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


Kanye West got engaged in AT&T Park one night, then played spectacular, confounding concerts the next two. We still can't quite figure out how and why a new father and family man made the tour-de-misanthropy that is Yeezus, nor how he inhabited the new songs so well onstage the night after his engagement. But with his fake Jesus, yeti, and mountainous stage set, Kanye put on a tremendous show.

Celebrated local psych mongers Comets on Fire are reuniting for one show at Oakland's White Horse in November. The Santa Cruz-via-S.F. band hasn't played live in nearly six years, which makes this a rare opportunity to blow your ears out on brutal, trippy blues jams like “Whiskey River” and “Graverobbers.”

The Sunset party crew is known for its boat parties, especially the Halloween edition. This year's took place on a paddle-wheel steamer on S.F. Bay, with three dancefloors and plenty of mayhem. Kim Ann Foxman spun '90s house, while German duo Tiefschwarz went for druggy vibes with deep basslines and soaring climaxes.


The legendary singer and guitarist Lou Reed, co-founder of the Velvet Underground and perpetrator of a fascinating, confounding solo career, died of liver disease at 71. Tributes to the once notoriously hard-living New Yorker poured in from around the world.

Reed's memory stole the second day of Neil Young's Bridge School Benefit, when Young, My Morning Jacket, and more saluted him with the Velvets' “Oh! Sweet Nuthin'.” Tom Waits played an incredible set, too, but the rest of Sunday dragged through chilly temps, ineffectual acoustic sets, and relentless winds.

Reed's passing restarted old arguments about his best solo albums. Transformer and the Blue Mask are obvious — but what about Street Hassle? We got our Reed education working in a record store, when dismissing one album could incur the scheduling wrath of your boss. We'll be having this discussion forever. Thank you and R.I.P., Lou Reed.

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