Kimberly Chun

Adventureland, ho

Isis enters boundless realms and Assemble Head in Starburst Sound carries on the psych rock spirit
|
(0)

a&eletters@sfbg.com

SONIC REDUCER I'm in the mood for adventure — and so are you, apparently. Something off the beaten down and battered tourist path, something wild and glee and free to be you and me. And who is "me," anyway — when "me" is perpetually in flux, in free fall, riding the rapids of the collective unconscious? Read more »

Two entangled

Death, sex, and splendid isolation with Sonic Youth and Grizzly Bear. Plus: Au Revoir Simone, crackling on
|
(0)

kimberly@sfbg.com

SONIC REDUCER Three is a magic number, but two is bliss. Two lovers, two wholly different, unholy kinds of fun, two great taste sensations in one. Koko Taylor's passing and Exene Cervenka's multiple sclerosis diagnosis saddens. The fluctuating news reports of the late David Carradine's trussed member maddens. Read more »

Into the wild

Ex-Grandaddy Jason Lytle puts it all together, Camera Obscura get a little happy
|
(0)

kimberly@sfbg.com

SONIC REDUCER O, Commuter — wherefore art thou, Commuter? Grandaddy mastermind Jason Lytle is familiar enough with the concept of the long haul: he's known plenty of people who've made the trek from his Modesto hometown to Silicon Valley and the Bay. But this time out, on Lytle's first solo album, an exquisite clutch of songs titled Yours Truly, the Commuter (ANTI-), the typical definition of harried, driven, and road-raging working-stiff doesn't quite apply. Read more »

Garrett Pierce

Exploring his dark side
|
(0)

PREVIEW There's a bald-faced beauty lurking at the dark heart of San Francisco singer-songwriter Garrett Pierce's All Masks (Crossbill). The album, Pierce's second, glimmers quietly, gorgeously from a luminous remove: the performer wrote many of its numbers after traveling for months in Italy and Greece, visiting the power centers and ritual spaces devoted to the gods that pull the strings in Pierce's beloved myths. Read more »

Crack "Relapse"

Out of rehab and back to music-making, Eminem still irks -- with hip-hop once again his favorite high
|
(0)

a&eletters@sfbg.com

SONIC REDUCER Symptoms: until last year there were few signs of life from Eminem, the hip-hop artist. Last sighted taking a bow on the cover of his last, toned-down, more PC, and ultimately underwhelming studio 2004 album, Encore, the rapper disappeared from the scene, as rumors festered about retirement and later, after he dropped out of the 2005 Anger Management Tour, substance abuse. Read more »

Madcap laughs

A regal visit with musician and sound-searcher Sir Richard Bishop
|
(0)

a&eletters@sfbg.com

SONIC REDUCER "I told you so" are the sweetest, shortest words in the lexicon of raving visionaries and maligned prophets, but Sir Richard Bishop is far too gentlemanly to resort to such snack-sized snarkery. Read more »

House of Horrors

Thrills, chills, and mirror ball spills from the excellent Horrors. Plus: Comedians of Rock II, Black Joe Lewis, and John Vanderslice
|
(0)

kimberly@sfbg.com

SONIC REDUCER Thrills and chills and disco ball spills — that's what the Horrors are made of? After Shih Tzu-banged frontman Faris Badwan brattily ripped the mirror ball off the ceiling of 330 Ritch a scant two years ago, who knew the U.K. band would show its true, formative, and fundamentally curious colors? Read more »

Down wit' ODP

Elektra clash? Peaches, Larry Tee, and Fisherspooner return that ol' time sound to the fray
|
(0)

a&eletters@sfbg.com

SONIC REDUCER Remember Y2K, the dot-com boom ... electroclash? Born when the 9/11 attacks were but a glimmer in Terror's eye, electroclash flickered into view swiftly, a punk/DIY movement of sorts as every imaginative slut 'n' buck plugged into easily accessible music-making technology via no-band-backtalk laptops. It all climaxed with a 2003 tour and then an electroclash backlash, as associated artists distanced themselves from the tag. Read more »

Great expectations?

Labelmania: Indie labels ride the ups and downs of buzz and bluster
|
(0)

Equality has been achieved: this recession is kicking everyone's arse. But I couldn't help but squirm at a few recent music-biz disjunctions. How does one reconcile the scene at a South by Southwest "Great Expectations" label panel last month, listening to Tony Kiewel describe 2008 as one of the Sub Pop's best years, with the bad news from Touch and Go's Chicago HQ a week later? After shuttering its distribution — which once supported imprints ranging from Drag City to Estrus — in February, the 25-year-plus label laid off its entire staff. Read more »

Got to be 'Real'

Real Housewives of New York City reads as an uptown-downmarket update of Edith Wharton
|
(0)

TV ADDICTION If you can ignore the resulting three-ring circus of gossip — Countess LuAnn de Lesseps breaks up with her no-account cheating Count! Kelly Bensimon arrested for boyfriend beating! Alex McCord nude! — swirling off this Real Housewives of Orange County spinoff, The Real Housewives of New York City gets my vote as the most consistently toothsome entry into the Real Housewives franchise. Read more »