Music

Future Islands release the beast within at Bottom of the Hill

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As I retreated from the Bottom of the Hill’s courtyard into the venue Tuesday night, Future Islands vocalist Sam Herring held the door open and flashed me a dazzling smile. As soon as Herring took to the stage, however, gone was the polite Southern gentleman I’d met outside. He transformed into a raving beast that would hold his audience captive for an intensely theatrical and cathartic performance. Read more »

Watch a San Francisco ukulele star plead her case

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It's tough to be a musician in this town. Not everyone has the natural talent and drive, plus it's tiring and costly spending every waking moment trying to show the world your sound. So we tip our hats for adorable Uni and her Ukulele and her efforts to release a new record -- with the help of some Kickstarter dough. In this video, she pleads her case. Read more »

Holy Ghost! proves it's worth the wait at Slim's

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I’d been worried about making it to the Holy Ghost ! show at Slim's on time, so it was a relief to see the singer of Jessica 6, the opening band, standing outside Slim’s having a
smoke. Black hair, black heels, black mini skirt, black leather jacket: Nomi Ruiz is recognizable. I wished her luck and went inside to find out just how early I was. Read more »

Madlib’s Medicine Show returns to SF

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The final album to Madlib’s 13-part Medicine Show is scheduled to be released this month, capping a series that may prove to be the producer’s magnum opus. Through 12 albums, already he has journeyed through genres – hip-hop, dub, soundtrack music, free jazz, soul, psychedelic rock. He sampled music from around the world – Brazil, Africa,
Jamaica. He culled work from different eras – records from the 1970s, his own unreleased tracks from the '90s, new productions from today. Read more »

Localized Appreesh: The Spyrals

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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.

You remember using spirographs as a child -- drawing endless, satisfying colorful curves with your extensive color pencil collection? You could probably bust that out again and give the Spyral's Sunflower Microphone seven-inch single (released today, a precursor to the upcoming 2012 album) a spin. The wave-like reverb of garage guitar meets a lower 13th Floor Elevators-y howl here, a surfy psychedelic dream. Check out Side A on the Spyrals' Bandcamp page. Read more »

Live Shots: Real Estate and Big Troubles at Slim's

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The sunny, indie rock jams of Ridgewood, NJ’s Real Estate cured my rainy day blues on Friday night at Slim’s. San Francisco’s unshaven, flannel-clad urban lumberjacks showed up en masse to seek shelter from the rain and soak up some seriously good vibes. The five-piece kicked off with “Suburban Beverage” from its 2009 self-titled debut. Inviting us to mellow out, leader Martin Courtney repeated the song’s only words, “Budweiser, Sprite, do you feel alright?” Fans responded with blissful head-nodding. Read more »

Weird Al Yankovic never misses a beat at the Fox

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For someone who got his start in the music business by recording his first single in the men’s room, “Weird Al” Yankovic has certainly come a long way. Forging a wildly successful career that has lasted three decades and counting, the master of musical parodies hit the stage at the Fox Theater in Oakland on Sunday night, proving that while his act is hilarious, his talents for showmanship and performance are no joke. Read more »

Our Brother the Native documents love on 'Vows'

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When I call Josh Bertram of Our Brother The Native at his home in Pontiac, Mich., he’s unwinding with hot tea and whiskey after “one of those days” at the office. The 22-year-old art director harbors an insuppressible passion for music, which is tough to convey to his older coworkers. “I feel like they progressively get more and more weirded out by me,” he admits. Bertram graciously welcomes my questions, speaking openly and eloquently about his new album, Vows. Read more »

Maximum Consumption: the Turntable Kitchen interview

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I'd venture a guess that no one in this town knows the frosting tipped appeal of hand-mixing music and food more than the couple behind Turntable Kitchen. What started one year ago as a simple (yet highly aesthetically pleasing) website mashing up recipes and records, has grown into a celebrated multi-headed creative output machine, with food+music news, event sponsoring, giveaways, and the newly added physical pairings boxes – on top of the drool-inducing/stunning posts. Read more »

Live Shots: Das Racist at Ruby Skye

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The disgruntled bouncer at Ruby Skye begrudgingly admitted my entry to the Das Racist show on Friday night, only after I managed to flag down the event’s promoter to confirm my legitimacy. It was a telling kick off to an evening riddled with problems on behalf of the club, but I wanted to approach with an open mind. Read more »