SONG OF THE DAY: Foxtails Brigade inject ghosts into Joanna Newsom’s “Book of Right On”


If you know local band Foxtails Brigade (OIM Records) — whose career got a boost recently when their video for “Far Away And Long Ago” won the a Best Music Video Award at the Atlanta Underground Film Festival — you know that they have an uncanny ability to make creepy sound beautiful. Their cover of Joanna Newsom‘s quirky and sparse “Book of Right On,” released today, does just this, paying homage while injecting haunting echoes and empty spaces in a terrifically beautiful way.

No one will argue that Joanna Newsom is a brilliant musician, but many people are turned off by her warbly voice. (Personally I love it.) Foxtails Brigade’s lead singer (and songwriter) Laura Weinbach’s smooth and controlled voice blasts that concern out of the park. It is underpinned by her distinctive guitar plucking reminiscent (in the best way) of a barely functioning music box that lets loose a few notes at midnight when insomnia is plaguing the house. (Weinbach’s the Hollywood-born daughter of a horror film maker and cult comedian.) Washed in and then stripped of a dozen other plucking sounds – the blerping of a space machine, a glockenspiel, distorted guitar wahs – the song keeps a percussive, staccato feel while still feeling orchestral as the lead melody strings us along. This is gothic folk at its best. Have a listen below and tell us if you agree. (You can also download the song for free via Soundcloud.)

They are playing Amnesia on Friday October 30th, but are headed for much bigger stages. Catch them in this intimate setting while you can. Foxtail Brigade puts on an incredible live show full of musical prowess.

Annie Bacon / @anniebacon

Marina ATD - Fox Theate, Oakland 1020-21

Photos: Marina and The Diamonds Bring Energy and Spectacle to the Fox Theater


Marina and The Diamonds returned to the Bay Area for the second time in 2015 for the first of two nights at Oakland’s Fox Theater. This was the 7th stop on her Neon Nature Tour which spans North America and Europe; culminating in a show at London’s Roundhouse in February of next year.

While not full to capacity (Wednesday night’s show has sold out however), the Fox had a comfortable atmosphere. Fans adorned with fruitful head-dress and girls in colorful glitter sprinkled sequin dresses made it a good place for people watching.

While Froot was released earlier in the year, this tour feels like it is for more than to just promote a new music. Split in to three acts it worked more like a greatest hits collection; an anthology of the music Marina and the Diamonds has released so far. The three acts were structured around each of her albums; The Family Jewels, Electa Heart and Froot. This structure made it easy to see how she has changed and developed as an artist. From the raw, gritty pop sound of The Family Jewels, to the more synth influenced sound of Electra Heart each act showcased a different moment in time for her music. For someone whose debut album was only released in 2010 it felt like a bold move, however one she pulled off with aplomb complete with colorful wardrobe changes. Read More

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How to Paint a Drumbeat: An Interview with Django Django’s David Maclean


Django Django is set to play the beautiful Regency Ballroom tomorrow (buy your tickets here before they sell out), and if you’ve never seen this band before, now is your chance to witness something quite special. If you’ve never heard of this band before, it’s time to re-evaluate your life and go listen to them immediately.

Anyhow, I recently had the honor of sitting down with drummer and producer David Maclean to discuss a bit about the band before they come and leave the The Regency a burning pile of rubble.

Read More

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Photos: Treasure Island Music Festival Day One Featuring Run The Jewels, Big Grams, Deadmaus, FKA Twigs, STS9 and Many More


For those of you who missed it, another year of the Treasure Island Music Festival started with a bang on Saturday. First off – this festival is probably my favorite place to see music. The lineups are usually pretty stellar (while they’re not 100% my cup of tea, I can certainly appreciate the high-level talent this festival is bringing), and the setting is flawless. Seeing The City from Treasure Island as the sun sets gives you an amazing feeling; wind in your hair, SF looking all 1989-Gotham City-esque, music rising over your head… it just doesn’t get much better than that.

As always, the staples were there; silent disco (I NEVER miss a silent disco, brah), great food, gross Heineken, art installations and bubbles. Oh yeah, and a bunch of awesome music. This year they also added a comedy tent near the entrance of the festival but none of the acts could entice me or my friends from the music.

The big names came to play on Saturday, so we decide to focus on our favorite moments, but make sure to check out the gallery for more stellar acts.

Run The Jewels

Coming out to Queen’s “We are The Champions,” Run the Jewels wasted absolutely no time getting right into the grittiness that we all love them for. I believe Killer Mike’s first words out were, “We’re gonna burn this stage to the mothafuckin’ ground.” And that they did as they jumped right into “Blockbuster Night Part 1.” One great thing about this group is not only their unique, grimy beats, but it translates incredibly well to the stage. With songs like “Sea Legs” and “Close Your Eyes (And Count to Fuck)”, the energy was high – and almost everyone in the crowd seemed to know just about every lyric to every song. I remember learning about Killer Mike when I lived back in Atlanta, and it’s amazing to see him come this far and making this kind of music – in your face, yet poetic, with tons of gusto.

If we had to file a complaint, it’s that we didn’t get a taste of any of the tracks off their new remix album Meow The Jewels. Read More


TICKET GIVEAWAY to Haunted Concert at Rickshaw Stop w/ Abbot Kinney, Travis Hayes and Vanwave 10/28


The local music scene has had a bolster in the past year and a half from a group called Balanced Breakfast, which has brought people out of their solitary struggle for superstardom into an organized mass of collective talent and community. The success of this music industry meet-up, started right here in SF by Stefan Aronsen (also known as SF Intercom) and Andy Freeman, has been so strong that Balanced Breakfast meet-ups now happen in 10 other cities across the country. In addition to the 8am meetings, the founding SF chapter also hosts shows, including this one next Wednesday October 28th at the Rickshaw Stop, which will feature rockers Abbot Kinney, Travis Hayes and the Young Daze, and Vanwave, as well as a DJ set by Aronsen.

