Kate Izquierdo

Take your time

Between the Devil and the Notwist
|
()

› a&eletters@sfbg.com

In this age of instant gratification, it feels excruciating to wait six minutes for something. In the case of the Notwist, fans had to content themselves with waiting six years. It's been that long since the German quartet were ready to unleash more of the cottony, mellow glitch-pop that put them on the map. Read more »

Please, Hammer, don't hurt my bluegrass

Hammer time at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass 8 means reaching out
|
()

› a&eletters@sfbg.com

It's a combination that raised more than a few eyebrows: MC Hammer performing at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass 8. We have it in our hearts to get country, but is this show for real? As it turns out, the connection is a fairly straightforward one. Read more »

An everywoman at war

Erykah Badu lets her 'fro, freak flag, and activist colors fly
|
()

› a&eletters@sfbg.com

Erykah Badu disappeared for a bit, taking her musical incantations and majestic head wraps on a retreat into motherhood. In 2006, she flitted back onto the mainstream radar in Dave Chappelle's Block Party, a concert film that takes place in a Brooklyn neighborhood and includes the comedian's closest muso pals. Read more »

Allen Oldies Band

More than mere covers
|
()

PREVIEW The Allen Oldies Band delivers a reckless tornado of classic hits, a retro dance party of Sham-tastic proportions. But don't make the mistake of considering this Austin, Texas, ensemble a mere cover band. The Oldies have amassed a cult following built on the strength of a talented group of classic session players, sprinkled with a heavy dose of punk-pit sensibility. They have punctuated the beginning of South by Southwest in their hometown with an infamous 9:30 a.m. breakfast shindig replete with French maids serving jalapeño pancakes. Read more »

Elbow on the table

What kind of universe renders the joys of love as equal parts worry and wonder?
|
()

"Darling, is this love?" asks Elbow's Guy Garvey quietly in the middle of "Starlings." He is answered by a deafening blast of horns, an apocalyptic brass rejoinder meant to warn the world of an oncoming storm of romantic uncertainty. What kind of universe renders the joys of love as equal parts worry and wonder? One that has fallen in and out of obsession — a planet of newly born babies, lost lovers, and fallen friends. Read more »

Furries, for real

Venus! lays Gruff Rhys and company bare
|
()

› a&eletters@sfbg.com

Super Furry Animals are a mischievous lot. Having marked the universe with their tech-pop grandeur for 15 years, they must now keep the world wondering where their music will pop up next and in what form. For their new album, Hey Venus! (Rough Trade), the Welsh quintet maintain their love of vast, Donald Fagen–esque noodling but have stripped down into a craftily introspective niche. In keeping with their new sound, they have a secret weapon in the studio, and it isn't bleeding-edge sonic wizardry or Timbaland at the desk. Read more »

Under their black sun

X marks the spot in punk's Cali past and a fantasized future
|
()

› a&eletters@sfbg.com

I have a fantasy that 100 years from now all formalized history as we know it will be lost. Museums will lose funding and fall by the wayside. Libraries will find their contents spontaneously dumped onto city streets. And those curious enough to wonder what came before will be left with the chunks of culture that have outlasted apartment moves and world wars: personal detritus and castaway junk. Eventually, this future generation will stumble upon faded photos of a queen in a tiara and a potato-sack dress. Read more »

Hail "Conqueror"

The heavy evangelism of Jesu's Justin Broadrick
|
()

› a&eletters@sfbg.com

"Is that the venue? It looks like a shack!" Justin Broadrick says, and his bandmates laugh uproariously. They've just pulled up outside their venue in Austin, Texas, and it's not looking good. "Sorry," he apologizes to me on his cell phone. "It looks like a shed!" Broadrick is only joking, in surprisingly good spirits for being sick and a man who has a reputation as the king of bombast, the creative force behind the grindcore of Napalm Death in the '80s and the psychotic industrial blast beats of Godflesh in the '90s. Read more »

Still freestyling at 30

Amid satellite and Net radio, proliferating podcasts, and far too many music-delivery options, KUSF hangs on to its heritage of broadcasting radical sounds to the city
|
()

› a&eletters@sfbg.com

The workroom of KUSF, 90.3 FM, has always looked just this side of combustible. It's a second home to the radio station's new-music volunteers, a tightly packed DIY office space papered with band posters from top to bottom. Ancient desks are pinned against each wall, one holding a beat-down stereo. Two huge metal-hinged lockers loom in the corner, monoliths stickered beyond recognition with archeological layers of rock 'n' roll's past. I stare at them and try to remember the exact location of a Barkmarket sticker I myself put up more than 15 years ago. Read more »

Welcome to my pop nightmare

UK band the Horrors freshen up the Goth aesthetic
|
()

› a&eletters@sfbg.com

Gazing disdainfully from the cover of their album Strange House (Loog), the Horrors greet listeners with the air of Edward Gorey characters on a smoke break. Together, they are a scarily beautiful organism: a slick plastic spider with 10 spindly legs and a penchant for manic, blood-soaked coffin rock. Their shows, in contrast, are short, riotous affairs that revolve around a schizoid brand of gothabilly and the shrieks and antics of lead vocalist Faris Badwan. Read more »