Whether you preferred the dancefloor at Mighty, the plush environs of Bimbo's 365 Club, or the dewy late-night fields of Outside Lands, there were plenty of great concerts in San Francisco and the Bay Area in 2012. We reviewed many of them, from "secret" shows at semi-legal clubs to sprawling, three ... More >>
Chuck Prophet takes us on a tour of San Francisco Willie Mays, Carol Doda, and Harvey Milk didn't come to Hardly Strictly Bluegrass this year, but S.F. rocker Chuck Prophet brought their memories to a crowded and lively set early Friday afternoon. Prophet's latest album, Temple Beautiful, is a story ... More >>
Standing on the precipice of mainstream acclaim, the sisters comprising the Swedish folk duo First Aid Kit are among an emerging generation of musical disciples of bands like Bright Eyes and Fleet Foxes, whose own sound is a modern twist on traditional American country. It's a little bit of an unlik ... More >>
Jay BlakesbergWarren Hellman at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Warren Hellman, the billionaire banjo-picker and eccentric who founded the free Hardly Strictly Bluegrass music festival, lost his battle with leukemia on Sunday. He was 77. Hellman was a successful investment banker a beloved philant ... More >>
Broken Social Scene is one of more than 90 acts playing Hardly Strictly Bluegrass this year. The lineup for this year's Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival is out, and good luck figuring out whom to call the "headliner." For the festival's 11th year, organizers have put together another insane ... More >>
Mick Jagger threw his name into the running for what may become the biggest supergroup of 2011, joining Dave Stewart of the Eurythmics, Damien Marley, Joss Stone, and A.R. Rahman, composer of the Slumdog Millionaire soundtrack, for what promises to be an eclectic (and hopefully not too terr ... More >>
Bright Eyes at the Fox Theater last night. Pics by Ian, more after the jump.Bright EyesApril 12, 2011@ The Fox Theater, OaklandBetter than: Whatever shit Mike Huckabee listens to.If Bob Dylan sang the universal in such exquisite poetry that it became personal, Conor Oberst shouts the pe ... More >>
This week, thousands of music lovers, wayward drunks, and music industry folk have descended upon Austin, Texas, for the 2011 South By Southwest music "conference" (yeah, right). If you're still here at home in the Bay Area, the reality that you're missing five days of non-stop free music/beer/b ... More >>
Revolver Maybe America isn't ready for Revolver. Or maybe Revolver isn't ready for America -- after all, its Myspace page is still partially in French. This Paris trio sounds like what would happen if Franz Ferdinand was on Saddle Creek Records, replacing bass guitar with cello to create a d ... More >>
Autumn De WildeJenny and Johnny are among 80 acts at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass 2010Hardly Strictly is here! But before you blow your figurative load over the biggest free concert of the year, keep in mind that there are plenty of other fun and cheap events in the city this weekend. Here's our lis ... More >>
San Francisco's annual Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival is kind of like a choose-your-own-adventure novel. You could pick any number of themes to select the acts you want to see -- old punk pioneers, roots music up-and-comers, etc.-- and follow one through all three day's lineups. You coul ... More >>
Bill SitzmannToday sees the stateside release of the Arcade Fire's third full-length album, The Suburbs, which supposedly kicks ass. Not having heard it, I will instead ruminate on another album about suburbs: Read Music/Speak Spanish, the first and only record by Omaha's Desaparecidos. The ye ... More >>
By Noah W. Bailey Picking the best folk and Americana records of the year isn't nearly as hard as discarding those great records that just didn't feel right stuck in the category. Releases by Calexico and DeVotchKa felt far too worldly to pigeonhole as folk or country, for instance, while Blitzen ... More >>
Our critics weigh in on local theater
Conor Oberst (Merge)
Local promoters take a big risk to give S.F. a music fest that will restore the city's cool cred
Conor Oberst succeeds despite the flaws
Four Winds EP (Saddle Creek)
Jenny Lewis emerges as a solo force to be reckoned with, and brings her hardscrabble past with her
Americana/Folk/Country DJ/Turntablist Electro/Electronic/Experimental Hard Rock Hip Hop Indie Rock/Noise Pop Jazz Soul/R&B World Music Music Video
The future's so bright, we've got to wear shades to this week's assortment of great shows
Talking work and sex with Beep Beep's unhappy-hour dance party; Steve Earle reminds us that he's a little bit country, a little bit rock 'n' roll
Indie icon Conor Oberst grows up -- and blows up
Trials and Errors
M. Ward brings his dusky folk to Du Nord; buzz-band Louis XIV hits the "popscene."
Lua|Take It Easy (Love Nothing)
Monsters of mope come to Berkeley: M. Ward, Bright Eyes, and Jim James. Old 97's are hotter than Ryan Adams.
EPs are usually ignored by reviewers. Here are a few recent releases worth taking note of.
Sharing a spotlight with Bright Eyes is no easy task. But Cursive is up for it.
Meet "the new Bob Dylan," aka Conor Oberst, who knows pain despite his young age
Folk singer David Dondero finds his songs the old-fashioned way -- by roaming the country's highways and byways
The Amos House Collection, Volume II (Wishing Tree)
Read Music/Speak Spanish (Saddle Creek)