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Monday, August 31, 2009

Outside Lands - Day 3 - Sunday 8/31/09

They performed their hits such as "Bananas & Blow" to a packed audience on the Twin Peaks stage. In true form, there was something in the air with this jam-band, and the audience for that matter. - Clovis

Dead Weather's infamous collaborators Jack White (Whitestripes) and Alison Mosshart (The Kills) took the stage on the what had become a cold day even for a San Francisco winter. Breaking into their set, they heated the place up with their brand of sonically/noisy/bluesy tinged rock'n'roll.
The energy was visceral as they pounded out songs with lyrics like " I look like a woman, but I Cut Like a Buffalo". The vocal duties (and and a good deal of the sexual tension on stage) were mainly in the realm of Moshart. White also sang periodically, taking a break from the drums. Moshart and White also sung together on one of the last songs, making the show an excellent ride from intense and noisy to emotional & noisy. The Dead Weather is definitely a band to see. - Clovis
The indie-pop stylings of the multi-talented Australian singer Lenka, wooed the audience with equal parts charming demeanor and catchy indie-pop songs. She delivered quirky and catchy tunes without being contrived. One of her last tunes was a catchy philosophical number about life called "I Want my Money Back", and the audience chanted along
Heartless Bastards from Cincinnati, OH sounded tight as the band lead by singer/songwriter Erika Wennerstrom's rocked the house. - Clovis
Calexico repped the southwest the third and final day of Outside Lands, performing their widely-beloved form of tejano/spaghetti-western rock with guest vocalist and percussionist Salvador Duran as well as an expanded horn section. - Dru

After two days of uncharacteristic sun, the fog and cold wind of summer returned to Golden Gate Park; but neither that-- nor the late replacement of final headliners Beastie Boys with Tenacious D-- stopped the thousands that came for the last day of Outside Lands. Soul/blues chanteuse Bettye LaVette was one of the first acts of the afternoon and caught the attention and awe of everyone in ear range of her emotional performance, during which she told stories from her 47-year career. LaVette's set included "A Change Is Gonna Come," the 1964 Sam Cooke song that she also performed at the Obama inauguration.

Many fans stayed close to the main stage, where Modest Mouse and M.I.A. drew some of the largest crowds of the weekend-- evidently no one was deterred by M.I.A.'s twitter posts earlier in the week in which she complained about having to open for "The D," due to to recovery of Beastie Boy MCA (aka Adam Yauch) from cancer surgery.

In all it was an excellently run festival-- though they might have wanted even more public busses available at the end of the night considering what an effort the organizers put into encouraging everyone to "go green." It seemed that one need but turn to find a convenient set of three large cans for trash, recyclables and compost, and even a friendly volunteer to help make determinations if you spent too much time in the wine tent. Many environmental causes and green businesses were supported by the festival including, Save the Waves Coalition, Global Water Challenge and the Surfrider Foundation. The San Francisco Bike Coalition returned for a second year of Outside Lands to handle the valet parking of hundreds if not thousands of bikes.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Outside Lands - Day 2 - Saturday 8/30/09

While the heat seemed not as oppressive, it was sunnier still as Day 2 of Outside Lands unfolded, and several acts had to play with direct sunlight beaming down. Mastodon did not burst into flames. It was a good day for heavy rock though as they, Tom Morello's Street Sweeper Social Club, and later at sundown Mars Volta took the Twin Peaks stage which is situated right at the main entrance. - Dru

One of the highlights of OutsideLands, English import Bat For Lashes played a considerably smaller stage than their usual fare. The audience arrived to the satge uncharacteristically early, waiting for nearly an hour before the band took the stage. Bat for Lashes' siren singer/songwriter Natasha Khan, took the audience through a spellbinding set, playing songs from their two releases "Two Suns" and "Fur & Gold". This is one bands to catch before they are absolutely huge. The only other US date for this tour that they are playing is a sold out show Monday the 31st, in Los Angeles. - Clovis IV

