Music Features

Cynic cave of actualized dreams

Underground musician-comedian George Chen, Club Chuckles, stand-up and burritos, Treasure Island Music Fest, Sic Alps, more music

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Tetris of awesome

Amon Tobin's ISAM Live tour is some serious next level

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MUSIC "We've done the ISAM show in venues as big as the Sydney Opera House and as small as a local rock venue, but we're basically holding our breaths every time. Someone could plug in their iPhone charger and blow the whole thing. In Coachella, the act on the field opposite had the idea of turning on floodlights for half their set, which washed us out for a good part with the ambient light."Read more »

Reborn on the Bayou

The birth of Preservation Hall West, the death of Warren Hellman, the life of Toys That Kill, more music

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Tofu and whiskey is music editor Emily Savage's new weekly music column.

emilysavage@sfbg.com

Tofu and Whiskey There are loud grinding noises and those cinematic electric sparks shooting from a machine below a church pew-like balcony. It's musky and filled with dark bordello wood. The arched main room, the one you see when you walk in the front door of 777 Valencia Street and turn a quick corner, is outlined in bright, bloody red, and there's a stage.Read more »

Smells like team spirit

Are hyphy progenitors Clyde Carson and the Team bigger than ever?

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MUSIC "This is our biggest song by far," Clyde Carson says wearily at his hotel room in San Jose. The song, "Slow Down," features Clyde alongside his newly reconstituted group, the Team, and we're waiting for Kaz Kyzah and Mayne Mannish to show. Mayne turns up, along with "Slow Down" producer Sho Nuff, but Kaz remains MIA, and the difficulty of keeping three rappers on the same page probably explains why the song is credited to "Clyde Carson featuring the Team," though it appears on the crew's reunion EP, Hell of a Night (Moedoe, 2012). Read more »

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 »