Back in the early '90s, when MTV played video after video and I was still a kid, I remember seeing tall, hot chicks like Sarah Assbring, the sole member of El Perro Del Mar, flash across the screen, dancing to Axl Rose and Aerosmith. Taking the stage, Assbring immediately struck me as a rock video model, her bright blonde hair chopped off with a stiff asymmetrical edge, lips dark with black-red lipstick, and lids full of smoky shadow. I was immediately envious of her black silky jumper, stitched with an oversupply of fabric under the sleeves that made for the perfect raven wings whenever she lifted her arms.
The sounds of El Perro Del Mar are always sweet and shy, much like the musician herself. She said very little and smiled even less, and yet had me wrapped around her every breath. When she sang, her eyes focused intently on an unknown object in the back of the room, with her eyebrows at a constant downward angle. Often she would raise her hands into the air or send them straight out in front of the mic, nearly reaching the fans in front. She was intense. Read more »
That beat. It was all about that beat. And everyone had filled up the Independent theater on February 26 to hear Four Tet's hypnotic beats all night long. His new album, There Is Love in You, was released last month and Four Tet joined several other electronic groups last Friday on one of the closing nights of the SF Noise Pop festival. Read more »
For the 3rd night of the SF Noise Pop festival, three bands shared the stage with Zee Avi at Rickshaw Stop. Noise Pop is such a marathon of music, with each band rushing on stage, setting up their equipment, rocking out for about eight songs and moving aside to make room for the subsequent performers. Luckily through all this movement and music, each group really held their own and the audience kept begging for encores that were never possible. Read more »
After braving crummy weather and the odd timing of her Sunday night show, I finally got to see my new favorite female rapper K.Flay live. To be honest, K.Flay a San Franciscan by way of Illinois, is way more than just a rapper. She makes her own beats, mash-ups, and plays guitar, in addition to rocking a mic and a party.
Word came that De La Soul's flight was delayed, but they'd still make it. Anticipation levels rose to a fever pitch in the crowd. Fumes from the blunt smoke hazed the faces of the eager fans. Then finally, they made their entrance on to stage chanting "De La" with the audience responding with a unison scream "Soul!"
It's 1998 and I'm on a trans-Pacific flight to Japan with my mom to visit my "Japanese grandma" Kiyo. I've just received my first mix tape from my super-cool older "sister" Leenie, with cuts on it that range from the Runaway Bride soundtrack to Sash!'s Encore Une Fois. And then there's one of the last tracks, "On and On" by Erykah Badu. I blast this tape on my walkman for almost the whole 17-hour flight and play it throughout the trip, from bullet train rides through lush fields of tea plants to visually overstimulating jaunts in the neon-saturated neighborhood of Shinjuku in Tokyo.
Sometimes music is so powerful that it can transport you to another world. Huun Huur Tu, a throat-singing group from the Russian Republic of Tuva, create melodies that make you think you're riding a horse through some ancient, windblown prairie.
The vintage starburst lights were tinted red and Bottom of the Hill was packed with hipsters toting hand-me-down apparel: ratty old sweaters, torn hats and grandma’s old prescription glasses. Best Coast’s Bethany Cosentino let out the first words to “When I’m With You,” and the crowd anxiously listened to each note echo through the mic, paired with her slow, distorted guitar strums.
I couldn’t help but wonder if anyone else in the room felt like we had just stepped into a time machine and shot straight back to a 1960’s dive bar on the beach. A little bit Beach Boys and part Ronnettes, the antique sounds were innocent and as gold as Cosentino’s sandy locks. Read more »
It was a cold and rainy Monday night, but that didn't keep the fans away. St. Vincent, aka Annie Clark, was performing at the Great American Music Hall in support of her latest album, Actor (4AD) and the sold-out event was packed with smitten groupies.