Michelle Broder Van Dyke

Rockers-turned-authors

Rock stars who write books, too -- smarter than rock stars who Twitter?
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arts@sfbg.com

The Romantic notion of the specialized, single-pursuit genius is outdated. In this century, nothing is all-or-nothing, and postmodernism allows for and even encourages multitaskers, plate-spinners, and well-rounded individuals.

Anyway, once you become a megastar, what else is there to do? Read more »

I heard a tumor

Ganglians work together to create happy accidents and sound out dreamy intent
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a&eletters@sfbg.com

INTERVIEW Sacramento quartet Ganglians daydreams blissed-out harmonies — ones made hazy by distortion. As its sun-kissed psych-pop sounds become garbled, the band creates a prismatic realm, a sonic state of being somewhere between waking and dreaming. This polychromatic province, where myoclonic twitches and hypnotic jerks occur, is conjured by variations between fuzzy, thermal jams and abstract, pensive chants.

Vocalist-guitarist Ryan Grubbs grew up in Bozeman, Mont. Read more »

Outside Lands Night Show: Gang Gang Dance

Transforming mood into matter
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PREVIEW Comparable to a mystical experience involving contact with a transcendent reality, Gang Gang Dance forges a celestial, almost cultlike sound fitted with primal drum beats that elevate listeners to the beginning of time while electro chimes simultaneously fast-forward to an unknown era.

Instead of utilizing a typical verse/chorus pattern, GGD constructs freeform songs focusing on the fusion of juxtapositions. The quartet relies on a rhythm-driven foundation as it integrates a diverse range of influences: dubstep, dream pop, reggaeton, hip-hop, grime, and art rock. Read more »

Bill Callahan

More direct, plain, and open
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PREVIEW If Bill Callahan is a shepherd of the lo-fi reformation, his musical evolution suggests a shell-like spiral. His initial releases in the late-1980s to early-1990s were ramshackle home recordings, mostly instrumental. Read more »

Dan Deacon

Playing with a 15-piece ensemble, it's hard to predict how the intimacy and audience participation aspects of his performance will be affected
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PREVIEW I first saw Dan Deacon perform at Oberlin College's venue the 'Sco, a den of nascent creativity that eventually brought me to a city sometimes referred to by the same three-letter abbreviation. Deacon was there, balding and bearded, his glasses taped to his head, his muffin-top iced by a bright pink T. He set up his mad scientist's table of electronics in the audience's usual domain. Different colored cords sprang out in every direction and there were multiple mics for his one-man show. Read more »

"Missed Connection: Souvenirs Of Brief Encounters"

The potential and the poetry of Craigslist posts
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PREVIEW If you, too, are an avid Craigslist missed connections reader, you already know about the creepy posts: "Morning gym workout — m4w — 36: Great to see you back in the gym this morning. I was beginning to think you started working out at a different time or different place." There are the hilarious posts: "Fremont Hooters Bartender — m4w — 26: What happened to that call? Read more »

Swedish fetish

The Scandinavian path from ABBA's ice castles to Fever Ray
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Americans have always been lured by the siren call of those blindingly blonde babes and bewitching blue-eyed boys, but what exactly is "it" about Sweden that keeps us wanting more? The country is known for being progressive, well educated, sexually liberal, and neutral in wartime. A Swede even holds the Guinness World Record for spinning the most yo-yos simultaneously (nine).

Sweden has infiltrated American style; I don't know anyone who doesn't own at least one thing from Ikea, H&M, or Cheap Monday. These companies convey a sleek, stackable, skinny image. Read more »

Akron/Family

A timeless fairy-tale land of fleeting fright and fancy flight
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PREVIEW Dear Akron/Family: When I first got my hands on your self-titled 2005 release (Young God), I wasn't immediately grabbed by your music. Its spare ethereal quality had to stew. But it wasn't long before the album had brewed, and I was pressing repeat. "Before and Again" and "Running, Returning" led me through the looking glass into a timeless fairy-tale land of fleeting fright and fancy flight. Read more »

Along the y-axis

Scoping out Lily Hoang's Parabola
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PARABOLA

By Lily Hoang

Chiasmus

336 pages

$14.95

Lily Hoang's Parabola is the kind of text that solicits a rereading, but you aren't dutifully bound to return to its beginning. Read more »

Immortal Technique

The Peruvian-born, Harlem-raised rapper looks to the roots of hip-hop
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PREVIEW Peruvian-born, Harlem-raised rapper Immortal Technique, né Felipe Coronel, long ago broke with the TRL mold of spitting about bitches and ho's, instead looking to the roots of hip-hop with his politically minded tracks.

On his third full-length, The 3rd World (Viper), he covers such topics as the gentrification of his Harlem hood and corruption in the music industry. The opener establishes him as a renegade in the rap world where it's common to have an intro — be it the sound of bullets blasting or a slutty skit. Read more »