• REVIEW: Florence and the Machine rules Not So Silent Night in San Jose

    REVIEW: Florence and the Machine rules Not So Silent Night in San Jose

    SAN JOSE — All music, all the time—the theme was simple at Saturday’s Not So Silent Night, the annual alt-rock holiday concert presented by San Francisco’s Alt 105.3 (formerly Live 105). Headliner Florence and the Machine ruled the evening, but each act had an opportunity to make a statement.…
  • Max Heilman's top 50 albums of 2018: 50-41

    Max Heilman’s top 50 albums of 2018: 50-41

    It’s finally here… the time when music nerds scramble to compile all of the albums they enjoyed during the year! This was a particularly strong year for music of all types, both mainstream and independent. I even had a hard time narrowing down my favorites down to 50 records,…
  • REVIEW: Little Steven and the Disciples of Soul rock the Fillmore

    REVIEW: Little Steven and the Disciples of Soul rock the Fillmore

    SAN FRANCISCO — Little Steven and the Disciples of Soul opened their show at the Fillmore on Friday with a cover of Arthur Conley’s “Sweet Soul Music” and didn’t let up from there. Surrounded by a 14-member band that included a five-piece horn section, three backup singers, two…
  • RIFF REWIND 2014: Sia, Hozier, Lindsey Stirling and Lil B

    RIFF REWIND 2014: Sia, Hozier, Lindsey Stirling and Lil B

    You know how they say time goes faster and blurs together as you get older? Apparently, they’re right, because that was absolutely the case here. There are a few songs from this list that I could’ve sworn came out last year, but actually came out four years ago.…
  • INTERVIEW: Grace Carter using her pain to fuel her passion

    INTERVIEW: Grace Carter using her pain to fuel her passion

    SAN FRANCISCO — Two acts, one of which took place before Grace Carter had any say over her own life, shaped Carter’s core essence. The first was when the future English singer-songwriter’s birth father walked out on her and her mother. This caused Carter to grow up with heaps…
  • Mike DeWald's top 10 albums of 2018

    Mike DeWald’s top 10 albums of 2018

    I’m excited to present my installment of RIFF’s year-end staff lists of the best albums of 2018. This year was one of transition and experimentation for artists, and I’ve used fairly simple criteria to narrow down my top 10 albums. These are the ones I found myself loading…
  • REVIEW: Nine Inch Nails show they've aged like a fine wine at Bill Graham

    REVIEW: Nine Inch Nails show they’ve aged like a fine wine at Bill Graham

    SAN FRANCISCO — Nine Inch Nails’ first night in the City for its Cold and Black and Infinite tour at the sold-out Bill Graham Civic Auditorium was full of teenage angst embodied mostly in 40- and 50-somethings gleefully and loudly reclaiming the songs of their youth. Nine Inch…
  • REVIEW: Echo and the Bunnymen get serious at The Masonic

    REVIEW: Echo and the Bunnymen get serious at The Masonic

    SAN FRANCISCO — British bands in the ’80s seemed serious. Clad in black, they rarely smiled in photos, and their music seemed edgy and mysterious compared to their raucous American counterparts. Liverpool’s new wave sensations Echo and the Bunnymen were no exception, and when they stopped at the…
  • Perry Farrell gets lighthearted with the Kind Heaven Orchestra at the Fillmore

    Perry Farrell gets lighthearted with the Kind Heaven Orchestra at the Fillmore

    SAN FRANCISCO — When you sign up for a show with Perry Farrell, storied lead singer of Jane’s Addiction and Porno for Pyros, you will always get some of Farrell’s flowery observations about life, love and a bit of drugs. That’s what the audience got at his debut of…
Max Heilman's top 50 albums of 2018: 50-41