Sonic Reducer

Metal maidens

Women represent, thrash-wise, and metal purveyor Shaxul Records throws open its dark doors
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kimberly@sfbg.com

SONIC REDUCER How are we driving — in terms of womanly representation in the Bay Area metal scene? Read more »

Now "Voyager"

Carla Bozulich rocked SXSW socks off. Plus: Mia Doi Todd, Devin the Dude and Bun B, Leyna Noel
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kimberly@sfbg.com

SONIC REDUCER Carla Bozulich is a force of nature. And nature in all its sweetest Central Texas manifestations — crisply twittering songbirds, spring sun glinting off the tin-sided porch, a slight breeze blowing in from the Colorado River — responds gently in kind, encircling the half-renovated cottage where she'll be playing a small house show on the outskirts of South by Southwest. The former Geraldine Fibbers leader piles out of the van along with the rest of her virtuosic, dusty, somewhat road-dazed ensemble Evangelista. Read more »

South by Cynic

South by Southwest underwhelmed -- again -- but a few fab moments shined through the product placement
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By Kimberly Chun

kimberly@sfbg.com

SONIC REDUCER Date night, March 15, the closing Saturday eve of the South by Southwest music conference, and I swear, the biggest thrill around is my offroadin' pedicab ride on my way to the Diesel:U:Music bash atop Mount San Jacinto, through the remains of the Mess with Texas 2 music-comedy day-party in Waterloo Park. How sad is that?

"I do yoga, so that helps," explains my "driver" Liam (his name changed to protect the innocent). Read more »

Brain defrost

Dungeons get draggin' -- and the Boredoms get a round. Plus: Danava, Magik Markers, DJ Mehdi, and more
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kimberly@sfbg.com

SONIC REDUCER Spring has sprung, warmth has won, and winter has crept away, wondering how many more glacier-melting heat spells it must weirdly weather. And what better time for nuance to take a hike, for subtlety to go on holiday — as daylight savings time ends, morning doves coo, fixies flood the now bone-dry streets, and sunlight beams down on the joints and jowls like an all-natural, wholly organic tanning salon lamp rather than just some ironic jab at Al Gore and the 2000 presidential election. Read more »

Keeping it raw

Who took the sex outta my rock 'n' roll? Plus: Why?, Minmae, Wildildlfe, and more
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kimberly@sfbg.com

SONIC REDUCER Who took the sex outta my rock 'n' roll? You gotta wonder, watching the Virgins — looking all of 12, collectively, and working the style and charisma of boys whose mothers still dress them — who played a Noise Pop show March 1 at Mezzanine. Sure, the New York City combo can write a good song — far better than those by the old-enough-to-know-better Gutter Twins, who were messing with almost two-decades-old, decayed grunge tropes across town at Bimbo's 365 Club that same night. Read more »

Don't phunk with my hope

Obamusical mania, John Benson's bus woes, Mammal, Taken by Trees, Ricky Lee Robinson, and Langhorne Slim
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kimberly@sfbg.com

SONIC REDUCER You probably can't tell, but I'm totally high. I gotta be because I can't stop watching this Kennedy family endorsement and that Texas debate clip, this crushed-out cult of personality vid and that hip-hop remix ode. I've admitted I'm powerless over my addiction — that my life has become unmanageable. And I've come to believe that a power greater than myself can restore me to sanity. That power is will.i.am — I mean, Barack Obama. Read more »

Mother of all indie?

Kimya Dawson -- breakthrough or last stand? Plus: Six Organs of Admittance rocks 'n drones
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kimberly@sfbg.com

SONIC REDUCER Is indie rock back? Did it ever go away? Is it to safe to wax naïf and twee once more? Is my shirt ill fitting yet modest? Will Converse ever go out of style? Do the Strokes suck? Wait, who are the Strokes?

Thoughts worth flexing one's gray matter around on the verge of the indie-oriented Noise Pop music festival — though, well, the RCA-aligned Strokes ain't indie, really. Nor can one imagine their jumpy once-new-rock appearing on the shock chart topper for the week of Jan. 27: the Juno soundtrack. Read more »

Your funny Valentines

Love tunes for every freakin' lifestyle. Plus: Club Neon's underwear party and Dengue Fever's hot doc
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kimberly@sfbg.com

SONIC REDUCER "It's 60 percent embarrassing and 40 percent hot. And the hotness is derived from how embarrassing it is. Or maybe that's just me."

Talkin' 'bout Valentine's Day, the big VD, that bad case of lovin' you, with a digest-to-impress din-din and a small but meaningful token of my esteem. Specifically, Club Neon organizer Jamie Guzzi, a.k.a. Read more »

Ballin'

Homegirl Ledisi dresses up for the Grammys. Plus: Merle Haggard, Los Amigos Invisibles, Paleo, and more
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kimberly@sfbg.com

SONIC REDUCER "I get to go to the ball!"

Longtime Oakland soul hopeful Ledisi isn't spilling the beans about what designer she'll be wearing to the Grammy Awards on Feb. Read more »

Slim's slimed

A lone spoiler may bring down the venerable concert spot. Plus: Howlin' Rain make their move
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kimberly@sfbg.com

SONIC REDUCER There are eight jillion stories in the naked, nervous-Naughties city, and one of the increasingly common tales is that of the wannabe slicker who lays out that down payment for a little piece of gritty 'n' shitty, gorgeous 'n' porous, wild 'n' wooly San Francisco. Read more »