Music Features

Revival signs

JD McPherson ushers in a welcome return to rock'n'roll roots

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emilysavage@sfbg.com

MUSIC A few musicians with slick hair and black-frame glasses are seen setting up their equipment in Chicago's Hi-Style Studio: amps, a mustard Telecaster, glittering gold drums, a huge stand-up bass, and vintage condenser microphones. What year is this?Read more »

Destroy build destroy

Dan Bejar brings a new lineup to last year's divisive Kaputt

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arts@sfbg.com

MUSIC "Harsh urban space, with a light misting." That's how Dan Bejar describes 2011's Kaputt, his ninth full-length under the Destroyer moniker; listen to it with headphones, on a foggy day in San Francisco, and you just might agree.Read more »

Trans-formation

Mark Matos crawls back from the brink with a cosmic new alter-ego
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arts@sfbg.com

MUSIC After touring on 2009's Words of the Knife with his band Os Beaches, Mark Matos' world fell crashing from the cosmos. Internal struggles compelled him to fire his producer and his guitarist; Os Beaches' practice space that doubled as a crash pad burned down (relegating the fresh-off-the-road group back to van sleeping); and Matos began to develop a destructive relationship with drugs.Read more »

Tricky sings

Nixon in China director Michael Cavanagh on diplomacy's greatest opera

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MUSIC Compared with the smooth operator currently installed in the Oval Office, how nervous Richard Nixon looks now as a representative of America abroad, all stiff grins, rumpled shiftiness, outbursts of awkward rhetoric. Read more »

Landlocked

Stockton's Surf Club devotes tidal wave tempos, vocal harmonies to young love

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arts@sfbg.com

MUSIC Pavement. That's all I really associate with Stockton. Personally, I've only been there once, few weeks back on my way to Yosemite, and I just drove through — 205 to 120 — stopping once for gas. So pavement all the way. Yet, despite the lack of waves, it's home to Surf Club, a sunny four-piece that's recently released its debut EP, Young Love, on Death Party Records.Read more »

Undercover Sabbath

Fifty local musicians expand the tracks off 'Paranoid' in a one-off performance

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emilysavage@sfbg.com

MUSIC It's pouring outside and the roads are slick with rain. In a warm red room bordered by the soundproof walls of Faultline Studios, a musician stands at a microphone, arching his back and throat singing for a background track to be incorporated in an exhaustive 16-minute cover of "Electric Funeral" off Black Sabbath's magnum opus, Paranoid (1970).Read more »

California love

Best Coast sheds more fuzz, remains enamored of home state

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arts@sfbg.com

MUSIC You shouldn't hate Bethany Cosentino, but you might. In recent years, few artists have been more polarizing in the (admittedly small) indie rock community than the LA-native and her group Best Coast.

After releasing four stellar, uber-lo-fi, reverb-drenched seven-inch singles in 2009 and '10, Cosentino and her bandmate (and old baby-sitter) Bobb Bruno unleashed their debut LP, Crazy For You. The disc was a more polished, accessible release and lacked much of the fuzz from their early singles.Read more »

Steady WATERS

San Francisco's Van Pierszalowski picks up where Port O'Brien left off

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MUSIC Van Pierszalowski's story writes itself: musician finds love in picturesque European city, swims in fjords, writes a fuzzy grunge-inflected record about it and his travels, and calls the band WATERS (appearing Thu/10 at the Fillmore). "I met a girl," he says from the road. "And I just wanted to get back over there. It was a place to work on songs, refocus."

Even his story before the present wrote itself: young man travels to Alaska to fish with his father and creates chilly, acoustic folk soundscapes, names the band Port O'Brien after an Alaskan Bay.Read more »

Regenerate me

Punk supergroup OFF! sets off musicians from Circle Jerks, Burning Brides, Hot Snakes, and more

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emilysavage@sfbg.com

MUSIC Burning Brides guitarist Dimitri Coats was in Keith Morris' tip-of-Los Feliz living room one afternoon when he turned to Morris — Black Flag co-founder and longtime Circle Jerks vocalist — and asked: "Keith, if you were going to start a new band, who would you play with?"Read more »

Star search

Copperwire's Meklit Hadero waxes intergalactic about her new hip-hop space opera

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arts@sfbg.com

MUSIC Singer-songwriter Meklit Hadero's album On a Day Like This garnered tons of praise and cemented her status as SF's flower-adorned local celebrity. As a TED fellow and the Red Poppy Art House's former artistic director, Hadero also established an ability to cross-pollinate her far-reaching talents.Read more »