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Silicon Valley Fall Concerts Preview

In Music
Perry Farrell performs with Jane's Addiction at the Uproar Festival on Sept. 11. Photo by Matt Crawford.

Perry Farrell performs with Jane's Addiction at the Uproar Festival on Sept. 11. Photo by Matt Crawford.

The concert schedule this fall is full of annual favorites, a few new surprises and Silicon Valley’s first large-scale mult-day technology conference and music festival.

VivaFest!
Aug 31 to Sep 28, Downtown San Jose; prices vary.
The 22nd annual celebration of mariachis and Mexican culture wraps up Sept. 28 with an evening of Latin alternative music from both sides of the border. Headliners Kinky leaped into international fame with their self-titled 2002 debut that jumbled funky electronica with guitar rock and traditional sounds from their native Monterrey, Mexico. Four albums later, they remain true to their name, joyously throwing kinks into the pop music machine. Filling out the bill is Carla Morrison, whose latest release, “DŽjenme Llorar (Let Me Cry),” was nominated for four Latin Grammys. Her dreamy and spare sonic landscapes that recall Mazzy Star and the Cowboy Junkies will seem immediately familiar to any indie fan. The L.A.-based sextet La Santa Cecilia spans traditional forms of Latin music—cumbia, bossa nova, tango—to produce music that is at turns haunting and rousing, and the Mexican-American collaborative Sistema Bomb gives a hip-hop remix to the traditional music of Veracruz. The month-long ÁVivaFest! will also present music and dance workshops, a film series, free outdoor music and other cultural events throughout downtown San Jose. (Richard Faulk)

Uproar Festival
Sep 11, Shoreline Amphitheatre; tickets start at $20.
Grunge veterans Alice in Chains and Lollapalooza founders Jane’s Addiction—can it really be 25 years since Nothing’s Shocking dropped?—headline the main stage at Uproar, which also features two other stages loaded with hard rock bands. Elsewhere, Toronto rocker Darko Jones channels David Lee Roth’s inner clown while serving up an eclectic set that cites everything from ’70s power pop to Scandinavian death metal. On the indie side of the genre, Beware of Darkness blasts Stooges-like freakouts, while traditionalists will enjoy the way Dead Daisies delivers straightforward, feel good rock & roll. But the true rock cognoscenti won’t want to miss second stage headliners Walking Papers. With ties both to grunge grandfathers Screaming Trees and Pearl Jam as well as Guns ‘N’ Roses, this Seattle outfit combines the swagger of Aerosmith with the brooding sounds and stories of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. (RF)

Rock The Bells
Sep 14-15, Shoreline Amphitheatre; tickets start at $65.50.
Hip-hop’s answer to Coachella celebrates its 10th anniversary at Shoreline Amphitheatre this year with two different lineups over two days and the festival’s most controversial move to date—virtual performances from deceased rappers Eazy E (N.W.A.) and Ol’ Dirty Bastard (Wu-Tang Clan) performing with their former crews. Other highlights include Too Short and E-40’s first Shoreline performance since 2004 (they were reportedly banned from the venue after a KMEL Summer Jam went sideways that year), A$AP Mob, Kid Cudi, Girl Talk, Juicy J, Deltron 3030, Trinidad James and many more. Check back for more details and interviews with the team behind the virtual performances in the Sep 11 issue of Metro. (Matt Crawford)

Swingin’ Utters
Sep 20, the Blank Club, $13.
San Francisco punk rockers the Swingin’ Utters are finally back with a new album. The band hits the road with the Dropkick Murphys this fall in support of Poorly Formed, finishing Sep 20 with a headlining gig at the Blank Club without the Murphys. The new album ventures into post-punk and garage rock territory, though the usual Swinging Utters’ punk sound with Irish-folk subtleties remains intact. (Stephen Layton)

Bassnectar
Sep 21, Event Center at San Jose State University, $35
Fans of the DJ and producer dub themselves “Bassheads” and it’ll come as no surprise that they like bass. Lorin Ashton, the San Jose native behind Bassnectar, is more than happy to provide. He’s grown from working local parties and Burning Man to become a leader in America’s still-growing EDM scene. Side one of his most recent Immersive Music mixtape contains a remix of Nina Simone’s “Feeling Good,” alongside a remix of obscure Portland prog/folk/metal band Agalloch. His original material blends genres as well, with anything from dubstep and glitch to Ashton’s first love, heavy metal. Side Two of Immersive Music is set to drop in mid-September right before the tour starts, but fans can always expect a trickle of tracks from the prolific producer. (SL)

