“Well hello, San Fran!” shouted Wanda Jackson to an almost-full Chapel on Thursday night. “You already know I love you. You should know that by now.”
Jackson, still touring at age 76, looks to be about five feet tall — if you include her carefully teased hair. She needs help getting on and off the stage. She talks openly about her “senior moments.” And she’s an absolute rock star. Her age and petite stature seem merely to add to her massive stage presence. After finishing her rollicking first song, “Riot in Cell Block Number 9,” she beamed at the crowd, asking, “Isn’t it wonderful, the energy?” Read more »
Algerian-born, Bay-based DJ and musicmaker Cheb i Sabbah was an international star with an incredible past. But he will always be known here as a beautiful soul and teacher who incited a true spiritual devotion in his fans. And, as the godfather of the global house movement, he was one of the most creative DJs to coalesce strains of Indian ragga, reggae riddim, African percussion, and more into a wonderfully danceable mix.
A mix, it turns out, that influenced a generation of musicians and dancers and introduced many to the metaphysical joys of a sonic melting pot. His longrunning 1002 Nights weekly Tuesday parties at Nickie's in the Lower Haight and his work with Six Degrees Records enriched SF nightlife and music throughout the 1990s and 2000s.
After he had fought cancer for a long time -- there were several fundraisers for him over the past few years, which helped keep his music flowing -- his family announced his passing this afternoon via his Facebook page. The statement, and some of our favorite tunes, after the jump. We'll miss him greatly.
Some terrible news about a band featured in this week’s issue: La Luz. The haunted surf rock quartet from Seattle was in an awful-sounding car accident last night.
The ladies of La Luz were supposed to play two shows in SF this weekend, opening for of Montréal. However the rest of their tour is now cancelled. Below is a statement from their label, Hardly Art, and info on how to help: Read more »
The Queen of Rockabilly (who once dated Elvis), a ‘90s shoegaze icon, a legendary SF math rock crew, and a brand new haunted surf-garage quartet. This week’s must-sees stretch beyond space and time, genre and generation. Wanda Jackson, Mazzy Star, A Minor Forest, La Luz -- they’re all here now.
Plus, there are two major anniversary events: 10 years for Women’s Audio Mission; 20 years for grimy hardcore label Six Weeks Records. Read more »
Ready to get weird? Naturally, as this is the week of All Hallows Eve (i.e. the best time of the year), the shows you must see are downright spooky: The Flaming Lips' Halloween Blood Bath, Maya Jane Coles at Freaky Friday, the Hellraiser’s Ball series’ Terry Malts show, Total Trash’s extended Halloween bash, and so forth.
Go out goblins and ghouls of the Bay, raise some spirits and remember the dead. And never forget: Nilbog is Goblin backwards. Read more »
The Shondes are a dream come true for music-lovers with a political consciousness. The world can be a rough place, but doom-and-gloom is not this Brooklyn band’s style. With their bright klezmer-pop tunes and soaring, anthemic verses about love, perseverance, and messages of hope, the Shondes are out to better the world -- or at least move their audiences to dance hard and sing-along.
Currently touring on their fourth album, The Garden, the Shondes are embracing the power of pop. Whether you’re an activist or just enjoy a good live show, give The Garden a listen and try to get “Nights Like These” or “Running Out of Time” out of your head. Read more »
Everyone had their essential Lou Reed. Whether it was a Velvet Underground record, a solo track, or a collaborative piece, there was a musical treat for everyone created by the rock’n’roll poet.
The world lost its avant-garde art rock king this weekend when Reed died on Sunday at age 71. He’s survived by his wife and sometime creative partner, the brilliant experimental musician Laurie Anderson. Read more »
Meanwhile, there are more and even more parties, Halloween or no. Your soundtrack is this four hour-recording from the final Honey Soundsystem weekly party last Sunday, which starts with a deep tribal-disco vocal performance by the legendary Jorge Socarras, the musical partner of deceased gay electronic music wizard Patrick Cowley, and continues through many amazing stages of musical pre-grief. Including! A wedding proposal! So wonderful and weird, we'll miss you Honey:
Wednesday night, three young, up-and-coming bands gathered at the Milk Bar, an intimate venue on the western edge of Haight Street, to lay down fun, unseasonably warm beats – a welcome contrast to the decidedly autumnal weather. Read more »