MUSIC Can two voices get any closer — or be laid any more bare — than those of the xx's Romy Madley Croft and Oliver Sim? The band's spare, pared-down pop is so minimally cloaked, with either instrumentation or pretense, that you could swear the pair were scarily close-knit sibs: the Chang and Eng of U.K. rock — the doubled letters of the xx seem less like a set of female chromosomes than a symbolic representation of Croft and Sim's doubling.Read more »
Oh yeah, I’d been around the block. I’ve crawled these mean food-strewn streets we call the Mission. I’d noshed my way between the tasty chicken tacos at El Toyanese truck and the delectable $1.25 carnitas numbers at the mobile Gallo Giro. I’d caught the creme brulee cart in action, caramelizing on the spot and passing out the freebies in Dolores Park. I’d partaken in the bacon dog as the vagabond seller scooted down the block, away from the ooshing bouncer at Bruno’s. Read more »
One of the nicer surprises this year has to be The Shape of Things (Third Culture), the debut recording by busy Oakland-by-way-of-Santa Cruz foursome Man/Miracle. No, you don’t get Cruz-ish untrammeled psychedelia of Sleepy Sun nor the noise blues of Comets on Fire nor the spooked folk of Emily Jane White here. Read more »
I think I embarrassed Emilia’s Pizzeria owner and chef Keith Freilich when I called him out as prominently featured in Sunset magazine’s recent Bay Area pizza roundup (one question on that, regarding the bit about Flour and Water being located on an abandoned, seedy stretch of the Mission -- did the writer ever notice the relatively new yup-scale lofts blossoming all around that block?). Hey, it’s worth noting since Emilia’s is likely the least showy pizzeria of the entire lot. Read more »
The juicy goodness of excellent psych is worth revisiting no matter how far back it was released -- hence this darting glance at Witch, the Zambian ‘70s rock fivesome, and its 1975 full-length, Lazy Bones!!, released a few months back by QDK Media. Licensed from vocalist Emanyeo Jagari Chanda (the last surviving member of the group is now a foreman at a uranium mining operation in a remote Zambian village) , this gem from the so-called Zam Rock scene rumbles as fiercely as any combo off an early Nuggets comps (see badass rump-shaker “Off Ma Boots”). Read more »
You can guarantee that a movie titled Mother is not gonna be a love fest, ever. And through the lens of The Host (2006) director-writer Bong Joon-ho, motherly love becomes downright monstrous -- though altogether human.
SONIC REDUCER Who would have thunk that Sonic Reducer would rattle on for so long — unreduced, unredacted, Sonic even while covering Mr. Winkle or Mundane Journeys. It's been more than seven years since Cheetah Chrome gave me the casual A-OK to borrow the name of his song, and now the end is nigh: this is the final SR in the Guardian, but what a deliciously lengthy, rich, overwhelming run it has had.Read more »
A Dickens quote culled from A Child’s History of England and the note, “All songs made with careful horror and loving attention” accompany the second album, Revenge, by The Rollercoaster Project (ne Johnny White). Spectral, spooked, and downright epic in its use of tweaked audio, cassette tapes, samples, synthesizers, and piano, it gently tags the film score work by Popul Vuh, sending a listener off on mind travel, far from petty retribution.
TV EYED Still stuck on Lost? Executive producers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse are counting on it, and it's about half-past the time to finally wrap it up, because the time-travel device and the many dead people who flitted around the island were starting to make it seem like very little was at stake. Read more »