September 18, 2014
The Fox Theater
Due to drama at a Canadian airport, CHVRCHES was forced to stand up hundreds of fans at this year's Outside Lands Music Festival. But the Scottish trio hope to make up for it with this headlining Oakland gig. Their sound has been likened to "a godless hurricane of kinetic pop energy." If that description doesn't get your pulse buzzing, call a doctor.
September 21, 2014
Lykke Li is only 28, but her voice carries the wisdom and pain of a much older woman. Listening to her latest album, I Never Learn, feels like falling through a tear in the time/space continuum and ending up smack dab in the middle of your last breakup, wailing on the bathroom floor. We've all been there and it's therapeutic to shout out the lyrics of love lost with a bunch of strangers, followed by dancing it all off to her earlier, spunkier work. Fun fact: Lykke Li split her youth between Sweden, a mountaintop in Portugal, Morocco, India, and Nepal. The more you know!
September 28, 2014
Downsizing from a duo to a solo project could derail the sound or lead to just calling it quits. Thankfully, Robert Alfons didn't throw in the towel; instead, he made a brilliant electronic record that would make Kate Bush and the Cocteau Twins proud, and will make you dance like you just don't care.
October 2, 2014
Greek Theatre - U.C. Berkeley
You already know the details: she's from New Zealand, ridiculously young and even more talented. The first woman to top the Billboard Alternative Songs chart since Tracy Bonham in 1996 (which happens to be the year she was born), Lorde is just getting started (just imagine what she will be capable of when she graduates high school!). Go for the music, stay for the weird dancing.
Hardly Strictly Bluegrass
October 3 - 5, 2014
Golden Gate Park
It doesn't matter whether you know the bands or not; the experience makes it all worthwhile. There's the friendly, all-American vibe, the shared whiskey on blankets, the fog through the park, and the fact that all the merriment is free! This year's lineup includes Cibo Matto, Emmylou Harris, Yo La Tengo, Chris Isaak, Thao & The Get Down Stay Down, and dozens more.
Treasure Island Music Festival
October 18, 2014
Imagine watching a reunited Outkast on an island in the middle of the Bay while the golden sun dips behind San Francisco's hills. Pinch yourself; this could be your real life. To sweeten the deal, Massive Attack, TV on the Radio, The New Pornographers, alt-J, Washed Out, Banks, and Janelle Monáe will also be there. Here's a playlist to help you get ready.
October 23, 2014
Fresh off booty bouncing while passing out beignets at Outside Lands, Big Freedia is coming back to shake things up again. Guaranteed to slap a smile on your face.
November 9, 2014
The Fox Theater
The heart eyes emoji was invented to express how one feels after listening to Rhye. Romance coupled with soul hasn't been done this well since Sade. Take someone you love, even if that person is yourself!
November 22, 2014
We owe Justin Timberlake a great deal for bringing sexy back, not to mention all those LOL-worthy looks from the NSYNC days. The least we can do is attend this show and sing along to every word.
November 25, 2014
SAP Center at San Jose
I saved the best for last. No, really, Fleetwood Mac is the best. The breakups, the makeups, the accusations of witchcraft, the drugs, the music they recorded in Sausalito, it's all so legendary. The band toured just last year, but, this time around, they have Christine McVie on board, which marks the first time the band has performed together since 1998! You would be a fool to miss this.