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


Noise Pop 2013 offered great sets by Thao Nugyen, Toro y Moi, and the Ty Segall project Fuzz, among many others. The festival ended with a surprise show Sunday night by instrumental electronic act Tycho at 1772 Market, and a birthday DJ set from tUnE-yArDs' Merrill Garbus.

Leonard Cohen played a marathon three-and-a-half-hour show at the Paramount in Oakland, bringing a diverse crowd to both laughter and tears. Dressed impeccably, Cohen performed many of his best-known songs, and even let each of his nine backup singers do a tune of their own.

Petty Fest proved a curious and fun three-hour tour at the Fillmore. Turns out singing Tom Petty isn't easy, but it was fun to watch people like Aimee Mann, Boz Scaggs, Chuck Prophet, Har Mar Superstar, and many others try.


• Noise Pop wasn't all great: The DIIV show on Saturday night revealed a band that's blank underneath its layers of reverb and innocuous noise. This music, like lots of pop, doesn't really dictate specific feelings for the listener — a classic commercial technique, this time used to snare the indie types.

The Beautiful Swimmers' performance at newish party the Chase fell flat. The set comprised compilation-standard house classics almost exclusively, and the method of playing didn't do much to add a new spin to these sounds, either.

Kanye West's ego is loose again: This time the man seriously compared himself to Picasso. It reminded us of Nicki Minaj comparing herself to Madonna, Madonna saying she's like Napoleon, and Justin Bieber allegedly claiming he's the Kurt Cobain of his generation. Get a grip, folks.

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