Music Features

Beyond the valley of vinyl

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johnny@sfbg.com

No one turns the tables on the turntable quite like Otomo Yoshihide. San Francisco is a renowned turntablist holy land, thanks to the Return of the DJ comps David Paul has put out on Bomb Records, and the stylus-stylish feats of Q-Bert and the Invisibl Skratch Picklz. Yet the most audio-inventive and visionary SF-set turntable achievements to date probably reside within the new CD-DVD Multiple Otomo (Asphodel), largely recorded during the artist's recent Bay Area visit. Read more »

Owner of a lonely heart

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Casiotone for the Painfully Alone's Owen Ashworth sounds like he's in dire need of a friend. To listeners, the 29-year-old San Francisco native exudes the air of a hopeless romantic holed up his bedroom, his floor littered with broken Casio SK-1s and ready-to-be-pawned drum machines instead of crumpled-up balls of chicken scratch.

"Casios are such ubiquitous instruments, and I think there are as many homes with Casios in them as guitars," Ashworth explained from Chicago, where he now lives. Read more »

... And Justice for all

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An irrational exuberance overcomes the dance media when something good comes out of Paris. A decade ago it was Daft Punk, and now it is Ed Banger Records — the label run by longtime Daft Punk manager Pedro Winter — and Justice. Read more »

Sleepless fights

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In May 2002, El Producto issued the acidic collage Fantastic Damage on his label, Definitive Jux. Winning universal acclaim for its compendium of broken-home tales, hard-won insights, and teenage misadventures, the recording crystallized a moment when rap musicians could reject the corporate-approved pay formulas proliferating on MTV without losing a receptive and knowledgeable audience.

Five years later that promise has seemingly passed. Read more »

State of the metal address

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If gnashing guitars, thundering drums, and growling vocals are suddenly silenced, will faces still find places to melt? It's been five months since Pound-SF closed, after reportedly being evicted by the San Francisco Port Authority. (As early as May 2006, owner Tony Carracci spoke at a San Francisco Entertainment Commission meeting about his frustration at not being able to obtain a long-term lease for the space.) The all-ages club, tucked into San Francisco's industrial bayside, hosted a large portion of the city's metal shows during its five-year lifespan. Read more »

Screaming for vengeance

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It was the unquiet dead, whispering in the dark, who set John Cobbett on his path.

In December 2001, Cobbett — a longtime Mission District rocker and guitar hero with such notably heavy outfits as Slough Feg, Ludicra, and Hammers of Misfortune — was on the East Coast visiting his identical twin brother, Aaron, a photographer living in Brooklyn, just across the East River from the smoldering ruins of the World Trade Center.

"I visited the site. It was at night and freezing cold," Cobbett notes. Read more »

Freewheelin'

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duncan@sfbg.com

True to the post-postmodern hyperreal world of the inner-Web, I hit the Trucks' MySpace page before I'd heard their 2006 self-titled CD (Clickpop). Browsing through their photo pages, I saw toy xylophones, lots of keyboards, underwear on the outside, leg warmers, pigtails, and more stripes than a Quiet Riot promo photo. A brief listen to their posted tracks left me feeling old and arrhythmic. Read more »

People's choice

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"We ram dancehall and cork party / Papa Jammy in your area."

Johnny Osbourne

The 1980s was a turbulent decade in Jamaica. Government control had shifted from Michael Manley's socialist-leaning People's National Party to Edward Seaga's free market–oriented Jamaican Labour Party. Read more »

On white planes

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By Johnny Ray Huston

johnny@sfbg.com

Life on tour isn't just about partying. It's partly about crafty use of time and space. In that sense, the German electronic duo Booka Shade are expert pragmatists. Walter Merziger and Arno Kammermeier don't just attempt to write songs while they're on planes or in hotel rooms — they'll record them as well. "In a traditional studio you always have the same atmosphere. Day and night changes, of course, yet it's basically the same," Kammermeier explains over the phone from Berlin. Read more »

Purple reign

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I first heard the Delinquents in 1999, when "That Man!" was in heavy rotation on KMEL. Its subject matter — caring for the kids while the wifey's out cheating — was unique in gangsta rap. "We came from the left with that," G-Stack says, yet the freshness of the concept, combined with a funky Mike D beat and memorable Harm hook, made it an instant classic. Read more »