Looking back at the history of popular music, though myriad albums might truly be called milestones of innovation and artistry—from Sgt. Pepper to a Kid A—few live albums enjoy this distinction. Too often, live albums are used to fulfill contractual obligations, or serve as stand-ins for greatest hits compilations. Rarely do these albums succeed in capturing the power of the recorded performance or provide any real insight into the artists performing. Continue reading »
“What makes this night so special is that it’s about y’all and the way you feel: This is a representation of that feeling.” Feelings were indeed front and center at Kanye West’s Saint Pablo Tour in San Jose last night, an emotional, visual, aural rollercoaster ride that lasted nearly three hours and could’ve gone on longer if the audience hadn’t been on the brink of rioting. Continue reading »
For more than three decades now, Dream Theater has been exploring and charting new territory in the realms of progressive rock and metal, continually redefining both themselves and the musical genres they have long championed. Continue reading »
An openly misogynistic, KKK-endorsed serial abuser and circulator of anti-Semitic imagery is now president-elect. Peter Thiel, a Lex Luthor-esque Bay Area billionaire who waged a unilateral war on the First Amendment, tried to dissuade youth from attending college, and is planning on infusing himself with the blood of adolescents so that he can live forever—for real, look it up—has been tapped as part of the transition team. Welcome to dystopia. Continue reading »
It’s been more than a decade since Kanye West first burst into the mainstream with his triumphant, soul-sampling debut, “The College Dropout.” He’s come a long way since his early days, spinning up beats for Roc-A-Fella Records. In 2016, Ye is everywhere—from fashion, to producing, to creating his own unapologetic, boundary-pushing tunes. He comes to town on the heels of his latest effort, “The Life of Pablo.” Also this week, British producer Mat Zo brings his psychotic EDM circus sounds to Pure Lounge, Dream Theater unfurls their sprawling new concept album, “The Astonishing,” at City National Civic, and a collection of some of San Jose’s best musicians get together to celebrate Nirvana by covering their seminal 1994 album “Unplugged” in its entirety at the brand new Forager. Continue reading »
The “Sid” in John Ritchie’s stage name was in honor of his pet hamster; the “Vicious” was because he was so mild mannered. By the time Sex Pistols’ co-lead Sid Vicious was found dead on Groundhog Day 1979, the victim of a too-hot shot of heroin, he had a murder charge hanging over him. Was he indeed a killer? Did someone else ice Sid’s live-in Nancy Spungen with a knife at the Chelsea Hotel? Sad Vacation by Danny Garcia seeks to clear the fog with some grand jury testimony and interviews with some surviving downtown NYC characters.
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Hate him or love him, there’s little doubt that Diplo is one of the biggest names in electronic dance music right now. Through his collaborations with Skrillex, Justin Beiber and M.I.A., his myriad pop production credits, and his dancehall group Major Lazer, the globetrotting DJ and producer has played a huge role in shaping contemporary music. And now he’s coming to The Ritz in what has to be one of the biggest bookings the SoFA club has yet to secure. Continue reading »
Keith Morris, the legendary vocalist for OFF!, stands as one of the grand elders atop the punk rock family tree of Los Angeles. His new memoir, a snarling page-turner titled My Damage: The Story of a Punk Rock Survivor, is culled from a lifetime of fronting multiple major acts—including Black Flag and Circle Jerks.
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David Byrne is a modern day Renaissance man. The frontman and founder of The Talking Heads, is also a performing and visual artist. With his latest endeavor, “Neurosociety”, he is combining his interest in the arts with his fascination in tech. Speaking of the nexus of art and technology, electronic music producer Derek Vincent Smith, better known as the man behind Pretty Lights, has made a name for himself moving crowds with a blend of dreamy atmospherics, earworm melodies and infectious rhythms. And political comedian Bill Maher comes to town to commiserate about the results of the election. Continue reading »
San Jose-based emcee Cola—not to be confused with the San Jose-based indie rock outfit, Cola— is preparing to release a new mixtape, titled House Shoes. No firm date has been given for the release, but his publicist says it should drop in mid-December. That’s the album’s art work up above. Continue reading »