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

Sizzle

• The long-awaited SFJAZZ Center opened in Hayes Valley with a debut concert that featured jazz greats McCoy Tyner, Chick Corea, and more. Thanks to live radio broadcasts and an NPR web stream, the sound of the center's opening was heard around the world — as was Bill Cosby's cheeky emceeing.

• The annual Red Bull Thre3style DJ contest pitted many of the Bay Area's best DJs against each other in genre-spanning 15-minute sets. The hands-down winner was J. Espinosa, but Oakland's DJ D-Sharp showed himself to be the finest turntablist in the room and came in second.

• Veteran S.F. punks Swingin' Utters are coming back with a new album, Poorly Formed. We premiered the band's new song, "Suck in a Circle," which matches their racing pop-punk choruses with wistful, acoustic verses. Catch 'em at Slims on Feb. 24.


Fizzle

The Walkmen proved why co-headlining concerts don't really work: Father John Misty, who played first, utterly showed them up, with more energy, more jokes, and better dancing. As we clapped for the encore, we hoped it wouldn't be The Walkmen.

• Starting in May, the Embarcadero will host the new America's Cup Pavilion — a 9,000-seat outdoor concert amphitheater that will host concerts all summer long, including Sting on June 2. Our complaint: S.F. needs a big outdoor venue — so why isn't this one permanent?

• The real inauguration travesty wasn't Beyoncé lip-syncing, but Alicia Keys reworking "Girl on Fire" for Obama, with lyrics evoking America's wars and killer drones. "He's got both feet on the ground and he's burning it down" doesn't sound celebratory to us.

 
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