The 25 best live music acts of 2016

Best live music acts of 2016

As we officially place 2016 in the history books, it’s time to look back at all the live music we experienced this year. Last year we shared our 25 favorite live performers of 2015, so this year we thought we would do it again while excluding any artists we named in 2015. After all, who really wants to see the same acts listed two years in a row? That said, now that we’re two years removed, our 25 favorite live performers of 2014 were once again fair game.

After covering many excellent bands, musicians and DJs over the past 12 months, trimming our list down to 25 wasn’t easy and as usual, some difficult decisions had to be made. Those who didn’t make the cut but still deserve to be mentioned here include the following artists, DJs and bands (in alphabetical order) whom we either covered at their own show and/or at a music festival this year:

Adrian Younge, Air, Alessia Cara, Alina Baraz, AlunaGeorge, Alvvays, The Arcs, A$AP Ferg, Atlas Genius, Aubrie Sellers, The Avett Brothers, Bag Raiders, Baio, Banks & Steelz, Bas, Battles, Beats Antique, Beach House, Best Coast, Big Freedia, Big Gigantic, Big Grams, Big Wild, Bloc Party, Bob Mould, The Boxer Rebellion, Brand New, Brett Dennen, The California Honeydrops, Capital Cities, Cate Le Bon, Chairlift, Chelsea Wolfe, !!! (Chk Chk Chk), Chris Robinson Brotherhood, Chuck Mosley, Chromeo, Claude VonStroke, The Claypool Lennon Delirium, Cold War Kids, The Crux, Dan Deacon, Danny Brown, Deftones, The Devil Makes Three, Dirtwire, Disclosure, DMA’s, DMX, Drew Holcomb and The Neighbors, Duran Duran, Every Time I Die, Emancipator Ensemble, Ezra Furman, Faith No More, The Faint, Fantastic Negrito, Femi Kuti, Florence + the Machine, Flume, Fruition, The Gaslamp Killer, Geographer, Glass Animals, Gorgon City, Grimes, Halsey, The Head and the Heart, Heartwatch, The Heavy, Highly Suspect, Hippie Sabotage, Holy Fuck, How to Dress Well, Hudson Mohawke, Hundred Waters, IAMX, Ibeyi, Ice Cube, Iggy Pop, The Infamous Stringdusters, Jack Beats, Jack Garratt, Jack Ü, James Bay, Jamie xx, J. Cole, Jimmie Vaughn, Jhené Aiko, The Joy Formidable, Joywave, Julia Holter, Julien Baker, Kaki King, Kamaiyah, Kamasi Washington, Kehlani, K.Flay, The Kills, Kurt Vile, Lafa Taylor, Lana Del Rey, Låpsley, Les Sins, Lettuce, Lionel Richie, Lord Huron, Little Scream, Lucius, M83, Major Lazer, Marian Hill, Mayer Hawthorne, MC YOGI, Methyl Ethel, Metric, Miami Horror, Mick Jenkins, Midi Matilda, Miguel Migs, Modest Mouse, Moon Taxi, M. Ward, Nahko & Medicine for the People, The Naked and Famous, Nas, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, Neon Indian, Nick Murphy (fka Chet Faker), Nite Jewel, Panic! at the Disco, Parliament-Funkadelic, Peaches, Petite Noir, The Pharcyde, The Polish Ambassador, Porches, Prince Rama, Purity Ring, Pusha T, Radiohead, Ra Ra Riot, The Regrettes, The Revivalists, RJD2, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Rogue Wave, Rubblebucket, Run the Jewels, The Russ Liquid Test, Ryan Adams, The Sam Chase & The Untraditional, Saosin, Sarah Neufeld, The Seshen, Shabazz Palaces, Shlohmo, Silversun Pickups, Snakehips, Solange, Son Little, St. Lucia, Stormzy, The Struts, STS9, Sturgill Simpson, Sufjan Stevens, Summer Cannibals, Sunflower Bean, Sigur Rós, St. Germain, Sylvan Esso, Tacocat, Taking Back Sunday, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Thao & the Get Down Stay Down, This Will Destroy You, Thomas Jack, Thundercat, Toro y Moi, Tortoise, Tory Lanez, Tourist, The Trims, Troye Sivan, Umphrey’s McGee, Viceroy, Vince Staples, Vokab Company, Walk the Moon, Warpaint, Wavves, Weezer, Wheeler Walker Jr., White Denim, Wild Belle, Wild Nothing, Years & Years, Yeasayer, YG, Young Fathers, Yuck, ZHU, Ziggy Marley.

Now, it’s time for The Bam Team to present our 25 favorite live performers of 2016.

The Bam Team’s 5 Favorite Shows, Albums & Songs of 2016

Listen to The Bam Team’s favorite songs of 2016:


Best Live Music Acts of 2015 #25 - Tycho

25. Tycho

For as much as Epoch was a surprise, so were Tycho’s two most recent shows in LA last week. It was the first time Hansen and company had played The Fonda Theatre since the Awake tour back in 2014, and Thursday’s sellout, which was announced less than a week before the show, along with the subsequent need to add a second date the next night, made it clear that more than ever, Angelinos have a strong appetite for what Hansen is doing on both a musical and visual level. It helps, too, that KCRW Music Director Jason Bentley, who opened the shows at The Fonda with a DJ set, has helped expose Tycho to a broader audience, whether through the “Morning Becomes Eclectic” theme song or live, in-studio performances by the band. Even nowadays with an abundance of streaming sites, you can’t underestimate the power of radio in a city with a driving culture as large as LA’s. And truth be told, Tycho is some of the best music to drive to, especially when you’re surrounded by nature. -Josh Herwitt, photo by Josh Herwitt


Best Live Music Acts of 2015 #24 - Isaiah Rashad

24. Isaiah Rashad

And when it did, Rashad torpedoed onto stage and turned the restlessness in the room on its head with “Smile”, the apropos homecoming banger he released after years of uncertainty that followed his 2014 EP Cilvia Demo. It was fitting because prior to his reemergence, which was sparked by the song, Rashad admitted to being addicted to Xanax and alcohol, and it almost led to him being dropped from his West Coast record label on several occasions. From his issues with substance abuse to the tears he shed while listening to Kid Cudi’s music and his open-book thoughts on the humanizing of mental-health issues, Rashad’s journey from being the contemplative unknown in superstar Kendrick Lamar’s crew to a complete artist deserving of your attention has been steeped in honesty. -Joseph Gray, photo by Joseph Gray


Best Live Music Acts of 2015 #23 - Bob Moses

23. Bob Moses

Needless to say, worn-out axioms failed to apply in this scenario. Bob Moses silenced anyone attempting to pass them off as yet another contrived electropop outfit aiming to please the masses. At Mezzanine, both Howie and Vallance proved their prowess as EDM innovators, bringing more to the stage than a couple of laptops and a pretty light show. Surprising those unfamiliar with their work or expecting to be underwhelmed, Bob Moses have elevated the live electronic game for their respective contemporaries and succeeded in defining a new chapter for the genre — an innovative sound standard that’s all their own. -Molly Kish, photo by Lisette Worster


Best Live Music Acts of 2015 #22 - Floating Points

22. Floating Points

The band continued building on its rhythms and melodies, creating a hypnotic feeling that was filled with textured synthesizers, guitar pedals and consummate percussion, as laser patterns reflected each rise and fall during its lengthy jam sessions. As Sheppard and his sidekicks progressed through each track, the complexity of the laser projections grew into optical illusions that, almost like another musical instrument onstage, intertwined with the style and progression of the band’s production perfectly. With each song reaching a climax and eventual denouement, the artwork remained untouched for a few minutes so that fans could observe each piece before their very own eyes. -Brett Ruffenach, photo by Alister Mori


Best Live Music Acts of 2015 #21 - Ty Segall

21. Ty Segall

But Segall is no doubt a showman himself, and you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who expends as much energy onstage as he does in merely 90 minutes. His passion simply rubs off on his fans, who wasted little time climbing onstage and taking the plunge into a sea of hands for a couple of minutes. Segall, of course, also got in on the action at one point, as his shows are often known to feature crowd surfing from both band and audience members, and he made sure to take the mic stand with him while he horizontally slithered across the room. -Josh Herwitt, photo by Josh Herwitt


Best Live Music Acts of 2015 #20 - Dr. Teeth and The Electric Mayhem

20. Dr. Teeth and The Electric Mayhem

One of the biggest questions on everyone’s mind coming into Outside Lands was, “Who were Dr. Teeth and The Electric Mayhem?” For those who knew, it was, “How in the hell were the Muppets going to fill a Sunday slot on the main stage?” Because the band had never played a show of such magnitude or outside the context of a TV/film studio, no one had any clue what to expect during this early-afternoon slot. Though some festivalgoers (mistakenly) decided to forego the experience altogether, those present will not forget the incredible feat that Another Planet Entertainment and Jim Henson Enterprises were able to pull off for what was one of the most emotionally nostalgic, blissfully complex and once-in-a-lifetime festival performances maybe ever. The Muppet house band both effortlessly managed to pluck the heartstrings of multiple generations of fans while delivering the most conceptually beautiful “love letter” to the city of SF, blanketing the grounds in a sea of love and collective euphoria for a brief, yet unforgettable moment. -Molly Kish, photo by Rochelle Shipman


Best Live Music Acts of 2015 #19 - RÜFÜS DU SOL

19. RÜFÜS DU SOL

By the time RÜFÜS made their entrance, the excitement in the room was at a fever pitch. The crowd was ready to dance from the very first beat (thanks to the excellent warm-up from Kllo and Yuma X), and they did just that. Lead singer Tyrone Lindqvist took center stage with great energy and proceeded to do the customary water bottle toss shortly after. Lindqvist set the tone right from the get-go for a high-energy, high-audience-participation set. The crowd responded in kind by getting down much harder than expected for a Wednesday night. Notably, there were surprisingly very few phones out as most attendees put away their cameras to make the most of every song. The intimate setting of The Fillmore could almost have been mistaken for the polo grounds of Coachella, given how many girls-on-shoulders could be seen around the venue. -Geoff Hong, photo by Josh Herwitt


