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BottleRock Countdown: X

Posted by on May 3, 2013

I have a tattoo of this band, so that settles the personal affirmation of their greatness, right?

But, if you care, you can read my story of listening to and loving X that appeared in the Bohemian in 2005. Heavily influencing that love of X is the documentary ‘The Unheard Music,’ which is more than a band documentary—it’s just as much a perfect snapshot of Los Angeles history as those great “Driving Down Whittier Boulevard” videos.

And behold, someone’s posted the whole thing on YouTube. It’s great. Crack open a six-pack and watch:

BottleRock Countdown: The Avett Brothers

Posted by on May 2, 2013

Amidst the surge of folkie-indie-hipster songwriters that took hold of Americana music over the last three years, few are as authentic as The Avett Brothers. These North Carolina boys harmonize like they were born with it – which isn’t surprising since they’ve been doing it since they were kids.

Their 7th studio album, The Carpenter (produced by the infamous Rick Rubin), was released last year and soared to number 4 on the U.S. Billboard Charts after being nominated for a Grammy. While categorized as every sub-genre of folk rock you can image, the real element to their music is that sweet southern front-porch songwriting.

A YouTube quote by ScartonsmithIrving pretty much sums up their sound: “when the Avett brothers harmonize….someone, somewhere gets laid.”

Since they will be performing on the smaller Miner Family Winery Stage at BottleRock, this lovely performance of “I And Love And You” at Glastonbury Festival in 2010 is probably what you can expect. We hope they decorate the Miner stage with giant mushrooms as well.

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Bottle Rock Countdown: Primus

Posted by on May 1, 2013

Hometown heroes (well, Bay Area heroes, at least) Primus are STILL at it. These guys have been around almost as long at the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and have changed a lot since 1989′s “Suck on This.” The 1991 masterpiece “Sailing the Seas of Cheese” is being reissued in 5.1 surround with other added goodies. Primus has had a few different drummers, but I’m hoping to see (and hear) one of my favorites, Tim Alexander, behind the kit. Though Brain and Jay Lane have also toured with the band, and both are amazing drummers in their own right.

What I’m trying’ to say is, “Say, baby, do you wanna lay down with me?”

BottleRock Countdown: The Black Crowes

Posted by on May 1, 2013

Because rock and roll is what this festival is really all about, and because we haven’t seen this video since circa 1996, our second countdown pick is “She Talks To Angels” by The Black Crowes. Aside from the video’s awesomely grainy 1990s shadow play, the song defines a generation of melancholy rock star culture: it is supposedly about a heroin-goth dilettante that lead singer Chris Robinson once met in Atlanta. We really hope they play mostly the classics.

BottleRock Countdown: The Black Keys

Posted by on May 1, 2013

There is exactly one week remaining until the biggest music festival the North Bay has ever seen. In honor of the lucky concert-goers who are about to embark on a massive planning mission that will likely involve hours of calculated preparation to see as many bands as possible, we’ve decided to post some of our favorite studio and live recordings of the bands, art troupes and comedians you probably shouldn’t miss.

It’ll be impossible to highlight everyone scheduled to perform, but this unabashedly discerning (and totally subjective) must-see list should help guide you through the mind-blowing five days, 4 stages, and 60 bands at BottleRock this year. If anything, it will help ensure you don’t end up like these Coachella kooks.

Only because they are the best damn rock and roll band to come out of Ohio in the last decade, first on our BottleRock Countdown list is Akron duo The Black Keys. They just won three Grammy Awards for best rock album, best rock song, and best rock performance. There really isn’t a better reason to stop everything and get as close to the stage as possible. Check out this video of “Strange Times”, live at the Crystal Ballroom in Portland:

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Dave Grohl Kicking Off BottleRock in Napa

Posted by on Apr 30, 2013

Consider this your final heads up: BottleRock Napa Valley is coming to kick out the jams in wine country like never before.

Kicking off with Macklemore on Wednesday, May 8, the festival continues through Sunday, May 12 with a lineup rivaling that of any other major festival: The Black Keys, Alabama Shakes, Flaming Lips, Jackson Browne, the Avett Brothers, Bad Religion, Jane’s Addiction, Zac Brown Band, Furthur, Dirty Projectors, Primus, Kings of Leon and many, many others. A comedy lineup with Kristen Schaal, Tig Notaro, Jim Gaffigan, Rob Delaney and more is on tap, as well as tons of food, wine and other summertime kickoff fun.

