Music interview

Telegenic Band Check: Corpus Callosum

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SFBG videographer Ariel Soto-Suver met local SF band and performance troupe, Corpus Callosum, in their studio to record a live set and learned all about their love of video game music.

Think this is Judas Priest's final concert? You've got another thing coming

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With some of the most memorable and recognizable heavy metal anthems ever put to tape or performed live, Judas Priest has been at the forefront of the scene for some 40 years now. Featuring singer Rob Halford’s piercing vocals, the twin guitar attacks of Glenn Tipton and K.K. Downing, and the rock solid rhythm section of Ian Hill and Scott Travis, the band has come a long way from its humble beginnings in Birmingham, England, where it earned the moniker, “Metal Gods.” Read more »

Big Harp on writing lyrics, Saddle Creek, and touring with kids

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I listened to Big Harp's debut album, White Hat, without any preconceived notions, and fell in drippy, folky, love. I fell into the slight country twang and gentle plucking of baritone singer-guitarist Chris Senseney, and the sweet backing vocals of bassist Stefanie Drootin-Senseney. Read more »

We want the airwaves: KFJC's birthday party

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At 8 p.m. on Oct. 20, 1959, the first words spoken on local college radio station KFJC came pumping through the air waves. It was station manager Bob Ballou, operating from a broom closet at the old Foothill Junior College campus in Mountain View. In the decades that followed, the station has grown known for its eclectic show lineup and in-house concerts: Noothgrush, Exhumed, and Foxtails Brigade, among so many others. Read more »

Feminist dance pop: Q&A with MEN's JD Samson

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Just as she did with Le Tigre, JD Samson blurs the lines between feminist theory and modern pop music with her most recent musical endeavor, MEN. The experimental art-pop band, which began in 2007, is a collective with fellow Le Tigren Johanna Fateman – among others – that's as subversive as it is danceable. Read more »

The instruments of my life: Q&A with Beirut's Zach Condon

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Zach Condon, the pied piper of Beirut, is known for a great many things – his quavering voice and heart-tugging music (watch the new video for “Santa Fe” and try not to weep, I dare you), the global journeys on which he embarked to gain such a worldly sound, and, perhaps above all else, his skilled takes on an array of string and horn instruments. He employs their use to enable listeners an audio-vacation: the far corners of Eastern Europe and the Balkans, to the chateaus of French chansons, to his mariachi-filled hometown of Santa Fe, New Mexico.

As Beirut's two Bay Area shows this weekend (at the Fox Theater in Oakland and the Independent in SF) are very, very sold out, I'm assuming there are a few of you out there grasping tickets as you read this. And if not, there are always scalpers (note: we do not condone buying from scalpers). Read more »

Sound and environment: Moving beyond tropical bass with Chief Boima

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A couple weeks ago I shot a long-winded email to former Bay Area DJ and producer Chief Boima. I had just finished speaking to Dun Dun of the Los Rakas crew for what eventually became this article, and he mentioned an upcoming EP with former Bay Area DJ and producer Boima. Now, if you don’t know about Boima, you need to get acquainted with the Banana Clipz digital funk on Ghetto Bassquake (for free download, too). It’s a joint instrumental album between Boima and Oro 11 of Bersa Discos that merges electronic architectonics with rhythms, melodies, and sound bits from the African diaspora.
Enough of that, though -- Boima withstood my long-windedness, and after a couple exchanges, he did all the explaining. Read more »

Q&A: The unexpurgated Books

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Accurately summing up the music The Books create is a tall order. Folktronica, indie-pop, cut & paste, experimental -- all these tags can loosely be assigned to it, but none can fully capture the group's mix of acoustic virtuosity and trippy electronics. First meeting in New York City in 1999, Nick Zammuto and Paul de Jong soon began crafting their unique combination of found sounds, cello, guitars, vocals and studio experimentation. Their work has led to four albums, a remix collaboration with Prefuse 73, and a commission to create elevator music for the Ministry of Culture in Paris. Zammuto took some time to chat about the group’s use of samples and its newest release, The Way Out (Temporary Residence Limited). Below is a longer version of a Q&A that recently ran in the Guardian. Read more »

Hot Chip's Joe Goddard talks emotional lyrics, covers, and 80s pop

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Hot Chip's Joe Goddard has had one helluva year. He and his bandmates released their highly-anticipated LP One Life Stand in February and took a massive risk by going for a more streamlined, cohesive sound.The gamble payed off: the disc has received generally positive reviews and the group has spent the latter part of 2010 criss-crossing the globe, including a Sun/17 stop at the Warfield. Just a few months removed from a triumphant American headlining tour that was supported by critical darlings the XX, the Londoners are back opening up for their longtime friends LCD Soundsystem and playing some of the American biggest gigs of their career. Throw in the birth of his first child and a hectic DJ schedule, the Guardian was lucky to grab a quick word with the Hot Chip main man at his home in London.

San Francisco Bay Guardian: Considering how high expectations for One Life Stand were, how are you feeling about it now that it's been out for a while?

Joe Goddard: It feels good. It was a stressful process, but it seems to have gone down quite well. Honestly, when I get done making an album, I always get a little bit tired of it and want to move on to the next one, so I really haven't listened to it much myself. That said, the shows have been going well, and people seem to really enjoy the new tracks in the live setting. I don't exactly know what people's opinions are, but I guess people have been enjoying it, which makes me happy [laughs].

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Next stop Mustaine: rappin' with the Megadeth man

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Dave Mustaine has seen more than his fair share of difficult obstacles to overcome throughout his musical career due to his past drug and alcohol addictions, which famously got him kicked out of the early line up of Metallica. Even during his ensuing triumphs with his own band, long-time metal favorites Megadeth, he struggled often with his demons.

Now clean and sober, the singer and guitarist is riding high on his current successes, which include a new autobiography, Mustaine: A Heavy Metal Memoir (Harper Collins) which hit the New York Times’ best seller list earlier this month when it was published. Megadeth’s latest studio album, 2009’s Endgame (Roadrunner Records) was received well by both fans and critics, and the band is currently on the road as part of the “American Carnage Tour” with Slayer and Testament.

Mustaine and company hit the Cow Palace tonight; he also did a book signing this morning. The first-time author is happy with the ways things have been going so far during his first foray into the literary world.

“I’m very excited about it, because when I initially set out to write this thing, it wasn’t to be on the Oprah book club — although now that I know a little bit more about books it would certainly be cool to sit on the couch and tell her a little bit about my story,” says Mustaine, speaking by phone before a concert in Albuquerque.

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