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Friday, April 5, 2013

Ty Segall Has Inspired a New Guitar Pedal From Death By Audio

Posted By on Fri, Apr 5, 2013 at 11:33 AM

Ty Segall at Treasure Island - CHRISTOPHER VICTORIO
  • Christopher Victorio
  • Ty Segall at Treasure Island

You know you're a guitar hero when effects makers look to you for new effects pedal ideas. And while we've (all) known for a long time that former S.F. rocker Ty Segall* was a legit six-string slayer, yet another coronation was just announced: Brooklyn's Death By Audio is making a brand-new, limited-edition stompbox inspired by the guy.

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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Metallica and Vans Shoes? Five Better Product Ideas for the Metallica Marketing Machine

Posted By on Tue, Oct 2, 2012 at 10:33 AM

The upcoming Metallica Vans shoe.
  • The upcoming Metallica Vans shoe.

Well no, actually -- a Metallica-Vans partnership doesn't seem all that "inevitable" to us, despite this statement from both parties today chirping that "many a skate trick is landed with Vans shoes on the feet and a Metallica tune in one's head." Maybe that was true in, like, 1992. Maybe the Vans folks should look for a Lil B partnership today.

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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

In-Ear Monitors: A Post-Christmas Buyer's Guide to Making Your Music Sound Better

Posted By on Tue, Dec 27, 2011 at 5:00 AM

The Bowers & Wilkins C5 will  make your iPhone sound great.
  • The Bowers & Wilkins C5 will make your iPhone sound great.

It's after Christmas, and you're flush with gift certificates and $5 checks from Grandma. Still, you never received the present that hits all the right notes for on-the-go listening. No matter your post-holiday budget, it's possible to get more from less, and sometimes for less, thanks to innovations in in-ear monitors (IEMs), a highly portable, personal listening experience. Inserted directly in the ear canal, and secured by foam or silicone tips of varying sizes and shapes, IEMs go well beyond earbuds in providing noise isolation. Therefore, they offer a strikingly intimate listening experience.

Of course, finding gear that matches your tonal preference involves some familiarity with the equipment. Your choice of IEMs can emphasize, even grossly exaggerate, certain frequencies, so it's important to take into account what you like and what you listen to when selecting audio gear. Just like you look for certain personality traits in a significant other, you are going to find that every IEM connects on a different physical, mental and/or emotional level. Here's a small selection of IEMs that will make the commute, the gym, or the cubicle farm far less mind-numbing.

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Friday, December 16, 2011

Grateful Dead Videogame Comes with Rock 'n' Roll, Lacks Sex and Drugs

Posted By on Fri, Dec 16, 2011 at 2:26 PM

He wants YOU! to trip balls. Or at least we wish he did.
  • He wants YOU! to trip balls. Or at least we wish he did.

If wine, golf balls, snowboards, and a $400, 73-CD box set weren't enough to spend your nostalgia fund on, the folks behind the Grateful Dead's shrewd new merchandising campaign have come up with something else: A videogame.

It's called The Epic Tour, and, naturally, it involves traveling with other Deadheads on a psychedelic journey to the past -- or, more precisely, to some legendary Grateful Dead shows that happened a long-ass time ago.

Strangely, though, the game doesn't seem to include any of the stuff we thought was common during old Dead shows. There are no joint-rolling contests, coke-fueled sex parties, or even a competition to see who can score the most potent acid. And we were so looking forward to the part where you had to walk down Haight Street and decide which of the skeezy-looking hippies to score pot from!

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Thursday, September 8, 2011

Five Things to Know About the Grateful Dead's New Licensing Efforts

Posted By on Thu, Sep 8, 2011 at 11:26 AM

The 1960s Grateful Dead, inside their house at 710 Ashbury St., S.F.
  • The 1960s Grateful Dead, inside their house at 710 Ashbury St., S.F.

After years of keeping the band's considerable legacy on the down-low in terms of merchandise and licensing, the surviving members of the Grateful Dead are ramping things up. As the L.A. Times explains today, that doesn't mean you'll see Dead-emblazoned maxi pads or rolling papers -- and it doesn't mean you'll hear "Truckin'" in every goddamn car commercial ever.

