Tales of a Blank Box: The Independent is a room on Divisadero Street with a bar on one side, a stage on the other, and a fair bit of empty space in between. The walls are mostly black, with a little wood trim here and there; the overhead lights, when they're on, glow red. Serious-looking black speakers dangle from the ceiling. You enter through a hallway hung with pretty photographs of people who have been here: Beck Hansen, Maya Arulpragasam, Jimmy Cliff.
The Independent is a club. It's a room where people pay to see music performed. But a good club, at least for those inclined to feel romantic about such things, is more than a place where artists entertain an audience. A good club is a community center. A second living room. A haven. Maybe sometimes even a temple... [continue reading]
Cibo Matto return: About 20 years ago, Cibo Matto came up with an approach to music that was not complicated but tapped a nerve that was begging to be tapped: The two mixed funky hip-hop beats with synths and lyrics about food. They wore bright, thrift-store clothes. They occasionally cursed or yelled. As "alternative" came to define the angsty, pieced-together, baggy-clothed avant-pop of the decade, Cibo Matto became one of the era's poster children. The hit song "Sugar Water" only cemented this reputation... [continue reading]
Sizzle and Fizzle: Highs and lows from the week in S.F. music.
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