James Blake and Chance the Rapper – “Life Round Here” [Official Video]

10/14/2013

The official video for Blake and Chance’s remix to Blake’s “Overgrown” entitled “Round Here” was released today. The video, shot entirely in black and white, tracks Blake and Chance as they cruise in a lowrider through an eerie forest inhabited by stallions and Somalian pirates. The video was directed by Nabil, noted for his work with Justin Timberlake, Frank Ocean, Britney Spears and even Blake’s “Overgrown.”

 

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Fiona Apple and Blake Mills “Anything We Want” Tour at Zellerbach Hall

10/10/2013

It’s 1996–I’m twelve–slipping poems through the slits of my crush’s locker. She returns the favor. This continues until I finally work up the courage to tell her I like her and she tells me we’re friends. I am crushed.

If the formative years of puberty aren’t trying enough, certainly rejection is the just ingredient for a cake of self-misery. From Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet to Sneaker Pimp’s “6 Underground,” ’96 was shadowed by heartache for me. Tidal couldn’t have come at better time. The then-17-years-old Fiona Apple’s dark and sultry collection of songs became the soundtrack to my wallowing sadness.

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Anything Short of Boring – “Frahm-tastic”

10/02/2013

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Seeing a contemporary composer will not lull you to sleep. Not if said composer is Nils Frahm. The 31-year-old pianist provided nothing less than a stunning performance at the Regency Ballroom this past Sunday night. Peaking through the darkness, Frahm displayed a mastery of composition that felt unworldly. Even the untrained ear could hear his careful building of dynamics, melodic swaying of tones, and confident control of tempo.

The stage’s arrangement suggested what was important: the music. With his back towards the audience, Frahm’s only visible showmanship happened as he switched between a grand piano and Rhodes, sometimes having either arm outstretched as he played both. Not until the end of his set did he acknowledge the crowd, arising from his bench, turning to face the onlookers and placing his hands together, before taking a bow.

Opening for Ólafur Arnalds and Hauschka, Frahm is currently on tour in support of his upcoming album Spaces (scheduled to be release November 19th on Erased Tapes).

That One Time Someone Brought a Piano Up to Bernal Heights

09/24/2013

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Hello, my name is Darryl. I’m a frequent contributor here on SF Critic.

Anyhow, I made a short film about the piano that magically appeared on top of Bernal Hill a few months ago. I first stumbled upon this gem one night while out taking some photos around the city. There were just a handful of people there – including a younger kid playing hits like “Moondance” and “Benny and the Jets.”

That night, I couldn’t stop thinking about how inspiring and generous of a gift the piano was for the city, and for anyone who might happen to stumble upon it. The next day I decided to go back with my friend Mark, who is also a cinematographer. We had no idea what we were getting ourselves into, but the experience was amazing.

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Morning Coffee Playlist ft. Woman’s Hour, Empress Of, Ta-Ku, Banks and More

09/15/2013

Sunday mornings should move slowly. Soothing cups of coffee match perfectly with warm pajamas. And in this vein, the music we listen to should coddle this Sunday ease, gently guiding us through our routines, and maybe–help you get dressed.

From up and comer Clare Maguire’s sultry voice (reminiscent of Lana Del Ray), to the hollow bass thud of Ta-ku’s “Miss You,” this morning mix is a cool blend of downtempo, trip hop with movements into indie rock tracks and dusty folk rock with tracks by Empress Of and Shakey Graves.

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