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


n At the Fox Theater for the first of two sold-out shows, Lorde convulsed to the energy of her beats, furiously shaking her arms and barking out notes while crouched onstage. Singles “Royals” and “Team” got the biggest cheers, but we were struck by the rapt reception given to album cuts like “400 Lux” and “Ribs.” Going her own way has worked great so far, but can the 17-year-old keep this momentum going?

n We were reminded of the chill-out rooms of yesteryear in a visit to Sunight, the latest surround-sound experiment from the Overlap Soundsystem. With the mood set by scented oils and glowing terrariums, attendees sat or laid on the floor of Public Works' loft, letting cascades of delay and the occasional kick drum wash over them from eight different directions.

n Years ago it was written that if Nine Inch Nails and Soundgarden were ever to tour together after the turn of the millennium, it would mark the height of alt-rock nostalgia, the peak of Gen-X pining for its lost youth. Alas, we are there: The past shall become the present Aug. 24 at Shoreline Amphitheatre.


n Two bands suffered the theft of their tour vans in S.F. last week. Hometown rockers Waters had their green Ford Econoline stolen while parked in Potrero Hill. Meanwhile, Austin touring act the Boyfrndz had their silver Ford van and trailer stolen along with all their gear and merch. It was parked on Grove Street, near Lyon. Keep an eye out — the vans' license plates and more details are on our website.

n Some industry observers think people soon won't buy music at all, not even through a streaming service. “Music will eventually end up as just a feature in somebody else's product,” one expert told Wired. “Eventually, nearly every digital service we depend on will toss in music as a nice feature to sweeten the deal.” Music as a mere deal-sweetener: Now that's depressing.

n After Gwenyth Paltrow and Chris Martin euphemistically ended their marriage with a “conscious uncoupling,” we went back looking for the most pretentiously inept lines in Coldplay's songbook. “Just a puppet on a lonely string/Oh, who would ever want to be king,” from “Viva La Vida,” might be the winner.

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