Kimberly Chun

Burn notice

Scout Niblett torches the sky. Plus: Jaguar Love, Stuporbowl XLIV, Dave Rawlings Machine

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SONIC REDUCER Eat your veggies. Don't play in traffic. Follow your intuition, a.k.a. your muse. Judge a superstar by her voice not her frump factor. And watch for low-flying planets.Read more »

Slow burn: The Clientele lights 'Bonfires on the Hearth'

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THE CLIENTELE
Bonfires on the Hearth
(Merge)

By Kimberly Chun

“Charmed, I’m sure,” you wanna mutter humbly as the guitar vamps enter sparkling and B-3 commences humming on “I Wonder Who We Are,” the opening track of the Clientele’s latest, Bonfires on the Hearth. Less purple-shaded and melancholy than 2003’s The Violet Hour (Merge), less hard-cornered and haunted than 2005’s Strange Geometry, and further embellished with sitar drone and autumnal brass, Bonfires shows the London band still tucked into its distinct universe, a nook of ‘60s-wracked pop that’s nostalgic but never truly derivative. It’s mood music that finds its strength in softness. Read more »

Sonic Reducer Overage: Prefuse 73, Mates of State, and more

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The way to prep yourself for more rain -- go out a lot.

Mates of State
The once-SF based Kori Gardner and Jason Hummel Re-Arrange themselves and land at two different SF spots in one fell swoop. With the Red Wine Boys and John Hodgman. Sun/31, 8 p.m., $25 advance. Mezzanine, 444 Jessie, SF. (415) 820-9669. Also Mon/1, 8 p.m., $20. Cafe du Nord, 2170 Market, S.F. (415) 861-5016.

By Kimberly Chun

The way to prep yourself for more rain -- go out a lot.

Mates of State
The once-SF based Kori Gardner and Jason Hummel Re-Arrange themselves and land at two different SF spots in one fell swoop. With the Red Wine Boys and John Hodgman. Sun/31, 8 p.m., $25 advance. Mezzanine, 444 Jessie, SF. (415) 820-9669. Also Mon/1, 8 p.m., $20. Cafe du Nord, 2170 Market, S.F. (415) 861-5016.

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Freedom breakfast: French toast -- not just Wonder Bread anymore

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Dusted: Bananas foster french toast at Boulevard Cafe. Photo by Kimberly Chun.

Maybe it’s just me, maybe it’s just the rain, or maybe it’s just breakfast, but French toast has been looking pretty damn good lately. Especially when you’re a wild bruncher like moi. Et vous? If you’re in agreement, get that sweet tooth tout suite to Toast Eatery in Noe Valley and Boulevard Cafe in Daly City.

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All together now

Citay makes a mighty big noise. Plus: NOMO, Clipd Beaks, Do Make Say Think, and Thee Oh Sees
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SONIC REDUCER What do you get when you mix air and earth, combine boisterous and baroque exuberance and densely layered yet bouncily buoyant guitars, incorporate baby Scorpions with full-blown ELO?

Voila, you just ordered Citay, the city's musical mega-maximalists — now jumpier, rockin'-er, and more exhilarating than ever, judging from the sound of the new 'un from this fab fantasy confab of Bay Area music-makers, Dream Get Together (Dead Oceans), all united under the imagination of one man: songwriter and guitarist Ezra Feinberg.Read more »

Post-apocalyptic post-irony

Spoon get irreverent on the line, while Vampire Weekend lead a peppy rally

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SONIC REDUCER Riddle me this, Indie Rocker: what happens when life kicks the nice, cozy crutch of irony out from under you? Where do you go the morning after cynicism, after tearing it all down and finding the ground crumbling below? The joke may be on guess who. Read more »

Kool Keith's holiday tip: Eat like a 98-year-old

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Tired of stressing on the visiting family, appropriating food without asking during the holidays? Dig these words of wisdom from truth-teller Kool Keith -- on how to stay cool when it comes to the fridge food.

Stabs and jabs: Hawnay Troof peels back another layer

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While you were dozing, longtime Bay maven, XBXRX frontman, and KIT drummer Vice Cooler has been busy evolving. This fall's Daggers at the Moon both cuts to the bone, taking a stab at a kind of ruthless "troof," and takes the music to more complicated places than before. This time out, the man was assisted by co-producer and mixer Greg Saunier of Deerhoof -- he also called in contributions from friends and artists like High Places' Mary Pearson, Grouper's Liz Harris, Erase Errata's Jenny Hoyston, Evangelista's Carla Bozulich, and the Melvins' David Scott Stone. Read more »

New Year's relief

Rock in 2010 with Brett Dennen, Morning Benders, Devin the Dude, and more live cork-poppers

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SONIC REDUCER Ah, if only one could give the gift of foresight, how many of us would just throw in the towel, ditch the bitching squeeze, and descend into a netherworld of never-again when faced with the prospect of a dubious New Year's Eve celebration? Oh, the effing pressure to perform, to live it up and to have a ball, especially when booting out a good-riddance-already year like '09.Read more »

Richard Youngs slips out 'Under Stellar Stream'

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Richard Youngs is a shaman of sorts -- of the neodruid variety. With Under Stellar Stream, his latest solo collection of compositions, the English artist compels listeners to stop and pay heed to the small moments, the cycles of life, and the minimal music of repetition. His voice also sounds like it’s gained new strength: it’s clarion-like on numbers like the beautifully spacious “Cluster to a Star.” I keep returning to the second track, augmented with sparse bass and slowly ascending and unfolding organ: “All day Monday and Tuesday, the fuel of day, the fuel of day. Read more »