This Monday, BottleRock presents Dave Grohl (Nirvana, Foo Fighters) in person at the Uptown Theatre, screening his film Sound City and conducting a Q&A. Tickets are $100, but in keeping with the BottleRock mission at large, it’s a benefit for autism causes. You can grab tickets here. (UPDATE: Last-minute rush tickets will be available at the door for $25; line starts at 6:15pm.)

Dave Grohl in Napa? Announced at the last minute? Is there anything these crazy BottleRock guys can’t do? Be in the presence of Nirvana royalty on Monday, May 6, at the Uptown Theatre. 1350 Third St., Napa. 6pm. $100. 707.259.0123.

Live Review: Prince at the DNA Lounge, San Francisco

Posted by on Apr 25, 2013 5 Comments

[Image via Twitter]

“You know how many hits I got? We could be here all night.”

4:12am.

Ears ringing. Laying on the couch. Can’t sleep.

“Sign ‘o’ the Times” riff stuck in head on endless repeat.

Still thinking about the silhouette of his hair against the blue lights.

THWACK! at the screen door. What the…?

Oh, right. It’s the next day’s newspaper.

A steamrolled body, an obliterated brain, both riding out an adrenaline buzz: this is how I finally went to bed last night after Prince’s final show of a two-night, four-show stand at the small, 800-capacity DNA Lounge in San Francisco.

Was it worth it, you ask? Tickets were $275, the wait in line was two hours, about 50 line-jumpers cut in front of us drinking and smoking weed, and as a half-naked guy rollerskated up and down Harrison St., the doors finally opened. Inside, there was a strict no-photo policy during the show, and it was impossible to move—people packed in shoulder-to-shoulder—while idling out another hour-long wait.

Prince finally took the stage at 11:40pm. . . . and Lord, it was fucking incredible. (more…)

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Alia Sharrief Releases New Video

Posted by on Apr 24, 2013

Berkeley-based hip hop artist Alia Sharrief released her newest music video “Tough Love” this week, showcasing both her talent as a respected rhymer and as an up-and-coming film director. Representing a new generation of female rappers, Alia throws down neo-soul Bay Area flavor with class and finesse. Check it.

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Outside Lands 2013: Paul McCartney, Nine Inch Nails, D’Angelo, Willie Nelson, Hall & Oates, More

Posted by on Apr 16, 2013

The lineup for Outside Lands 2013 has been announced, and it includes Paul McCartney, Nine Inch Nails, D’Angelo, Willie Nelson, Phoenix, Vampire Weekend, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, the National, Kaskade, Grizzly Bear, Jessie Ware and many, many more. (Like the Red Hot Chili Peppers.)

Did I mention, also: Daryl Hall and John Oates?

Full lineup is below.

Three-day passes are currently $235, and will go on sale this Thursday, April 18, at noon. Grab them here before they go up to $250.

The Skatalites to Perform at the Last Day Saloon

Posted by on Apr 14, 2013 One Comment

Legendary Jamaican rockers the Skatalites perform tonight at the Last Day Saloon, and it will be one of the last shows at the venue as we know it—it’s slated to close May 5.

It has been a year since the Skatalites came through Northern California, nearly selling out their last show in Santa Rosa. Although only one founding member remains, the band sounds as true to its roots as it did thirty years ago.

Last year, we wrote about The Skatalites celebrating Jamaica’s 50th anniversary as an independent nation. The band was collecting instruments to take back to the Alpha Boys School in Kingston, which over the years has transformed orphaned boys into some of reggae’s biggest stars. Their new album Walk With Me contains some of the last recordings done with founding drummer Lloyd Knibb; it’s a tribute to all the members who played with the band from the beginning in 1964 until each passed away.

Widely considered the founding fathers of ska music, tonight could very well be one of the last opportunities to see an original member of one of the best ska bands in the history of reggae music play on stage.

The Skatalites headline with local favorites Our Vinyl Vows and DJ Konnex tonight at the Last Day Saloon, 120 Fifth St., Santa Rosa. $20-$25. 707.545.5876.