzed dudes in gingham shirts sort of pushed each other around a little, eliciting nervous smiles from the wary crowd around them. In a different setting, this would be the ultimate circle pit band.

Co-headling was OGB III, who took the stage after Fuzz. This band was delicious, filled with ooey-gooey cheese and mushy, fatty pork. Slathered in curtido and spicy salsa, they were too hot at first, but soon went down smooth with a cold Mexican beer. No, wait, that was the pupusas at Los Panchos. No offense to OGB III, but nothing was going to top what we had just seen and heard, and we wanted to leave on the highest note possible.

On a side note, local group Blasted Canyons opened, and were pissed off the whole time about, among other things, their monitor mix. Their playing reflected this attitude it in a bad way. But on the plus side, they did have an Oberheim synthesizer, which is high on the list of things that make really cool sounds. The Knockout is a great bar, with plenty of character and a decent dance floor and stage. It’s too loud and really small, which usually makes every show better. This night was no exception.

In News

Humm-Baby! Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z to Play Candlestick Park

Posted by on Feb 22, 2013

…Opening act Crazy Crab?

It looks like Candlestick Park will get one last musical hurrah before being torn down—Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z’s ‘Legends of the Summer‘ stadium tour hits the historic ballpark on July 26. Ticket info. is here—there’s Citi card presales and VIP packages and all that stuff before the general public onsale on Feb. 28.

Candlestick Park has a long history of concerts going all the way back to the Beatles’ last-ever show in 1966, where only 25,000 people showed up, paying between $4.50 and $6.50 each for tickets. The Rolling Stones played two nights there in 1981, and Metallica rumbled the infield in 1988 (see video of “Seek and Destroy” here) and again in 2003. There were a ton of raves at the ballpark in the ’90s and aughts, too.

As for me, I basically grew up at Candlestick, in the Will Clark-Kevin Williams-Jose Uribe era of the Giants. I can’t promise that JT and Jay-Z are going to be as exciting as the 1989 World Series, but still—it’s pretty damn great that the place gets a proper send-off in the form of what’s probably the biggest tour of the summer.

In News

BottleRock Napa: Single-Day Tickets On Sale!

Posted by on Feb 19, 2013 One Comment

 

Good news just in: single-day tickets for Napa’s way crazy BottleRock Napa Valley festival are on sale starting Wednesday, February 20.

Single-day tickets are $139 each.

Also, single-day tickets to the Macklemore & Ryan Lewis kickoff show on May 8 are now on sale, too, for $29 each. You can buy those here.

In related news, BottleRock this week added the Avett Brothers, Joan Jett, X, Richard Thompson and the Violent Femmes to the already-mind-blowing lineup.

As previously reported, BottleRock runs May 8-12 at the Napa Valley Expo.

Full info. at the BottleRock site here.

 

 

 

Ott. + All-Seeing I (live band) perform at Juke Joint for Valentine’s Day

Posted by on Feb 12, 2013

Emerging from the English cultural revolution of the late 1980′s comes Ott., a multifarious DJ artist, whose organic dub creations are equally balanced takes on the celestial and earthbound  His sonic soundscapes are a treasure chest of world rhythms, synthesizers and drum machines. A progressively interconnected combination of instrumentation and bass-heavy beats that takes chill-out to a whole other level.

Regularly performing at some of the world’s largest electronic music festivals, Ott and his band make a West County stop this week to kick back and no doubt make music to some of NorCal’s finest indica. Turn down the lights and position yourself for meditation to this fan-compiled 3-hour collection of Ott albums. It will most likely induce many gloriously reflective hours of universal awareness.

See Ott perform with his live band All-Seeing I at Juke Joint this Thursday night at Hopmonk in Sebastopol. Also featuring DJs Kilowatts & Lenkadu. Thursday, Feb. 14, at Hopmonk Tavern. 9pm. $25. 230 Petaluma Ave., Sebastopol. 707.829.7300

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Everything You Need to Know About Bottle Rock Napa Valley: Lineup, Tickets, Schedule, More

Posted by on Feb 1, 2013 6 Comments

The full lineup for Bottle Rock Napa Valley has been announced. It includes The Black Keys, Alabama Shakes, Zac Brown Band, Furthur featuring Bob Weir and Phil Lesh, Kings of Leon, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Primus, The Flaming Lips, Jane’s Addiction, Ben Harper & Charlie Musselwhite, The Shins, Bad Religion, Iron and Wine, Dirty Projectors, Dwight Yoakam, Edward Sharpe, Mavis Staples, Best Coast, Sharon Van Etten, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Cake, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Carolina Chocolate Drops, The Wallflowers, Blues Traveler, Brandi Carlile, Donovan Frankenreiter, Grouplove and many, many more.

