Music Features

Cock Sparrer is mates first

The chummiest punk band you've never heard of celebrates 40 years

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arts@sfbg.com

MUSIC While it may not be a household name in the mainstream music world, Cock Sparrer has been one of the most beloved and influential bands in punk rock for four decades and counting.

Hailing from the East End of London, childhood friends Colin McFaull, Mick Beaufoy, Steve Burgess and Steve Bruce — who all remain members of the group today, along with Daryl Smith, who joined in 1992 — formed the band in 1972.Read more »

Cruising for a bruising

Nauseous Bay Area garage rockers give their all on the high seas

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MUSIC On my first foray to Florida, I'd be checking into a hotel in Miami's South Beach for a night then immediately embarking on the Carnival Imagination for the second annual Bruise Cruise to Nassau, Bahamas.Read more »

Against the grain

SF Symphony's American Mavericks festival returns with visionary rareties -- and a timely dose of oddball wonder

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Together forever

The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye director Marie Losier documents extreme devotion

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Deep aroma

Perfume Genius whips struggle into piano pop

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arts@sfbg.com

MUSIC At some point in our lives, we all feel lost or confused, like we're picking up the pieces of our broken selves and trying glue them back together. Rather than surrender, Seattle's Perfume Genius, aka Mike Hadreas, takes these experiences and turns them into art.

Recorded at his mother's house after a battle with addiction, Hadreas' 2010 debut Learning (Matador) was an understated, deeply personal collection of lo-fi piano pop songs that earned him critical recognition and a circle of devoted fans.Read more »

The unidentifiable dance grooves of ESG

How a group of sisters from the South Bronx made music on the cusp of punk, no wave, and hip-hop

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MUSIC Even the strangest sounds tend to lose their unfamiliar aura after a few listens. But no matter how many times I spin ESG's "UFO," I find myself utterly incapable of identifying that synthetic warbling that meanders through the minimal groove. Is it water gurgling in old gas pipes, a whirling police siren, the ferocious grumbling of a subway train? Or something more disturbing: Clanging echoes of gunfire, successive bursts of city noise filtered through apartment hallways?Read more »

Back in sight

No longer missing psychedelic architect Roky Erickson

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MUSIC Roky Erickson spent much of the past few decades as the subject of endlessly rehearsed cautionary tales about the dangers of mind-altering drugs and mental illness, and romantic anecdotes framing him as a quasi-oracle, gifted and cursed with a second hearing into the weirder vistas of rock 'n' roll.Read more »

Whither indie?

As Noise Pop turns 20, tracing sound from Overwhelming Colorfast to Young Prisms

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MUSIC How does one trace the warp and woof of Bay Area indie rock's silky, sick, multihued tapestry — with ticket stubs to long-ago shows, holey concert T's, or grainy snapshots of sweat-swathed guitar players, red eyes gleaming in a haze of smoke machine emissions? Perhaps one way is to chart SF indie's course from the first Noise Pop to the latest 20th anniversary edition, teasing out the tenuous connections between the first fest's headliner Overwhelming Colorfast, reunited this year, and newish local poobah Young Prisms.Read more »

Shorts: More top picks from Noise Pop

Die Antwoord, Budos Band, Veronica Falls, the Creation Records documentary -- our best bets for this week's festival

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SNOB THEATERRead more »

Everlasting Noise

Noise Pop 2012: It's 20 years for the massive music and film fest -- tender memories with Archers of Loaf, Cursive, Thao, and more

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