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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
Localized Appreesh is our thank-you column to the musicians that make the Bay. To be considered, contact email@example.com.
Another blog this week declared Golden Void “the Bay Area's best new psych band,” and I'm not about to quibble. The band, named after a Hawkwind track, features members of Earthless, and Assemble Head in Sunburst Sound, and just released a mind-bending, fuzzy guitar-bursting beaut of a debut album, out now on Thrill Jockey. Read more »
Yes, it's that time of the year again – when I make a faux-turkey. And, I suppose, when many of you eat the real thing. That's cool. Either way, you're going to want to relax, decompress, scream into the abyss after the stress of eating and chatting with the family, or over-indulging at multiple Friendsgivings. This Thanksgiving weekend, you can let your conflicted demons out into the night with Dick Dale, Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, Cass McCombs, Sébastien Giniaux, Kill Paris, and SISU. Read more »
Man, there were a lot of beards at the Fillmore last Thursday. Not the close-cropped beards that I swear some Bay Area men grow in hopes that a girl or boy wants to talk about it. But shaggy ones. The kind that you really can’t make a statement about. Because they aren’t a statement, unless it’s about their state of unwash.
I was at the Tame Impala show, and the beards were out in force. There were also a smattering of mods and hippies, a larger group of rocker girls with tough eyes and shiny hair, with their boyfriends, and a small slice of older music lovers. Read more »
If you want to stay in the good graces of Titus Andronicus (which played Great American Music Hall this Tuesday), don’t mention frontman Patrick Stickles' beard, or his recent lack of beard, or his uncanny vocal likeness to Bright Eyes vocalist Conor Oberst, or really much of anything else. But you didn’t hear it from me. Because of his sensitivity, Stickles has been churning out some of the best anger and angst-driven punk rock of this century. In spite of his sensitivity, he still seems to be a super nice guy. Read more »
It's been a decade since the release of the Faint's stand-out album, Danse Macabre. Nuts, right? With Saddle Creek Record's release this month of the deluxe edition of its landmark album, the somewhat dormant dark wave band is now touring and playing Danse Macabre in its entirety; that tour takes the Faint to the Regency Ballroom this weekend (Sat/17). Read more »
Juan Atkins will perform songs from the Cybotron and Model 500 catalogues with a four-piece electronic group, including “Mad” Mike Banks of Underground Resistance, Mark Taylor, and Milton Baldwin, this Friday at No Way Back's three-year anniversary party at Mezzanine.
When I first Googled “Model 500” the search results surprised me. I expected to find a clue as to why Juan Atkins named his mid-1980s solo music project after what sounded like a blueprint for a piece of consumer technology, like some sort of hyper-evolution of the Model T.
But the choices between a rotary telephone from the post-war period and a newly minted Smith & Wesson revolver, both model 500s in their own rights, left me wanting. When I ask Atkins whether there was any story behind the name, he suggests another way of reading it: “It was something I used to repudiate ethnic designation. It wasn’t named after any model or any particular piece of equipment.”