Music

Sacred space

On its 30th anniversary, SFJazz gambles on a 700-seat, $63 million concert hall and HQ. Can it re-energize a San Francisco scene?

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emilysavage@sfbg.com

MUSIC There will be no bad seats at the new SFJazz Center in Hayes Valley; or at least, that's the goal.Read more »

Actual pain

King Dude on Chelsea Wolfe, breaking down the 'Django Unchained' soundtrack, the return of Cannibal Ox, and a new band for Ty Segall

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Dark side of the Dude

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More than a year ago, in his rundown on “top substances that have influenced music,” promoter-DJ Marco De La Vega said this: “I...raid my own medicine cabinet, take a couple Vicodin, and listen to a stack of records including [Girls],Tamaryn, King Dude, Chelsea Wolfe, and Zola Jesus.”

Already a fan of the others mentioned in that paragraph, I sought out King Dude (a.k.a T.J. Cowgill) and found that I'd already known his previous work, intimately. I'd seen his black metal band Teen Cthulhu in high school, and for many years had the band's sticker plastered on my black Nissan Maxima, later discovering his band that rose from the ashes of Teen Cthulhu: Book of Black Earth.

It was his turns as founder-creative director of his own clothing label, Actual Pain (Kanye has worn it, OK?), and solo “darkly spiritual acoustic-folk” singer-songwriter that have been the most surprising. Like previous King Dude releases, 2012's Burning Daylight (Dais) is a desolate affair, with subtle plucking and Cowgill's darkly raspy vocals meditating on death, murder, spirituality, and love – or as I wrote in this week's Tofu and Whiskey print music column (Jan. 9 issue), it sounds like “a gravelly demon inside, clawing to get out.” Read more »

Heads Up: 6 must-see concerts this week

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It's likely your first full week back to work after the holidays – and just how does that feel? Painful? Like a dull, numbing pain creeping up your neck? Fix it with fun, like the kind you'll have seeing former Das Racist, Kool A.D. at Elbo Room, doom folk friends Chelsea Wolfe and King Dude at the Great American Music Hall, or producer Jerome LOL at Rickshaw Stop, punk act Kicker at Bender's, or club night Push the Feeling's one-year anniversary show at Underground SF.

Cheer up, Bay Area. There's plenty to hear in 2013.

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

Gentle mosh

TOFU AND WHISKEY: Vetiver and Howlin Rain team up for a troika of shows

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TOFU AND WHISKEY Vetiver and Howlin Rain have both been haunting around the Bay for the better part of a decade. Sonically split, playing tender Americana folk and 1970s-tinged psychedelic rock, respectively, the bands share a common thread of superior musicanship and drive — each releasing a landmark album in the past year or so (Howlin Rain's The Russian Wilds and Vetiver's The Errant Charm). The other link? Mutual admiration.Read more »

The Mountain Goats unify a contemplative crowd at the Fillmore

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By the time the audience had gathered in the Fillmore on Friday night to see the Mountain Goats, news of the school shooting in Connecticut had jarred people across the country and incited countless conversations about gun regulation and mental health resources. Tragedy can spur these important discussions, but the events of Friday morning called for something else as well. John Darnielle, the man behind the Mountain Goats, opened by recognizing the tragedy as a huge disappointment — another thorn in our hope for humanity – but more importantly, as a reason for us to get together, make music, and spread joy. Read more »

Michael Krimper's Endless Desire List

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For our annual Year in Music issue, I asked local musicians, rappers, producers, and music writers to sound off on the year's best songs, album releases, shows – pretty much anything they wanted, music-wise. For the next few days, I'll be posting them up individually on the Noise blog. You can also check the full list here. Ed. note.

Michael Krimper, Guardian
The Endless Desire List

(in no particular order, or, out of order)

1. Les Sins/"Fetch"/12" (Jiaolong)
Run, fall, catch your desire. Read more »

Tycho's Top Bay Area and Bay Area-Affiliated Acts

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For our annual Year in Music issue, I asked local musicians, rappers, producers, and music writers to sound off on the year's best songs, album releases, shows – pretty much anything they wanted, music-wise. For the next few days, I'll be posting them up individually on the Noise blog. You can also check the full list here.

Tycho deals in vivid imagery. From blustery waves and bleached sands below orange sunsets to retro film cells, the graphic designer-producer blends sight and sound in mesmerizing live shows – two of which he'll perform next month at the Independent (Jan. 18 and 19). This year, he gained fans touring the world thanks to shows built on 2011's Dive (Ghostly International). This winter, he began work on a followup record. Read more »

Antwon's Top 10 Rap Jamz of 2012

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For our annual Year in Music issue, I asked local musicians, rappers, producers, and music writers to sound off on the year's best songs, album releases, shows – pretty much anything they wanted, music-wise. For the next few days, I'll be posting them up individually on the Noise blog. You can also check the full list here.

If you've somehow been off the web all year, you might have missed San Jose rapper, Antwon. I certainly didn't – I blogged about his awesome “Helicopter” video when it first went up in February, caught him live at Public Works, handed him a Best of the Bay award this summer, and wrote a print feature on his mixtapes, all in 2012. So naturally, I begged him to contribute to the Top 10s. Read more »

Live Shots: Santigold at the Fox Theater

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Santigold was barely a full song into her sold-out performance at the Fox Theater Wednesday night when she began to stoke the lovefest with her Bay Area fans. "You know you're my favorite place to perform...you guys have so much energy!" In a different room to a different crowd it may have come off as a cheaply-pedaled stage sentiment, but the show that ensued lived up to her assessment: the crowd never stopped dancing and Santigold never stopped smiling. Read more »