SONIC REDUCER Who can turn the Dogfather's head with a tune, bring a melody to Mary J. Blige's lips, and get Stevie Wonder out of bed in the wee hours? Raphael Saadiq, that's who. And with good reason: the Oakland-born-and-raised vocalist, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer not only found substantial fame back in the day singing alongside bro Dwayne Wiggins and cousin Timothy Christian in Tony! Toni! Toné!, he's kept his chops honed over the years by lending his ear for stellar R&B and soul. Read more »
SONIC REDUCER To get the grimy lowdown on East Bay hard rock combo Annihilation Time, you don't have to look very far: try the party-starting band's Oakland townhouse.
"Yeah, it's barely standing," says guitarist Graham Clise with a chortle. Apparently the best party had to be New Year's Eve two years ago, he recalls from San Diego, where the group is taking a break at the beach while on tour with its new third album, Tales of the Ancient Age (Tee Pee). Read more »
SONIC REDUCER Def Leppard and Nickelback: you know I want my fantasy, and everyone is aware of how those cool, desirable, shocking, or subversive photographs are integral to fanning the flames of so many rock 'n' roll clowns' dreamscapes. But it's those moments when a picture delivers more than words that have inspired some to pick up a camera and keep shooting. Local noise-punk photog Lars Knudson can verify this, concerning one Arab on Radar show at Bottom of the Hill back at the turn of the millennium. Read more »
SONIC REDUCER Of the many unsung, possibly fabulous, potentially limitless unexplored combos floating round in the ether up there with the now-familiar chocolate and peanut butter or pizza flavoring and dog-biscuits-for-humanoids has to be rock music and housework. Natch, Heloise would probably be in hell contemputf8g the crusty state of most band's vans or rehearsal spaces. Read more »
SONIC REDUCER Watching the chopped and cropped black-and-white promo vid for Beck's new album, Modern Guilt (DGC) a study in cut-rate Super 8 ways to make static images of the reedy rocker and cohorts look exciting and fresh I can't help but think of Velvet Underground hanger-on/documenter Andy Warhol and his bricolage brethren and kindred experimentalist Bruce Conner, who sadly passed July 7. Read more »
SONIC REDUCER "If you build it, they will come!" A few famous first words from David Wang otherwise known as the ever-fruitful laptop lothario Mochipet when we spoke recently, and something to ponder as I gazed around his so-chill, so-frolicsome, and oh-so-free Fourth of July barbecue bash in Golden Gate Park. In a green, leafy nook near the fields where the buffalo roam, a DJ tent is up and housing such pals as Phon.o and Flying Skulls. Read more »
SONIC REDUCER "It's like an old ship. Things break, things fall apart, and you just keep bailing water and hope you hit land someday!"
That's Guy Carson, Café Du Nord owner and ex-Hotel Utah booker, on owning a 100-year-old club. Yes, there are the inevitable aches and pains attendant with a structure erected just two years after the great 'quake, as well as eerie little trap doors and escape hatches from the Prohibition era. Read more »
SONIC REDUCER The cormorants know, the red-winged blackbirds have heard, and the quail would wail: the Marin Headlands and surrounding environs are imbued with more than a little magic. You don't need to spend much time there to know this, rolling through pebbly Rodeo Beach or tromping down Tennessee Valley Road, soaking up the sagey scents and painting the digits dark red with crushed blackberries, as little girls wander by talking on seagull-feather faux cellies.
They will testify, as will Will Oldham a.k.a. Read more »