July was a great month for music in San Francisco, starting with British-Albanian superstar Dua Lipa’s stage-owning show at the Bill Graham Auditorium; and it didn’t let up from there. Playboi Carti tore up the Warfield with a show of sheer bombast, turning a mic into a flamethrower.
Sofi Tukker’s new single “Good Time Girl” was a huge highlight of the month – the band (last seen providing the soundtrack to Apple’s iPhone X launch event late last year) dropped the track along with its video. A pounding, humid slice of electronica, the song has an interesting premise: in their words, “This is a really personal, tongue-in-cheek song about navigating this nebulous thing called a casual relationship.”
Close on the heels of this one came a track from Iggy Azalea, who is rapidly becoming a serious voice in the collision of pop and hip-hop, taken from her new EP “Surviving the Summer.” Coming in the delay between announcement and release of the whole EP (down to a change of president at Azalea’s record company, Island), the song, titled “Kream,” features American rapper Tyga, and made it to the Billboard Hot 100 chart fast. And while we’re talking about new releases, we should take a moment to enjoy Alessia Cara’s birthday gift to her fans? In a loving gesture, the Canadian singer-songwriter shared a new song on her twenty-second birthday titled “A Little More,” – a self-written, self-produced, self-shot and self-directed song and video, and the kind of instant creativity that Cara does so well.
Beyond new releases, live concerts were a huge part of this month, making San Francisco’s summer of 2018 one for the record books (which, in this town, go back a long way), starting with an unforgettable show at the Shoreline Amphitheatre from Thirty Seconds to Mars at the Shoreline Amphitheater. Somehow making music seems more important to him than an Oscar-winning film career, Jared Leto gave the crowd a larger-than-life performance – and elsewhere, Sylvan Esso tore up the Greek Theater, filling the venue with an energy that made the most of the space with sheer verve and gave the crowd a place to sing, to dance and (whisper the word) to rejoice.
And while San Francisco is at the center of a thriving festival scene, this month saw one of the great classics, Outside Lands, announce the line-up for the weekend this August. There’ll be sets from The Weeknd (Canadian side-on hip-hop), The Mountain Goats (North Carolina lo-fi indie folk), Margo Price (one-woman country-soul stage-owning), and The Growlers (blissed-out surf rock from right here in California). There are more acts still to be announced before the show starts on August 10th – the weekend runs till August 12th
Before we wrap up to get ready for Outside Lands, it’s worth saying that August has a lot of good shows coming up: shows from Rakim (Cornerstone, August 5th), Giraffes? Giraffes! (The Crepe Place, August 10th), Jack White (Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, August 16th) and – straight from history, still on tour – Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. Join us for the month!