The last time Scottish multi-instrumentalist Iain Cook played the Independent in San Francisco was in 2007 with his old outfit Aerogramme, and it was a total disaster.“There was nobody there, only 30 people in a 500-capacity venue, the support bands were fighting, the drummer got angry and walked offstage — everything was just horrible,” he recalls. Back at his hotel that night, he and keyboardist Martin Doherty had a summit meeting. “We sat down and made a pact that someday, in the near future, we’d do something that people really wanted to dance to,” he adds. Read More
The world’s freshest soulful, funky, thumping deep-house music moves from the hard drive of tastemaker San Francisco DJ Miguel Migs to the packed dance floor of Mighty on Saturday.
Going strong for eight years, Migs’ monthly dance night “Salted” is one of The City’s most consistent and longest-running house music nights. This week, it features residents Migs and Julius Papp doing a pre-Winter Music Conference session of tasty beats. Read More
Bob Gaudio calls the creation and success of “Jersey Boys” the
“It was one of those situations where it just all came together — everything worked,” says the guy who, with Bob Crewe, wrote the songs in the 2006 Tony Award-
winning musical that tells the story of hitmakers Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons. Read More
Fans of idiosyncratic indie outfit The Hush Sound, dormant since 2008, can rejoice. After two albums with spinoff combo Gold Motel, frontwoman Greta Morgan reteamed with childhood chum Bob Morris for a new reunion tour and album. It started when they played their native Chicago last year. They sold out two nights, had fun, and decided to try playing other major cities to “see if there are people who still care.” The response was overwhelming. Morgan says the group feels lucky, and has reconnected as “calm, thoughtful, grateful adults.” Read More
James Hunter, a Colchester-bred Brit, celebrates his working-class past. After playing the pub circuit for years, then almost giving up on music entirely, the gravelly blues growler finally earned a Grammy nomination at 43 for his 2006 “People Gonna Talk” breakthrough.
But he laughs about the day jobs he took along the way, like rail-line signal locking fitter, where he was nearly crushed by falling steel girders. “Another time, I stepped out from behind the signal box and a train just missed me,” he says. “I’ve had a few near-misses, so I’m actually quite lucky to be here.” Read More
Flagellant songs and the “dancing plague” don’t exactly sound like a good time, but Bay Area early music group Cançonièr promises otherwise.
“Choreomania: Music for the Dancing Plagues of Medieval and Renaissance Europe” opens Thursday in Palo Alto, and added shows are in Berkeley on Saturday and The City on Sunday.
“Many people think the medieval period was depressing and full of religious guilt,” says Tim Rayborn, a Cançonièr co-founder. “But there was also a lot of joy. There’s a tremendous amount of fun in this music.” Read More
Alan Doyle is a busy man. The Newfoundlander plays Wolf Redmond on the Canadian TV series “Republic of Doyle” and another part as Dingy — with Will Smith, Colin Farrell and an old chum and co-star from “Robin Hood,” Russell Crowe — in the upcoming big-screen adaptation of Mark Helprin’s book “Winter’s Tale.” Then there is his first solo album outside his group Great Big Sea: “Boy on Bridge,” named for his childhood acting credit in “A Whale For the Killing.” Finally, there is “XX,” a two-disc, 40-track greatest-hits collection spanning Great Big Sea’s 20-year history.
A highlight among San Francisco Symphony’s 2013-14 exciting season offerings, announced today, is a semi-staged production of Benjamin Britten’s majestic opera “Peter Grimes.” Conducted by Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas, the cast features four internationally acclaimed Merola-Adler program veterans, including tenor Stuart Skelton in the title role. Read More
In her native Zurich, Switzerland, aspiring vocalist Valeska Steiner had heard that Hamburg’s prestigious Hochschule was the university she needed to attend, especially for its introductory six-week songwriting workshop, a great testing ground for young musicians. “It was just a good place to meet other performers,” says the musician, who plays in San Francisco this week. “You have the Hochschule rooms where you can try out different combinations of people.” Read More
San Francisco Ballet’s Program Four is perfect for those who think they don’t like ballet.
Works by George Balanchine, Christopher Wheeldon and Alexei Ratmansky make a lively mixed bill; Wheeldon’s “Within the Golden Hour” fired up the house enough to get an unusual standing ovation mid-program on Friday’s opening at the War Memorial Opera House. Read More