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Song of the Day: The Tropics “Take You Home”

01/09/2015

SF-based pop rockers The Tropics are back with another video for single “Take You Home.” While the song has been floating around since the release of their EP Wind House, it was originally a bonus available only on the vinyl edition of the album.

I spent much of 2014 following the act and it looks like 2015 is off to a great start for The Tropics. The new song features some wicked guitar solos, horn elements and soulful refrains. Frank Door directed the video, capturing show footage along with casual shots of Bernal and The Mission. Watching the video kind of feels like walking from El Rio to Bart after drinking three too many.

The Tropics will be opening for Sweden’s amazing dance export Tove Stryke January 16th at Rickshaw Stop. This is the bargain of 2015 so far, at only about $15 bucks with fees.

Check out our past coverage of The Tropics if you like what you hear.

 

 

 

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Song of the Day: “The Rain” by Oh Wonder

01/04/2015

Oh Wonder, known as Wonder Wonder when we first posted about them, is that mysterious duo from the UK releasing a single track on the 1st of each month all year long. Yesterday, they released the 5th song, “The Rain,” and it keeps the impressive energy of the album moving, building up from last month’s melancholic (and heartbreakingly beautiful) ballad “All You Do.” Starting with an easy-listening, 70’s soft rock feel, the song layers in darker synths in mid-way through after the male-female vocals twist upwards in a continued showcase of melodic prowess.

It is one thing to say, “We want the music to speak for itself,” and not let details of the band’s individual stories or personalities intersect with the purity of the songs. They’re not the only band who has done this kind of thing, not even the only one doing it now. Yet, it is quite another thing for the music to actually stand this impressively on its own. The music DOES speak for itself.

These are gorgeously composed, performed, and produced songs, and with every new song, my hunger for this album grows. I can feel the arcing energy as themes emerge and melodic and lyrical patterns reveal themselves.  Maybe because it is all I know about this band, the music feels like a mini-opera. And I feel a lurching ache for the next scene.

With a combined 2.5 million listens for these 5 songs on Soundcloud, I have a feeling I’m not alone in this aching. Follow them here.

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Panic is Perfect Continues to Tease Upcoming EP with Single “Build a Wall”

12/22/2014

As we reach the last days of 2014 Panic is Perfect is giving us some great new music to look forward to in 2015. The SF-based electronic pop group was a late entrant to the local scene this year but is already generating some buzz and even made Aaron Axelsen of Live 105’s list of top SF acts of 2014.

They first captured our attention with “Go Go Go,” which is definitely in my top five local tracks in 2014. The flowing synth, violin samples and impossibly-catchy vocal harmonies make this an act to watch in 2015.

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If Your Friends Tell You Horse Feathers is Average Live, Your Friends are Wrong

12/05/2014

Horse Feathers is great rainy day music. (They’ve been a staple for me in the weather we’ve had the past few days in the Bay.) But I was warned they give only an average live performance. With that looming in the back of my mind, I walked in to their show at Great American Music Hall. What they gave was a performance that was anything but average and left my comrade, who knew nothing about the group before that evening, saying that this was the first live show in a year worth going to.

The architecture of the building is gorgeously reminiscent of 1920s grandeur. People lounged at cocktail tables sipping whiskeys, enjoying the syrupy voice of opener Sara Jackson-Holman. Her haunting crooning complemented the speakeasy ambiance. Read More

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Trentemøller’s Electro-Industrial Thanksgiving Treat @ The Fillmore

12/04/2014

Last week, we locked ourselves in a familial cage and stuffed our faces with turkey until our eyes popped out and we swore to never, ever go back for fifths again for the rest of our lives. (Didn’t we learn this last year? And the year before?) A couple days earlier, Copenhagen-based multi-instrumentalist and bootstrapping badass Trentemøller stopped by The Fillmore to send us off into the weekend with more than just turkey and tears. This was one of the last shows supporting the touring cycle for last year’s Lost album, and I can tell you right now the band is still picking up steam, even as the tour winds down.

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Giveaway + Interview: Dustin Brown of NTNT on Portland Music Scene, Yeasayer and Being a SF Tourist

12/02/2014

Saturday December 13th, Portland-based NTNT will bring a little bit of the Pacific Northwest and a lot of synthed up indie pop to Neck of the Woods. They are sharing the stage with local act Scissors for Lefty and Dangermaker in what is bound to be a high energy, dance heavy billing.

