Sonic Reducer

Dirty dancing

Dirty Projectors get a little tongue-tied, but sally forth valiantly. Plus: Kid Cudi, Phoenix, and more
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kimberly@sfbg.com

SONIC REDUCER "I guess it's different things at different times. I guess different songs are in different modes." David Longstreth of Dirty Projectors is trying — but not very hard — to discuss his songwriting process by phone from Richmond, Va. Read more »

Adventureland, ho

Isis enters boundless realms and Assemble Head in Starburst Sound carries on the psych rock spirit
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a&eletters@sfbg.com

SONIC REDUCER I'm in the mood for adventure — and so are you, apparently. Something off the beaten down and battered tourist path, something wild and glee and free to be you and me. And who is "me," anyway — when "me" is perpetually in flux, in free fall, riding the rapids of the collective unconscious? Read more »

Two entangled

Death, sex, and splendid isolation with Sonic Youth and Grizzly Bear. Plus: Au Revoir Simone, crackling on
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kimberly@sfbg.com

SONIC REDUCER Three is a magic number, but two is bliss. Two lovers, two wholly different, unholy kinds of fun, two great taste sensations in one. Koko Taylor's passing and Exene Cervenka's multiple sclerosis diagnosis saddens. The fluctuating news reports of the late David Carradine's trussed member maddens. Read more »

Into the wild

Ex-Grandaddy Jason Lytle puts it all together, Camera Obscura get a little happy
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kimberly@sfbg.com

SONIC REDUCER O, Commuter — wherefore art thou, Commuter? Grandaddy mastermind Jason Lytle is familiar enough with the concept of the long haul: he's known plenty of people who've made the trek from his Modesto hometown to Silicon Valley and the Bay. But this time out, on Lytle's first solo album, an exquisite clutch of songs titled Yours Truly, the Commuter (ANTI-), the typical definition of harried, driven, and road-raging working-stiff doesn't quite apply. Read more »

Crack "Relapse"

Out of rehab and back to music-making, Eminem still irks -- with hip-hop once again his favorite high
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a&eletters@sfbg.com

SONIC REDUCER Symptoms: until last year there were few signs of life from Eminem, the hip-hop artist. Last sighted taking a bow on the cover of his last, toned-down, more PC, and ultimately underwhelming studio 2004 album, Encore, the rapper disappeared from the scene, as rumors festered about retirement and later, after he dropped out of the 2005 Anger Management Tour, substance abuse. Read more »

Madcap laughs

A regal visit with musician and sound-searcher Sir Richard Bishop
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a&eletters@sfbg.com

SONIC REDUCER "I told you so" are the sweetest, shortest words in the lexicon of raving visionaries and maligned prophets, but Sir Richard Bishop is far too gentlemanly to resort to such snack-sized snarkery. Read more »

House of Horrors

Thrills, chills, and mirror ball spills from the excellent Horrors. Plus: Comedians of Rock II, Black Joe Lewis, and John Vanderslice
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kimberly@sfbg.com

SONIC REDUCER Thrills and chills and disco ball spills — that's what the Horrors are made of? After Shih Tzu-banged frontman Faris Badwan brattily ripped the mirror ball off the ceiling of 330 Ritch a scant two years ago, who knew the U.K. band would show its true, formative, and fundamentally curious colors? Read more »

Down wit' ODP

Elektra clash? Peaches, Larry Tee, and Fisherspooner return that ol' time sound to the fray
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a&eletters@sfbg.com

SONIC REDUCER Remember Y2K, the dot-com boom ... electroclash? Born when the 9/11 attacks were but a glimmer in Terror's eye, electroclash flickered into view swiftly, a punk/DIY movement of sorts as every imaginative slut 'n' buck plugged into easily accessible music-making technology via no-band-backtalk laptops. It all climaxed with a 2003 tour and then an electroclash backlash, as associated artists distanced themselves from the tag. Read more »

NorCal nuggets

NorCal bands gotta make some noise: The Fresh and Onlys and Raw Deluxe dive in. Plus: Flipper, The Grouch, and more
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a&eletters@sfbg.com

SONIC REDUCER Now playing: Locals Only II (see part one here). You can't stop it from happening, even if you crumble to the ground like Keanu, fire your pistol in the air, and scream, "Nooo!" NorCal bands gotta make some noise, Bay-bies.

Hey, what gives? The Fresh and Onlys promised to release their self-titled Castle Face debut in May, yet last week I spied the CD, prominently displayed, twinkling brightly on an Amoeba Music endcap. Read more »

Locals only

Happy gang-bang Muzak? Still Flyin' and Papercuts keep close to home. Plus: Crookers, Zodiac Death Valley, and more
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a&eletters@sfbg.com

SONIC REDUCER April showers, worried world powers, CD towers — it's tough to keep the kite-high ebullience, party vibes, and gotta-jet wings in flight during tough times. Bands come and go, move to Brooklyn (otherwise known as Break-Up-Land), and wither away in day jobs. Read more »