Friday, February 29, 2008

Noise Pop Night One: The Walkmen And The Broken West

It's always disappointing when a band you're a huge fan of puts on a mediocre performance, when you know they're capable of more. Unfortunately, such was the case at the Walkmen/Broken West show this past Wednesday. Both bands put in performances that, while not bad by any means, did not have that certain something that makes a gig unforgettable.

There were three pieces to the puzzle that seemed "off" to us: both bands delivered relatively short sets, both bands' sets that were extremely heavy with new, unreleased, material, and both bands just seemed somewhat "tired". Both bands are in the studio working on new albums right now, so perhaps it's just the nature of the beast that coming out to play in the midst of that process leaves a band delivering a less than stellar set.

The Broken West delivered a short set that was comprised mainly of new material. This was disappointing, since we'd never caught their live show before. For all the good things we'd heard, the set just seemed underwhelming. The highlight of the set was when the bassist came out to sing lead vocals on an upbeat, bluesy, stones-y jam.

The Walkmen's set really paled in comparison to their set this fall, which is unfortunate. They started out strong, grabbing the crowd with an energetic opening to the set. However, from there on out the set seemed to languish in a kind of "typical Walkmen" type vibe, with no clear building of the show's feel from one song to the next.

When the band returned for an encore, they could clearly sense the vibe, and responded with a killer version of "The Rat", which ended the night on an up note, to be sure. Still, we couldn't leave without hoping that the bands had both been a little more "on" for the opening night of Noise Pop '08...

Nick Lowe @ The Fillmore In April

Hot on the heels of the reissue of his 70's classic Jesus Of Cool (which is currently available on eMusic), English rock legend Nick Lowe will be out on tour this Spring. What does that mean for us here in San Francisco? Well, it means get your ass to the Fillmore on April 12th. We here at H.A.D. missed him last year at the Great American, so we're more than psyched that he'll be back in town again. As an added bonus, the show is actually a double bill, with former Soft Boys frontman Robyn Hitchcock also on the line-up. If you're down with a night of seminal 70's rock, then this is the show for you.

Tickets are on sale now.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

One For The Cheapies: Diesel Noise Pop Happy Hour

If you're too cheap to dole out some cash for tickets, or maybe you just couldn't get tix to the show you want, then maybe it's worth checking out the Diesel store at 101 Post Street. They'll be running a Noise Pop themed happy hour every night from 5-9PM, and it's co-sponsored by Bass. They'll have DJ sets from a number of noteworthy acts (Scissors For Lefty, Two Gallants), and acoustic sets from Port O'Brien and The Morning Benders on Friday and Saturday, respectively. So: with free music and free (?) Bass, can you really go wrong? We thought not.

Wilco On SNL

These days it's rather difficult to find a reason to watch SNL, but if you needed one, here goes: Fresh off of a five night run at the Riviera Theater in Chicago, where they played every song they've ever recorded (ferreal!??!), Wilco will be playing SNL this Saturday night. We're hoping the Riviera thing puts them in the mood to make at least one of their two songs an "oldie", but we shall see.

So, you know, if you happen to be chillin' at home and wanting to see some good music bookended by crap comedy - check it out! (Juno "it" girl Ellen Page hosts, so depending on your perspective it'll either be hilariously witty, or painfully self indulgent.)

Stream: The Wilco Roadcase

Treasure Island Will Return

We here at H.A.D. are psyched to hear that the Treasure Island Festival will be returning this fall. Mark your calendars for September 20th and 21st, and we'll keep you apprised as details surface!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Noisepop Starts Tonight - Walkmen and Broken West @ The Independent

Tonight marks the first "real" night of NoisePop '08, so get yourself out there and catch a gig! H.A.D. will be at The Independent catching The Walkmen and The Broken West - Should be an awesome show!

But, if that's not your style, there's lots of other stuff going on: Minipop, Quasi, Fu Manchu, and The Entrance Band are all headliners at various venues around the city. More details can be found here.

