Music

Snap Sounds: Mwahaha

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MWAHAHA
MWAHAHA
(Mwahaha Music)

Poor choice in band name aside, Oakland psych-rock quartet Mwahaha's debut has a lot to offer. On album opener "Swimmer," Ross Peacock sings "I swim deeper through darkness and danger / from the surface and its beautiful light" in an alluring falsetto over warm synth tones.  Read more »

Snap Sounds: Thee Oh Sees

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By Irwin Swirnoff

THEE OH SEES
CARRION CRAWLER/THE DREAM
(In The Red)

It's very easy to take things for granted in San Francisco, and in many ways that's been the demise of so many amazing things in this city; we forget to applaud, support, and revel in the magic when it's here, only to lament it when it's taken away. Thee Oh Sees are on fire, this is their second full length of the year. Their work ethic is as charged as the songs that fill this record. Something happens when you listen to Carrion Crawler/The Dream, you blast it loud and then you begin to move, and sweat, and get out of your head and into your body and feel so raw and alive. Don't take them for granted; they are the best rock band on the planet right now. See videos after the jump. Read more »

Snap Sounds: Super 11

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SUPER 11
SUPER ONZE
(self-released)

Led by hand drumming, three-stringed n'goni lute, and organic pitch shifting Malian chant, Super 11's Super Onze is a compelling set of songs. The band, a collective formed in a remote region of Northern Mali, plays Takamba, a type of music typically created for weddings and other ceremonies. It comes from a rich musical history, linked to other artists in the area, and in style to acts such as Ali Farka Touré.

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The Performant: Tradition! Tradition!

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Golden Girls, Kung Pao Kosher, Merry Forking Christmas ... the holidays are coming whether you like it or not.

Love ‘em or hate ‘em, the holidays just keep on coming around. And unless you plan on hibernating the entire month of December away, sooner or later someone is going to force you into an ugly sweater and drag you to some seasonal entertainment designed to fill you with goodwill towards all humankind -- or some such optimistic twaddle. Even so, there’s certainly no reason you have to subject yourself to endless renditions of Tchaikovsky’s famous suite or stale Bing Crosby carols in order to fulfill your holiday spirit quota. Alternatives abound here in Babylon-by-the-Bay, and you’re sure to stumble across a few that speak to your own imitable tastes.

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Nite Trax: Nebakaneza's top 10 dubstep tracks of 2011

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DJ Nebakaneza of the always raging Ritual Dubstep weekly (every Thursday, 9pm-3am at Temple) has one of the finest ears on the dubstep scene and a generous taste when it comes to the often narrowly defined genre. The Anonymous-like masked mixer has definitely turned us on to some great tunes this year. Here's his tops in the wobble department for 2011:

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Localized Appreesh: the Cosmo Alleycats

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Localized Appreesh is our weekly thank-you column to the musicians that make the Bay. Each week a band/music-maker with a show, album release, or general good news is highlighted and spotlit. To be considered, contact emilysavage@sfbg.com.

Snap your fingers – jazzy San Francisco swingsters the Cosmo Alleycats have officially released their debut album, The Late Late Show. It's the kind of story you love to hear: talented local band makes good, a group that formed as a weekly venue houseband makes the leap to fully-realized recording act. And that record beams with tinkling piano, hearty sax, the thumping backbone of upright bass, and a mix of soulful jazz numbers, vintage R&B, and poppy upbeat swing.  Read more »

Live Shots: Dinosaur Jr. at the Fillmore

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By Jolene Torr

The nostalgia factor of a night spent at the Fillmore, watching Dinosaur Jr. play the entirety of its classic Bug album while the scents of weed and that cloying old familiar CK One (I shit you not) steeped into my clothes, is hard to ignore. Though I was too young to appreciate Bug in 1988, watching the slacker-rock trio indulge in sprawling guitar solos and dense, chugging bass lines undoubtedly evoked a longing for grunge and those impetuous '90s. Read more »

Warren Hellman, the 1 percent exception

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San Francisco lost a piece of its soul when Warren Hellman died last night. In a deeply polarized city, where Occupy’s paradigm of the 99 percent versus the 1 percent resonates more than anywhere, Hellman showed how an extremely wealthy investment banker could champion the interests of all San Franciscans.Read more »

Laura Gravander's top 10 live bands of 2011

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For so many more year-end music lists, click here and pick up this week's paper.

Dirty Cupcakes' Laura Gravander presents a totally nepotistic list of the top 10 live bands of 2011: Read more »

Marco De La Vega's top 10 substances that have influenced music in 2011

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For so many more year-end music lists, click here and pick up this week's paper.

120 Minutes' Marco De La Vega (@S4NTA_MU3RTE) lists his top 10 substances that have influenced music in 2011:  Read more »