Review: Easter Weekend “Explodes” in San Francisco, March 22, 2008*

March 27, 2008

By Luke Pimentel

You’ve gotta hand it to Explosions in the Sky; they can never be accused of taking the easy way out with first impressions. Any band that decides to put a word as bombastic as “explosions” in their name has some mighty big coffers to fill every time they hit the stage.

Fortunately the Austin, Texas quartet is more than capable of backing up their moniker, a fact they proved ably with an awe-inspiring collection of fireworks at San Francisco’s Great American Music Hall on March 22nd.

Saturday’s gig – the last in a stint of three sold-out shows at the Hall – served as an early Easter present for a throng of young folks, median age about eighteen, apparently kicking off their Spring Break with something a bit more somber than a trip to Florida. To be fair, there were some older people there, too. Me, for example; at a ripe old 29, I was a relative geezer.
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Review: REM Rock Unafraid at the Langerado Festival*

March 12, 2008

By Landin King (words) and Jonathan Marx (images)

As he entered stage center to a hail of screams from a marvelous crowd, Michael Stipe declared, “Children of Langaredo count with me!” He proudly sported a bright green t-shirt bearing the single word “Obama” in bold black letters.

After orchestrating a sound-starved crowd of 15,000 in a countdown backwards from ten, R.E.M. launched into their opening track, “What’s The Frequency Kenneth.” Throughout the song, Stipe posed for numerous photos, stretching out his shirt to make sure his Barack support was crystal clear. [Read more]

Review: Deerhoof Unveil Latest Incarnation at the Phoenix, February 23, 2008*

March 1, 2008

By Luke Pimentel

Drum heads were pulverized while guitars screeched out eerie, minimal melodies that sometimes seemed not to fit together. A petite Japanese woman with a tambourine on her head was singing about swans, while a guy in the audience below danced and wielded an open umbrella like a deranged Gene Kelly. And everywhere people were lounging on couches or perched atop skate ramps, chanting “Hoof! Hoof! Hoof!” at the top of their lungs.

Sounds like something out of a David Lynch movie, doesn’t it? [Read more]