• The 108 best albums of 2021: 82-71

    The 108 best albums of 2021: 82-71

    The best albums of 2021 include Jackson Browne, J Balvin, Cheekface, Jame Blake, Tori Amos, Billy Gibbons, IDLES, Paul Weller, Jon Batiste, Rostam, The Killers and Between the Buried and Me. Welcome back to RIFF’s top album countdown! If you’re here just to complain about the order or…
  • Interview: Yung Bae 'straight up relaxin' yet won't stop creating

    Interview: Yung Bae ‘straight up relaxin’ yet won’t stop creating

    Yung Bae, courtesy. SAN FRANCISCO — There may be an alternate reality where producer and artist Yung Bae ends up, permanently, as a cart pusher at Costco or an engineer, but it’s not ours. Oregon native Dallas Cotton traded in an engineering education after one term at Oregon…
  • The 108 best albums of 2021: 95-83

    The 108 best albums of 2021: 95-83

    The best albums of 2021 include Bleachers, My Morning Jacket, Ryley Walker, ZHU, Diana Ross, Made Kuti and Femi Kuti, Allison Russell, Chris Pierce, Hand Habits, Bonnie “Prince” Billy and Matt Sweeney, Weezer, Amy Shark and Heartless Bastards. Welcome back to RIFF’s year-end album roundup! If you’re joining…
  • The 108 best albums of 2021: 108-96

    The 108 best albums of 2021: 108-96

    The best albums of 2021 include Marina Diamandis, The Marias, The Fratellis, Maximo Park, Morgan Wallen, Wardruna, Prince, At the Gates, Hayley Williams, Andrew W.K., Miranda Lambert, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah and Liz Phair. RIFF’s writers reviewed hundreds of albums in 2021, and although the year isn’t…
  • Tuesday Tracks: Your Weekly New Music Discovery – Nov. 30

    Tuesday Tracks: Your Weekly New Music Discovery – Nov. 30

    HVOB, courtesy Andreas Jakwerth. The eclecticism of HVOB, emotional depth of Jessie Murph, driving ambient force of Sky H1, daine’s cutthroat emo banger, Duncan Laurence’s holiday sparkle and EMELINE’s empowered electro-pop make up our favorite tracks of the week. HVOB, “Bruise” — Austrian electronic duo HVOB is entering its…
  • Guest column: Bay Area artist Laura Sullivan on her latest Grammy nomination

    Guest column: Bay Area artist Laura Sullivan on her latest Grammy nomination

    Laura Sullivan as a toddler with her father, courtesy. Editor’s note: I first met Laura Sullivan at the 2013 Grammy Awards in Los Angeles. She wasn’t nominated that year, but was back the next with a nomination in the Best New Age Album field, which she won, beating…
  • Obituary: The singular genius of Stephen Sondheim

    Obituary: The singular genius of Stephen Sondheim

    Composer Stephen Sondheim speaks at the Great Writers Thank Their Lucky Stars annual gala hosted by The Dramatists Guild Fund on Oct. 21, 2013 in New York. Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images for Dramatists Guild Fund. Editor’s note: We at RIFF wanted to address the passing of theater…
  • Insert Foot: 'Get Back' clears up misconceptions and highlights Beatles' joy

    Insert Foot: ‘Get Back’ clears up misconceptions and highlights Beatles’ joy

    Insert Foot is loving Peter Jackson’s “Get Back” Beatles documentary. Phone lines and the internet burned all over the world this week, and it wasn’t people remarking how lifelike tofurkey tastes in 2021. The hubbub was about four guys playing music more than half a century ago, as well…
  • REVIEW: MisterWives full of flower power and resilience at the Regency Ballroom

    REVIEW: MisterWives full of flower power and resilience at the Regency Ballroom

    MisterWives perform at the Regency Ballroom in San Francisco on Nov. 23, 2021. Gary Chancer/STAFF. SAN FRANCISCO — New York pop band MisterWives took to the stage on Tuesday night for The Resilient Little Tour at the Regency Ballroom. And what a stage it was; covered in flowering…
  • Interview: The 24kGoldn life of SF's Golden Landis Von Jones

    Interview: The 24kGoldn life of SF’s Golden Landis Von Jones

    24kGoldn performs at Outside Lands in San Francisco on Oct. 30, 2021. Adam Pardee/STAFF. Las Vegas photos courtesy Mike Kirschbaum. SAN FRANCISCO — Hip-hop artist 24kGoldn has had numerous successes now, yet nothing looms as large as viral sensation “Mood” at the end of 2020 and the start…
  • REVIEW: Joji brings 'Nectar' to life at the Warfield

    REVIEW: Joji brings ‘Nectar’ to life at the Warfield

    Joji performs at The Warfield in San Francisco on Nov. 20, 2021. Nathan McKinley/STAFF. SAN FRANCISCO — Joji made one of the best albums of 2020. Nectar showed tremendous growth for the Japan-born artist, showing that he was capable of getting beyond his start as, first, an Internet…
  • REVIEW: Lupe Fiasco celebrates 'Food & Liquor' in return to the stage at The Warfield

    REVIEW: Lupe Fiasco celebrates ‘Food & Liquor’ in return to the stage at The Warfield

    Lupe Fiasco performs at The Warfield in San Francisco on Nov. 19, 2021. Derek Tobias/STAFF. SAN FRANCISCO — Lupe Fiasco made a triumphant return to the Bay Area on Friday in a show that celebrated his iconic debut album, Food & Liquor. Lupe Fiasco. Taking the stage with his…
  • REVIEW: LANY brings energy to its last show of 2021 at Bill Graham Civic

    REVIEW: LANY brings energy to its last show of 2021 at Bill Graham Civic

    LANY performs at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco on Nov. 18, 2021. Steve Carlson/STAFF. SAN FRANCISCO — L.A. alt-pop trio LANY brought their gg bb xx tour to Bill Graham Civic Auditorium on Thursday. Noting their catchy beats and simple yet relatable lyrics, it was easy to…
  • Q&A: The 'untidy soul' of Samm Henshaw comes from many influences

    Q&A: The ‘untidy soul’ of Samm Henshaw comes from many influences

    Samm Henshaw, courtesy. You may know U.K. musician Samm Henshaw for his catchy 2018 song “Broke,” or his recent joyous gospel-flavored collaboration with EarthGang, “Church.” Speaking with Henshaw, you can’t help but root for the guy. Humble and engaging, the neo-soul singer is the kind of person who…
  • REVIEW: Ricky Martin and Enrique Iglesias still livin' la vida loca at SAP Center

    REVIEW: Ricky Martin and Enrique Iglesias still livin’ la vida loca at SAP Center

    Ricky Martin performs at SAP Center in San Jose on Nov. 14, 2021. Roman Gokhman/STAFF. SAN JOSE — It’s tough to pull off a truly equal co-headlining arena show. You usually get one of two things: The final act hordes all the production tricks, or the first act…