"Hey I'm alone on stage..." Deerhunter guitarist/vocalist Bradford Cox found himself all alone after a quick soundcheck and had to engage in some joking around with the crowd as he waited for the rest of the band to return. He said they all had to go to the bathroom, then said, "Oh, they're landing in the helicopter-- it's going to be just like Woodstock." - Dru
L.A.'s Dengue Fever brings together two completely unlikely components: super sweet Cambodian pop and avant garde experimentation. Lyrics are in Khmer and English and showcase the amazing artistry of Chhom Nimol, who brought the crowd to shivers despite the warm day with her sometimes ancient and otherworldly vocals. - Dru

The guests for the press conference this year were a great representation of the aspects that Outside Lands aims to bring together: not just music, but food, wine and technology, the last of which has become an integral part of listening to and following music today. YouTube is live simulcasting artists' performances throughout the festival, including several from the two main stages, all the way up to Day 2 headliner Dave Matthews Band. Festival goers could also create custom schedules from the Outside Lands web site and share them with friends via their Facebook pages, or download the Outside Lands app for the iPhone. - Dru

Words by Dru & Clovis Photos by Clovis.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Outside Lands - Day 1 - Friday 8/29/09

Thievery Corporation kept tons of fans clear across Golden Gate Park from headliners Pearl Jam near the end of the first night of the Outside Lands Festival with a steady stream of vocalists, a real sitar, and free earplugs.

The first day of San Francisco's second annual Outside Lands Festival in Golden Gate Park was met by a lot of eager if wardrobe-challenged Bay Area residents and visitors who were not prepared for hot & humid weather. Day 1 saw bands as diverse as garage-rock inspired The Duke Spirit-- who kicked off the festival-- through a cycle of indy heavies (Built to Spill, Silversun Pickups), to the actual Mr. Tom Jones, who played new songs and covers, as well as his own hits from 40+ years ago. No underwear was seen flung to the stage, but women up front were alternately clutching and holding up his picture.

The festival runs throughout the weekend and also features comedy, international music (if you are ever tired, just go see Alt Rock en EspaƱol act Kinky), and a variety of burlesque/circus-themed bands, dancers and other art forms, such as a shadow puppet theater. One can even get a first look-- and play-- of Beatles RockBand in the XBOX 360 lounge.

As a celebration of all things San Francisco, organizers Another Planet Entertainment and Big Hassle worked to bring together some of the best food and wine purveyors around. Local restaurants Q, Maverick, Ti Couz, Eos and Farmer Brown can all be found amongst the many terrific food stalls.

Fans of artists as diverse as Bruce Springsteen and Joy Division all came together in appreciation of The National and the cool baritone lilt of singer Matt Berninger. No wonder the band's "Fake Empire" was adopted by the Obama campaign during his nomination and victory speech events.

Hailing from the Silverlake district of Los Angeles, Silversun Pickups took the main "OutsideLands" stage with thunderous applause. The front-man Brian Aubert, gave ample complements to the beautiful city & people of San Francisco. He also gave heart-felt props to Built to Spill, being in awe of getting to play alongside them.
Even with minor technical difficulties, Silversun Pickups played a driven & first rate rock show. They preformed a covey of songs including the hits "Panic Switch" & "Lazy Eye". - Clovis

Meric Long from The Dodos focuses intently on the music. The Bay Area outfit swung from minimalist to psychedelic with their heavy emphasis on percussion and beautifully played vibes that were even treated to a couple violin bows.

Zap Mama is a Belgian group with strong African influences, especially Congo. It is lead by Marie Daulne who pioneered the use of voice as an instrument to meld popular music such as R&B and hip-hop with traditional African sound and rhythm.

The Duke Spirit kicked off the second annual Outside Lands festival at 1pm on an uncharacteristically hot and muggy day in San Francisco's Golden Gate park. Early festival goers swooned to their raw, bluesy, vintage sound and spectacular front woman Liela Moss.

