Listen to Trails and Ways — Do yourself the favor


trails-and-wayEver since the release of Vampire Weekend’s self-titled album there has been a seeming void (and demand) for a sunny (indie) album imbued with the same Paul Simon inspired African guitars and rhythms. Meet Trails and Ways. Like the aforementioned Columbia grads, Trails and Way is comprised of four college friends from UC Berkeley freshly embarking from a nudist/idealist co-operative house. Talk about “indie.” Their self-described “Bossa Nova pop” features bright infectious melodies and singing in Portuguese, Spanish and English. According to their press release, lead singer KBB was influenced by his time spent in Sao Paulo (presumably studying abroad). Read More

Watch – Tyler The Creator “IFHY”


If I said to Tyler the Creator that I thought his material was “growing up,” I image he’d slap me across the face and say “bitch please.” As one of the leaders of the OFWGKA crew,  the “horror-core” rapper seems to have chilled his tone on “IFHY.” It’s not like Wolf Haley hasn’t sung a few broken hearted tracks. But on “IFHY” (I fucking hate you) Tyler laments the emotional instability of being in love, without the gory references. It’s angry, honest, but not over the top like: “fucking it in my white van, beat her with white night stand until I give her gashes until it’s nothing but the white meat” off of “Creator Oblivion.” The track features Pharrell and is off Tyler’s upcoming album Wolf, which is scheduled to be released on April 2nd.

Is this change a part of the public reception? Is this an isolated example? I’m interested to here the rest of the album.

Flume Scheduled to Perform at Rickshaw Stop



Thank goodness international musicians come to North America to “make it,” otherwise we’d have to move to Australia. Home of San Cisco, Flight Facilities and Tame Impala, Australia has a new artist you need to take note: Flume. This isn’t the first time we’ve mentioned the 20 year-old DJ. His self-titled debut blends Pretty Lights’ (listen to “On Top“) energy with aforementioned, Flight Facilities, chilled-pop sensibilities (“Left Alone“).

Along his tour north, Flume has stopped at BBC’s Radio 6The Boiler Room and SXSW. He’s set to perform to a sold-out crowd at Rickshaw Stop this Thursday. If you’re able to snag a ticket, however you can, do it.

Check out below Flume’s video for “Insane.”

Petty Fest this Wednesday at The Fillmore


Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers Perform In Southern California

Almost seven years ago Alex Levy (ex Epic Records and Rolling Stone executive) started assembling a tribute party to Bob Dylan called, Dylan Fest. The idea was simple, get a backing band and a lot of great singers (past performers include Norah Jones, Steely Dan, Kings of Leon, etc) to pay tribute to the artist. Well, the idea has been applied to Tom Petty and BAM! this Wednesday Petty Fest will come to San Francisco’s The Fillmore for the first time ever.

The billing already includes a pretty stellar cast including performances by Nick Valensi of The Strokes, Boz Scaggs, Chuck Prophet, Tom Johnston of The Doobie Brothers, Tim Bluhm of The Mother Hips, Nicki Bluhm, Matt Sorum & Ace Harper, Butch Walker, Ryan Miller of Guster, Jesse Malin, Har Mar Superstar, Jenny O., Jody Porter of Fountains of Wayne, Ewan Currie of The Sheepdogs and Howlin Rain, with many more surprise guests.



Behind the Lens of a Music Blogger – The Finale


This is fifth installment of a series of post “Behind the Lens” of a music blogger. For the full series click hereSPONSORED
Remember that whole “Behind the Lens” series we were doing? Well, we just finished it with a big bang here. We want to thank the folks of Sony for letting us participate in their Hidden Project. You can check out the best photos from all of the bloggers here.

Slacker Unveils New Music Service at Madrone Studios



The Silver Sun Pickups played host to the evening last Tuesday night, as streaming service, Slacker, kicked off their new and improved app campaign at Madrone Studios in the Mission. The new service, which was officially announced on February 13th, brought to life many features the company had in the works for quite some time. Highlights included the new tile based design, even more radio customization, and a new pay scale that gives you some great options on the go.

The service has it’s eyes set on the expanding Spotify and Pandora markets. Set-apart features include the ability to mix in live sports or news updates into your existing traditional music stations, as well as the ability to play on nearly every platform (including xbox and web).

The overall design, however, felt to be a bit sub-par to that of Spotify. We applaud them for their use of the tile-based system, but switching between lists and genres is a bit cumbersome and excessive at times. If you’re in the hunt for a new streaming music service, we suggest you take all of the companies up on their free offer and see exactly which one appeals to you and your needs most.

The night was capped off by worthy performance by the Silver Sun Pickups, check below for a few photos!

Listen to Bay Area Producer Rogus



Quite possibly a stack of hamsters pulling wires and pressing knobs, Rogus creates music that does not reside in simply one genre.  Half of his songs are melodic, almost old school sounding hip hop, while other half are a mix between progressive house and various electronic musings.The young Bay Area producer seems promised to make something that you’ll be hearing about on more than just this blog.

Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Foxygen and Wampire at Great American Music Hall



Next Wednesday, Unknown Mortal Orchestra and Foxygen, will take the stage at the Great American Music Hall. And while everyone is abuzz about the two bands, it’s worth taking note of the other band on the billing: Wampire. The Portland band signed to Polyvinyl, home to Unknown Mortal Orchestra and STRFKR, are a perfect fit with their reverb drenched, 80s rock nostalgia. In addition to making good music, the guys have a great sense of humor (see image above). Ok, I know what you’re thinking: what’s with the name?

SF Critic (SFC): How did you chose the name “Wampire?”

Wampire: It all started several years ago when Eric and I were children. We had found an archaic Ouija board under his parents house and couldn’t resist its tempting magical powers. We unearthed it and discovered that it wasn’t any normal Ouija board, but that this one must have predated that of a Milton & Bradley stamp. We did what any two curious teenagers would do. We lit candles, smudged our surroundings to ward off the demons, and began our seance.

We called upon Eric’s great great great grandfather Dr. Emmett Lathrop Brown, who among many other things invented the ice cube. He spoke to us and told us “the way of the world is with the Wampire.” I immediately pissed myself uncontrollably and when I came to I tossed the board in the fire, which burned a purple flame and screeched at us as if some tortured soul was finally being released, and I ran home crying. We never spoke of it again.

Makes complete sense…

Watch San Cisco – “Fred Astair”



In anticipation for San Cisco’s performance at The Fillmore next week, I’ll be jumping on the phone tomorrow to interview lead signer, Jordi Davieson. The band is opening along The Vaccines tour for the next few months, before showcasing at SXSW. If you haven’t heard their catchy single “Awkward,” I strongly urge you to take a spin. Everywhere but here, the group’s Vampire Weekend sound is getting them quite the attention. So be on the lookout for their self-titled debut that’s scheduled to be released in The States soon.

Here’s their latest music video “Fred Astaire.”

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