C2SV Festival
Sep 26-29, downtown San Jose; tickets start at $55
With new venues and restaurants already starting a renaissance for nightlife offerings in downtown San Jose, the C2SV Festival continues forward momentum with four nights of music at 12 venues during one long weekend. Topped by a headlining performance from Iggy and the Stooges at St. James Park, the lineup features San Francisco fuzz rock favorites Thee Oh Sees, modern funk producer and Stones Throw affiliate Dam-Funk, Silicon Valley electro-rockers the Limousines, revolutionary hip-hop from the Coup, LA hardcore vets Off!, alt-rock pioneers the Lemonheads and more than 50 other acts. A tech conference accompanies the festival, with dozens of Silicon Valley CEOs and business leaders at San Jose McEnery Convention Center and a keynote speech from Stooges guitarists James Williamson. (Metro is a sponsor of C2SV)

Conor Oberst
Oct 3, Mountain Winery, $37.50-$47.50
It’s been difficult to keep track of former Bright Eyes frontman Conor Oberst this summer. In between touring with his newly reunited punk band the Desaparecidos and a couple of shows with his Mystic Valley band, Oberst will be playing some solo shows in California and Nevada, including San Francisco’s Hardly Strictly Bluegrass. For his solo appearance at the Mountain Winery in October, the warbly singer will play material from Bright Eyes, Mystic Valley Band and the folk supergroup Monsters of Folk. Oberst’s Saddle Creek label reissued six out-of-print Bright Eyes records last year, and I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning was recently certified gold. Maybe a Bright Eyes reunion should be added to his burgeoning docket as well. (SL)

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass
Oct 4-6, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco; Free
The final lineup announcement is still pending, but lineup leaks from Hardly Strictly Bluegrass organizers look promising this year with Santa Cruz trio the Devil Makes Three, Allah-Las, Conor Oberst, Nicki Bluhm & the Gramblers among the younger acts on the bill, with HSB vets Boz Scaggs, Chris Isaak, Robert Earl Keen, Bonnie Raitt, Patty Griffin and Natalie Maines rounding out the lineup. With six stages over three days, this free festival in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park draws more than 500,000 people. (MC)

Paramore
Oct 18, SAP Center, $39.50-$49.50
Paramore will headline the newly renamed SAP Center on Oct 18, supported by Hellogoodbye and Metric. The alt-rock band released its first full-length album in four years in April, debuting at No. 1 on the Billboard charts. It is the first album recorded without co-founding members Josh and Zac Farro, guitarist and drummer respectively, who left the band at the end of 2010 with a scathing blog post accusing Paramore of being a “manufactured product of a major label.” Maybe after seven years someone finally decided to break it to them. Paramore has also recently announced a four day cruise/music festival slated to set sail next March, after completion of their international “Self-Titled” tour. The band will be performing on the high seas alongside dozens of other acts including Tegan & Sara. (SL)

Treasure Island Music Festival
Oct 19-20, Treasure Island, $85 and up
An armada of bands, 26 strong, rallies in the middle of San Francisco Bay for this weekend-long festival. Setting the tenor for day one is the twitchy, cerebral, but irresistibly danceable Atoms for Peace. This unlikely super-group pairing of Radiohead’s Thom Yorke and Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea is supported by trip-hop pioneer Tricky, whose recent release False Idols is a return to his ’90s peak. Relative youngsters Phantogram fit right in with their menacing and seductive beats, while Little Dragon deliver New Wave neo-soul by way of Sweden. L.A.’s Poolside brings a welcome burst of sunshine with their signature “daytime disco” sounds while Diplo’s Major Lazer plugs in his dancehall sound system. Original loser Beck ushers in day two, featuring the many faces of indie pop, from the trickstery Animal Collective to the smooth rusticity of Lord Huron and the plangent garage rock of Palm Violets. James Blake’s dubstep infused singer-songwriter ballads may be the perfect recipe to soothe a Sunday morning hangover. (RF)

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Matt Crawford is content director for Boulevards New Media, Inc. and Metro Newspaper and managing editor of SF Station. Follow him @Metro_Matt.

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