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

Sizzle

Techno was born in America, but it's only recently that we're taking to it with the fervor of Europeans. Italian duo Voices from the Lake gave Monarch a taste of the good stuff on Saturday, using tons of hardware to achieve the immersive, hypnotic effect that only hard techno can. It ranked among the best live performances we've ever heard.

Hope you got out of the office last Friday and caught Janelle Monáe's free lunchtime performance at Justin Herman Plaza. It was presented in honor of the 15th anniversary of local tech giant Salesforce, and there were opportunities to volunteer for the S.F. Food Bank. A free show is never a bad thing.

After winning the Village Voice critic's poll with their last album, the anticipation for a follow-up from Oakland' s tUnE-yArDs couldn't be greater. We got a brief taste of Nikki Nack last week, and it sounded thrilling — brighter, more energetic, and even crazier than w h o k i l l was. We'll find out May 6.

Fizzle

We went to see Macaulay Culkin's pizza-themed Velvet Underground tribute band at Neck of the Woods, and found the whole thing cold and soggy. The 28 minutes of bad musicianship and cheap puns were the concert equivalent of all those halfway-correct blog posts that flood the web with grabby headlines and shitty information, trying to earn your click. Getting to Tweet a photo of Culkin certainly wasn't worth the $10 ticket.

Many are hoping for an OutKast performance at this year's Outside Lands festival, but that's looking pretty unlikely. The group is booked for festivals in Scandinavia right around the Aug. 8-10 Outside Lands dates. That makes an S.F. show a very long flight away — but, of course, anything could happen.

• Thurston Moore finally spoke about his split from longtime wife (and indie rock goddess) Kim Gordon, basically confirming that he'd secretly been having a relationship with another woman. "In your 40s and 50s, things can change in ways that upset the order of things that have been established over 25 years-plus of marriage," he said. "I'll always have that experience of sadness that a separation brings."

 
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