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

Sizzle

If the idea of Prince playing at DNA Lounge seemed fantastic, the actual thing proved even better. The Purple One rocked an incredibly packed room with new tunes and re-energized versions of old hits for two hours. It was the ideal way to see him perform.

Rolling Stone magazine named historic S.F. club the Fillmore the No. 2 "big room" in America, right behind Washington, D.C.'s also-legendary 9:30 Club. To which we say: 1) Duh; and 2) Eat that, New York and L.A.

DJs Prosumer and Vereker evoked vastly different moods last Friday at Public Works. Vereker's upstairs set was all gut-wrenching dread, with dark blasts of metallic noise. Later on, Prosumer's peak-hour performance summoned an explicitly sexual energy you don't hear at this club all that often. What a strange, interesting night.

Fizzle

In theory, the annual Record Store Day event is a boon to indie stores and consumers. In practice, though, it's too often a way for speculating vultures to grab the valuable stuff and resell it online for a huge markup. And when titles don't sell, the stores — not the labels or the fans — get stuck with the bill.

We bid a sad farewell to Richie Havens, the powerful folk singer who opened Woodstock in 1969 and died last week at 72. He was an old soul, singing with the voice of an ancient wise man even when he was young. Every artist strives to find their own voice, but it seemed to come naturally to Havens.

Where did MGMT go wrong with their new single, "Alien Days"? It's about three minutes in, when you realize the song is going to remain in Flaming Lips/Revolver mode and not go anywhere else. Sadly, this seems to be the sound of MGMT running out of ideas and borrowing from other people.

 
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