The Independent

This show had all of the essentials needed for a great metal show. Andrew WK, the patron saint of partying, leading his six piece backup band of very loud and technically adept musicians. Two members of his backup band were women, which made the party even better, as did the pizza guitar he played mid-set. AWK is a live wire with big, metal voice, but at the show, he seemed a little dampened. It happens – a lot of us have had the crud, and if he did I hope he feels better. This didn’t lower show’s wattage though, or cause anyone to party any less hard. A great metal show also has a fist pumping crowd in the back,  and mosh pit up by the stage. Here, at an AWK show, all of these are accounted for. AWK writes great hooks that keep you moving and joyful, and his touring band brings them to a higher level of musicianship than the original recorded version. [read the whole post]

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Energetic, potent set slightly marred by confusing opener pairing

Dylan Baldi of Cloud Nothings

Dylan Baldi of Cloud Nothings

It’s been a few years since we’ve crossed paths with Dylan Baldi and his chaotic music assemblage, Cloud Nothings, but their recorded output has confirmed that they have been taking some excellent time to polish and tighten up their sound. While absent of gigantic, sprawling bruisers like “Wasted Days” (the 8-minute magnum opus from Attack On Memory), their new record Life Without Sound continues to sport excellent 90s grunge/alternative staples along with a modern sense of punkish attitudes and new-school production, and the resultant collection of songs is delightful to listen to. Their Noise Pop show was one of the more popular gigs — badge-toting friends of mine claimed they couldn’t make it into the sold-out show even before the openers had finished — but while the Cleveland foursome brought the noise and the bouncy response to the show, it was at the end of a strange rollercoaster of genres that, if nothing else, made the audience even more hungry for the headliners to appear.

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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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Conan, by Frazetta

Appearing Monday, March 21 at The Metro in Oakland

St. Patrick’s Day. Irishness! Excellent.

To go with this week in the Bay Area we also have metal, self-described “country-fed punkabilly,” and the Melvins. Also! Bilingual punk rock with horns as well as bilingual Rickenbacker-wielding one-woman guitar rock. And Conan. Conan!

Let’s preview. Faugh A Ballagh! [read the whole post]

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Kneedelus / Kamasi Washington

Kneedelus / Kamasi Washington

San Francisco’s Noise Pop Festival has been well known for packing hordes of genres and artists into their lineup, but rarely have they picked a collection of artists that are so solidly categorized as jazz musicians before anything else. True to the latter half of its name, the festival tends to want to pick acts that have those hooks and rhythms which you want to sing or dance along to with a common familiarity, or even are comfortable with hearing on the radio. There are, of course, certain acts (like seminal hardcore favorites Drive Like Jehu this year, or Yoko Ono a few years back) that defy such conventions, but you can generally bet on finding the bands to be less on the blatantly esoteric side of things. Thus, it was a bit of a risk throwing some jazz artists into the mix; however, it absolutely paid off, as all four shows (spread across two nights, two artists, and two venues) sold out, weeks in advance, and the two performers — elecronic-wizard-plus-jazz-quartet Kneedelus, and newly-Grammy’d tenor sax master Kamasi Washington — definitely did not disappoint.

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We love you still, Ralph McQuarrie.

We love you still, Ralph McQuarrie.

Star Wars! Star Wars! Star Wars! Star Wars! Can you believe it? It’s difficult to believe! But it’s here! This week! B… [cough]… it’s… it’s been… a long time since it was possible to look forward to a Star Wars anything. It’s here! Extraordinary feelings.

Now, let’s talk about what’s coming up this week. Let’s preview. Hyperdrive go! [read the whole post]

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Spinning Platters Weekly Guide to Bay Area Concerts: 4/10/15-4/15/15

April 10, 2015

Here’s what’s coming up this week: monsters, bears, and Bruce Hornsby.

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Show Review: Garth Brooks at The Independent, 11/11/14

November 13, 2014

Yes. You read that right. At approximately 4:30 PM on the 11th of November, Garth Brooks tweets this: “SURPRISE! Meet me @IndySF at 5:30 pm for a free #ManAgainstMachine listening party (Yes, really!) -love, g”.  It’s one of his very first tweets. I also had no idea what this really means. I mean, he’s one […]

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Show Review: Lucius at The Independent, February 7, 2014

February 10, 2014

It was a dark and stormy night. At a Bay Area venue, thousands of brightly colored hair adults descended in the night lighting the way with their dollar store glow sticks. This was not that place. Outside The Independent, rain did nothing to make the mood soggy. Instead, people were willfully lining up along Divisadero […]

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Spinning Platters Weekly Guide to Bay Area Concerts, 1/23/14-1/29/14

January 23, 2014

The thirteenth annual SF Sketchfest is upon us, littering San Francisco with night after night of too many good things at once. To help with these sorts of problems, please consult “A Nerd’s Guide To Sketchfest 2014.” Yes, Dakin’s full-on once-over of this year’s fest is just the right guide to help you make those wrenching […]

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