Music

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 »

Heads Up: 7 must-see concerts this week

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Call it the influence of witch house on the folk scene, or don't –  those involved would probably hate that. But it does feel like there have been more and more “darkly spiritual acoustic-folk” acts of late, in the vein of Chelsea Wolfe and Father John Misty (albeit, on opposite ends of the spectrum), and in particular, King Dude, who returns to the Bay for a set of Oakland shows this weekend. There'll also be live sets this week by Lavender Diamond, less moody but certainly as spiritual and folk-infused, and the legendary, if snappier Mountain Goats.

Unrelated, but also performing in the Bay these next few days: Roy Loney and the Phantom Movers, Overwhelming Colorfast, and the Chuckleberries; Dee Dee from the Dum Dum Girls with her boo, Brandon from the Crocodiles; Wooden Shjips, Liturgy, and Barn Owl, at the same show. Plus, it's Chanukah, and the Subterranean Arthouse is celebrating with Yiddish bands and live klezmer. I hope for your sake you get some latkes this holiday season, my first batch was oily, crispy, and vegan – perfect. Read more »

Sufjan Stevens as the Christmas Unicorn at Great American Music Hall

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When I walked into the Great American Music Hall on Wednesday night, I was handed a Christ-Mess Sing-a-Long booklet with a unicorn on the cover. While I had already gathered from the name of the event — Surfjohn Stevens’ Christmas Sing-A-Long: Seasonal Affective Disorder Yuletide Disaster Pageant on Ice — that it wasn’t going to be a standard holiday concert, I wasn’t quite prepared for the awesome eccentricities that awaited me.

The Great American, which is already one of the Bay’s most gorgeous venues, was literally aglow with strings of Christmas lights reflecting off bows and baubles attached to headbands, elf ears, vests, and ugly sweaters throughout the dedicated audience. On stage, incense was burning and guitar techs were wading through piles of inflatable Santas and unicorns. Read more »

Thrill ride

Wooden Shjips and Barn Owl celebrate Thrill Jockey's 20th, Eliyahu Sills' reed flute record, the Babies and Antibalas return
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emilysavage@sfbg.com

Tofu and Whiskey Arbiter of good taste, Thrill Jockey Records is officially 20 years old. In another era, in another business, this would merely be a back-slapping milestone. In the present stuck-barreling-downwards roller coaster of the music industry, it's an anniversary worthy of widespread jubilation.

"It's a mind-boggling number of years," label founder Bettina Richards says during a phone call from the main office in Chicago, where the label's been based since 1995.Read more »

Will John C. Reilly be the secret guest at Lavender Diamond's Chapel show?

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You know Lavender Diamond, right? The whimsical LA-based electro-folk band fronted by crystal-clear vocalist/tree fairy Becky Stark? The group plays SF's newest venue, the Chapel, Tues/11. Turns out, there's a super-secret surprise guest set to appear, and I've got a solid guess now we can announce who it is: John C. Reilly. Read more »

KOOL A.D. isn't worried about that Das Racist breakup

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Any time a band breaks up, the beef rumors immediately start to swirl. Throw in Twitter and Facebook, and that rumor tornado can spin quickly out of control – as it did within minutes thanks to the #dasracistbreakup hashtag this past weekend when rapper Heems, on a drunken whim, announced the group’s break up during a show in Berlin. Read more »

Snap Sounds: Brian Eno

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BRIAN ENO
LUX
(WARP)

The liner notes to Brian Eno’s Music for Airports (1978) act as a veritable Ambient Manifesto, outlining the philosophy of a genre he developed as an alternative to Muzak, and other background fluff. In the final sentence, he asserted, “Ambient Music must be able to accommodate many levels of listening attention without enforcing one in particular; it must be as ignorable as it is interesting.” By that count, Eno’s solo Warp debut, LUX, is his most successful foray into ambient territory in quite some time. Read more »