Music

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 »

Fanboy ruminations on the new My Bloody Valentine

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Here I am, listening to m b v for the umpteenth time since Saturday night, and I still can’t believe it exists. Up until last week, I had grown used to “the Loveless follow-up” as a punchline in hipster water-cooler conversation, a tall tale in the canon of guitar-rock mythology. But now, after two decades of broken promises, My Bloody Valentine’s fabled third LP is here. And I can dance to it. And it shows up on iTunes like everything else. This can’t be happening. Read more »

Freak show

The Residents talk eyeball masks, $100,000 box sets, and their 40 anniversary tour. Meanwhile, Beak> gets weird(er)

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emilysavage@sfbg.com

TOFU AND WHISKEY As Homer Flynn describes to me the Bay Area musical landscape during the time when iconic, experimental music-arts collective the Residents first rolled into town in 1966, I can't help but picture a tiny gold hammer cracking the earth wide open like it was a piñata, with glitter, powdered wigs, freakish masks, oversized eyeballs, and gingerbread men spewing out in a magnificent tangle.Read more »

Live Shots: Wovenhand at Bottom of the Hill

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Although the notoriously devout David Eugene Edwards would probably be appalled to hear it, attending his shows is about as close to a religious experience as I ever get.

The ferociously intense frontperson of Wovenhand (as well as the former 16 Horsepower), Edwards was instrumental in the foundation of the hyper-localized alt-Americana/gothic-folk genre known as the Denver Sound, a category filled with moody ballads of shaken faith and raucous, C&W-tinged fire-and-brimstone.

And there’s just something about the sheer unapologetic bombast of his live presence that makes me want to don sackcloth and ashes on the spot and follow the path of the righteous — a feeling which lasts at least until I manage to break away from his sermon on the mount (or any rate, the Bottom of the Hill) to stumble home, still a sinner. Read more »