Three Must-See Acts This Week

Lee Fields and the Expressions on Sunday and Monday at the Chapel, The Knocks on Monday at Mezzanine, and Solardo on Tuesday at the Midway.

House

Solardo

(at Fresh Start) 4 a.m., Tuesday, Jan. 1, at The Midway. $50; themidwaysf.com

Manchester’s kinetic tech house duo Solardo have been on a rapid ascent on the American club circuit for the past two years, and they look to bring that momentum into 2019 right from the start with a special New Year’s Day set at The Midway. The production duo, made up of Mark Richards and James Eliot, were crowned DJ Mag’s “Best Breakthrough Act” for 2016, and Best Duo in 2017, after captivating club audiences around the world with their groovy, forward-thinking brand of house. 2018 proved to be a watershed year for the pair of producers, releasing the highly praised single “Be Somebody” and Camelphat collaboration “Accelerator,” each of which was a dance-floor favorite among DJs across the scene. In addition to their musical output, Solardo run their own radio show, The Spot, which has had cosigns from dance heavyweights like Claude VonStroke and Nicole Moudaber.

Lee Fields

Soul

Lee Fields & the Expressions

7 p.m., Sunday and Monday, Dec. 30-31, at The Chapel. $30; thechapelsf.com

A bold creative force within funk and soul music for over five decades, Lee Fields is the rare musician who has only become more relevant as more listeners discover his extensive discography filled with hidden treasures, as well as recording new material that rivals his classics. Fields jumped into the music industry when he moved to New York at age 17 with $2 to his name, and a voice that earned him comparisons to James Brown. Fields spent most of the ’70s recording with various labels, including SoundPlus and Angle 3, and releasing records that were modestly received at the time but which have since become prized collectors items. Fields spent most of the ’80s away from the music industry, returning to the stage in the early ’90s playing soul-blues on the Southern circuit. In 1999, he released Let’s Get A Groove On, a critically acclaimed funk album that revitalized Fields’ career with underground audiences, many of whom went on to listen to his back catalogue for the first time. Fields’ music has since been sampled by modern stars like A$AP Rocky and J. Cole, cementing rich musical legacy. With backing band The Expressions, Fields has released some of his best material yet, with 2014’s Emma Jean being a delightful collection of old-school soul that sounds remarkably fresh.

The Knocks

Dance-pop

The Knocks

9 p.m., Monday, Dec. 31, at Mezzanine. $95; mezzaninesf.com

From bedroom remixers to highly in-demand producers with an arsenal of hits, DJ and production duo The Knocks blend funk, hip-hop, and pop to create sunshine-infected dance music that’s ready for festival stages and Billboard charts alike. James “JPatt” Patterson and Ben “DJ B-Roc” Ruttner met while studying in New York and shared an apartment that they converted into a makeshift recording studio. Neighbors would constantly knock on their door to ask them to turn down their blaring music, a pattern that inspired the duo’s name. After a string of successful pop remixes, The Knocks released their catchy debut singles in 2010 — “Dancing With The DJ” and “Make It Better” — and then released the EPs Magic and Comfortable in 2011 and 2014. After many delays and false-starts, The Knocks released their long-awaited debut album 55 in 2016 to widespread acclaim, an infectious pop record that exemplifies the duo’s natural pop songwriting sensibilities. The duo’s latest effort, New York Narcotic, is a playful, happiness-inducing 50 minutes of bouncy dance-pop that continues where 55 left off, buoyed by excellent collaborations with Foster the People and Sofi Tukker.

 

View Comments