The Bam Team’s 5 Favorite Shows, Albums & Songs of 2019

Kali Uchis at Smokin Grooves Fest - Rochelle Shipman


Kali Uchis at Smokin Grooves Fest // Showbams’ Photo of the Year, by Rochelle Shipman

Um, that’s it? Another year in the rear-view mirror? Where the hell did the last 12 months go? Time sure does seem to fly when there’s so much good new music out there to enjoy.

With that said, it’s once again time for us to share our annual “Best of” lists like we have done the past few years (see our 2018 picks here). From new emerging artists to reunion tours to the return of rock ‘n’ roll, this year had a little bit of everything for both the casual and passionate music fan. And even if you didn’t have the time to listen to every album that came out (neither did we), that’s why we’re here: to help point you in the right direction whenever you do finally get the chance to dig in.

So, without further ado, Showbams presents The Bam Team’s five favorite shows, albums and songs from 2019.

See our favorite performances from 2019 here.

Listen to The Bam Team’s favorite songs of 2019:


The Chemical Brothers at Shrine Expo Hall - Josh Herwitt


The Chemical Brothers at Shrine Expo Hall // Photo by Josh Herwitt

Josh Herwitt // Los Angeles

Top 5 Shows of 2019
1. Tool at Staples Center – Los Angeles, CA – October 20th & 21st
Unlike the delay on Tool’s fifth album Fear Inoculum, I thankfully didn’t have to wait 13 years to see my favorite band perform live. It was only a couple of years ago when I caught the boys at The Gorge, earning top honors as my favorite show in 2017, and subsequently a week later at Glen Helen Amphitheater for an all-day affair with Primus, Clutch, Fantômas, Melvins and The Crystal Method. Perhaps my tastes haven’t changed all that much since then, but even in a year that saw me attend half as many concerts as I usually do, Tool are still finding new and innovative ways to enhance their live show. Whether it’s tinkering with their stage production to incorporate a see-through curtain at times or adding surround sound throughout the arena, a Tool performance has evolved into a spiritual, meditative and almost out-of-body experience over the last decade. It’s no wonder why scoring tickets remains a trial of good fortune.

2. The Raconteurs at Santa Barbara Bowl – Santa Barbara, CA – July 27th
3. The Chemical Brothers at Shrine Expo Hall – Los Angeles, CA – May 15th
4. Jim James & The Claypool Lennon Delirium at The Wiltern – Los Angeles, CA – July 3rd
5. Foals at Shrine Expo Hall – Los Angeles, CA – March 24th

Top 5 Albums of 2019
1. Tool – Fear Inoculum
When a three-time Grammy-winning band takes more than a decade to release its next album, it’s only natural for expectations to go through the roof. And I’ll be the first to admit that there was a small seed of doubt in my mind when it came to just how epic Tool’s latest sonic voyage in the studio could and would be. But upon first listen, any uncertainty I had about the merits of Fear Inoculum was quickly dispelled. The title track lures you in from the onset, building to a higher place as Maynard James Keenan (vocals) and company — Adam Jones (guitar), Justin Chancellor (bass) and Danny Carey (drums, percussion) — take listeners on an 80-minute rite of passage that holds up as some of the quartet’s best material in its entire catalog. I just hope they got at least one more LP in them, even if it takes another 13 years to make.

2. The Raconteurs – Help Us Stranger
3. Foals – Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost – Part 1
4. The Chemical Brothers – No Geography
5. Black Pumas – Black Pumas

Top 5 Songs of 2019
1. Tool – “Descending”
If you’re still reading, you’ve probably gotten the hint by now that I’m a big fan of Tool. After all, it only seemed fitting that my top song in 2019 should also come from my No. 1 album of the year by my favorite band over the last two decades. I have seen Tool perform a shortened version of “Descending” several times since 2014, before it ever had an official title, so when Fear Inoculum arrived back in August, there was no track I anticipated hearing more. In fact, at more than 13 minutes long, it’s one that requires your full, undivided attention, which can be a significant amount of time to dedicate in a world of three-minute pop songs and endless distractions now. But for prog-rock enthusiasts like myself who are more than willing to take the ride, “Descending” delivers a total rush of blood to the head that ultimately leads to pure unadulterated euphoria.

2. Bon Iver – “Hey, Ma”
3. Hot Chip – “Hungry Child”
4. Foals – “On the Luna”
5. Karen O and Danger Mouse – “Turn the Light”


Cate Le Bon - Reward

Kevin Quandt // San Francisco

Top 5 Shows of 2019
1. Stereolab at Primavera Sound – Barcelona, Spain – June 1st
Primavera Sound has always had a knack for booking reunions (i.e. Pulp, The Avalanches and Pavement) to its “musical mecca” on the Balearic Sea. 2019’s iteration featured the first proper show in nearly a decade from the anti-capitalist art-pop darlings Stereolab. “Come and Play in the Milky Night” on 1999’s Cobra and Phases Group Play Voltage in the Milky Night would open the evening to the international consortium of aging music nerds who undoubtedly knew that they were about to be treated to a “best of” set from the English-French outfit. Better yet, their politically themed lyrical content seemed more relevant in 2019 than it was around the time of their creation a quarter-century ago.

2. Mike Dillon’s New Orleans Punk Rock Percussion Consortium at The Music Box Village – New Orleans, LA – April 26th
3. BLACK MIDI at Rickshaw Stop – San Francisco, CA – November 21st
4. Amen Dunes at August Hall – San Francisco, CA – January 10th
5. Ween at Desert Daze – Perris, CA – October 12th

Top 5 Albums of 2019
1. Cate Le Bon – Reward
What a banner year for the Welsh artist as she created her most highly acclaimed LP to date. Le Bon has truly honed her craft over the last decade as she has collaborated with a laundry list of indie-music royalty before writing the whimsical and austere Reward that employs an array of fresh sounds swirling around her haunting, pixie vocals. 2020 will see Cate jump on tour alongside Kurt Vile in a solo capacity, but we can’t wait to see what she produces next.

2. Wand – Laughing Matter
3. (Sandy) Alex G – House of Sugar
4. The Murder Capital – When I Have Fears
5. Omni – Networker

Top 5 Songs of 2019
1. Foals – “Sunday”
As Foals teeter on the edge of being rock’s next big headliner, the British group semi-quietly unleashed a pair of albums entitled Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost – Part 1 and Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost – Part 2. While their style continues to hover around math, dance and indie rock, they dig into a deeper realm of sonic atmosphere as frontman Yannis Philippakis questions, even laments, the state of our current times. “Sunday” tends to borrow a tad from the grandiose nature of their fellow Brits in Coldplay before dropping into a four-on-the-floor section that was rather well-received during their March stop at the Fox Theater in Oakland.

2. Crumb – “Ghostride”
3. Vampire Weekend – “Sunflower” feat. Steve Lacy
4. Oh Sees – “Henchlock”
5. Allah-Las – “In the Air”


Rochelle Shipman // Los Angeles

Top 5 Shows of 2019
1. slowthai at Lodge Room – Los Angeles, CA – September 4th
Shortly after releasing his debut album Nothing Great About Britain in May, Tyron Frampton played a few intimate U.S. shows several months later. My guess is that those were probably the last ones he’ll do if the UK rapper out of Northampton continues to rise and deliver, just like he did for much of 2019. Part Johnny Knoxville-type grime smart ass, part brilliant gritty-crust punk, slowthai shook the roof off LA’s Lodge Room, which turned out to be a warm-up show before he returned to play Camp Flog Gnaw in November. Frampton certainly came to please, setting the energy level at 11 and even performing his rowdy hit “Doorman” twice in the set. He could’ve run through it 15 times and the crowd would’ve left just as satisfied.

2. Little Simz at The Echo – Los Angeles, CA – June 13th
3. Taking Back Sunday at Hollywood Palladium – Los Angeles, CA – April 11th
4. Night Moves at The Echo – Los Angeles, CA – September 21st
5. Usher at Smokin Grooves Fest – Long Beach, CA – June 15th

Top 5 Albums of 2019
1. Little Simz – GREY Area
The production. The flow. The bars. The BALLS. Little Simz absolutely brings it on GREY Area, leaving no space for second-guessing, sexist bullshit or honestly anyone else at all. This latest studio album from the British emcee is all her, and you can feel it with every breath she takes. We should all be so lucky to come into our confidence the way that she did on this record, but most of all, we should just be grateful “Simbi” trusts us to keep her deepest secrets — and that they sound so, so good.

2. slowthai – Nothing Great About Britain
3. Shura – forevher
4. Ari Lennox – Shea Butter Baby
5. White Reaper – You Deserve Love

Top 5 Songs of 2019
1. slowthai – “Doorman” (with Mura Masa)
This song technically dropped in 2018, but its spotlight was shone even wider with slowthai releasing his debut LP this year. The Mura Masa-assisted cut pulses with adrenaline, carries the air of a movie soundtrack in only three minutes and has a beat that will take you all the way to the moon and back. In the words of Lizzo, it’s a whole damn meal!

2. Kari Faux – “Latch Key”
3. Billie Eilish – “bury a friend”
4. Little Simz – “Venom”
5. Smino – “Trina”


Tool - Fear Inoculum

Andrew Pohl // San Francisco

Top 5 Shows of 2019
1. IDLES – Fillmore – San Francisco, CA – October 10th
After putting out one of my favorite albums from 2018 and missing their show earlier this year, I was thrilled to finally catch IDLES live. To say that these English punk rockers put on a good performance would be a true understatement. They had the energy of an out-of-control freight train but were able to contain it while proving to be an incredibly fun act to see live. Frontman Joe Talbot engaged with the audience in a very authentic way, talking and singing to fans, not just at them. There were crowd-surfing guitarists, mosh pits and sing-a-longs … it was wild.

2. Punk Rock Bowling 2019 – Las Vegas, NV – May 23rd-27th
3. Judas Priest at The Warfield – San Francisco, CA – June 24th
4. Van’s Warped Tour 2019 at Shoreline Amphitheater – Mountain View, CA – July 20th-21st
5. ITCHY-O at Cornerstone – Berkeley, CA – November 23rd

Top 5 Albums of 2019
1. Tool – Fear Inoculum
Well, after all of the waiting and speculation, Tool have done it again, in a really big way. Fear Inoculum is everything that I was hoping it would be, and then some. HUGE-sounding drums, guitars and bass wrap your head in a warm prog blanket while Maynard does what he always has so well. It takes the best parts of their previous albums and combines them to showcase a band that has clearly not missed a step in the 13 years since 10,000 Days.

2. Bad Religion – Age of Unreason
3. Brittany Howard – Jaime
4. Catbite – Catbite
5. Plague Vendor – By Night

Top 5 Songs of 2019
1. The Hammerbombs – “I Hate Cars”
The Hammerbombs are an undersung Bay Area pop-punk group that have written some of the catchiest and fun songs I have heard from the East Bay scene in a long time. Their 2019 release Goodbye, Dreamboat made my top 10, and this track is the hands-down standout on an album chock-full of toe-tappers. It’s a heartfelt song written by singer and bassist Jen Louie, who has a knack for crafting some really fantastic tunes. The chorus is saccharine sweet, and you can’t help but sing along.

2. Lizzo – “Juice”
3. Bad Religion – “Do The Paranoid Style”
4. Ceremony – “In The Spirit World Now”
5. Lagwagon – “Surviving California”

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The Bam Team’s 5 Favorite Shows, Albums & Songs of 2018

David Byrne at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium


David Byrne at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium // Showbams’ Photo of the Year, by Tim O’Shea

We have to be honest: 2018 was kind of a weird year for music. Sure, there were some major highlights — many of them listed below, in fact — but we also saw a serious changing of the guard. The decline of mainstream rock and the continued rise of hip-hop, R&B and pop was more noticeable than ever, from this year’s Coachella lineup to the cancellation of FYF Fest, making us wonder what the next twist or turn will be for the industry now that the demand for EDM has started to cool off following its boom circa 2012. That said, we still listened to a lot of new albums and caught plenty of concerts over the last 12 months, and it’s once again time for us to share our annual “Best of” lists, much like we have done over the past several years (see our 2017 picks here).

