Energetic, potent set slightly marred by confusing opener pairing
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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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]
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.
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]