Oakland

Two evenings of spellbinding wonder and incredible sound

Sigur Rós at the Fox Theater, Oakland

Sigur Rós at the Fox Theater, Oakland

This is the first of two posts chronicling my journey to see Sigur Rós for five performances in April 2017: two in Northern California, and three in Los Angeles with the LA Philharmonic Orchestra. Be sure to catch them on tour and tune in to Pitchfork on Friday, April 14th for a stream of their second LA Phil performance!

Fifteen years ago, I remember wandering down a dimly-lit suburban lane on a chilly November evening, the street silent as a tomb. I had a copy of ( ), the third record by renowned Icelandic post-rock band Sigur Rós, put that album in a Discman, and the quiet world around me instantly seemed to shift into some strange new world. I’ve always found that record to be an utterly sublime and immensely powerful expression of music, and was supremely pleased that some of my favorite songs from that album were in the set the first time I saw Sigur Rós play live. The band and their production crew are absolute masterminds at blending sound, light and visuals into an otherworldly experience; that show, in 2006 at the Marin Center in San Rafael, is still probably my favorite concert that I have ever experienced. This past weekend, I had the pleasure of seeing Sigur Rós two times, playing two sets each (!), making these my sixth and seventh time experiencing their live performances — and they are just as astonishing as they have always been.

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Exciting evening of noise and rhythm in a new addition to Oakland’s vibrant live music scene

Daveed Diggs of Clipping.

Daveed Diggs of clipping.

It’s hard to find a more jarring juxtaposition of talents and roles than those that Oakland-born hip-hop star Daveed Diggs has possessed as of late. After half a decade building a steady underground following as the MC of noise trio clipping., he became a household name after taking on the role of Marquis de Lafayette/Thomas Jefferson in the original production (and first Broadway run) of the massive hit musical Hamilton. Finishing his theatrical run in mid-2016, Diggs hurtled right back into his work with the experimental outfit, knocking out two releases in the latter half of the year and continuing a heavy schedule of touring. The group’s Noise Pop gig at Oakland’s young-but-blossoming Starline Social Club was one of the first in the festival to sell out, and even with three openers on the bill and a long, rainy night to greet them at the end of it, rabid fans of the three-piece packed the walls of the bright ballroom and celebrated the return of their heroes, in the hometown of the man at their helm.

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Our coverage of the 2017 Sundance Film Festival continues with this look at five documentaries that premiered at the Fest a few weeks ago.

Many of these may receive distribution or television deals (if they haven’t already; see our notes below), so you can know what to watch for in the coming year with these handy capsule reviews, which use our patented Sundance Viewing Priority Level (VPL) Guide:

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John Carpenter

John Carpenter

Music in film is an often-celebrated phenomenon, but it seems to exist primarily in the medium it’s made for. Occasionally, composers and songwriters will offer up their works for public or private performance, though they themselves may not be in attendance, and in general the world of film music feels very separate from that of “traditional rock music”, i.e. the bands that release albums and promote them with live tours. The phenomenon of a live tour by acclaimed horror director John Carpenter, therefore, is even more impressive; his musical works not only require an actual band to perform (with synthesizers and guitars driving the melodies, rather than orchestras and choirs), but the tunes are steady, driving, and in small enough bits that they are easy to digest — this isn’t a random night at the symphony, folks! In addition, Carpenter himself wrote the scores to a good chunk of his films, so the live performance of compositions and overtures from his classic works could now be experienced with an ever more present vitality.

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Grateful Dead

Appearing for another farewell bow at The Fillmore this week.

This week in The Bay Area we have refusals, memoirs, and those who wear purple. We have clowns, the dead, and war. Should be a pretty good time.

Now, let’s get to the previews. Preview time now. Let’s preview and then we’ll be ready for the week. Previews, starting now. [read the whole post]

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Oakland’s hometown heroes, indie rockers Rogue Wave released their new album, Delusions of Grand Fur, last week, and to celebrate, they’re playing a weekend of Bay Area shows. Tonight was their first one, at the relatively new venue, The Starline Social Club. It was the band’s first show in three years, and they’re first in Oakland for as long as they can remember.

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Spinning Platters Weekly Guide to Bay Area Concerts: 2016-05-02 – 2016-05-08

May 2, 2016

This week in The Bay Area we have music from across the Pacific Ocean, from across the Atlantic Ocean, and more. International travel is neat these days. And now, previews. Preview time. It is time for us to preview. Let’s preview.

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Spinning Platters Weekly Guide to Bay Area Concerts: 2016-04-23 – 2016-04-27

April 23, 2016

We’re in the final weekend of Coachella 2016, and the consequent Fauxchella 2016 shows are coming our way. What’s Fauxchella? It’s when you can see a band that’s also scheduled at Coachella but without actually having to go to Coachella. This week in The Bay Area we have old stars, old studio guys, old smoky […]

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Show Review: Generation Axe at the Fox Oakland, 4/8/2016

April 21, 2016

Steve Vai’s latest excursion is as much a massive thrill ride as it is an endurance test — for band and audience alike It’s been twenty years since guitar mastermind Joe Satriani piloted the first G3 Tour, an endeavour that featured a total of three guitar wizards driving a multi-hour set that showcased some truly intense musicianship. On […]

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Spinning Platters Weekly Guide to Bay Area Concerts: 2016-04-15 – 2016-04-20

April 15, 2016

Happy Tax Day! One of the two sure things. OK, so let’s turn in the paperwork and then let’s go to a concert. Preview time, guys. This week in the Bay Area, we have natural events, nouns, piercings, and a tradition that Louis Pasteur likely might not have smiled upon. But you never know. And […]

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