• Toronto's Seaway out to prove pop-punk is alive and kicking

    Toronto’s Seaway out to prove pop-punk is alive and kicking

    Even without taking Seaway‘s residence on Berkeley label Pure Noise into account, the Bay Area remains prominent to the band’s history. The punk rock tradition of brazen attitude over airtight performances keep the Toronto band enthused about playing legendary San Francisco clubs. “Playing Gillman was awesome, just because how…
  • PHOTOS: Fleet Foxes bring whimsical soundscapes to the Greek

    PHOTOS: Fleet Foxes bring whimsical soundscapes to the Greek

    BERKELEY — As The Westerlies played its dreary tune “A Nearer Sun,” Fleet Foxes took the Greek Theatre stage Friday. The symphonic tones eventually turned into a single blare, cueing the Seattle folk-rockers to take over from there. Seamlessly, Fleet Foxes broke into full sound for  “I Am…
  • RIFF Rewind — A time machine for your ears: 1981

    RIFF Rewind — A time machine for your ears: 1981

    We’re doing another set of 10. I didn’t realize this, but the entire ’80s happened in 1981. It’s true! Because basically every song they play on Sirius XM’s 80s on 8 came out in the same year. It’s weird because I thought I was born in 1982 but,…
  • Q&A: Jukebox the Ghost never 'lonely' passing time at truck stops

    Q&A: Jukebox the Ghost never ‘lonely’ passing time at truck stops

    Over the last 10 years, Washington, D.C. trio Jukebox the Ghost has remained busy etching its petroglyph-like ghost logo into the history of piano rock. From more humble beginnings in dorm room shows at George Washington University, to near constant tours that crisscross the country, singer-pianist Ben Thornewill, guitarist Tommy Siegel and drummer Jesse…
  • REVIEW: Dashboard Confessional makes personal connections at the Fillmore

    REVIEW: Dashboard Confessional makes personal connections at the Fillmore

    SAN FRANCISCO — Dashboard Confessional frontman Chris Carrabba has always found a way to break down the barrier between his band and fans. To young fans who felt alone in a strange and confusing world, Dashboard Confessional consistently proved a relatable connection. They showed that yet again Tuesday…
  • PHOTOS: Sigrid gets comfy at the Independent

    PHOTOS: Sigrid gets comfy at the Independent

    SAN FRANCISCO — Think of Sigrid as a dark horse pop star. The 21-year-old Norwegian singer-songwriter, who headlined a sold-out show at the Independent Monday, recently was named as the winner of the BBC Sound of 2018, joining the ranks of previous winners like Sam Smith, Haim and Adele. Yet…
  • NYC funk and jazz band Ikebe Shakedown leaves the story open to interpretation

    NYC funk and jazz band Ikebe Shakedown leaves the story open to interpretation

    As Ikebe Shakedown’s Nadav Nirenberg talked about his band over the phone last week, a kaleidoscope of muffled horns echoed in the background. The funk band was in the middle of a recording session at its Brooklyn studio, Hive Mind Recording. The Brooklyn instrumental septet is comprised of…
  • PHOTOS: Rebirth Brass Band leads second line parade at Bimbo's

    PHOTOS: Rebirth Brass Band leads second line parade at Bimbo’s

    SAN FRANCISCO — A Rebirth Brass Band show is not just a concert; it’s a higher-level event. Even those who haven’t seen the decades-running troupe perform at its tin-roofed Maple Leaf Bar in New Orleans can attest that the cyclone of horns, trumpets, trombones, saxophones and cacophonous percussionists,…
14 tips to make the most of SXSW Music 2018