Best Live Music Acts of 2015 #18 - Rudimental

18. Rudimental

Through Rudimental tracks like “Not Giving In”, “Free” and “Waiting All Night”, the most unique element of the group’s live production was their charisma. Simply put, they look like they’re having fun. These aren’t tortured artists or cathartic performers — Rudimental are a band that loves the music they make. Even the band’s drummer, Beanie, easily one of the hardest working rhythmists on tour right now, managed to keep a smile on his face, racing through Rudimental’s repertoire of songs that were anywhere from 145 to 160 BPMs. The septet’s de-facto leader, DJ Locksmith, was surprisingly more in the background than you would expect from a typical DnB hype man. As Rudimental wrapped up their set with their chart-topping hit “Feel the Love”, the crowd joined in as the song ended, creating a shared moment at The Fox that perfectly reflected the intention of Rudimental — to spread the love. -Brett Ruffenach, photo by Marc Fong


Best Live Music Acts of 2015 #17 - BØRNS

17. BØRNS

On this night, that proverbial phrase seemingly rang true. It wasn’t just that BØRNS most likely amassed the largest attendance in the history of the Twilight Concert Series, but also the fact that it was easily one of the best shows I’ve ever witnessed at the Santa Monica Pier. One could certainly point to the opening of the Expo Line extension as a reason for the larger crowds so far this summer, which wasn’t all that noticeable during the series’ opening night with Mayer Hawthorne just the week prior, but that would simply be underestimating the exponential rise of Garrett Borns’ eponymous project. Since he relocated to Los Angeles in 2013 and signed with Interscope Records, the Michigan native has gone from supporting modest indie bands like MisterWives to selling out shows as a headliner in a matter of a year. -Josh Herwitt, photo by Josh Herwitt


Best Live Music Acts of 2015 #16 - Flying Lotus

16. Flying Lotus

Brainfeeder founder, producer and unapologetic cultural mouthpiece Flying Lotus (born Steven Ellison) ended the night with a mildly controversial headlining set. Walking onstage and making what any FlyLo fan would recognize as an off-colored comment on the current presidential race may have proven too brazen for those not used to his brand. He let Captain Murphy out of the box a little early and road the wave of confusion into a heady, bass-driven assault on the conflicted crowd, providing the distinct audio punctuation point for the night’s bill of artists. Playing several tracks off of his 2014 LP You’re Dead! as well as various hits from high-profile hip-hop emcees like Travis Scott and Kendrick Lamar that he has produced over the years, Ellison stunned us all with his double-screen, audio-visual stage setup and plenty of bone-rattling bass drops. -Molly Kish, photo by Marc Fong


Best Live Music Acts of 2015 #15 - The Last Shadow Puppets

15. The Last Shadow Puppets

TLSP brought a strings section to their show, an added element that helped keep things fresh and new. The show began with the beautiful sounds of violins and cellos, but the moment TLSP got onstage, the whole floor at The Fillmore lit up in billows of smoke. I’m sure the band was stoned by the end of the show if it hadn’t been already, appearing beyond excited to be playing on a Sunday night in SF. Turner and Kane must have yelled out something about SF every few minutes and incorporated SF into some of their songs. They were so incredibly tight, and I felt their set in some ways was a bit better than what I had witnessed years ago — the mix and order of the songs felt more succinct at The Fillmore. -Rachel Goodman, photo by Diana Cordero


Best Live Music Acts of 2015 #14 - Miike Snow

14. Miike Snow

Sunday’s roster at Coachella last year was significantly weaker in comparison to Friday’s and Saturday’s. This year was much of the same, though Calvin Harris somehow proved to be an even worse headliner than Drake (we didn’t know that was possible). But one of the bright spots on Day 3 was no doubt Miike Snow’s 9:45 p.m. slot in the Mojave Tent, the same place where I discovered the Swedish trio back in 2010 during my first Coachella. Andrew Wyatt, Christian Karlsson and Pontus Winnberg have come a long way since then, and with three studio albums in their catalog, including their latest effort iii, they have more than enough material to fill out a 50-minute set and leave you wanting to hear more. -Josh Herwitt, photo by Norm de Veyra


Best Live Music Acts of 2015 #13 - Young Thug

13. Young Thug

Fresh off releasing the latest — and final — installment of his Slime Season mixtape trilogy, Young Thug took his place on the stage. Arriving in a white blouse, multicolored sequined jacket, dark shades, a polka-dot head scarf and remarkably slim, golden pants, he aligned such a rangy and vibrant uniform with his performance. There wouldn’t be any towering LED lights, stunts or stage diving. However, Young Thug, who for the majority of his roughly hour-long set played the lone wolf, delighted the crowd with his animated and bright delivery while running through thundering Slime Season 3 favorites like “With Them”, “Digits” and “Slime Shit”. The audience, ranging from high school seniors to seasoned workers likely with mortgages, strikingly recited every uncanny, controversial lyric and Ric Flair-esque “Woo!” like they had been analyzing them for years. -Joseph Gray, photo by Joseph Gray


Best Live Music Acts of 2015 #12 - Pretty Lights

12. Pretty Lights

Touring with a live band for the first time in 2013 — something that few other EDM artists have done to this day — he quickly changed the way electronic music can be experienced live. Fast forward to last Thursday, and we were once again treated to an electrifying Pretty Lights show that was more than just Smith behind a pair of Macbook Pros and two Akai MPD32s. Making his debut at the majestic Santa Barbara Bowl, he once again showed why he isn’t your typical EDM act. With Chris Karns and Big Wild providing support, Smith hit the stage at 8 p.m. with his bandmates — Karns, Borham Lee, Brandon Butler and Alvin Ford, Jr. — and put on a show that dazzled both sonically and visually. What was most impressive, though, was seeing how much of the performance was improvised, as the band transitioned from one jam to another while dropping in a number of remixes here and there. And as I looked on from my seat in the stands, I couldn’t help but think about how much the show reminded me of all the times I’ve seen STS9 perform live. It only seemed fitting considering that the livetronia band helped give Smith his start back in the day, and with the “EDM bubble” about to burst (that is, if it hasn’t already), it’s hopefully an approach more electronic artists will gravitate toward in the future. -Josh Herwitt, photo by Josh Herwitt


Best Live Music Acts of 2015 #11 - Mac DeMarco

11. Mac DeMarco

The 26-year-old king of slacker rock, who over the past few years has become a fan favorite of many Bay Area audiophiles, never seems to hold back when he comes to town. His first night in SF last week saw him jump from The Indy’s balcony into an awaiting crowd (a feat that was later imitated by a female audience member at The Warfield the next night), run around half naked while playing new songs and perform a 25-minute cover of Eric Clapton’s 1971 hit single “Layla” with fart solos sprinkled throughout. -James Pawlish, photo by James Pawlish


Best Live Music Acts of 2015 #10 - Moderat

10. Moderat

Easily the most anticipated set of the weekend from this spectator’s vantage point, Moderat hadn’t toured since dropping a pair of EPs in 2014. But with the release of its third full-length album, aptly titled III, the Berlin-based supergroup comprised of Apparat’s Sascha Ring and Modeselektor members Gernot Bronsert and Sebastian Szary were primed to make their mark on the final day of LIB — and that they did. Beginning with “Ghostmother” off their latest LP, Moderat ran through a good chunk of new material, but nothing ignited the crowd more than their new single “Reminder”, which remains one of our favorite songs of the year so far. As we witnessed a few days earlier at The Fonda Theatre in LA, the group’s dark, minimalist stage setup with psychedelic flourishes paired nicely with Ring’s ethereal vocals. Of all the other performances throughout the weekend, Moderat’s 90-minute set undoubtedly stood as one of the brightest moments of LIB 2016. -Josh Herwitt, photo by Josh Herwitt


Best Live Music Acts of 2015 #9 - Foals

9. Foals

Foals closed out their rambunctious set with a killer take on the title track “What Went Down” that brought lead singer/guitarist Yannis Philippakis diving into the crowd, giving fans one hell of a selfie and proving their rock credentials for good. After all, any band that can unite 20-something bros with 50-something grandparents gets a gold star in our book. Rock brings people together, and those who made it out to see this unicorn of a band won’t live to regret it. -Zach Bourque, photo by Steve Carlson


Best Live Music Acts of 2015 #9 - Tame Impala

8. Tame Impala

As they opened with the dream-inducing interlude “Nangs” from their latest studio album Currents, Tame Impala gave the crowd an ample minute and a half to commit to the spatial surroundings before jumping full throttle into an explosive rendition of lead single “Let It Happen,” playing the tracks in reverse order than they are on the LP. By the third song (as promised), the sky, having just turned black, was filled with a stadium’s worth of rainbow confetti as the band played the opening chords of 2012’s psuedo love ballad “Mind Mischief”. Followed by a rare performance — only the second time in three years — of “Music to Walk Home By” from 2012’s Lonerism, Tame Impala played a wide range of emotive classics while scrambling the brains of more than 8,500 audience members with their intense onslaught of sensory-overloading imagery and hypnotic light show. -Molly Kish, photo by James Pawlish


Best Live Music Acts of 2015 #7 - Jim James

7. Jim James

James is in rare company these days, amid a dying breed of guitar-rock gods like Jack White and Josh Homme who are not only capable of playing anything on six strings, but also on a myriad of instruments. And while Eternally Even feels in some ways like an opportunity for him to finally experiment more with keyboards, James made sure to remind his fans at the 90-year-old Orpheum Theatre last Friday that shredding is still a priority. Performing in his new hometown after officially moving to LA this year, he assumed the role of lead singer for much of the show as he and his bandmates from Twin Limb (also opening for James on this tour) played all of Eternally Even and half of Regions. But propped up by a stand onstage the whole time was James’ black Gibson axe, and you knew at some point during a two-hour set that he was going to unload some sick riffs like we have become accustomed to seeing from him at Jacket shows. -Josh Herwitt, photo by Josh Herwitt