The festival runs May 9-12 at the Napa Expo, with Macklemore & Ryan Lewis kicking off the festivities on Wednesday, May 8. The Macklemore show is free to 3- and 4-day pass holders, and individual tickets for the show, at $29, will go on sale “at a later date.”

Confirmed acts for Thursday, May 9 include Furthur, the Black Crowes, Primus, ALO, Violent Femmes and Cafe Tacuba.

Confirmed acts for Friday, May 10 include the Black Keys, Alabama Shakes, Flaming Lips, Dirty Projectors, Andrew Bird, the Shins, Blues Traveler, Tristan Prettyman, Vintage Trouble, Flagship, Justin Townes Earle. and Allah-Las.

Confirmed acts for Saturday, May 11 include Kings of Leon, Jane’s Addiction, Bad Religion, Ben Harper, Edward Sharpe, Dwight Yoakam, Iron & Wine, Best Coast, Sharon Van Etten, Tift Merritt, Carolina Chocolate Drops, Allen Stone, Donovan Frankenreiter, and RNDM.

Confirmed acts for Sunday, May 12 include the Zac Brown Band, Train, Michael Franti, the Wallflowers, Rodrigo y Gabriela,Cake, Grouplove, Brandi Carlile, Rogue Wave, Mavis Staples, Charlie Musselwhite, and Erin O’Hara.

Ticket pre-sales start Sunday, Feb. 3, at 10am, on the festival’s own site. Prices are as follows:

Three-Day Pass (Fri.-Sun.): $299.

Four-Day Pass (Thurs.–Sun.): $399.

VIP Reserve Passes (includes VIP parking, viewing area, VIP afterparties): $599.

The first 700 Napa County locals to join the “Highway 29″ club will get $70 off, with details to be announced Feb. 2 full details just announced: if you are a Napa County resident and pledge to walk, bike, skateboard, carpool or take public transportation to the festival, you will get a presale code for the $70 discount. The pledge also involves letting people from out of town crash at your house, and to “display kindness in the face of frustration and patience in dealing with the inevitable hiccups of a first-year festival.” (UPDATE: After just an hour of signups, all of those 700 locals-only presale codes are completely spoken for.)

In honor of the Superbowl, 49er fans can use the code “GOLDRUSH” to get $49 off.

As of yet, no individual day tickets are announced, but based on what I know about festival ticket sales in general, I can predict that there will likely come a time when individual day tickets become available. UPDATE: Single-day tickets go on sale on Wednesday, Feb. 20. Individual day tickets are $129.

A full comedy lineup is expected to be announced in mid-February, and food, beer and wine will naturally be part of the festival as well.

The excellent lineup is a massive coup: Bottle Rock is being put on not by Live Nation, Another Planet or Goldenvoice but by two Napa locals, Gabe Meyers and Bob Vogt, who had a hand in the resurrection and reopening of the Uptown Theatre. Needless to say, it’s a huge deal for Napa.

More details here as they come in.

 

In News

Bottle Rock Napa Lineup: Black Keys, Alabama Shakes, Macklemore, Flaming Lips, Ben Harper, Shins, Bad Religion, Jane’s Addiction, Furthur, Many More (UPDATED)

Posted by on Jan 30, 2013 6 Comments

The lineup for the totally crazy Bottle Rock Napa Valley music festival running May 8-12 has been announced, and boy, is it nuts. Can we just say it right now: Best North Bay Festival Lineup Ever?

Acts include:

The Black Keys
Alabama Shakes
The Flaming Lips
Ben Harper & Charlie Musselwhite
The Shins
Bad Religion
Iron and Wine
Edward Sharpe
Mavis Staples
Rodrigo y Gabriela
Cake
Michael Franti & Spearhead
The Wallflowers
Blues Traveler
Brandi Carlile
Donovan Frankenreiter
Group Love

By my count, that’s about seven bands that are huge headliners in their own right, plus a lot of festival heavy-hitters. Not to mention: there are over 40 bands scheduled to descend on the Napa Valley for the festival, with a complete lineup and full info promised for this Friday.

The festival runs May 8-12 primarily at the Napa Valley Expo, which will have four stages. Other shows are at various venues around town, including the Uptown Theatre. Food, wine, craft beer, comedy, and afterparties throughout downtown are all part of the deal.

I’ll say it again: This is nuts.

VIP and group tickets go on sale here on Feb. 3; public tickets go on sale on Feb. 10. We’ll update here as more info. comes in.

UPDATE, Jan. 30: According to the festival’s Facebook page, three-day passes are $299, four-day passes are $399 and VIP Reserve passes for $599. Locals get a discounted rate with three-day passes at $229, four-day passes at $329, and VIP for $529.)

