I went to see Charlotte Gainsbourg at the Palace of Fine Arts a few weeks ago and it was the worst thing I’ve ever laid eyes or ears upon. She stood awkwardly with her hands in her pockets, read all her lyrics (honestly, what’s harder to memorize: monologues that you didn’t write that don’t rhyme or lyrics that you did write that do rhyme?), did heinous covers of Dylan and her dad, and couldn’t stay on key (Beck must have used a lot of pitch correction when producing IRM). To top it off, she pulled a diva move and wouldn’t allow press photographers to take any close photos. Yes, it was her first tour ever, but most people don’t get to play the Palace of Fine Arts on their first tour. If she had to play all the shitty dive bars that most aspiring singers have to play, she’d have been booed off the stage and the learned the lesson that a pretty actress does not a singer make (a lesson that Scarlett Johansson and her abomination of Tom Waits covers ought to learn as well). If those weren’t comp tickets and I’d had to pay the $40, I would have rioted.
The moral of this rant is that small local shows that cost $10 (or often less!) and feature two or three rad acts are often way better than huge headliner shows that feature only one shitty actress-turned-terrible-singer. In a few years some of the local SF bands will have made it big and you’ll get to say you saw them back when they played small intimate shows. Local bands just try harder: they make beautiful posters, they hang out in the crowd, and they sure as hell memorize their goddamned lyrics.
Here are the ones you should mark on your calendars for the next couple weeks. These are amazing lineups and each features three acts for the price of one, and they’re all under $10! If you don’t have a good time I will personally refund you. No, that was a lie (because if you don’t like this music, you don’t deserve a refund!).
Sunday, May 23rd, 8pm
Emily Jane White‘s Album Release Show
w/ Slow Motion Cowboys (new project by Pete Fields of Trainwreck Riders)
& Devotionals (new project by Tyson Vogel of Two Gallants)
CafÃ© Du Nord
2174 Market St.
$10 in advance, $12 @ the door