Best Live Music Acts of 2015 #6 - The National

6. The National

The real headline from The National’s performance was hands down the new material that was debuted, pretty much across their entire set, encore included. A rather standard opening of “Don’t Swallow the Cap” and “I Should Live in Salt” led into our first taste of the band’s upcoming LP in the form of “Checking Out”. Though many locals likely recognized this track from last year’s Treasure Island Music Festival (read our review here), it has tightened up over the past year and even begins to sound familiar as the Brooklyn-based five-piece begins to weave in more electronic, synth-like elements. -Kevin Quandt, photo by Steve Carlson


Coachella 2016 - Guns 'N Roses

5. Guns N’ Roses

There may have been no more talked-about act in Coachella’s 17-year history than Saturday’s headliner — and for good reason. Going back to 1993, it had been 23 years since Axl Rose and Slash last performed on the same stage together, and though some of that allure had worn off by the time they reached Indio thanks to a surprise show in LA and back-to-back nights in Las Vegas in prior weeks, Guns N’ Roses were still the talk of the town leading up to Coachella. In fact, all you had to do was look around on Saturday and see just how many GNR T-shirts were traversing the polo field before their 10:30 p.m. set. When it came time to deliver, the original trio of Axl, Slash and bassist Duff McKagan most certainly did, while rhythm guitarist Richard Fortus and drummer Frank Ferrer proved to be more than suitable fill-ins for Izzy Stradlin and Steven Adler/Matt Sorum. Meanwhile, the surprise appearance by Angus Young couldn’t have come at a much better time after the announcement was made minutes before GNR’s set that Rose will be filling in for Brian Johnson on AC/DC’s remaining tour dates this year. GNR have always been one of my biggest bucket-list bands, and even if a broken leg prevented Axl from strutting and slithering across the stage like he once did as a brash, slender 21-year-old rock star, seeing one of my favorite childhood bands perform for two and a half hours felt all too surreal as I left the Empire Polo Club that night. -Josh Herwitt, photo courtesy of Coachella


Coachella 2016 - Sia

4. Sia

From the very beginning, Sia set herself apart from every other artist who took the Coachella Stage this year. With the Australian artist standing in the back of the stage, her set was more performance art than it was pop music. While her face was hidden thanks to her trademark wig, Sia’s voice stood front and center as she belted out every note to hits like “Diamonds”, “Bird Set Free” and “Titanium”. Throughout it all, different dancers and actors would come on stage, abstractly embodying the themes her songwriting often conveys: fear, anticipation, stress, anger, joy, love and most of all, doubt. As Kristen Wiig and Paul Dano contributed to the overall performance, the height of Sia’s conceptual masterpiece reached its peak with a breathtaking rendition of “Breathe Me”, bringing some of the audience to tears. It was the true headliner of Sunday night and among the top performances of the entire weekend. -Brett Ruffenach, photo courtesy of Coachella


Best Live Music Acts of 2015 #3 - Chance the Rapper

3. Chance the Rapper

In one of the few transcendent moments of the weekend, a set that had everyone throughout the fairgrounds hyped into an anticipatory frenzy, Chance the Rapper performed at the Lands End stage on Sunday afternoon for easily the largest crowd of the entire weekend. Even those who stood their ground through Third Eye Blind’s preceding set felt the drastic change in both crowd size and personal space as the Polo Fields flooded and temperatures rose. Even though Chance could have used this to his advantage and conducted an explosive show, igniting the tightly configured crowd into a combustive state, he instead took his fans “to church” with a spiritually centered gospel set, making sure everyone was attentive and of course, that “his part” resonated among the masses. -Molly Kish, photo by Norm de Veyra


Best Live Music Acts of 2015 #2 - LCD Soundsystem

2. LCD Soundsystem

Over the last couple of years, it’s hard to think of a band I have wanted to see more than LCD Soundsystem. Deeply tied to my formative years in college, the Brooklyn outfit’s return after a five-year hiatus was nothing short of stunning. Opening with the undeniably groovy “Us vs. Them” and covering a good chunk of their catalog over almost two hours, LCD certainly met the expectations of an eager crowd. James Murphy kept the banter between songs fairly short, and these indie heavyweights demonstrated a true dedication to their craft, starting fast with songs like “Movements” and “Yeah” before moving to more deep, tightly wound rhythms on “Someone Great” and “Home”. Though “Losing My Edge” was written more than 10 years ago, Murphy’s part-improvised, part-proclamation, part-perfectly-delivered rendition of the track seemed to really capture the attention of more casual LCD fans. Nearing the end of its set, the band covered “Heroes” by late collaborator David Bowie. I have seen many concerts as well as attended many festivals in my life, but this was truly among the most beautiful moments in live music I have ever experienced. Wrapping up their headlining performance with “All My Friends”, LCD Soundsystem proved to be among the top artists to ever grace the festival’s main stage. -Brett Ruffenach, photo by Norm de Veyra


Best Live Music Acts of 2015 #1 - Anderson .Paak

1. Anderson .Paak

I’m going to be completely honest: I went to SXSW this year to see .Paak because I knew once he played it, tickets to his shows would be impossible to get. Six months later, $30 tickets to his show in San Francisco at The Fillmore resold for upwards of $400. If you didn’t have another way to get into that show or rent to pay, it was worth it. The energy that comes out of .Paak while he’s performing is charming, infectious and unmatched. He splits his time roaming every inch of the stage and behind his drum set, often singing and rapping without missing a beat. At .Paak’s December show at the Hollywood Palladium in LA, Stevie Wonder came out not to sing, but to tell the crowd what a big fan he is. So basically, Stevie Wonder dropped by. OK, Anderson … we see you. -Rochelle Shipman, photo by Norm de Veyra

Outside Lands 2016

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MainFest Alhambra throws an all-out dance party with Capital Cities, Miami Horror & !!! on the bill

MainFest AlhambraBy Jansen Granflor //

MainFest Alhambra //
Downtown Alhambra – Alhambra, CA
September 10th, 2016 //

For its inaugural event this year, MainFest Alhambra shut down several blocks in downtown Alhambra, a city of less than 100,000 residents whose only affiliation with music before was being the hometown of Kenny Loggins and the scene of some sketchy Phil Spector behavior. That all changed when the initial teasers for MainFest dropped in July boasting Capital Cities, Miami Horror, and !!! (Chk Chk Chk) as headliners.

The MainFest lineup was subsequently finalized toward the end of August, with Nite-Jewel’s and Dam-Funk’s collaborative side project Nite-Funk added to the roster as well as a slew of local talent and DJ’s.

As maiden voyages go, getting around and into MainFest was a chore, with several security staff members sending festivalgoers in circles trying to find their way in. Once inside, guests were treated to free rock climbing, a live graffiti installation (with the back side serving as an open space for anyone to spraypaint) and an assortment of food/drink options, including food trucks and all the restaurants along Main Street.

Nite-Funk’s set was comprised of several tracks from their eponymous studio effort as well as singles from Nite-Jewel’s and Dam-Funk’s solo projects, making it easy to see why these two underground electronic artists have been teasing an EP since 2009.

MainFest Alhambra - !!!


!!!

Next up on the main stage was !!! (Chk Chk Chk), who have been creating their unique brand of upbeat dance-funk for almost two decades and without a doubt brought more energy than anyone else at MainFest. But if you have ever seen them live, you probably already knew that. Lead singer Nic Offer worked the crowd with his trademark aerobic gyrations, spending most of his time on top of the speaker cabinets and even wandering into the crowd for a song. Even though !!! have never reached the success of the acts who would follow them on the festival’s main stage, let’s hope they never slow down because they are just too much fun to watch live.

While the sun set, Australian indietronica band Miami Horror got the crowd moving and grooving with their nu-disco stylings. Lead singer Josh Moriarty shared vocal duties with Aaron Shanahan, each providing a contrasting style for the songs they fronted. Though a number of Miami Horror’s songs are somewhat slow for a dance act (in fact, one of their tracks is titled “Real Slow”), some of them (“Sometimes”, “Holidays”) can make the most introverted wallflowers cut up the dance floor.

​Closing out the debut of MainFest was LA’s own Capital Cities, whose breakout single “Safe and Sound” has kept them busy touring ever since it was released, leaving Ryan Merchant’s and Sebu Simonian’s days of writing commercials and jingles together a thing of the past. Their debut album In a Tidal Wave of Mystery lived up to the hype that “Safe and Sound” promised, and at MainFest, they announced that their sophomore studio effort was near completion.

Capital Cities breezed through crowd favorites, from the bass-thumping “Origami” to the singalong-inducing “Kangaroo Court”, before performing the first of what appeared to be multiple renditions of “Safe and Sound”, culminating in an EDM club-ready version to close out the night. All in all, the City of Alhambra had to be pleased with what they accomplished for the very first MainFest, and considering Los Angeles has nearly 100 suburbs, you can’t help but imagine others will soon follow suit.

Was FYF Fest 2015 the ‘best weekend of summer’? Here are 10 highlights from this year’s festival

FYF Fest 2015By Josh Herwitt //

FYF Fest //
LA Sports Arena & Exposition Park – Los Angeles
August 22nd-23rd, 2015 //

The 12th annual FYF Fest returned to the LA Sports Arena and Exposition Park last weekend, and from everything we witnessed over two action-packed days, it felt like a major success. For starters, we didn’t have to wait in a three-hour security line and it didn’t take 20 minutes to walk from one end of the festival grounds to the other (it was more like 10 minutes), which already made this year a huge improvement compared to last year.

It should also go without saying that FYF has come a long way since its early beginnings as a punk fest, and teaming up with Coachella promoter Goldenvoice back in 2011 hasn’t hurt its rep by any means. If anything, it’s only made it more accessible for mainstream music fans (though there are still plenty of “indie” acts to come by). That couldn’t have been any more apparent than this year with Kanye West replacing Frank Ocean as Saturday’s headliner less than two days before the gates officially opened. And yet, somehow FYF didn’t end up selling out. We’re still not sure how that didn’t happen.

But the festival’s well-publicized slogan has long been that it delivers the “best weekend of summer,” and such a proclamation certainly sets the bar pretty high, especially in Southern California, where there is no shortage of ways to keep oneself preoccupied on a late-August afternoon. So, whether FYF was or wasn’t (it was one of our eight California music festivals you won’t want to miss before the end of 2015), here are our top 10 highlights from its 2015 edition.


