Summer Playlist for BBQs and More

07/09/2013

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With summer fully underway, we decided the best way to soak up the rays was to create some playlists for you to enjoy. Over the next few days, each of us will be publishing our own summer jams. Today’s playlist is by SF Critic’s editor, David:

The sun’s warmth has always typified the music I listen to during the summer. Hazy, washed and spacey tunes that envelope me as my mind drifts with the ripples of the pool. The smoke emanating from the bbq, wafting smells that evoke memories of past summers. I want to be taken, but I cannot be lost. Amidst every two of three tracks that slowly pulse in the background, I like to have a song that enters and begs to be noticed. It might be lyrical. It might have a bumping rhythm. But whatever it is, it reminds you that you’re here now–welcoming summer.

This is my summer playlist for early in the night, as you soak in the weather and take a sip of your drink of choice.

Tracklist

  1. Rhye – The Fall (Maurice Fulton Alt Mix)
  2. Lion Babe – Treat Me Like Fire
  3. Little Dragon – Sunshine (Shlohmo Remix)
  4. Elephant – Skyscraper
  5. Nosaj Thing & Chance The Rapper – Paranoia
  6. Washed Out – Feel It All Around
  7. Shlohmo – Bo Peep (Do U Right) ft. Jeremih
  8. Letherette – Gas Stations & Restaurants
  9. Jessie Ware – What You Won’t Do For Love
  10. Silver Hands – Skulls
  11. Bamboo – Bibi Yangu
  12. Disclosure – You & Me ft. Eliza Doolittle (Toro Y Moi remix)
  13. Ms Mr – Fantasy
  14. Major Lazer – Get Free ft. Amber of Dirty Projectors
  15. Beck – I Won’t Be Long
  16. Fyfe – Conversations

Catch Beirut (DJ Set) at 1015 Folsom

07/08/2013

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DJ Dials has organized a  solid lineup of performers at 1015 this Friday night. Taking the stage on the ones and twos is Beirut, the indie-cosmopolitan band, that seems to do–everything. Prior to, you can catch Little Jeans, Hard French and more

Tickets are still available, but hurry up cause it’s a small venue and Beirut is a big name.

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Yellowbird – Across The Whipplewash (Original Soundtrack)

07/08/2013

On Across The Whipplewash (Original Soundtrack) Yellowbird are tipping their hats to the tunes of Spaghetti Westerns. But beneath each track, emerges the group’s signature. At the 48 second  mark on “He Blinks He Shoots” a distorted voice comes to life with psychedelic undertones. On the self-titled track, the organ keys march with dark undertones that draw comparisons to the hip hop style of Blakroc. For an album lacking vocals, Yellowbird, confidently paint a landscape without ever seeming hokey.

Across The Whipplewash is  the film score debut of Sam Cohen and Yellowbirds. The album was recorded in early 2013 for the eponymously titled film by Josh and Caitlin Drake. You can watch the film below.

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New Song from Beck “I Won’t Be Long”

07/02/2013

Quietly, Beck released yesterday, “I Won’t Be Long,” a new single for vinyl lovers. A limited edition 12″ is now available for pre-order (July 8th release) exclusively via beckiwontbelong.com and features the original track with a special 14:49 extended mix. Like Beck’s recent single release “Defriended,” this is just a taste of what’s to come from Beck’s two upcoming albums–but won’t be included on either of them.

Free Blackbird Blackbird Performance Tonight

06/21/2013

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One of our favorite San Francisco producers and DJs, Blackbird Blackbird, will be playing at Swig Bar tonight for a promotional event put on by Flavorpill and Reyka vodka. Like any promotional event, there’s schwag to enjoy, and by schwag we mean: free vodka. So if you’re a fan of Fridays, great music and free alcohol–well, this sounds like a good time for you. The event is celebrating summer solstice day (have you noticed how light it’s been at 9pm recently?!), and is a perfect fit given Blackbird’s recent track “Summer’s Almost Here.”

