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Friday, February 26, 2016

The Soft White Sixties Talk New Album and Why They Ditched S.F. For L.A.

Posted By on Fri, Feb 26, 2016 at 9:30 AM


While The Soft White Sixties recently joined the onslaught of Bay Area artists that have relocated to L.A., don’t expect them to use rising housing costs or the dying arts scene as reasons for their move. Instead, they describe their emigration as an inevitable transition made possible by extremely good timing. After meeting in San Francisco nearly five years ago, all four band members found themselves ready and able to move to a new city at the start of 2016.

“It happened so easily that I almost don’t acknowledge what an accomplishment it really is and how everyone’s live lined up so well,” says lead singer Octavio Genera. “Because we moved here together it doesn’t feel like a completely new place. It’s like moving somewhere with your family.”

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Tuesday, February 16, 2016

R&B Trio KING Talk About Their Influences and What They've Learned About The Music Industry Thus Far

Posted By on Tue, Feb 16, 2016 at 1:00 PM


Prince has a thang for plucking singers out of obscurity and molding them into mainstream hits. The ‘80s heartthrob learned of the Los Angeles trio KING after they posted their debut single, “The Story,” on YouTube in 2011. A few months later, the shimmery, dream-pop-infused R&B group opened for Prince during his 20-night residency at The Forum and he’s still their mentor, adviser, and financial backer to this day.

KING, which consists of twin sisters Amber and Paris Strother and Anita Bias, formed in 2011 when the Strother sisters both moved from Minneapolis to Los Angeles and then linked up with their friend Bias. Both Bias and Amber sing and Paris handles the production. In addition to working with Prince, the group has achieved a number of career successes in the five short years that they've been making music. They've released an EP (The Story) and a full album (We Are King), and have done songs with Avicci and Robert Glasper, as well as received Tweet shoutouts from Erykah Badu and Questlove. 

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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Classical Meets Metal With West Oakland's La Fin Absolute Du Monde

Posted By on Tue, Jan 26, 2016 at 12:00 PM

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Ask West Oakland duo La Fin Absolute Du Monde what the best setting to enjoy their music is and Jason Myles won’t hesitate with his response. “Standing at the edge of a cliff overlooking the ocean,” he offers. “Watching a giant wave engulf the land. Sometimes, there's beauty in that destruction.”

Myles,the guitarist, bassist and drum programmer, and his collaborator Cyndy “Chicky” Melanio, know all about finding inspiration in the darkest of situations – and their genre-defying musical creations reflect that. Using Myles’ hard-rock background and Melanio’s training in classical piano, along with the couple’s mutual love of British trip-hop (think Portishead and Massive Attack), La Fin Absolute Du Monde excel at making sounds that they describe as “neo-noir.”

If that’s a genre you’ve never heard of: good. LFADM thrive on not fitting in.

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Tuesday, January 19, 2016

For Those Who Like Noisey Thrash-Rock, CCR Headcleaner is Your Band

Posted By on Tue, Jan 19, 2016 at 10:00 AM


Tonight, Bay Area noise-punk/mutant-psych band, CCR Headclearner, is playing at the Fillmore. The quartet, who was deemed by Noisey as having "the stupidest name in rock and roll," is made up of Alex Cargile, Ned Meiners, Justin Flowers, and Mark Treise. (And, for what it's worth, the band name is actually "an antiquated drug reference," says Cargile.)

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Wednesday, December 23, 2015

S.F. Psych-Rock Band Heron Oblivion Signs to Indie Label, Sub Pop Records

Posted By on Wed, Dec 23, 2015 at 9:00 AM

  • Alissa Anderson

San-Francisco psych-rock quartet, Heron Oblivion, have played virtually no live shows. They haven’t recorded a full-length album either. And yet, in October, they were offered a record deal from the Seattle-based independent record label, Sub Pop Records. The secret? They’re all experienced musicians, hailing from a litany of well-known bands, including Espers, Comets on Fire, Howlin’ Rain, Six Organs of Admittance, and Assemble Head in Sunburst Sound, to name a few.

When I chatted with members Charlie Saufley and Noel Von Harmonson via phone to discuss their accidental success as a signed independent band, the conversation flowed naturally and was rather humorous. We talked about what it’s like to be an artist in the current San Francisco climate and how Heron Oblivion has pretty much zero influences outside of the band’s innate musical chemistry. The pre-interview banter started out with the perfect ice breaker: The gross intricacies of the common cold. Even though I was talking to the bandmates from 3,000 miles away, we seemed to have acquired the same symptoms of a winter cold. Who knew illnesses could be ice-breakers?

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Friday, December 4, 2015

We Asked Icelandic Duo, Kiasmos, a Bunch of Random Questions Because, Well, Why Not?

