Music

The man behind the meme

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arts@sfbg.com

MUSIC When I finally manage to get in touch with Berkeley rap phenom Brandon McCartney, a.k.a. Lil B, he's just landed in Oakland, having returned from a brief — and in his words, "amazing!" — stay in Atlanta with Internet-rap legend Soulja Boy. He played a show or two down South, and got a lot of love from local radio. "It's just amazing the respect I'm getting offline," says, "just from being at a computer, doing what I do."Read more »

Gunning solo: Slash speaks!

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For more than 20 years, Saul Hudson — better known to his millions of fans around the world simply as Slash — has exuded the very essence of what it means to be a rock star. His iconic stage image, with the trademark top hat, sunglasses, and low-slung Les Paul, is instantly recognizable, as are his innumerable guitar licks and solos that are now part of the rock n’ roll canon. He plays the Warfield Sun/29.

Having made a name for himself first with the titanic sound and success of Guns N’ Roses in the late 1980s and early 1990s, then capturing lightening in a bottle yet again in Velvet Revolver, the agile axeman released his first solo album in April, recruiting some of biggest names in music to lend their vocal talents to the self-titled effort. Ozzy Osbourne, Lemmy Kilmister, Dave Grohl, Iggy Pop, Ian Astbury, and more fill out of the collection of tracks that feature Slash’s trademark sound and style, yet explore some new territory when it comes to the sonic soundscape that he’s canvassed over the years.

Slash wrote the music, and then sent the track to the performer that he thought best fit the song, asking if they would like to participate. The approach to the record was an almost compete role reversal for the guitar slinger, who has recorded countless guest appearances and performances over the past two decades.

“That was exactly what inspired the record, really — I’ve done so much stuff on other people’s records it finally got to the point where I wanted to do a record where I get everybody,” says Slash, speaking by phone from his home in Los Angeles. Read more »

Gods of Distortion: The Interviews (Part Two)

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Check out Ben Richardson's story on the Southern Lord Mini-Tour in this week's Guardian. Here, he talks with Mike Dean, bassist and singer of Corrosion of Conformity.

San Francisco Bay Guardian: You guys are practicing in North Carolina now, in preparation for the tour?

Mike Dean: That's right, yeah. It might be useful.

SFBG: How long has it been since you've played all these Animosity songs?

MD: Quite a while. Easily 23, 24 years, something like that. 23 years!

SFBG: How does that feel? Is it like putting on an old garment?

MD: Either I remember the stuff precisely, and it is like putting on an old garment – it feels just like yesterday, and I can play it – or there are parts of songs that I have no recollection of. It's either completely natural or kind of strange.

SFBG: Can you point to any particular parts that seem unfamiliar?

MD: There's a bridge-like part in the middle of the song “Holier,” that I completely forgot about!

SFBG: This must be due in part to the fact that your technique has changed a lot over the years. At this point you're a veteran, a very well-schooled musician – not to say that you weren't good to begin with...

MD: It's funny that you should mention that. It's an astute observation, because sometime around the time we did [1987's] Technocracy, I started to play with my fingers more and more, and sort of leave the picking thing behind. Basically, it was like starting all over again, to some extent. Now, I can do all the things on Animosity and Technocracy with my fingers, as opposed to a pick, which I would just be dropping anyway.
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Gods of Distortion: The Interviews (Part One)

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Check out Ben Richardson's story on the Southern Lord Mini-Tour in this week's Guardian. Here, he talks with Southern Lord founder and Goatsnake and SunnO))) guitarist Greg Anderson.

San Francisco Bay Guardian: So, first off, could you describe the planning of the Power of the Riff festival, and the Southern Lord Mini Tour that's sort of spun off of that?

