For its fifth anniversary, Treasure Island Music Festival brought another indie-and-dance-leaning lineup to the middle of the bay. Highlights included Chromeo's melodramatic electronica, St. Vincent's elegant future-rock poise, and the face-melting onslaught of Explosions in the Sky. But headlining sets from Empire of the Sun and Death Cab were a bit predictable.
Ryan Adams played a solo acoustic concert at the Herbst Theatre, and taught us something new: Dude's funny as hell. In between somber country ballads, Adams told jokes about hair metal bands and made brief asides of hilarious self-deprecation, keeping the quiet evening from getting too grim. The encore he played with Jason Isbell was stunning, too.
A new book, Murder in the Front Row, aims to tell the story of the thriving '80s Bay Area thrash metal scene in pictures. More than 400 images show early Metallica gigs — including late bassist Cliff Burton's very first rehearsal with the band — and the nascent shows and hard-drinking nights of local heroes like Exodus, Death Angel, and Testament. The book should arrive in December.
Non-Stop Bhangra celebrated its seventh birthday with a big party at the Rickshaw Stop, demonstrating how this Punjab-bred rhythm has melded with house, dancehall, and other styles to make an unusual global music. Unfortunately, the tinny highs and nonexistent bass of the Rickshaw's sound system didn't do it justice.
Remember Assemblywoman Fiona Ma's quest to ban raves in California? It's more or less dead in the water, after Ma — who even attended a rave this spring — discovered that the constitution won't allow the prohibition of one style of music. Unfortunately, she still thinks that the state should ban things like pacifiers and LED gloves at dance parties.
Important Kreayshawn update: In a recent interview, the Oakland-raised rapper revealed that she hates Zachary's pizza — the best in the East Bay — because she thinks it's for rich people. She even accused the joint of being located in tony Piedmont (it is actually in Oakland). Girl isn't gonna win herself more local fans by hating on some of their favorite food.