Johnny Ray Huston

David Wilson

Goldies 2009: Providing autonomous-zone community gatherings and memories to draw on
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johnny@sfbg.com

You can stare blankly at a museum piece for three seconds, or you can view a drawing through one of David Wilson's events — through a swim in the Pacific Ocean, or through staring at a sky criss-crossed by an intricate lattice of branches. Read more »

Monique Jenkinson

GOLDIES 2009: As Fauxnique, she mines diamond truths about the relationship between women and gay men
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johnny@sfbg.com

"It takes a village to make a solo," Monique Jenkinson, a.k.a. Fauxnique, quips over drinks at the Lone Palm, before finding a sequin from her blouse in the peanut jar. Read more »

Sugar Pie DeSanto

GOLDIES 2009 LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD: The "Queen of the West Coast Blues" stays gung-ho
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arts@sfbg.com

It's a sunny afternoon, but the lights are low and moody at Duke's R&B in Oakland. Sugar Pie DeSanto sits at a table with her manager, James C. Moore of Jasman Records. Her 74th birthday is four days in the rear-view mirror. A fresher, harsher anniversary has her deep in thought. "Gotta be gung-ho," she says. "If you aren't, then you're a deadbeat — and I hate a deadbeat."Read more »

Ghostly hardware

Neo-goth and retro and contempo horror music pulse forth
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johnny@sfbg.com

MUSIC Be aware — from new albums by Cold Cave to reissues on Minimal Wave, neo-gothic strains are in the air. Take one listen to the debut album by Demdike Stare. 'Tis the season of the witch, but the spells cast by the 11 tracks on Symbiosis (Modern Love) will last well past Halloween to contend on Top 10 lists. Mancunian pair Miles Whitaker and Sean Canty tap into the oft-latent creep factor of dub and the vast darkness of techno, incorporating metal and film scores into those genres' expansive space to create a distinctively present haunted sound. Read more »

Park life -- and 3,000 guitars

David Hilliard and Narada Michael Walden on the spirit of West Fest
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arts@sfbg.com

MUSIC Golden Gate Park has once again become a nexus for huge music concerts. The massive scope of events such as Outside Lands can't help but evoke the legacy of San Francisco in the 1960s, when musical gatherings were not only abundant, but a definite inspiration behind concerts elsewhere — especially Woodstock. With West Fest, organizer Boots Hughston and an extensive lineup of musicians and participants are paying tribute to Woodstock's 40th anniversary. Read more »

Snap Sounds: Emitt Rhodes

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By Johnny Ray Huston

emitt0909.jpg

EMITT RHODES
The Emmit Rhodes Recordings (1969-1973)
(Hip-O-Select)

Oh, Emitt. At your peak you were picture-perfect: thick brown hair parted down the middle, angelic face with a doll's complexion. Read more »

Tubular: Passing Stones' "**** Me Up"

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Hey wazzup! My fave StSanders vid is probably "**** Me Up" by Passing Stones. His attacks on Def Leppard and Judas Priest have their minimalist power, but this one's got a rhythm section -- and Mick Jagger prancing, flouncing, and doing aerobics in heinous pajama gymwear. And it's got subtitles. All the better for enjoying lyrics such as:

-- "I dress casually.."
-- "Where's Kojak?"
-- "Frustration/B.O./Void"
-- "May I ask you a whiskey sip?"
...and... Read more »

Playlist

What we're listening to
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CROCODILES

Summer of Hate

(Fat Possum)

If it's 1988 all over again, Crocodiles are our Spacemen 3, ready to deliver the perfect prescription: drum machines. vintage organs, drugs = god lyrics. They've got the best Jesus and Mary Chain death anthems too, and the occasional burst of energy, trading 'ludes for upper-spiked punk on "Soft Skull (In My Room)." The poise and epic production here are surprising for a debut.

GRASS WIDOW

Grass Widow EP

(Make a Mess)

Bullseye. Times four. Read more »

What they do matters

The Mantles keep it in the family and create a Cali pop classic
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johnny@sfbg.com

Something is happening. San Francisco and the greater Bay Area is, even more than usual, home to some bands that hardwire the heart: Grass Widow, Nodzzz, Rank/Xerox, Mayyors, Ty Segall. But more than that, the place we call home is a nexus for a bunch of great new rock albums — ones that just might be classics. Girls' Album (True Panther/Matador) is the popular one with the media blitz behind it, but the Mantles' debut is the come-from-behind outsider, the secret star, the crushworthy keeper. Read more »

Maxim -- not the magazine

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By Johnny Ray Huston

Once upon a time in Detroit, I worked at a record store. Kelley Stoltz sometimes shopped there. He liked Echo and the Bunnyman even back then. And Brendan Benson worked at a different, maybe cooler record store. Read more »