Shot in all one take! The Swedish singer is soon to embark on tour supporting Love Is Not Pop with Peter Bjorn & John. She stops by the Great American Music Hall on two nights: November 19 & 20.
Snow Patrol live at the Fox Theater on Friday, October 16, 2009. Photos by Hali McGrath.
In its third year, the Treasure Island Music Festival has become known as the festival that does it right. The organizers - Another Planet Entertainment and Noise Pop - get big-name acts, avoid parking and transportation problems that larger festivals have, and keep an intimate feel by having only two adjacent stages with alternating acts. Plus, they never change their format by getting too many super-popular mainstream artists.
You don't have to be a big fan of Celtic music to appreciate and enjoy the work of Robin Flower (guitar, mandolin, fiddle) and Libby McLaren (piano, accordion). But it won't hurt, particularly throughout the album's soft middle. The local legends' take on the genre is smart and varied, and anyone who knows who they are or likes what they do will be aptly thrilled.
Photos of Treasure Island Music Fest, October 17-18, 2009, by Hali McGrath.
Female-fronted pop-rock can be a bit of a novelty: the sort of disposable mainstream fodder we heard too much of earlier this decade. But in the right hands, it's a powerful art form -- both visceral and candy-coated, personal and party-ready. This San Francisco act capitalizes on the genre's split personality through glossy pop songs driven by Ana Isabel's incisive vocals.
At Red House (1667 Botelho Dr., Walnut Creek) on October 23. 7 p.m., $10
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San Francisco singer Rykarda Parasol's songs are not for the faint of heart, nor for moments of levity. Her gothic lounge-rock bears the stamps of Nick Cave and Siouxie Sioux, with low vocals both spooky and seductive. But don't take her too seriously; it's all in good fun, and she'd rather entertain than frighten you. She can do both, with great songs to boot.
At Café du Nord (2170 Market St., San Francisco) on October 24. 9 p.m., $10-$12
Rock: There's no other way to put it. There are cowbells and shakers, but mostly loud guitars and chest-deep screams and songs about sex. Immediately recognizable as an Oakland garage band by its gritty production, independent ethic, and detached sincerity, Superfinos VTO emphatically leaves no room for niceties.
At the Ghost Town Gallery (2519 San Pablo Ave., Oakland) on October 24. 9 p.m., $5
Here's one for the sun; Latin Expression is a Caribbean vacation on a shiny disc, and with a grey sky overhead it just doesn't feel right. Smith, adept on steel drum and vibraphone, is like a subtler, more sophisticated Jimmy Buffet: his ten covers of Latin jazz classics and two originals get their message across without vocals or artifice.