Johnny Ray Huston

GOLDIES 2010 LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT: Slumberland Records

A home for perfect guitar pop, stronger than ever after 20 years

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Look at the key critically acclaimed and popular indie (or subsidiary) releases of the past few years, and certain label names recur: Captured Tracks, Mexican Summer, Sincerely Yours, True Panther, Slumberland. Most of these names belong to new kids on the block, but Mike Schulman has been at the helm of Slumberland for more than 20 years. If anything, his label, a home for perfect guitar pop, is stronger than ever, with bands such as Pains of Being Pure at Heart and Crystal Stilts on the roster. Read more »

GOLDIES 2010: Ruth Laskey

A deft use of weft and warp to create color forms in which minimalism and materiality intersect

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One thing that Bay Area art has no shortage of is color. Whether it be Albers-informed theory, Op-influenced repetitious patterns, Mission muralismo, or mural-like Mission School paintings, in general, local color has been primary, if not outright garish. Ruth Laskey's palette stands apart — confident enough to be low-key or even muted in comparison. "Color is kind of it for me," Laskey says, in the middle of a sleepy afternoon at a Mission cafe. "It's where a piece gets its emotion."Read more »

GOLDIES 2010 LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT: Marc Huestis

A creative maven who has been an integral part of the city's cultural fabric for decades

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"What a swimmer is Dracula's daughter!," exclaims John "the Cool Ghoul" Zacherle, as "Dinner With Drac" blares from the speakers in Marc Huestis' Redstone Labor Temple office. 'Tis the season for Huestis' tribute to Poltergeist's Jobeth Williams, and the activist, filmmaker, and camp impresario is in the final stretches of preparing for the big night.Read more »

Playlist

What we're listening to

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E.M.A.K.

A Synthetic History of E.M.A.K. 1982-88Read more »

Love of sound

Aquarius Records turns 40 and throws a party

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MUSIC It's a typical music-loving day at Aquarius Records when I call up the store's Irwin Swirnoff to talk about its 40th birthday and accompanying celebration. "There's always been some confusion about when the store started," says Swirnoff, after ringing up a few purchases, as the translucent sounds of Washed Out swirl from the AQ stereo. "There original owners were awesome, but stoned a lot, so they weren't sure if it was 1969 or 1970. Read more »

Past presence

Simon Reynolds sounds off about the music of hauntology

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arts@sfbg.com

LIT/MUSIC/VISUAL ART A present from the past — the paradox within that phrase is as close as one might get to pithily describing hauntology. The term was coined in 1993 by the French philosopher Jacques Derrida to describe utopian specters within capitalist society. But more recently, the music writer Simon Reynolds has specifically applied hauntology — literally, ghost logic — to music, using the term to describe the playfully eerie studio-as-séance-site releases on the British label Ghost Box, and similar recordings.Read more »

Her band

Corin Tucker goes solo and finds some new voices on 1,000 Years

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arts@sfbg.com

MUSIC Mention the name Corin Tucker, and for many people, what comes to mind is a voice: the charged vibrato that was one of the signature elements of the sound of Sleater-Kinney. But before Tucker formed Sleater-Kinney, she'd sung differently in other bands, such as riot grrrl pioneers Heavens to Betsy, where her guitar was tuned lower in a manner that made it possible to tap into submerged feelings and experiences.Read more »

Let them eat mayhem

Grab your knife and prepare to gorge on Shannon O'Malley's apocalypse cakes

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Transfigurations

With The Waves, Tamaryn introduces a powerful persona to the panorama of shoegaze

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arts@sfbg.com

MUSIC/THE NEW SHOEGAZE The Waves. The title of the first album by Tamaryn is big and elemental. It's also dramatic and literary, invoking the writing and the death of Virginia Woolf and evoking the ocean's fatal pull in a classic Romantic sense. Tamaryn's music is all of these things.Read more »

From Alps to Arp

Alexis Georgopoulos has an SF homecoming at the On Land Festival

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