Spinning Platters Weekly Guide to Bay Area Concerts, 5/26/11-6/1/11

by Dakin Hardwick on May 26, 2011

Three nights of Sleigh Bells in one week? Looks like Memorial Day and Christmas got mixed up again this year!

This week kicks is the official first week of “Summer” culturally, albeit Summer actually begins sometime late June, I think. Anyhow, since festival season is almost here, it’s time to start training. Let’s see how many of these you can do this week! Get your ear plugs ready!

Thursday, May 26th

Noah & The Whale, Bahamas at The Independent

I’m just going to borrow from myself exactly what I wrote about this band from their set at SXSW: This band covers everything. They do garage rock, they do country music, they’ve got a violin, they do folk, they do power pop. Every song was entirely unique, and they know what they are doing.

I couldn’t say it any better myself!

White Denim, Fake Your Own Death, Angel Island at Bottom Of The Hill

Friday, May 27th

Digable Planets at Yoshi’s – SF

The mid-90’s jazz/rap fusion scene was full of some very talented acts that fell off the radar mighty fast. A Tribe Called Quest may have been the group with the most cred, but Digable Planets were, by far, my favorite. I still listen their debut record Reachin’ (A New Refutation of Time and Space) on a monthly basis. It’s a great record for listening to on a late night walk home from BART after a loud rock show. I don’t, of course, know what I’ll listen to on the way home from this show, then.

The Undertones, The Smittens, The Mantles, Melted Toys at Rickshaw Stop

Saturday, May 28th

Guitar Wolf, Cheap Time, The Rock Tigers at Bottom Of The Hill

Guitar Wolf are insane. They are a loud & fast garage band from Japan that simply have one of the most brutal live sets of any band in any genre ever. I hear some of their shows get kind of scary, even.

Tony Bennett at Davies Symphony Hall

Sunday, May 29th

KBLX Stone Soul Picnic at Sleep Train Pavilion at Concord

Did you see this line up? It’s insane! Charlie Wilson of The Gap Band, The O’Jays, Bell Biv Devoe, Alexander O’Neal, and El freakin’ Debarge! KBLX really out did themselves this year.

Neon Indian, Asobi Seksu at The New Parish

Usher, Akon at HP Pavilion

Monday, May 30th-Wednesday, June 1st

Sleigh Bells, Neon Indian at The Independent (5/30-31) and Rickshaw Stop (6/1)

These two bands are Spinning Platters favorites… Neon Indian play some groovy dance goodness, while Sleigh Bells up the ante` with some heavy metal thunder mixed with a significantly more elevated BPM. And, with three shows in one week (four if you count a Sunday night gig at The New Parish for Neon Indian), you have no excuses for missing this show.

Monday, May 30th

Lykke Li, Grimes at The Regency Ballroom

This Swedish chanteuse seems to have taken her career to a whole new level with her 2nd record, Wounded Rhymes. That means, of course, that this is a going to be a very tough ticket. So find your way to the nearest Craigslist, or bribe a bouncer, just to do something to get into this show. Or at least watch these two videos, which are two of my most favorite music videos ever:

Tuesday, May 31st

The Antlers, Little Scream at Great American Music Hall

The Antlers were one of my SXSW finds this year… I had never heard them before, and my first experience with them was at a show where they played their next record, Burst Apart, in it’s entirety. They played a gig where they had to follow WILD FLAG and The Joy Formidable, which are two tough acts to follow. Managed to play beautiful, melodic rock music that makes your head swim. (Although that might have been the whole drinking beer without eating thing) Anyhow, this show will be all the better with a soundcheck and playing a full length set.

Wednesday, June 1st

Buffalo Springfield, Gillian Welch at The Fox Theater – Oakland

Buffalo Springfield were Neil Young & Stephen Still’s pre-CSNY band. They were together for two years, put out three albums, but it seemed that legal troubles and drug use forced the band to call it quits rather early on. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, Young booked the living members (Young, Stills, and Richie Furay) to play a Buffalo Springfield set at Neil Young’s annual Bridge School Benefit show. Now, they are doing a short tour for no reason other than to do a short tour. And, they are bringing along as support Gillian Welch, another American treasure.


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