So, without further ado, Showbams presents The Bam Team’s five favorite shows, albums and songs from 2018.

See our favorite performances from 2018 here.

Listen to The Bam Team’s favorite songs of 2018:


Jamiroquai at Coachella 2018


Jamiroquai at Coachella 2018 // Photo courtesy of Coachella

Josh Herwitt // Los Angeles

Top 5 Shows of 2018
1. Queens of the Stone Age at The Forum – Inglewood, CA – February 17th
Just more than two months after his infamous assault on a photographer at The Forum for KROQ’s Almost Acoustic Christmas, Queens of the Stone Age leader Josh Homme made his return to the LA arena for a proper, sold-out affair with UK rock duo Royal Blood delivering what proved to be a headbanging opening set. From there, it only got better as Homme and the boys dazzled with a headlining performance that even included Villains producer Mark Ronson sitting in for most of the five-song encore and the band’s live debut of its “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” cover. You can bet Elton John, whom Homme actually collaborated with during the writing and recording of QOTSA’s sixth album …Like Clockwork, would have been proud. I always know when I’ve seen a good rock ‘n’ roll show because my neck will be sore the following day, but after this one, it was sore for the next three days. Ouch.

2. Nine Inch Nails at Hollywood Palladium – Los Angeles, CA – December 12th, 14th-15th
3. Jamiroquai at Coachella, Weekend 1 – Indio, CA – April 13th
4. David Byrne at Santa Barbara Bowl – Santa Barbara, CA – August 24th
5. Foo Fighters/Nirvana reunion at Cal Jam 18 – San Bernadino, CA – October 6th

Top 5 Albums of 2018
1. Jungle – For Ever
Unlike previous years, picking a favorite album in 2018 wasn’t quite as easy for me. I’ll admit that I didn’t hear every one that was released this year, but I listened to a lot of them. So, call me boring and short-sighted if you like, but nothing totally knocked my socks off. After much deliberation, it was Jungle’s sophomore LP For Ever that stood the test of time for me (no pun intended). The English soul collective’s follow-up to its 2014 self-titled debut doesn’t veer off in a completely different direction from what came before, but it still moves the sonic needle forward enough. After two full lengths, Jungle have shown a knack for writing catchy, dance-fueled tunes that transport you to a different time and place — even if it’s only for a three- or four-minute stretch.

2. Khruangbin – Con Todo El Mundo
3. Arctic Monkeys – Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino
4. Kamasi Washington – Heaven and Earth
5. Big Red Machine – Big Red Machine

Top 5 Songs of 2018
1. Nine Inch Nails – “Over and Out”
When I first listened to Bad Witch, I immediately knew this one was my favorite track on the album. But hearing it performed live on the final night of NIN’s “Cold and Black and Infinite” North American tour sealed it for top honors in 2018. Layering a brooding, yet funky bass line on top of a glitchy, experimental beat, Trent Reznor shows that he isn’t just playing it safe and merely saving his creativity for scoring films with bandmate and longtime collaborator Atticus Ross. You can tell Reznor had his late friend David Bowie in mind when he wrote the song too as he conjures up an even deeper baritone from behind the microphone than the one we have come to know over the last 30 years.

2. Childish Gambino – “This Is America”
3. Jungle – “Heavy, California”
4. Wild Nothing – “Partners in Motion”
5. The Raconteurs – “Now That You’re Gone”


Richard Russell - Everything Is Recorded

Molly Kish // San Francisco

Top 5 Shows of 2018
1. David Byrne at Fox Theater Oakland – Oakland, CA – August 16th
In support of his seventh solo album American Utopia, musical virtuoso David Byrne hit the road for one of this year’s most creative and ambitious tours. Over more than 150 dates that spanned the entire globe, the 66-year-old delivered Broadway-caliber performances with a traveling 11-piece band that served as a traveling retrospective of his solo and collaborative work. Meanwhile, the tour also doubled as a platform for him to deliver his “Reasons to Be Cheerful” manifestos on civic engagement, climate/energy, culture, economics, education, health, science/technology and urban transportation. He partnered with HeadCount while encouraging audiences every night to engage in public discourse through social media and their own personal stories on his website. And as a result, Byrne elevated the concert-going experience into more of an interactive, performance-art space that his fans became a living, breathing part of.

2. Young Fathers at The Independent – San Francisco, CA – November 10th
3. Erykah Badu & Thundercat at The Armory – San Francisco, CA – February 14th
4. Beck at The Independent – San Francisco, CA – August 8th
5. LCD Soundsystem with TV on the Radio at Greek Theatre Berkeley – Berkeley, CA – April 27th-28th

Top 5 Albums of 2018
1. Richard Russell – Everything Is Recorded by Richard Russell
A multi-artist project released as the debut album of XL Recordings founder Richard Russell, Everything Is Recorded is collaborative effort representing the ties between past and present sounds currently shaping the framework of hip-hop, funk and soul. Featuring collaborations with Sampha, Kamasi Washington, Syd, Damon Albarn, Peter Gabriel, Ibeyi, Obongjayar and more, the album also plays as the soundtrack to a 30-minute film, which documents the time each spent in the studio during its conception and is interspliced with archival footage of Gil Scott-Heron and Curtis Mayfield. With its underlying themes of loss and isolation, Everything Is Recorded effectively communicates Russell’s emotional journey as he battles a debilitating autoimmune disease in hope of finding salvation through the shared experience of creating a beautifully mastered piece of art.

2. George Fitzgerald – All That Must Be
3. Pusha T – DAYTONA
4. Robyn – Honey
5. Khruangbin – Con Todo El Mundo

Top 5 Songs of 2018
1. Childish Gambino – “This Is America”
If any song embodied the insanity and collective discontent of 2018, it was definitely Childish Gambino’s epic single “This Is America”. The juxtaposition of an a cappella choir leading into Donald Glover’s soft crooning over island beats and drum samples before staunchly diverting to a menacing base line reminiscent of 90’s gangster rap — as well as the hortative delivery of degrading lyrics about the current state of violence and American ideals — is near-perfect. Of course, the provocative music video that accompanied the track’s surprise release during his “Saturday Night Live” debut was incredible. The song, lyrics, video and marketing campaign could not have been a more flawless “slice of life” reflection of modern American society and justifiably has boomeranged into probably the most important moment of Childish Gambino’s career so far.

2. The Presets – “Downtown Shutdown”
3. Jon Hopkins – “Everything Connected”
4. Jungle – “Casio”
5. Parquet Courts – “Wide Awake”


Kevin Quandt // San Francisco

Top 5 Shows of 2018
1. David Byrne at Jazzfest – New Orleans, LA – April 29th
You know what they say: the first time is always the best. With David Byrne’s 2018 “American Utopia Tour” being universally acclaimed as one of the most enigmatic live shows of the year, it’s not surprising to see it top other “Best of” lists. Byrne and his merry band of “unplugged” pranksters created a feast for the eyes and ears, and his daytime set on the Gentilly Stage did not disappoint at all. While his Fox Theater Oakland shows were more intimate and featured some more dynamic lighting features, his performance at Jazzfest back in April was the most memorable for NOLA revelers.

2. Jamiroquai at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium – San Francisco, CA – April 17th
3. Polo & Pan at The Independent – San Francisco, CA – June 20th
4. Nine Inch Nails at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium – San Francisco, CA – December 4th
5. Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever at Primavera Sound – Barcelona, Spain – June 2nd

Top 5 Albums of 2018
1. Khruangbin – Con Todo El Mundo
What a banner year for this Texas trio! Khruangbin have been on a steady rise the past few years as they turn on the masses to their infectious amalgamation of psychedelic soul, Thai surf rock and subtle funk. Having cemented their reputation as beasts in a live setting, Con Todo El Mundo proved their knack for penning tunes of equal strength with its emotive first single “Friday Morning” serving as a clear standout. “Evan Finds the Third Room” has also become a fan favorite, and the accompanying music video only lends to its growing charm. The sky’s the limit for Laura, Mark and DJ, so grab your ticket to fly.

2. Hookworms – Microshift
3. Amen Dunes – Freedom
4. Shame – Songs of Praise
5. Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks – Sparkle Hard

Top 5 Songs of 2018
1. Jonathan Wilson – “Trafalgar Square”
LA producer-turned-frontman Jonathan Wilson churned out one helluva album opener for his third solo LP Rare Birds, as this six-plus-minute romp has all the right pieces for true liftoff. A proper intro leads into a riff so heavy that it’ll break your mama’s back. Top-notch production is key to this track, as Wilson is a wiz behind the boards. As you cruise down the 405 with this whopper blaring, you’d be hard-pressed not to nod along. Extra points for those of you with a 1970’s convertible, too.

2. Tom Misch – “Water Baby” feat. Loyle Carner
3. Childish Gambino – “This Is America”
4. Jonathan Something – “Happy Day”
5. Men I Trust – “Seven”


Shame - Songs of Praise

Andrew Pohl // San Francisco

Top 5 Shows of 2018
1. The Smashing Pumpkins at Oracle Arena – Oakland, CA – August 27th
The Smashing Pumpkins are the quintessential 90’s arena-rock band, and they fully lived up to that billing at Oracle Arena for their Bay Area stop over the summer. I’ve seen them several times over the years, and although this time it was pegged as a “reunion tour” (minus D’Arcy, sigh), you never know what you’re going to get from them. Billy Corgan led the band through over three hours’ worth of material with some killer stage production to go with it. The show was definitely a marathon, but totally worth being there for. It came to light later that Corgan was also fighting off a bad case of food poisoning, but it didn’t show. It was great to see James Iha and Jimmy Chamberlain back onstage, too — the way it should be.

2. Nine Inch Nails at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium – San Francisco, CA – December 3rd
3. Against Me! & Turbonegro at UC Theatre – Berkeley, CA – May 25th
4. Alkaline Trio at The Warfield – San Francisco, CA – October 6th
5. Back To The Beach Festival – Huntington Beach, CA – April 28th-29th

Top 5 Albums of 2018
1. Shame – Songs of Praise
This album hit me like a ton of bricks in the best way. I had heard a ton of hype around Songs of Praise before giving it a first listen, and usually I am a healthy skeptic, but good Lord, does this record rip. It has a dark flavor and carries with it a lot of angst, and you can’t help but get caught up in the hooks that Shame offer. These five lads from South London simply killed it.

2. IDLES – Joy as an Act of Resistance
3. Kamasi Washington – Heaven and Earth
4. Hot Snakes – Jericho Sirens
5. Snail Mail – Lush

Top 5 Songs of 2018
1. Shame – “Concrete”
Conjuring up the ghost of Joy Division’s Ian Curtis without sounding like a complete poser is challenging for newer post-punk bands it seems — except for Shame’s Charlie Steen. Paired with some brilliant instrumentation, I just couldn’t stop listening to “Concrete” when I first heard it. I must have listened to the track a solid 10 times in a row on the first go. This song has an infectious quality to it and is a straight-up ripper.

2. The Soft White Sixties – “I Still Love You, San Francisco”
3. Hot Snakes – “Six Wave Hold-Down”
4. IDLES – “Colossus”
5. The Sword – “Come and Gone”

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Lil Yachty continues to carve out his own path in SF

Lil YachtyPhotos by Lisette Worster // Written by Brett Ruffenach //

Lil Yachty //
The Warfield – San Francisco
September 21st, 2017 //

We’ve certainly arrived at a unique point in hip-hop. As the internet continually levels the playing field for how artists release music, we’re seeing styles of a once easily identifiable genre become increasingly fragmented.

