• RIFF Rewind—A time machine for your ears: 1973

    RIFF Rewind—A time machine for your ears: 1973

      I’m gonna be honest: In a vacuum, the songs I picked aren’t my top five. Stevie Wonder’s “Higher Ground,” Led Zeppelin’s “Dancing Days” and Alice Cooper’s “No More Mr. Nice Guy” would be on the list if I wasn’t doing every year. But I had Alice Cooper in the top five…
  • Noise Pop: Ha Ha Tonka breaks from expectations yet again

    Noise Pop: Ha Ha Tonka breaks from expectations yet again

    Brian Roberts is lead singer of Ha Ha Tonka, a southern rock-infused band from the Ozarks named after a state park in Missouri. One would assume, based on stereotypes, that between tours we would find him fishing or ranching or something similarly rustic. Ha Ha Tonka Wildling, Dagmar,…
  • REVIEW: Dua Lipa struts to victory at the Masonic

    REVIEW: Dua Lipa struts to victory at the Masonic

    SAN FRANCISCO — It’s been quite a year already for rising pop superstar Dua Lipa. The London-born songstress scored her first No. 1 hit in the U.S. with the viral single “New Rules.” She heads into next week’s BRIT Awards with five nominations, and is in the midst…
  • REVIEW: Kimbra pilots sonic spaceship to Regency Ballroom

    REVIEW: Kimbra pilots sonic spaceship to Regency Ballroom

    SAN FRANCISCO — Kimbra is releasing her third third album, Primal Heart, in April, but she’s giving U.S. fans a sneak peek on tour right now. The New Zealand singer-songwriter brought her revamped show to the Regency Ballroom Tuesday. Like the new LP, Kimbra’s live show tones down the…
  • Noise Pop: Enter Shikari's Rou Reynolds gets melodic, looks inward

    Noise Pop: Enter Shikari’s Rou Reynolds gets melodic, looks inward

    In their native England, where all five of its albums over 15 years debuted within the Top 20 on the U.K. chart, genre-morphing post-rock, punk and emo band Enter Shikari has graduated to headlining arenas. On tour in the U.S. this month, in support of 2017’s The Spark,…
  • Noise Pop: Palehound returns with <i>A Place I'll Always Go</i>

    Noise Pop: Palehound returns with A Place I’ll Always Go

    Just a week-and-a-half shy of her North American tour, Ellen Kempner of Palehound starts to make necessary preparations for takeoff. Her checklist includes logistical tasks like counting merchandise and searching for a rental van. But other key essentials include squeezing in as many cuddle sessions as she can…
  • Q&A: Banners on the cusp of making a big splash

    Q&A: Banners on the cusp of making a big splash

    Are you getting excited about the return of American Idol to TV even if you’ve never watched a single full episode before? The music of U.K. singer-songwriter Banners could be the reason why. Catch Banners on tour this spring, with a West Coast swing in the works for April…
  • Q&A: Kimbra challenges herself and others on 'Primal Heart'

    Q&A: Kimbra challenges herself and others on ‘Primal Heart’

    Visiting churches on Sunday mornings not only helped Kimbra find a deeper meaning of love, but impacted her forthcoming third album, Primal Heart. Before the singer-songwriter moved from Los Angeles to Manhattan, she enjoyed walking up early on Sundays, going for a walk, and finding a new church…