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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

A Look Back at Percy Sledge's "When a Man Loves a Woman"

Posted By on Tue, Apr 14, 2015 at 1:36 PM

  • AP Photo/Julie Jacobson
Percy Sledge, the R&B and soul singer best known for singing "When a Man Loves a Woman," died of natural causes at 73, today. He was in a hospice facility in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. 

"When a Man Loves a Woman" was written by Andrew Wright and Calvin Lewis, although Sledge has long noted his contributions to the song in interviews with the press, believing he should have been given a co-writing credit. All that aside, the real power of the song, which has enabled it find its way into the hearts of fans around the world, has always been Sledge's powerhouse vocals.

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Saturday, March 28, 2015

Go Do This Thing: The Chop Tops' Last Ride Revs Into Slims Saturday

Posted By on Sat, Mar 28, 2015 at 9:01 AM

The Chop Tops have been tearing up local and international stages for two decades, taking traditional rockabilly, chucking out the owner’s manual, boosting the power, streamlining the chassis, and hot-rodding it into something that’s altogether new.

“Every member of this band grew up listening to punk rock,” says Chops Tops singer and drummer Gary "Sinner" Marsh, who sees punk not merely as a type of music but an overall attitude.

That attitude will be on full display at Slims Saturday, beginning at 9 p.m., when the The Chop Tops headline a bill that also includes The Hellbillys, Hayride to Hell, and the Badmen. It will be the last time local fans will get to see The Chop Tops play in the Bay Area, as the band has announced it will be calling it quits after one final night of debauchery in Vegas April 3.
“There’s no drama or anything getting in the way," Marsh says. "At the two-decade mark, we were very satisfied, we’ve done everything we can do, it’s been an awesome ride. We looked at 20 years of our work, we looked at all of our accomplishments, we looked at 30 U.S. tours, two Australian tours, six releases—we were asked to play Viva Las Vegas for an eighth time, and we decided to go out with a bang. It was perfect timing for us.”

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Monday, April 22, 2013

The Mallard Plays a Blistering Farewell Show at the Knockout, 4/18/13

Posted By on Mon, Apr 22, 2013 at 12:15 PM

The Mallard played its farewell show at the Knockout last week. Photos by Amelia Sechman.
  • The Mallard played its farewell show at the Knockout last week. Photos by Amelia Sechman.

The Mallard


Synthetic ID

Pure Bliss

The Knockout

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Better than: Savages' savagery at the Independent?

Thursday night at the Knockout, Mallard leader Greer McGettrick took stage and asked the sound engineer, "Can you make it sound like I'm in a cave?" He did, but the Mallard's final performance achieved that effect itself. The urgent and clamorous set drew heavily from the Mallard's forthcoming sophomore album, but the group is now broken up and won't perform to support its release. The Mallard retreated too deeply into its cave and expired. Deprived of light and indulging darkness with dissonance and cataclysm, the band's final show affirmed the Mallard's evolution into a savage live outfit that will be dearly missed.

See also:

* S.F. Rockers the Mallard Break-Up, Announce Second Album

* The Mallard Prepares for Takeoff

* Noise Pop: The Mallard Eschews Usual Songs, Covers Throbbing Gristle Instead, 2/28/13

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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

INXS Breaks Up, World Asks, "Wait -- INXS Was Still Going?"

Posted By on Wed, Nov 14, 2012 at 8:42 AM


As you may have heard, INXS broke up earlier this week, stunning music fans everywhere -- because music fans everywhere had no idea that INXS was still performing. In a statement announcing the "news," INXS went on to demonstrate their own inability to understand irony as a concept by saying things like: "We understand that this must come as a blow to everybody, but all things must eventually come to an end..."

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Friday, March 2, 2012

Why Do Artists' Sales Increase So Much After They Die?

Posted By on Fri, Mar 2, 2012 at 8:06 AM


This week, Whitney Houston became the first female artist to have three albums in the top 10 of the Billboard 200 album chart at one time. In the two and a half weeks following her death, Whitney sold 2.7 million songs and 668,000 albums -- a massive increase. There's no doubt that if she were still with us, Whitney would have always sold records. But like this? It's extremely doubtful. So what is it that compels people to rush out and buy the music of recently deceased artists? Why is there always a sudden spike in sales? 

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Friday, November 25, 2011

Distortion 2 Static's Top Five Celebrity Guests

Posted By on Fri, Nov 25, 2011 at 10:16 AM

During its 10-year run, the Distortion 2 Static hip-hop TV show graduated from profiling local upcoming artists to chatting it up with rap superstars. Started by Prince Aries, Ariel Nuñez and DJ Haylow, the show signed off on its broadcast run back in September; a farewell shindig will be going down at Mighty tonight. (Read this week's print feature about the show.) Before the big end, we snagged Prince Aries and DJ Haylow to reminisce about their favorite guests from Distortion 2 Static's vast interview vault.

