• The 5 best acts we saw in the second half of SXSW 2019

    The 5 best acts we saw in the second half of SXSW 2019

    AUSTIN, TEX. — The second half of our SXSW festival included more walking around, but this time our feet were way more tired. Still, we battled on, and came away with these five artists deserving of your time and money. Thyla – We hadn’t heard anything about Thyla…
  • Tuesday Tracks: Your Weekly New Music Discovery – March 19

    Tuesday Tracks: Your Weekly New Music Discovery – March 19

    It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer volume of music on the internet. Don’t get me wrong, I love how platforms like YouTube, Bandcamp and Soundcloud have opened the floodgates of independent artists. But navigating the flood is easier said than done. That’s where RIFF steps in. We do the…
  • Metallica to reprise classic 'S&M' SF Symphony collaboration at Chase Center opening

    Metallica to reprise classic ‘S&M’ SF Symphony collaboration at Chase Center opening

    SAN FRANCISCO — Metallica and the San Francisco Symphony will perform at the inaugural concert at the Chase Center, the new home of the NBA’s Golden State Warriors. The team, symphony and band Monday jointly announced the Sept. 6 concert, dubbed “S&M2” for the original time the thrash metal…
  • REVIEW: Sara Bareilles full of simmering fury in return to the concert stage in SF

    REVIEW: Sara Bareilles full of simmering fury in return to the concert stage in SF

    SAN FRANCISCO — Sara Bareilles has been busy in the six years since she released This Blessed Unrest, her breakthrough album that was nominated for the Grammy Award for Album of the Year. First, she scored the Broadway production of Waitress. Then she acted in the play’s lead…
  • The 6 best acts we saw in the first half of SXSW 2019

    The 6 best acts we saw in the first half of SXSW 2019

    AUSTIN, TEX. — SXSW 2019 marked a decided return to the “discovery mode” hallmark for which the festival has traditionally been known. While some big names always drop in—for example, Beastie Boys Mike D and Ad-Rock each gave a festival chat; as did David Byrne—the heart of the festival remained…
  • REVIEW: Pink Floyd's Nick Mason sets the controls for old magic at The Masonic

    REVIEW: Pink Floyd’s Nick Mason sets the controls for old magic at The Masonic

    SAN FRANCISCO — Drummer Nick Mason is the only member of Pink Floyd to be featured on every one of the band’s albums, which have gone on to sell over a quarter billion copies. While Mason’s bandmates, Roger Waters and David Gilmour, have put on massive tours playing…
  • RIFF RADIO: Grandson stokes the fire of revolution for positive change

    RIFF RADIO: Grandson stokes the fire of revolution for positive change

    The past 12 months have been quite a ride for New-Jersey-born, Toronto-raised Jordan Benjamin. The alt-rock singer-songwriter, who performs as Grandson, opened for artists like Young the Giant and Smashing Pumpkins, released two-volume EP A Modern Tragedy, and is now embarking on his first national headlining tour—a nearly sold-out endeavor. Grandson sat…
  • INTERVIEW: Alice Merton faces off with fear, tours with Young the Giant, Fitz and the Tantrums

    INTERVIEW: Alice Merton faces off with fear, tours with Young the Giant, Fitz and the Tantrums

    Alice Merton still gets anxious to the point of nausea before performing. More than a year since the release of snowballing worldwide hit “No Roots,” which quickly reached the top spot on Billboard’s Alternative Songs chart, the Berlin-based Anglophile songwriter still faces bouts of self-doubt that she will make…
  • PHOTOS: Metric and Zoé lead lineup of contrasting indietronica at the Masonic

    PHOTOS: Metric and Zoé lead lineup of contrasting indietronica at the Masonic

    SAN FRANCISCO — Toronto indie rock band Metric and Mexico City psychedelic emo rockers Zoé brought their co-headlining tour to The Masonic Wednesday. Metric, led by the charismatic frontwoman Emily Haines, performed songs from its new album, Art of Doubt, full of synth pop, new wave and dance-rock, switching off between…
  • REVIEW: LP feeds her admirers 'Heart to Mouth' at the Fox

    REVIEW: LP feeds her admirers ‘Heart to Mouth’ at the Fox

    OAKLAND — Singer-songwriter LP wowed a packed Fox Theater Sunday with little more than the power and range of her voice. The show, a make-up of an appearance postponed due to illness, was in support of the New-York-born, L.A.-based artist’s album Heart to Mouth. While the set was…
  • REVIEW: Muse delivers sensory exhilaration at Oracle spectacle

    REVIEW: Muse delivers sensory exhilaration at Oracle spectacle

    OAKLAND — It’s not exactly a trade secret that nearly 25 years into its career that Muse is one of the best live acts in modern rock. The band’s ‘all in’ attitude toward its live show has been evident going back to the beginning, when guitarist Matt Bellamy,…
  • INTERVIEW: The Ninth Wave blends cool with creepy, poised for U.S. debut

    INTERVIEW: The Ninth Wave blends cool with creepy, poised for U.S. debut

    The independent music landscape has experienced a dramatic overhaul over the past few years. No longer is indie rock and pop a catch-all to describe underground bands at the cutting edge of new and innovative sound. It’s gone mainstream. The popular appeal has led to homogenization, with unique songwriting…