Squarepusher

Tom Jenkinson (Squarepusher) of Shobaleader One

Tom Jenkinson (Squarepusher) of Shobaleader One

A big issue I’ve taken up many times with electronic music is the fact that many top-selling, well-known acts are able to craft their musical set — and perform it — with incredibly little effort, sometimes less than a single button press. Many circles of music fans mock massively popular DJs for this “just push play” approach to touring, and I’m among them; I appreciate a great live show as much as anyone, but there should be a balance of performance and spectacle. In addition, it’s easy to bury the lack-of-complexity in a lot of pop-centered dance sets under piles and piles of dazzling lights, psychedelic projections, and spiffy lasers. If any of these sound like your own pet peeves with music that has mostly been composed with the aid of a machine, then you’ll want to make a point to see Shobaleader One, the latest project helmed by IDM artist Tom Jenkinson, best known for his work as Squarepusher. Theirs is a live performance bereft of automated tracks, flashy lights, or colorful costumes; instead, it’s a tour-de-force of stunningly-complex grooves played at dizzying tempos — the sort of thing that would appeal to electronic, jazz, and progressive fans alike.

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San Francisco is one of the more prominent hubs for music festivals in the country, if not the world. Starting with Noise Pop in February and reaching peak saturation in the Summer, and early Fall, with Outside Lands, Phono del Sol, and Treasure Island Music Festival, just to name a few, seeing an influential or up-and-coming artist perform live is an easily attainable feat (and a mere Lyft ride away for most people). We’ve even coined the term “Fauxchella” in honor of the fact that most of Coachella’s top headliners flock our way, year after year, in between weekends performing in the Indio desert.

Despite this embarrassment of riches, in a few weeks, I’ll be hopping on a plane and joining a group of Bay Area natives heading to a city in Texas that isn’t Austin, known as the live music capital of the world, for an event not related to SXSW in any way.

Day for Night, set to take place Friday, December 16th, through Monday, the 19th, is offering an experience that transcends the boundaries of the traditional festival circuit. One of many examples: they’ve managed amazing feats by booking Aphex Twin, who hasn’t performed live in the US for over 8 years, and Björk, who doesn’t perform often, either, and left many an Iceland Airwaves attendee, including myself, crestfallen with her sudden cancellation last year. Add in DJ Windows 98 (Arcade Fire’s Win Butler), who’ll be spinning Ticketfly’s annual Holiday bash, the night before he’s set to appear in Houston (let’s hope he doesn’t crash, ha), and the it’s clear that Free Press Houston and New York-based creative agency Work-Order know how to curate a festival fitting for a city that is rapidly approaching the distinction of becoming the third largest in the US.

Add the likes of Squarepusher, Run the Jewels, ODESZA, Kaskade, Ariel Pink, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Liars, Washed Out, SOPHIE, and SURVIVE – the creators of the hypnotic Stranger Things theme music – and you have a stellar, unconventional, and sought after group of artists that are extremely selective about which bills they attach their name. There’s a reason for this and it transcends the musical aspect of this event. Read on to find out why you should purchase tickets and book your flight immediately.

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The guys who baked these rolls are at the Fillmore on Tuesday night.

Just because half of the music blog world, including many Spinning Platterers (Spinning Platypuses?), are off in Austin at SXSW doesn’t mean that the music stops up here in the Bay Area. We’ve even got a unique and fantastic event this coming weekend that will blow the lid off of anything being offered down South this weekend. And no, that’s not just me being envious of those partying in Austin, although I am. So those of us left behind, we so-called SXSF folks, where will we be? Read on! [read the whole post]

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