Sad news came down the pipe yesterday that truly essential Bay Area psychedelic house pioneer Scott Hardkiss of the Hardkiss Brothers passed away at age 43. The cause hasn't been announced, but he had been having medical trouble recently with an eye implant. His last Facebook post, dated March 20, quoted Whodini: "Friends, how many of us have them, ones you can depend on?"
Well, he certainly had a lot of admirers who loved his production and DJ work, me included. Along with "brothers" Gavin and Robbie, Scott helped put the funky, pagan native sound of SF on the underground map in the early 1990s -- unafraid to mix acid and deep techno sounds with psychedelic and prog rock effects to create a sublimely ecstatic noise.
State Sen. Mark Leno is introducing a bill that would allow (not require, allow) cities to designate areas where bars could stay open and serve alcohol until 4 am. It's not going to lead to a rampage of all-night drinking -- the bill calls for a three-stage approval system that would allow public input at every step. But it might allow a handful of clubs in the city to stay open later -- something that works just fine in a lot of other places, including most of New York State.Read more »
SUPER EGO Can't talk long, chicas grandes, I'm winging off to Oaxaca to dance with some gorgeous muxes, hike up lost pyramids, dive into cauldrons of darkest mole, and wooze along to the ethereal, chromatic-marimba sounds of son istmeño, one of my favorite musics in the world. (If I don't come back, give my turquoise witchy retro-'70s thrift store jewelry to Juanita More, to distribute to wee drag newbies in need as she sees fit. And somebody play an accordion by the light of the equinox moon, because.)Read more »
UPDATE: We've just received word that this is not the official weekly relaunch -- just a one time beer bust until more changes can be completed (hopefully very soon). But all are welcome on Sunday. Scratch that -- new owners Mike and Alex have just confirmed that they've passed inspection and the Eagle will be officially open for business starting this Saturday night!
It's been a long time coming, but many months, a new roof, and several opening postponements later, we have it on great authority that that great bastion of drunken leather biker rock 'n roll whorishness, the SF Eagle, civic institution of the highest blackout magnitude, is back.
Longtime acid crunk pusher an-ten-nae has a hit on his hands with super-trippy "Raindrops on Roses," featuring the appropriately named Alice D. on vocals. Here's the rabbit-hole sparkle-pony rave-to-grave video.
When I heard that super-popular, infuriatingly designed dance music download site Beatport had partnered with Shazam earlier this month, I wanted to write something about how the valuable mystery of the underground might be compromised by anyone being able to hold a phone up to immediately identify and download a track. And then I wanted to contrast some of the fun measures DJs might take to prevent their tracklists (one of the few proprietary things left that can really distinguish a good DJ) from being exposed, with the simple joy of finally stumbling upon a song you'd been looking for for 22 years that instantly projects you into your gloriously wasted youth because yay Internet. The partnership might not be so bad, after all, if it leads to new discoveries and interesting subversions.
Beatport has a lot of crappy mainstream tracks on it, and the back catalogue is incredibly spotty, but it has some great stuff, too, and it's giant. (I go there once in a while to hear what a sizable audience is listening to and catch up on new releases.) And it does at least nominally reward musicmakers with some money and exposure, an opportunity to sell their handmade bedroom creations. It's kind of like Etsy for pimply boys. If Beatport-Shazam helps people find and buy some great new tracks, then fine. I also remember how cute the Denver-based Beatport was in the beginning, its candy-raver-like representatives handing me alien-looking free download credit cards at Pride and Love Parade and the Detroit Electronic Music Festival. Awww.
But then I read this super-annoying but awesomely candid Billboard interview with Beatport CEO Matthew Adell about the partnership, and thought, "Hey, if they're gonna treat underground music as just a big business to be repackaged and monetized, (albeit one they seem to enjoy at least a little), then they can defend the Shazam partnership from angry DJs their own damn selves."
DJs could proliferate in San Francisco's bars, restaurants, coffee shops, and plazas under legislation that Sup. Scott Wiener introduced today to include DJs under the city's limited live music permits, but the legislation also includes new enforcement powers to crackdown on underground parties and other unpermitted events.Read more »