Young People Music

Radiohead at the HP Pavilion

Radiohead-show-san-jose-2012* Notes *
Radiohead played a show at the HP Pavilion in San Jose on Wednesday, before heading south to Santa Barbara and Coachella. Though half of a dozen of the songs played were from The King of Limbs, the show featured works from nearly all of Radiohead's albums. The visual aspect of the performance was striking. There were many screens on wires that were arranged in a variety of ways above the stage, sometimes showing images of the performers. Thom Yorke danced quite a bit, in his characteristic fluid manner. Much of the audience was also dancing.

* Tattling *
The audience was very excited and there was not a lot of talking. I was befuddled that the performance was taking place in a hockey arena, and imagined what would happen if the ice were not covered.


Jeff Mangum at the Fox Theater

Jeff-mangum-show-oakland-2012* Notes *
Jeff Mangum played the first of two shows at the Fox Theater in Oakland yesterday as part of his current West Coast tour. Mangum performed a dozen Neutral Milk Hotel songs, most from In the Aeroplane over the Sea. He also sang Daniel Johnston's "True Love Will Find You in the End" in the middle of the set. Various brass instrumentalists joined in on songs, including Scott Spillane, who also opened with Andrew Reiger and Laura Carter of Elf Power. A cellist joined for at least one of the pieces. Magnum has a somewhat raw, metallic voice that has reedy qualities to it as well. He urged the audience to sing along with him, and his performance was rather heartfelt and warm. Mangum gave two encores, the first consisted of "Ferris Wheel on Fire" and "In the Aeroplane Over the Sea," and ended the show with "Engine."

* Tattling *
The audience in the friends and family area talked rather intently, especially if the songs were not from the aforementioned Neutral Milk Hotel album In the Aeroplane over the Sea.


The National at the Fox Theater

The-national * Notes *
The National played the second of two shows at the Fox Theater in Oakland yesterday as part of their current North American and European tour. Most of the songs performed were from their new album entitled High Violet. The lead singer, Matt Berninger, has a rather low baritone, and seems very shy. He would often turn away from the audience and sort of dance facing the drums. There were a few times during "Squalor Victoria" when the lights were on the audience, and this was blinding. In addition to the regular lineup of voice, percussion, bass, guitar, and keyboards, there was also some viola, trombone, and trumpet in the orchestration. This band played was rather louder than I expected.

* Tattling *
The audience was fairly quiet and attentive, many people took photographs of the band during the music. I was a bit unnerved that I knew all of the words to most of the songs that were played. I was a bit disappointed they did not play "So Far Around the Bend," which was arranged by Nico Muhly.


Thom Yorke at the Fox Theater

Thom-yorke * Notes *
Thom Yorke and Atoms for Peace played two shows at the Fox Theater in Oakland, before heading off to Santa Barbara and Coachella this weekend. I am often at a loss about what to make of the music young people listen to or the lighting displays at such events as these. Thom Yorke has a pretty voice and an oddly graceful stage presence. Despite amplification, he was most audible when only accompanied by his own piano or guitar playing. The band played together and was very loud.

* Tattling *
The audience was rather excited at the Thursday performance I attended, and a small number of people in the front mezzanine chose to stand up instead of taking their seats. One can only imagine this blocked the view of the audience members behind them. An usher in this area stood in aisle, and I crankily mentioned to him that I hardly came to this show to stare at the back of his head. He told me that I would "catch more flies with honey," but did make efforts to get out the way. A young woman behind me thanked me for saying something, as he was in her sight-line as well.


Gabriel Kahane and Holcombe Waller

Gabriel-kahane * Notes *
Gabriel Kahane opened for Holcombe Waller at CafĂ© Du Nord last night. Though his banjo playing was less than impressive, his piano playing and singing were not unpleasant. It might have been nice had he not been amplified and been playing an actual piano, rather than the monstrous keyboard that was present, as the venue is small. Kahane's Craigslistlieder are exceedingly entertaining, he spoofed the nineteenth century Late Romantics with aplomb. The eighth and last piece, "Opera Scene," gave me a fit of giggles that I only barely recovered from.
Holcombe Waller was perfectly charming. His lovely, flexible voice is quite bright, and his songs are pretty. His rendition of "Nothing Compares 2U" was particularly rousing, and his dancing was great.

* Tattling *
The rather small audience seemed attentive and enthused.


Bishop Allen at the Rickshaw Stop

* Notes * 
The indie rock band Bishop Allen played yesterday at the Rickshaw Stop as part of their tour to promote their latest album. The music was blithe and cheery. They certainly were cute, as were the band that opened for them, Miniature Tigers. The venue at hand is quite close to both the opera and the symphony, and perhaps the atmosphere was what San Francisco Symphony had in mind when putting together the Davies After Hours event. As I stood at the rail of one of the landings, I almost felt I was at home in standing room.

* Tattling * 
The many young people in attendance were fairly noisy. One is always impressed with the consistency of appearance in any given audience, and this was no exception. I was particularly amused by the ironically hideous sweaters.


Radiohead at Outsidelands

Outside Lands was not particularly well-organized, at least, not opening night. Fences had to be taken down in some places, as the paths were not wide enough for all the people. The audience was combative, I overheard more than one loud confrontation. The sound went out twice during Radiohead, for about a minute at a time. It was surreal to watch them continue playing without hearing anything.