Greg Anderson: Well, last summer we did a Southern Lord event in Seattle with SunnO))), the other group that I play in. Basically it was two nights up there at this venue Neumo's, and SunnO))) headlined each night, playing different sets each night. The support for both shows was Lord bands: we had Black Breath, Accused, Pelican, Earth, Trap Them. It was great! So the promoter of that venue – who put that on for us last year – called and asked if we wanted to do something similar this year – another Southern Lord event. So we were trying to put something together for that, and right around the same time, another good friend of mine told me that he'd been asked to put together something down here in Los Angeles, at the Echo and the Echoplex, and was I interested in getting involved in that. So with these things impending on the horizon, I thought I'd put together a decent line-up of Lord bands and make it happen.

Also, at the same time, I'd been talking with Mike Dean from C.O.C., who told me that they wanted to get out and play some shows with the three-piece line-up, the 80s Animosity line-up, and asked me if I was interested in working with them on that. So I thought I'd base it around them being the headliner and some of our bands on the bill as well. So that's how it came together, and over the last couple months, I've been slowly putting together the pieces, getting other bands on board.

San Francisco just seemed like a natural choice, also, to do a show. San Francisco's always been very supportive of Southern Lord and heavy music in general, so I thought “we've gotta do a show in San Francisco with this package – it's gotta happen!” Read more »

Work and play with the Shout Out Louds

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By John Lambert Pearson

Does life on the road effect the music of the constantly-touring Shout Out Louds? "I guess it does," says singer Adam Olenius. "You know, I think you're sorta living a different life on the road and you think about home and being away and returning and of course that effects you. You meet a lot of people. People that you meet and things that happen while you're traveling and things we do as a band become [what] I sing about. I'm not sure it's being at a certain place, it's just...being away, and trying to figure out your life." Read more »

Up Mission Creek with Mark Matos and Os Beaches

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 I had a “hold me closer, Tony Danza,” moment when I first heard the hyper-localized anthem “High Priest of the Mission,” on Mark Matos and Os Beaches’ 2009 Porto Franco release Words of the Knife. I thought Matos sang “the high priest of omission,” then I suspected that maybe he was singing “the high priest of submission,” which gave the song an entirely different slant. Read more »

Snap Sounds: Wavves

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WAVVES
King of the Beach
(Fat Possum)

With King of the Beach, Nathan Williams, Billy Hayes, and Stephen Pope have finally stopped adding “v”s to their name. After Wavves (2008) and Wavvves (2009) of unpolished lo-fi, these San Diego-based upstarts have elevated to a dreamier, more whimsical sound (re: “When Will You Come”). Yet Wavves also hearkens back to Blink-182, Sum 41, and the bygone days of summer in the '90s. The new album's delightful pastiche is thanks, in part, to Dennis Herring, who's produced the likes of Counting Crows, Elvis Costello, Modest Mouse, and the Hives. Goodbye dissonant noise; hello pop punk! Read more »

The noise of summer is here

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By Sam Stander

As part of the Berkeley Art Museum's eclectic performance series "L@TE: Friday Nights @ BAM/PFA," a trio of noise- or distortion-oriented musicians takes the...well, there isn't exactly a stage, but they'll be playing in Gallery B, where Thom Faulders' interactive sculpture installation, known as the BAMscape, resides. Read more »

The Good Life, full of passion

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By Peter Galvin

Like the musical counterpart of your everyday office workaholic, Tim Kasher has been pulling long hours for most of his life. Currently the frontman for the Good Life -- playing Thurs/10 at Bottom of the Hill -- and indie-rockers Cursive, Kasher has been making it in various bands since the age of 18, including a '90s supergroup with members of the Faint and a 15-year-old Conor Oberst.

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Get HEALTH-y with some noise disco

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By Peter Galvin

When the massive drums make their entrance on the first track of Get Color (Lovepump United), you’d be forgiven for thinking that HEALTH is a metal band. These L.A. electro-punks -- playing Wed/9 at Slim's -- are noisy! There’s also a beauty in the reverberations of those drums, echoing over and over in the background of HEALTH’s tracks, and it makes their music more than a little spine-tingly.

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