Posted By on Fri, Dec 4, 2015 at 3:00 PM

Icelandic techno duo, Kiasmos, consisting of Ólafur Arnalds and Janus Rasmussen. - CREDIT:HEDINN EIRIKSSON
  • Credit:Hedinn Eiriksson
  • Icelandic techno duo, Kiasmos, consisting of Ólafur Arnalds and Janus Rasmussen.

On December 9, experimental techno duo, Kiasmos, will be playing at Mezzanine, so we figured we'd talk to them beforehand and ask them a number of super random, out-of-the-blue questions because we could. Given how bizarre and funky their music is (check out their self-titled debut album from 2014 for reference), we figured a bizarre and funky interview would be apropos. Fortunately, the Icelandic duo didn't think we were entirely crazy for doing this (or at least they didn't tell us if they did) and obligingly answered our queries. For good measure, we started off with a few normal questions, but scroll down to the bottom if you want more of the weird. 

All Shook Down: I know you guys are from Iceland, but where do you live now? 
Ólafur Arnalds: Well actually, Janus is from Farao Islands. But we live in Iceland.
Janus Rasmussen: Reykjavík baby, ice cool capital of the world.

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Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Live Review: Hot Flash Heat Wave Prove That It's Better When You Work With Friends

Posted By on Wed, Dec 2, 2015 at 12:50 PM

Hot Flash Heat Wave - CREDIT: LUKE LASLEY
  • Credit: Luke Lasley
  • Hot Flash Heat Wave

As people slowly flooded into the Chapel last night around 9 p.m. to see Hot Flash Heat Wave’s set, it was clear that the band, through their gnarly sense of humor and charming stage presence, held the audience’s attention in the palm of their hand.

Opening for PAPA, the local Excelsior-based garage-surf rock band burst through the gate with a rollicking rendition of “Homecoming,” clearly the most furious track from the quartet’s debut record Neapolitan. The track bridges the gap between the group’s lo-fi 2014 self-titled EP and September’s Neapolitan, which features much cleaner production and more three-part harmonies. According to guitarist and vocalist Adam Abildgaard, for their debut album, the band decided to stop “figuring out how to produce it, but how to just simplify the sound to take it to the next level.”

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Premiere: Lust for So-Cal With Teens In Trouble's Debut Single, "Santa Monica"

Posted By on Wed, Dec 2, 2015 at 7:00 AM

Lizzie Cuevas of Teens In Trouble - CREDIT: RIKI FELDMANN
  • Credit: Riki Feldmann
  • Lizzie Cuevas of Teens In Trouble

When you type "Teens in Trouble" into Google, make sure you also write "band;" otherwise, you'll get a lot of Dr. Phil and WebMD search results about how to deal with troubled teens. As the name suggests, Teens In Trouble has a sense of humor. Their debut single, "Santa Monica," is a wistful, albeit hyperbolically upbeat ode to the West Los Angeles city by the sea where Lizzie Cuevas, the band's founder, lead singer, guitarist, and songwriter, lived for one year of her life. 

"The weather is gorgeous there all the time and it was nice to be like, 'Hey, let's go ride the Ferris Wheel for no other reason than we can," says Cuevas, who is originally from San Francisco. "I actually didn't appreciate Santa Monica until I moved out."

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Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Premiere: Social Work Wants You to Dance Funny to Their Debut Single, "Funny Dancers"

Posted By on Tue, Dec 1, 2015 at 7:02 AM

  • Credit: Social Work

Funny dancers rejoice because we've got a song for you. "Funny Dancers" is the debut single from Oakland band, Social Work, and it's the kind of jam that'll get even the most staunch non-dancers out of their chairs and onto their feet. It's an experimental pop jam, replete with brass and drums, as well as dreamy, bleary vocals from singer Madeline Kenney and producer, Will Butler.

"Funny Dancers" is derived from a chopped-and-screwed track of the same name by fellow Oakland band Brass Magic. After a heavy dose of editing and a sprinkling of additions, Butler, who is the frontman and founder of Social Work, churned out this wholly original gem (but decided to keep the original song title for kicks). The only glimmer of the original song, he said, is the brass, which is why he suggests calling the track a "rebrass," rather than a "remix."

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Thursday, October 29, 2015

No Vacation Is the College Band SF Has Been Waiting For

Posted By on Thu, Oct 29, 2015 at 2:53 PM

  • Anthony Ragone

San Francisco’s college music culture can be difficult to track down. SF State or USF's word-of-mouth house parties aren't exactly on my radar, so it's hard at times — as a non-student — to get excited about (or see) a college buzz band.

Enter No Vacation. A bedroom pop duo of 19 year olds Basil Saleh and Sabrina Mai, who not only are a college band, but whose music evokes the feeling of waking up in your old college dorm room on a lazy Saturday morning without a care in the world.

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  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"