Prince Paul
  • Prince Paul

5. Prince Paul

Prince Aries: "I actually get my name from Prince Paul -- that's why I called myself Prince Aries. I think we sat down for almost two hours; I was still new to interviewing and wasn't good at cutting it short, but I asked him [about] everything, from what equipment he used to Stetsasonic and De La Soul and Gravediggaz. He was a good sport about it and it felt like we were just kicking it. It was at the Hotel Triton in San Francisco.

"One thing that stood out from the interview was that I was asking him about the gear he was using to make beats. To me, coming up listening to Prince Paul, he's very innovative, so I thought he'd be kind of a techie and up on the new gear. But he wasn't! I think he said he had an MPC and a sequencing machine. But anything beyond that he didn't care or know anything about!"

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Monday, October 3, 2011

Saturday: Broken Social Scene Brings Out Issac Brock and Stars for an Epic "Final" Show at the Fillmore

Posted By on Mon, Oct 3, 2011 at 12:34 AM

Stars' Amy Millan and Broken Social Scene's Kevin Drew at the Fillmore Saturday night. - MATT SMITH
  • Matt Smith
  • Stars' Amy Millan and Broken Social Scene's Kevin Drew at the Fillmore Saturday night.

Broken Social Scene

Oct. 1, 2011

The Fillmore

Better than: All but a handful of other '00s-era indie rock bands.

It was billed as the last Broken Social Scene show for a long while -- maybe forever, as this populous Toronto rock collective plans to go on indefinite hiatus after a handful of live dates in South America. Whether it ends up being The Last North American Broken Social Scene Show or not, Saturday's nearly three-hour, sold-out performance at the Fillmore, following the band's afternoon set at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, had all the makings of a heroic rock band's grand exit.

There were famous guests, including Modest Mouse's Isaac Brock, and Amy Millan and Evan Cranley from the BSS-related indie-pop band Stars. There were many impeccable performances and a few unscripted bits of chaos, including a Brock-led version of Modest Mouse's "The Good Times Are Killing Me" that barely came together after three false starts. There was lots of emotional commentary, mostly from figurehead Kevin Drew. And there were a few good-natured jokes about whether this time Broken Social Scene would actually fulfill its long-threatened plan to go on hiatus.

Mostly, though, there were excellent songs -- 25 of them in the end -- played with the kind of desperate, heartfelt energy that happens when everyone believes this might be it.

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Monday, January 3, 2011

R.I.P. Billy Taylor, Bobby Farrell, and Agathe von Trapp, Musicians Who Died in the Last Days of 2010

Posted By on Mon, Jan 3, 2011 at 11:15 AM

Nothing gets you in the mood to start fresh in a new calendar year like a few last crappy things happening in the last one. Also, bad things come in threes. (Feel free to suggest any relevant truisms I've missed in the comments section.) Anyway, three more musical notables joined the ranks of Guru, Captain Beefheart, and Ronnie James Dio last week.

The biggest newsmaker is jazz pianist and prolific award-winner Billy Taylor, who died Dec. 28 at 89. Here he is explaining jazz improvisation on the television show The Subject Is Jazz, then giving a lovely example:

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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Coda Owner Bruce Hanson Says the Recession Killed His Mission Jazz Venue

Posted By on Thu, Dec 23, 2010 at 11:39 AM


Coda, the upscale Mission music venue and restaurant that's played host to the likes of Stevie Wonder, Liz Phair, and some of the city's best jazz musicians, will close its doors Dec. 31, a victim of the tough economic times.

Coda replaced Levende Lounge at 1710 Mission St., opening its doors on August 1, 2009. Owner Bruce Hanson says he knew when he opened that the recession would make it hard to succeed, but that he wasn't expecting the troubles to last this long.

"We knew it was going to be difficult," Hanson says. "No one knew that this was going to be the worst economic time since the 1930s. Had this been a normal recession, we would have come out of it."

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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Coda Jazz Supper Club to Close Jan. 1

Posted By on Tue, Dec 21, 2010 at 8:31 AM


It's official folks: Coda Jazz Supper Club at Mission and Duboce is closing for good on Jan. 1, 2011.

This sad news follows our report last week that the Triple Crown, a DJ-friendly bar at Market and Octavia, will also shut down operations after its New Year's Eve party.

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    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.'"