What it does mean is that you'll see things like Grateful Dead snowboards and Grateful Dead wine, and hear its songs more in films. In a lengthy piece today, Times writer Melinda Newman goes behind the scenes to band members themselves and the guys at Rhino Records who manage the era-defining San Francisco group's commercial presence. There's a lot of good stuff in the story, but here are five things any Dead fan should take away from it:

1. Unlike Kiss -- which Newman says has licensed over 3,000 pieces of merchandise --there will never be a Grateful Dead casket. The band members will only allow items that, as member Mickey Hart says, "promote life." (Which means no sanitary napkins, either.)

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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Your Very Own Handpainted Hunx Doll, Only $79.95

Posted By on Tue, Aug 16, 2011 at 11:20 AM

They do not appear to be blow-up size, in case you were wondering.
  • They do not appear to be blow-up size, in case you were wondering.

In case the lascivious Twitter feed, saucy oldies rock records, hair salon/vintage boutique, and upcoming TV show weren't enough, now there's another way to get Bay Area gay-punk agitator Hunx (aka Seth Bogart of Hunx and His Punx) in your life:

Starting now, you can buy your very own Hunx doll.

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Friday, June 24, 2011

Train Releases a Signature Wine, Becomes Instantly More Irritating

Posted By on Fri, Jun 24, 2011 at 11:01 AM


Prepare to be hit by a tsunami of nausea as we inform you that Train -- probably the most insipid band from the Bay Area -- is bringing out a wine (called "Drops of Jupiter" -- after one of its biggest songs -- just to annoy us that little bit more), apparently aided by San Francisco Wine Co. This is hot on the heels of the band members launching a wine club last year (we're not joking). Obviously, after all of the whining Patrick Monahan did during the chorus of "Hey

Soul Sister" (still in our top ten worst tracks of all time), wine-ing must have seemed like the next logical step.

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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Bob Marley's New Beverage Wants to Mellow You Out

Posted By on Thu, Jun 16, 2011 at 5:15 PM

Get mellow?
  • Get mellow?

Everyday stresses got you slurping caffeine like a crazed fiend? Workaday lifestyle keep you so amped up that you can never relax? Do you just need a little something extra to mellow you out at the end of the day?

No, we haven't switched to writing ad copy. We're just expressing disbelief at a product that recently landed on our desk: Beverages from Marley's Mellow Mood, "a new line of 100 percent natural relaxation teas and sodas created with the family of Bob Marley." We've just sampled three of them, and we're so freaking mellow we can barely even bother writing this. But here are a few of our initial impressions:

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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Is There Something Ironic About Buying Vinyl Online?

Posted By on Wed, Jun 15, 2011 at 5:28 PM

We use our newest gadgets to buy some of our lowest-tech gear.
  • We use our newest gadgets to buy some of our lowest-tech gear.

A colleague today raised this question: Is it ironic, or weird, or even funny, to buy vinyl -- analog music -- online?

The issue was prompted by the news of Vinyl Dreams, a new online-only record store started by Michelangelo Battaglia (a former electronic/dance buyer for Amoeba Music in the Upper Haight) and Darren Davis, who used to own Tweekin' Records in the Lower Haight. The store will be online-only, and it will apparently only sell vinyl. Clearly it's not the first online record retailer -- but it may be the first online-only vinyl shop based in S.F.

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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

How To Buy a T-Shirt Without Angering the Merch Guy

Posted By on Wed, Jun 8, 2011 at 8:21 AM

Buying band merchandise is not a complicated matter. Nor is there any need for it to be a slow endeavor. But talk to merch people the world over and you'll hear the same thing repeatedly: Merch is a really nice job -- except for all the stupid idiots you have to deal with. Here's how to avoid being one of those annoying customers who transforms merch folk from happy-go-lucky cotton slingers to sullen and frowning road dogs who can barely hide their disdain for the world. (BTW: The journalist writing this is an ex-merch person, so you know we've done our research.)


Don't Insist on Trying Everything On.
You're not at the Gap, you're at a goddamn show. Hey, gamble a little. The very most you should be doing is asking for a shirt, holding it up against you, switching it a size up or down based on loose approximations that are decided in two seconds flat, paying, and getting the hell out of there. There are 25 people behind you and they don't care if the shirt in question is flattening your boobs or emphasizing your beer belly. They just want you to get out of the way so they can all go home.  

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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.'"