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

Wednesday, May 21 2014
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Sizzle

If there is a God, he's probably jealous of what Herbie Hancock can do on the keyboard. We caught the 74-year-old at the SFJAZZ Center on Saturday, and he torched even the high expectations we brought after seeing him in recent years. Hancock himself seemed surprised at the energy he found with his band members, joking that there must be something about the water in S.F.

It was Metallica day at AT&T Park: James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett noodled out "The Star Spangled Banner," Lars Ulrich threw the first pitch while wearing geeky green shorts, and Robert Trujillo stood around looking amped. Please go to our site, look at the photos, and note what a normal dad Hetfield looks like in a Giants jersey and a ballcap. He could've come straight from mowing the lawn.

We checked in with local orchestral indie duo Tidelands, who told us the best part about having a band with only two members: "After years of rehearsals and trying to arrange five people to get together with everyone's schedules, it's really nice," says the band's Gabriel Montana Leis. You can stream their new album, We've Got a Map, on our website.

Fizzle

Oh, no: They've turned on the stupid hologram machine again, this time to imitate Michael Jackson at the Billboard Music Awards. Has our retromania really gotten so bad that we're happy watching some dancing lights in the shape of a dead pop star? Don't we mind that it's a machine doing the moonwalk, and not a person? Is it possible for technology to ruin an artist's legacy?

Richard Thompson played a fantastic solo acoustic set at Great American Music Hall, but couldn't keep from reminding us about his under-realized career. "I have this magical formula for lack of success," he joked, introducing "I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight." "This got to No. 41 in the Top 40." Surely two packed shows in S.F. aren't the mark of a total failure.

"There has been a great deal of speculation about what triggered the unfortunate incident," admitted Beyoncé, Jay Z, and Solange in a joint statement following their elevator scuffle. "But the most important thing is that our family has worked through it." No, the most important thing is that we learn what made Solange want to punch Jay Z's lights out.

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