Music Features

Mexican summer

Exploring the Mexico City punk scene through house shows and tumultuous SF pit stops

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Bugging out

The Urinals started off as artists, and ended up musicians

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MUSIC As Urinals folklore goes, the band was formed in 1978 by a group of five UCLA students looking to have a spot in their dorm talent show. Guitarist and vocalist John Talley-Jones recalls the band's earnest beginnings as an experiment that evolved into something much more. "We were in film school, not approaching it as musicians, but as conceptual artists," Talley-Jones says. "It was an experiment to see if you put five people with limited music in a room and see what they can do with one quasi guitarist. Read more »

Girls like us

The Julie Ruin's Kathleen Hanna on finding strength through music 

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TOFU AND WHISKEY Before Le Tigre but after the demise of Bikini Kill, Kathleen Hanna created a mystical lo-fi electropop solo project called Julie Ruin. It was a difficult time for the riot grrrl icon; having recently flown the Pacific Northwest coop for Brooklyn, she let the ache out in song.Read more »

Snap Sounds

The fall albums we've been playing on a loop

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Elegant alchemy

 Happy accidents, strange coincidences, unexplained phenomena: Catching up with dark chanteuse Jill Tracy

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cheryl@sfbg.com

MUSIC Though San Francisco musician Jill Tracy is deeply fond of the macabre, "gloomy" is not an accurate word to describe her personality. The day I speak to her, she's in exceptionally high spirits, having just wrapped up a hugely successful Kickstarter campaign.Read more »

Get to the show, weirdos

FALL ARTS: MUSIC From Rock the Bells to Kate Nash, a sonic smorgasbord of can't-miss upcoming concerts

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FALL ARTS There are so many things competing for your precious time: long lines for pricey gourmet coffee, civic responsibilities and volunteer work, actual work, glazed fake cronuts or whatever the kids are into these days. Make live music a priority as well — your days will float by on a pink cloud of fuzzy, hangover-fueled memories.Read more »

Flyin' high

Oakland metal faves Ovvl keep it (almost) all in the family with a new album and upcoming tours

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cheryl@sfbg.com

MUSIC If you've been to a local metal show in recent months, chances are Ovvl was on the bill. If not, there was probably an Ovvl member standing next to you in the crowd. But hesher, stop now if you've been taking 'em for granted. With a new album and tours on the horizon, the four-piece is about to be mighty scarce around these parts.Read more »

mbv4-ever

Two decades after its landmark album, My Bloody Valentine returns to SF

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arts@sfbg.com

MUSIC This is the reunion for which we dared not hope. Until this year, My Bloody Valentine's genre-defining masterstroke of the shoegaze movement, 1991's Loveless, was the last we had heard from the Irish-English band, and as a result, it was canonized as one of those pristine, "perfect" albums, frozen in time and untainted by inferior follow-ups.Read more »

Brave new world

Mobile concerts apps vie for your credit card love and attention — what's next? And why should we care?

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Ex-pat

Alexis Blair Penney celebrates the release of debut album 'Window,' and mourns a personal loss 

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emilysavage@sfbg.com

TOFU AND WHISKEY The moody "drag-pop" songs on Alexis Blair Penney's debut album, Window, were written with an ex-boyfriend in mind — Seth Bogart, aka Hunx — yet in a cruel twist of fate, they'll come to memorialize the death of another man, a best friend, collaborator, and roommate.Read more »