Case in point: Lil Yachty.

The Atlanta native turned heads in 2015 with his viral hit “1 Night” and has since carved out a unique following by turning his self-described “bubblegum trap” into, arguably, a completely new genre. Riding a wave of success built on Instagram and Soundcloud while hitting nearly every major festival around the world, Lil’ Yachty brought his crew to The Warfield for a night of bubblegum trap last Thursday.

With no official support listed on the bill, the venue slowly filled in after opening its doors. After the DJ warmed up the crowd by switching roughly every two minutes between today’s biggest hip-hop bangers — Travis Scott’s “Antidote”, Kendrick Lamar’s “HUMBLE.” and of course, Cardi B’s “Bodak Yellow” — Lil Yachty’s entourage, The Boat Crew, took the stage. First up was TheGoodPerry (born Perry Paris Moise), who was celebrating his 21st birthday, and at one point, Lil Yachty even came out to contribute vocals on a song and afterward led the crowd in a singing of “Happy Birthday” for Moise. It was an endearing, if not awkward, gesture from the evening’s headliner.

With a new emcee coming out every two or three songs, The Boat Crew’s remaining cast of JBANS$, EarlThePearll and BigBruthaChubba continued to make their way to the stage. Yet, each of them displayed a stunning disinterest in, well, actually rapping. As the DJ changed the song every 90 seconds, music came blaring out of the PA system with a backing track to cover for the many moments in which a performer either forgot the words, ran out of breath between rhymes or was busy grabbing a fan’s phone to take a selfie. Furthermore, The Boat Crew repeatedly counted down to the next beat drop in what felt like some sort of half-assed attempt to keep the crowd hyped.

Lil Yachty

Kodie Shane wrapped up The Boat Crew’s time onstage. With a bit more variation in sound than your standard auto-tune and trap, the female emcee brought a new energy to the stage, running from one side to another and ending things on a high note.

As the 25-minute intermission passed, fans eagerly waited for the headliner to take the stage. Pulling the tablecloths from the objects they had been covering onstage, it became clear that Lil Yachty’s stage design was a late-night talk show set.

“The Lil Boat Show” opened with a recorded message from Lil Yachty thanking the crowd for coming and supporting him. Subsequently, Lil Yachty himself jumped onstage and kicked off a 75-minute set with hits like “Harley”, “Minnesota” and “Fresh of The Boat”. With each track, Yachty demonstrated a sense of focus and vocal power completely set apart from the previous performance by The Boat Crew. Not relying solely on drop after drop, he mixed up the energy with more brooding tracks like “Lady in the Yellow” and “Peek a Boo”.

Lil Yachty has certainly carved out his own path in the world of hip-hop and with it, has captured the attention of an increasingly distracted generation. Watching him jump from track to track, the sense of excitement I witnessed in the audience was perhaps the most memorable part of the entire experience. Dressed in a variety of styles that triangulated between androgynous, hip-hop and hipster, it makes sense that his debut LP was titled Teenage Emotions.

Like many musical styles, Lil Yachty’s felt like one for the kids who want to demonstrate their weirdness and individuality. And for one night in SF, they got to express that weirdness. Even though Lil Yachty’s music might not be for me, it means a lot to many — and that’s something worth recognizing.

Gucci Mane brings his ‘Trap God Tour’ to the Bay

Gucci ManeBy Marc Fong //

Gucci Mane //
The Warfield – San Francisco
April 17th, 2017 //

If you mention trap in the context of Southern hip-hop, the first name that should come to mind is Gucci Mane.

The Atlanta native has been a busy man since being released from prison last year. Back in December, he dropped his 10th studio album titled The Return of East Atlanta Santa, which boasts collaborations with Drake and Travis Scott, and has been perfecting his live show in the meantime.

Hitting the road for his “Trap God Tour” in support of the new LP, Gucci paid a visit to SF in between his performances at Coachella and fans who made it to The Warfield on a Monday night weren’t disappointed with what they witnessed. To say the least, it was a show to be experienced and not just seen.

Setlist:
Classical (Intro)
Both
1st Day Out Tha Feds
Play Video
Back on Road
I Think I Love Her (Greg Street cover)
I Don’t Love Her
Bricks
Lemonade
Freaky Gurl
Photoshoot
Pillz (I Might Be)
Black Beatles (Rae Sremmurd cover)
St. Brick
Trap House 3
Last Time
My Kitchen
Trap House
I’m a Dog
Vette Pass By
Pussy Print
Gucci Please
Make Love
Steady Mobbin
Nuthin’ on You
Fuck 12o
Heavy
Make Tha Trap Say Aye (OJ da Juiceman cover)
Slippery (Migos cover)
Making Love to the Money
Wasted
First Day Out

MØ exhibits no shortage of energy at The Warfield

MØPhotos by Norm de Veyra // Written by Kastania Victoria //

with Tei Shi //
The Warfield – San Francisco
March 19th, 2017 //

A packed house at The Warfield on a Sunday night welcomed the return of Danish singer and songwriter MØ (born Karen Marie Asgaard Ørsted), whose last Bay Area performance back in 2014 was a memorable one — when she wore an eye patch on the first day of Treasure Island Music Festival (read our review here) due to an eye infection.

Ørsted made mention of this at The Warfield, asking the crowd if it remembered her “pirate look from last time,” but she still harnessed a lighthearted, yet hyperactive and pumped-up attitude while onstage. The 28-year-old not only had the audience jumping the entire time, but she also came off casually fluid.

In the middle of her set, MØ went up to the venue’s balcony to perform amongst her fans. As she danced along to the music, it became clear that this was one of the best shows I’ve seen so far this year.

Setlist:
Don’t Wanna Dance
Waste of Time
Slow Love
Kamikaze
Riot Gal
All I Do
One More (Elliphant cover)
Dust Is Gone
Maiden
Pilgrim
Drum
Cold Water (Major Lazer cover)
True Romance
Glass
Final Song

Encore:
Don’t Leave (Snakehips & MØ cover)
Lean On (Major Lazer cover)

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

Danny Brown


Danny Brown at The Regency Ballroom // Showbams’ Photo of the Year, by James Pawlish

Time flies when you’re having fun, right? Well, while we’re still wondering where the past 12 months have went, 2016 proved to be bittersweet for the entire music community. With David Bowie, Glenn Frey, Paul Kanter, Phife Dawg, Merle Haggard, Prince, Leonard Cohen, Sharon Jones and most recently George Michael all leaving us too soon, it’s been a rough ride to say the least. But amid all the heartbreak, we experienced plenty of amazing moments in music from January to December, and now it’s time for us to once again unveil our annual “Best of” lists just like we did in 2015.

So, without further ado, Showbams presents The Bam Team’s five favorite shows, albums and songs from 2016.

The 25 Best Live Music Acts of 2016

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


Jim James at Orpheum Theatre


Jim James at Orpheum Theatre // Photo by Josh Herwitt

Josh Herwitt // Los Angeles

Top 5 Shows of 2016
1. LCD Soundsystem at Coachella Music and Arts Festival, Weekend 1 – Indio, CA – April 8th
When reports started swirling around this time last year that LCD Soundsystem would reunite to headline Coachella a few months later, it was a chance to relive that one time I saw them on the same polo field six years earlier — the only time I was lucky enough to see James Murphy and company in action before they called it quits way too early. And while band reunions at Coachella are starting to feel like a gimmick these days, LCD had already played a couple of warm-up shows back home in New York by the time they stepped foot on the main stage for their highly anticipated headlining set at the Empire Polo Club. They didn’t perform any new material like some fans may have hoped they would, but rather a setlist laced with hits that also included their live debut of David Bowie’s “Heroes” as well as a nod to fellow headliner Guns N’ Roses. And as the final words to “All My Friends” left Murphy’s mouth that night, I walked away still buzzing from what I had just witnessed.

2. Radiohead at Shrine Auditorium – Los Angeles, CA – August 8th
3. Jim James at Orpheum Theatre – Los Angeles, CA – December 9th
4. Temple of the Dog at The Forum – Inglewood, CA – November 14th
5. Pretty Lights (Live) at Santa Barbara Bowl – Santa Barbara, CA – November 10th

Top 5 Albums of 2016
1. Moderat – III
With so many excellent albums being released each year, picking a favorite is never an easy task — but this year felt even more difficult than usual. And although I’ll admit I didn’t have time to hear every LP that dropped in 2016, it was hard not to choose Moderat’s latest studio effort after much thought and consideration. Time after time, I found myself coming back to III after countless listens. From the record’s opening track “Eating Hooks” to its initial single “Reminder”, the Berlin trio seems to get better and better with each release. As difficult as it can be to describe Moderat’s music, there’s something about the way Sascha Ring’s emotive vocals pair perfectly with the supergroup’s haunting melodies that makes III‘s repeatability incredibly strong. I guess the third time really is the charm for these three gents.

2. Jim James – Eternally Even
3. Anderson .Paak – Malibu
4. RadioheadA Moon Shaped Pool
5. Kendrick Lamar – untitled unmastered

Top 5 Songs of 2016
1. Jim James – “Here in Spirit”
My Morning Jacket frontman Jim James often receives praise for his unique singing style, but the Louisville native’s songwriting chops remain equally impressive. On his sophomore solo album Eternally Even, James takes a more political stance than what he devised for his 2013 debut Regions of Light and Sound of God. What results is some of James’ most poignant and inspiring material to date, including the soulfully psychedelic cut “Here in Spirit” that bats third in the LP’s nine-track lineup. With lines like “No compromise / But willing to sacrifice / Believe what you want / Go on and be who you are / Go out and get what you want” to open the song, James empowers his listeners to not sit on the sidelines and instead, speak up for what they believe in. He might not be able to solve the world’s problems, but “Yim Yames” knows how to make you think about the issues that matter.

2. Moderat – “Reminder”
3. Glass Animals – “Youth”
4. Tycho – “Division”
5. Run the Jewels – “Legend Has It”


Brainfeed at Fox Theater Oakland


Brainfeeder at Fox Theater Oakland // Photo by Marc Fong

Molly Kish // San Francisco

Top 5 Shows of 2016
1. Brainfeeder at Fox Theater Oakland – Oakland, CA – September 15th
This showcase featuring artists from Flying Lotus’ label, including himself, was an experience to behold. No matter who you went to see on this night, eyes were opened and brains were fed — so to speak — thanks to the sonic diversions that continue to make Brainfeeder one of the most important players in shaping the future of music.

2. Danny Brown at The Regency Ballroom – San Francisco, CA – October 11th
3. James Blake at Fox Theater Oakland – Oakland, CA – October 17th
4. Erykah Badu at The Warfield – San Francisco, CA – November 15th
5. Black Madonna at Public Works SF – San Francisco, CA – November 18th

Top 5 Albums of 2016
1. Anderson .Paak – Malibu
Elevating the current state of hip-hop by ultimately bringing it back to its jazz roots, Malibu finally brought Anderson .Paak the credit he sorely deserved. The 16-track album boasts an intricately curated, eclectic roster of recording, production and songwriting talent. Easily the most important sophomore full-length release of the year, Malibu opened a brand-new door to a musical stratosphere that .Paak was born to commandeer.