FYF Fest 2015 - Battles

10. Battles

New York City trio Battles have been creating some of the most interesting rock music in the business for more than a decade, bordering on prog while throwing a heavy dose of math rock into the equation. With their third full length La Di Da Di due out September 18th (and thanks to Ableton, fans can get a behind-the-scenes look at the band’s writing and recording process for the album here), Ian Williams (guitar, keyboards), Dave Konopka (bass, guitar, effects) and John Stanier (drums) debuted some new material on Sunday evening for their Southern California fan base, most notably “The Yabba”, which gradually navigates its way through sonic peaks and valleys over the course of seven minutes. Meanwhile, Stanier, the glue that holds it all together for Battles, is still proving to be an absolute beast on the skins at age 47.


FYF Fest 2015 - FKA twigs

9. FKA twigs

British singer-songwriter Tahliah Debrett Barnett, better known as FKA twigs, has been all the rage lately after performing at Coachella in April, and she closed out FYF in style, donning an elaborate burgundy- and gold-colored robe for her Sunday night set. Just the week before, the 27-year-old fiancée of actor/musician Robert Pattinson released her brand-new EP M3LL155X, and with it receiving high marks from a number of music outlets, there were quite a few fans who stuck around after 11:30 p.m. on a “school night” to watch her perform some of them, including the opening track “Figure 8”, “In Time” and “Glass & Patron”. FKA twigs might be one of the most compelling live acts out there right now, and after scheduling Purity Ring to close out The Lawn the night before, FYF seemed to make a point of letting women rule that stage in the late-night hours this year.


FYF Fest 2015 - Simian Mobile Disco

8. The Arena

While there hasn’t been much use for the LA Sports Arena these days with The Forum and Staples Center serving as LA’s two primary large-scale music venues now, FYF made sure to utilize the 56-year-old stadium as best it could in conjunction with Exposition Park — and surprisingly enough, it actually ended up being our favorite stage this year. With space to roam on the floor — except during Flying Lotus’ DJ set from what we were told — and the seated area upstairs providing a nice respite from more standing, The Arena felt very much like a different world when you walked inside its doors. Plus, it had one of the most visually stunning stage backdrops and lighting setups that we’ve ever seen at a music festival.


FYF Fest 2015 - Unknown Mortal Orchestra

7. Unknown Mortal Orchestra

After capitalizing on the success of their 2013 sophomore album entitled II, UMO have been trending upward as one of indie rock’s buzziest bands this summer thanks to the release of their third full length Multi-Love in May. Led by singer and guitarist Ruban Nielson, the New Zealand/Portland, Ore., quartet creates an intriguing mixture of lo-fi, psychedelic rock with garage, funk and R&B elements thrown in for good measure. After a long and tiring first day at FYF, UMO served as an uplifting way to start Day 2, and the turnout was pretty impressive with a large crowd arriving at The Lawn on Sunday for their 4:30 p.m. set.


FYF Fest 2015 - BADBADNOTGOOD

6. BADBADNOTGOOD

Instrumental jazz/hip-hop trio BADBADNOTGOOD was high on our list of artists to catch at FYF this year, holding down a relatively early slot in The Arena on Saturday. Evoking almost a free-jazz spirit at times, Matthew Tavares (keyboards), Chester Hansen (bass) and Alexander Sowinski (drums) put their chops on display for close to an hour. Within minutes of arriving at the festival’s only indoor stage, it was fairly easy to see just how talented they are when it comes to playing their instruments, and together their sound had us wanting to hear more the next time these three Torontonians come to town.


FYF Fest 2015 - Chet Faker

5. Chet Faker

When we saw Chet Faker perform in LA following the release of his debut album Built on Glass last year, we were underwhelmed by Nicholas Murphy’s stage presence and a cast of sidekicks who didn’t add much to his overall sound. But a lot has changed since that early June night at The Roxy Theatre, and Murphy’s live show has grown leaps and bounds from 2014 to 2015, in part because he’s surrounded himself with some very skilled players lately. Though Murphy didn’t drop his newest single “Bend” into a nine-song set on Saturday, the FYF mainstay gave us every reason to believe why he belongs on the festival’s main stage.


FYF Fest 2015 - Flume with Andrew Wyatt

4. Special guests

Ever since FYF founder Sean Carlson teamed up with Goldenvoice, his festival has felt more and more like a mini Coachella each year. That trend continued in 2015 on a number of levels, with one of them being the fact that quite a few artists introduced special guests during their sets, something that has become rather synonymous with Coachella over the past few years. Chet Faker brought out BANKS, Travi$ Scott joined Kanye, Flume handed the mic right over to Miike Snow’s Andrew Wyatt (pictured above) and then later danced with Lorde, and Run the Jewels gave Zack de la Rocha and Travis Barker their moment to shine onstage, too. If that doesn’t sound like a typical weekend at Coachella, then we don’t know what does.


FYF Fest 2015 - Kanye West

3. Kanye West

Yeezus was all the talk less than two days before the festival kicked off, and we must say that we were pleasantly surprised by the last-minute Kanye-West-for-Frank-Ocean trade that FYF was able to pull off in the end. The headlining performance, nonetheless, delivered on all fronts, as Kanye ran through a career full of hits, eventually playing one every minute as his set went down to the very last second. We won’t go as far as to say that it was the best show of the weekend, but an impromptu performance from Rihanna on “Four Five Seconds” and “All of the Lights” after she was pulled onstage by Yeezy himself will have us remembering that moment for quite some time.


FYF Fest 2015 - D'Angelo & The Vanguard

2. D’Angelo & The Vanguard

One of the most anticipated sets of the weekend was none other than D’Angelo’s — and for good reason. The R&B/neo-soul singer-songwriter hadn’t released an album in 14 years (yes, really) until he suddenly dropped his 2014 masterpiece Black Messiah last December, so you knew that getting the rare opportunity to see Michael Eugene Archer work a crowd, much like the one that assembled for his set at FYF, would be something special. Sounding more like a youthful James Brown than a wannabe Prince (we still don’t totally understand where those comparisons are coming from), D’Angelo and his eight-piece backing band that he now calls The Vanguard took the audience for a ride as they doled out new and old hits such as “Really Love” and “Brown Sugar” over an eight-song setlist.


FYF Fest 2015 - Run the Jewels

1. Run the Jewels

It’s hard to find a more entertaining and raucous show in hip-hop right now than Run the Jewels’. Yes, El-P and Killer Mike have been making the festival rounds this year much like Outkast did in 2014, but one actually released an album last year and the other hasn’t since 2006. Never ones to hold back, RTJ’s post-sunset show on the festival’s main stage was both highly provocative and hilarious, getting the adrenaline pumping within the first few minutes and setting the tone for the rest of Day 1.

Kanye West to replace Frank Ocean as headliner at FYF Fest 2015 this weekend

FYF_post

FYF Fest //
LA Sports Arena & Exposition Park – Los Angeles
August 22nd-23rd, 2015 //

FYF Fest sent shock waves across the Internet less than two days before the festival takes place at the LA Sports Arena and Exposition Park, announcing that Kanye West will replace Frank Ocean as this Saturday’s headliner.

The festival officially released the news around 4:30 p.m. PT on Thursday, stating that Ocean had “decided on his own terms to cancel his appearance.”

FYF, now in its 12th year, changed its schedule in 2015, with music slated to go all the way up until 2 a.m. on Saturday and as late as 12:30 a.m. on Sunday.

The Frank-Ocean-for-Kanye-West trade isn’t the first shake-up to this year’s lineup. Earlier on Thursday, Resident Advisor reported that Ben UFO was forced to cancel his upcoming shows with Joy Orbison in Canada and the U.S., including his Saturday evening set in The Arena at FYF, due to visa issues. Orbison’s set had been extended by 80 minutes as a result, meaning that he was scheduled to perform for a total of two hours and 40 minutes, which might have been the longest festival set in the history of the modern-day music festival (or at least that we’ve ever seen). However, he is also dealing with visa issues — both him and Ben UFO are from London — and will now miss his FYF set after canceling his Friday night show in San Francisco at Public Works a few hours earlier.

UPDATE: FYF Fest announced the replacements for Ben UFO and Orbison on Friday evening. LA experimental producer Flying Lotus will perform a DJ set in The Arena from 8:10-9:10 p.m. on Saturday, followed by one of our favorite electronic musicians, Bonobo, hitting the decks from 11:15 p.m.-12:30 a.m. Both performances will be DJ sets.

Here is the updated schedule for this weekend’s festival:

SATURDAY SET TIMES

FYF Fest 2015 set times with Bonobo & Flying Lotus - Saturday

SUNDAY SET TIMES

FYF Fest 2015 set times with Bonobo & Flying Lotus - Sunday

Meanwhile, just last week, the two-day festival also announced that Deerhunter had canceled their performance, replacing the Atlanta indie-rock band with dance-punk outfit !!! (Chk Chk Chk), who we recently caught open for Hot Chip (read our review here) at the Greek Theatre.

Other big names performing at this year’s FYF Fest include Sunday headliner Morrissey, Bloc Party, D’Angelo and The Vanguard, Chet Faker, The Jesus and Mary Chain, FKA twigs, Purity Ring, Belle & Sebastian, Flume, Run the Jewels and Solange.

With all those acts already on the bill and now the late addition of Kanye, we have to say that we’re feeling pretty good about picking FYF as one of our eight California music festivals you won’t want to miss before the end of 2015. Single-day passes for FYF have long been sold out, but GA and VIP weekend passes can still be purchased for $175 and $329, respectively, here.

2015 FYF Fest lineup with Flying Lotus & Bonobo

FYF Fest unveils 2015 set times with later end times

2015 FYF Fest

FYF Fest //
LA Sports Arena & Exposition Park – Los Angeles
August 22nd-23rd, 2015 //

As the summer winds down, the 12th annual FYF Fest is almost upon us. With Frank Ocean and Morrissey set to headline the two-day festival near downtown LA next weekend, FYF has released its set times for both Saturday and Sunday. You can take a look at them below.

