EDIT: Got my first DMCA takedown notice. Who's excited? Anyway, so the MP3s are gone.
RE-EDIT: Got my SECOND DMCA takedown notice, even though I had already taken down all the MP3s. Apparently, even references to MP3s are against the law now. Anyway, now even the references have been removed. On a more positive note, more shows have been added. So at least there's that.
Everyone copes in their own way, I guess. This is not going to be a blog post about this eternally-disappointing Gopher basketball team and their stomach-punch loss to Michigan State this morning. It is not going to be a blog post about how Lawrence Westbrook's fumbling attempt at a potential game-winning shot* served as an apt metaphor for the passing of the baton from the Westbrook/Nolan/Damian Johnson core to the Joseph/Sampson III/Rodney Williams group that will inevitably break my heart over and over again for the next two years.
*Again, not a blog post about basketball, but you HAVE to let Devoe Joseph take that shot, considering the game he had been having, his incredible clutch-ness down the stretch against Indiana last weekend, and the fact that he's the only Gopher with anything even resembling swagger. He WANTED the ball there, I'm sure of it. Westbrook? Last year, maybe. This year? Not so sure. Is Devoe Joseph the next Acie Law/Stephen Curry/Eric Maynor awesome college guard I become obsessed with who never achieves anything like pro success? For his sake, let's hope not. But ... yeah, he probably is.
No, this is about what you do when your team has its heart ripped out at 11 in the morning, and you find yourself pacing around your apartment, pulse racing, hopped up on vicarious adrenaline, and you need something (anything) to take your mind off of the now near-impossibility of the Gophers making the NCAA tournament. This is about impulsively buying stuff online, then attempting to justify it in several hundred words on the internet.
So this is a blog post about concerts. Because, friends, there are a lot of them coming up. A lot. I love San Francisco for many reasons, and the brilliant concert scene here is toward the top of that list. But this is not just any concert-going season. Oh no. This is the glorious Coachella run-up, where hundreds of bands descend on the desert of Southern California, and they all stop here first. There's a stretch coming up here in mid-April when I hope to go to something like 7 concerts in 10 days. And there's some other good stuff in here, too. Stuff happening later this week. Stuff happening in late May (and it's never too early to get tickets).
So don't tell me you're busy. This concert calendar is basically my entire social life, and I'd like you to be a part of it. Clear your calendar. Plenty of good seats remaining.
Thursday, Jan. 28 - AFI @ The Catalyst (Santa Cruz)
Maybe you don't want to drive to Santa Cruz on a school night. Well, that's ridiculous. This is AFI we're talking about. Maybe the best band the Bay Area has produced in our generation. So slap on some eye-liner, make a few ambiguous remarks about your sexuality, and drive down the coast with Ilana and me. Also, there's an excellent burrito place just down the street.
Friday, Feb. 5 - Thermals @ Great American Music Hall
Hyper-literate, apocalyptic punk rock band fronted by a guy named Hutch! With a cute mixed-race bass player whom I am now required to mention in any Thermals post just to get a rise out of Ilana! And, for you Hastings kids, it's a chance to re-visit the Tenderloin! Is there still as much human feces on the sidewalk? I bet there is!
Tuesday, Mar. 9 - Little Boots @ The Fillmore
British girl-pop, everyone's favorite guilty pleasure. Come because you missed the Ting Tings. Come because Ellie Goulding doesn't currently have any US dates scheduled. Come for the free poster.
Thursday, Mar. 25 - Freelance Whales @ Bottom of the Hill
At some point, I hope to come up with a longer post about Freelance Whales, an excellent band with perhaps the worst name ever. These guys are the indie-rock Rosetta Stone, in that they sound like every blog-rock band ever rolled into one. Death Cab, Sufjan Stevens, Stars, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Electric President, and about a dozen others. Ilana hears a little Owl City, too, but that can't be true because these guys are great, and Owl City is so bad that he has basically canceled out both Prince and the Replacements, to the point where Minnesota now owes the rest of the world good music just to get out of the hole. "Locations," below, is the best update on Paul Simon's "Only Living Boy in New York" I've ever heard.
Saturday, Apr. 10 - Miles Kurosky @ Bottom of the Hill
I've been lucky in that most of my favorite bands have stayed together long enough for me to see them in concert at some point. The two exceptions to that rule are/were Marah and Beulah. Kurosky was the lead singer and creative force behind Beulah, and his upcoming solo debut captures that sun-damaged vibe that made his former band so great.
Friday, Apr. 16 - jj @ Bottom of the Hill
Sweden! Again! Famously anonymous (is that possible?) band brings their lo-fi Scandinavian calypso to San Francisco (they're also opening for Hot Chip at the Fox Theater in Oakland the next night, so that's an option, too). Four songs on my 100 Songs for 2009, so you're probably already sick of them, but, if not ... let's go to the show. Their new album is all over Hype Machine right now. Go give it a listen.