2. Kendrick Lamar – untitled unmastered
3. Kanye West – The Life of Pablo
4. The Avalanches – Wildflower
5. A Tribe Called Quest – We Got It From Here… Thank You 4 Your Service

Top 5 Songs of 2016
1. Solange – “Cranes in the Sky”
Another career-skyrocketing release of 2016 that was introduced to the world through this single, “Cranes in the Sky” helped bring attention to “the younger Knowles sister” as a force to be reckoned with. Amidst a track list of powerful ballads and political anthems, this song delivers a personal testimony of introspection that humanizes Solange in a way most artists are too afraid to convey. The track, which was delivered through a series of avant-garde music videos, shook the world of modern soul and R&B with one of 2016’s most influential power moves.

2. Chance the Rapper – “All Night”
3. Blood Orange – “Best to You”
4. Kaytranada – “LITE SPOTS”
5. Flume – “Never Be Like You” feat. Kai


YG at The Wiltern


YG at The Wiltern // Photo by Joseph Gray

Joseph Gray // Los Angeles

Top 5 Shows of 2016
1. Kanye West at The Forum – Inglewood, CA – November 1st
Prior to its bizarre, abrupt ending that included a long-winded tirade critical of Beyoncé and some outspoken support for President-elect Donald Trump, Kanye West’s “Saint Pablo Tour” was a once-in-a-lifetime party. Seriously. In LA, the show featured a floating, illuminated and spaceship-like stage that traveled back and forth — while raging youngsters moshed below — to give everybody a great view of their favorite contradiction and/or superhero, who was later hospitalized due to a reported “psychiatric emergency.” With the elevated platform, a smiling and dancing West manned through his conflicts, happiness and faith, reminding us of why he provides the unmistakable feel-good vibes that only he can bring.

2. Young Thug at The Fonda Theatre – Los Angeles, CA – May 16th
3. Isaiah Rashad at Echoplex – Los Angeles, CA – November 14th
4. Jhene Aiko at Avalon Hollywood – Los Angeles, CA – November 21st
5. YG at The Wiltern – Los Angeles, CA – November 29th

Top 5 Albums of 2016
1. Anderson .Paak – Malibu
The unearthed gem on rap legend Dr. Dre’s long-awaited Compton opus a year prior, Southern California rapper, singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist (he really does it all) Anderson .Paak kicked open the door to his fully-formed world of warm, unbridled expressiveness and raspy soul with Malibu. Brilliantly combining funk and jazz-filled triumphs (“Come Down”) and hip-hop’s reflective grit (“The Season/Carry Me”) with distinct and sprawling elegance (“Room in Here”), .Paak unquestionably put his mark on 2016. A detailed dot (just like the one in .Paak’s moniker), you better not forget it because Malibu proved that you have to pay attention to everything his name is attached to.

2. A Tribe Called Quest – We Got It From Here… Thank You 4 Your Service
3. Young Thug – Jeffery
4. NxWorries – Yes Lawd!
5. Kanye West – The Life of Pablo

Top 5 Songs of 2016
1. A Tribe Called Quest – “We the People…”
In a year drenched in political prejudices and panic for many citizens in the U.S., Q-Tip roared through the darkness over the funkiest of synths: “We don’t believe you ’cause we the people / Are still here in the rear / Yo, we don’t need you.” A message that echoed even louder after the presidential election, one of the standouts tracks from their celebrated final LP We Got It From Here… Thank You 4 Your Service invigorates a culture seemingly under attack more than ever.

2. Anderson .Paak – “Come Down”
3. Kanye West – “Real Friends”
4. Anderson .Paak – “Room in Here” feat. The Game & Sonyae Elise
5. Kendrick Lamar – “untitled 07 | 2014 – 2016”


Radiohead at Outside Lands 2016


Radiohead at Outside Lands 2016 // Photo by by James Pawlish

Brett Ruffenach // San Francisco

Top 5 Shows of 2016
1. Kanye West at T-Mobile Arena – Las Vegas, NV – October 29th
In some ways, there’s an unspoken hierarchy to the live-concert experience. The structure is simple — the closer you are to the front of the stage, the better your experience is, the bigger the fan that you are. Only the “rail riders” are the truest fans. In my experience seeing Kanye West’s “Saint Pablo Tour” in Las Vegas — a performance that ended up being one of his last uninterrupted shows prior to a breakdown and a subsequent cancellation of several future dates — he not only completely destroyed the hierarchy, he reinvented what a concert can be. Under a floodlight-filled sky, he spent 90 minutes on a floating stage playing a nonstop show that brought out a level of hype in the crowd I’m not sure I’ve ever seen before. On the floor, underneath the stage, you are instantly a part of the performance. As the stage moved back and forth across the arena, West captured a sense of connection with fans, making it nearly impossible to not scream every damn word to every damn song. It was an emotional roller coaster filled with adrenaline (“Black Skinhead”, “Father Stretch My Hands”), joy (“Waves”, “Fade”), swagger (“Can’t Tell Me Nothing”, “Heartless”) and some transcendent moments so intense during reworked songs like “Only One” and “Ultralight Beam” that many in the crowd (myself included) couldn’t help but be brought to tears. I’ve never seen a concert like this one and will probably never see something like it again. But for those 90 minutes as I jumped and sang with my brothers and friends, there was no world outside of Kanye’s floating stage. It’s a memory that I will cherish for the rest of my life as Kanye proved to us there is no hip-hop artist in the world doing what he’s doing.

2. LCD Soundsystem at Coachella Music and Arts Festival, Weekend 1 – Indio, CA – April 8th
3. Beyoncé at Levi’s Stadium – Santa Clara, CA – May 16th
4. Tame Impala at Greek Theatre Berkeley – Berkeley, CA – September 3rd
5. Air at Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival – San Francisco, CA – August 6th

Top 5 Albums of 2016
1. The Avalanches – Wildflower
I really enjoy albums that can be experienced as one cohesive piece. Twelve years in the making, The Avalanches’ Wildflower is best experienced in one listen from start to finish. Using a near-plethora of samples from both ends of the musical spectrum, the Australian plunderphonics pioneers wove together a soundscape that’s not only textured and groovy, but also just plain old fun. From “Because I’m Me” and “Frankie Sanatra” to “Subways” and “If I Was a Folkstar”, the feel and experience of listening to Wildflower simply fills me with joy. After a year like 2016, it’s something we all needed.

2. RadioheadA Moon Shaped Pool
3. Beyoncé – Lemonade
4. Anderson .Paak – Malibu
5. The Range – Potential

Top 5 Songs of 2016
1. Radiohead – “Present Tense”
In a serene moment watching Thom Yorke and Co. play a live rendition of “Present Tense” at Outside Lands, I first thought to myself that this may be one of Radiohead’s best tracks. Ever. Their stripped-down rendition featuring Johnny Greenwood solidified that thought. “Present Tense” seems to capture all of the things I find most appealing about Radiohead: complex and beautiful chord progressions, subtle and complimentary percussion, and melancholy lyrics and ambient sounds creating a sense of space that no other band I know is capable of producing in a studio or on a stage. It’s an introspective song that blooms into a plea for a return to what was once had with “in you I’m lost …” That melody gives me goosebumps every time.

2. Blood Orange – “Best to You”
3. Brian Eno – “Fickle Sun (iii) I’m Set Free”
4. Hundred Waters feat. Chance the Rapper – “Show Me Love”
5. DJ Shadow feat. Run the Jewels – “Nobody Speak”


Anderson .Paak at South by Southwest


Anderson .Paak at South by Southwest 2016 // Photo by Rochelle Shipman

Rochelle Shipman // Los Angeles

Top 5 Shows of 2016
1. Anderson .Paak & the Free Nationals at South by Southwest – Austin, TX – March 18th
Anderson .Paak played 13 shows in three or four days at SXSW this year. The Pandora show was one of his last ones, so he and his bandmates had their set down to blind perfection and played their hearts out to 150 new fans as the sun went down. Austin was falling in love with .Paak right in front of his eyes, electrifying his performance and even bringing him down into the audience to crowd surf. When he wasn’t behind the drums, he spent the rest of the show dancing on the monitors in between the barrier and the stage, seemingly as close to is fansh as possible. He was just grateful to be there, and it spilled from every ounce of his body. 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.

2. Conor Oberst at The Cathedral Sanctuary at Immanuel Presbyterian Church – Los Angeles, CA – December 17th
3. Chance the Rapper at Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival – San Francisco, CA – August 7th
4. Islands at Masonic Lodge at Hollywood Forever Cemetery – Los Angeles, CA – June 9th
5. Animal Collective at Scala – London, UK – September 8th

Top 5 Albums of 2016
1. Anderson .Paak – Malibu
Anderson .Paak has put out a lot of material, even before he was Anderson .Paak and went by Breezy Lovejoy. There are gems sprinkled throughout his early releases, but his latest studio album has a funky backbone that lets .Paak explore aspects of his range that he never shared before. It resulted in a rhythmic, emotional journey that’s flirty, genre-defiant and fun as fuck. Malibu nearly ruined music for me because nothing else is it.

2. Vince Staples – Prima Donna
3. Conor Oberst – Ruminations
4. Gallant – Ology
5. Noname – Telefone

Top 5 Songs of 2016
1. Childish Gambino – “Redbone”
I like Childish Gambino. I’ve always liked Childish Gambino. But the first time I heard his song “Redbone”, every hair on my body stood up and started grooving. It happened the second time and the third time, and even the 643rd time. And this dude is singing about peanut butter chocolate cake with Kool Aid, but because of how he’s singing about it, it’s somehow OK. I made a playlist with only this song on it 20 times over and it was still too short.

2. Anderson .Paak – “The Waters”
3. Sonder – “Too Fast”
4. Danny Brown – “Really Doe” feat. Kendrick Lamar, Ab-Soul & Earl Sweatshirt
5. Mac Miller – “Dang!” feat. Anderson .Paak


Tame Impala at Greek Theatre Berkeley


Tame Impala at Greek Theatre Berkeley // Photo by James Pawlish

Andrew Pohl // San Francisco

Top 5 Shows of 2016
1. The Cure at Shoreline Amphitheater – Mountain View, CA – May 26th
I saw a ton of amazing shows this year, but seeing The Cure for the first time on my birthday topped them all. For more than three hours I got to catch Robert Smith and company churn out hit after hit, and hanging out with some of my best mates only added to the splendor. A setlist that spanned their entire career on a beautiful evening was just what I needed for my 38th trip around the sun.

2. Tool at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium – San Francisco, CA – January 7th
3. At the Drive-In at The Warfield – San Francisco, CA – June 4th
4. Tame Impala at Greek Theatre Berkeley – Berkeley, CA – September 3rd
5. Temple of the Dog at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium – San Francisco, CA – November 11th

Top 5 Albums of 2016
1. A Tribe Called Quest – We Got It From Here… Thank You 4 Your Service
This is the album that we needed, and it was delivered at the right time, in the right way. For a year that had taken so much away from the music world, ATCQ surprised everyone with an LP that delivered a vibrant, thoughtful and politically charged gift to the masses. No guys, thank YOU for your service (RIP Phife Dawg).

2. Mitski – Puberty 2
3. David Bowie – Black Star
4. Mall Walk – Funny Papers
5. Tycho – Epoch

Top 5 Songs of 2016
1. David Bowie – “Lazarus”
Oh, Bowie … even on the eve of your own passing, you knew how to pull out all of the stops and push your art to the limit. A true showman and artist to the end, this song encapsulates all that is raw, beautiful and bizarre about our beloved Ziggy Stardust. Its somber tone is met with a sexy, sinister groove, which leaves you with a sense of unease and is honestly perfect in my opinion. Thank you, sir. RIP.

