Music

Lovely fade: Elisa Randazzo teams with local musicmakers for 'Bruises and Butterflies'

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Love and loss and an unfaltering creative spirit appear to inform Elisa Randazzo’s new album, Bruises and Butterflies (Drag City). Her marriage to ex- Josh Schwartz, once of Beachwood Sparks and her partner in Fairechild, may be over, but Randazzo has found plenty of other talents to commune with. Read more »

What would Woods do?

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The slow sweep of summer break, sunlit days that yawn out into infinity, and the pock of a single snare -- those are some of the sleepy, sweet vibes coming off WoodsAt Echo Lake (Woodsist). Read more »

Cut to the core: the sweet and the Splinters

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Didja hear? There’s a mini-girl-band revolution going on. Embracing the rawest of rawk, the lowest of fi, the Splinters haven’t been lumped into the current wavelet of female-centric Bay Area ensembles ala Brilliant Colors and Grass Widow. And perhaps rightfully so. Gender aside, the bands are coming from way different places sonically. Read more »

Not minor: Man/Miracle

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One of the nicer surprises this year has to be The Shape of Things (Third Culture), the debut recording by busy Oakland-by-way-of-Santa Cruz foursome Man/Miracle. No, you don’t get Cruz-ish untrammeled psychedelia of Sleepy Sun nor the noise blues of Comets on Fire nor the spooked folk of Emily Jane White here. Read more »

Getting into the Afro-psych groove: Witch

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The juicy goodness of excellent psych is worth revisiting no matter how far back it was released -- hence this darting glance at Witch, the Zambian ‘70s rock fivesome, and its 1975 full-length, Lazy Bones!!,  released a few months back by QDK Media. Licensed from vocalist Emanyeo Jagari Chanda (the last surviving member of the group is now a foreman at a uranium mining operation in a remote Zambian village) , this gem from the so-called Zam Rock scene rumbles as fiercely as any combo off an early Nuggets comps (see badass rump-shaker “Off Ma Boots”). Read more »

Hammers of fortune!

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Big news on the local metal scene: San Francisco prog-shredders Hammers of Misfortune have just signed to Metal Blade Records. Hot off the Metal Blade press-release telegraph:

"Metal Blade Records is pleased to announce the signing of San Francisco's progressive metal outfit HAMMERS OF MISFORTUNE. Metal Blade Records will release four of the band's previous releases in late summer 2010 with a new studio album expected in 2011."

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Yoko Moments: "Why"

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In honor of Kimberly Chun's cover story this week on Yoko Ono, the time is right to post some Yoko moments here and there when the time is right. What better place to start than "Why," a 1970 Yoko Ono/Plastic Ono Band track that has been hugely influential, both instrumentally and vocally. (A good game: name the people and bands it has influenced, and times it has been sampled.) It still sounds futuristic today. Read more »

In defense of Beyoncé

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By Tim Redmond

I want to come to the defense of Beyoncé. Not that anyone who just won six Grammys needs my defense or cares much what I have to say, but the talented Ms. Knowles has gotten some shit lately, particularly from my colleague at BeyondChron, Randy Shaw, who says she “embodies the soulless Starbucking of the Music Industry.”

He complains:

“Beyoncé provides the homogenized sound that today’s music industry touts, and which it rewards as the best it has to offer.”

And he waxes nostalgic about the good old days of

“the rebellious rock stars of the 1960’s, and the soulful and truly passionate voices of Aretha Franklin, Mary J. Blige, Janet Jackson, and the stars of Motown.”

Well, Randy Shaw’s not known as a music critic, and neither am I, but I can tell you this: As the father of a seven-year-old girl, I know from today's pop.

Movin’ 99.7 is the soundtrack of the Redmond-Field household these days. Vivian has pretty much seized control of the CD player, and when she’s dancing at night instead of doing her homework, and dancing in the morning instead of getting dressed and ready for school, the living room is filled with Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, Miley Cyrus, the occasional Jonas Brothers tune (although she generally sneers at anything that isn’t sung by a girl) and, of course, Beyoncé.

We watch Hannah Montana, I Carly, and Wizards of Waverly Place. We party with “Party in the USA.” Sometimes, we go to the show.

It’s what’s going on in her world – and frankly, it’s not that bad.

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Aerosol melodies

Mason Bates straddles the electronic-classical divide with The B-Sides

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