We're living in topsy-turvy, fairy tale times: the mighty have fallen, and the once-marginalized have risen. We're painting the White House black, while Wall Street high-fliers are hitting the skids and the once-mocked scientists who cried "global warming" are embraced by Main and K streets. A hardscrabble era calls for equally toughened-up tales that provide moral instruction and plunge into the heart of the narrative's contradictions. Read more »
SONIC REDUCER Now playing: Locals Only II (see part one here). You can't stop it from happening, even if you crumble to the ground like Keanu, fire your pistol in the air, and scream, "Nooo!" NorCal bands gotta make some noise, Bay-bies.
Hey, what gives? The Fresh and Onlys promised to release their self-titled Castle Face debut in May, yet last week I spied the CD, prominently displayed, twinkling brightly on an Amoeba Music endcap. Read more »
SONIC REDUCER April showers, worried world powers, CD towers it's tough to keep the kite-high ebullience, party vibes, and gotta-jet wings in flight during tough times. Bands come and go, move to Brooklyn (otherwise known as Break-Up-Land), and wither away in day jobs. Read more »
PREVIEW Who is the shy girl casting her eyes downward on the cover of Little Hells (Kemado)? Here in Hell, Marissa Nadler could be a damsel who has tumbled from a frayed tapestry in search of her unicorn, a crystal doll who has escaped from her vitrine, or a tubercular maid who has slipped out of her Victorian deathbed photograph to traipse this earthly plane. Read more »
SONIC REDUCER Due to April 1 budget cuts, the original content in this space has been replaced by a selection of music news items from the wire.
MADONNA ADOPTING COUNTRY OF MALAWI
LILONGWE (Rutters) Madonna announced her plans to adopt the entire southern African nation today after local friends told her that her adopted Malawian children, David and Mercy James, were lonely and needed companionship. Read more »
SONIC REDUCER Sparks. No, not the band, or the caffeinated boozy beverage, toasts of rock collectors' circles and past South by Southwests, respectively. I'm talking about the real dealie, flying furiously off the spot where a sander met the metal-codpieced crotch of what appears to be a Suicide Girl-gone-to-seed, right here at the '09 installment of FXFY otherwise known in impolite company as Fuck by Fuck You fest. Read more »
SONIC REDUCER Pop monoliths come and go, but these days they mostly seem to be going: tumblin' down quietly, as with the soon-to-be-shuttered Virgin Megastore on Market Street, or crumbling and grumbling noisily, as with the war of words accompanying Radiohead's reputed snub of Miley Cyrus and Kanye West at this year's Grammys. Read more »
SONIC REDUCER Who's afraid of growing up in public? Chris Brown and Britney Spears both know the hazards of maturation amid the clatter of public chatter. Still, self-respecting musicmakers such as U2 and Neko Case, who know they must evolve tax-dodging accusations, IMAX 3-D shrugs, fanboy crushes, and overwhelming side projects aside are trying, judging from No Line on the Horizon (Universal) and Middle Cyclone (Anti-). Read more »