2. Bob Moses – “Tearing Me Up”
3. Savages – “Evil”
4. Zack de la Rocha – “digging for windows”
5. Deep Sea Diver – “Secrets”

Showbams_Sticker_Rectangle2

Tory Lanez ebbs and flows at The Warfield

Tory LanezBy Lindsay Alamillo //

Tory Lanez //
The Warfield – San Francisco
November 7th, 2015 //

When Tory Lanez (born Daystar Peterson) visits the Bay, his live performance embodies the versatility that he has displayed as an artist. The Canadian-born singer/rapper’s show at The Warfield on a Monday night ebbed and flowed from wildly energetic to smooth and soulful, much like his musical style.

Peterson knows how to lift a crowd, and apparently, his fans understand as well considering he crowd surfed all the way from the pit to the balcony. And when the 24-year-old dropped his beloved singles “Say It” and “LUV”, the audience’s infectious energy was undeniable.

Mac DeMarco gets weird and wild in his return to SF

Mac DeMarcoBy James Pawlish //

Mac DeMarco //
The Warfield – San Francisco
May 21st, 2016 //

Last Saturday night, less than a day after his sold-out show at The Independent, we caught up with Mac DeMarco at The Warfield to partake in all things jazzy, strange and weird.

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.

Who said Canadians don’t know how to have fun, or that DeMarco got tame while on tour?

Noise Pop 2016: Daily picks & flavors of the week

Noise Pop 2016Written by Molly Kish //

Noise Pop //
Bay Area venues – San Francisco & Oakland
February 19th-28th, 2016 //

Noise Pop 2016 is here! To get you ready for all the Noise Pop festivities throughout the Bay Area, we present our daily picks and flavors of the week.

Plus, make sure to brush up on this year’s bill with our Noise Pop playlist and don’t miss your opportunity to take part in the festivities.

GO4FREE: Win tickets to Noise Pop 2016 shows all week here!


Monday, February 22nd

Noise Pop 2016 - David Bowie Tribute Party

Ziggy Stardust Tribute Party with Everyone Is Bowie: February 22nd (MON) @ The Independent, 8 p.m., 21+ (SOLD OUT)

Paying respect to the Star Man himself, film and concert enthusiasts alike can trip out to “The Spiders from Mars” at The Independent for David Bowie tribute night. The venue will be participating in the Noise Pop film series by showing a digitally remastered version of “Ziggy Stardust and “The Spiders from Mars”. After the screening, make sure to stick around for a live performance from Oakland’s own conceptual tribute band Everyone Is Bowie, including visuals by local film production company White Light Prism. There’s even a pre-party at San Franpsycho (505 Divisadero St, San Francisco, CA 94117) with live screen printing, face painting, a Bowie costume contest and free beer (yes, you read that right) from Mavericks Brewing Company.


Tuesday, February 23rd

Metric


Metric

Metric with Joywave: February 23rd (TUE) @ The Masonic, 8 p.m., All Ages // WIN TICKETS

No strangers to the the Bay Area music scene and Noise Pop’s illustrious history, 15-year-old indie-rock veterans Metric headline The Masonic on Tuesday with support from New York dance-pop quartet Joywave. Serving as one of the main headliners at this year’s festival, Metric is one band you’ll want to catch early in the week — and we have a pair of tickets just for you.

“Fucked Up But Beautiful” (Noise Pop art reception): February 23rd (TUE) @ Bender’s Bar & Grill, 5 p.m., 21+

Celebrating the flawed and accentuating the negative, “Fucked Up But Beautiful” showcases some of the work of the Bay Area’s most prominent independent artists that was never meant to be seen. Marred by sundry, footprints, bent corners and beer spills, Bender’s Bar & Grill will be hosting a full gallery of glossy disasters, which in turn have taken on a new appreciation of their own. Stop by Bender’s to reflect on mistakes and check out the labors of unrequited love from Amy Jo, Boss Construction, Bureau of Print Research and Design, Crosshair, The Decoder Ring, Drug Factory Press, Alan Forbes, Furturtle Prints, Kollective Fusion, Lil Tuffy, Methane Industries, PinkBikeRalph, Powerslide Design, Tooth and more.


Wednesday, February 24th

Andrew Jackson Jihad


Andrew Jackson Jihad

Wild Ones, Palehound with Two Sheds, False Priest: February 24th (WED) @ Brick & Mortar Music Hall, 7 p.m., 21+ // WIN TICKETS

Spanning the spectrum of everything Noise Pop, this lineup includes Wild One’s heavy synth and ethereal R&B, singer-songwriter Ellie Kemper’s solo project Palehound and local modern rock outfit False Priest. If you’re looking to shake things up on Wednesday and truly get a full taste of the Noise Pop 2016 lineup, stop by the intimately accommodating Brick & Mortar Music Hall and check out this exceptional lineup.

Andrew Jackson Jihad with BATTLEHOOCH, Owl Paws: February 24th (WED) @ The Chapel, 7 p.m., 21+

Maybe you’re looking to let loose mid-work week? If being an adult has got you down, come through The Chapel on Wednesday night and get weird with the prominent wild card’s of Noise Pop 2016. Are you into the collective craze of Andrew Jackson Jihad’s folk-punk antics or daydreaming of being swaddled in the illustrious locks of Grant Goodrich, the bass player of SF’s own BATTLEHOOCH? Regardless of your motivation, we recommend you get there early for Owl Paws’ set and go pile-driving into the second half of your work week.


Thursday, February 24th

Kamasi Washington


Kamasi Washington

“Gin N Jazz” feat. Kamasi Washington in conversation with David Katznelson: February 25th (THUR) @ Swedish American Hall, 4 p.m., 21+ (RSVP required)

As part of Noise Pop 2016’s “HQ Culture Hour” series, Bay Area music veteran and Birdman Recording Group founder David Katznelson will be chatting with saxophonist Kamasi Washington about all things jazz over gin libations sponsored by UK independent spirit purveyor Sipsmith. Signed as an accomplished protégé and part of the label’s early roster while playing as a teenager in The Young Jazz Giants, Washington has a storied history with plenty to discuss about the origins and ever-growing complexities of jazz in mainstream art and culture. Touching upon Washington’s roots, recording process and musical journey, this conversation will be a great opportunity to get an in-depth look at the band leader outside of his sold-out show later that evening.

Antwon with Alexander Spit, Unlikely Heroes: February 25th (THUR) @ The New Parish, 8 p.m., 21+ // WIN TICKETS

This lineup depicts a hometown love letter to Bay Area hip-hop. Throwing down this Thursday is a full lineup of performers looking to turn up The New Parish in Oakland. Bay Area native and world-renowned lyrcist Antwon headlines the night with his cross-over brand of indie hip-hop and will be supported by locally raised rapper and producer Alexander Spit. Kicking off the party will be SF Battle of the Band’s winner Unlikely Heroes, the hip-hop/punk outfit that promises to get the crowd pumped up.


Friday, February 26th

Parquet Courts


Parquet Courts

Parquet Courts with Chris Cohen, The World: February 26th (FRI) @ The New Parish, 8 p.m., 21+ // WIN TICKETS

Want to go to the heaviest lineup Noise Pop has to offer? Are you into sludgy, low-fi garage rock and sweaty, eardrum-rattling rock shows? No? GTFOH! But seriously, if you’re looking to do something Friday night that will leave you invigorated (more than likely wet and quite possibly with a couple of mystery bruises), look no further. The New Parish is hosting the dream lineup of prog rock and punk with Parquet Courts headlining a sold-out show with openers Chris Cohen and Emotional. If you slept on the opportunity to tear it up this Friday, you’ll still have a chance to go for free on us. Stay tuned!

Beacon with Natasha Kmeto, Running in the Fog, Frugal Father: February 26th (FRI) @ Bottom of the Hill, 8 p.m., 21+

Besides getting the chance to see some of the most promising up-and-coming artists right on the cusp of a major breakthrough, one of the perks of going to Noise Pop is that all the show are being hosted in venues that are known and loved throughout SF’s music scene. This Friday, darkwave electronic duo Beacon will take over the shoulder-grazing space of Bottom of the Hill for a truly special, one-off performance. With Beacon debuting material off of their brand-new EP, this guaranteed dance party with support from Natasha Kmeto, Running in the Fog and Frugal Father will be bursting at the seams inside this favorite venue among punk and hard-rock locals.


Saturday, February 27th

Escort


Escort

Escort with MOBLEY, COLLAJ, Push the Feelings DJs: February 26th (FRI) @ Rickshaw Stop, 8:30 p.m., 18+

Pulling influences from the legendary discos in New York, Chicago and Detroit while claiming the headlining spot on Noise Pop’s Saturday night roster at Rickshaw Stop is Brooklyn’s very own Escort. Hailed as a type of “disco orchestra” with a live show comprised of anywhere between a 5-11-piece roster, the East Coast “funktronica” outfit will be debuting new music from there yet-to-be-released sophomore album. Supported by Austin trip-hop artist MOBLEY, SF’s COLLAJ (formerly 8th Grader) and Push the Feelings DJs, this will be one of the fiercest dance parties of the entire weekend.

Song Exploder podcast with Carly Rae Jepsen: February 26th (FRI) @ Swedish American Hall, 2:30 p.m., All Ages (RSVP required)

Continuing its second year as a part of Noise Pop, Hrishikesh Hirway hosts his live storytelling “Song Exploder” podcast from the confines of the Swedish American Hall this Saturday with Carly Rae Jepsen. Dissecting her latest album Emotion and the creative thought process behind composing lead single “I Needed You”, Jepsen will sit down for a candid interview with Hirway that will lead into her performance that evening at The Warfield.


Sunday, February 28th

DIIV


DIIV

DIIV with Dirty Ghosts, Creative Adult, Fine Points @ The Independent, 7:30 p.m., 21+ (SOLD OUT) // WIN TICKETS

Closing out the festival this year with a final punctuation of raw indie-rock talent, Sunday night’s bill at The Independent highlights some of the biggest names on this year’s lineup. Headlining the showcase will be DIIV, a side project from the former members of Beach Fossils and Smith Westerns, celebrating the release of their critically acclaimed new album Is the Is Are. Paired with local female-fronted rock powerhouse Dirty Ghosts and North Bay punks Creative Adult, this show will be having you question the validity of your Sunday and whether or not a lineup of this magnitude holds much relevance when accessing your upcoming work week.


See the full list of Noise Pop 2016 events here, and you can still purchase festival passes here. Keep it here at Showbams and on our Twitter account here throughout the week for a chance to win tickets to this year’s shows.

2016 Noise Pop - full lineup

The Jesus and Mary Chain celebrate 30 years of ‘Psychocandy’ at The Warfield

The Jesus and Mary ChainBy Mike Rosati //

The Jesus and Mary Chain with The Black Ryder, DJ Omar Perez //
The Warfield – San Francisco
May 16th, 2015 //

Scottish alternative rock outfit The Jesus and Mary Chain stopped off in SF last weekend to celebrate the 30th anniversary of their debut album Psychocandy. Closing out its nine-city North American road trip at The Warfield on a Saturday night, the five-piece warmed up the crowd with songs from across its catalog before digging into Psychocandy and playing the 14-track LP from start to finish. Australian psych/alt-rock duo The Black Ryder, performing tunes from their 2009 debut Buy the Ticket, Take the Ride and their 2015 follow-up The Door Behind the Door, and local DJ Omar Perez opened the show.

Setlist:
April Skies
Head On
Some Candy Talking
Psychocandy
Up Too High
Reverence
Upside Down

“Psychocandy”:
Just Like Honey
The Living End
Taste the Floor
The Hardest Walk
Cut Dead
In a Hole
Taste of Cindy
Never Understand
Inside Me
Sowing Seeds
My Little Underground
You Trip Me Up
Something’s Wrong
It’s So Hard

Interpol turn on the bright lights at The Warfield, further cement their place among indie-rock royalty

InterpolBy Justin Yee //

Interpol with Guy Blakeslee //
The Warfield – San Francisco
April 21st, 2015 //

Fresh off two performances on the main stage at Coachella, post-punk revivalists Interpol captivated a packed house at The Warfield this past Tuesday with support from opener Guy Blakeslee of The Entrance Band.

