Music Features

Haunted house

Emerging from the bedroom, Ariel Pink unifies a fragmented musical landscape
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arts@sfbg.com

MUSIC After a decade of tinkering on the fringes of lo-fi experimentalism, Ariel Pink has become synonymous with a distinctive production sensibility: submerging effortless, sun-drenched pop hooks in a queasy, viscous haze, like an impulsive, basement-dwelling Phil Spector for the 21st century.Read more »

Pop love

Celebrating its 20th anniversary, chickfactor throws parties for music nerds

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emilysavage@sfbg.com

MUSIC There was a time, not so long ago, when the fanzine was a glittering portal. It was the best avenue for learning about new, underground, innovative music across the country, before the all-powerful grip of the Internet forced us to idly click our way through back catalogs. The ink and paper projects were passed to friends in the same manner one traded handmade mixtapes.Read more »

No cheeseburger status updates

Bryan McPherson struggles with contradictions in American culture

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By Aaron Carnes

arts@sfbg.com

MUSIC Singer-songwriter Bryan McPherson had this nagging feeling three years ago, that he needed to leave Boston and relocate to the Bay Area. Even he didn't understand from where this itch grew.

"I came out here to go west, just to go somewhere, go as far away as possible, for whatever reason," McPherson explains.Read more »

ABCs of tuneage

FALL ARTS PREVIEW: Follow the sonic alphabet of SF

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emilysavage@sfbg.com

FALLS ARTS The official last day of fall is Dec. 20 (seems really late, doesn't it?). In between now and then, and in these brisk summer days leading up to the official seasonal shift, there's a wide array of noise, just waiting to burst your eardrums 'till they bleed with joy.

Here's a mnemonic device to help you remember some noteworthy upcoming shows and a few general SF music factoids. Read aloud:Read more »

Fools in love

FALL ARTS PREVIEW: The Fresh and Onlys have the record they've always dreamed of making in 'Long Slow Dance'

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Suspended in the groove

Floating Points' unlikely reconfiguration of dance music

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arts@sfbg.com

MUSIC Out of nowhere an isolated house groove surfaced from the ether of the Internet and touched an unexpected chord. It was called "Love Me Like This," a throbbing re-edit of the early 1980s track of the same title from R&B group Real to Reel. Its author was an unknown British musician going by the name of Floating Points, a gerund whose aerial element reminded me at the time of another producer closer to home, Flying Lotus.Read more »

Outer limits

The big ones, the locals, the global travelers, and Beer Lands at this year's Outside Lands

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arts@sfbg.com

MUSIC Last year, we thought it couldn't get better, and then it upped the ante. Outside Lands 2012 takes place this weekend, and the lineup is packed with legendary performers, reunited favorites, and flashy newcomers, pieced together (some overlapping) in a masterful Golden Gate frame, outlined by all that glorious flora and fog.Read more »

Protest song

Occupella, Entirely Talia, and more keep the art of political music alive in the Bay

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arts@sfbg.com

MUSIC Woody Guthrie would have turned 100 this summer, and numerous centennial celebrations mean that hundreds of people probably have "This Land is Your Land" stuck in their heads at this exact moment. But Guthrie was as much a political icon as he was a catchy folk singer. His "Union Maid" was the anthem of countless labor struggles, and he wrote a regular column for a communist newspaper. "This Land is Your Land" itself was penned in response to the complacent patriotism of "God Bless America."Read more »

Halcyon days

Two Gallants recharge with their first new release in five years — and a slot at Outside Lands

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emilysavage@sfbg.com

MUSIC Half a decade after their last album release, Two Gallants are back. As you might recall, the folk-punk duo made up of childhood pals guitarist-vocalist Adam Haworth Stephens and drummer-vocalist Tyson Vogel was already something of a legend in San Francisco — known for playing both BART stations and arenas — when it took an unexpectedly lengthy break. There were three years between them playing together, five years between records (their last being 2007's self-titled LP on Saddle Creek).Read more »

Melody machers

SF Jewish Film Festival music docs examine violin wunderkinds, Orthodox hip-hop artists, and Ben Lee

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>>Read Cheryl Eddy's take on this year's SFJFF documentaries here.

SFJFF "All greatness comes from pain." The simple statement comes from Raoul Felder, brother of legendary R&B songwriter Doc Pomus, in the beautiful, crushing mediation on his brother's life, A.K.A. Doc Pomus, the closing-night film of the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival.Read more »