Three Must-See Acts This Week: Tourist at Mezzanine, i_o at Halcyon, Everything Is Terrible! at The Independent

Photo by James Lyndsay

Electronic

Tourist

8 p.m., Thursday, August 8, at Mezzanine. $22; mezzaninesf.com

Walking a tightrope between introspective melancholy and uplifting optimism, Tourist boasts a multifaceted discography filled with club-worthy house-thumpers and ethereal, headphone-appropriate tracks that have made the London producer one of the most consistently exciting artists working today. Born William Phillips, the musician took an early interest in electronic music production as a child, creating buzz with remixes earlier this decade under the moniker Little Loud. Phillips would make his debut as Tourist in 2012 with his self-titled EP, which is a bright, synth-heavy masterwork of bedroom pop that, along with his following Tonight EP, solidified Phillips as a skilled producer who could seamlessly blend disparate genres into something wholly singular. Phillips would soon go on to work with Years & Years and Sam Smith, co-writing the latter’s hit single “Stay With Me,” which earned both Smith and Phillips the Grammy for Song of the Year. After the end of a long-term relationship, Phillips would release his debut album U in 2016 to universal acclaim, with many praising the album’s sentimental atmosphere while firmly remaining in the realm of dance music. Tourist’s latest album, Everyday, was released in February and hears a rejuvenated Phillips dive into warmer ambient sounds and upbeat house rhythms, while still retaining the producer’s natural talent for decoding emotion through music.

 

 

Dance

i_o

10 p.m., Friday, August 9, at Halcyon. $50; halcyon-sf.com

Mysteriously rising from the depths of dance music’s underground with their brooding, cavernous brand of floor-filling techno and progressive house in the vein of Cirez D, i_o has the rare gift of satisfying nearly any listener on the dance music spectrum. Born Garrett Lockhart, the Los Angeles producer and DJ was poised for breakout 2019 after steadily building a loyal fanbase with throbbing, genre-bending singles like last year’s “Not Techno” and “Audio Dust,” both released on Deadmau5’s Mau5trap label. Self-described via Reddit AMA as having a “cyber punk meets goth aesthetic,” i_o’s dark yet melodic style of trance-infused techno won over thousands of new fans with jaw-dropping performances at this year’s EDC and Ultra Music Festival, building up anticipation for his newest EP, House of God, which was released this past Friday to glowing reception from the dance community. House of God hears i_o strip down his sound to emphasize the most sinister traits of his production, with opening track “Possession” built around a thumping kick drum and distorted vocal samples. Ultimately, House of God reaffirms i_o’s talent for sounding at home on a massive festival stage just as much as he would at a grimy warehouse rave. 

 

 

Comedy

Everything Is Terrible!

8 p.m., Wednesday, August 14, at The Independent. $25; theindependentsf.com

Part obscure VHS-archivists, and part absurdist performance troupe, Everything Is Terrible is a collective that arguably pioneered the internet’s obsession for bizarre, outdated media that can be equally laughed and amazed at, with their most popular videos focusing on a cat massage tutorial and an 80s child dance-legend named Duane. The collective is the brainchild of college friends Dimitri Simakis and Nic Maier, who initially uploaded comedic re-edits of obscure VHS tapes the pair would find at thrift stores, which would serve as the foundation for the group’s act. After years of scouring the video sections of thrift stores, the group noticed a repeat offender at every store, the 1996 Tom Cruise cheese-fest Jerry Maguire, which inspired the troupe to collect every VHS copy of the film so they could build a pyramid in the desert to “sacrifice to the hive mind.” (The Jerry Maguire VHS collection is currently at 24,000 copies.) Onstage, Everything Is Terrible recreates the glorious kitsch found in their videos with puppets, music, and outrageous costumes for a live experience that is unparalleled in its celebratory insanity. 

 

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