New Music

No thanks, Bono

Three new albums that should magically appear on your iPod in place of Songs of Innocence

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esilvers@sfbg.com

LEFT OF THE DIAL Amid all the geeky hyperventilating last week about the iPhone 6 and the Apple Watch, U2 — the Irish rock giants by whom the announcement of new music inspires roughly the same level of excitement as a new flavor of seasonal, sugar-free Starbucks latte, and among the same demographic — tried to pull a Beyoncé by dropping a new album out of nowhere. For free!Read more »

WATERS sign to Vagrant, drop new single "I Feel Everything"

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Van Pierszalowski, the songwriter and primary ringleader of SF's WATERS, has always seemed like a guy on the brink of wide(r)spread stardom. The band's music is an ear-pleasing mix of guitar-driven rock riffs and power pop hooks the size of Buicks; it's radio-ready without feeling squeaky-clean, in no small part thanks to Pierszalowski's plaintive vocals.

This may be the year it happens for WATERS. The band announced yesterday that it signed to the LA-based Vagrant Records, which will release its forthcoming EP, It All Might Be OK, on Oct. 14. Read more »

Local love: Fresh fall jams from Cathedrals, Terry Malts, The Seshen, and more

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You know that feeling where, if you see one more headline about how all the artists and musicians have fled San Francisco and the city's dead and we should all just throw in the towel and pack the car for LA right now, you might throw your computer through a window?

Yeah, same here. Luckily, we also have the antidote: an email inbox that fills up every day with new music from an insane number of Bay Area bands and artists, many of whom would probably be offended if you were to suggest that they do not, in fact, exist.Read more »

Watch: Lil B's "No Black Person Is Ugly"

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Because we've all been proving in this space lately that we're intelligent, forward-thinking adults who can talk about ethnicity with nuance, sensitivity, and a deep understanding of the history of class issues and race relations in the U.S. and elsewhere, I'm just going to go ahead and post this new video from the 24-year-old East Bay rapper Lil B, aka Brandon McCartney, aka the Based God — who I am morally and perhaps legally obligated to mention is a product of the fine, tiny Albany public schools that (years before him) nurtured yours truly, among others — without too much commentary. Read more »

Listen: Katie Day's anti-tech bro jam "San Francisco (Before the West Falls)"

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Between POW!'s "Hi-Tech Boom," the schticky "Google Bus Song" from Cachebox, and Violent Vickie's "Fuck You!!!!!", it's safe to say San Francisco musicians — the ones that are left here, haha! sorry — are currently leading the nation in anti-gentrification music.

This is a good thing, of course. It means the city still has a pulse. You know what we've been sorely lacking, however? As Emma Goldman basically said, give the people a summery, socially conscious anthem we can fucking dance to. Read more »

To the desert and back

The Fresh and Onlys' Tim Cohen ditches the city for rural Arizona and returns with a new record — and new tensions

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Swimming solo

Birds & Batteries' frontman steps dreamily out on his own. Plus: BottleRock 2.0, and The Chapel says "everyone chill"

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Listen: Yesway's "Howlin' Face"

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Emily Ritz and Kacey Johansing aren't exactly strangers to the Bay's indie-folk scene — Johansing's second solo LP, 2013's Ghosts, has spread like lush acoustic pop wildfire around the city since its release, while Ritz is part of the Oakland-based experimental "noir pop" outfit DRMS, which put out the ambitious American 707 earlier this year, a hypnotically weird and weirdly delightful short film and accompanying soundtrack. Read more »

Watch: Can you spot all the East Bay locales in this new Atmosphere video?

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Okay, so maybe I'm a little biased because how often does a music video shoot take place in yours truly's little podunk hometown of Albany, California -- which is where the dollar-beer-covered racetrack glory that is Golden Gate Fields technically lies, friends, not Berkeley -- but this new Atmosphere video for the song "Kanye West," which the hip-hop duo premiered today on Noisey, does feel a little like a "spot the East Bay shooting location" rendition of Wh Read more »

Listen: Dylan Shearer's "Mold in the Fold"

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San Francisco songwriter Dylan Shearer has been kicking around the Bay Area since 2005, but something in his voice sounds like he just arrived here in a time machine from London in 1965. Like a less-buoyant Ray Davies (or a less-suicidal Nick Drake?) there's an impressive authentic, cozily British gloom to the California-born singer's work.Read more »