Top Six Concerts To See in San Francisco This Week
Bassnectar @ Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, Saturday, Oct. 20
The interesting thing about Bassnectar -- one of the qualities that makes S.F.-based longhair Lorin Ashton stand out from the pack of electronic dance music producers making guts rumble across the world -- is his interest in variety. Sure, Ashton lives up to his stage name with plenty of stomach-churning low-end, and he manages to make post-dubstep wub-wub-wub more tasteful than most big names. But Ashton also throws in elements of other electronic genres like drum 'n' bass into his productions, and even flirts with hip-hop beats and shards of heavy metal. That's not totally surprising: Before he became obsessed with rave culture, Ashton was a denizen of the Bay Area's metal underground scene. After years of toiling in obscurity, he's now riding high atop the wave of EDM popularity. Don't miss a chance to see the man make his home city shake. -- Ian S. Port
Bob Dylan @ Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, Oct. 17 and 18
Sure, his record collection is boss. His radio show, Bob Dylan's Theme Time Radio Hour, was a testament to that. His own albums back the boast up, too. And Dylan's latest, Tempest, is a flood of musicology frozen in black lacquer. At The New Yorker, Jody Rosen heard snatches of "Twist and Shout," "One for My Baby (And One More for the Road)," and the 1920s ballroom rouser "I'm a Ding Dong Daddy from Dumas." We hear the title track -- a 14-minute ballad about a famous luxury liner -- and are reminded of Gavin Bryars' similarly discordant orchestral work on the same subject, The Sinking of the Titanic (1969). Let it be said: Dylan knows music.
But Dylan's real obsession is history, it always has been. So much so that his world is reflected in his lyrics and prose as a flock of symbols, avian ghosts, hurtling back toward their perches along a timeline he keeps in his memory. -- Andrew Stout [Read this week's print feature on Dylan]