Music

Hello, cello

Out of the concert halls and into the clubs: the stringed instrument's newly charmed life
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molly@sfbg.com

There is something hauntingly beautiful — if not downright sexy — about the cello: a musician straddling the feminine curves of a human-sized instrument, bow sliding slowly and elegantly over the trembling strings, fingers plucking and vibrating in alternately gentle and assertive motions, and tones emitting from the smooth wood that range everywhere from soft whispers to deep moans.

It's no wonder the cello has been compared to both the human voice and, in the many portraits of women's backs painted to look like string instruments, the human body.

So perha Read more »

Button pushers

Fuck Buttons bring the noisy ecstasy. Plus: Buraka Som Sistema, Lover!, The Black Heart Procession, and Bellini
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arts@sfbg.com

SONIC REDUCER Bend an ear toward Fuck Buttons' ecstatic second album, Tarot Sport (ATP), and you're only a card flip away from shuffling the Rider-Waite deck of the mind and coming up with visual corollaries for the tracks. Frenetic opener "Surf Solar" obviously boogie-boards to the freedom-first of the major arcana's card zero, the Fool, whereas "Rough Steez" burrows into the deep 'n' dirty low end of the Tower card, and "The Lisbon Maru" cozies down amid warmly glimmering Doppler synths, akin to the Sun image. Read more »

Information

Recession? What recession? New clubs keep opening apace. Plus: L-Vis 1990, Claude VonStroke, Mall Madness, more
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superego@sfbg.com

SUPER EGO Apparently there's some sort of "recession" happening, which explains all the cat-hair wigs, duct-taped platforms, sideways boob-jobs, and flask-filled socks on the dance floor. And yet, peculiarly, new SF clubs continue to open at the rate of one a week. Among the recent delectations: SOM (2925 16th St., SF. Read more »

Ty Segall

GOLDIES 2009: Melodicism filtered through a sensibility fostered on the skate vid soundtracks
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arts@sfbg.com

"Anything can really fly in a song with me," says garage-rock savant Ty Segall. Fast cars, and ugly attitudes pasted on pretty ladies, anyone? "But I don't like writing songs with the words girl or baby in them. It's rock 'n' roll, but the bad part of rock 'n' roll is it's been done too much."

Don't get Segall wrong. He may have recently graduated from the University of San Francisco with a degree in media studies, but he's still an avid student of an ear-popping sound. Read more »

Saviours

GOLDIES 2009: Hewing to the life of rock 'n' roll kings with an almost philosophical dedication
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Saviours had their backs against the wall. Their new album was languishing without a title, and their record label was threatening to banish its release date to the wilds of 2010 if they didn't think of one — by the end of the day. Suggestions like "The Shlong Remains the Same" went nowhere. In these dire circumstances, it took a snippet of half-remembered conversation to germinate the perfect name, one that would encapsulate the band on-stage and off. On Oct. Read more »

Honey Soundsystem

GOLDIES 2009: Tearing down the monolith of gay club music while digging up the past
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marke@sfbg.com

Believe it or not (and you better believe it), until a few years ago, gay club music was a monolith, a Spandexed, Botoxed, over-toxed Easter Island rictus of fake-techno squeals and outrageous divas. There's nothing inherently wrong with that (except: yawn), and as far as such a thing called "gay club music" exists, the Gaga-Rihanna-Madonna industrial complex still reigns.

What's different now is the music available in the gay clubs, from punky no-wave, old-school vogue, and bathhouse chestnuts to Berlin minimal, nu-IDM, and space disco. Read more »

D-Lo

GOLDIES 2009: A rapper with a grassroots rise and a "No Hoe" radio-readiness
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"Rappin' wasn't my first dream," admits 20-year-old D'Angelo Porter. "It was pro basketball. I always had good grades because of basketball."

Yet fate had other plans for the man known as D-Lo. A dabbler in rap who'd only made a few tracks, D-Lo went into his friend's studio alone one night in February 2007, determined "to find [his] swag" on the mic. He made a stomping, minimalist beat — his first — on Fruity Loops, over which he discovered his style: a hyperactive staccato with a slight rasp, a little like Keak Da Sneak in a higher register. Read more »

Sugar Pie DeSanto

GOLDIES 2009 LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD: The "Queen of the West Coast Blues" stays gung-ho
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arts@sfbg.com

It's a sunny afternoon, but the lights are low and moody at Duke's R&B in Oakland. Sugar Pie DeSanto sits at a table with her manager, James C. Moore of Jasman Records. Her 74th birthday is four days in the rear-view mirror. A fresher, harsher anniversary has her deep in thought. "Gotta be gung-ho," she says. "If you aren't, then you're a deadbeat — and I hate a deadbeat."Read more »

Girls, girls, girls

Brilliant Colors glow, Madonna asks for "more tuna." Plus: Former Ghosts and Big Business
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arts@sfbg.com
SONIC REDUCER Ladies first. As pop's lads rotate in and out of the dawg house — and Lil Wayne pleads guilty to gun possession and Chris Brown decides to "Crawl" — the time has come for the XX-chromosome set to rise to the occasion: Girls, girls, no pushing, shoving, or elbows to the knockers. Just kick it on record, all ye femme talents, past, present, and future.

Tomorrow — and yesterday — is the way for the all-girl Brilliant Colors. Read more »

Do you remember?

Five years after his murder, Mac Dre is the Bay's rallying cry
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Multicultural

hot vocals

everywhere I go

I get love from the locals — Mac Dre, "The Genie of the Lamp"

MUSIC "A mack is different from a pimp," Mac Mall tells me. "A pimp would starve without a woman. But a mack is a master of creativity. He can manipulate any situation."

As a "third-generation mack" from Vallejo's notorious Crestside hood, Mac Mall knows whereof he speaks. Read more »