Music

Localized Appreesh: Sunbeam Rd.

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Localized Appreesh is our thank-you column to the musicians that make the Bay. To be considered, contact emilysavage@sfbg.com

I'm a lover of past treasures. I like my music vinyl, and I like my mail snail. Sure, I download thousands (millions would be hyperbolic, right?) of tracks a year, send hundreds of emails a day, tweet with the rest of them, and then some. Technology is still my friend, but vintage pleasures will always be my lover. Hence, my delight with the arrival of a colorfully confetti'd physical postcard from psychedelia-minded local fuzz-pop trio Sunbeam Rd., announcing the group's 50th show. Read more »

Precious Metal

With the release of her dark, avant-pop sophomore album, Oakland's Metal Mother is free to pursue her primal side

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emilysavage@sfbg.com

MUSIC A lot of elements needed to come together to inspire Metal Mother's new record, Ionika. You can almost picture the woman behind the sobriquet, crouching in some foggy wooded wonderland, scooping up soil and critters, ancient buried treasures of forgotten societies and precious metals. Before we get into specifics, let's slip off the mask. Metal Mother is really, mostly, the glossy coating of one delicate Oakland musician: Taara Tati.Read more »

Heads Up: 7 must-see concerts this week

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Is everyone else emotionally and physically exhausted from the Easter/Passover-torrential hailing downpour-April Fool's Day (who can you trust on the Internet?) mess of the last few days? I certainly am, and I only participated in a few of those spiritual debacles.

No mind, I'm ready to strap on my wellies and/or sunglasses and embark on a week of Esben and the Witch, Mac DeMarco, Babysitter, Glam.I.Rock, Portland Cello Project, Future Twin, and Polkacide with Fuxedos.

Here are your must-see Bay Area concerts this week/end: Read more »

Live Shots: Texas is the Reason at Bimbo’s

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Texas is the Reason’s show at Bimbo’s was not sold out, but it sure seemed packed as I struggled to find a good vantage point on Friday night. When I eventually got a clear view, I saw that the stage was hazily lit by dark blue-purple lights. The amplifiers and drum kit on stage were glowing, heavily draped with white Christmas lights. The visual, in its stark simplicity, was stunning.

This perfect, quiet kickoff was the reassurance I needed to prove that this wouldn’t be the gaudy, overwrought reunion that I had feared, but the graceful, tasteful gathering that I had hoped for. Read more »

Major Lazer showers the Independent with cash, vuvuzelas, dead memes, and a giant bubble

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It comes as a surprise to me that Diplo didn’t at least have a cameo in Spring Breakers — the film that takes place in his home state of Florida – considering his penchant for egregious hedonism.

His quest for indulgent nirvana was on full display last Thursday at the Independent, when he and his Major Lazer crew lead a 90-minute uber-bash of trap, electro, dancehall, moombahton, and dubstep. Read more »

Live Shots: Flume at the Rickshaw Stop

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Every time I've been to Popscene in the last few years, and I mean every time, I see the same guy. Deep 30s, clean cut, and so meticulously well-dressed that it's conspicuous. Particularly conspicuous when he's gravitating around a pair of black lingerie wearing girls dancing like they can't drink. But I guess that mix is fairly typical of Thursdays at the Rickshaw Stop, for the weekly event that always brings in a new crowd by being an 18+ dance party, while maintaining a certain following with the promise of seeing an emerging music act that "could be the next big thing."

Or, as the case was with Australian electronic producer Flume on Thursday night, the next Porter Robinson. As in "OMG, can you believe he's only 20?" and the additional hype that goes with it. The crowd was sold out and eager to hear him DJ, many in the audience probably choosing the show over more established popular EDM acts playing that night like Major Lazer at the Independent or the Skrillex/Diplo (he's everywhere) event going on for the video game convention. Read more »

Foxygen works its uncanny magic at Brick and Mortar Music Hall

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I experienced a strange phenomenon in the few days leading up to Tuesday’s sold out concert at Brick and Mortar Music Hall. The first in a series of strange events occurred in a coffee shop. I overheard one barista say to another, “Put on that Foxygen song.”

“Who?” she asked.

“It’s like ‘oxygen’ but with an ‘F.’”

The next day, one of my favorite websites listed Foxygen’s “Shuggie” as the “Song of the Day,” and later that evening, a friend mentioned the band in a conversation that had very little to do with music. Read more »

NanosauR remixes Backstreet Boys, Antwon, and Chelsea Wolfe

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Earlier today, Bay Area dream pop producer NanosauR posted to his Facebook page, “This is a collection of 20 remixes I have made over time, I hope you like it. Download it for free here.” 

OK, NanosauR, a.k.a. Michael Solorzano, (thanks for the tip) I did download it and it’s nutso mixtape perfection. So, yes, I liked what I heard. Read more »

Heartless Bastards’ Erika Wennerstrom on breaking writer's block with travel

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It seems like the Austin-based Heartless Bastards have made some drastic changes since the release of their debut album, Stairs and Elevators, shedding their punkish irreverence in favor of more candid Americana as illustrated in Arrow, their 2012 Jim Eno-produced release.

I caught up with frontperson Erika Wennerstrom before the band’s Great American Music Hall show this weekend, amid a van ride from Tucson to California to chat about her quartet’s ever-changing sound, her favorite SF food, Neil Young, and Arrow’s traveling backstory: Read more »

Reality rap: Q&A with Saafir, the Saucee Nomad

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Ed. note – this week's music feature is all about emcee-producer Saafir, the Saucee Nomad. The wheelchair-bound associate of Hobo Junction and Digital Underground (and actor in 'Menace II Society') opened up to Guardian music writer Garrett Caples about his recent health struggles, making music, and what's keeping him in check. Here's the extended interview we couldn't fit in the print edition:

San Francisco Bay Guardian Did you have any idea [Digital Underground leader] Shock-G was going to post about you on Davey-D’s blog?

Saafir Actually I had no idea that he was going to put that out. Shock had came and saw me one time and I didn’t really tell nobody that I was in a wheelchair as far as the DU crew. I wasn’t really in contact with anybody. Nobody really stayed in contact with me. If you ain’t really hollerin’ at me, I’m not just gonna call you and be like, “Hey bruh, what’s up? I’m in a wheelchair.” Read more »