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Guitars amble and shimmer, drum tracks roll out like bubbles

Covet, Patrick Sweany, Florence & the Machine, Troye Sivan, Clan of Xymox

Bring on the dragons and hobbits!
Bring on the dragons and hobbits!
Covet — humming vocals subliminal in their solemnity
Past Event

Covet and Vasudeva

  • Saturday, July 21, 2018, 7 p.m.
  • House of Blues, 1055 Fifth Avenue, San Diego
  • $12

Based around Oakland and San Jose, “adventure math rock” band Covet features Yvette Young and David Adamiak, who together make sounds best described as music to watch dragons and hobbits by while you test a dozen top-shelf strains of weed. Guitars amble and shimmer and drum tracks roll out more like bubbles than beats, conjuring up visuals usually confirmed and expanded via sleeves, graphics, and videography by Young, a graphic artist and animator who also records solo singles and EPs that have made her somewhat of an underground rock icon in Japan, where she frequently tours. The debut Covet EP, Currents, is basically instrumental, although one can detect various spectral choruses and humming vocals between the tracks that sometimes seem subliminal in their solemnity. Young shows off a bit of Stanley Jordan-ism in her tapping guitar style on singles like “Ares” and “Sea Dragon,” which fill out their sound with Santana-worthy jams and an increased beach and surf vibe, as they grow into a more comfortable and accomplished ensemble. The tour arriving at House of Blues on July 21 will feature the duo backed by drummer Keith Grimshaw, for a bill that includes New Jersey instrumental dance rockers Vasudeva and Pink Floydian Pomona quartet the Illustrative Violet.

Patrick Sweany — introducing the blues
Past Event

Patrick Sweany and Malachi Henry & the Lights

  • Saturday, September 22, 2018, 8 p.m.
  • Merrow, 1271 University Avenue, San Diego
  • 21+ / $15

Nobody’s gonna accuse Patrick Sweany of reinventing the blues, but over the course of nearly 20 years now, the guy has definitely done a champion’s share of introducing his Americana-steeped variation of the genre to hitherto unsuspecting rock and country fans, opening concerts for acts like Los Straitjackets and the Black Keys (whose co-founder Dan Auerbach has worked on multiple Sweany releases). Almost three years after his Daytime Turned to Nighttime album, the 44 year-old singer-guitarist returned to the airwaves and cyberspace last month with his eighth full-length, Ancient Noise, one of his most accessible Creedence-style blues-rock efforts to date. The album is peppered with notable, if not overly noticeable, guest passages by players like Wilco drummer Ken Coomer and longtime Al Green keyboardist Charles Hodges, who weaves his Hammond B3 magic in and out of most of the tracks. The support date coming to Space on September 22 is likely to wrap on the same tune that ends his new album, “Victory Lap,” a cheer-a-long anthem almost sure to end up as some athlete’s stadium theme song before the year is out.

Florence & the Machine — operatic vibrato, tamed
Past Event

Florence & the Machine

  • Sunday, September 23, 2018, 7 p.m.
  • Viejas Arena, 5500 Canyon Crest Drive, San Diego
  • $39.50 - $59.50

Singing loud is not the same as singing well, which is something it’s taken a few albums for Florence & the Machine singer Florence Welch to figure out. Her bombastic delivery has surely caused many a rush hour commuter to adjust the volume on their Sirius XM Adult Album channel. The band’s fourth studio full-length, High as Hope, drops later this month, well in advance of their September 23 appearance at Viejas Arena on the SDSU campus. Judging from the two recent singles, “Sky Full of Song” and “Hunger,” Welch has finally tamed her operatic vibrato to rest somewhere comfortably between a small serving of Bjork and a medium dose of Kate Bush, rarely going full-on 4-Non Blondes other than the occasional accent phrase here and there. This thankfully makes for a far less jarring ride than earlier tracks like “Ship to Wreck” and “Dog Days Are Over,” where the constant shifts of inflection were enough to trigger epileptic fits. Both new songs have videos, neither of which detract from nor add to the tunes, but only seem to accompany the images by default. The album has apparently been in the works since their 2016 tour wrapped up, featuring guest players like Thomas Barlett, Kelsey Lu, Sampha, and Tobias Jesso Jr. The bill includes Kamasi Washington, who also ghosted in the Machine for High as Hope.

