Reviews

Generationals & Races | Cafe du Nord | San Francisco | Review

Small venues are a mixed bag. Maybe it’s due to the prevalence of festivals popping up over the land or just the trend of me attending more concerts in larger venues, but smaller venues don’t sound quite as good as they did before. Don’t get me wrong, Cafe du Nord is a wonderful place. As mentioned before, it’s a really charming former speakeasy, but its’ intimacy is a gift and a curse. Tuesday’s Generationals show was a perfect example for why this is so.

Papadosio | Fox Theater | Boulder, CO | 11/15/2012 | Review

When Papadosio took over the Fox Theatre Thursday night and turned it into a hypnotic display of light, sound and video projections, the crowd and band both knew that something special was in store. This was documented at the end of the show when lead guitarist Anthony Thogmartin called Colorado a second home for the band to mass cheers and rooster crows.

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B.B. King | Boulder Theater | Boulder, CO | 11/12/2012 | Review

The legend of the Delta Blues is a somber story. Its grandfather died at the age of twenty-seven under debated circumstances. The legacy that Robert Leroy Johnson left Mississippi was a new style of guitar playing and singing that would eventually become the predominant defining form of American roots music. Nearly every style of American-born music can be structurally traced back to blues. Jazz and Rock ‘n’ Roll is blues music, and wouldn’t have been birthed without that foundational backbone.

Junkie XL | Synthesized | New Music Review

Few producers can stand the test of time and survive the modern-day music industry like Dutch music producer Tom Holkenborg, better known as Junkie XL. A one-man wrecking machine, Holkenborg has accomplished more in his 15-year career than many musicians could ever fathom. "When I found out in 1986 how my sampler could produce sounds, I knew it was pointless to ever leave the studio," says Holkenborg.

Melody Walker and Jacob Groopman | Freight & Salvage | Review

Berkeley's Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse provides a comfortable setting for artists and fans just 1 block from Shattuck Avenue...and all it has to offer. On Friday night, Bay area native Melody Walker and partner Jacob Groopman took the stage in front of a modest crowd who braved the first rains of the winter season.

Jimkata | Die Digital | New Music Review

Listening to northeastern synth-tinged rock band Jimkata, it’s obvious that these boys want to add their own special blend of spice to the standard of indie fare that’s become business-as-usual in an increasingly predictable genre. And with their fourth studio album, Die Digital, the foursome augments what might otherwise function as stale pop-rock with vintage keys and electronics, adding a layer oftentimes absent from other lyrics-centric acts of this sort.

Days of You | New CD Review

Canadian-based jam band Days Of You is set to release their first album in over a decade, after taking a 12-year hiatus throughout the 2000’s. The band’s upcoming LP release, You Belong Where You Go, marks a triumphant return to the scene for the Canadian pioneers. Mixing elements of rock, blues, jazz, reggae, and folk, on top of improvisational experimentation, Days of You quickly gained success through community radio and word of mouth.

Xavier Rudd | Fox Theater | Boulder, CO | 11/11/12 | Review

This November 11, Boulder, Colorado’s Fox Theater hosted Xavier Rudd, one of Australia’s most iconic voices, for the last American stop along his Spirit Bird Tour. Behind his custom drum set equipped with two didgeridoos, Xavier Rudd appeared like a mythic creature from an aborigine creation story. Rudd embodied the totem spirit vision as half-man and ecstatic bird with colossal tusks.

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Infamous Stringdusters | Cervantes | 11/10/2012 | Review

One of the more humorous developing attitudes of newer bluegrass acts is that they don’t like applying the label “bluegrass”. Though their instrumentation, song selection, and style all point to an existing form. The trend seems to be that up-and-comings feel marginalized by being cornered into accepting the label. In certain ways I understand this fear. Donning the title of a “bluegrass” band makes its musicians pressured into accepting a certain catalogue of songs and a limiting context in which they can expand and improvise their instrumentals.

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