Sonic Reducer

Revved up on garage rock

Grease monkeys gotta scratch their coconuts and wonder -- a trip through the new explosion
|
(0)

kimberly@sfbg.com

SONIC REDUCER Grease monkeys gotta scratch their coconuts and wonder: why have the words garage rock become so dirty? Especially when a garage-rock explosion of sorts seems to be going off all around us.

Few want to be tagged as such — though their affection for three chords; adoration of the square-one pleasures of guitar, bass, and drums; and love of a classic pop hook are out there for all to see. Read more »

Fresh jam

SF trio Mi Ami make it happen. Plus: The Ettes, Wavves, Azteca, and more
|
(0)

kimberly@sfbg.com

SONIC REDUCER The perfectly passive postmodern approach to pop nostalgia? Allow the milky waves of 1970s, '80s, and '90s retro navel-gazer rehash to simply wash over you — like so many warm, narcotic jets of synthetic baby formula. The opposite tact is the one that San Francisco trio Mi Ami takes: reject the rockist, retread trappings of the old and stale and make new and likely original sounds from a place of authenticity and openness. Breathe. Good. Read more »

Mo Biggie

B.I.G. on the big screen -- louder than words? Plus: Brightblack Morning Light, Wild Weekend, Lenka, Fountains of Wayne, and more
|
(0)

kimberly@sfbg.com

SONIC REDUCER Wait for it, wait for it: the moment when Jamal Woolard as Notorious B.I.G., a.k.a. Biggie Smalls, a.k.a. Read more »

So Fox-y

The stunning landmark venue reopens in Oakland. Plus: A legendary artist recovers, Free Blood, Dirty Bird, and more
|
(0)

kimberly@sfbg.com

SONIC REDUCER Wow, 80 years old and such a beauty: I took a peek at Oakland's Fox Theatre — yes, a distant relation to San Francisco's late, lamented Fox — before the holiday break and, whoa, wolf whistles. Read more »

Prophet sees

Chuck Prophet looks into the new year. Plus: the most-intriguing reader top 10 list, Les Claypool, and more
|
(0)

kimberly@sfbg.com

SONIC REDUCER "I'm going to start smoking again. I'm going to start eating bad and quit working out."

Here, have a few determinedly daft new year's resolutions from an old hand at San Francisco music-making from Chuck Prophet, who happens to be headlining the old year out at Starry Plough Dec. 31. Don't say he never gave you anything. But seriously, our Prophet?

Actually '09 vows are the last thing Prophet wants to be burdened with. "I'm just lazy," the singer-songwriter confesses from his South of Market mini-HQ. Read more »

Crystal magic

Crystal Antlers gobble up old soul. Plus: Zigaboo Modaliste, QBert, Blackalicious, and more ...
|
(0)

kimberly@sfbg.com

SONIC REDUCER Light a candle, burn a wand of sage, and singe your bangs. Then fondle a frosty pink hunk of rose quartz and ask the goddess, "Are crystals the new wolves — or at least the new bears? Maybe even the new alps/mountains?" 'Cause I swear, I'm not a miner — '49-er, tweenie-bopper, or otherwise — but I can almost smell the crystals everywhere. Read more »

Club hubbub

Checking out new clubs Atmosphere and Infusion, and the newly revved up Paradise Lounge. Plus: Stella laugh it up up
|
(0)

kimberly@sfbg.com

SONIC REDUCER You don't have to look back very far to find those purple waves of nostalgia lapping at your heels — just take a glance at Beyoncé's drippy gloss on Etta James in Cadillac Records. Knowles' star power may have got the Chess Records story made, sorta, but isn't Oakland homegirl Keyshia Cole better suited to play Fillmore-tough girl-gangster James? Read more »

Streetlight serenade

Another lovely record store -- arg! -- closes its doors. Plus: No Age, Railcars, and a mess of musical holiday shindigs
|
(0)

kimberly@sfbg.com

SONIC REDUCER 'Tis the season to max out with shopping merriment, and San Francisco still being a record-picking spot of worldwide renown, it's bittersweet to flip through this year's handsome UK gifty-paperback, Old Rare New: The Independent Record Shop (Black Dog), and spy the "hi-de-ho"-ing Cab Calloway logo of the late, lamented Village Music in Mill Valley. Such an overflowing vinyl goldmine till it shuttered last year — another victim of high rents and a wildly fluctuating music marketplace. Read more »

Kickin' 'bot

Get ready for the major-label pre-holiday blitz
|
(0)

kimberly@sfbg.com

SONIC REDUCER A mashed-up stock market and credit-crunked fiscal outlook be damned — just what does the music industry have to do to make you part with your overly stretched entertainment dollar? Pay you to buy, Joe Deflation? Bookended by the double-B bombshells — Beyonce's Nov. 18-released I Am ... Sasha Fierce (Sony) and Britney Spears' Dec. Read more »

Clean and saber

The Decemberists find their own "Chinese Democracy" -- kinda. Plus: Cheech and Chong puff back, Youtube Live, and more
|
(0)

kimberly@sfbg.com

SONIC REDUCER All allusions to Guns 'N Roses much-contemplated, way-overthought, über-delayed ejaculation Chinese Democracy (Interscope) aside — is there such a thing as being too brainy or geeky to rock? Read more »