June was a beautiful month for music and arts lovers in San Francisco, with the city swimming with live concerts and newly released records. First though, a round-up of the most exciting announcements from the month: several of San Francisco’s best-loved hometown acts were announced as headliners at the other end of the state, for the KAABOO Del Mar festival: gypsy rock ambassadors Diego’s Umbrella, Oakland punk by SWMRS (previously known as Emily’s Army), and 60’s marathon musicians Tower of Power will all be at the festival. And for those who want the city to come to them, rather than following the city across the state, F Parks Alliance, DoTheBay, and Alamo Drafthouse announced the launch of Sundance Cinema, a new outdoor movie series spread across four iconic San Francisco parks. Sundance Cinema opened to rave reviews on 28th June, with a screening of the 1986 fantasy/sci-fi film, Little Shop of Horrors.
In touring news, Bishop Briggs announced an additional North American tour, with a stop at the Fox in Oakland, while Star Wars fans had an opportunity to get over the series’ punishing release schedule when San Francisco Symphony announced that the lineup for their Summer Series includes live performances of the Star Wars trilogy from July 18th to August 3rd, with John Williams’ iconic score played live by the Symphony alongside projections of the films.
In new releases, Raja Kumari released her new single “I Did It,” an uncompromising, catchy air-puncher of a record, about empowerment and persistence. Kumari explained, “I have always had to fight for my art. Instinct, faith and perseverance have been my greatest weapons. ‘I Did It’ is an anthem written to remind myself that I can do anything that I set my intention on. It’s a song about believing in yourself at all costs while finding a way to stay authentic to who you are”. Elsewhere, Tove Lo continued her very Swedish, totally unstoppable rise, dropping the video for her track “Bitches”, featuring Charli XCX, Icona Pop, Elliphant and Alma.
It was Pride month in San Francisco, and the city had on its best and wildest clothes for Pride weekend on June 23-35. Under the banner ‘Generations of Strength’, Pride was a celebration of San Francisco’s global significance as a home of LGBT celebration for decades already; and right in the middle of it, Janelle Monáe’s show at the Masonic was one for the ages, a forthright, uncompromising yet sweet and powerful show that made the songs and the message dance together. Monáe left no stone unturned as she used her music to encourage her audience to embrace their differences and share them with the world. Elsewhere, Pride saw shows including Bottom of the Hill’s Hella Gay Pride Show, So Tight, So Bright, So Proud at The Great Northern, and Bespoke’s PRIDE at the Disco!
Other shows this month included Sebastian Bach, resurrecting hair metal in all its glory at Bottom of the Hill, and Tory Lanez bringing his blend of hip-hop and dancehall to The Warfield on June 2nd, while Violent Femmes brought a slash of 90’s attitude to the UC Theatre Taube Family Music Hall on June 22nd.
It’s been a great month in the city, and the summer’s only just started. Coming up this month we’ve got massive Independence Day celebrations, shows from Pentatonix, album reviews including CHVRCHES new stormer ‘Love is Dead’, and festivals including the Fillmore Jazz Festival. Join us for the month!