SATURDAY SET TIMES

2015 FYF Fest - Saturday set times

SUNDAY SET TIMES

2015 FYF Fest - Sunday set times

After ending the festival at midnight in previous years, FYF is taking things up a notch in 2015 with the music going all the way until 2 a.m. on Saturday. That should boast well for English analog electronic duo Simian Mobile Disco, who will put a stamp on Saturday’s festivities in The Arena after Frank Ocean finishes up on the Main Stage. The fun will come to an end a little bit earlier on Sunday, as FKA twigs will close up shop on The Lawn at 11:30 p.m. and is scheduled to play until 12:30 a.m. That’s still pretty late for a Sunday night at a music festival if you ask us. It’s why FYF Fest is one of our eight California music festivals you won’t want to miss before the end of 2015.

In other news, the festival announced yesterday that Atlanta indie-rock band Deerhunter have been forced to cancel their performance. In their place will be dance-punk outfit !!! (Chk Chk Chk), who we caught open for Hot Chip (read our review here) at the Greek Theatre earlier this week. !!! is scheduled to play The Lawn at 8:25 p.m. on Saturday.

While single-day passes for FYF have long been sold out, GA and VIP weekend passes can still be purchased for $175 and $329, respectively, here.

FYF Fest

Hot Chip take their game to the next level at LA’s Greek Theatre

Hot ChipBy Josh Herwitt //

Hot Chip with !!! (Chk Chk Chk) //
Greek Theatre – Los Angeles
August 11th, 2015 //

It takes a special kind of band that can pack the Greek Theatre on a Tuesday night and ignite a full-blown dance party within minutes, but after spending the last 15 years perfecting their craft, Hot Chip proved to be more than up for the challenge on their latest stop through LA.

Coming off their much-talked-about set at Outside Lands last weekend, the London septet was joined by electronic/​synthwave musician Com Truise and longtime dance-punk band !!! (Chk Chk Chk). With the Greek still half empty, !!! lead singer Nic Offer did his best to energize fans with a pair of short shorts and a bag full of flamboyant dance moves. Part of the problem at the Greek has always been that shows are forced to start on the earlier side due to its strict 11 p.m. curfew, but by the time !!! had finished their 40-minute set, most of the seats inside the Greek had been filled with fans eagerly awaiting Hot Chip’s presence.

Hot Chip

The house lights dimmed just after 9 p.m., and all seven members — Alexis Taylor (vocals, synthesizer, guitar, percussion, piano), Joe Goddard (vocals, synthesizer, percussion), Owen Clarke (guitar, bass, synthesizer, percussion), Felix Martin (drum machines, synthesizer, programming), Al Doyle (guitar, backing vocals, synthesizer, percussion, bass, flugelhorn, steel pans), Rob Smoughton (guitar, bass, percussion, backing vocals, synthesizer) and Sarah Jones (drums, backing vocals) — took the stage to a roaring applause from an audience of all ages, one with many who looked like they were having the time of their lives. It was the first time the band had been in LA since 2012, and with its most recent album Why Make Sense? less than three months old, they didn’t waste any time diving into their new material.

Hot Chip have been opening with “Huarache Lights”, the first single off Why Make Sense?, on this tour, and they did exactly the same at the Greek before transitioning into another big hit of theirs, this time the title track from their 2010 success One Life Stand. For as well-received as Why Make Sense? has been, Hot Chip didn’t favor it in light of their older songs. But of the tracks they did play from their latest album, all of them resonated with the overjoyed and surprisingly polite audience. From the electro-funk groove that anchors “Easy to Get” to the electropop sounds of “Started Right”, they compelled the crowd no matter which song they played on this night.

Hot Chip

When it was time for the encore, Hot Chip dialed it back all the way to 2006, the year their sophomore LP The Warning was nominated for a Mercury Prize. And although “Boy from School” served as one of its earliest hits, the group also decided to pay homage to a couple of its influences, with one being none other than The Boss, aka Bruce Springsteen. The band, in fact, has been covering “Dancing in the Dark” for several months now, but watching it close the show with its own rendition of LCD Soundsystem’s “All My Friends” was just as gratifying in the end. Sure, the song selection may not have been a surprise considering Doyle used to play in James Murphy’s now-defunct dance-punk outfit, but with the way Hot Chip can hold an audience’s attention these days, it may not be long before another band is breathing new life into one of their own songs.

Setlist:
Huarache Lights
One Life Stand
Night & Day
Easy to Get
Started Right
Flutes
Over and Over
Alley Cats
Cry for You
Need You Now
Ready for the Floor
I Feel Better

Encore:
Look at Where We Are
Boy from School
Dancing in the Dark (Bruce Springsteen cover)
All My Friends (LCD Soundsystem cover)

Skipping FYF Fest? You can still see all these shows

2015 FYF sideshows

FYF Fest returns to the LA Sports Arena and Exposition Park this August for its 12th edition with an amalgam of trending indie in tow. It’s also one of our eight music festivals taking place in California that you won’t want to miss before the end of 2015.

But if you’re not keen on catching headliners Frank Ocean and Morrissey yet still want to see sub headliners like Bloc Party or The Jesus and Mary Chain without shelling out $175 for a two-day GA pass (single-day passes have already sold out, by the way), well then, you’re in a bit of luck.

FYF and Goldenvoice have announced a series of sideshows around the festival’s August 22nd-23rd dates, which include performances by Toronto experimental hip-hop/post-bop trio BADBADNOTGOOD, Northeastern legendary alt-rockers Dinosaur Jr. and even NorCal industrial hip-hop group Death Grips, who, if you can remember, broke up not all that long ago, reneging on an opportunity to tour with 90’s rock heavyweights Nine Inch Nails and Soundgarden last summer.

The sideshows start later this month, with LA’s own HEALTH kicking things off at The Echo before London-based post-punk revival band Savages finish the run off with a headlining gig at The Roxy on August 26th. It’s worth noting, however, that none of the sideshows will take place over the weekend of FYF, much like what Goldenvoice does in April by booking high-profile shows in and around Coachella’s two weekends.

Tickets for the sideshows go on sale at FYFpresents.com this Friday, July 10th at 10 a.m.


Here is the schedule for the festival’s upcoming sideshows with links to purchase tickets:

July 24th: HEALTH at The Echo // BUY TICKETS

August 19th: The Jesus and Mary Chain with A Place to Bury Strangers at The Fonda Theatre // BUY TICKETS

August 19th: Bloc Party at Glasshouse // BUY TICKETS

August 20th: The Jesus and Mary Chain with A Place to Bury Strangers at The Fonda Theatre // BUY TICKETS

August 20th: Bloc Party at The Roxy Theatre // BUY TICKETS

August 20th: METZ at The Echo // BUY TICKETS

August 21st: BadBadNotGood with Show Me the Body at The Regent Theater // BUY TICKETS

August 21st: NAILS at Echoplex // BUY TICKETS

August 21st: The Drums with Froth at Glasshouse // BUY TICKETS

August 21st: Lower Dens with Empress Of at The Echo // BUY TICKETS

August 21st: Dinosaur Jr. at The Roxy Theatre // BUY TICKETS

August 25th: Death Grips at Glasshouse // BUY TICKETS

August 26th: Savages at The Roxy Theatre // BUY TICKETS

August 26th: King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard at The Echo // BUY TICKETS

2015 FYF Fest lineup

FYF Fest reveals 2015 lineup

FYF_post

FYF Fest //
LA Sports Arena & Exposition Park – Los Angeles
August 22nd-23rd, 2015 //

The 12th annual FYF Fest once again promises a delicious distillation of trending indie music, whether in the vein of electronic, rap or rock acts. Although, this year seems to be pretty lean in the traditional rock department.

Frank Ocean and Morrissey will headline the festival’s 2015 edition, while D’Angelo and the Vanguard, Deerhunter, Run the Jewels, Flume, Jon Hopkins, Spiritualized, FKA Twigs, Nicolas Jaar, Mac DeMarco, Thee Oh Sees and many more are also on the docket.

Produced in conjunction with LA concert promoter Goldenvoice, FYF will sell weekend passes for $175 and single-day passes for $109. Buy tickets starting this Friday, May 8th at 12 p.m.

FYF Fest

Outside Lands 2015: Lineup locks, likely acts & long shots

1.OutsideLands2014_post

Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival //
Golden Gate Park – San Francisco
August 7th-9th, 2015 //

UPDATE: The lineup has been announced. View the full lineup here.

Outside Lands 2015 speculation season may now commence.

For the first year, wristbands will be used for all three-day GA and VIP tickets instead of paper tickets or PDF printouts. Could this be a sign that single-day tickets are a thing of the past?

As a comparison, Coachella moved over to wristbands the same year single-day tickets were abolished. If Superfly and Another Planet can sell out the entire weekend with only three-day passes, than why wouldn’t they punt on the one-day option?

We’ve looked at tour dates, researched competing festivals and considered Outside Lands’ curation history. Squamish Valley Music Festival in BC may be the same weekend from August 7th-9th, but those large metal flying birds make it so musicians can easily do both fests.

The same goes for acts booked in Europe the week after Outside Lands — many artists will play Lollapalooza or Osheaga, followed by Outside Lands, then they cross the pond for mid-August festivals abroad.

If you have a lead or opinion, drop us a comment below. We’ll be updating this list as new developments happen. So, allow us to play Nostradamus and offer these predictions.


