Frances Capell

Clouded: Oakland’s Main Attrakionz rise up from the fog

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Maybe it’s the dreamy, celestial quality of their ethereal beats, or the cloud of weed smoke that seems to float from the speakers whenever Squadda B or MondreMAN spit one of their sky-high verses. While the origin of the term “cloud rap” may be up for debate, it’s undeniable that Main Attrakionz is carving out its own place in hip-hop by pioneering a new sub-genre. Read more »

The mixtape masters behind Friendzone get by with a little help from their...you know

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If you live in the Bay (or own a computer), you’ve probably heard of Oakland “cloud rap” duo Main Attrakionz via its breakthrough summer mixtape 808’s & Dark Grapes II. You may, however, be less familiar with the visionary producers behind two of the mixtape’s most spaced-out, hypnotically chill tracks, “Perfect Skies” and “Chuch.” Allow me to introduce you to the East Bay’s James Laurence and Dylan Reznick, a.k.a. Friendzone. Read more »

Live Shots: WU LYF at the Independent

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I showed up pretty early to catch WU LYF at the Independent on Monday night. A cold breeze drifting through the venue and the giant white Wucifix standing on an empty stage made for a decidedly ominous vibe. It quickly warmed up, though, as a sold out crowd filled the place to capacity for the Manchester, UK, quartet’s very first performance in San Francisco. Read more »

Future Islands release the beast within at Bottom of the Hill

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As I retreated from the Bottom of the Hill’s courtyard into the venue Tuesday night, Future Islands vocalist Sam Herring held the door open and flashed me a dazzling smile. As soon as Herring took to the stage, however, gone was the polite Southern gentleman I’d met outside. He transformed into a raving beast that would hold his audience captive for an intensely theatrical and cathartic performance. Read more »

Thoughtful hooligans

The World Unite! Lucifer Youth Foundation speaks to its white-flagged constituency
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arts@sfbg.com

MUSIC A somber organ chord rings out on the opening track of WU LYF's Go Tell Fire To The Mountain, "L Y F." As the distant clash of cymbals grows louder, a wailing guitar lures you in like a siren song. Then Ellery Roberts unleashes a desperate, hellish growl, and you realize that WU LYF is unlike any band you've ever heard.Read more »

Live Shots: Real Estate and Big Troubles at Slim's

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The sunny, indie rock jams of Ridgewood, NJ’s Real Estate cured my rainy day blues on Friday night at Slim’s. San Francisco’s unshaven, flannel-clad urban lumberjacks showed up en masse to seek shelter from the rain and soak up some seriously good vibes. The five-piece kicked off with “Suburban Beverage” from its 2009 self-titled debut. Inviting us to mellow out, leader Martin Courtney repeated the song’s only words, “Budweiser, Sprite, do you feel alright?” Fans responded with blissful head-nodding. Read more »

Our Brother the Native documents love on 'Vows'

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When I call Josh Bertram of Our Brother The Native at his home in Pontiac, Mich., he’s unwinding with hot tea and whiskey after “one of those days” at the office. The 22-year-old art director harbors an insuppressible passion for music, which is tough to convey to his older coworkers. “I feel like they progressively get more and more weirded out by me,” he admits. Bertram graciously welcomes my questions, speaking openly and eloquently about his new album, Vows. Read more »

Live Shots: Das Racist at Ruby Skye

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The disgruntled bouncer at Ruby Skye begrudgingly admitted my entry to the Das Racist show on Friday night, only after I managed to flag down the event’s promoter to confirm my legitimacy. It was a telling kick off to an evening riddled with problems on behalf of the club, but I wanted to approach with an open mind. Read more »

Live Shots: Unknown Mortal Orchestra at Rickshaw Stop

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We all know the story: Some dude records an album in a basement, garners considerable Internet attention, tries to perform live, and totally blows it. Fortunately for the audience at the Rickshaw Stop on Thursday night, Unknown Mortal Orchestra is a bold exception to this emerging parable in modern music. Read more »

Youth Lagoon kicks off his first national tour at Bottom of the Hill

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My infatuation with Youth Lagoon is easy to explain. Youth Lagoon brainchild Trevor Powers and I have a lot in common. Like Powers, I’m an anxious kid who grew up in the scenic, laid back city of Boise, Id. The piano pop prodigy and I have our differences, though. For instance, I didn’t make one of 2011’s most surprising and heartfelt albums, The Year Of Hibernation (Fat Possum).

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