Troye Sivan — a career in full Bloom
Past Event

Troye Sivan and Kim Petras

  • Thursday, October 25, 2018, 7:30 p.m.
  • Open Air Theatre, 5500 Campanile Drive, San Diego
  • $25 - $52.50

Tickets go on sale Friday, June 8, for Troye Sivan at Open Air Theatre on October 25, where the 22-year-old pop singer will be plugging his upcoming sophomore album Bloom, as well as giving away copies to all ticket holders. The title track has already earned over 10 million streams, thanks largely to his performing it on the Today show, where he also played the new single, “My My My.” The video for the latter, directed by Grant Singer (The Weeknd, Lorde), is currently at 30 million views. While it’s generally encouraging to see a performer in the mainstream spotlight completely open about being gay, it probably shouldn’t always be about what should be no more than an incidental influence on his music. As the two thousand teens march toward the twenties, contemporary performers like Adam Lambert have already kicked open any doors that still remained shut to gay pop stars, so at this point, busting in through the door is less Elton and more Kramer. The guy’s been on major label Capitol Records since 2015 now, and most of the presale tickets for this tour will be obtained via the official Troye Sivan App: it doesn’t get more mainstream than that. Whether you first came across Sivan in Rolling Stone or OUT Magazine, the music seems perfect for its intended audience, and you’d be hard pressed to find anything in the content likely to incite the PMRC.

Clan of Xymox — the darkwave keeps rolling on
Past Event

Clan Of Xymox

  • Saturday, November 3, 2018, 8 p.m.
  • Casbah, 2501 Kettner Boulevard, San Diego
  • 21+ / $20 - $120

With a name like Clan of Xymox, you either have to be good, or you better get used to playing a lot of comic book conventions. Originally formed as Xymox in Holland in 1983, Clan of Xymox became pioneers of the dark and moody electronic music known as “darkwave,” a phrase reportedly coined by British DJ John Peel while describing the band’s 1985 Peel Session at the BBC. The version of the band playing the Casbah on November 3 features only one of three founding members: singer-songwriter Ronny Moorings, also known to cover guitar, bass, keys, and electronic sound FX, who also serves as the group’s Alien-inspired graphic designer. Their most recent album from last year, Days of Black, seems more or less indistinguishable from their previous dozen-plus releases. If you’re unfamiliar and want to know what to expect in concert, imagine if Blade Runner featured a disco scene, and these would be the big-haired guys in the DJ booth ducking lasers. The bill includes local goth-centric DJ Robin Roth.

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Bring on the dragons and hobbits!
Bring on the dragons and hobbits!
Covet — humming vocals subliminal in their solemnity
Past Event

Covet and Vasudeva

  • Saturday, July 21, 2018, 7 p.m.
  • House of Blues, 1055 Fifth Avenue, San Diego
  • $12

Based around Oakland and San Jose, “adventure math rock” band Covet features Yvette Young and David Adamiak, who together make sounds best described as music to watch dragons and hobbits by while you test a dozen top-shelf strains of weed. Guitars amble and shimmer and drum tracks roll out more like bubbles than beats, conjuring up visuals usually confirmed and expanded via sleeves, graphics, and videography by Young, a graphic artist and animator who also records solo singles and EPs that have made her somewhat of an underground rock icon in Japan, where she frequently tours. The debut Covet EP, Currents, is basically instrumental, although one can detect various spectral choruses and humming vocals between the tracks that sometimes seem subliminal in their solemnity. Young shows off a bit of Stanley Jordan-ism in her tapping guitar style on singles like “Ares” and “Sea Dragon,” which fill out their sound with Santana-worthy jams and an increased beach and surf vibe, as they grow into a more comfortable and accomplished ensemble. The tour arriving at House of Blues on July 21 will feature the duo backed by drummer Keith Grimshaw, for a bill that includes New Jersey instrumental dance rockers Vasudeva and Pink Floydian Pomona quartet the Illustrative Violet.

Patrick Sweany — introducing the blues
Past Event

Patrick Sweany and Malachi Henry & the Lights

  • Saturday, September 22, 2018, 8 p.m.
  • Merrow, 1271 University Avenue, San Diego
  • 21+ / $15

Nobody’s gonna accuse Patrick Sweany of reinventing the blues, but over the course of nearly 20 years now, the guy has definitely done a champion’s share of introducing his Americana-steeped variation of the genre to hitherto unsuspecting rock and country fans, opening concerts for acts like Los Straitjackets and the Black Keys (whose co-founder Dan Auerbach has worked on multiple Sweany releases). Almost three years after his Daytime Turned to Nighttime album, the 44 year-old singer-guitarist returned to the airwaves and cyberspace last month with his eighth full-length, Ancient Noise, one of his most accessible Creedence-style blues-rock efforts to date. The album is peppered with notable, if not overly noticeable, guest passages by players like Wilco drummer Ken Coomer and longtime Al Green keyboardist Charles Hodges, who weaves his Hammond B3 magic in and out of most of the tracks. The support date coming to Space on September 22 is likely to wrap on the same tune that ends his new album, “Victory Lap,” a cheer-a-long anthem almost sure to end up as some athlete’s stadium theme song before the year is out.