Outside Lands fans

Lock It In

Kendrick Lamar – Ranger D tweeted he DLed KDot’s new album on March 16th, and he’s also headlining Bonnaroo.
Mumford and Sons – OSL fits their schedule between Squamish and their Washington “stopover.”
Tame Impala – These Aussie psych-rockers and APE loyalists are ready for a prime-time slot.
Deadmau5 – The mouse is atop many major lineups, including Bonnaroo, so his return to OSL seems logical.
St. Vincent – Annie Clark is worthy of headliner status, and she’s confirmed for Osheaga.
Sam Smith – The big question remains: Is he a Land’s End or Twin Peaks headliner?
Bassnectar – This APE regular is long overdue to helm Twin Peaks for a hometown blowout.
Hot Chip – Basically confirmed via Twitter. And they’re in LA on August 11th.
Wilco – The stars are aligning … Tweedy, Cline and company are confirmed for LA on August 5th.
Alabama Shakes – Playing Squamish. Remember how packed their first OSL appearance was?!?!
Run the Jewels – Accidentally confirmed on RTJ’s tour page and would mark OSL’s first B2B booking.
Sylvan Esso – They’ve played The Independent and Fox Theater Oakland in the past year, and they’ll be in the Midwest the week after OSL.
Django Django – Playing in LA on August 6th.
!!! (chk chk chk) – Played OSL four years ago, and they’re touring with Hot Chip in LA on August 11th.
Jeff the Brotherhood – Dates open and booked for Mumford “stopover” up north in Walla Walla.
Laura Marling – Playing LA on August 6th and a perfect selection for a Sutro Stage. (added March 17th)


Seems Likely

Elton John
The Black Keys
The War on Drugs
The Avett Brothers
Brandon Flowers
Death From Above 1979
Toro Y Moi
Of Monsters and Men
Interpol
First Aid Kit
Stromae
ODESZA
ScHoolboy Q
Gorgon City
The Kills
Slow Magic
Slightly Stoopid

Outside-Lands-2014_post


Looking Plausible

Drake (Downgraded to “Looking Plausible” 3/16)
Bruce Springsteen
Chance the Rapper
Caribou
Florence + The Machine (upgraded to “Looking Plausible” on March 18th with Osheaga announcement)
Axwell Λ Ingrosso
alt-J (upgraded on March 18th with Osheaga announcement)
Belle & Sebastian
The Decemberists (upgraded on March 18th with Osheaga announcement)
Flying Lotus
Father John Misty (upgraded to “Looking Plausible” on March 18th with Osheaga announcement)
Future Islands
Mac Demarco
Glass Animals
Hozier
Benjamin Booker
Alvvays
AWOLNATION
Strand of Oaks
Bahamas
Hiss Golden Messenger


Long Shot (but could happen)

Jack White
Sleater-Kinney
D’Angelo
Weezer (added March 18th with Osheaga announcement)
Jack Ü
Nas (added March 18th with Osheaga announcement)
TV on the Radio
Todd Terje
Gary Clark Jr. (added March 18th with Osheaga announcement)
Action Bronson (added March 18th with Osheaga announcement)
Viet Cong (added March 18th with Osheaga announcement)
Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals (added March 18th with Osheaga announcement)
Marina & the Diamonds
MS MR (added March 18th with Osheaga announcement)
Charli XCX
Jamie xx
Kygo
San Fermin (added March 18th with Osheaga announcement)
Milky Chance


View our predictions from 2014.
View our predictions from 2013.

Outside Lands

WKEND MIXTAPE V11: Galantis • Todd Terje • !!!

WKEND-MIXTAPE11

We’re back to normal this week with Galantis, Todd Terje, and !!! all dropping mixes to serve as soundtracks for your weekend.

Galantis

GalantisSeafoxchella 2014 Live Set



Swedish duo Galantis, Christian Karlsson (of Miike Snow) and Linus Eklow (Style of Eye), have burst onto the scene in the last six months with their EP Smile, a debut live set at Coachella, and what I’d argue is one of the best logos in the scene. Galantis has now shared their live set from Coachella; a blend of their own songs from the EP along with remixes and other big room tracks. A sneaky bit of Miike Snow’s “Animal” makes an appearance along with tracks from Tom Staar, Deorro, Alvaro, and Botnek. Expect big things from these two in the coming months.


Terje

Todd TerjeBBC Radio1 Essential Mix



Next up is an installment of BBC Radio 1’s Essential Mix from Norwegian disco producer Todd Terje. Todd released his first full-length It’s Album Time last month, garnering praise from fans and critics alike. His essential mix is an eclectic blend of contemporary and classic sounds. Looks for tracks from Lone, Herb Alpert, Tanner Ross, Steve Miller Band, Edu Lobo, Jim Morrison, Men at Work, Traks, and Linus Loves. This one is fun, funky, and perfect for the summer.


chkchkchk

!!!MIXTAPE NAME 3



Closing out this week with a mix from !!! for Thump in advance of their summer North American tour. An amalgam of styles are showcased with everyone from Crazy P to David Lynch featured. Other artists featured include Scuba, The Bionics, Romare, Dexter, Tom Rujig, Mr. G, and Dirty Channels. This is one of the rare examples of a band/artist actually knowing how to mix records instead of just hitting sync in Traktor.

PHOTOS: !!! (Chk Chk Chk) at the Chapel 1/25

!!!-1

By Kory Thibeault //

!!! with Fine Steps //
The Chapel — San Francisco
January 25, 2014 //

As frontman Nic Offer took the stage at the Chapel this past weekend, spirits were certainly lifted in anticipation of Chk Chk Chk’s electric performance. Never one to disappoint, the show on Saturday was exactly that, electric. If this dance-punk outfit’s tunes did not galvanize you into dancing, then Offer certainly did. The amount of energy this man can produce is arguably more powerful than nuclear fusion, and if nothing else, certainly more entertaining. While the rest of the band’s tight ship sailed on, Offer exploded across the stage like the loose cannon he embodies, invigorating every onlooker at the first of Chk Chk Chk’s two night run. I can only imagine the electricity created on night two!

!!!-2

!!!-5

!!!-7

!!!

!!!-3

!!!-6

Fine Steps
Fine-Steps1

Fine-Steps

Fine-Steps2

New Music Tuesday: Iggy and the Stooges • !!! • Akron/Family • Neon Neon

Iggy and the Stooges - Ready to Die

Every Tuesday, we focus on new music releases by naming our top tracks, album highlights, lowlights and important takeaways for select albums.


Iggy and the StoogesReady to Die

2.5-BamsTop Tracks:
“Gun”
“Ready to Die”
“Dirty Deal”

Album Highlights: Iggy got the band back together! Ready to Die is the first album released by the original Stooges lineup in over 40 years, and they haven’t messed with their balls-to-the-wall approach to irreverent punk rock. The return of James Williamson following the chemical breakdown of Iggy nearly a half century ago, adds a much needed kick to Iggy and the music he produced in the past years. The title track demonstrates Williamson’s chops to a tee, this coupled with Pop’s knack for rebel lyrics equals one rocking good time.

Album Lowlight: This album was not created to appeal to the masses, and will likely not garner much commercial success. It will please longtime fans, but is unlikely to convert many to this cult or weird and wild. Songs like “DDs” can be easily dismissed as campy and lame, but you know it’s quintessential Iggy Pop, so we have to grin and bear it.

Takeaway: God bless the fact that Williamson decided to call up his old Stooges buddies and lend his stellar playing to a previously sinking ship. I’m sure the supporting tour will feature all the onstage antics that blew minds in the 70s, and with some fresh songs the veil of nostalgia act may be lifted just a bit.

~Kevin Quandt


!!! (Chk Chk Chk)THR!!!ER

3-BamsTop Tracks:
“One Girl / One Boy”
“Californiyeah
“Slyd”

Album Highlights: Everyone’s favorite dance-punk group is back with their fifth LP, THR!!!ER. The formula hasn’t shifted for short-shorts frontman Nic Offer and the rest of the groove-tastic band; the instrumentalists build tasty 70’s-inspired drum and bass rhythms for Offer and a disembodied female singer to sing and freak out to.

About half the cuts on the record are instantly addictive & danceable. “Slyd” is a high-energy single with a female-voice hook that gives way to a heavy bass-driven beat. “Californiyeah” explains why they love California over a clap-centric jam, but at the same time tells why they won’t live in the Golden State (“…but why would I live somewhere where the bars close at 2?”). The track that most resembles a traditional ‘song’ and could find radio play is “One Girl / One Boy”, but what what fun is there in normalcy?

Album Lowlight: On the other hand, about half the cuts on the record are shockingly hard to get into, and some never get over the likability hump. It’s not surprising that the biggest offenders have a slower beats-per-minute, present repetitious lyrics without a payoff and end up being too singsongy. “Even When The Water’s Cold” & “Fine Fine Fine” fall into this category. The biggest problem with these tracks is that your ass should be shaking, and it’s not. It’s even more curious as to why these tracks were featured first and fourth on the record.

Takeaway: Chk Chk Chk only partially succeeds with their newest album, which proves that the faster and more intense their songs are, the better. Listening to THR!!!ER is an up and down experience, and the only two songs that really succeed in succession are “Slyd” and “Californiyeah”, and that’s over halfway through it. This effort has produced a big handful of upbeat, catchy tracks that will translate at Chk Chk Chk’s sweaty live shows. In addition, the female voice prominently featured in this record needs to translate to the live experience. !!! should do their best to find a female mirrored version of Nic Offer for live performances – if they could find the right match for Offer’s over-the-top stage presence and alpha-male dance moves, it will take !!! to the next level.

~Mike Frash


Akron/FamilySub Verses

3.5-BamsTop Tracks:
“No Room”
“Until the Morning”
“Whole World is Watching”

Album Highlights: From the opening song “No Room”, it quickly becomes apparent that a long, epic journey in psychedelic folklore is about to transpire. Almost every song starts off on the slower side and builds into a colossal sound full of a variety of percussion and blissful guitar riffs that blend seamlessly into each other. The best example of this is in “Whole World is Watching”, which starts out with industrial sounding drums then breaks into haunting melodies. “Until the Morning”, which is the first single on the album, might be the most “normal” sounding song, but its truly beautiful, capturing the overall emotion of the album.

Album Lowlight: “Holy Boredom” was a little odd even for this album, but it serves its purpose as the transition between the lighter side of the album and the darker side. I see how this song could grow on me though.

Takeaway: This album tackles many different genres and is really a treat to listen to. The mix between psychedelic rock and folk is gaining mainstream popularity, but Akron/Family has been doing it for years and they’ve done it again. The song “Sometimes” is very gloomy and dark, yet “Sand Talk” is uplifting and very catchy. Sub Verses displays a wide range of emotions and each song evokes a different mood.

~Pete Mauch


Neon NeonPraxis Makes Perfect

3.5-BamsTop Tracks:
“Dr. Zhivago”
“Ciao Feltrinelli”
“The Jaguar”

Album Highlights: Super Furry Animal fans rejoice! There is new material, not from Super Furry Animals, but from SFA frontman Gruff Rhys. Being a long time Super Furry Animals fan, and a fan in general of everything Rhys touches, I was excited for the new Neon Neon album. Praxis Makes Perfect is the second album by Neon Neon, a collaborative project between Gruff Rhys and producer Boom Bip.

