Everyone's a Critic

The 1975 — second time around

"And this is how it starts..." Ambient, synth-heavy, and loaded with pop hooks, the music of Manchester, England's latest breakouts, the 1975, met a friendly crowd at the Belly Up just three months after selling ...

Paul McCartney's New

“Will you still need me...when I'm 64?” Yeah, even at 71 we need you, when you can still make great original music. My favorite cut on Paul McCartney’s new record is “Early Days,” an acoustic ...

With a curse like a knife

Deer Tick brings Negativity to Belly Up

Rhode island–based alt-country act Deer Tick belted out the lyrics to “The Bump” — "We're full grown men, but we act like kids, we'll face the music next time we roll in!" — as the ...

Black Sabbath's 13

They wouldn’t shell out for Bill Ward. That’s one obscenity. He’s the drummer for Sabbath, dunderheads, pull out the purse. Only excuse I can think of is Tony Iommi thought maybe he was down for ...

Jack Johnson fans win lottery

The last time Jack Johnson played in the Gaslamp, the crowd watching his 2004 Street Scene set seemed to stretch a mile from the stage. So when his latest gig at the intimate Balboa Theatre ...

Sabbath: Once in a lifetime

On tour with Ozzy for the first time since 1979, Black Sabbath reciprocated the over-capacity crowd’s energy tenfold, the way only a truly great rock band can. While this tour is in support of this ...

Lousy With Sylvianbriar, by of Montreal

Two decades and 12 albums later, of Montreal mastermind Kevin Barnes has decided to throw back to the band’s earliest sounds. Lousy With Sylvianbriar steps back from the synth-soaked songs of Paralytic Stalks and Hissing ...

Haim's Days Are Gone

Meet Este, Danielle, and Alana Haim. The three sisters, along with drummer Dash Hutton, make up indie-pop band Haim (rhymes with “time”). Haim’s soft rock-meets-R&B sound got a nod to Fleetwood Mac by critics in ...

Bugged at Bugg show

The popular young British singer/songwriter Jake Bugg was either being very polite to the chatty attendees in the back of the room, or the monitors facing Bugg were loud enough so that he could not ...

Quadra-guitar party jam at Soda Bar

Whereas the early ’90s were all about 20-somethings drowning in a sea of grunge, the onset of this decade seems to find its youngsters awash in a sea of folk and indie-pop. So it was ...

OMD's English Electric

Slow. Dissolve. As opposed to slow dazzle. Cinematic synth-pop owing at least as much to German Expressionism as the actually Krautrock Kraftwerk they salute through synth and textures. Impeccable ‘tis, in counterpoint and timbre, to ...

Herrera in the sun

For someone who has made his living for the past two decades playing punk rock in gloomy Washington state, things were going a little too smoothly for MxPx frontman Mike Herrera. The weather for his ...

Jake Bugg by Jake Bugg

It was suggested that I listen to some newer artists for review, so I downloaded Jake Bugg's self-titled debut, thinking, You can't get much newer then a 19-year-old. Bugg is a British singer/songwriter who's a ...

Paracosm, by Washed Out

Ernest Greene, aka Washed Out, has let us into his fantasy world. Paracosm, Greene’s second full-length, opens with sounds of a fairytale forest morning where you don’t know whether the day will be great or ...

Heart "Kick It Out" at the Open Air

Heart started off lackluster, as the set’s early songs sounded like 45s being played at 33. Opener “Barracuda” dragged. As they worked their way through “Heartless,” “What About Love,” and “Magic Man,” things didn’t get ...

Teen anthems revisited: Weezer at the track

It was a warm seaside evening as thousands crowded the Del Mar racetrack’s concert stage awaiting L.A. alt-rockers Weezer. It was difficult to distinguish the rumble of the passing Amtrak from the roar of the ...