Music

Localized Appreesh: The Dandelion War

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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.

Sigur Rós, Explosions in the Sky, Radiohead, the Antlers – Oakland's the Dandelion War has received some outsized, and crazy positive, comparisons and reviews during its four short years of existence, particularly thanks to 2012's excellent, ambient We Were Always Loyal to Lost Causes (Deep Elm) LP.

All of it's accurate, by the way. The Dandelion War makes mood music for the brain. The post-rock five-piece boasts the build ups and crescendos of Explosions, the alien echoing otherworldliness of mid-career Radiohead, the pleasing falsetto and hypnotic soundscapes of the Antlers, and tiny pulsing heartbeat and cave-deep reverb of a dewy Sigur Rós. Read more »

I'm your fan

When Leonard Cohen comes around, an orgy of admiration follows

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arts@sfbg.com

MUSIC Like most love affairs, there was little indication on our first encounter that it would turn into a lifelong infatuation. I was 17, methodically singing my way through a book of folk tunes, one of which was his first real hit, "Suzanne". Though I admired it for its lyrical content, it weighed heavy on my range, and I soon moved on to other songs.Read more »

Just chill

On the cusp of headlining Noise Pop slots, Toro Y Moi releases an album equally inspired by J Dilla and his new Bay Area home

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arts@sfbg.com

MUSIC Four years ago, in the waning days of the aughts, the befuddling adlib term "chillwave" forged in the throes of the blogosphere, accompanied nearly every story about acts like Neon Indian, Washed Out, and Toro Y Moi. For the uninitiated, chillwave is a cheap, slap-on label used to describe grainy, dancey, lo-fi, 1980s inspired music, and most importantly is a disservice to any band associated with it. Luckily for music writers and listeners alike, this term has died a relatively swift death.Read more »

Kacey Johansing goes walking with her 'Ghosts'

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Singer-songwriter (and former Geographer member) Kacey Johansing released her stunning sophomore album, Grand Ghosts, today. And how grand it is. Lush, moody, and dreamy, too. You can stream it now on her Soundcloud.

Along with Geographer, Johansing was also once a member of Honeycomb, and is currently one-half of experimental folk duo Yesway. Or, you might remember San Francisco's Johansing from the Localized Appreesh column last fall, in which the Kalamazoo, Michigan-born, Colorado-raised musician told me: “I love it here so much and am incredibly grateful to be a part of such insanely talented, creative, and supportive musical community.” Read more »

Christmas in February: The Residents come home

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Bimbo's was packed to the rafters Sunday night for the triumphal homecoming show of music-and-neo-surrealism group the Residents, which was celebrating 40 years of relative obscurity with a blowout tour.

The stage was set with a whimsically unseasonal Christmas theme — huge inflatable candy canes, Santa, and Frosty the Snowman — draped with a hand-lettered banner emblazoned simply with the band name. 

The days of elaborate sets and 16-piece ensembles are over for the Residents, and their current incarnation — a stripped-down trio of masked musicians known simply as “Randy,” “Chuck,” and “Bob” — relies mostly on electronic sampling and assorted effects to create the unsettling soundscapes and dissonant jangles they’ve been (un)known for since their very first public release in 1972 — the “Santa Dog” single.

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Young love is war for Blackbird Blackbird

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Our own Blackbird Blackbird makes us feel funny with a grainy new video for "It's a War" off his 2012 EP, Boracay Planet (Lavish Habits). Read more »

Live Shots: Tomahawk at the Great American Music Hall

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Tomahawk gave two rare live performances this weekend at the Great American Music Hall, the second of which this photographer attended, and — as to be expected from most things involving Mike Patton — it was flawless, aggressive, and there were lots of dudes in the crowd.  

The night started interestingly enough, waiting in line behind Jello Biafra at will-call and hearing him give his name to the woman behind the glass, while a few people behind me whispered, “that’s Jello Biafra.”  I don’t think he remembered me, but he stepped on me during the last Melvins show I photographed at GAMH. That time, I looked up and he said, “sorry” and I was like, “awesome.” 

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Live Shots: Soundgarden at the Fox Theater

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It took Soundgarden a full 10 songs before it began to flex its muscles at the Fox Theater on Tuesday night, before the band dialed in and proved what out-and-out Badmotorfingers the four musicians can be. I doubt that the enamored (and now half-deaf) crowd leaving the Fox would have agreed with me on this point about the band’s early setlist sluggishness. Soundgarden delivered in a big way, and you would have been hard-tasked to find an audience member complaining after the dynamic, eardrum-crippling, 27- song performance.

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Telegenic Band Check: Shannon Harney

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SFBG videographer Ariel Soto-Suver caught up with Shannon Harney at the Convent, a communal living space in Lower Haight that actually once was a convent, for this installment of Telegenic Band Check.

 

Heads Up: 7 must-see concerts this week

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The Grammys are over – did you watch? I was busy with a very important tiki cocktail at Smuggler's Cove at the time of the actual broadcast, but I got all the pertinent data and watched all the non-lip synced performances post-show. Another year of meh, with some ostentatious pop sprinkled throughout. I'm more excited about Future|Perfect with Holly Herndon, and live shows by Beak>, Graveyard, and EELS, all of which take place in the Bay Area this week. Read more »