Praxis Makes Perfect continues Neon Neon’s tradition of conceptual albums. Their debut album, Stainless Style, told the life story of famous automobile engineer John DeLorean. Praxis Makes Perfect centers around the Italian publisher and political activist Giangiacomo Feltrinelli. Song titles like “Dr. Zhivago”, “The Leopard” and “Ciao Feltrinelli” pay homage to Feltrinelli’s career.

Neon Neon creates a unique blend of electronica, pop and indie rock, with a dash of 80’s smooth synth pop. Electro-heavy, Praxis Makes Perfect makes heavy use of the synthesizer. Mix the synth-heavy sounds with Gruff Rhys’s distinctive vocals and you have a catchy, poppy album.

Album Lowlight: This is a short album. Only 10 songs in length, this album clocks in at slightly over 30 minutes. I’m just getting started by the time the album finishes, leaving the listener yearning for more.

Takeaway: Praxis Makes Perfect is a great album despite it’s length. Gruff Rhys’ distinctive voice is at the forefront of this album. You may have heard Gruff Rhys on the Gorillaz’s Plastic Beach, guesting on the song “Superfast Jellyfish.”

Fans of Super Furry Animals will get their fix with this album while they await the group’s next move. I can only hope that SFA is delayed even longer in lieu of a Neon Neon tour.

~Kevin Raos

!!! (Chk Chk Chk) go deeper into embracing change and pushing boundaries

chk-chk-chkPhotos by James Nagel // Written by Molly Kish //

Showbams recently sat down with ecstatic party-starters Nic Offer (vocalist) and Mario Andreoni (guitarist) for Chk Chk Chk (!!!) hours before their headlining Noise Pop show. This performance also marked the beginning of touring and support of Chk Chk Chk’s forthcoming 5th LP Thr!!!er.

Offer and Andreoni opened up about creating new jams through a different process, bringing in Spoon drummer/producer Jim Eno to harness a greater focus, and how the new LP is different than prior albums.

READ THE FULL REVIEW FROM THEIR SHOW AT NOISE POP HERE.


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Showbams: You guys have been a band now for a little over 17 years now …

Offer: Woah, woah, woah. Jesus, easy there. We’re getting to 17 (laughs). We’re in our 16th year. It’ll be 17 this fall.

Showbams: And you’re noted for somewhat pioneering the dance-punk genre.

Offer: Umm, well yeah. You can hate us or love us for starting it all.

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Showbams: You’re also a bit of a staple on the 2013 Noise Pop bill. This isn’t your first time playing the festival, so how is this year’s performance significant?

Andreoni: We have a lot of new jams, a record coming out and different lineup than last time. That’s significant, too.

Offer: Yeah, we were just trying out a brand-new song in soundcheck. You know you write the album, then you have to learn what you wrote. There’s going to be some guess work on stage tonight. But yeah, we were just talking about the Noise Pop’s of yesteryear on the way in and there’s been some really great ones. We’re always up for a San Francisco audience, and at Noise Pop, people usually get down. So, if it’s anything like the other ones, it should be good!

Showbams: Having played various shows, venues, festivals and locations globally at this point in your career, what get’s you most pumped to be on such a lineup as Noise Pop?

Offer: It’s home-ish. You know we’re from Sacramento originally, so there are always a lot of our friends here. Seeing your friends dance in the audience is always a little more exciting. San Francisco is a big deal, it’s quite a town and the festival is just so long-standing. The first time we played it we were like, “Woah, we’re playing Noise Pop.” It’s not like the San Francisco Disco Punk Fest, we’re like, “We’re not Noise Pop …” But, but we are!

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Showbams: This is also a show leading up to the release of your fifth album Thr!!!er, coming out April 30th, and you’ve released the free digital download of “Slyd” on www.chkchkchk.net with the prelude of it being “a jam unlike jams we’ve ever done before.” How is it different?

Offer: Whelp, (looks at Andreoni), I’m just going to stop and see if you can answer that question (laughs).

Andreoni: It’s a jam we had never really had. It was sort of this high-level project we had wanted to do. Nic had suggested that we try and do sort of a “Pump Up the Volume”-type of track, and with that, we just kind of took it and ran with it. Nic and I did a lot of the “jamming” with it, and as we were piecing it together, it just felt a lot different than any of the other ways we’ve constructed a song before.

Offer: We wanted it to seem like it was made from a bunch of samples from about seven or eight different songs, like a collage piece that had some sort of center to it. It was a challenge for us. We were like, “Let’s try this and see if we can make it work.” We’ve kind of accepted the whole verse chorus verse chorus thing, so this was like a strange exercise conceptually. It was honestly really fun to work on, not having to tie it together lyrically and to figure out what kind of weird thing would happen next. It was definitely one of the funniest songs I have ever worked on.

Andreoni: So far, some of the initial responses I’ve heard is that it reminded people of Out Hud. Not having been in Out Hud myself …

Offer: You got to realize the dream, finally!

Andreoni: In spirit, there was just some sort of connection there, besides just having members.

chk chk chk

Showbams: I know you guys also recorded the album in a much more tight-knit and disciplined fashion, with help in production and engineering from Jim Eno of Spoon. Was this something that was brought about through having teamed up with him or an effort that you guys went into the studio really focusing on?

Andreoni: I think we needed more of a focus. We kept talking about who was going to be the producer and we happened to be sort of email friends with some of the people in Spoon. Things just kind of came together when we were at South by Southwest, and Nic went to visit Jim and as soon as we all assembled in the studio, we had just a big group focus the entire time we were there. There’s wasn’t a lot of dicking around.

Offer: I felt like we were definitely more disciplined working on this record, but he was definitely the taskmaster. With the six of us, you kind of need someone in charge.

Andreoni: We’ve never had anyone before say like, “This song. Let’s listen to the demo, and this is what I think is possible and let’s focus in on this song.” Before it was more like trying to get takes, assemble things post-recording, see what we can do afterward and how we can freak it out. But this time, everything was, “Let’s get to it right now!”

Offer: Just bottom line, he’s a good producer and it worked. We could feel that type of production, working with a good band.

chk-chk-chk

Showbams: What were some of the easiest and most difficult aspects of working with a fellow musician in this capacity?

Offer: I can honestly say it was one of the easiest records we made. We worked really hard, but the flow of it was good. We disagreed with him about very few things. We did, but it was just like the normal stuff. If you and I were to hang out all night, we would eventually start to have disagreements, but that’s just normal. Everything was cool, in that respect I think it was really easy.

Showbams: Many of the anticipatory descriptions from both the band and critics alike with Thr!!!er allude to it being not like any Chk Chk Chk album before, an effort made by choice to steer away from the “dance-punk” vibe of your previous four albums. What called for the change?

Andreoni: We don’t want to repeat ourselves, and with the way that the material was coming together, we just kind of went with whatever direction we were feeling on the track. The songs just kind of fell together in a different place. Before, a lot of it was that we had this sweet groove that we would just take and build on top of. With this album, there’s a little bit of that and more of a melodic structure.

Offer: Really, nobody’s successful at not changing. There’s AC/DC and Too Short, that’s it! Everyone else who’s still around changes. You have to, and the people who’ve had the longest careers like Bowie, Madonna and Blur, they’ve all changed. I feel like the basis of the group and things that we were excited by were bands that pushed and were new. So, I think we always knew that there was going to be that aspect of the band.

We knew that we would always be playing dance music because that’s how we get hit. When we saw the whole dance-rock thing happen, we knew we were going to be there afterward because it’s just what we like. But we hoped that we could push it so it felt different as well.

Chk-Chk-Chk

Chk Chk Chk “Slyd” their way through Noise Pop!!!

Chk Chk Chk
Photos by James Nagel

!!! is back, so put on your short shorts, locate those dancing shoes and get prepared to rock out and rage. Sacramento’s Chk Chk Chk pulled tracks from the scope of their discography Thursday night at Great American Music Hall in San Francisco, but new tracks from their forthcoming record Thr!!!er provided the evening highlights.

Midway throughout the set, lead singer and single-handed party starter Nic Offer launched into “Slyde,” the first track unleashed upon the (mostly) unknowing public. Those lucky enough to be in attendance at this Noise Pop-headlining event witnessed the first of a few US shows before the new LP drops in late April. Nic and the rest of the incredible band members in Chk Chk Chk have put in proper practice, because they nailed the first performance of their lead single.

Chk Chk Chk

Just as “Slyde” finished, Offer snarked “Tricky one I tell ya!” Then, for the first time of the night, the most upbeat man in music looked at his bandmates and proclaimed “We did it!!!” Offer’s joy was palpable from every corner of Great American Music Hall, and it’s moments like this that make you root for Chk Chk Chk. “You can say you were there the first time we played that.”

No one is better at showing a crowd how to get down. Climb the speaker banks at regular intervals? Check. Jump in the crowd and create a mob scene? Check. Inspire the rest of the patrons to loose their collective shit since the ceiling of temperance & reservations has been shattered by pure musical leadership? Triple chk.

Chk Chk Chk

The most certain sure thing is that Offer doesn’t do it alone. The nouveau-disco jams are steady and polished, producing a groovy canvas that allows Nic’s freak flag to fly high, and subsequently take everyone else present along for the ride.

“There’s a new album coming…You were here, so I want you to know all the lyrics.
~Nic Offer at Great American Music Hall”

Noise Pop preview: Indie music, film and art take over SF

Noise-Pop-2013

“I think our tag line “Championing Independent Culture” is an accurate description of what we are.” ~Julie Zielinski, Assistant Producer of Noise Pop

Written by Mike Frash & Molly Kish //

Noise Pop, an indie music festival that features emerging artists and living legends, is poised to take over 25 San Francisco venues from February 26th-March 3rd. It began as a one-night affair at The Independent 21 years ago, and has expanded to incorporate independent film and a wider range of art into the sphere of the week-long event.

