The self-proclaimed “nerds” behind me in the will-call line at Slim’s Sunday night were lamenting the theft of their culture. “I hate it when hipsters try to act like us,” one said, with threatening hostility. “Because you’re not one of us, you don’t know what it’s like, and it’s not fucking cool.” Oh crap, I thought, looking straight ahead. Are they talking about me? Do they think I’m a poser, coming to this show because it’s hip? That I wear chunky orthopedics and thick rimmed glasses for the purpose of ironic style? I got my ticket and went inside as fast as I could, away from the geek toughs. Read more »
Getting scared with The Residents -- and other Hallowed traditions
Used to be that on Halloween you could be assured of catching either The Residents or The Cramps storming the stages of San Francisco; bands practically designed to blend in with the emissaries of the afterlife creeping through the thin membrane demarcating the spiritual plane. But with the sad passing of The Cramps iconic frontman Lux Interior in 2009, and the always-sporadic scheduling of The Residents, it seems like those days may be gone forever. But perhaps not coincidentally, in a unique twist on the Halloween season tradition, The Residents lead singer Randy Rose has been workshopping a disturbing cabaret all his own at the Marsh in Berkeley.
Notorious German electro-hardcore group Atari Teenage Riot teamed up with Anonymous to release this second video edit for its song, “Black Flags” late last month, with footage culled from Boots Riley, Steve Aoki, and other Occupy Wall Street supporters. It's an ongoing video project; submit your statement here.
My infatuation with Youth Lagoon is easy to explain. Youth Lagoon brainchild Trevor Powers and I have a lot in common. Like Powers, I’m an anxious kid who grew up in the scenic, laid back city of Boise, Id. The piano pop prodigy and I have our differences, though. For instance, I didn’t make one of 2011’s most surprising and heartfelt albums, The Year Of Hibernation (Fat Possum). Read more »
The Damned first turned heads back in 1976. On Saturday night, the UK punk band took to the stage at Slim’s as part of its 35th Anniversary Tour and proved it's only grown better with time. Read more »
MUSIC In a once-pink house, atop a hill where San Francisco and Daly City collide, freak folk four-piece Little Teeth practices its trash thrash in a small living room decked with tawdry holiday tchotchkes year round, as if suspended in a never-ending Christmas.Read more »
MUSIC I half-expect Jhameel to be sporting face paint whiskers swiped across his cheeks as I walk up to meet him at Cafe Strada near the UC Berkeley campus. Lyrically, he's inspired by Ben Gibbard, musically by Sufjan Stevens, but aesthetically, it's early Bowie.Read more »
MUSIC Water Borders, a gloomy beat-driven San Francisco band with a new release (Harbored Mantras) on Tri Angle Records, spent the past few weekends practicing the art of creating atmosphere for obscure vintage films.Read more »
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 email@example.com.
The Sandwitches are all about high highs and low lows. The vocals of Heidi Alexander and Grace Cooper (both former back-up singers for Fresh & Onlys) defy the bounds of San Francisco garage, piping up from low and fuzzed out to high-pitched and near theatrical. The music strays similiarly from convention, with an underlying garage-pop root that sometimes hits close to country-folk, other times lends itself more toward dewy trophy love song/doo-wap. It's a sound that takes a minute to digest – and that's a good thing. Read more »
Whether more or less true in other places, the crowds at shows in the Bay Area can be disappointingly savvy regarding encores. They know that if the band says goodnight and leaves the stage, the show is only possibly over. Or if recorded music comes over the speakers, the show is likely over. And (of course everyone knows) that when the house lights come on, the show is definitely over. It’s a convention that the bands and audience both understand, but robs everyone of some fun. Which was why it was wonderfully surprising that the majority of the people at the Independent Thursday night stuck around clapping, shouting, and making noise 'till it hurt in an attempt to get Soulwax to come back out on stage. Read more »