Show Reviews

All Photos by Rob DeMartin.

Several months ago, I first read that Bruce Springsteen was setting out to do a one-man show on Broadway. My immediate thought was, “I would really like to go to that, but I doubt I’m going to make it to New York anytime soon.” There was a period where you could sign up for the “Ticketmaster Verified Fans” program, which, somehow, determined who was an actual fan and who was a reseller (not entirely sure how this works, and not really sure it does, but that’s for another article). I almost signed up for that, but didn’t. I didn’t want to get my hopes up. [read the whole post]


Kate Nash is somebody that too many people have forgotten about. She put out Made Of Bricks, a massive, brilliant record of bright, yet jaded, pop nearly 16 years ago. The kind of album Elvis Costello could have done if he had been a teenage girl. Her follow up, My Best Friend Is You, recast her as a garage punk heroine. She put away the piano, picked up the guitar, and managed to put out an even better record than her first one. It was such a departure from the first album that few fans followed, and with her name tied to the unfairly mocked “pop” genre, few fans of garage rock followed. This is OK, because this gave her the freedom to follow that with the riot grrrl flavored, lo-fi masterpiece, Girl Talk. And, just this last week, she followed up Girl Talk with yet another reinvention. Yesterday Was Forever is another lo-fi treat, with her signature sharp, biting lyric writing, fuzzy guitars, and adding in analog drum machine beats and trap-influenced syncopation, making a very surprising and highly listenable record. [read the whole post]


Phillip Phillips at the Fillmore.

Let’s face it: fame found as a result of an appearance on American Idol can be a mixed bag. On one hand, there’s the bad (William Hung, that guy who sang that “Pants on the Ground” song, Nikki McKibbin). On the other hand, without Idol none of us might ever have been exposed to Carrie Underwood, Jennifer Hudson, Kelly Clarkson… While I haven’t seen the ABC reboot of this show, I have been known to follow the show in the past. Ever since Phillip Phillips‘s audition with a brilliant cover of “Thriller,” I’ve been a big fan. Over the years, I’ve seen him go from a no-name hopeful on a reality TV singing competition to winning the whole shebang, to opening for John Mayer, to headlining a Napa music festival. Now he’s released his third album, Collateral, which he played San Francisco’s legendary Fillmore this week to promote. [read the whole post]


Fifty years ago, Jimi Hendrix released his third and last studio album, Electric Ladyland, widely acknowledged to be a masterpiece. If you haven’t heard the album yet, well, lucky old you – you have a huge treat in store. Apart from pondering for the last half century what incredible music Jimi might have produced if he hadn’t died in London aged 27, there have been sporadic attempts at tributes and iterations inspired by his musical legacy. Although the album was recorded at Record Plant studios in New York, folklore has it that his management company constructed Electric Lady Studios in Greenwich Villlage especially for Hendrix’s use. This was because he spent hours and sometimes days jamming with his NYC musician friends, “wasting” valuable studio time. So management caved in and built him his own exclusive pad. The studio is still going strong  [read the whole post]


All photos by Natalia Perez.

Walking into The Independent on Friday night, I was greeted by a huge white screen stretching from ceiling to floor, effectively and purposefully blocking the entire stage. As DJ Roscoe 2000 set the mood with tunes blending seamlessly into one another, a long white strip of tape on the ground politely requested we stand behind it, helpful arrows drawn to indicate the direction. The screen held a projected animation of a large white circle on a black background. As I watched, parts of the circle’s lines began to glow brighter, light expanding and pushing the boundaries of the circle until particles of light began to escape their linear confines. More and more areas started to glow, particles of the light escaping faster and in greater numbers, swirling outward, creating their own patterns, connections, and collective energy, until eventually returning to the circle, only to start the entire process again. As the lights started to dim, the DJ’s set faded to an end, and the projection began to alter its loop. [read the whole post]

{ 1 comment }

Color me impressed, Mr. Gutt.

Gather round, children, it’s story time. (Well, okay, it’s really just more of a long-winded introduction, but bear with me here…) My brother is, by far, one of my favorite people on the planet. He’s a few years older than me, so he was a senior in high school when I was a freshman, and I was fortunate that he was nice to me in front of his peers. This meant that all the older, cooler kids accepted me rather than finding me annoying. This was also the time in our lives when we first started to agree on (and bond over) music. In particular, we loved Aerosmith (because who wasn’t obsessed with Get a Grip in the early/mid 90s?) and Stone Temple Pilots. So fast forward nearly 25 years, and you’d better believe we were both dying to catch the band at San Francisco’s legendary Fillmore. [read the whole post]


Noise Pop Show Review: Nilbog with Chaki at Rickshaw Stop, 2/26/2018

March 6, 2018”>Legend

I’d like you to close your eyes for a moment and think of the nerdiest concert you can imagine. What do you see when you do this? Apocalyptica Plays Metallica by Four Cellos? The Fair Maidens Play Iron Maiden by Four Ukuleles? Queensryche doing Operation Mindcrime AND Operation Mindcrime 2? Well, my fellow music nerds, […]

Read the full article →

Noise Pop Review: The Album Leaf, Vákoum, Indy Nyles at Swedish American Hall, 2/23/18

February 25, 2018

I’ll start by telling you that I have The Album Leaf’s emblem tattooed on the inside of my right wrist.  Let’s just say, my love for their music runs deep, and my respect for them as musicians is significant. I’ve been able to see them perform live several times over the years, each time special […]

Read the full article →

Noise Pop Review: Amy Shark, BOWER, MILCK at The Independent, 2/21/18

February 23, 2018

Last night’s performances were raw, emotional, and beautiful. You know that feeling you get when someone chooses to open up to you, sharing a personal experience that may have hurt them deeply, but also helped shape them into who they are? All of the performers chose to open themselves up to a room full of […]

Read the full article →

Noise Pop Review: Jay Electronica, Michael Armstead, Sylvan LaCue at Mezzanine, 2/20/19

February 21, 2018

I walked into Mezzanine as the DJ played My Neck, My Back, and I saw the smallish crowd of early arrivals start to dance to the familiar song. The DJ transitioned to other fun, nostalgia-inducing songs, the crowd grew, and energy started to fill the room. 

Read the full article →