• PHOTOS: Anthony Green of Circa Survive leads intimate night at GAMH

    PHOTOS: Anthony Green of Circa Survive leads intimate night at GAMH

    SAN FRANCISCO — Despite just having released a new album a little more than a month ago, Circa Survive vocalist Anthony Green decided to focus his solo acoustic tour on the 10-year anniversary of another record, Avalon. Green’s tour made a stop at the Great American Music Hall Sunday.  Even though Green…
  • REVIEW: John Zorn and Bill Laswell explore experimentation at migrant reunification benefit at the Chapel

    REVIEW: John Zorn and Bill Laswell explore experimentation at migrant reunification benefit at the Chapel

    SAN FRANCISCO —  Watching John Zorn and Bill Laswell on stage at The Chapel in San Francisco Friday, a sentence James Baldwin wrote in his famous short story Sonny’s Blues hung in the air: “The man who creates the music is hearing something else, is dealing with the…
  • RIFF Rewind: Tupac, Wu-Tang and the Breeders wrote the best songs of 1993

    RIFF Rewind: Tupac, Wu-Tang and the Breeders wrote the best songs of 1993

    Usually this column is the top five songs of each year. Sometimes, in an especially good year, I bend that and make it the top 10. This week has nine. The reasons for this are threefold: First, the longlist has 23 songs on it and that’s hard to…
  • REVIEW: Sylvan Esso and Kamasi Washington paint with different brushes in Berkeley

    REVIEW: Sylvan Esso and Kamasi Washington paint with different brushes in Berkeley

    BERKELEY — On its current tour, North Carolina electro-pop and dance duo Sylvan Esso is sharing the stage with several handfuls of different artists. While most of the openers fit into the indie rock or pop mold, Berkeley fans were given a special treat Thursday with Grammy-winning jazz…
  • PHOTOS: Neurosis establishes post-metal roots and the art of stealth at GAMH

    PHOTOS: Neurosis establishes post-metal roots and the art of stealth at GAMH

    SAN FRANCISCO — Neurosis, the avant-garde Oakland band that has quietly influenced metal bands for more than 20 years, demonstrated the diversity of the metal genre Wednesday at the Great American Music Hall. Neurosis is a legend in the underground metal scene. Despite influencing many contemporaries, it itself hasn’t received as much…
  • BREAKING: XO Music Festival canceled by venue; organizer arrested in February

    BREAKING: XO Music Festival canceled by venue; organizer arrested in February

    UPDATED AT 12 P.M. THURSDAY: The Contra Costa County Event Park has cancelled the XO Music Festival, alleging festival promoters failed to fulfill a contractual obligation to provide liability insurance for the event. The insurance would have covered such things as security, lighting and production of the event.…
  • REVIEW: Thirty Seconds to Mars lead charge in Arkansas, play Shoreline July 18

    REVIEW: Thirty Seconds to Mars lead charge in Arkansas, play Shoreline July 18

    ROGERS, ARK. — Ominous sounds pierced through the darkness that filled the Walmart Arkansas Music Pavilion in Rogers, a venue in the northwest corner of the state, a few miles away from the Missouri and Oklahoma borders. As the stage lit up and Thirty Seconds to Mars appeared, fans’ eyes snapped…
  • RIFF Rewind: Ice Cube, Sir Mix-A-Lot and Whitney Houston had the best songs of 1992

    RIFF Rewind: Ice Cube, Sir Mix-A-Lot and Whitney Houston had the best songs of 1992

    I’m just gonna warn you in advance: “Achy Breaky Heart” is on the Honorable Mentions list. Do I think it’s one of the best songs of 1992? No. Do I think it’s a curse placed upon mankind in retribution for our many, many sins? I’m not ruling it…