Not the Washed Out You’ve Heard — Review from The Fillmore

01/30/2014

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Live, Ernest Greene, aka Washed Out, sounds entirely different than his recordings. The singer, songwriter, and producer known mostly as a solo, bedroom performer–is much more in person. This past Tuesday night, fans attending the band’s sold-out performance at The Fillmore got an ear of this other Washed Out.

Paracosm, the title of his sophomore album, literally refers to a fantasy world. From the record’s start with its slowly building dynamics, to its fading close–Greene invites listeners to escape and drift away. At home, regardless of your stereo, the muted levels bring out a softer (though still grooving) equally psychedelic and shoegaze sound that has placed the artist at the forefront of the recent chillwave scene.

In a video interview with Yourstruly, Greene explained that he began writing the album in the fall, later finishing it in the winter, working in front of a window that overlooked the changing seasons in Atlanta, GA. Most of Greene’s lyrics repeat calls to let go and moments of falling. And what seemingly–written–should be dreary is intentionally brightened with major key progressions and buzzing bass kicks that turn gloom into glamor. Read More

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!!! Proves Dance-punk is Alive and Well in SF

01/29/2014

When I think of !!! (pronounced ChkChkChk, and this is the name you search by the way) I think of three things: Funk, inappropriately short shorts, and dancing. The band plays a type of dance-punk that can go from calm to a furious crescendo at any moment. They did not disappoint on Saturday night, at The Chapel, as they involved the crowd with a blend of electronic beats and funky guitar riffs.

Clad in his trademark throwback 80’s shorts, vocalist Nic Offer was already down in the crowd getting the dance party started during the very first song. Read More

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Interview – Magik*Magik Orchestra’s Minna Choi On “When We Were Young”

01/27/2014

This Friday (January 31st) Magik*Magik Orchestra will live one of their dreams. Since orchestra director, Minna Choi, founded the group in 2008, she’s worked with a who’s who of Bay Area bands–but, this Friday at the Fox Theater will be the first time she can bring many of those bands together. The charitable event will feature Magik*Magik Orchestra performing alongside with Nicki Bluhm & the Gramblers, The Dodos, Diana Gameros, Geographer, How to Dress Well, Zoe Keating, The Lonely Forest, Maestro Michael Morgan, The Pacific Boychoir, Rogue Wave, Two Gallants, and John Vanderslice.

Proceeds from the performance will go to  support “Magik For Kids” initiative, which helps bring music lessons and experiences to kids throughout San Francisco. Prior to the performance we connected with Minna over email to find about what people can expect and if she’d made any New Year’s resolutions.

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Until The End with Jake Bugg & Albert Hammond Jr at Fox Theater

01/26/2014

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Brooklyn’s The Skins consist of three siblings and two friends, none over 21. They sound as if Black Sabbath slept with Soul on the first date. Like a funky Winehouse-Hendrix singing over a Motown Sabbath concoction. Sometimes their music softens, and slow to disco groove. They have a lot of vibes going on and they look groovy too. I hope I made a description soup you can sip.

Albert Hammond Jr. seemed most comfortable when he rocked the punk elements to his tracks. He’s new at being a front man, so his sometimes shy-on-the-mic didn’t offend me. Strokes’ guitar nuances would poke out like a garter belt from under a nun’s skirt, but really Hammond has created a sound of his own. Hammond’s new release is from Julian Casablancas‘s Cult Records.  Check out his video below “Justice,” which features him having sex and getting a real good slap.

 

Photos by Victoria Smith

Anyone can be made to sound good on a studio album, give or take. Jake Bugg is more impactful live. Even as a solemn performer, there is a constant wail in his truly unique voice that is captivating. Not even cynical me can take that away. I presume Rick Ruben heard it too, when Bugg (19-years-old) went into his studio to record two tracks. Ruben ended up pulling an album out of him. He’s got a Pulk voice. What’s Pulk you ask? Oh, a genre term I made up in Berlin last summer that marries punk and folk. He’s kind of a little classic already. There’s a lot of terrific folky songwriters out there, but Bugg has got an x-factor voice. I stayed til the end.

Listen to Jake Bugg “Broken.”

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Kali Uchis – Drunken Babble Mixes 90s Rap with 50s Soul

01/13/2014

Kali Uchis, a singer, songwriter, and rapper based in Virgina by way of Colombia–is different. She’s not sticking to a dress code: from one video to the next, you’ll find her dressed in flatform sneakers with a bandana tied in the front, or showing off her mid-drift with a schoolgirl’s pleated skirt. And as puzzling as her appearance may seem, it’s even more surprising that her style brings to mind a melding of Bone Thugs & Harmony with a contemporary singer like Mayer Hawthorne. But the point of music isn’t to get lost in appearances or comparisons–but the music itself–which is easy with Kali.

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Drake “Hold On, We’re Going Home” (Wild Ones Cover)

01/03/2014

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“My friend played me the song just before we embarked on our last tour down the West Coast,” said Danielle Sullivan, lead singer of Wild Ones, “It became my official anthem.” And while most of the band hadn’t heard the song before and were somewhat skeptical (“Drake? Like that dude from Degrassi?”), the group was swayed and produced their first cover with Drake’s “Hold On, We’re Going Home.” We’re glad they did.

The group is currently on tour with Surfer Blood (see below for dates).

January 03 @ The Shakedown – Bellingham, WA w/Surfer Blood
January 04 @ Sunset Tavern – Seattle, WA w/Surfer Blood
January 05 @ The Media Club – Vancouver, BC w/Surfer Blood
January 07 @ Lucky Bar – Victoria, BC
January 09 @ Neumos – Seattle, WA w/Telekinesis
January 10 @ The Bartlett – Spokane, WA
January 11 @ Timbrrr Fest – Leavenworth, WA w/Telekinesis, Radiation City
January 12 @ Axe & Fiddle – Cottage Grove, OR
January 14 @ Lowbrau – Sacramento, CA
January 15 @ Bootleg Theatre – Los Angeles, CA
January 17 @ The Void – San Diego, CA
January 18 @ Cellar Door – Visalia, CA
January 21 @ Rickshaw Stop – San Francisco, CA w/Cloud Control

If you’re fan, check out their EP below:

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