The artist curation has also evolved over the years. “We’ve definitely extended Noise Pop as a concept. It started out so much as indie rock like Built to Spill and White Stripes,” said Julie Zielinski from Noise Pop headquarters. “But since we began Treasure Island Music Festival, we have expanded to electronic music and even hip hop a little bit.”

Subscribe to our Noise Pop 2013 Spotify playlist.

As you’ll see below, some of the best looking Noise Pop shows have already sold out. But fear not! You can purchase a Festival Badge, which is a super value for show hoppers & concert addicts. The badge grants access to all general admission (non-seated) shows, films, happy hours, Culture Club and other events during the festival.

Noise-Pop-2013

“We try to curate really unique shows and while we often have big headliners, it’s super important to us to have local bands and West Coast representation in all of the supporting acts.” ~Kelleyann Schilke, Noise Pop Production Coordinator

Noise Pop Headliners
toro-y-moi
Toro Y MoiFriday & Saturday March 1 & 2 @ The IndependentSOLD OUT Buy a badge

Coming off the recent release of his third studio album Anything in Return, Toro y Moi (aka Chaz Bundwick) brings the sexy to this year’s Noise Pop lineup. Bundwick is a “chill wave” innovator rooted deeply within the genres of R&B, Soul and Funk and now dance with the new LP. Toro Y Moi, Bundwick’s full band, will be heating up The Independent for two sold out nights. With support from Sinkane and Dogbite, prepare to leave a sweaty mess with no tread left on the soles on your shoes.

Best show to boogie your way into some baby making.


!!! (Chk Chk Chk)
!!! (chk chk chk)Thursday February 28 @ Great American Music HallBUY TICKETS

Kicking off the weekend early with some movement, bi-coastal dance-punk party starters Chk Chk Chk will be bringing down the house at Great American Music Hall. With their fifth studio album Thr!!!er dropping April 30, which the band describes as “auricular magic,” one can anticipate !!!’s first show of their tour to include a healthy dose of new material along with crowd favorites. Festival veterans, Chk Chk Chk know how to motivate crowds to get asses shaking. Nic Offer’s ecstatic outfit has the ability to continuously satisfy long term fans and blow the minds of first time witnesses. Combine that with the added support of three up and coming acts led by White Arrows, and this show is one not to miss.

Best show to gain a new appreciation for booty shorts and leave with some stellar dance moves.


Amon-Tobin
Amon Tobin (DJ set)Friday March 1 @ Public WorksBUY TICKETS

After a widely successful and rigorous schedule promoting his 2011 album ISAM, Amon Tobin brings his special blend of performance art & gritty beats to Public Works. His latest work, coming in the form of a Two Fingers album Vengeance Rythym and remixes of “Chaos Theroy,” is bound to be front and center at his Noise Pop performance, bringing to life his unique vision of “dub step built on an interplanetary level.” Accompanied by hard hitting openers Maus Haus, Naytronix and Group Rhonda, this show displays the diversity of Noise Pop 2013 by slapping you across the face with dirty electronic talent.

Best show to attend ready to rage and leave with enough optical stimulation to inspire the completion of your visual arts thesis.


Starfucker (STRFKR) Friday March 1 @ The RegencySOLD OUT Buy a badge

Polyvinyl darlings and favorites amongst the electro-indie scene, Starfucker (aka STRFKR) make their way back to the Regency Ballroom for one of the most anticipated shows of the Noise Pop 2013 Festival weekend! Celebrating the release of their forth LP Miracle Mile February 19, the boys took some risks with their songwriting and produced what is being hailed as their most ambitious effort to date. In addition to their infallible dance-floor-ready discography, expect to hear some of their recent successful experiments with funk, psychedelic pop and disco. Taking the stage after one of the strongest opening acts of the festival, Blackbird Blackbird, this show will leave you ready to take the city by storm (on your way to 1015 Folsom).

Best show to find yourself singing, jumping, dancing and/or making out with someone, whether you know ’em or not.


Rogue-Wave
Rogue WaveFriday March 1 @ Bottom Of The HillSOLD OUT Buy a badge

East Bay indie rockers Rogue Wave are headlining an intimate show with Wymond Mills, Mwahaha, and Brainstorm at Bottom of the Hill. On the heels of a cryptically announced LP that is in the works, this one of two shows Rogue Wave has on their touring calendar. Eager to debut new material and backed by a killer local line up, Rogue Wave play chaperone to a bar mitzvah of local Bay Area talent. Welcome back to Zach!

Rogue

Best show to avoid your ex that you see across the room. The one that stole your copy of Out of the Shadow and is still sporting your Rogue Wave T-shirt. Awkward …


YACHT
YACHTSaturday March 2 @ SlimsBUY TICKETS

YACHT began as Jona Bechtolt’s solo project, but at a live show you are more likely to have your eyes on singer Claire Evans. Evans officially made YACHT a twosome in 2008, and they haven’t looked back since. YACHT is much more than a creative duo that tours with a full band and recreates their digital sound with live instruments. YACHT is a movement, even a borderline religion. I’m not kidding.

Best show to Overcome Humanity and Become Your Own God


thermals
The ThermalsFriday March 1 @ Rickshaw StopSOLD OUT Buy a badge

The Thermals bring their infectious post-punk energy to Rickshaw Stop for Noise Pop 2013. Aiming to tear shit up with Bay Area bad asses Dirty Ghost’s, The She’s and EV Kain, this lineup is bursting with with raw talent and youth. The central core of Noise Pop is to feature bands on the rise in venues known for breaking new artists – to call attention to burgeoning talent, ya dig? Get on it!

Best show to watch a female spill her drink on you while pogo dancing, make fun of you for how ridiculous you look and buy you a shot in place of an apology.


Kim-Gordan
Body/HeadTuesday February 26 @ Rickshaw Stop • BUY TICKETS

One of the most anticipated and exciting acts of the Noise Pop 2013 line up, Body/Head has even the most seasoned of music professionals’ tongues wagging with predicative prose. Noise Pop Assistant Producer Julie Zielinski says, “We have some fun shows like Body/Head, Kim Gordon’s side project. The thing about this one is that really none of us have heard it, so it’s going to be this huge surprise.” An experimental project formed by indie rock legend and founding member of Sonic Youth Kim Gordon and free noise guitar superstar Bill Nace, this outfit is one that falls nicely into the Noise Pop realm.

Best show to arrive with absolutely no expectations, except that you are seeing a new act before everyone else.


Damien-Jurado
Damien JuradoSaturday March 2 @ The ChapelBUY TICKETS

Those with a proclivity toward singer-songwriters might want to check out Damien Jurado at San Francisco’s newest venue The Chapel in the Mission. Lately Jurado has been been releasing new records at a yearly clip, and he’s currently touring on his 2012 effort Maraqopa. Jurado is certainly an under-the-radar talent; his songs and discography greatly outweigh his overall success.

Best show to discover a hidden musical gem.


Catch Em Before They Blow Up
thao

“I’ve been with Noise Pop for about five to six years now, and I remember the first year I said ‘Wow, I don’t even really know a lot of these bands,’ and I consider myself pretty well versed. Then from the progression of Noise Pop, to SXSW to the next set of festivals you would see bands like the Fleet Foxes play second of four at the Bottom of the Hill, then all of the sudden they are on the front cover of all of these magazines. It’s interesting to see how people are able to trampoline onto the next thing.” ~Julie Zielinski, Assistant Producer of Noise Pop

Thao & The Get Down Stay DownSaturday March 2 @ Great American Music Hall
SOLD OUT Buy a badge

Thao Nguyen, the spark-plug front-woman for The Get Down Stay Down, is ready for the spotlight and even mainstream radio-play with the release of We the Common on February 5. Title track “We the Common (For Valerie Bolden)” will be a hit – and for a good reason. The track plays on multiple genres successfully, contrasting a bluegrass/jazz based-sound with synth hits, alt-rock beat transitions and poppy, Regina Spektor-like accessible lyrics. By the time the refrain kicks in (“Whooo-a-hooo, haha), it becomes easy to speculate that Thao and The Get Down Stay Down could have a big year.

Ty-Segall-Fuzz
FUZZFriday March 1 @ The KnockoutSOLD OUT Buy a badge

When Trouble in Mind Records received an anonymous submission by a heavy psych rock band last year, the mystery of FUZZ was born in a wall of sound. When the veil was raised, it turned out to be Ty Segall and his long-time collaborator Charlie Moothart were the creators of this new ruckus. The plot thickened when it was learned that Ty was manning the drumkit while Moothart banged out riffs heavy enough to make Sabbath blush. Bongs across America rattled as this is no average stoner rock band. The vocals are unmistakably Segall, which couldn’t fit the limited tracks any better.

Having the pleasure of seeing this band at tiny Hemlock Tavern got me excited that this was not a waste of Segall’s increasingly valuable time and effort. Having known that Ty is competent on all instruments lends perfect sense to him truly wanting to try it all, and sooner than later.
-Kevin Quandt

DIIVFriday & Saturday March 1 & 2 @ Brick & Mortar Music HallSOLD OUT Buy a badge

Beach Fossil’s Zachary Cole Smith released a whopper of a solo effort in 2012 under the aquatic-name, DIIV (Dive). Heavy on the reverb and not lacking any quality of pop shoe-gaze mentality, DIIV’s sound has a way of grabbing you and holding on as the infectious guitar hooks play over and over in your skull. Apparently the secret is out, as two Noise Pop shows sold out rather quickly. The attention is deserved.

Nosaj-Thing
Nosaj ThingThursday February 21 @ California Academy of Sciences

Nosaj Thing produces subtle yet contemporary beauty at it’s finest. It was well worth the wait for Jason Chung’s new album Home under his Nosaj Thing monicker, as this fresh batch of progressive down-beat tracks is full of his unique sound. Nosaj Thing is headlining the weekly California Academy of Sciences Nightlife February 21, the Thursday before Noise Pop week.

Scene-Unseen
Washed Out, Toro Y Moi, Young Magic Scene Unseen II • Friday March 1 @ 1015 FolsomFree with RSVP

Did you see all the sick shows happening Friday March 1st? The place to be afterwards will be at 1015 Folsom, where Washed Out (Ernest Greene) and Toro Y Moi (Chazwick Bundick) spin at this free after-party.