We went behind the scenes at Red Bull Music Academy's Bass Camp, a weekend workshop in S.F. for promising producers. Electronic music legends like François K and Morton Subotnick explained their work in public talks. The party vibe peaked with a Friday show at Public Works, where Carl Craig laid out a brilliant peak-time set. At 3 a.m., some producers were back at their hotel, hard at work on new music.
Two Gallants played a blazing set at the Independent for the club's 10-year anniversary. "We were both born and raised a few blocks from here," explained drummer Tyson Vogel. The group showed off some of new material it has been recording recently, which continues to match burning anguish with sharp, loud-quiet changes. But the sold-out crowd cheered loudest for older hits like "Steady Rollin'."
Lots of talk in the city these days about the musicians leaving, but sometimes they also come back. Tim Cohen, leader of esteemed locals the Fresh & Onlys and Magic Trick, moved to Arizona last year, but he's reportedly returned to the Bay Area. We're glad to have him back.
To honor what would've been Kurt Cobain's 47th birthday, his hometown of Aberdeen, Wash., erected a large statue of him. Only problem: It's completely hideous. The work shows the Nirvana leader crying — shedding one melodramatic tear — and is so ugly that Krist Novoselic once promised to demolish it. We hope he keeps his word.
Vanilla Ice hit rock bottom and appeared in a macaroni-and-cheese commercial, which reminds us: There have been some really, really icky musician-advertising pairings. Like Johnny Rotten shilling for butter, and David Bowie going all Lost in Translation for a Japanese sake maker. And was Devo being ironic when the group did a Honda scooter ad? We can only hope so.
How not to play parties, from local DJ Cams: "A lot of newer DJs today though forget that years ago it was up to the DJ to break records in the club and expose people to new sounds. Anyone can play what's currently on the iTunes top list, but what really sets a good DJ apart is being creative and giving the crowd what it wants to hear, but in a way it hasn't necessarily heard before."