To RSVP: click here
Time :: 6-9PM Reyka complimentary cocktails
Location :: Swig @ 561 Geary St

Kanye to Yeezus: The Art of Political Rap

06/20/2013

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Maybe this version of Yeezus’ album cover failed because it was too overt. Kanye killing his old persona. The affable teddy bear that gave us “Gold Digger,” “Diamonds from Sierra Leone,” and “Jesus Walks”–is he really dead? At a recent listening party for his new album, Kanye exclaimed “West was my slave name, Yeezus is my god name.” Before you’re aghast, let me direct you to how Matthew Perpetua understands a statement like this:

West’s comments are only off base if you deny that he’s an important and influential artist, or believe that it’s wrong for anyone to speak about their achievements without watering it down with humility, or be honest about their loftiest goals as an artist.

I see this as Kanye stepping beyond the braggadocio of hip hop towards performance art. He’s cultivating controversy to drive discussion. Let’s not be coy: this is both a racial and religious statement that goes beyond the larger than life Scarface-dream that rappers uphold. With Yeezus, Kanye is not only redefining himself but attempting to make Americans rethink our understanding, perceptions and stereotypes of hip hop, and thereby African Americans’ most mainstream culture.

Read More

Oh! Tiger Mountain Roars on New EP

06/17/2013

During live appearances, Oh! Tiger Mountain, the alias of the captivating French songwriter Mathieu Poulain, will often don and perform behind a tiger mask. Poulain’s decision to hide himself comes off as particularly bizarre in light of his new EP, New Religion, out next week on Microphone Recordings. The five-song EP finds Poulain singing in a more powerful and assured voice than on his 2011 LP Sings Suzie, bringing to mind such stately crooners as Leonard Cohen, the National’s Matt Berninger and the Walkmen’s Hamilton Leithauser. Furthermore, tracks like “New Religion” and “He’s Not Alone Anymore” demonstrate Poulain’s heightened sense of structure; the off-kilter carnivaleque vibe that pops up on Sings Suzie has been tightened down a bit in favor of a subtler, more controlled sound.

Which isn’t to say that New Religion isn’t full of playfulness. Surf-rock guitar noodling sneaks in alongside Buddy Holly-era backup singing, and the mix makes everything sound bright and airy. Part of what makes Oh! Tiger Mountain so memorable is the juxtaposition of Poulain’s deep, gravelly voice, intoning cryptic lines like “I must have fallen asleep someplace / between a bride and a commercial break” with whimsical jangly guitar lines and syrupy synths. Poulain never enters into gimmick territory, however; his songs are downright intriguing in their odd mix of styles.

Earlier this year French superstars Phoenix took another surf-rock enthusiast, Mac DeMarco, on the road with them. Maybe next time they’ll shoot for someone from their own neck of the woods. Because if they do, Oh! Tiger Mountain will be sure to turn some heads.

Watch Fyfe’s Video for “Conversation” and Listen to Solace EP

06/17/2013

Everyday, everyday people, struggle to get by. “Come on feet don’t fail me now…” We wander through life with nothing more than a hope that we have a direction. “All this time I didn’t know who I was meant to be.” Questions swirl around us like unshakeable gnats that arrive at dusk. “I would lay my head down till sense has been found.”

These uncertainties arise  like motifs in Fyfe’s debut EP, Solace. It’s easy to imagine Fyfe (Paul Dixon) walking down empty streets at night caught within the web of his thoughts. While young at the age of 23, Dixon made his formal debut as David Lyre, but struggled with his label about distribution. His new EP, which you can stream below, is all that is currently available. Lyrically, on Solace, Fyfe seems to be searching for questions about himself and life. Sonically, his high pitched vocals rise above the dark hitting tones on “Conversations” (featured above), but brisky move across the bubbly synths on “St. Tropez”  garnering him comparisons to Miike Snow.

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