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Friday, April 1, 2016

New New: Berner and ANTWON Drop Fresh Releases Today

Posted By on Fri, Apr 1, 2016 at 12:46 PM

ANTWON
  • ANTWON
Grab your headphones because we've got some new music for you. 

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Friday, March 18, 2016

For Some Surf-Rock With a Country Twang, Check Out Surf Bored's Debut Album, The Rehearsal

Posted By on Fri, Mar 18, 2016 at 9:15 AM

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If you hear a Southern twang in any of the tracks on S.F. band Surf Bored's debut album, The Rehearsal (which was released today), don't worry: you're not crazy. The lead singer of the quintet, T.J. Mimbs, hails from Athens, Georgia, which is actually where the inception of the band began. Mimbs, who had been part of the indie-pop band The District Attorneys, started writing songs in 2013 "that weren't in the same genre." He decided to start a new project as an outlet for this new sound and shortly thereafter moved to San Francisco. 

But before Mimbs relocated, he befriended the San Francisco band Tumbleweed Wanderers while they were on tour in Athens. Mimbs said they started hanging out, even spending time at SXSW together, and by the time he moved to the Bay, he was "already really close to them." 

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Monday, March 14, 2016

Oakland Rapper Kamaiyah Proves That She's Got More to Offer Than Just "How Does It Feel"

Posted By on Mon, Mar 14, 2016 at 1:13 PM

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Kamaiyah, the 21-year-old Oakland rapper behind 2015's fiscally-focused banger, "How Does It Feel," dropped her debut mixtape A Good Night in the Ghetto today. The 16-track project features ratchet rapper YG and Oakland R&B singer Netta Brielle and is heavily produced by local Bay Area producers, such as P-Lo, 1-O.A.K., and Drew Banga. The songs range from slow, piano-laced ballads, like in "Break You Down," to buzzy, synth-heavy party anthems, like "Fuck It Up."

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Thursday, March 10, 2016

Check out Oakland Band Rogue Wave's New Single, "California Bride"

Posted By on Thu, Mar 10, 2016 at 1:20 PM

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It's been three years since the Oakland indie-rock band Rogue Wave released their album. Recently, the band announced that they'd be dropping their sixth album, Delusions of Grand Fur, on April 29, and today they've graced us with the second single from the record, "California Bride."

"California Bride," as well as the other tracks on the upcoming album, were written and recorded in the band's private studio in Oakland. Instead of recording demos, Zack Rogue and his longtime bandmate Pat Spurgeon, merely recorded the songs in one fell swoop, sans the help of a producer or engineer. The result is an honest and fresh album that sees the band having more freedom and space to experiment than ever before. 

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Friday, February 19, 2016

Bay Bangers: Seven New Songs From Bay Area Artists

Posted By on Fri, Feb 19, 2016 at 3:10 PM

Elsa y Elmar
  • Elsa y Elmar

This week, we were blessed with an onslaught of new music from Bay Area acts that run the gamut from rap and R&B to experimental pop and indie rock. Check out the ditties below for an eclectic taste of what the Bay Area music scene has to offer. 

1. "I'll Keep Loving You" — Sage the Gemini
For someone who typically makes booty bouncing, club bangers, "I'll Keep Loving You" is a big variation from the norm. The love song is still club-appropriate, mixing equal amounts of pop with rap, and rumor has it it's about Sage's ex, Jordan Sparks. In a recent (now deleted) Instagram post, Sage wrote that he "missed [her] too much" and lamented the fact that he's "not able to call [her] and express how much [he] appreciated the look [she wore at the Clive Davis party] because [she] won't answer nor text back." How said. Hopefully, if Sparks didn't see the Instagram post, she'll at least hear this song. 

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Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Premiere: Like Eclectic, Melodic Rap? Then Stream Azure's Latest Album Leap Year

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

Azure knows how to make bangers AND keep his sound fresh. - FARID XAN
  • Farid Xan
  • Azure knows how to make bangers AND keep his sound fresh.


East Bay rapper, Azure (pronounced "azur-ay"),has bestowed us with a gift today: His latest album, Leap Year. The 12-track project, which is Azure's fourth, is a heady mix of old-school samples and thumping 808's, laced with the 27-year-old's quotidian raps about life, the universe, and everything. There's a strong jazz and soul element to Leap Year that pairs well with Azure's conversational flow and uniquely sharp, crisp voice. 

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Wednesday, December 2, 2015

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
  • 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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Monday, November 30, 2015

Premiere: Plunge Into Al Lover's Trippy New Beat Album Zodiak Versions

Posted By on Mon, Nov 30, 2015 at 7:01 AM

Alex Gundlach, aka Al Lover. - CREDIT: JULIA DEANDA
  • Credit: Julia DeAnda
  • Alex Gundlach, aka Al Lover.


For the last six years, Al Lover has lived in the Inner Richmond, working days at Rooky Ricardo's Records in Lower Haight and dropping psychedelic, lyric-less albums in his free time. But that happy paradigm is soon to be broken. A week from now, Lover, whose real name is Alex Gundlach, will become the latest beatmaker to leave Fog City for other horizons (in his case, Austin, Texas).

"There's an artist/musician mass exodus [from San Francisco] right now," said Lover, who produces all of his albums from his home studio. "I love this town, but I don't feel like it moves me like it once did. I'm not bitter, just anxious for something fresh."

To commemorate his departure, Lover will be DJ-ing one last show at Underground SF on Dec. 5. He's also released his latest project, a 12-track beat tape called Zodiak Versions (premiered below) that is heavily influenced by German Krautrock from the '70s and Jamaican dub reggae. Like his other works, the album lacks vocals and is entirely instrumental. It's heady and atmospheric, with a lot of synths and percussion, repetition and distortion. The tracks range widely, with some songs sounding like a post-apocalyptic train station during rush hour ("Kling Klang Soundclash") and others, like "Studio Einer Dub," that sound more like the climax of an opulent, cocktail party aboard a yacht on the Mediterranean. 

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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

E-40's Latest EP, Poverty And Prosperity, Ranked From Best to Worst Song

Posted By on Tue, Nov 24, 2015 at 5:30 PM

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If you checked Twitter last Friday morning, you might have noticed that E-40 dropped a new EP. (Seriously, the Twitterverse was going insane over this new drop from Big Earl.) Somehow, whilst making appearances on other artists' albums (like G-Eazy's When It's Dark Out and Ty-Dolla Sign's Free TC), working on his upcoming albums, Sharp On All 4 Corners Volume 3 and 4, and gearing up for the December release of his line of malt liquor, E-40 found time to churn out Poverty and Prosperity, which is no small feat.

In an Instagram post,  40 Water even admitted that he's been really busy of late, but added that "the Good Lord tapped [him] on the shoulder and gave [him] an assignment." That assignment, which came in the form of Friday's seven-track release, was to "speak to the people," he wrote, and "tell it like it is and call it how you see it."

Unlike his last EP, October's Choices (Yup) remix tape, Poverty and Prosperity features all new, original work from the rapper, most of it about his childhood and growing up on the 1300 block of Vallejo's Magazine Street. Granted, since he started his career back in 1986, he's dropped 22 studio albums and too many singles and mixtapes to count, so this EP is just another drop in the bucket for him. But for 40 fans, it's a big deal. It's been one year since his last album and this summer's catchy, hypnotic anthem, "Choices (Yup)," only made fans hungrier. 

Because of the turnover here (if you don't know what I'm talking about, check out this post), All Shook Down is only now getting a chance to review this project. But better late than never, right? Below, we've ranked the songs from best to worst, so check it out and let us know what you think in the comments. 

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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.'"