UPDATE II, Jan. 31: The Black Crowes have this festival listed on their official website tour dates. Also, little birdies are chirping that Macklemore is playing a kickoff show for the festival , and judging by the festival’s first-ever tweet, that’s probably very likely. There’s also a “leaked” lineup going around that is almost certifiably fake.

UPDATE III, Feb. 1: Lots of news this morning.

Added to the festival: Jane’s Addiction, Kings of Leon, Furthur featuring Bob Weir and Phil Lesh, Primus, Zac Brown Band, Dwight Yoakam, and Cafe Tacuba.

Ticket prices are as listed above. As of yet, there are no single-day tickets announced. Napa Valley locals, artist fan club members, community partners and “Friends of the 49ers” will be able to buy 3- and 4-day passes starting Feb. 3. Passes go on sale to the general public on Feb. 10.

The Macklemore show is Wednesday, May 8, and is free for all three- and four-day passholders. Individual tickets will be sold to this show as well at $29, available Feb. 10.

Headliners by Day:

Wednesday, May 8: Macklemore and Ryan Lewis

Thursday, May 9: Furthur, the Black Crowes, Primus

Friday, May 10: Black Keys, Alabama Shakes, the Shins

Saturday, May 11: Jane’s Addiction, Bad Religion, Ben Harper, Edward Sharpe

Sunday, May 12: Zac Brown Band, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Cake

The incredible thing is that this festival is not being put on by Live Nation, Goldenvoice, or even Another Planet. It’s being put on by two Napa locals, Gabe Meyers and Bob Vogt, who had a hand in the resurrection and reopening of the Uptown Theatre.

I’ll say it yet again: This is nuts.

 

 

In News

How To Destroy Angels and Scare Yourself Shitless

Posted by on Jan 30, 2013

Trent Reznor, the brains behind Nine Inch Nails and many, many other musical projects is in yet another group. This one’s called How To Destroy Angels, and it includes Reznor’s wife Mariqueen Maandig, art director Rob Sheridan and the composer Atticus Ross. The video for their first single, “How Long,” is, to say the least, really scary. Not scary in a The Hills Have Eyes way, more like a that-could-be-the-future-in-my-lifetime way.

Welcome Oblivion, the band’s full-length debut, is due out March 5. They’re also playing Coachella in April.

Slightly Stoopid + Marlon “Ganja Farmer” Asher Sell Out The Mystic Theater

Posted by on Jan 29, 2013 One Comment
Photo by David Korman

Before Slightly Stoopid took the stage Sunday night at the Mystic Theater, vocalists Kyle McDonald and Miles Doughty were killing time back stage talking about living in Ocean Beach. OB, as locals call it, is still connected to San Diego but far enough away that kids can still skate around town and all your neighbors are at the punk rock shows. It is the last night of the band’s three week tour and the vibe is laid back. People are filtering in and out of back stage, the Jäger is flowing and sax scales are filling up the background.

Trinidad reggae star Marlon Asher is on stage and inside the green room there are stacks of Lagunitas “Hop Stoopid” beer cases. Slightly Stoopid is sponsored by the Petaluma brewery and they are sent truck loads of it for the band’s tours. I hear one or two people say it’s pretty strong for before the show. But as the night wears down and everyone’s sitting around the bong, a nice Double IPA aids the come-down.

Slightly Stoopid was formed almost twenty years ago by McDonald and Doughty. They were two high school kids when Brad Nowell signed them to Skunk Records after opening for a Sublime show in Long Beach. Most of the current members have been with the band half that time and in the last decade they’ve toured the whole world. Now with Karl Denson of the Grey Boy All-Stars, the band is sky-rocketing to new heights, playing venues and festivals that make the Mystic Theater seem like a secret show. (more…)

Live Review: Yo-Yo Ma at the Green Music Center

Posted by on Jan 28, 2013

So Yo-Yo Ma’s deep into the third movement of Stravinsky’s Suite Italienne, right? And he’s plucking and pulling at the strings like a madman, and bouncing his bow all over the strings, and then he starts strumming the cello while grunting and heaving loudly and banging his head. And then, in the midst of all this chaos, Yo-Yo Ma twists his instrument sideways, stands up halfway out of his chair, throws his head backwards and at the same time glides the bow ever so softly to produce one entirely delicate, gossamer note that hangs in the air like silk.

You think you know Yo-Yo Ma; he’s the face of virtually every other PBS telethon, he’s a constant at awards shows and inaugurations, he’s the punchline for cheap standup comics because of his name. But as proven by a jaw-dropping performance at the Green Music Center on Saturday night, you don’t know Yo-Yo Ma until you see the man live, doing unearthly things with a cello and wresting a lifetime of emotion from his sheet music—which, incidentally, he ignores most of the time. (more…)