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Sizzle and Fizzle: Highs and Lows from the Last Week in S.F. Music 

Wednesday, Nov 20 2013


Cass McCombs smirked and threw sidelong glances at his three-piece band all night as a means of communication, but the audience was too busy being enchanted by his gentle twang, the rolling groove of "Big Wheel," and obvious love of playing music with his friends to pay much mention to anything else happening on stage.

Alternative Tentacles turned 33 1/3 this week, and the punk label threw itself an appropriately noisy, anti-establishment birthday party at Slim's. We took the opportunity to look back on founder Jello Biafra's three-plus decades of shenanigans, such as telling Tipper Gore off on national TV.

Nick Cave may be developing a sense of humor — at least, that's the impression we came away from last week's invitation-only web press conference with. His apparent discomfort with in-person appearances of the non-musical variety aside, the two new tracks we got to hear from Live From KCRW, his fourth live album with the Bad Seeds, only got us more excited for Record Store Day at the end of the month.


Jordan Kurland, founder of S.F.'s Noise Pop Festival and manager of Death Cab for Cutie, among other bands, was convicted of misdemeanor domestic assault charges following an altercation with an ex-girlfriend at his home in Bernal Heights on Sept. 29. Kurland was sentenced to three years probation and a year of domestic violence counseling.

It wasn't for lack of trying, but both Vancouver punks White Lung and local underground rap hero Antwon seemed tired Sunday night at the Rickshaw Stop, for the last show of their national tour. What should have been a scene of sweat-drenched, beer can-strewn mayhem was instead a fairly subdued evening of 30-minute sets. We'll probably still see both of 'em next time they come through town — hopefully on a Saturday night.

We didn't think we were capable of having even more negative feelings toward One Direction, but then the British boy wonders went and joined the long-standing tradition of banjo-bandwagon jumping, and decided to morph into Mumford & Sons for their most recent single. Shame ensued all around.

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