For those of you who haven't been listening: Ana Sia is kind of a big deal. One of those quaintly San Francisco nightlife things -- you blink for a hot minute, and someone familiar on the scene blows up, their hard work rewarded with major festival gigs, a large and growing following, and DJ sets being featured on NPR. Heeeey.
I've been a fan of the poised yet energetic Ana for a long while, and I must say I'm pleased as punch for her continued success -- and to see what she's got in store for us as she plays again in SF. (She's one of the headliners, along with the UK's excellently house and techy Ben UFO, at Friday night's As You Like It party at Beat Box.) Onstage, the local Frite Nite label head quickly pulls you into her zone, tempering a concentration born of pure appreciation of the music with some playful bouncing and disarming charm. "I'm having a shit-ton of fun!" you can hear her shouting from the decks.
Categorizing her actual sound, however, can prove challenging.
“My favorite part about Basel is that I haven’t seen a single piece of art,” the 20-something gentleman said through giggles, pleased with himself. His statement was indicative of a simple fact regarding the last week in Miami: a lot of people came during Art Basel not to cruise the 20-plus art fairs, but to party.
Five years ago the local nightlife scene was broadening its scope in a multitude of awe-inspiring musical directions, from contemporary Afrobeat and baile funk to experimental global indie. In that atmosphere of diverse ferment, a couple of super-talented kids, recently returned from Argentina, started Tormenta Tropical (along with label Bersa Discos), a monthly at the Elbo Room dedicated to the electronic spin many Latin American artists were putting on the traditional cumbia sound.
The sound centered around club Zizek in Buenos Aires and its ZZK label -- but it also found a home, strangely enough, in the tropical-hungry underground clubs of Montreal. Tormenta Tropical provided a third leg of the nu-cumbia triangle, and has been known ever since as a go-to for cutting edge global bass and electro-Latin tracks. There were also a lot of glowing Virgin Marys on the DJ booth and a taco truck parked outside.
There are two moments from my 2011 pilgrimage that duel in my mind for the title of quintessential Miami Art Basel. One, when that couple at the SCOPE Festival was examining the multi-thousand-dollar rhinestone hamburger for purchase. Two, Pharrell climbing onstage before Yelawolf's set at the much-hyped "party of the year" Basel Castle and telling us that "this week, it's all about the artists. But also, it's all about... you guys." Read more »
SUPER EGO Scene: Midnight, Tiara Sensation drag pageant, Rickshaw Stop, September. A naked, enormously white-and-purple-bewigged figure in two-foot-high Plexiglass heels, laid across three raised Plexiglass pillars, faces away from us. The pitched down strains of Frank Ocean's "Pyramid," his voice syrupped into a slo-mo Judy Garland phantasmagoria, drown us in waves of bass. Sheee's wooorkiiing at the Pyyyramid toniiiight.Read more »
SUPER EGO If, by some miracle, I manage to make it through this entire column about a new gay sports bar in the Castro without dropping a single awful double entendre, then I totally deserve a Stanley cup, a Heisman trophy, and a Super Bowl ring. IMPOSSIBLE! Why does everything jocky sound so dirty when you sprinkle a little fairy dust on it?Read more »
Honey Soundsystem, that handsome group of techno and disco rarety-loving DJs and purveyors of one of the best weekly parties in SF (Sundays at Holy Cow), has gone through a few changes this year, parting ways with a couple members -- perhaps temporarily -- to side projects and expanding their reach greatly with several international appearances.
But the honeycomb hasn't stopped pumping out great tunes, and it looks like Honey's latest record label, HNYTRX, has launched with an expansive, uplifting new house tune, "Face Love Anew" by Australian favorites Stereogamous featuring singer Shaun J. Wright, formerly of Hercules and Love Affair. It's a keeper.
GOLDIES Nymphs of the Internet forest, rejoice. The multidirectional musical entity known as 5kinandbone5 (www.5kinandbone5.com) is here to soundtrack your perverse festivals with the latest sonic plug 'n plays. Read more »