Saturday, Apr. 17 - Yeasayer @ The Fillmore
"Ambling Alp" exploded onto my "100 Songs for 2009" list at the last possible moment, and the band's upcoming album Odd Blood is weird and fun at the same time, somehow both danceable and ominous. And, again, it's the Fillmore, so the free poster is again in play.
Friday, Apr. 23 - Japandroids @ The Independent
I listen to a lot of music, obviously, but I'm not always sure how it works, from a production standpoint. All I know is that, on their debut album, Japandroids found an absolutely perfect guitar tone. I don't know what kinds of amps, effects pedals, or processors were required to get it, but ... wow. Music for walking around the Mission in the dark alone trying to convince yourself that youth hasn't passed you by.
Friday, May 7 - Los Campesinos! @ Regency Grand Ballroom
I love Los Campesinos! so so much, and it's great to see them move up from Slim's to the Grand in the course of a year. I'll miss the intimacy of their last show, but I won't miss Ilana getting smacked in the face with a mic cord. And I'm glad the band is appealing to a wider audience. Tickets not available yet, but once they are, I will have them. (NOTE: And now I have them. So relax already.)
Still getting acquainted with the recently-released Romance is Boring, which so far is a little disappointing, if only because the two leaked singles are probably the two best songs on the record. As with Freelance Whales and Shout Out Louds (and Yeasayer ... and Vampire Weekend ... and Spoon ... etc.), I hope to write a more detailed album review of this one at some point. Don't hold your breath.
Tuesday, May 18 - Shout Out Louds @ Great American Music Hall
Sweden! I just tracked down the leak of their upcoming album, Work, and it's sounding great on first listen, but it's faced with the likely-impossible task of matching up with 2007's excellent Our Ill Wills. I would love to one day write one hook as catchy as the flattest, boring-est Shout Out Louds tune.
Tuesday, May 25 - The National @ Fox Theater (Oakland)
If you believe blogger gossip (and, obviously, I do), The National will release a new album this year. It will be their first since 2007. And the hipster world will explode. Gentrified sections of Brooklyn will descend into complete anarchy. And ... also, the record will likely be really good. I mean, the last two were. And their contribution to last year's Dark Was the Night compilation hit #3 on my "100 Songs for 2009." So come hear the new songs before anyone else.
Tickets Only Sold at the Door, But Oh Yes, We Are Going ... Oh Yes
Thursday, Feb. 25 - Free Energy @ Popscene (330 Ritch)
In case you don't have this on your calendar, Feb. 25 is the last day of the California Bar Exam. Come celebrate the fact that you finished. Come celebrate the fact that your friends finished. Come celebrate the fact that you didn't have to take it. Plus, I mean ... Aaron's Song of the Year 2009!
Possibilities (No Tickets Yet)
Monday, Mar. 1 - Magnetic Fields @ Herbst Theater
This might be the only Noise Pop show I get to this year, but I think it will be a good one. Jerry has more to say on the topic of Stephin Merritt than I do, but the guy has written hundreds and hundreds of songs, and a few of them are just stunningly good. And Herbst theater is convenient from the Van Ness MUNI stop.
Wednesday, Apr. 14 - La Roux @ The Fillmore
More British girl-pop. A step down from Little Boots, and, to be honest, I probably won't get to this one, but "Armour Love" was a top-ten song for me last year, and "Bulletproof" is also awesome, so I could be talked into this one pretty easily.
Thursday/Friday, Apr. 15/16 - Miike Snow @ The Independent
Sweden! Two shows, and it looks like both are already sold out. Is that possible?!? Are there that many Miike Snow fans in San Francisco. If there are ... well, I guess that's pretty cool, despite the fact that it means I'm going to have to hit Craigslist for this one.
Friday, Apr. 30 - Rogue Wave @ The Fillmore
To be honest, I'm probably out on this one. It will depend on the quality of their new album, out sometime in March. The first single isn't really hitting me. Ilana and I have seen these guys 3-4 times already, and really I don't know what kinds of wrinkles they could throw in to spice up their live show. However, if YOU, the hypothetical reader who has somehow made it this far into this blog post, if you want to go see a good local band ... of course I would go.
Saturday, May 1 - Broken Social Scene @ The Fillmore
Band that includes all of Canada, which includes all of your favorite Canadian bands (seriously ... Feist, Stars, Metric, Land of Talk, The Weakerthans, Do Make Say Think, Kevin Drew, Jason Collett ...) Saw them at Outside Lands two years ago with only a fraction of their lineup, and they did not disappoint. Tickets go on sale 2/6.
Saturday, May 8 - Drive By Truckers @ The Fillmore
I've been saying this a lot lately, but I think if I had to judge bands solely by their 12-15 best songs, ignoring everything else, then these guys would make a strong case for band of the decade for the 2000s. New album out in March, first single "This Fucking Job" is making the rounds (but you can't download it here ... please no more takedown notices!) Tickets go on sale 2/6.