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


Wayne Coyne gave local Flaming Lips fans a treat, stopping by the Mission's Aquarius Records to meet fans and sign copies of the band's first EP. That release, originally recorded in 1984, was reissued on green 12-inch vinyl — and last week Coyne was selling a special version that came with a solid white chocolate skull and a gold coin good for entry to any Flaming Lips show.

Kronos Quartet premiered “Beyond Zero: 1914-1918,” a new piece evoking WWI, as the world prepares to acknowledge the 100th anniversary of the war's beginning. Paired with film footage from the actual front, and sound samples from other conflicts, the performance compelled listeners to ask powerful questions: How can a viola sound like glass? Will war ever end?

Tom Waits, Sonoma County's best-known gravel impersonator, signed with a booking agency — which could mean he's planning a tour. Waits played a rare and well-received live set at last year's Bridge School Benefit, but he hasn't toured since 2008. Let's hope that's about to change.


The lamest April Fool's gags from the music world included an Atlanta chef joking about being hired by Justin Bieber — and designing a menu to channel “adolescent sentiments” and “general angst” — and a prank from the U.K.'s Daily Mirror about North Korea banning One Direction until the boy band members get a haircut. We'd prefer to imagine Metallica playing a set of Kate Bush covers, or Train moving to Oakland, thanks.

Chicago house music pioneer Frankie Knuckles died suddenly at 59. But you can't celebrate the memory of such a man by staying in and being sad, so a few of local parties and venues — including Aunt Charlie's Lounge, the Stud, and Mighty — launched one-off tributes to him. R.I.P., Godfather.

Apparently unable to resist making even more money off Michael Jackson, the late great's old label, Epic, is launching the posthumous album XSCAPE on May 13. It features eight new songs, all finished by producers “he either worked directly with or expressed strong desire to work with,” according to label boss L.A. Reid.

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