Hayley Elisabeth Kaufman

Calvin Harris

One-man electro MySpace phenom
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PREVIEW With youthful bravado and a cocksure attitude, it might be easy to dismiss the one-man electro entity and MySpace phenom Calvin Harris as an overconfident knob-twisting kiddo. Judging from the playfully self-aggrandizing title of his debut, I Created Disco (2007), or his slinky banger "Girls," which is about the wide assortment of females on his jock — a fictional harem that rivals the likes of R&B lothario R. Read more »

Noise Pop: Dancing in a crafty place

MSTRKRFT's magic
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We all know the dance floor can be a dangerous place. What with all of those flailing limbs, gyrating pelvises, and spastic movements, total chaos can and does easily ensue. Thanks to Canadian electro phenomenon MSTRKRFT — who seem to have everyone and their baby's mama getting down — club violence has taken on a whole new meaning with the murderous single "Street Justice," off their seething debut, The Looks (Last Gang, 2006). Read more »

MCMAF: Sweetness and light

All that glitters just may be Sugar and Gold
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"The ghosts come quickly, and they leave quickly," remarks Philipp Minnig about his effective yet unorthodox approach to songwriting for San Francisco electro-disco group Sugar and Gold.

"I always call songwriting 'ghostbusting,' " he says over tapas at Picaro in the Mission District, in a German accent softened by years spent in Northern California. "There will be an idea floating around, and you zap it, throw out your trap, and there it goes. For us, our traps are chords, or a rhythm. Read more »

Hanging on the 'Phone

Bay Area band Elephone evade the expected
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It's hard to take Elephone seriously — not just because of their whimsical name, but because with this San Francisco quintet, what you see definitely isn't what you get.

Witness vocalist Ryan Lambert and guitarist Terry Ashkinos out of what you might assume was their natural habitat. The duo looked strangely at home in the lobby bar at the Fairmont Hotel, where the soft tinkle of piano keys polluted the air and floor-length fur coats were as ubiquitous as they are politically incorrect. Read more »