Music Features

Unexplored terrain

Composer Steve Reich draws out Radiohead's melodic fragments for new work, 'Radio Rewrite'

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arts@sfbg.com

MUSIC From David Bowie and Brian Eno's forays into ambience, to the unrelenting pulse of trance and house, minimalist icon Steve Reich's propulsive compositions have irreversibly shaped the pop world's development since the 1970s. Now, four decades into his career, Reich is reversing the formula with "Radio Rewrite:" a new piece adapted from and inspired by the recordings of alt-rock institution Radiohead.Read more »

It's Pony Time!

Seattle's Pony Time just wants to have fun -- LA punks the Bronx, and Dallas gospel-funk act the Relatives will melt faces. Plus: Rank/Xerox at El Rio!

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emilysavage@sfbg.com

TOFU AND WHISKEY This week? It's Pony Time. No, that doesn't mean we're taking you to Ikea for meatballs. I'm talking about the band, which will be traveling here soon, and given its predilection toward weird news and pop culture, I feel like it might enjoy the above reference.Read more »

Do want

New York electronic artist Autre Ne Veut chips away at layers of R&B harmonies and futuristic free jazz

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I'm your fan

When Leonard Cohen comes around, an orgy of admiration follows

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arts@sfbg.com

MUSIC Like most love affairs, there was little indication on our first encounter that it would turn into a lifelong infatuation. I was 17, methodically singing my way through a book of folk tunes, one of which was his first real hit, "Suzanne". Though I admired it for its lyrical content, it weighed heavy on my range, and I soon moved on to other songs.Read more »

Just chill

On the cusp of headlining Noise Pop slots, Toro Y Moi releases an album equally inspired by J Dilla and his new Bay Area home

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arts@sfbg.com

MUSIC Four years ago, in the waning days of the aughts, the befuddling adlib term "chillwave" forged in the throes of the blogosphere, accompanied nearly every story about acts like Neon Indian, Washed Out, and Toro Y Moi. For the uninitiated, chillwave is a cheap, slap-on label used to describe grainy, dancey, lo-fi, 1980s inspired music, and most importantly is a disservice to any band associated with it. Luckily for music writers and listeners alike, this term has died a relatively swift death.Read more »

On the Rise: The Seshen

Erykah Badu, Little Dragon, and Beach House meet-cute and make jazzy, passionate pop music together

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If Erykah Badu, Little Dragon, and Beach House, met-cute and made jazzy, passionate pop music together, the resulting mix might sound something like a song by the Seshen (as those are its main influences). The seven-piece Oakland band is known for its blend of sounds and regions, with robust musicianship by bassist Aki Ehara, drummer Chris Thalmann, percussionist Mirza Kopelman, Kumar Butler on samples, and Mahesh Rao on keys, filled out by fierce vocalists Lalin St. Juste and Akasha Orr. Though mostly, at this point, it's known for a little track called "Oblivion."Read more »

On the Rise: Space Ghost

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Space Ghost's textured, sample-based electronic compositions might sound like fat rain drops dribbling over tight beats, as is the case with "SD", or like the remnants of a soulful club hit stretched over hollow wooden percussion in newly uploaded tracks like one-minute-long "King City."Read more »

On the Rise: Wax Idols

"Let's turn down the static world/listen to the sound of a void."

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If anything threatened to overshadow the attention around Wax Idols' epic new album and front person Hether Fortune's stage presence, it might have been Fortune's social media-documented quickie Reno wedding to rocker Tim Gick of TV Ghost earlier this month. But from another angle, it just adds to her appeal. The dominatrix/singer seems full of passion, lust, and complicated relationships, and they bleed out of her any way she lets them, be it through her robust Twitter flow, her personal relations, or her beautiful, darkly maturing music.Read more »

On the Rise: Kowloon Walled City

Just because it's heavy, doesn't make it metal

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The line to get in to Kowloon Walled City's album release show with Golden Void at the Hemlock in early January snaked around the building and into the alleyway. It was undeniably packed, and entirely sold out, with hordes of black-hoodied fans still waiting outside in the rain. A relatively uncommon sight for a night with a few local acts at the divey Tendernob venue.Read more »

On the Rise: The She's

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I had a seemingly innocuous query for all-teenage, all-girl sunny rock'n'roll quartet, the She's: what've you got in store for 2013? The band's answer sums up its appeal: "New EP in the works, inspired by our secrets, other people's secrets, The Great Gatsby, heartache, etc. Musically inspired by bands...such as La Sera, Wild Nothing, Tame Impala, and Dum Dum Girls. Graduating (from high school), touring, recording, making friends." Just perfect, right?Read more »