Kimberly Chun

Not Coachillin'

Broiling in the sparse shadows of lemonade stands

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SONIC REDUCER "I can't believe you slept through the police helicopter above the tent at 3 a.m. and the megaphone going, 'Disperse immediately or you'll all be arrested,'" tentmate Fluffy marveled the day after another ear-busting night of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival's unofficial after-party scene in the campgrounds. It was only 8 a.m., though the sun was already beating down relentlessly like our heedless neighborhood drum circle.Read more »

MCMAF: Renewable source

Mission Creek Music and Arts Festival founder Jeff Ray surveys the dream and the damage
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Van Halen may have made it into the music record books for Most Ridiculous Tour Rider for their demand for M&Ms picked free of the turdlike brown numbers. But musician-director Vincent Gallo might make the rock hitmakers jump with his own Mission Creek Music and Arts Festival must-have. "I'm not going to show you his rider," festival founder Jeff Ray says wryly. "It's a little crazy."

"Oh, c'mon," I say, perched on a couch in the red and yellow office in Ray's Mission flat. Read more »

MCMAF: Months of somedays

After years of homelessness and substance addiction, the Chamber Strings' Kevin Junior returns to music making
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When Month of Sundays (Bobsled), the second Chamber Strings album, was released in 2001, singer-songwriter Kevin Junior was hailed as a new pop savant of sorts - a ragged, rainy-day Burt Bacharach, Brian Wilson's lost brother, last sighted wandering gray shores amid dingy drizzle and deep dissolution. So where has he been the past six years?

"I got kidnapped by aliens, basically," Johnny Thunders-look-alike Junior deadpans from his Chicago flat. Read more »

MCMAF: Lost and Gowns

The Berkeley band connects this world and the next
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You can't put your arms around a memory, as one hopeless rock 'n' roll soul once sang, but you can ponder a memory's origins, observe its manifestations, and perhaps even embrace its spectral aftereffects. So it goes with Gowns' Ezra Buchla, who currently lives with bandmate Erika Anderson in the North Berkeley "towering, crumbling Grey Gardens-style Victorian manse" where he was born. "I've lived in this house my whole life," he says quietly. Read more »

Magic stoned

Video artist Kelly Sears's animated shorts crystallize pop-cult preoccupations
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Dream catchers and rainbows. Stately dragons that soar the starry skies as majestically as a space station and more Marshall stacks than you can shake a pewter warlock wand at. Lone wolves and lynx meeting under snowy boughs in untamed, magical communion. Daggers with serpentine handles morphing gently into stalactites and snowflakes. Wizards solemnly lifting crystal balls aloft in triumph, taking a Festival Viking cruise past jagged pink quartz reefs. Read more »

Future prefects

The Klaxons are the neu-rave crossover pop phenom of the moment
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SONIC REDUCER Try this out for size: "ELO, the other band that matters." Electric Light Orchestra bulb changer Jeff Lynne would probably prefer that handle to "ELO, the other white meat" - the former sentiment is probably about as good as it gets, emanating from a member of Klaxons, the Brit buzz bomb and neu-rave crossover pop phenom of the moment.

Isn't ELO, like, your parents' guilty pleasure, the LP they tuck away when the hep seniors wheel over for low-carb hash brownies? Read more »

Eco trip

Does pop clash with green?
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kimberly@sfbg.com

SONIC REDUCER So you wanna live clean, go green, and leave a low-impact footprint on this embattled Earth — yet you also want to bring the noise, bust a move, and get the rock out? It's worth wondering about on Earth Day, when everyone seems to be looking to what they can change while the powers-that-be hold their apocalyptic course. Read more »

Resurrection blues

Is it 1969, OK, as the Stooges gear up to play across the USA?
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kimberly@sfbg.com

Sure it's all about puppy love, music-geek boners, and clean-cut strangers offering to be their dog now, but as Iggy Pop declared during a crowded onstage interview at this year's South by Southwest fest in Austin, Texas, back when the once-decried Stooges first burst blown-out, bratty, and oozing monosyllabic menace, bristly distortion, and snotty attitude from Ann Arbor, Mich., "the two things were, 'They can't play.' " He gestured toward the two other surviving original Stooges, guitarist Ron Asheton and his brother, drummer Scott, then nodded almo Read more »

Six ed

Going all the way with Six Degrees Records
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kimberly@sfbg.com

SONIC REDUCER Conventional wisdom — chew before swallowing, hang on to your nine-to-five, the safety of the passengers depends on keeping conversation with the driver to a minimum — usually suffices eight days a week. But along march catastrophic events, and the rules fly out the window. Luckily, agile industry vets such as Six Degrees founders Bob Duskis and Pat Berry know how to respond to fate's highs and lows. For instance, the label was universally warned not to release its Arabian Travels comp post–Sept. Read more »

Balazo KO?

The Mission indie arts space fights for survival
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kimberly@sfbg.com

SONIC REDUCER Once upon a time in the Mission, there was a gallery named Balazo. Not quite old enough to know better and a ways from 18, or 18th Street, the little walk-up art space that could blasted into many a local indie fan's existence in the early '00s with wall-rattling, hot 'n' clammy punk jammies overlooking the 24th Street and Mission BART station. Read more »