Interpol, consisting of Paul Banks (lead vocals/guitar), Daniel Kessler (guitar/vocals) and Sam Fogarino (drums) along with tour additions Brandon Curtis (keyboards/vocals) and Brad Truax (bass guitar/vocals), have been on the road for the past year in support of their latest record El Pintor (read our review here), which was released in September.

Interpol


Interpol lead singer Paul Banks

Dressed in their trademark black suits and set against a backdrop of stunning visuals and lighting, the band mainly alternated between tracks from El Pintor and their heralded debut album Turn on the Bright Lights. New tracks “My Desire” and “All the Rage Back Home” were well-received from the crowd, but it was older tracks like “Evil” and “Stella Was a Diver and She Was Always Down” that triggered the most excitement and had people wildly bobbing their head to the beat. It’s these type of darkly atmospheric sounds driven by intricate guitar play and probing bass lines that Interpol fans have admired over the years. Re-imagining its established sound in new ways has been part of the group’s recent resurgence on El Pintor.

On this tour, Interpol proved that they are still putting out some of their best work, further cementing their place among indie-rock royalty.

Setlist:
Say Hello to the Angels
Anywhere
My Blue Supreme
Evil
Leif Erikson
My Desire
Rest My Chemistry
Everything Is Wrong
The New
Narc
Take You on a Cruise
Not Even Jail
Pioneer to the Falls
Slow Hands

Encore:
All the Rage Back Home
Untitled
Stella Was a Diver and She Was Always Down

Amongst flowers and a gimp, Faith No More make a triumphant return to The Warfield

Faith No MorePhotos by Greg RaMar // Written by Scotland Miller //

Faith No More with La Plebe, Frightwig //
The Warfield – San Francisco
April 19th-20th, 2015 //

There are only so many times in a person’s life that they get to witness greatness return after a long absence. Five years removed from their last performance in SF, 18 years since their last album release and more than 20 years since their last extensive North American tour, the members of Faith No More delivered two sold-out shows at The Warfield this past Sunday and Monday. The history of the SF band can be traced back to the City during the early 80’s, and they proved that they still know what it means to do what they do best and play their unique style of music.

Sunday’s show started off with a feverish set from local Latino “punkiachi” outfit La Plebe, performing their politically charged mix of skater/surf/ska-punk-meets-mariachi-goodness. It was a great warm-up set that was highlighted by a cover of The Clash’s “Guns of Brixton”, which had a few skanking ska heads bobbing around and stomping their feet as the floor filled. For the most part, the venue was still half empty before the flowers came out.

Faith No More


Faith No More dressed The Warfield’s stage in fresh flowers.

It can be hard to know what to expect from a crew like Faith No More and their eccentric, yet prolific members. The entire stage was dressed in white, from the curtains to the amplifiers to the mic stands. Lining the entire length of the stage and any flat surface that would support them were thousands of dollars worth of beautiful, fresh flowers. The abundance of purples and pinks, reds and yellows created a very comfortable and soothing, yet incredibly eerie feeling as to what was about to happen next. Once the setup was complete and the lights dropped, the crowd was let in to the stark contrast that is the weird world of Faith No More. Out walked a man dressed fully in black leather from fingertip to toe, wearing a bondage mask that exposed only his mouth, and from the collar around his neck hung a leash. Out walked The Gimp.

Faith No More


Faith No More lead singer Mike Patton

Roddy Bottum (keyboards), Mike Bordin (drums), Billy Gould (bass) and Jon Hudson (guitar) all took the stage in white linen clothing as The Gimp took his place on his knees next to Bottum. The song “Motherfucker” from their upcoming album Sol Invictus began the set. Lead singer Mike Patton took the stage with his golden microphone and stood tall before a worshiping crowd of loyal, loving fans. With his face filled with pride, he gazed out into a packed hometown crowd with a floor full of ravaged moshers and a balcony teaming with eager faces, all ready and willing to take whatever he was about to give them.

Faith No More delivered two nights of spot-on alt-metal featuring a towering setlist of hits like “Land of Sunshine”, “Midlife Crisis”, “We Care a Lot” and “From Out of Nowhere”. Of course, there was the groundbreaking megahit “Epic”, too. But with every headbanging song of FNM’s comes an equally soft and crooning ballad, which they also supplied with their for-the-ladies cover of the Commodores’ “Easy” on both nights as well as a lovely Burt Bacharach cover of “This Guy’s in Love With You” to close out their second night in SF.

April 19th setlist:
Motherfucker
Land of Sunshine
Caffeine
Evidence
Epic
Sunny Side Up
Get Out
Midlife Crisis (Lowdown (Boz Scaggs) tease)
Last Cup of Sorrow
The Gentle Art of Making Enemies
Easy (Commodores cover)
Cuckoo for Caca
King for a Day
Ashes to Ashes
Superhero

Encore:
Matador
We Care a Lot
Pristina

Encore 2:
From the Dead

April 20th setlist:
Motherfucker
From Out of Nowhere
Caffeine
Evidence
Epic
Sunny Side Up
Surprise! You’re Dead!
Midlife Crisis (Lowdown (Boz Scaggs) tease)
The Gentle Art of Making Enemies
Easy (Commodores cover)
Spirit
King for a Day
Ashes to Ashes
Superhero

Encore:
Sol Invictus
Digging the Grave
This Guy’s in Love With You (Burt Bacharach cover)

OK Go throw one big party at The Warfield

OK GoBy Greg RaMar //

OK Go with White Arrows //
The Warfield – San Francisco
March 21st, 2015 //

With the release of their fourth full-length album Hungry Ghosts last year, alternative rock band OK Go are in the midst of an extensive North American tour. The four-piece originally from Chicago and now based in Los Angeles headlined The Warfield last Saturday, covering the venue in confetti at one point during their set. LA psych-pop outfit White Arrows, which also put out a new record in 2014, opened the show.

Setlist:
Upside Down & Inside Out
You’re So Damn Hot
The Writing’s On the Wall
I Want You So Bad I Can’t Breathe
Obsession
This Too Shall Pass
There’s a Fire
(Vocals and percussion only)
Last Leaf (acoustic performance by Damien in audience)
Needing/Getting
I’m Not Through
Get Over It
The One Moment
Skyscrapers
Do What You Want
Black Dog (Led Zeppelin cover)
Turn Up the Radio

Encore:
Fake It
A Million Ways
White Knuckles
I Won’t Let You Down
Here It Goes Again

The Bam Team’s 5 Favorite Shows, Albums & Songs of 2014

St. Vincent at Fox Theatre Oakland // Showbams' Photo of the Year, by Pedro


St. Vincent at Fox Theater Oakland // Showbams’ Photo of the Year, by Pedro Paredes

Ah, year-end lists — they’re an exercise in subjectivity and personal experience if there has ever been one. But what better way is there to learn from each other and discover some great new music while capping off the year and beginning anew?

So, without further ado, Showbams presents The Bam Team’s five favorite shows, albums and songs from 2014.

The 25 Best Live Music Acts of 2014
Showbams’ Top 50 Albums of 2014

Listen to The Bam Team’s favorite songs of 2014:


Darkside at The Fillmore

Darkside at The Fillmore // Photo by James Nagel

Mike Frash // San Francisco

Top 5 Shows of 2014
1. Darkside at The Fillmore – San Francisco, CA – January 24th
Looking at my top five shows list for 2014, it appears I favor the weird, ya know, the good weird. This Darkside performance, the only SF show ever (for now) since Nicolas Jaar and Dave Harrington have put the project on indefinite hold, had patrons at The Fillmore in SF breathing and moving in unison. There was a magical feeling in the air as the hybrid of electronic and organic played out wonderfully with the duo tipping their hat to the past and setting a new standard for the brave new future of live music.

2. Panda Bear at The Fillmore – San Francisco, CA – May 22nd
3. tUnE-yArDs at The Fillmore – San Francisco, CA – June 6th
4. Phish at MGM Grand – Las Vegas, NV – October 31st
5. Volcano Choir at The Fillmore – San Francisco, CA – January 21st

Top 5 Albums of 2014
1. Run the JewelsRun the Jewels 2
Ever since Jamie and Mikey blew my mind performing Run the Jewels almost in its entirety at The Independent in August of 2013, I’ve been a loyal RTJ soldier. And without taking a break, El Producto and Killer Mike stepped it up to an even higher plateau with their production precision, an uncanny balance of fun and intense, while lyrically honing more on the important issues of our time. Sensing the unstoppable momentum, Run the Jewels are already heading back into the studio for Run the Jewels 3. When Mike was recently asked if they’d continue to name their albums numerically, he said “Why not?!? Zeppelin did it!” Exactly. Say it with me now: Festival headliners circa 2016?

2. The War on DrugsLost in the Dream
3. D’Angelo – Black Messiah
4. Aphex TwinSyro
5. The Antlers – Familiars

Top 5 Songs of 2014
1. Sturgill Simpson – “Turtles All the Way Down”
This is country music turned on its head, while staying mostly true to the hallmarks of the genre. Lyrically subversive while instrumentally emotive to the core, this song kept me coming back throughout 2014. It’s positive message of love winning over all else is certainly timeless, but when was the last time you heard a country tune tell a story of mind over matter transcendence? “There’s a gateway in our minds that leads somewhere out there, far beyond this place / Where reptile aliens made of light, cut you up and pull out all your pain.” Stirgill Simpson is as progressive as you can get within the realm of Americana, urging the listener to both think and feel.

2. St. Vincent – “Digital Witness”
3. Future Islands – “Seasons (Waiting on You)”
4. FKA twigs – “Two Weeks”
5. Flying Lotus – “Never Catch Me” feat. Kendrick Lamar


Nine Inch Nails

Nine Inch Nails // Photo by Rob Sheridan for NIN.com

Josh Herwitt // Los Angeles

Top 5 Shows of 2014
1. Nine Inch Nails & Soundgarden at Red Rocks Amphitheatre – Morrison, CO – July 21st
What a dream come true. Having the opportunity to see two of my favorite childhood bands at one of the best venues in the country would be hard to beat any year, let alone in 2014. Sharing the bill with Soundgarden on this tour, Trent Reznor made the most of a minimalist stage setup and trimmed-down lineup of sidekicks. Of the four shows (Red Rocks, Chula Vista, Irvine and Hollywood) I saw on this tour, this one felt particularly special. If this was one of the last times I ever got to see Nine Inch Nails perform live, it was a night I will never forget.

2. Jack White at The Fonda Theatre – Los Angeles, CA – June 10th
3. Cinquanta featuring Puscifer, A Perfect Circle and Failure at The Greek Theatre – Los Angeles, CA – May 10th
4. Queens of the Stone Age at The Forum – Los Angeles, CA – October 31st
5. Tool at Valley View Casino Center – San Diego, CA – March 16th

Top 5 Albums of 2014
1. The Black KeysTurn Blue
Akron’s favorite rockers answered the call this year, following up their Grammy-winning album El Camino with arguably their most ambitious effort to date — especially when you consider the turmoil that surrounded Dan Auerbach’s life at the time of its recording. Over the last five years, the Keys have become one of rock’s biggest bands, but they haven’t stopped taking risks as a result. Turn Blue dabbles in a myriad of styles, from the psychedelic sound of Pink Floyd on its opening track “Weight of Love” to the hip-hop groove on “10 Lovers.” For as many critics as they have, Auerbach and Patrick Carney have come a long way since their early years as strictly a blues duo.

