Music

Live Shots: Advance Base at Cafe Du Nord

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For a smallish setup with little fuss, few musicians, and a minimalist sound, there was a lot to take in last night at Advance Base's Cafe Du Nord appearance; a night otherwise known as Owen Ashworth's (Casiotone for the Painfully Alone) first time playing SF in this new incarnation as Advance Base, since he essentially broke up with himself. And no, he would not be playing CFTPA songs. Read more »

Snap Sounds: Carletta Sue Kay

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Carletta Sue Kay
Incongruent
(Kitten Charmer)

Carletta Sue Kay is the female alter-ego of SF musician Randy Walker, and this identity shift pushes his art in some astonishing directions. (Walker's previous band Mon Cousin Belge was notorious for its onstage performance art antics). Androgynous to its core, and loaded with overtones, his vocal delivery as Carletta Sue Kay can recall Annie Lennox, Gene Ween, and Joanna Newsom, all in the same breath. Normally, a voice this powerful is cultivated over years of recording, so it's hard to believe that Incongruent is this former Amoeba employee's debut full-length. Read more »

High on Fire drops off (escapes?) the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival Tour

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Disappointing news for High on Fire fans today — a press release from the veteran Oakland metal trio's PR firm announces that the band will be dropping out of this summer's Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival.

Here's the deets from the release:

"High on Fire has announced that it will be forced to miss this summer's Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival as front man and guitarist Matt Pike enters treatment for alcohol rehabilitation.  The award winning power trio (also featuring drummer Des Kensel and bassist Jeff Matz) will put its scheduled touring plans on hold indefinitely as Pike takes the necessary steps towards regaining his health."

And remarks from the band, also from the release:

Read more »

No longer Painfully Alone: Owen Ashworth lives 'in the now' as Advance Base

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Owen Ashworth has this way of making you feel like you've long known him personally. The singer-songwriter-keys aficionado seems an open book, his gold-tipped pages filled with relatable angst, longform stories, and witty musings. Casiotone for the Painfully Alone – the project he started in his 20s in the Bay Area and retired some 13 years later in Chicago, 2010 – was something you wanted to curl up with and have a good melancholy moment, a tête-à-tête with the sound in the machine.

But Ashworth was tired of rehashing the songs he wrote a decade ago, so he broke sonic ties and started anew, with Advance Base. Its tone is similar (hence, comforting), veiled quasi-autobiographical stories pumped out of keyboards and vintage electronic equipment (electric piano, autoharp, Omnichord, old rhythm boxes), with Ashworth's familiar talk-singing sparingly backed by female counterparts. Read more »

Localized Appreesh: Still Flyin'

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Localized Appreesh is our weekly thank-you column to the musicians that make the Bay. To be considered, contact emilysavage@sfbg.com.

Tireless indie pop supergroup Still Flyin' is back, with a follow-up to 2009's superfun Never Gonna Touch the Ground. Read more »

Revival signs

JD McPherson ushers in a welcome return to rock'n'roll roots

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emilysavage@sfbg.com

MUSIC A few musicians with slick hair and black-frame glasses are seen setting up their equipment in Chicago's Hi-Style Studio: amps, a mustard Telecaster, glittering gold drums, a huge stand-up bass, and vintage condenser microphones. What year is this?Read more »

Heads Up: 8 must-see concerts this week

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It really just so happens that a few of this week’s obligatory shows are at club nights (Jel, Friendzone, and Antwon at Future Perfect, Yalls at Push the Feeling) featured in last month’s post-everything cover story, my article profiling local experimental party curators.

What’s more, there are other shows in this stretch that recall the vibes of those featured: great lineups with weird, beats-plus-chords, hi-fi meets lo-fi, robot with a heart of gold overarching themes  (Maus Haus and more at Rickshaw, Owen Ashworth’s Advance Base at Café Du Nord). Read more »

Snap Sounds: Lone

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Lone
Galaxy Garden
(R&S)

Matt Cutler's back catalogue as Lone is the sonic equivalent of cotton candy: lush and ethereal to the point of cheapness, with little in the way of tension or dynamic range to keep it in check. While this aesthetic has yielded some (insanely) enjoyable results, one couldn't help but long for something more substantial from the British beatmaker. Lone addresses that concern substantially on his fourth LP, Galaxy Garden, which finds him developing his brand of electronica like never before. Read more »

Destroyer's Dan Bejar on Orson Welles, desert island records, and more

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Destroyer’s Dan Bejar is a songwriter’s songwriter, revered within indie rock circles for his dense, erratic lyric sheets, and sharp, confrontational vocal delivery. So, naturally, when he dove head-first into synth-laden yacht-rock on last year's Kaputt, the Interwebs went abuzz.

The current Destroyer lineup is set to grace the Fillmore next Tuesday, for their second SF appearance since the album’s release. I interviewed Bejar about the upcoming tour over the phone last week, and unsurprisingly, he's quite a talker. So much so, that my Destroyer feature in this week's issue only scratched the surface. Read more »

Heads Up: 6 must-see concerts this week

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How is it already today, today? I mean, how is this week already so present? Long weekends really mess with that standard five in, two out routine, flipping the days on their side, and giving you enough time to buy new shoes and clean out the sock drawer (literally) without feeling like you’re missing out on all that day-drinking at the park. It’s already time to slip on those fresh kicks and catch Kurt Vile, Wet Illustrated, Xiu Xiu, and Mogwai live in venues around this city and its outlying counties. Read more »