Sunday, October 24

Artists of the Summer

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After a long summer full of concerts, I have much wisdom to impart on my fellow music aficionados. So, I’ve assembled a list of my top four favorite artists of the summer.


1) Twenty One Pilots–With local appearances at BFD in Mountain View, at Outside Lands in San Francisco, and a VMA ‘Artist to Watch’ nomination, this duo is quickly gaining popularity and recognition.  After seeing them at both BFD and Outside Lands, I can definitively state that this band is one of my favorites. With Tyler Joseph on the keyboard (and sometimes Ukulele), and Josh Dun on the drums, they offer a new, dynamic, and amazing stage presence. Check out their video for ‘Holding On To You’ below:

Photo courtesy to Alternative Press


2) Finish Ticket–I discovered this local band (recent Alameda high graduates) upon going to Alice’s Summerthing.  They were the first band to go on at this event (Ed Sheeran was headlining.)  This group brings a sound similar to Young the Giant, but with fresh faces and a slightly more upbeat sound.  They also played at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco, and are heading off on their first national tour this fall. You can catch them at the Bottom of the Hill in SF on September 27th. Here’s one of my favorites by them, ‘Doctor’ below:

Photo courtesy to

3) The Postal Service–This group is marked by their mellow-ness and electronic influences. They do a great cover of ‘Such Great Heights,’ originally by Iron and Wine. The Postal Service reappeared on my radar when I saw that they were playing in July at the Greek Theater in Berkeley, a concert that I unfortunately missed.  The Postal Service is an essential addition to your naptime playlist–a good example to of this is their song ‘Sleeping In,’ which can be accessed via the link below:

Photo courtesy to


4) Go Radio–I’ve been a fan of these guys for a while now, but the first time I got to hear them live was at Warped Tour this summer at Shoreline, in Mountain View. I got the fabulous chance to go to a small acoustic session with half the band– Alex (the guitarist) and Jason (leadsinger.) Warped is known for its punk-pop, alternative, and hardcore bands, but Go Radio is more on the alternative/rock side, which is what I tend to lean towards.  Their songs have a lot of passionate piano solos and deeper themes, which I always value in music. Here’s ‘Go to Hell,’ from their newest album, ‘Close the Distance,’:

Photo courtesy to


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  1. Michael Bialczak on

    Nice article! Glad to see that a fellow music enthusiast is posting articles here ( Kinda’ tempting me into doing it). I do have some complaints though.

    1) Title Should Read ” Best Live Alt-Rock Shows of the Summer

    2) How do you consider yourself a “music aficionado” when your taste is extremely narrowed down. All of these bands are really all the same besides “Postal Service” who can be extremely inventive at times, but the other bands are really watered-down, really tame, alternative rock groups. I’d say, try expanding your tastes and actually figure out what you do like and what you don’t. Music isn’t black and white. If you only listen to one genre then you’re NOT a music aficionado. I’d try visiting or to see what new albums are coming out. I would say once you’ve tried EVERYTHING, consider yourself an expert.

    Yes, even Metal. Stinky, gross, repulsive metal.

    3) Try giving a little more descriptive detail behind your opinions. The fact that “Postal Service” can do a cover of Iron and Wine’s “Such Great Height’s” won’t make me want to try them out (If I’ve never heard of them before). Music isn’t about a certain vibe or mood either. How high you rate an artist should be based on technicalities and execution.

    • hi there. Thanks for the feedback, but in my opinion, these groups all have different sounds. Maybe Go Radio and Finish Ticket are strictly rock/alternative groups, but it takes a person who listens to a lot of music to pick out their subtleties. I do listen to other genres, and no, I’m not afraid of metal. The purpose of this article was to quickly inform readers about a few festival bands, not give an in depth analyzation of them, that’s why the descriptions are so short. Music is about moods, because it creates them–it’s not all technicalities. I’m always open to different points of view, but please don’t tell me how to write my article.

      • Yeah, no problem. I wasn’t implying that you didn’t like metal, but that’s one of those genres that people tend to stay away from. Though it has come to my attention that you have a slight bias against rap music (I’m referencing the ‘Macklmore’ article). Why? I mean, I can’t disagree with you and say that mc’s don’t swear and that some don’t act disrespectful to women but a lot of rappers are giving some very deep introspective commentary on society, depression and drug use. Maybe it’s just because you haven’t heard a lot of rap?

        On a side note: I do enjoy that you like to keep things short and simple, and i’m not trying to tell you how to write, but I do suggest that you try more stuff.

        • I’m just not really a fan of rap. I’ve heard plenty, and I’m sure there are some deeper themes in some rap songs, but from what I’ve heard, most of (mainstream) rap is degrading and profane.

          I listen to a lot of different types of music, as you will see as this column progresses. This particular article just didn’t feature a wide variety.

  2. So you aren’t a fan of rap because you believe it doesn’t have deep lyrics, go listen to lupe fiasco’s lambroghini angels.

    • or Kendrick Lamar’s “good kid, m.A.A.d city” (Kendrick does a great job of adding some social commentary over some really catchy beats) either one is a great start.

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