The all-ages show will be creating what they’re calling “an immersive Halloween experience” … check out the teaser video above & be as curious as I am … as well as some great music from local bands. Alt-rock Abbot Kinney will be releasing “Can We Become,” the first track off their upcoming EP The Night, a track currently being featured on KFOG’s Local Scene collection (and streaming below.)  The band moved north from LA (where they sold out the Troubadour) a few years ago and has a polished but still gritty sound that evokes early Radiohead, with lead singer Jared Swanson’s vocals sounding Jeff Buckley smooth.

We’re giving away two tickets for you to get your Halloween on … but don’t worry, if you don’t win them here, you can still get $5 off at the door by showing up in costume. Show’s at the Rickshaw Stop, 155 Fell Street, and starts at 8:00p. You can also get advanced tickets at $5 off the door price hereRead More


PREMIERE: Folk duo Wolf + Crow release haunting first track off “Folklore”


We are excited to premiere the track “Nothing” from Bay Area neo-folk duo* Wolf + Crow‘s new album Folklore, due out next Friday October 23rd. This track epitomizes the masterful songwriting, musical chops, and poetry that makes the entire album an instant classic for fans of old folk, new folk, blues, soul, spirituals, and/or just damn fine musicianship.

“Nothing” – Wolf + Crow

For those of us** who know the stunning, breathlessly beautiful folk songs of Wolf + Crow, the wait for Folklore has been almost unbearably long. After running a successful Kickstarter in 2012, the band took to a hundred year old brick building in downtown SF with Hyde Street Studio’s Scott McDowell and producer Brandon Keeley. Tracking was complete within a year, and then, as it does, life interrupted. Read More


Ariel Pink & Black Lips Night 2, and the Return of Bimbos 365 Club


Gypsy punks Black Lips exploded into SF’s hidden gem Bimbos 365 Club creating an unlikely contrast of a spit in your face punk band in a club that would be suited for the rat pack.

Garage punk to their core and looser than geese, the band who are known for their high-energy, unpredictable, anything-goes shows, seemed a bit tame for a group with such a reputation. That was until the crowd filled in and the band played the sought after song “Katrina.” Finally it was the Black Lips again giving the show everyone expects; crowd surfers, shirt losers and guitarist Cole Alexander catching his own spit from the air. Being true to their lyrics the band ended with “Bad Kids” and earned the sea of beer that was chucked at them from the crowd.

San Francisco, CA - October 14, 2015 The Black Lips perform live at Bimbo's 365 Club opening for Ariel Pink. Photo Credit: Victoria Smith

Thus began the weirdest intermission and largest exodus of the entire crowd of potential smokers, or mere fresh air seekers, exiting out front. Leaving just four souls holding fort in front of the stage. Read More


Photos: JR JR Debuts New Name, New Album and Homage to Full House


Friday night fans at The Great American Music Hall were treated to a truly special night of music from JR JR. The band, fronted by Josh Epstein and Daniel Zott, has been busy since they last stopped in town and had a lot to share with the packed room.

Since last performing in SF the band decided to shorten their name, from Dale Earnhardt JR JR to just JR JR. The move coincided with their third album, the self titled JR JR which featured heavily in their setlist. You can read more about the new music here.

Songs like “Gone” and “In The Middle” from the new album really shined live. While there were a couple they didn’t seem totally comfortable playing overall the new music fit right in with fan favorites. Throw in favorites like “If You Didn’t See Me [Then You Weren’t On the Dance Floor]” and their cover of “We Almost Lost Detroit” and you had a set tailor-made to move the crowd. Read More


IT’S BRUTAL. IT’S HEAVY. IT’S GOOD. Caspian and Circle Takes the Square | Post Punks finest


Music tends to be a reflection of where a musician lives or where they have been. After Circle Takes The Square at the Rickshaw Stop this past Wednesday night, I get the impression Savannah, Georgia must be the most brutal, passionate and beautiful place on the planet. The three piece, consisting of Drew Speziale (vocals/guitar), Kathleen Stubelek (vocals/bass) and Caleb Collins (vocals/drums) brought an energy from another dimension. They are craft masters, with each song composed dense with flawless musicianship and with every member of the audience attached to each shriek, growl and scream the band spilled from their hearts. With no words decipherable their howls become another instrumentation. Wikipedia names them as the reinvention of Screamo. Unsigned by choice, Circle Takes The Square describes them selves as  “a punk band with reverence for the mystery”, accurate yet so much more and certainly not a mainstreamers cup of tea. By the time the band played their final note I was convinced Caspian didn’t have a chance.

I was wrong.
Battles Win!



Packed to the rafters, with barely any room to shake, the Lower East Side experimental art rock group, Battles, hypnotized the earnest crowd. The band staggered on to the stage, first with Dave Konopa setting up 5 guitar loops, next founding member Ian Williams setting up even more loops on guitar and keyboard with fiery spasms, and finally clearly every one’s favorite member and the worlds most passionate drummer John Stanier completing the trio.

At times Battles’ set seemed to be completely falling apart until it was made clear it was part of the plan all along, as the band would burst into songs such as “Ice Cream and Futura” reminding the crowd how powerful their instrumental tracks are. Battles’ work ethic on stage is unmatched, with every member busier than the last and completely focused on staying in perfect time with the latest loop. At one point drummer John Stanier stood up to give a wave to the crowd and subsequently show off his appearance of having jumped into a pool fully clothed. Read More

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