Florence & the Machine — operatic vibrato, tamed
Past Event

Florence & the Machine

  • Sunday, September 23, 2018, 7 p.m.
  • Viejas Arena, 5500 Canyon Crest Drive, San Diego
  • $39.50 - $59.50

Singing loud is not the same as singing well, which is something it’s taken a few albums for Florence & the Machine singer Florence Welch to figure out. Her bombastic delivery has surely caused many a rush hour commuter to adjust the volume on their Sirius XM Adult Album channel. The band’s fourth studio full-length, High as Hope, drops later this month, well in advance of their September 23 appearance at Viejas Arena on the SDSU campus. Judging from the two recent singles, “Sky Full of Song” and “Hunger,” Welch has finally tamed her operatic vibrato to rest somewhere comfortably between a small serving of Bjork and a medium dose of Kate Bush, rarely going full-on 4-Non Blondes other than the occasional accent phrase here and there. This thankfully makes for a far less jarring ride than earlier tracks like “Ship to Wreck” and “Dog Days Are Over,” where the constant shifts of inflection were enough to trigger epileptic fits. Both new songs have videos, neither of which detract from nor add to the tunes, but only seem to accompany the images by default. The album has apparently been in the works since their 2016 tour wrapped up, featuring guest players like Thomas Barlett, Kelsey Lu, Sampha, and Tobias Jesso Jr. The bill includes Kamasi Washington, who also ghosted in the Machine for High as Hope.

Troye Sivan — a career in full Bloom
Past Event

Troye Sivan and Kim Petras

  • Thursday, October 25, 2018, 7:30 p.m.
  • Open Air Theatre, 5500 Campanile Drive, San Diego
  • $25 - $52.50

Tickets go on sale Friday, June 8, for Troye Sivan at Open Air Theatre on October 25, where the 22-year-old pop singer will be plugging his upcoming sophomore album Bloom, as well as giving away copies to all ticket holders. The title track has already earned over 10 million streams, thanks largely to his performing it on the Today show, where he also played the new single, “My My My.” The video for the latter, directed by Grant Singer (The Weeknd, Lorde), is currently at 30 million views. While it’s generally encouraging to see a performer in the mainstream spotlight completely open about being gay, it probably shouldn’t always be about what should be no more than an incidental influence on his music. As the two thousand teens march toward the twenties, contemporary performers like Adam Lambert have already kicked open any doors that still remained shut to gay pop stars, so at this point, busting in through the door is less Elton and more Kramer. The guy’s been on major label Capitol Records since 2015 now, and most of the presale tickets for this tour will be obtained via the official Troye Sivan App: it doesn’t get more mainstream than that. Whether you first came across Sivan in Rolling Stone or OUT Magazine, the music seems perfect for its intended audience, and you’d be hard pressed to find anything in the content likely to incite the PMRC.

Clan of Xymox — the darkwave keeps rolling on
Past Event

Clan Of Xymox

  • Saturday, November 3, 2018, 8 p.m.
  • Casbah, 2501 Kettner Boulevard, San Diego
  • 21+ / $20 - $120

With a name like Clan of Xymox, you either have to be good, or you better get used to playing a lot of comic book conventions. Originally formed as Xymox in Holland in 1983, Clan of Xymox became pioneers of the dark and moody electronic music known as “darkwave,” a phrase reportedly coined by British DJ John Peel while describing the band’s 1985 Peel Session at the BBC. The version of the band playing the Casbah on November 3 features only one of three founding members: singer-songwriter Ronny Moorings, also known to cover guitar, bass, keys, and electronic sound FX, who also serves as the group’s Alien-inspired graphic designer. Their most recent album from last year, Days of Black, seems more or less indistinguishable from their previous dozen-plus releases. If you’re unfamiliar and want to know what to expect in concert, imagine if Blade Runner featured a disco scene, and these would be the big-haired guys in the DJ booth ducking lasers. The bill includes local goth-centric DJ Robin Roth.

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Comments
9

I love Covet and everything Yvette Young does!

She is so talented... even in this video from 4 years ago when she was virtually unknown in the math rock community. Nice to see her mentioned in the Reader.

June 7, 2018
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June 8, 2018
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June 11, 2018
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June 11, 2018
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June 21, 2018
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June 22, 2018
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June 22, 2018
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July 2, 2018

good one

July 21, 2018

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