Carletta Sue Kay is the female alter-ego of SF musician Randy Walker, and this identity shift pushes his art in some astonishing directions. (Walker's previous band Mon Cousin Belge was notorious for its onstage performance art antics). Androgynous to its core, and loaded with overtones, his vocal delivery as Carletta Sue Kay can recall Annie Lennox, Gene Ween, and Joanna Newsom, all in the same breath. Normally, a voice this powerful is cultivated over years of recording, so it's hard to believe that Incongruent is this former Amoeba employee's debut full-length. Read more »
Matt Cutler's back catalogue as Lone is the sonic equivalent of cotton candy: lush and ethereal to the point of cheapness, with little in the way of tension or dynamic range to keep it in check. While this aesthetic has yielded some (insanely) enjoyable results, one couldn't help but long for something more substantial from the British beatmaker. Lone addresses that concern substantially on his fourth LP, Galaxy Garden, which finds him developing his brand of electronica like never before. Read more »
Destroyer’s Dan Bejar is a songwriter’s songwriter, revered within indie rock circles for his dense, erratic lyric sheets, and sharp, confrontational vocal delivery. So, naturally, when he dove head-first into synth-laden yacht-rock on last year's Kaputt, the Interwebs went abuzz.
The current Destroyer lineup is set to grace the Fillmore next Tuesday, for their second SF appearance since the album’s release. I interviewed Bejar about the upcoming tour over the phone last week, and unsurprisingly, he's quite a talker. So much so, that my Destroyer feature in this week's issue only scratched the surface. Read more »
MUSIC "Harsh urban space, with a light misting." That's how Dan Bejar describes 2011's Kaputt, his ninth full-length under the Destroyer moniker; listen to it with headphones, on a foggy day in San Francisco, and you just might agree.Read more »
Releasing singles and EPs as Bullion since 2008, laptop-whiz Nathan Jenkins has managed to avoid the generic, cut-and-paste aesthetic that's corralled so many of his colleagues into mediocrityville. He's always edited his samples with an old-school rock musician's touch, allowing the drums, synths, and guitars to breathe, instead of exposing them to heavy-handed whiplash. Read more »
Toward the end of Big Fun in the Big Town (released today and available here), Dutch filmmaker Bram Van Splunteren's love letter to the birth of hip-hop in NYC, we're treated to an interview with a young LL Cool J at his Grandma's house in Queens. The newly released documentary, compiled from footage that's been collecting dust in a European warehouse since 1986, is full of these revelatory moments, painting a vivid picture of an art form in the process of defining and justifying itself.