2. The War on DrugsLost in the Dream
3. Jack WhiteLazaretto
4. Aphex TwinSyro
5. Death from Above 1979The Physical World

Top 5 Songs of 2014
1. Jack White – “High Ball Stepper”
Jack White seems to be on another level these days. The former White Stripe has grown into one of rock ‘n’ roll’s most exciting talents, and this blues-heavy, instrumental track showcases that better than any other offering on Lazaretto. White’s ferocious guitar riffs dominate the tune, taking listeners on an emotional roller coaster from start to finish. And when he plays “High Ball Stepper” live, the song takes on a new whole life of its own.

2. Foo Fighters – “Something for Nothing”
3. Interpol – “All the Rage Back Home”
4. TV on the Radio – “Happy Idiot”
5. Tycho – “Awake”


Jack White at BGCA // Photo by

Jack White at Bill Graham Civic // Photo by David James Swanson

Steven Wandrey // San Francisco

Top 5 Shows of 2014
1. Jack White at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium – San Francisco, CA – August 22nd
From the dramatic curtain drop that slammed into high-octane rock, this show never let off the gas. Even with a bum ankle, Jack White stalked the stage and held power over the crowd. When the slowest moments of a show are White Stripes ballads that you’re giddy to hear and the other half of the show is headbanging, guitar-slinging rock, it’s easy to see how this show cemented itself as the best of 2014.

2. Atomic Bomb! The Music of William Onyeabor at The Warfield – San Francisco, CA – May 6th
3. The War on Drugs at The Independent – San Francisco, CA – April 1st
4. Run the Jewels at Mezzanine – San Francisco, CA – November 14th
5. Duck Sauce at Outside Lands Music Festival – August 9th

Top 5 Albums of 2014
1. Flying LotusYou’re Dead!
This album makes me feel like I’m actually traveling through the underworld to the land of the dead. From front to back, the first thing that caught me about this album was its consistent message. Steven Ellison has an inviting sense of storytelling that’s infused with hip-hop but touches on an array of different music styles, involving a star-studded cast of guests, including Kendrick Lamar, Thundercat and Snoop Dog. I have a feeling Flying Lotus is on the forefront of creative hip-hop and that this album will prove to be influential down the line. More importantly, I just love listening to it. Taking wild turns from frenetic to serene, listening to this album from start to finish is a journey.

2. Aphex TwinSyro
3. Run the JewelsRun the Jewels 2
4. Future IslandsSingles
5. Tweedy – Sukierae

Top 5 Songs of 2014
1. Run the Jewels – “Oh My Darling Don’t Cry”
The minimalist production and deep, rumbling bass frequencies have helped this track become my No. 1 listened to on the album and also No. 1 for the year. The complimentary flow that El-P and Killer Mike have together is on display in this track. This cut has infected my brain like a virus (the good kind?), and I just can’t get enough.

2. Future Islands – “Seasons (Waiting on You)”
3. Sam Smith – “I’m Not the Only One”
4. Flying Lotus – “Never Catch Me” (feat. Kendrick Lamar)
5. Perfume Genius – “Queen”


Future Islands at The Chapel // Photo by

Future Islands at The Chapel // Photo by Pedro Paredes

Kevin Quandt // San Francisco

Top 5 Shows of 2014
1. Future Islands at Coachella Music and Arts Festival, Weekend 1 – Indio, CA – April 12th
It’s been a banner year for the Baltimore darlings we have grown to love as Future Islands. Breaking through the underground touring circuit to being a highly sought-after festival act was quick and clean as the passionate stage performance of Samuel Harrington could not be ignored by growing audiences. A packed Gobi Tent was eating from the frontman’s palm as Herrington poured himself out on stage, belting out a set heavy on new tracks and old favorites. It was a pivotal point where both the band and audience knew that Future Islands had arrived at the next stage of their career.

2. The Cure at BottleRock Napa Valley – Napa, CA – May 30th
3. Phish at MGM Grand Arena – Las Vegas, NV – October 31st
4. Connan Mockasin at The Independent – San Francisco, CA – May 15th
5. Deerhoof at Great American Music Hall – San Francisco, CA – November 18th 

Top 5 Albums of 2014
1. The War on DrugsLost in the Dream 
Adam Granduciel had one helluva 2014 to brag about. His third studio album Lost in the Dream was an overwhelming success, and all for good reason as the lush waves of rock swell over the listener like a warm Christmas sweater, just less ugly than the one you wore to that one party. “Under the Pressure” opens this release in epic fashion and does not let up from there. Guitar rock is not dead!

2. Todd Terje – It’s Album Time
3. Run the JewelsRun the Jewels 2
4. D’Angelo – Black Messiah 
5. White Fence – For the Recently Found Innocent  

Top 5 Songs of 2014
1. Flying Lotus – “Never Catch Me” (feat. Kendrick Lamar)
Steven Ellison’s left-field meditation on death, as demonstrated on 2014’s release You’re Dead!, is not for everyone and is more about the full album than the sum of its parts (tracks). However, there is one shining beacon of a collaboration that could not be cast aside in the form of “Never Catch Me”. The partnership of one of the hottest MCs with one of the most sought-after producers was meant to be a brutally infectious slice of off-kilter street music. 

2. Caribou – “Can’t Do Without You”
3. Future Islands – “Seasons (Waiting on You)”
4. Beck – “Blue Moon”
5. Ariel Pink – “Put Your Number in My Phone”


Ryan Adams at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass 2014

Ryan Adams at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass 2014 // Photo by Pedro Paredes

Pete Mauch // Los Angeles

Top 5 Shows of 2014
1. Phish at MGM Grand – Las Vegas, NV – October 31st
Phish has made the tradition of covering other artists albums on Halloween, and this year they completely outdid themselves by covering essentially an album of only narrative and spooky sounds. The Disney-produced album The Thrilling and Chilling Sounds of the Taunted House was turned into a rock opera of sorts as Trey and company worked through completely new songs based off just minimal sounds, but the night didn’t just end there. The band played this rock opera sandwiched between two very strong sets of original Phish songs that could have held its own alone.

2. Lettuce’s Late Night in Red Barn at Summer Camp Music Festival – Chillicothe, IL – May 22nd
3. Future Islands at Coachella Music and Arts Festival, Weekend 1 – Indio, CA – April 12th
4. Ryan Adams at The Fox Theater Pomona – Pomona, CA – October 11th
5. Todd Terje at FYF Fest – Los Angeles – August 24th

Top 5 Albums of 2014
1. Ryan Adams – Ryan Adams
When someone as prolific as Ryan Adams puts out a new record, you buy that record and you listen intently. The songs in his first self-titled album may seem simple at first listen, but they stay with you in the back of your mind until you just can’t take it and you re-listen again and again. This is exactly how what I’ve been doing the past few months since the release. Songs like “Gimme Something Good” and “Am I Safe” prove once again that Adams is still on top of his game.

2. The War on DrugsLost in the Dream
3. moe. – No Guts, No Glory
4. Todd Terje – It’s Album Time
5. Greensky Bluegrass – If Sorrows Swim

Top 5 Songs of 2014
1. Future Islands – “Seasons (Waiting on You)”
“People change / You know but some people never do / You know when people change, they gain a piece but they lose one too.” These lyrics are so uplifting and real, and the music to accompany these amazing lyrics ties the emotion perfectly together.

2. The War on Drugs – “Under the Pressure”
3. The Barr Brothers – “Come in the Water”
4. Temples – “Shelter Song”
5. Caribou – “Can’t Do Without You”


Old Crow Medicine Show at The Regency // Photo by Pedro Paredes

Old Crow Medicine Show at The Regency // Photo by Pedro Paredes

Pedro Paredes // San Francisco

Top 5 Shows of 2014
1. Darkside at The Fillmore – San Francisco, CA – January 24th
The album Nicolas Jaar and Dave Harrington put together in 2013 was a delight for the ears, but with the show they played at The Fillmore, they were going after every sense in your body. Jaar once said that Darkside’s music was more experiential rather than musical, and they surely succeeded in delivering one of the best musical experiences to all the lucky attendants on that cold January night.

2. Future Islands at The Chapel – San Francisco, CA – April 10th
3. St. Vincent at The Fox Theater Oakland – Oakland, CA – March 22nd
4. James Blake at The Chapel – San Francisco, CA – December 7th
5. Old Crow Medicine Show at The Masonic – San Francisco, CA – September 20th

Top 5 Albums of 2014
1. BeckMorning Phase
Beck’s Morning Phase follows the same breezy style as Sea Change, but the latter’s serenity seems to come from darker places. Morning Phase is, as the title suggests, a bit brighter and sets the tone for all the good things yet to come.

2. Run the JewelsRun the Jewels 2
3. Real EstateAtlas
4. The War on DrugsLost in the Dream
5. Perfume Genius – Too Bright

Top 5 Songs of 2014
1. alt-J – “Nara”
It is hard to isolate “Nara” as the best song of Alt-J’s latest album This is All Yours since the story told in it is not exclusive to that song and it comes back in different sections of the album (as well as in some of the musical arrangements). But “Nara”, a song about love, deserves to be listened again and again. The 2:58 mark is bliss to my ears.

2. tUnE-yArDs – “Water Fountain”
3. Run the Jewels – “Love Again”
4. Perfume Genius – “Fool”
5. Angel Olsen – “Hi-Five”


St. Vincent at Fox Theater Oakland // Photo by

St. Vincent at Fox Theater Oakland // Photo by Pedro Paredes

Andrew Pohl // San Francisco

Top 5 Shows of 2014
1. Nine Inch Nails & Soundgarden at Shoreline Amphitheatre – Mountain View, CA – August 24th
I had never seen either band live before and based on my experience, it was like they had never broken up or aged since the ’90s. Amazing stage/light shows to go along with what was hands down my most eagerly anticipated show of the year.

2. Cibo Matto at Slim’s – San Francisco, CA – February 26th
3. American Football at The Fillmore – San Francisco, CA – December 12th
4. Failure at Great American Music Hall – San Francisco, CA – May 14th
5. Crosses at The Independent – San Francisco, CA – March 30th

Top 5 Albums of 2014
1. St. VincentSt. Vincent
This album comes off like a chameleon, with many shifts but always staying very characteristically St. Vincent. I feel that she is one of the more important artists to come around over the last few years, and I am excited to see what she does next.

2. Nothing – Guilty of Everything
3. BeckMorning Phase
4. Fugazi – First Demo
5. The War on DrugsLost in the Dream

Top 5 Songs of 2014
1. Spoon – “Do You”
Spoon have a knack for throwing a good toe tapper in their albums. This song is short and sweet, and you cannot help but get caught up in its infectiousness.  

2. Ryan Adams – “Give Me Something Good”
3. St. Vincent – “Prince Johnny”
4. TV on the Radio – “Could You”
5. Nothing – “Bent Nail”


Arcade Fire at Shoreline Amphitheater // Photo by Justin Yee

Arcade Fire at Shoreline Amphitheater // Photo by Justin Yee

Justin Yee // San Francisco

Top 5 Shows of 2014
1) Future Islands at South by Southwest (Cheer Up Charlie’s) – Austin, TX – March 13th
2) Arcade Fire at Shoreline Amphitheatre – Mountain View, CA – July 30th
3) Chromeo at The Independent – San Francisco, CA – April 12th
4) James Blake at The Chapel – San Francisco, CA – December 7th
5) Outkast at Treasure Island Music Festival – San Francisco, CA – October 18th

Top 5 Albums of 2014
1) Future IslandsSingles
2) The War on DrugsLost in the Dream
3) ODESZA – In Return
4) Flying LotusYou’re Dead!
5) CaribouOur Love

Top 5 Songs of 2014
1) Future Islands – “Seasons (Waiting on You)”
2) Chromeo – “Come Alive” feat. Toro y Moi
3) Flying Lotus – “Never Catch Me” feat. Kendrick Lamar
4) Chet Faker – “1998”
5) Mac Demarco – “Let Her Go”


James Blake at The Chapel //

James Blake at The Chapel // Photo by Pedro Paredes

Eric Shaden // San Francisco

Top 5 Shows of 2014
1. James Blake at The Chapel – San Francisco, CA – December 7th
I feel bad telling friends about how great this show was since so few people were able to get tickets. An intimate venue hosting such a phenomenal artist was a no-brainer for my top pick. James covered hits from his albums as well as debuted new tracks and an incredible interlude of house jams. I just wish more friends could have seen this!

