Music Features

Positive hardcore attitude

The punk power and the glory — and the secret — of Bad Brains
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duncan@sfbg.com

Despite their Rasta affiliation, dub jams, and dread heads, Bad Brains are perhaps the greatest hardcore band of all time — black, white, or indifferent. Make a top three list in your head. You can quibble about the order, and you can shuffle bands in and out, but you know damned well that the Brains have to anchor the whole thing. Insert Black Flag or Minor Threat, and you realize the debt that both bands owe H.R., Dr. Read more »

New haunts

Jake Mann brings his low-watt singer-songwriter rock to town
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When Jake Mann ponders his recent move from Davis to San Francisco, he puts it in terms of a song. "Left behind the right things I know / How does this one go?" Mann muses on "Beat the Drum," as though making your way in a new scene were like playing a tune whose chords you haven't quite learned. That SF has scenes at all was part of Mann's concern. "People are specific about their genres here," he notes. "I've always felt spread across a lot of sounds."

This is borne out on Mann's new LP, Daytime Ghost (Crossbill). Read more »

Hispanics go hyphy

Mission entrepreneur reps Latin rap on Thizz Entertainment offshoot
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Latinos rarely receive credit for all they've brought to the rap game. After all, it was primarily Puerto Ricans who authored those boogaloo break-dance moves in the Bronx. And what would Cali hip-hop be without the laid-back style of Chicano cholos and their "low lows"?

Currently, a contingent of local Latino rap artists is pushing hard for recognition. Its members are on the Thizz Latin label, an imprint of Mac Dre's Thizz Entertainment group. Read more »

All the rage

No Age: low-tech fuzz and surfy psych-noise
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Los Angeles two-piece No Age — ex of Wives — ply a grimy, low-tech hybrid of fuzz-prone guitar loops, surfy psych-noise, and ear-shattering skate rock that's been hell-raising the SoCal music scene since the band's April 2006 debut.

When they're not generating a shoegazey yet Ramones-channeled noise punk, vocalist-drummer Dean Spunt and guitarist Randy Randall use the band name as an umbrella under which to display their talents as visual artists. Read more »

Somewhere over the White Rainbow

Improvised, droney assemblages that pay homage to Steve Reich
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Adam Forkner's creativity is now almost entirely unfettered. Read more »

Porno for pop-ettes

Challengers tests the New Pornographers' formula
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New Pornographers ringleader A.C. Newman's life has changed a lot since his 2004 solo debut, The Slow Wonder (Matador), became the secret darling of indie aficionados round the world: he relocated from his native Vancouver to Brooklyn, married the girl of his dreams, and became a morning person.

His music has metamorphosed too. "Some people think that this record is a real departure for us," Newman explained early one recent morning from his Park Slope home. Read more »

DJ Youngsta

Taking the next dubstep
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London's DJ Youngsta would much rather be heard than seen. Even at his recent spotlight guest DJ appearance on Mary Anne Hobbs's top-rated BBC Radio 1 electronic program, Youngsta uttered nary a word. Known as dubstep's most peerless and perfectionist technical mixer, Yunx — as his friends casually call him — lets the tunes do the talking. Read more »

Board youth

SF's Traditional Fools surf the rocky seas of garage punk
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› a&eletters@sfbg.com

Wanna take your backyard pool party to the next level? You'll need the Traditional Fools on speed dial: their infectious, scuzzy surf punk is the best accompaniment this century has to offer to the twist, the shimmy, and the ladling of tropical punch. Read more »

Word on la calle

Is mainstream radio's "Hurban" format shafting Mexican-American listeners?
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› a&eletters@sfbg.com

Times are tough in the music biz. Not only are CD sales slumping, but radio stations are losing ad revenue to online ventures. One of the only genres or formats holding it down commercially is Latin music — a fact that falls well below the radar of your average gringo.

This shouldn't be so surprising, considering that Latinos are the largest minority group in the United States and represent the fastest-growing segment of the population. Read more »

Class of 2007: Ship

"We've kind of getting our hands dirty in all the different ways we like"
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QUOTE "We're kind of getting our hands dirty in all the different ways we like to, sometimes making music, sometimes taking pictures of ourselves in underpants."

CLUBS Fresh Air Fiends Unlimited, Cross-Disciplinary Disciples

If Virgos are master catalysts at organizing earth energy into new ubergrounded forms, both functional and artful, Ship is all Virgo. Read more »