• Janet Jackson goes through the motions but recovers in time at Chase Center

    Janet Jackson goes through the motions but recovers in time at Chase Center

    SAN FRANCISCO — Rarely does a performer set such high expectations, dip low into serious mediocrity, then pull off such an epic, mid-career comeback the way Janet Jackson did Saturday night at Chase Center. And that was just during one show. Jackson’s appearance in San Francisco was billed as…
  • SLIDESHOW: MIKA and Kiesza play new songs, new arrangements at the Fillmore

    SLIDESHOW: MIKA and Kiesza play new songs, new arrangements at the Fillmore

    SAN FRANCISCO — MIKA brought his Tiny Love Tiny Tour to the Fillmore Wednesday, giving longtime fans a preview of his forthcoming fifth album, My Name Is Michael Holbrook. The show was also a great excuse to put on a happy face with the poppy, cheerful sounds of the Beirut-born, London-based singer-songwriter. MIKA…
  • Tuesday Tracks: Your Weekly New Music Discovery – Sept. 17

    Tuesday Tracks: Your Weekly New Music Discovery – Sept. 17

    Every week, there’s a plethora of new music at our fingertips. Artists on platforms like Spotify and Bandcamp are plentiful, and the radio offers a steady deluge of new singles, but who has time to sort through all that? RIFF does! We pooled our resources to find some…
  • INTERVIEW: Avril Lavigne finds strength in her inner warrior for 'Head Above Water'

    INTERVIEW: Avril Lavigne finds strength in her inner warrior for ‘Head Above Water’

    The lights dimmed at Seattle’s Paramount Theatre. The crowd rose in anticipation. Canadian songstress Avril Lavigne took the stage in a flowing white dress and sang the opening line of the first song on her latest release: “I’ve gotta keep the calm before the storm.” Avril Lavigne Jagwar Twin…
  • INTERVIEW: How a car crash brought sister trio Joseph to the brink of breakup

    INTERVIEW: How a car crash brought sister trio Joseph to the brink of breakup

    Most bands use the time between releasing albums to recharge. But for two members of soulful Portland folk-rock sister trio Joseph, the break between 2016 sophomore breakout LP I’m Alone, No You’re Not, and the just-released Good Luck, Kid included a near-breakup and a questioning of faith in a higher power.…
  • Elton John on top of his game at Farewell Yellow Brick Road stop at Chase Center

    Elton John on top of his game at Farewell Yellow Brick Road stop at Chase Center

    SAN FRANCISCO — Near the end of Elton John‘s sold-out show at the Chase Center on Friday night, a figurative ton of confetti rained down on the crowd, which happens at concerts by a man who used to make Liberace seem boring. Elton John  8 p.m., Sunday, Sept.…
  • Q&A: The incomparable Brian Wilson on the Beach Boys' 'Friends'

    Q&A: The incomparable Brian Wilson on the Beach Boys’ ‘Friends’

    Brian Wilson is a legend. The Beach Boys cofounder, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, Kennedy Center Honors recipient and Grammy winner is responsible for some of the best songs ever written not only by an American but by rock and pop artists anywhere: “God Only Knows,” “Good Vibrations,…
  • INTERVIEW: Yungblud out to make rock dangerous, but his community safe

    INTERVIEW: Yungblud out to make rock dangerous, but his community safe

    MOUNTAIN VIEW, CALIF. — There’s little room for middle ground when it comes to U.K. singer-songwriter Dominic Harrison, better known as Yungblud. Harrison’s bold, outspoken and audacious personality makes him an unmistakable force that’s impossible to ignore. As Yungblud, Harrison aims for an era when rock and roll…
  • INTERVIEW: The Lumineers face familiar monsters on new triptych album 'III'

    INTERVIEW: The Lumineers face familiar monsters on new triptych album ‘III’

    While The Lumineers were touring their platinum-selling sophomore album, singer-guitarist Wes Schultz dug into John Steinbeck’s seminal 1952 novel “East of Eden.” The book tells the story of two families over multiple generations in the Salinas Valley. The families are farmers. Neither Schultz nor band co-leader Jeremiah Fraites…
  • REVIEW: Metallica and San Francisco Symphony hit the lights on Chase Center

    REVIEW: Metallica and San Francisco Symphony hit the lights on Chase Center

    SAN FRANCISCO — No matter the sum of money, cutting-edge construction or fancy amenities packed into a new venue, its soul is built through the collective shared moments that happen inside. The buzz for the opening of Chase Center had been tremendous, but could the high-profile venue deliver…
  • Q&A: Rainbow Girls talk cover inspirations, forthcoming album and dinner with ghosts

    Q&A: Rainbow Girls talk cover inspirations, forthcoming album and dinner with ghosts

    Americana and folk rockers Rainbow Girls are a quartet now and prefer to keep their live arrangements as straightforward as possible, but just a few years ago, as a quintet, they had a way of consternating the sound technicians at the venues through which they passed. Noise Pop Presents…
  • INTERVIEW: Tycho channels 'Weather' through the prism of one individual

    INTERVIEW: Tycho channels ‘Weather’ through the prism of one individual

    For all the talk about how San Francisco ambient electronica producer Scott Hansen’s music as Tycho has expanded wider than ever with the addition of vocalist Hannah Cottrell on new album Weather, Hansen views one crucial aspect of it as a contraction. Tycho Poolside 8 p.m., Friday, Sept. 6…