Fall is a funny time for music fans in San Francisco. Perhaps still a touch hungover from the onslaught of the summer concert season—including local festival mainstays Stern Grove and Outside Lands—the arrival of fall often brings with it a crush of new concert dates and a welcome surplus of new tunes to devour.
For those who missed her stunning gig at Stanford’s Frost Amphitheatre last Friday, Julia Jacklin will headline the Fillmore on Oct. 4. The Frost Amphitheater, with its intimate outdoor confines, is a worthy addition to the Bay Area’s world class roster of venues, and you can catch film composer and longtime Tim Burton collaborator Danny Elfman there on Sept. 16.
Meanwhile, ticketholders for Arcade Fire’s pair of shows at Bill Graham Civic in late November should be advised of a damning new investigation from Pitchfork into multiple allegations of sexual misconduct against lead singer Win Butler. Despite mounting pressure from fans to cancel all upcoming shows, the band apparently still intends to continue with their tour as planned.
And now, here are some fresh local tracks for your September.
P-Lo’s ‘STUNNA’ Celebrates a Warriors Anthem
Bay Area rapper P-Lo kicks off the first track of his new album, STUNNA, with an ambling piano line and a simple declaration: “Stunna is a frequency. Stunna is having confidence in everything you do.” This manifesto informs the rest of the album, out now via EMPIRE. STUNNA is a bold tribute to the hyphy tradition that raised the Filipino-American artist from Pinole. Stand-out single “Good,” featuring SF rapper Larry June, became a warm-up anthem for the Warriors this past season following his halftime performance at Game 1 of the NBA Finals. P-Lo solidified his link to the Warriors during the Championship parade in SF, where he shot a video for “One Thing,” clinching cameos from Steph Curry, Draymond Green and other Dubs. So it’s only fitting that he’ll celebrate the release of STUNNA with a sold-out show at Thrive City, the Chase Center’s outdoor plaza. (SH)
Yasi Lowy Finds New Inspiration with Bad Tiger
It took several years away from music entirely for San Francisco’s Yasi Lowy to find the inspiration to front a band again, and the happy result is Bad Tiger. Originally a moniker for solo compositions, Bad Tiger’s 2020 debut record, The Goat and the Tiger, was followed earlier this year with an EP, Sanctuary. It was at this point that Lowy’s dream finally became a reality with the addition of David Garges (guitar/synth), Tyler Gholson (bass), and Jacob Sherfield (drums) to the group.
On Sept. 1, the freshly-minted quartet dropped the first single of Bad Tiger’s as-yet-unscheduled forthcoming sophomore album. Showcasing Lowy’s lush vocals, “Like This” straddles the line between bedroom lo-fi and danceable pop. Complemented by the presence of a full band, Lowy’s ambitions sow immense rewards as Bad Tiger’s music resonates with the energy of multiple minds working as one. And this is just the first taste of the forthcoming meal they’re preparing in the form of a new album. Either way, consider San Francisco’s Bad Tiger officially on the prowl.
Matt Jaffee Keeps on Delivering
If Matt Jaffee’s name rings a bell, that’s because it’s tough to follow the Bay Area music scene and not cross his path eventually. Jaffee’s tireless devotion to his craft has manifested in the form of frequent tours and six studio albums. Later this year, Jaffee will make it seven with White Roses in the Snow, which is slated for a Dec. 9 release.
Jaffee has already dropped three advance singles from the record: “Favorite Song on Repeat,” “Love & Logic,” and “Just an Echo.” A fourth song, “Insomnia,” is scheduled to drop Sept. 16. Featuring Jaffee singing over a string arrangement, his latest single addresses the titular sleep disorder from the perspective of someone trying to describe an experience as it is actively taking place. The result is something both serene and jarring, conjuring a sensation of emotional claustrophobia that will likely resonate with anyone who has spent a portion of the past two years in a state of lockdown.
The Band Ice Cream Brings Garage Rock Grandeur
Summer may be fading, but that doesn’t mean ice cream season is over. Determined to keep the Bay Area stuffed with sweet treats of one kind or another into the fall, San Francisco’s The Band Ice Cream will release their third album, Play Dead, on Sept. 19. Advertised on the group’s Bandcamp as a “ten song collection navigating the pageantry and duality of modern life,” lead single “Chemical Fire”’ finds front person Kevin Fielding in full garage rock grandeur. Flush with scintillating guitars and manic energy, the track’s unimpeachably catchy chorus may just result in you inadvertently singing about “dying in a chemical fire” while out in public. That said, the gold medal has to go to another lyric: “yeah I’ll leave you my demons—if you promise to walk them every day (on leashes).” The Band Ice Cream is set to play at Bottom of the Hill on Sept. 22.
Dead Kennedys Rise Again
Thanks to the pandemic, celebrating milestone anniversaries in the music world has been anything but easy. For that reason, the 40th anniversary box set edition of Dead Kennedys’ seminal debut, Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables, will arrive two years tardy. Regardless, this reissue of the San Francisco punk pioneers’ now classic 1980 album, set for Sept. 30, appears well worth the (extra) wait.
Part of the payoff comes from the talents of mixer Chris Lord-Alge, a Grammy winner who has worked with music royalty like Chaka Khan, Rolling Stones, and Bruce Springsteen. Slated for release on Sept. 30, this deluxe Dead Vegetables reissue features Lord-Alge’s remix from the original multitrack tapes in the form of a vinyl LP set which also includes a photo booklet and full-size poster. It’s time to relive the noise and revel in the infamy once more.
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