The only thing that could make your Saturday night better is getting into the show for free, and we have you covered there. Enter below (it takes maybe a minute) and you will be entered to win a pair of tickets.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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The Gods Bring Rain, Smallpools and Magic Man to San Francisco

11/25/2014

It poured last Thursday evening in the city, and the fortunate ones found refuge at The Independent. I welcome being stuck indoors if the entertainment includes Panama Wedding, Magic Man, and Smallpools.

Panama Wedding got the night started, and I can’t stress enough how surprisingly good these guys were. They played a rich set highlighted by some of the smoothest vocals I’ve heard in a while, courtesy of lead singer Peter Kirk. They are a moderately bouncy synth pop band, but they bring a decidedly softer, more soulful sound to the stage. I could write a whole review just on the New York based foursome, but I know they will be back as headliners sooner rather than later, so for now, if you want a taste, have a listen to one of my personal favorites, “All of the People.”  Read More

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Noah Gunderson, The Wild Reeds and Angelo De Augustine @ The Chapel

11/25/2014
Angelo De Augustine would probably say this was his worst show ever. But between apologies for being sick, coughs, and gulps of water, Angelo gave the most sincere, vulnerable performance of the night. Opening for a crowd that’s clearly there for guitar-driven indie folk-rock when your message must be conveyed in a whisper and a warble isn’t something I’d wish on anyone. Despite talking through most of his set, though, the crowd tried to be encouraging, and clapped hard for an opener they could barely hear above the martini shaker. Angelo’s music is quietly ambitious, weaving a world equally home to Elliott Smith, Hobbits, Elves, and Jose Gonzales. It is very much his own, and he deftly draws you into it. There’s no doubt he’ll be in town next as a headliner.

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Noise Pop 2015 Lineup Announced, Features Caribou, Slow Magic, Cathedrals and Many More

11/20/2014

Noise Pop is returning February 20th through March 1st to showcase great music and art here in San Francisco.

The initial lineup has some amazing acts including Caribou who recently released the killer LP Our Love. We will also see sets from Craft Spells who stopped in SF this summer on tour, masked percussion maniac Slow Magic, and local electronic duo Cathedrals. We can’t forget Dan Deacon, who is always amazing and blew us away at Noise Pop 2011 with his crazy collection of noise making devices.

You can buy Early Bird and Super Fan badges now here. Individual concerts go on sale tomorrow (11/21) at noon PT.

The full list in order of billing:
Caribou
Dan Deacon
Slow Magic
Giraffage
The Church
Craft Spells
Cherry Glazerr
No Joy
Jessica Pratt
The Black Ryder
Cathedrals
Six Organs of Admittance
Tony Molina
Spazzkid

 

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Story Time With Slick Rick @ Public Works

11/19/2014

MC Melina Jones served as Slick Rick The Ruler’s Bay Area ambassador, and along with DJs Supreme and Pos Red, had the dance party popping off for a couple hours before Rick hit the stage well after midnight. The crowd, which was thick with golden era hip-hop heads, ate up the classic rap tracks being blasted, and got particularly juiced when Bay Area artists like Digital Underground and Too Short were thrown in the mix. DJ Pos Red even invited an enthusiastic member of the audience onto the stage to beat-box while he executed a squeaky-clean freestyle rap. Needless to say the openers got the party started right.

Slick Rick embodies the early years of hip-hop when the MC controlled the party. His prevalent use of call and response not only got the audience involved, but also kept the party from ever simmering too low; the crowd at Public Works was happy to oblige. The sing along that took place did not require a bouncing ball to follow along, as these fans have been listening to most of Rick’s songs for decades and know them nearly as well as the Ruler himself. The set consisted of primarily classic tracks from Slick Rick’s landmark debut album The Great Adventures of Slick Rick (1988) including “Mona Lisa,” “Hey Young World” and “The Moment I Feared.” He also drew from his larger repertoire playing tracks like “It’s a Boy” from 1991’s The Ruler’s Back and “Street Talkin’” from 1999’s The Art of Storytelling. Of course the set would have been incomplete without Slick Rick’s first tracks “La-Di-Da-Di” and “The Show” with Doug E. Fresh, from 1985 when he was still going by M.C. Ricky D. Read More

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