In the meantime, enjoy this nugget from The Broken West - rawk!

mp3: The Broken West - Down In The Valley

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Mike Doughty Coming To The Fillmore

While at times, we have to admit, we think of him in that "guy from the band I was into 10 years ago" kind of way, we here at H.A.D. still have a soft spot for Mike Doughty. The former Soul Coughing front man has been steadily releasing quality albums since his former band broke up, and we've enjoyed keeping up with his unique semi-spoken-word stylings. Well, Mike (formerly just M. if you're keeping track) is back with a new disc Golden Delicious, and will be playing at the Fillmore on April 29th. We've heard killer things about his live show, and we definitely dug on the Soul Coughing live experience back in the day. In the meantime, enjoy this tune off the new disc.

mp3: Mike Doughty - 27 Jennifers

Britt Daniel Remixes Feist

(Image Of Britt w/ Bass Guitar from HAD's flickr feed)

We finally got our hands on Feist's (who also has a brand new website up and running) latest batch of remixes, and we were quite pleased to see one from Mr. Britt Daniel. The Spoon front man took liberties with the latest Feist-y single "I Feel It All", and the results are definitely diggable. If we're not mistaken, the remix has some new audio to it - and it sounds like Mr. Daniel himself is playing that big bass guitar on the front end of the track.

In other news, Spoon has taken the other end of the stick as well, and is releasing an EP chock full o' remixes this Spring. The band is touring on the release, but no SF date has been announced. We'll let you know. In the meantime....

mp3: Feist - I Feel It All (Britt From Spoon Remix)

Monday, February 25, 2008

Caribou Coming To The Independent In April

Caribou will be back in town in April, presumably continuing to tour on the wings of their awesome album Andorra. Despite our somewhat-lukewarm feelings last time they were in town, we love this damn record so much that we're going to give them a second chance. We figure we know what we're getting into, and it's at the Independent, so that's a plus right there. Plus, the opener's called Fuck Buttons - you can't lose with a name like that!

The band will be at the Independent April 23rd - tickets on-sale now.

mp3: Caribou - Melody Day (MP3 Removed Due To Grumpy Web Site Owner)

Here It Comes: Noise Pop '08

San Francisco indie rock fans have been champing at the bit, and now it's finally here: Noise Pop'08. Starting tomorrow night, for about a week, most of the city's small clubs will be packed nightly with shows that can in most cases only be described as coheadliners. It's an opportunity to see a wide range of hot national acts, as well as some of the best the local scene has to offer. We here at H.A.D. are particularly psyched for the Walkmen/Broken West show, and the She & Him debut performance. That's not to say there aren't a whole bunch of other noteworthy shows: Magnetic Fields, British Sea Power, Helio Sequence, and The Mountain Goats are all on tap to play as well. Many of the shows are already sold out, but we're guessing you can craigslist it up. If that fails, there's always the option of buying a Noise Pop badge. You can check out the full list of performers here. We'll see you out and about!

Friday, February 22, 2008

"Outside Lands" Adds SF Into The "Big Festival" Fray

So, word has come down the wire that there will be a festival in Golden Gate Park this summer from August 22-24, and it will be called the "Outside Lands" festival. A few thoughts on the subject:

- We're really starting to feel like festivals have jumped the shark. They're everywhere, they're a pain in the ass logistically, and unless you really want to jockey for position, it's a pretty unsatisfying viewing experience.

- We're very much hoping that this does not mean there's not going to be a Treasure Island Festival. Last year's was so awesome, we'd hate to see it overturned by this gigantasaurus.

- Radiohead and Tom Petty are headlining, so yes, against our better judgement, we'll probably be there.

- Jack Johnson is headlining this festival too. Really? Is he this popular? We thought his hype had ended with "Bubble Toes".

Anyway, we're sure news will continue to trickle out, so we'll keep you duly informed, despite our skepticism.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

(Sorta) New Music: Black Kids

We here at H.A.D. have been digging on Black Kids' free EP for the last week or two, which until recently you could get for free at their website. Apparently the hype for this Florida band has reached that fever pitch where "free download" becomes "buy the single". We're a little skeptical of such maneuvers (we're looking at you too, Vampire Weekend), but all good bands must be signed by record companies, and so out the door go the free mp3s.

That being said, Black Kids are indeed a good band. The 4 track EP Wizard Of Ahhs is an awesome dose of psuedo-new-wave dance music, with immediately brings to mind The Cure. Well, at least if Robert Smith weren't completely miserable and whiny all the time, which is kind of impossible. That's what we like about Black Kids, though: they manage to capture a fair bit of passion and angst, while at the same time keeping the fun and danceability at a maximum. Crank the volume, and enjoy yourself some pop musics.

