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Don't Miss These Four Shows - By sarmendariz, tim-casagrande - December 13, 2017 - SF Weekly
SF Weekly

Don’t Miss These Four Shows

BADBADNOTGOOD (Photo by Innovative Leisure)

BadBadNotGood
Hip-Hop Jazz

An air of melodic timelessness has surrounded the four-man project BadBadNotGood since its members joined forces through a Toronto jazz program in 2010. Since then, Matt Tavares, Chester Hansen, Alexander Sowinski, and Leland Whitty have created six studio albums and collaborated with artists like Kali Uchis, Kendrick Lamar, and Tyler, The Creator on some of the most notable peaks of their individual discographies. Together, the Toronto natives have made some of the most consistently sultry and silky-smooth ballads known to contemporary jazz. “Lavender,” featuring Kaytranada and Snoop Dogg, is just one multi-faceted example of how progressive BadBadNotGood is as a collaborative effort. “Time Moves Slowly” is the most popular song off IV, the group’s latest, and features Samuel T. Herring from Future Islands on vocals. His shaking yet commanding voice reiterates, “Running away is easy / It’s the leaving that’s hard” over the bass, keys, and saxophone instrumental. It’s a simple reminder of how each track released by the four men is stuffed with poise, precision, and soul. Sarah Armendariz

8 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 16, at Fox Theater. $30; thefoxoakland.com

Boys Noize
Electronic

Only a handful of DJs command the admiration and respect given to Boys Noize (real name Alex Ridha), as his consistent output of genre-defying tracks and eclectic mixes have made him into one of dance music’s most treasured artists. With four studio albums, a record label, and a wildly successful collaboration with Skrillex as Dog Blood, Ridha in his decade-plus career never lost the youthful spirit that characterizes his boisterous productions, which is why some fans refer to Ridha as “the techno punk.” Ridha’s ability to mesh together elements from techno, industrial, electro house, and whatever else catches his ear results in an inimitable, diverse sound that only a true master of the craft can produce. This multifarious approach to music production and DJing has earned Ridha a fanbase that extends far beyond dance, which would explain why dancing, shuffling, and moshing all coexist on the floor of a Boys Noize show. Ridha’s 2016 studio album, Mayday, retains the bounciness and excitement of his earlier releases, but the songs feel darker, angrier, and more aggressive than ever before. The album echoes a time when raves weren’t as commercialized, often leaving ravers with no choice but to throw questionably legal events in grimy warehouses. However, Ridha is not keen on simply taking a nostalgia trip or even taking dance music “back to its roots,” as he is moreover reminding listeners why they fell in love with dance music to begin with. Tim Casagrande

9 p.m, Friday, Dec. 15, at Halcyon. $30; halcyon-sf.com

The Jesus Lizard
Noise Rock

A ’90s band reunion, let alone a second one within 10 years, shouldn’t elicit this much excitement, yet The Jesus Lizard managed to make their second reunion feel even more vital than their first go around. While revered in the underground scene and popular on college radio airwaves during their heyday in the early 1990s, The Jesus Lizard never saw much commercial success despite working with legendary rock producer Steve Albini and signing with Capitol Records. However, it’s reasonable to assume that mainstream accessibility and profit were the last things running through the Texans’ minds. Much like fellow noise rockers The Melvins and Butthole Surfers, the Jesus Lizard constructs songs that push the limits within the confined space of alternative rock; their unorthodox structures contain strange and abrasive vocals and guitar distortion. If shoegaze bands like My Bloody Valentine can be considered beautiful noise, then think of The Jesus Lizard as ugly, but immensely listenable, noise. The band’s loud records are matched by their reputation for ear-splitting live shows, as frontman David Yow rarely finishes a set without being half-naked and bleeding from the ferocity of his showmanship. Band reunions often suffer from a visible lack of energy from the artists and a shadow of redundancy, but The Jesus Lizard has never followed the norms set in place by their peers, and there is no reason to assume they would start now. Tim Casagrande

9 p.m., Friday, Dec. 15, at The Independent. $40; theindependentsf.com

FKJ
Electronic

FKJ (aka Vincent Fenton) released his self-titled debut album earlier this year, and he has people wondering where he’s been hiding all this time. Fenton created a 12-track record that exceeds every auditory expectation and desire for an electronic record. The emotional impact transcends borders, something evident in his international fanbase, despite all his lyrics being in English. From the careful implementation of saxophone and keys on “Canggu” to the airy and light-hearted synthy “Better Give U Up,” Fenton continues to show how much he has up his sleeve without giving it all away. It is both tantalizing and irresistible — two features of a promising future for the French crooner. The incredibly smooth and animated feel to each track make you feel the same way water tasted during San Francisco’s record-breaking heat wave last September: damn good. It’s a record you want to sunbathe in because of how bright and sugary it is without being over the top. The angelic electric guitar on “Die With A Smile” sums up the record beautifully because of its clear balance between synthetic beats and natural instruments, which can all be dedicated to the music mastermind French Kiwi Juice himself. Sarah Armendariz

8 p.m., Friday, Dec. 15, at Fox Theater. $30; thefoxoakland.com