FILM/INDIEFEST "Oh, it's a problem with women," Serge Gainsbourg says in an interview clip only a few seconds into Pascal Forneri's entertaining and energetic made-for-TV documentary Gainsbourg, The Man Who Loved Women. For Gainsbourg, the problem was a rewarding one — women were the vehicle by which he moved from a brooding writer of chanson into a national and international provocateur and icon. Read more »
BILL ORCUTT A New Way to Pay Old Debts (Editions Mego)
Recorded at 24th and York in SF in the early summer months of 2009, these 14 songs are characteristically live enough to give the impression of hanging out in the same room as Orcutt, or an adjacent one, rather than hearing him filtered through a studio. The approach suits the furious storms of broken-neck blues — literally: Orcutt plays a repaired acoustic Kay guitar with two strings removed — that are unleashed from start to finish. Along with the BerkeleyGuitar compilations and recent solo albums by Ava Mendoza and Sean Smith, A New Way to Pay Old Debts is a sure way to prove the Bay Area is a guitar nexus. Check out a track from the album after the jump. Read more »
Why "vs." evil, Deerhoof? Wouldn't Deerhoof is Evil be more challenging? No matter, while navigating familiar territory, the 12 songs here show the band is still inspired, and more graceful. The melodicism and gleaming decorative touches of "Behold a Marvel in the Darkness" and "No One Asked to Dance" match a romanticism that is winning. "Secret Mobilization" is a straight-up rocker, and the time-lapse bloom of "I Did Crimes for You" is just about gorgeous. In moving further beyond a Jane Birkin-meets-1990s-noise realm, East Coast counterparts Blonde Redhead seem to have gotten lost as of late. Not Deerhoof. A song from the album and album release show info after the jump.
This is the most characterful techno album in a long, long while. Instead of obeying minimalist trends, Reuber goes for something epic — Ring is Kosmische, but much more enthusiastic and lively and cheerfully vulgar (the finale verges on trance) than anything that sound's huge cluster of revivalists have put forth in the past few years. The surging syncopation is Moroder-esque or Tangerine Dream-y rather than studious, and the album's energy verges on gonzo, from the coiling, roiling metro-ride momentum of "Ringer" — the centerpiece and highlight — to the tribal fervor that lingers at the far edges of the two tracks before and after it. Performance clips of his Tuvan throat techno after the jump! Read more »
Lauren DiCoccio is interviewed in this week's issue. One major element of "Remember the Times," DiCoccio's current exhibition at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, is a trio of shelves on which objects are arranged in a manner that suggests vanitas paintings or memento mori (she's even constructed a fabric skull) for endangered or near-extinct media and disposable or recycleable objects. Read more »
VISUAL ART "My ideal world [while making art] is to be on a comfortable chair by a sunny window listening to a baseball game," says Lauren DiCioccio. For DiCioccio, such a setting is possible, because sewing is an integral part of her work, whether she's hand embroidering The New York Times, creating cotton facsimiles of 35mm film slides and currency, or making organza replicas of plastic bags and bottles.Read more »
NEWS/MUSIC/CULTURE Anyone who entered University of San Francisco's Presentation Hall the night of Jan.19 was confronted by the signs — literal and figurative — of a participatory approach to media. A sizable number of the almost 500 people packed into the site for a public meeting to discuss the abrupt sale of KUSF were carrying cameras. Other brandished signs, with slogans running the gamut from pointedly angry ("KUSF is Our Radio"; "Shame on USF") to comic ("Suck It").Read more »
TRASH She's an unstoppable force, that Sherri Frankenstein. As embodied by Linda Martinez in an anything-but-soggy serial by George Kuchar, Sherri is endlessly buffeted by life — shoved, mutilated, or worse by rapacious characters ever-eager to administer injections. She's prone to oracular gestures so lengthy and dizzyingly impulse-driven that their conclusions directly contradict the reality around her. Read more »
Today the University of San Francisco (USF) announced that its radio station, KUSF, is moving to an online-only classical music format.
Before its transmission unceremoniously went to dead air and static, KUSF had been on air for 34 years. An important independent media source, it's been one of the Bay Area's chief sites for new and innovative music, with DJ-informed playlists devoted to local, experimental, international, “loud,” and “other” music, in addition to genres such as rock/pop and hip-hop. Read more »
Anika's self-titled album on Stones Throw is getting play these days, but not as much talk about its cover versions as one might expect. The time seems right to serve up a few of the originals next to Anika's versions and ask which you prefer. We're able to do this with two songs: "Yang Yang," written by Yoko Ono, and "I Go to Sleep," written by Ray Davies and made popular by the Pretenders. (Produced by "beak," a.k.a. Geoff Barrow of Portishead, Anika's interpretation of the latter is very Joe Meek-meets-Cluster-meets Flying Lizards.) Before the jump, I'm also including links to some of the sources of other lovelorn tracks on Anika, including truly amazing live film/video recordings of the teen-death anthem "Terry" by Morrissey-favorite Twinkle, and Skeeter Davis's plainly bereft "End of the World."Read more »