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


The Hardly Strictly Bluegrass 2013 lineup is out, and it includes Calexico, Nick Lowe, Bonnie Raitt, Richard Thompson, Natalie Maines, Low, Father John Misty, Gogol Bordello, Bettye LaVette, and Sonny and the Sunsets. The festival takes place Oct. 4-6; check out the full lineup on our site.

Trumpeter Terence Blanchard opened the SFJAZZ season with an excellent run of shows, blowing through his instrument's upper register with force and clarity. The five-time Grammy winner and NOLA native also marveled at the new SFJAZZ Center: “I'm from the home of jazz, and we don't have anything like this,” he said.

Gary Numan, influential British architect of chilly, futuristic synth-rock, played a sweltering show at the Oakland Metro Operahouse. Looking trim and menacing at 55, Numan aired some material from his forthcoming album, which got a surprisingly warm response from the audience.


The lineup for the Bridge School Benefit includes CSNY and Queens of the Stone Age, with Elvis Costello, Heart, and the Killers on the bill for Saturday. Fine, but the acoustic Queens show is disappointing: Given the band's brutal new album, …Like Clockwork, we're dying for a full-volume Bay Area date, and there isn't one on the calendar.

The shitty part about getting to be a famous rockstar? The weird and likely necessary post-fame job</b>. Bez from Happy Mondays has become a beekeeper, and Public Enemy's Terminator X is now, um, an ostrich farmer. From spinning records to shoveling poop, that's a long fall into reality.

M.I.A.'s new single “Come Walk With Me” sounds like a girl group trapped in an M.R.I. scanner. Or like M.I.A. getting bored in the studio and chucking some stuff together in the hope that it will sound like bold experimentation. We're worried for her new album Matangi, out Nov. 5.

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