Words by Dru Photos by Clovis IV

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Animated Video of Dan Deacon Watching TV.

from Leo Desera

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Antlers CD Release Party Mercury Lounge 8/21/09

The Antlers played their second CD release party at the Mercury Lounge. This time it was a sold-out show for the Frenchkiss Records re-release of Hospice. The band's trio (made up of frontman -guitarist singer Peter Silberman (not Josh as L Magazine misidentifies him), Darby Cicci on keyboards and drummer Michael Lerner) were pretty tight from all the touring they've been doing. They did an excellent job converting the album's material to live instrumentation with the delicate nuances of guitar textures and complex crescendos. They played tons tunes off Hospice (read our LP review here). The shy and lovely, Sharon Van Etten came out to sing on a few tunes. I'll post some video soon. Going to bed now it's late . . . Nigh Nigh!

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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Islands at The Bell House 8/20/09

Montreal's Islands played a Brooklyn show last night to preview new material off their third LP entitled Vapours, to be released by Anti-records on September 22nd. Nicholas Thorburn announced this was the first time they would be playing these new songs from the new album for a live audience.

Nick was on stage with original Islands and Unicorn drummer Jamie Thompson who I had heard left the band (he's back, if so) but most noticeable band members missing were the adorable Chow Brothers. Hopefully Sebastian and Alexander were at home studying for a chemistry exam and some new peeps were just filling in but it could just be a new line-up change. Their stage antics were extremely missed. The band showcased a ton of new songs that many people in the most packed Bell House show I have ever attended were singing along with. The LP must have leaked its way onto everyone's hard drives. Cadence Weapon or Busdriver came on stage to sing on an amazing version of "Where There's a Will There's a Whalebone." The band encored with another debut classic "Swans (Life After Death)," which ran well over the ten minutes.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Drink Up Buttercup 8/15/09 Union Hall

I saw Drink Up Buttercup for my first time this weekend. I have three words to say. "Wow Fu#king Wow!" I can see why Shilpa Ray had so many good things to say about this band. They're a powerhouse of fun and entertainment almost a bit overboard at times. Singer guitarist James Harvey was the most sincere musician I've seen in NYC. James told the crowd to text themselves "Dan Quinn" and to check out the professional fighter on YouTube. He thanked the audience, loved the audience, hugged and high-fived the audience. It doesn't get much better than that. Now, whether or not he was on a five-day drinking binge is still being debated, but drunk or not he and the band put on an astonishingly great show complete with an a-la Arcade Fire ending in which the band joined the audience off-stage and sang the final tune together bringing their intense stage antics in to a friendly gathering wishing everyone the start of a great evening. Photos and audio will never do this band justice . . . a live show is the best way to consume them.

Alela Diane, Sharon Van Etten and Luluc 8/14/09

Alela Dian

Sharon Van Etten


Alela Diane, Sharon Van Etten and Luluc played Union Hall this Friday.
Australia's Luluc opened show tonight. The duo consisted of Zoe Randell and either Steve Hassett or Pete Cohen. Not sure but the guy had some great stage banter during one song he said: "Blah Blah Blah . . . What I meant to say is . . . . We have CD's for sale." Sharon Van Etten took the stage and played a beautiful set captivating the audience to museum-like silence. She was a bit nervous her older sister was in attendance but the show went over nicely playing songs many tunes off Because I Was In Love. Sharon was joined by her friend Julie Fader of Great Lake Swimmers who sang with her on "For You." It was nice and she kept thanking the opener with a Brooklyn accent calling them "Le Luck." Alela Diane was up next and closed the show she had a backup singer and a banjo player join her and played songs off To Be Still and a some new ones off an upcoming EP.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Yeasayer, Amazing Baby - Live at Pier 54

After a way long seven to eight Rush song intermission between opener Amazing Baby and the headliner, Yeasayer took the stage and I never flinched till they left for good. What an amazing musical ride. Last time I saw them play the small basement of Union Hall, two years later they're all grown up and tight as a drummer with a new fifth member (Syncade?) and a truck load of new amazing new songs. The boys ended the night with an extended version of “Wait For The Wintertime."

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Pretenders, Cat Power at Central Park SummerStage

Some pix of The Pretenders, Cat Power at Central Park SummerStage August 10th. I love Chan Marshall (Cat Power) to death. I can listen to her sad sack songs for hours. Does anybody else miss the days of Chan behind the guitar or a piano. I think she should try doing a few tunes per show. Chrissie Hynde and crew really put on a great show. Good Times! Her voice is to dye for.