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Jefre Cantu-Ledesma makes music happen with bands like Alps and Moholy-Nagy

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Jefre Cantu-Ledesma likens his music-making to "hanging out with friends having some lunch and getting some coffee."
PHOTO BY PAUL CLIPSON

That goes for his collaborations with filmmaker and kindred SFMOMA staffer Paul Clipson: a DVD of their Super-8 films and sound pieces since 2007 comes out this summer and coincides with an August performance at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. "We love what we do, but there's no plan behind any of it," Cantu-Ledesma ponders. "I know this probably sounds facetious, but I'm not really motivated to make things happen — though obviously with things like On Land, you're booking and buying plane tickets and stuff."

On Land is firmly grounded in Cantu-Ledesma's Root Strata imprint, which materialized in 2004, inspired by SF collectives like Jeweled Antler and then-Bay Area-based performers like Yellow Swans, Axolotl, and Skaters. It's a way to present artists that Cantu-Ledesma and co-organizer and label cohort Maxwell Croy like and have worked with in the last year, in a "nice venue," otherwise known as Cafe Du Nord. In early September, label musicians and friends like Charalambides, Grouper, Oneohtrix Point Never, Zelienople, Dan Higgs, White Rainbow, Barn Owl, and Bill Orcutt will appear, with video collaborations by Clipson and Nate Boyce, at the second annual gathering.

"Does the Bay Area need another music festival? Probably not," Cantu-Ledesma quips wryly. "But you're not going to see Bonnie 'Prince' Billy or Vampire Weekend. We're trying to show a different strata of stuff from California or Oregon, kind of a West Coast underground, or people who just fit into our tastes, which are idiosyncratic and weird."

MOHOLY-NAGY

With Brother Raven and Golden Retriever

Wed/16, 9 p.m., $7

Hemlock Tavern

1131 Polk, SF

(415) 923-0923

www.hemlocktavern.com

rootstrata.com

www.onlandfestival.com

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