Whether you’re a born and raised local or a lost Bay Area transplant looking to find the best tunes in the city, we’ve picked out this week’s best live shows in our home town of San Francisco for you to check out.
City of Angels based Dark Waves just made Aaron Axelsen’s “Top 16 New Acts to Watch in 2015” and you can catch them tonight. This addition to the growing breed of dark and stormy pop is the work of frontman and native Californian Nick Long. The act’s first EP was released back in the fall and has already climbed internet heights on Hypemachine and a damn respectable couple million plays on Spotify in no time at all. Don’t go anywhere for the main event and touring partner, Brooke Fraser. The New Zealand export takes her booming folk pop to new heights with a more experimental touch in her latest music.
For anyone that has had The Bad Suns’ “Cardiac Arrest” in their head for about two years now, please note their full length debut dropped a few months back on Vagrant. Equally maddening is the infectious anthem “Oceans” from UK based Coasts that has been re-released since 2012 without proper US attention. Finally, we have SoCal’s (and Bad Suns labelmates) Maudlin Strangers and their dark but danceable indie rock. Maudlin Strangers just put out a four track EP ripe to be picked up by fans of Arctic Monkeys, The Neighborhood, and MS MR. Guess what? All of these acts will be in the same place, to play, for you.
No brainer: If you have yet to jump in the fray of The Soft White Sixties January residency you should already have your tickets ready. For those who have been hitting every week here’s one more reason. Wove will shred, Mahgeetah will jam, and the Sixties will rock (again). Octavio, Aaron, Ryan, and Joey have been gifting audiences with some great covers the past few weeks for those who think they had their set memorized. For round IV yet another great local music scene enabler will be presenting. At the plate here isShowbams the local music blog who cover a wide variety of genres and always have great surprise ticket hookups.
I’m all for listening to music for the sole purpose of bringing up some darker or less flattering emotions. But, if you crave a pure uncut jovial sound, put on a Kishi Bashi record. Perfecting his multi-instrumentalist talents with a long list of touring musicians and side projects his two solo works are stark standouts. Kishi Bashi is on tour supporting Lighght and will be joined by Elizabeth & the Catapult on the West Coast. The woman behind the curtain, Elizabeth Ziman gave us her latest record late last year after some time away from label stresses when she took to street busking and sought out a new collaborator for the growing number of songs she had been crafting since recently picking up the guitar. She found this partner in her former band mate Dan Molad (Lucius, Here We Go Magic).
The time for a full force Happy Fangs record hath come. We’ve all been waiting for more since their 2013 release with the great fight song “Lion Inside You” and it’s video to match. Get out to Rickshaw to witness plenty of material from the new record, Capricorn, and pick up a stone cold physical copy of some great local warriors. In support are San Jose based outfit The Trims showing off 80’s influenced indie rock. Emily Whitehurst’s latest musical endeavor, Survival Guide, rounds out the bill. Find out what a day at the Boardwalk through her eyes looks like in “Symptoms”. Bonus: Check out Happy Fangs entry into NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert contest here.
About Mike: Habitual Bay Area show-hopper and new music junkie. Currently Artist Relations at DeliRadio and Training Director at KALX. Follow the music based ramblings on Twitter.