2. Chromeo at The Independent – San Francisco, CA – April 12th
3. Todd Terje at FYF Fest – Los Angeles, CA – August 24th
4. tUnE-yArDs at The Fillmore – San Francisco, CA – June 6th
5. Holy Ghost! at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art – San Francisco, CA – April 30th

Top 5 Albums of 2014
1. Run the JewelsRun the Jewels 2
What else can be said about this album that hasn’t been covered already? An outstanding sequel to Run the Jewels that expands on the original with top-notch production and punishing delivery from El-P and Killer Mike. Without a doubt my top choice of the year.

2. Syd Arthur – A Monstrous Psychedelic Bubble
3. D’Angelo – Black Messiah 
4. Sinkane – Mean Love
5. Todd Terje – It’s Album Time

Top 5 Songs of 2014
1. D’Angelo – “Sugah Daddy”
I imagine D’Angelo coming back with his long-awaited album in December showed which writers/blogs/etc. wrote their “Best of the Year” lists early. His style of soulful R&B is sorely needed, and “Sugah Daddy” is my favorite from the album. Looking forward to his tour in 2015!

2. Caribou – “Our Love”
3. Aphex Twin – “minipops 67 [120.2]”
4. Jungle – “Time”
5. Jamie xx – “Sleep Sound”


High Sierra Music Festival // Photo by Benjamin Wallen

High Sierra Music Festival // Photo by Benjamin Wallen

Benjamin Wallen // San Francisco

Top 5 Shows of 2014
1. High Sierra Music Festival – Quincy, CA – July 2nd-5th
2. Paul McCartney at Candlestick Farewell – Candlestick Park – San Francisco, CA – August 14th
3. Jamestown Revival at Great American Music Hall – San Francisco, CA – November 28th
4. The String Cheese Incident at Fox Theater Oakland – Oakland, CA – April 24th
5. Greensky Bluegrass at The Fillmore – San Francisco, CA – November 14th


Cali-Roots_fix

Scott Martin // San Jose

Top 5 Shows of 2014
1. California Roots Music Festival at Monterey Fairgrounds – Monterey, CA – May 23rd-25th
2. Rival Sons, Soft White Sixties & Sir Madam at The Fillmore – San Francisco, CA – September 25th
3. The Pimps of Joytime at The Independent – San Francisco, CA – February 15th
4. Caravan Palace & Rosin Coven at The Regency Ballroom – San Francisco, CA – April 16th
5. Jackie Greene at The Catalyst Club – Santa Cruz, CA – March 26th

Top 5 Albums of 2014
1. Bears Den – Islands
2. Milky Chance – Sadnecessary
3. Lana Del Rey – Ultraviolence
4. Mighty Oaks – Howl
5. Solstafir – Otta

Top 5 Songs of 2014
1. Bears Den – “Agape”
2. Bears Den – “Isaac”
3. Milky Chance – “Down by the River”
4. Mighty Oaks – “The Great Northwest”
5. Crosses – “Bitches Brew”


MIA at BFD // Photo by Marc Fong

MIA at BFD // Photo by Marc Fong

Nikki DeMartini // San Francisco

Top 5 Shows of 2014
1. MIA at Shoreline Amphitheatre for BFD 2014 – Mountain View, CA – June 1st
It had been four years since I saw MIA live and even though I’d prefer to see her play her own show rather than a set at a music festival, I was super excited to see her at BFD last summer. It was the first time in nearly 10 years that my cousin and I went to LIFE105’s annual summer show together. We lucked out and upgraded our tickets just in time to see MIA’s performance. Both of us were out of our seats, singing and dancing along to every song as soon as her set started. I was beside myself as MIA herself made her way off the stage, up into the seats of the venue and stopped near our row to spit lyrics as fans gathered and danced around her, myself included. I still can’t believe I danced with MIA!

2. OK Go at The Independent – San Francisco, CA – July 16th
3. Die Antwoord at The Fillmore – San Francisco, CA – May 22nd
4. Sylvan Esso at The Fillmore – San Francisco, CA – June 6th
5. MS MR at The Fillmore – San Francisco, CA – April 15th

Top 5 Albums of 2014
1. Sylvan Esso – Sylvan Esso
When I covered Sylvan Esso at The Fillmore earlier this year (when they opened for tUnE-yArDs), I had no idea who they were but ended up leaving the show a fan. Their self-titled debut album is an uplifting mix of danceable electropop tracks and indie rock that’s easy to lose yourself in. Their sparkly, layered and melodic sounds translate well whether you’re listening to the album or seeing them live. Sylvan Esso is one of three albums I bought in 2014, and it’s been on repeat ever since I picked it up.

2. Glass Animals – Zaba
3. Die Antwoord – Donker Mag
4. Iggy Azalea – The New Classic
5. First Aid Kit – Stay Gold

Top 5 Songs of 2014
1. Tove Lo – “Habits (Stay High)”
I really enjoy the simple percussion-driven melody and voluptuous vocals of Tove Lo’s hit single “Habits (Stay High)”. The subtle, yet engaging buildup to her belting, emotionally-charged lyrics has me singing along and turning it up every time I hear it on the radio. While it is very catchy, it’s not a super dancey song. However, it is a great go-to for karaoke. 

2. Die Antwoord – “Rat Trap 666”
3. Sylvan Esso – “Hey Mami”
4. First Aid Kit – “My Silver Lining”
5. The Dead Weather – “Buzzkill(er)”

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The Presets bring intimate club vibes to The Warfield

Presets_POSTPhotos by Diana Cordero // Written by Molly Kish //

The Presets with Antwon, Chela, Frankie Chan //
The Warfield – San Francisco
November 13th, 2014 //

Australian electronic duo The Presets headlined The Warfield on the first West Coast stop of their 2014 “Check Yo’ Ponytail” tour last Thursday. Presented by the IHEARTCOMIX and Topshelf Management teams, the tour aimed to showcase an “open-genre, multimedia-driven” event, highlighting cutting-edge artists, stage design and an over-the-top concert-going experience.

Although the tour sentiment may have gotten overshadowed by the sheer magnitude of the large-scale venue, fans in attendance didn’t seem to mind in the least bit. With many gearing up for a jam-packed night at The Warfield, we were pleasantly surprised by the ample amount of dance space and ability to casually traverse the theater’s several tiers, solidifying the best vantage point to take in the evening’s performances.

All four of the strategically-curated acts played to a mixed-bag audience, composed of fans not only there to catch their favorite performer of the night, but also willing to expand their horizons to enjoy the entirety of the lineup. Each of the artists played with an intent to impress and did so with their respective fan bases as well as their brand-new demographics.

The Presets

Following the smooth vocal stylings of the Los Angeles-based Chela, Antwon’s thickly-laced, web-core hip-hop tracks and IHEARTCOMIX owner Franki Chan’s DJ set, The Presets took the stage. The entire audience immediately rushed their way onto the main floor, as the introductory sirens of “Push” blared out of the theater’s massive speakers. A perfect opening anthem to warm up the intimate crowd for a “non-stop party, party, party, party, party …”, the Australian duo of Julian Hamilton and Kim Moyes followed up with back-to-back hits from their 2012 gold record Pacifica. Having recently released a pair of new songs over the past few months and teasing a possible album-in-the-making, Hamilton and Moyes seamlessly embedded “No Fun” and “Goodbye Future” into a master mix of crowd favorites from their two previous full lengths midway through the set.

The pair closed with the crowd communally losing their minds and vocal chords to “Kicking and Screaming” and “Talk Like That”, followed by an electrifying encore of “Surrender” and “Anywhere” that further enlarged the tired and sweaty audio blue balls of the “CYP” audience.

The Presets

The Presets

SF Show of the Week // GO4FREE to The Presets at The Warfield 11/13 (THUR)

The-Presets

Written by Mike Frash //

The Presets with Antwon, Chela, Franki Chan, Marco De La Vega & Chauncey //
The Warfield – San Francisco
Thursday, November 13th 2014 //

Win a pair of free tickets to one of our SF Shows of the Week by entering your name and email below. Contest ends Wednesday, November 12th at Noon.

The Presets last full length, Pacifica, was one of our top 10 albums of 2012, and lucky for us the captivating Aussie duo return to SF this Thursday at The Warfield.

We were there for their return to touring at The Independent, when they blew minds sub-headlining at Treasure Island Music Festival, along with their appearance last year at Fox Theater Oakland, so we can promise one thing: you will dance.

And if you don’t find yourself dancing while taking in The Presets, perhaps it’s time to check yourself.

This couldn’t be more true than right now as The Presets wrap up the Check Yo Ponytail tour, where the party-starting electro-house outfit have joined forces with a dynamic group of dance and rap upstarts that includes Le1f, Antwon, Chela and Frankie Chan.

The Presets are busy at work on their fourth LP, but that didn’t stop Julian Hamilton and Kim Moyes from releasing two excellent singles this year.

First came “Goodbye Future”, a tech-house blaster that slightly signals a return to a song structure reminiscent of “This Boy’s in Love”.

“No Fun” balances a wonky breakbeat with a four-on-the-floor chugger, until it blasts off into a refrain that crescendos into the euphoric stratosphere.

The Presets are one of our favorite dance acts that incorporate live instrumentation and singing, and you can win big by seeing them for free courtesy of Showbams. Enter your name below.

Buy tickets if you know you want to go.



Recommended Shows in SF this week:
*We’ll be giving away free tickets to all shows marked in italics below. Follow us on Twitter to be the first in line to win tickets to these events.

Mac DeMarco on Tuesday, 11/11 at The Fillmore
Hiss Golden Messenger on Tuesday, 11/11 at The Independent
Slayer on Tuesday & Wednesday, 11/11 & 11/12 at Fox Theater Oakland
Shakey Graves on Wednesday, 11/12 at The Independent
First Aid Kit on Thursday, 11/13 at Fox Theater Oakland
Les Sins (Toro y Moi) on Thursday, 11/13 at 1015 Folsom
Generationals on Thursday, 11/13 at The Chapel
Run The Jewels on Friday, 11/14 at Mezzanine
*Jacques Greene on Friday, 11/14 at Rickshaw Stop
*The Sam Chase on Friday, 11/14 at The Chapel
Greensky Bluegrass on Friday & Saturday, 11/14 & 11/15 at The Fillmore
Tame Impala with Delicate Steve on Saturday & Sunday, 11/15 & 11/16 at Fox Theater Oakland
SOHN on Saturday, 11/15 at Mezzanine
The Stone Foxes on Saturday, 11/15 at The Chapel
RAC on Saturday, 11/15 at The Warfield
*Los Straitjackets on Sunday, 11/16 at The Chapel
Field Report on Sunday, 11/16 at Brick & Mortar Music Hall


Win-2-Tickets

Contest ends Wednesday, November 12th at Noon. Enter your name (first and last) along with your email below. If you win a contest, you’ll be notified on Wednesday afternoon.

Like Showbams on Facebook, follow Showbams on Twitter and follow Showbams on Instagram. Subscribe to our social channels for a better chance to win!

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