Fun fact: I'm bad at festivals. It's not that I don't enjoy them, per se: there's live music, the outdoors, fried food, great people-watching.
It's just that -- well, okay, I lied, I usually don't enjoy them. I'm not 22 anymore. I don't like waiting in long lines for disgusting Port-a-Potties. The sound is often unpreventably terrible. Trying to see all the bands you really care about becomes a headache-inducing feat of scheduling Sudoku. And the people-watching, while entertaining, often devolves into being so annoyed at/dismayed by the people around me that I'm too distracted to enjoy the music. Read more »
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 »
Oh, Merrill Garbus. Remember the days when the endearingly weird, weirdly endearing, predictably unpredictable tUnE-yArDs felt like an open Oakland secret, an East Bay girl (by way of the East Coast) who slowly but surely started to outgrow us?Read more »
After more than 20 years of playing an important role in the formation and evolution of a variety of bands including the Cadillac Tramps, Youth Brigade, U.S. Bombs and Social Distortion, Jonny "Two Bags" Wickersham is finally stepping into the spotlight on his own with his first solo record, the excellent Salvation Town, (Isotone Records/Thirty Tigers) which hit stores earlier this week.Read more »
I have so much to say about how much influence house originator Frankie Knuckles had on the SF scene (and basically the entirety of my life) -- but I'm still so much affected and in shock at his passing, that I think the best way to work it all out is, as usual, hitting the dancefloor. Let's come together this weekend and celebrate the Godfather's warm and joyous gift of music.
I'm figuring the spirits will be coming down at every party happening this week, but these are my personal recommendations:
If the music industry gave out awards for patience or persistence, Bevan Herbekian would have a healthy handful of trophies to his name. The multi-instrumentalist has lent his songwriting and frontman skills to everything from loose punk bands to a highly orchestrated indie pop quartet over the course of the past decade and a half, in addition to playing bass on other people's songs -- at the moment, he's part of fellow Berkeleyite M. Read more »
Remember when we told you about Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne's East Coast-only "Record Store tour," during which he was selling a signed, limited-edition, 12-inch, 20th anniversary reissue of the band's deliciously scruffy debut EP, packaged with a life-sized, anatomically correct, "hand-crafted, custom-made chocolate skull"? And the skull also contains a special gold coin that gains the bearer entry to any Flaming Lips show in the world? Of course you do. Read more »