Friday, March 28, 2008

The Swan Song...

It has been a wonderful adventure being in San Francisco for the last 9.5 years. Over the last three years, I've seen about 500 different bands perform live in San Francisco, and luckily for me, my last concert in San Francisco was pretty much the best I could ask for: Face shredding performances from multiple bands in a nearly-sold-out small venue.

Portugal. The Man + Foxy Shazam at Bottom of the Hill.... That's the last handstamp I'll get from an SF venue until I eventually move back. Portugal put on a phenomenal show (almost as good as their Slim's performance). I have never seen this trio perform as a trio. They always bring others on stage (usually members of other bands on their tour). At one point there was 9 people with instruments on stage. And, while it was really really really really loud, it was amazing to see.

However it was opener, Foxy Shazam, that made this bill a night to remember forever. Keyboardist, , stands like a giant animal on his keyboards while playing. It was some of the most amazing keyboard playing I've ever seen live. Between songs, lead singer, fills in with hilarious and eccentric comedic interludes.

Their passion and stage presence was the best I've seen since Gogol Bordello. In fact, if you can imagine Gogol Bordello, Queen, and Andy Kaufman on stage together, it MIGHT give you an idea of what you are in for when you see Foxy Shazam live. If they ever stopped touring, they could make a career Off-Broadway. Check out the video below of Foxy Shazam... IF you think the composition and theatrics are amazing in this video, their live performance is easily an order of magnitude more bizarre.

Thank you San Francisco.
And goodbye.
For now.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Nicole Atkins @ the Independent

Ah, Mondays can be such a drag sometimes... but on a Monday night with Nicole Atkins playing at the Independent, who can complain about anything? Not me, that's for sure.
During the evening I met a couple of friends who I proceeded to tell that Nicole Atkins was high on my list of potential baby-makers. We scurried to the edge of the stage to sing along and watch as Nicole so skillfully eye-fucked everyone in the room as she belted out song after soulful song.

Folk/soul rocker, , opened with an amazing set that might sound like what the love child of Bob Dylan and Elvis Costello might sound like.

There are six straight days of great music coming to the . Don't miss:
3/22 - + Yacht
3/23 - Phosphorecent +
3/24 -
3/25 - Citizen Cope (through 3/27)


Saturday, March 1, 2008

Why I LOVE Noise Pop.

Every year I get excited about the bands headlining at Noise Pop. And inevitably, I walk away with a new love affair with at least one of the bands that would open for them. Last night my Noise Pop discovery was who opened for Helio Sequence at the Independent. Their style is a grimy southern rock with bluegrass, folk, and punk influences. Each song is written and performed with a haunting dark passion that makes me believe they've lived everything they were singing about (murder, thievery, and rambling) as great storytellers should always be able to do. If someone can find postings with lyrics.. please let me know.

More photos on