Sizzle & Fizzle: Highs and Lows from the Last Week in S.F. Music

Sizzle

Wilco played a gorgeously melancholic set at the Warfield, reminding a sold-out crowd of the magic that happens when a masterful rock band's fantastic songs sound as good onstage as on its records. Singer Jeff Tweedy quipped that the setlist was a bit "morbid," but nobody seemed to mind: Wilco's bleakest ballads felt just as bracing as the band's melodic rockers.

Masters at Work, the New York duo of Kenny "Dope" Gonzalez and "Little" Louie Vega, showed a thick crowd at 1015 Folsom just how the whole DJ thing should be done: Aggressive mixing, innovative EQing, classic tracks, and lots of satisfaction. Hope the Red Bull Music Academy audience was taking notes.

Wilco dazzled the Warfield
Joseph Schell
Wilco dazzled the Warfield
Modest Mouse fell flat
Modest Mouse fell flat

• To honor Warren Hellman, the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass founder who died late last year, his friends and family are throwing a mini-HSB on Feb. 19. The location hasn't been finalized, but the lineup includes Emmylou Harris, Steve Earle, John Doe, Gillian Welch, and Boz Scaggs.


Fizzle

• Britpop favorites Pulp announced one of the most anticipated Bay Area shows of the year — one of only two non-Coachella U.S. dates in S.F. on April 17. Unfortunately, the show sold out in less than 10 minutes on Friday, leaving fans like us desperate and slightly depressed.

Modest Mouse played to a packed Macworld crowd at the Warfield, but sounded just as unremarkable as we remember from past shows. Isaac Brock has a champion bark and a lion's heart, but even righteously angry songs couldn't animate his band's flat stage presence.

• The Academy released its Oscar nominations for the best film songs of 2011 — all, uh, two of them. Not sure why they're both from kids' movies, but why didn't Jónsi (for We Bought a Zoo), Mary J. Blige (for The Help), or Chris Cornell (for Machine Gun Preacher) get a nod?

 
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