Music

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 »

Injured player in the game

After surgery, Saafir, the Saucee Nomad is left wondering whether he'll ever walk again

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arts@sfbg.com

MUSIC "I have a new respect for people with disabilities," Bay Area legend Saafir, the Saucee Nomad says, sitting in his wheelchair in the East Oakland living room where he's temporarily crashing. "I was aware of their plight, but I never imagined how much strength it took mentally to deal with every day, day to day. It's a cold strength."Read more »

Downright 'Deviant' -- the sexy new video from Double Duchess

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See video

Feast your eyes on the latest offering from San Francisco electro-hop duo Double Duchess – a gritty, glammy, pulsing new video for the single, “Deviant,” off its forthcoming EP, due out this summer on Oakland's Le Heat Records. There may or may not be a purple dildo in there somewhere. Read more »

Heads Up: 8 must-see concerts this week

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Sometimes, “world music” takes on an entirely different meaning. This week, the bands and musicians and producers will come from all over the (European) map: there's Grecian psych punk, UK goth pop, Irish deep house and space disco, plus one-half of the first all-female electronic DJ group of Chicago, a KUSF-in-Exile benefit, and a soul clap dance-off.

I'm exhausted just thinking about the travel time it'll take all those acts – Acid Baby Jesus, Veronica Falls, Mano Le Tough, Jonathan Toubin, Texas is the Reason, Colette and DJ Heather, and so many more – to arrive in our foggy city by the bay. Read more »

This image explains Deerhoof

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For all those music writers and fans struggling to explain to their friends what experimental SF-born Deerhoof is all about, upbeat vocalist Satomi Matsuzaki made it easy on us earlier this week.

She posted this arresting photo on Deerhoof's Facebook page and explained, “This is visually what deerhoof is about.” Ah, all makes sense now, doesn't it? Read more »

Snap Sounds: Justin Timberlake

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JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE
THE 20/20 EXPERIENCE
(RCA)

It's 10 songs, seven minutes apiece. A quick look at the track-listing to Justin Timberlake's The 20/20 Experience reveals a giant slice of pop ambition; a brazen comeback effort that practically dares the rest of the Grammy-elite to catch up. Read more »

Bad kids get slimed with the Black Lips at Great American Music Hall

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The Great American Music Hall was a soupy, sweaty mess of swamp-like proportions before the Black Lips had even taken the stage Monday night. The crowd, buzzing with the combined excitement of intoxication and anticipation, erupted into howls and screeches as the band took the stage in a puff of fog-machine smoke. From behind the mist, one of the Black Lips yelled into the mic, “If you wanna be smart, read a goddamn book. If you wanna have fun, you’re in the right goddamn place!” And so it began. Read more »

Localized Appreesh: Swells

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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. Read more »

Spring into arts

Guardian writers select the season's most-anticipated performances, exhibits, film events, and more

It's true that San Francisco doesn't really have seasons, per se. We don't have a snow thaw, or a sudden riot of cherry blossoms, or even a perceptible change in the weather to mark calendar shifts. So grab that lightweight jacket you've been wearing since October, and use our selective guide to what music shows to see (dude ... Sparks is coming!), gallery and museum shows to hit up, films to catch, and can't-miss theater and dance performances — including, yep, a fresh take on The Rite of Spring.Read more »