Just as she did with Le Tigre, JD Samson blurs the lines between feminist theory and modern pop music with her most recent musical endeavor, MEN. The experimental art-pop band, which began in 2007, is a collective with fellow Le Tigren Johanna Fateman – among others – that's as subversive as it is danceable. Read more »
The new Dum Dum Girls album, Only in Dreams, has left such an indelible impression on me, that I was surprised when the four-piece surf-garage band jumped into “Bhang Bhang, I'm a Burnout” for its second song last night at the Great American Music Hall. I'd all but forgotten about the song, a tune that I'd fallen in love with – hard – not more than a year prior when it appeared on the band's debut, I Will Be. It was a welcome reminder, as was the rest of the set, of both its strong lo-fi past, and hard-earned rock future – those descriptors mostly applying to electrifying frontperson Dee Dee. Read more »
MAXIMUM CONSUMPTION Looking to gorge on super-sweet, Swedish-made indie pop? Peter, Bjorn, and John, the nearly-twee trio who made whistling cool again for a minute in 2006 with indie hit "Young Folks," is returning to the States for a thematic "All You Can Eat" tour. The band's food-friendly jaunt includes multiple nights in each city, and specialty food truck tie-ins. I spoke with John Eriksson via phone while he hovered near a grilled cheese truck:Read more »
Localized Appreesh is our weekly thank-you column to the musicians that make the Bay. Each week a band/music-maker with a show, album release, or general good news is highlighted and spotlit. To be considered, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
You know that feeling when you're aware you're hearing a song for the first time, yet it feels as though it's always been there? It's new-to-you but there's something familiar, reassuring – it just works right, pinging back and forth through your ear drums and pulsating brain muscle. That's how I felt when I first listened to the cool swagger of San Francisco's the Soft White Sixties. The hard rocking quintet, formed by Mexican-American singer-songwriter Octavio Genera, has a real tight grip (full disclosure, “real tight grip” is a lyric from SWS's song “Too Late”) on classic Seventies rock'n'roll – with all the shoulder-shaking percussion, the bluesy rock riffs, and Genera's soul-tinged Southern rock bravado. Read more »
We teased you with the show mention in the Hangover column, now here's the goods:
With flickering string lights strung from the center of the grand ballroom and splayed out brass instruments across the stage, Beirut's performance at the Fox Theater in Oakland on Saturday warmed liked a fancy indoor county fair. The sound, which can be bass-problematic at the Fox, was good this evening, near perfect for the otherworldly folk-marching band from Santa Fe. Ringleader Zach Condon switched back and forth from ukulele to his beloved trumpet, singing in deep baritone throughout, once stepping to his newly rediscovered favorite, the keys. Read more »
Zach Condon, the pied piper of Beirut, is known for a great many things – his quavering voice and heart-tugging music (watch the new video for “Santa Fe” and try not to weep, I dare you), the global journeys on which he embarked to gain such a worldly sound, and, perhaps above all else, his skilled takes on an array of string and horn instruments. He employs their use to enable listeners an audio-vacation: the far corners of Eastern Europe and the Balkans, to the chateaus of French chansons, to his mariachi-filled hometown of Santa Fe, New Mexico.
As Beirut's two Bay Area shows this weekend (at the Fox Theater in Oakland and the Independent in SF) are very, very sold out, I'm assuming there are a few of you out there grasping tickets as you read this. And if not, there are always scalpers (note: we do not condone buying from scalpers). Read more »
Hardly Strictly Bluegrass is a badge of San Francisco life. You move here and inevitably in your citywide journeys you're part of a conversation debating the lineup of this unbelievably free, always-entertaining fall fest that takes in Golden Gate Park the first weekend of October each year.
It's become a staple of the fall calendar, because well, the bands are good and we like our events free in this town. Now in its 11th year, there are still many new-to-HSB acts, along with the yearly frequenters Steve Earle, Emmylou Harris, Robert Earl Keen, and Ralph Stanley. Festival publicist Tracey Buck says there are at least half a dozen new local bands in 2011, and roughly 50 new touring acts. Read more »
Perhaps you've seen the billboard on your daily Bay Bridge commute: simple white background, a hand with two fingers pressed together, and in bold type, the words GreatIntegration: A Chamber Hip-Hop Opera.
If you, like many commuters, are intrigued by the concept, allow me to shed some light. The two-act performance, which takes places this week, is a true blend of classical music and hip-hop; it's 90 minutes of continuous flow, MCs spinning a dark and moral tale of modern corruption over a live ensemble of flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano, drums, and bass. It's a production spearheaded by the duo behind Oakland's Gold Fetus Records – Christopher Nicholas and Joo Wan Kim, musicians who met in the dorms at Berklee College of Music, and Kim's Ensemble Mik Nawooj. For this particular piece, Nicholas is mostly behind the scenes in organizing mode, and Kim is the music director who wrote the lurid tale at the heart of Great Integration. Read more »