On August 26, the Salk Institute celebrates 22 years of Symphony at Salk with David Foster & Friends, performing outdoors in the courtyard overlooking the ocean.
Like Alan Parsons, it was Foster’s stellar production work that elevated him from wallflower to marquee, working with everyone from Rod Stewart and Alice Cooper to Madonna and Christina Aguilera. He handled Chicago’s knobs for their most successful early-to-mid-eighties period, co-writing several top forty records with the group (including their chart-topping single “Hard to Say I’m Sorry”), as well as being one of the few console collaborators able to make the Tubes palatable to the masses, producing and co-writing hit music for 1981’s The Completion Backward Principle and 1983’s Outside Inside. It’s doubtful he’ll regale Salk patrons with songs he co-wrote for the Tubes like “Talk to Ya Later” or “She’s a Beauty” (though how awesome would that be?), not with over a dozen genre-hopping albums of his own to select from, dating back to his early ’70s pop band Skylark (who had a top ten hit in 1973 with “Wildflower,” a tune he has been known to perform). The on-sale ticket date is July 5, with proceeds supporting the Institute’s biological research and educational outreach program.
Invsn is a Swedish five-piece best described as Echo & the Bunnyman with a really bad attitude. To call them electronic punk is to diminish the pop appeal of their totally modern and completely commercial music, mostly composed by International Noise Conspiracy bandmates Dennis Lyxzén (also of Swedish punk rockers Refused) and Sara Almgren. The group just debuted a Gotye-gone-wild video dripping with psychedelic body paint for “This Constant War,” the percussive lead single from their new full-length The Beautiful Stories, which they’ll be pitching at the Soda Bar on September 21.
U2’s seemingly endless world tours tend to skip San Diego, but newly announced dates include one final U.S. stop at Qualcomm Stadium on September 22 before they head across the border to Mexico City and points south. The veteran Irish rockers are celebrating the 30th anniversary of their hit-filled album The Joshua Tree, as well as previewing tracks from their upcoming Songs of Experience full-length, either of which should either annoy or please you. It’s not like people get worked up to extremes over U2 anymore, they’ve been around too long to finger anyone’s trigger. Instead of “love ’em or hate ’em,” you either kinda care about U2, or not so much. We mainly mention because prices run from $70 for general SRO admission on the floor down to $35 for seating in the stands, an affordable policy the band has adopted in part to thwart the ticket “resellers” (read scalpers) they’ve been battling since Mike Damone was still working the halls at Ridgemont High. There’s a six ticket limit per purchaser, and “all floor tickets will be paperless unless otherwise noted.” Good luck with that.
Elliott Brood (said to be named after cinematic femme fatale Harriet Bird from 1984’s The Natural) united teenage pals with a love for the countrified soft rock of vintage Neil Young, the Band, and the Flying Burrito Brothers. The Canadian alt-country trio was last seen here in 2015, so it’s about (aboot?) time for an encore at the Casbah on October 5, eh? Though they’ve been around since the early 2000s, it wasn’t until their full-length Days Into Years won Roots & Traditional Album of the Year at the 2013 Juno Awards (roughly the equivalent of a Grammy) that they rose to the A-list (eh-list?) of the Great White North roots music scene, putting them right up there with the Guthries and Blue Rodeo, at least in terms of their profile, if not record sales. They haven’t made much noise since 2014’s Juno-nominated Work and Love, but they still have a half dozen studio albums spanning ten years with which they can surely rock the Casbah.
British duo Oh Wonder hits Soma on October 15, for an all-ages show highlighting their upcoming sophomore album Ultralife, due in July via Island/Republic Records. Perpetually upbeat collaborators Josephine Vander Gucht and Anthony West are all about the singles, releasing one per month from 2014 to 2015 before collecting them for their self-titled debut full-length. Though that album barely cracked #80 in the U.S., their sundrenched alt-pop is finally catching on as American stations and websites begin highlighting singles from their pending followup, including acoustic and piano versions of the title track, as well as “Lifetimes,” “My Friends,” and “Heavy.”
Arcade Fire brings their Infinite Content Tour to Viejas Arena on October 18, with one-time Bonnie “Prince” Billy & the Cairo Gang backup singer Angel Olsen opening. Indie Americana songstress Olsen made her way from St. Louis to Chicago and then Asheville North Carolina, where she currently lives, picking up a motherlode of storytelling nuances along the way. Her third album My Woman will be a year old when she arrives on the SDSU campus in October, but she’s been filling out her setlists with one-offs like “Fly On Your Wall,” recently heard on the anti-Trump compilation Our First 100 Days, as well as her cover of the Grateful Dead’s relentlessly melancholic “Attics of My Life.”
Tickets go on sale Sunday, June 18, for Bill Murray at the California Center for the Arts Escondido on December 1. It seems that randomly appearing unannounced at regional karaoke contests was the comedian’s method of warming up the vocal chops for his upcoming album New Worlds, due in September and featuring “themes of American history and identity” performed with cellist Jan Vogler, violinist Mira Wang, and others.
For this support tour, Murray (accompanied by Vogler) will be singing Shatner-esque covers and straight-faced showtunes and standards by Gershwin, Bernstein, and more, as well as reading literature selections by authors like Mark Twain, Ernest Hemmingway, and Walt Whitman to live musical accompaniment. Featured music will include classical compositions by Schubert, Bach, and Piazzolla, and his recent concert debut at Germany’s Dresden Music Festival reportedly included Van Morrison’s “When Will I Ever Learn to Live in God.”
If there truly is a God, he’ll also gift San Diegans with at least one or two stanzas of the Star Wars theme.