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Basement Jaxx Fires Up Public Works

07/16/2014

On Saturday, SF was treated to a rare sold-out DJ set at Public Works by London’s original cheeky house monkeys, Basement Jaxx (Felix Buxton and Simon Ratcliffe). They’re releasing their first record in five years, called Junto, on August 25th, and we were lucky enough to catch one of only four appearances nationwide on this run.

Basement Jaxx are well-known for their risk-taking eclecticism and sense of humor, qualities often sorely missed in electronic music. In any given song, you’re bound to hear an army of bongo drums, goofy vocal repetitions, handclaps, and maybe even diva, Lisa Kekaula, belting out the last proud goodbye of a spurned lover, a la Gloria Gaynor. Since they’re so good at mixing genres, with everything from Latin, to lounge, to hip-hop and funk represented in their sound, you never really know what you’re going to get. Only two things are certain when you go to a Basement Jaxx show: you’re going to DANCE and you’re going to have a LOT of fun. Read More

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Jurassic 5, Quannum Projects, and Dilated Peoples Come Home to the Greek – Review and Photos

07/14/2014

As we settled into a warm summer evening at the Greek Theatre in Berkeley, we couldn’t help feel we were about to witness something uniquely epic. The Word of Mouth tour, which is circling the U.S. this July and August, is no doubt historic. It celebrates the 20th anniversary of Jurassic 5; the first time in 10 years that the legendary Quannum Projects collective from Davis, CA (DJ Shadow, Lyrics Born, Gift of Gab, Chief Xcel, and Lateef) is back on stage all together, as well as the upcoming LP from underground champions Dilated Peoples, dubbed Directors of Photography. By the time the night wound to a close, the epic feeling was cemented in our minds.

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Press Shot- Shervin Lainez

Wye Oak Drops The Guitars and Changes Everything for Shriek

07/11/2014

Baltimore duo, Wye Oak, headline The Phono del Sol Music Festival tomorrow with Thao & The Get Down Stay Down. Often labeled as indie folk rock after the huge success of 2011′s Civilian, new album Shriek has critics scratching their heads and searching for new ways to describe the band.

Shriek’s departure starts with the duo’s minimal use of guitar (as in pretty much none), supplemented with melodies from keyboards, drum machines and vocal harmonies. You won’t hear anything of the guitar signatures that defined their previous album’s tracks like “Holy Holy” or “Civilian,”  instead the new singles like “Shriek” and “Glory” highlight looping keyboard riffs and vocals that dance across a wide range of octaves.

Before they rock Potrero, Jenn Wasner (vocals, guitar, bass and more) took the time to answer a few questions for us. There are still tickets available to see Jenn and, partner in crime, Andy Stack at the festival this weekend here. (It’s a steal at $25, trust us.)  Read More

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Burger Boogaloo Day 2: Electric Boogaloo

07/10/2014

Sunday of the Boogaloo was mellower, as Sundays tend to be. Some of us had work in the morning, and some had been day-drinking since the Fourth. Quite a few attendees opted for the whole weekend, many of them notably more sunned and crispy than the day before.

On the second day I began to appreciate the side attractions. The Boogaloo food area featured, among other fare, a hamburger stand (duh), vegan food, iced coffee, and organic popsicles, all for…okay it was pretty steep, but not outrageous. And, as I mentioned last time, staff and goers were amicable–I witnessed no petty squabbles nor general displays of douchebagery throughout the entire weekend. Bravo, Burger Boogaloo. I’ll see you next year.

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photo by Matt Barrick

TONIGHT! The Walkmen’s Peter Matthew Bauer at Bottom of the Hill

07/09/2014

Peter Matthew Bauer, one of The Walkmen‘s founding members as bassist and organist, is now a lead singer-songwriter touring his new solo record Liberation! out now on Mexican Summer records. Bauer put out seven records with The Walkmen including indie anthem The Rat, produced by Dave Sardy.

In the first single, “Latin American Ficciones”, the sound is reminiscent of The Walkmen’s garage tambourine and sheen guitars, but you may find that the vocal stylings surprisingly remind you of Tom Petty-Americana, in a good way. Check it out: Read More

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Tycho Wows Boiler Room Fans in SF Takeover

07/08/2014

While I’ve seen Tycho perform a few times in the past, I definitely had never experienced a show from Scott Hansen, the SF-based producer and visual artist behind the name, quite like this. I’m pretty sure the last time I saw Tycho was in college, and I was most likely over-served and unable to fully appreciate the incredible show transcending in front of me.

Not the case this time, though. Performing a set with his live band in tow for a streamed Boiler Room audience viewing across the globe, I was lucky enough to sneak away from a long day to see it recorded live with about 20 other people at a funky little Airbnb rented studio, complete with a massive buffalo head on the wall. I did not feel nearly cool enough to be there, but it was awesome. The Boiler Room stream was sponsored by Sky Vodka and served up some girly cocktails in bright blue glasses with flashing lights that nearly gave me a stroke every time I took a sip. (Don’t worry – no strokes.) Read More

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Moshing in Mosswood: Day 1 of Burger Boogaloo 2014

07/07/2014

Great sequels are about raising the stakes and Burger Records‘ fifth annual Burger Boogaloo did just that. The all-ages festival flooded Mosswood Park’s lone stone ampitheatre and filled it to the brim with balloons, streamers, and colorful Oakland weirdos. The shows were quick (30-60 minutes each), day-lit (or would have been if not for delays), and everybody–staff, security, and festival goers–was in good spirits. All in all, the Burger Boogaloo put on the table everything essential to American summer fun: burgers, beer, sunshine, jean shorts, and rock and roll.

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A roar of energy for Deafheaven at GAMH

07/07/2014

Deafheaven graced hometown San Francisco with a thrilling, tour-ending show on Wednesday night at the Great American Music Hall. Frontman George Clarke motioned to the packed crowd to get as close to the stage as possible with his deliberate and commanding movements before the first song started. The crowd responded with a roar of energy, sustained throughout the entire performance, an emotionally charged, soul shaking, aural assault that left it all on the floor.

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Photos: Pure X and friends live at Brick & Mortar

07/07/2014

A small but passionate crowd gathered last Saturday at Mission venue Brick & Mortar Music Hall for an intimate evening featuring Austin trio, Pure X. To warm things up, Bay Area band Sam Flax set the perfect atmosphere with their catchy psychedelic-pop tunes that had the audience quickly up on their feet. With a setlist consisting mostly of songs from their LP Age Waves, Sam Flax was able to capture us all with little words and a lot of music. Their single, “Fire Doesn’t Burn Itself,” closed the set on a high note. Read More

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Photos: The Knocks get Comfortable at Sold Out Independent with Help from ASTR

07/03/2014

There is no better way to charge hard into America’s birthday than spending a Tuesday night at the Independent seeing two amazing NYC electronic acts put a charge into a shoulder-to-shoulder, sold out crowd. My playlists are filthy with tracks from both The Knocks and ASTR, so I tried to keep my expectations low before the show, but honestly, both acts brought their “A game” and did not disappoint.

First up was ASTR touring on their recent EP Varsity. I was first seduced by their sound when I heard the killer cover of Drake’s Hold On We’re Going Home.” Vocalist Zoe ASTR (Silverman) and Producer Adam ASTR (Pallin) pull off the unimaginable: taking a Drake song and making me not tired of it, with intricate beats and deeply soulful lyrics. I highly recommend you listen to the full Varsity EP front to back. Adam is an experienced and skilled producer, and the songs are just plain fun. The background of the duo is also super interesting too, you can read about it here in the Village Voice. Read More

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