Black Kids are playing Coachella on April 25th, and then coming up to SF for a date at Mezzanine on the 26th. Seeing as how we're not big Dark Side Of The Moon fans, we'll be catching them here, thanks.

mp3: Hit The Heartbreaks
Black Kids MySpace Page

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Evangelicals Coming To San Francisco

If you're anything like us here at H.A.D., you harbor a bit of cynicism about the 'fork, but you still keep an eye on it. Frankly, despite their despotic power in the indie world, those guys have a gift for seeking out some good tunes. As such, you (and we) probably noticed the review of Evangelicals a few weeks back. Following the review, we picked up the record and have been enjoying it thoroughly. To our ears it's less Queen, and more Flaming Lips. Either way, the fact remains that The Evening Descends is a great piece of experimental sonic edginess, that at the same time pulls you in with some gripping melodies.

Now, here's the especially good news: Evangelicals are touring, and will be in San Francisco on March 21st at the exceptionally small (and usually local) Hemlock Tavern. This a great chance to see an awesome band in a tiny room. But, ah, judging by the record: bring your earplugs. That place is gonna get loud.

mp3: Evangelicals - Skeleton Man (YouSendIt Link, Click Through)

Monday, February 11, 2008

New Music/Noise Pop: British Sea Power Are Back

This week British Sea Power release their 3rd full-length Do You Like Rock Music. From what we've heard, the band is in good form, and the 3 year wait for the record was well worth it. The disc seems to take a number of cues from more recent Modest Mouse releases, while at the same time maintaining a solid level of creative independence. It's pretty accessible, and does a nice job at toeing the line between upbeat and dark.

The band is touring stateside for their new release, and will be in San Francisco for Noise Pop at Bottom Of The Hill on March 1st. Presale is already sold out, but there will be tix at the door. In the meantime you can head over to myspace, where the whole album is streaming, and enjoy the record....

Stream: British Sea Power - Do You Like Rock Music?

Thursday, February 7, 2008

We've Been Waiting: She and Him

We've been keeping an eye on the burgeoning M. Ward/Zooey DesChanel collaboration for quite a while: the combination of the two really seemed to be good to be true. So, to say that we were excited when we discovered a link over at Brooklyn Vegan to an mp3 from the forthcoming album would be an understatement. The song is exactly what we had hoped: Ward's killer instrumentation and production kicked in a slightly poppier direction, with Zooey's vocals doubled up and charming our socks off.

Soooooo....what could make us more excited than a free mp3? How about the fact that under our radar (we were admittedly ignorant that they were calling themselves "She And Him"), the pair booked a gig at GAMH for Noise Pop 2008! Tickets are on-sale now at, but appear to be going quickly. We'll see you on March 2nd. In the meantime, enjoy the tune!

mp3: She and Him - Why Do You Let Me Stay Here?

Jason Collett: New Album, Show At The Independent, Streaming B-Sides

Broken Social Scene alumnus turned awesome solo artist Jason Collett has a lot brewing this Spring, and we here at H.A.D. are psyched for all that's coming down the pipeline. First, JC has released a new album this week - Here's To Being Here is out this week on Arts and Crafts. (Unfortunately, the previously available free mp3s have disappeared from the A&C web site.) Second, Collett just announced a show at The Independent on Tuesday March 18th. Tickets go on-sale this Sunday. Finally, Collett has added a "Vault" section to his web site where he streams rarities and b-sides. All in all, a massive dose of awesomeness. What can we say? Go enjoy yerself some free musics, and then buy a ticket and a CD....rawk!

Stream: Jason Collett - From The Vault

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Ryan Adams Santa Cruz Show Up On

Much like last summer's foray at the Catalyst, Ryan Adams' show of last Tuesday has made its way onto in fine soundboard form. Click the links below for mp3s, or click here for the lossless goodness. We prefer last summer's hot hot gig, but it can't hurt to have both. Enjoy!

Ryan Adams and The Cardinals
The Catalyst
Santa Cruz, California

Disc 1 (59:18)
Set 1
01. Peaceful Valley->
02. Beautiful Sorta
03. Shakedown On 9th Street
04. Bartering Lines
05. A Kiss Before I Go
06. Cold Roses
07. Freeway To The Canyon
08. Wildflowers
09. Mockingbird->
10. Off Broadway

Disc 2 (69:56)
Set 2
01. Why Do They Leave
02. Everybody Knows
03. I See Monsters
04. The End
05. Please Do Not Let Me Go
06. Goodnight Rose
07. "Casserole and meatloaf"
08. Easy Plateau

09. Magnolia Mountain
10. Blue Hotel

Dirty Projectors Returning To San Francisco In April

After the high turnout for the awesomeness of their show last year at the Bottom Of The Hill, it's no surprise that Dirty Projectors are returning to San Francisco in '08. We're especially pleased they've chosen the awesomeness of The Independent for their return. Catch it all live on April 10th!