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Friday, April 15, 2016

All Your Favorite Artists Kicked It With Obama At The White House Today

Posted By on Fri, Apr 15, 2016 at 4:24 PM

I think it can be definitively stated that today was the most lit day the White House has ever seen. According to a barrage of Twitter and Instagram posts, it appears that many (if not all) of the biggest names in hip-hop hung out with Obama today to discuss My Brother's Keeper, an initiative to help build opportunities for young men of color. 

Peep the list below to see what rappers/singers were at the event and check out their social media posts proving it.

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Tuesday, April 12, 2016

This Is What Our Politicians Listen To

Posted By on Tue, Apr 12, 2016 at 1:25 PM


If you're interested in learning a bit more about your state Senator or House Rep, look no further than Spotify. On Monday, the streaming service released curated playlists from 20 politicians that give the public an idea of what the hell they listen to in their free time. (Spoiler alert: Senator Kirsten Gillibrand listens to Adele and Arcade Fire; Senator Cory Booker has a weakness for Tupac and Bone Thugs; and Representative Paul Ryan has a thang for Metallica and Rush.)

Check out the full list here and if you never listened to Obama's Summer Playlist, give it a listen here

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Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Hear Ye, Hear Ye: Joanna Newsom Will Be Performing in Oakland This Weekend

Posted By on Tue, Mar 22, 2016 at 1:02 PM

  • Annabel Mehran

If Joanna Newsom were a Jeopardy answer, the question might be: “Who is the most highly-regarded indie rock harpist in the world?”

Since the age of four, she’s been plucking strings, a talent she pairs with a memorizing voice on the four albums she’s released through the label Drag City. Newsom’s music is millennial baroque, a rich and graceful sound punctuated by hyper-intelligent lyrics. On Divers, her newest record, songs feature allusions to things like Ozymandias and the Lenape Native American tribe. These wide-ranging references ultimately serve as a clever prism through which she speaks about universal themes like love and mortality.

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Wednesday, February 24, 2016

S.F. Band Worth Taking Releases a Concept Album Based Off AA's 12 Step Program

Posted By on Wed, Feb 24, 2016 at 9:27 AM


On Friday, Feb. 12, the San Francisco pop-punk band Worth Taking released their sophomore album, Hangman. Each of the 12 songs on the “concept album” relates to one of the 12 Steps from Alcoholics Anonymous’ recovery program and references “an amalgam of stories” from friends and the band mates themselves, says frontman Jerod McBrayer.

Hangman is intended to be broad and inclusive in scope; relatable to anyone regardless of what they’re struggling with or trying to overcome. “I wanted the songs to be really true and to relay the real feelings that people go through,” he said, “and not just mine. I didn’t want to fabricate things that were beyond my understanding.”

McBrayer, who experienced clinical and situational depression after college, has attended several AA meetings throughout his life. “I’m fascinated by it,” he said. “These are steps that really help you recover and it applies to every substance, whether you’re addicted to alcohol, narcotics, sex, or negative thoughts.”

The band worked on the album for the majority of 2015 and McBrayer said they spent so much time on it because they wanted the album to be as genuine and authentic as possible. “I’m not turning this into a cool concept where I’ll be like next year, I’m going to write about the seven deadly sins,” he said. “I didn’t want this to come off as cheap because it’s so much more than that.”

Check out each song below and read McBrayer's descriptions on how the track relates to its specific recovery step.  1. "Honestly"
We admitted we were powerless over our addiction - that our lives had become unmanageable
This is song has the most literal title and is the easiest to get the core message.This is the step where you're admitting what's going on and being honest with yourself and everyone else about where you are. You're taking stock of how you're doing and taking a mental inventory.

2. "There's a Light"
Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
This step is kind of the flip side of the first step. And that's kind of a big thing on this record: reflecting and then looking forward. So this song is all about hope. You acknowledge everything, you're looking forward, and you're appreciative of the fact that you're taking a step at all. The chorus goes, "I know there's a light at the end of the tunnel," and that's what it is: the knowledge that you will get through it and that others have. You’re not alone.

3. "Counting on You"
Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
This one certainly varies depending on what kind of program you're looking at. But for me, it's almost a spiritual song because the third step is trust in God or in a higher power, depending on how you look at that. But it can be anything,  as long as you know that there's something above you and above all of us. So it’s kind of starting to define that hope. Step 2 gives you that hope. And this is like starting to define it.

4. "The Truth"
Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
In step 1, you’re in a fog. You have to be honest enough to start, but you're probably coming from a place of desperation. And I think step 4 is kind of recalibrating that. You’re saying, 'I’m being honest with myself and everyone else about the truth.' Because before, you were just being honest with what you think you know and this is sort of reassessing what you know about the situation that you're in.

5. "Say It Loud"
Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
The fifth step is the confessional step. It's about not just talking with your immediate circle about where you are, but it's being comfortable with acknowledging where you are and where you're going and starting to branch out and talk to more than just your little group. There’s that "getting it off your chest" aspect and getting rid of that burden. So it's a confession. Not Usher style. But it's a confession.

6. "Different Now"
Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
"Different Now" is the halfway point. You really need to mean it. If not, look back and review the last few steps. Six is all about this reflection moment. You're just this far away from the beginning as you are the end. So you take stock, but you also look forward. And they're not always different or mutually exclusive. You’re looking at the past and seeing what was you and sort of defining what will be you and what pieces you want to take forward and what you want to leave behind.

7. "I Can't Believe"
Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
This step is about humility and being grateful. Again, it goes back to you not being the only one that's dealing with this, but you're also not the only one that's dealing with you (whether that be your family or your sponsor or just a really good friend). It’s about being grateful that you've made it past a few steps, and you're just looking forward to going on with them.

8. "Make This Right" 
Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
This is sort of the seeking forgiveness idea. From the experiences I’ve had of talking with people about this step, it's a lot of self-forgiveness, as well. So you forgive yourself for hurting yourself and also seek forgiveness from others. So, it’s just this idea that you're going to make it right, which happens to be what the song is called, too.

9. "Let Me Try Again"
Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
This step is about following through on step 8. Eight is let me make this right and nine is the process of making this right. It’s about acknowledging the past and moving forward.

10. "I'm Wrong" 
Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
This one's about accountability. It’s probably the harshest song on the album and the harshest step because you really have to’s like you've built yourself up enough at this point to start being okay with beating yourself down a little more. This step is a little more critical. And it’s very difficult to do. I tried to mimic that with the feel of the song too. It’s one of the songs that kind of drags a bit because saying the big things are sometimes easier to admit than the little things.

11. "Sinking In"
Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
This step is about revelations. It's about looking back at what you've done in the previous steps and how that relates to your past and future. It's also about looking at where you are now and making peace with where you're at and asking yourself if you’re ready for that last step. It’s a preparation.

12. "This One's For You"
 Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
Twelve typically is the service step. So it’s when you start serving not only those who have helped you to this point, but you also pay it forward to others. It’s about those who helped you out emotionally and being strong enough to give back to them and help others. Those people that were strong for you, they can cry on your shoulder at this point.

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Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Here's Your Chance to See Pussy Riot Ham It Up at The Warfield on Wednesday Night

Posted By on Tue, Feb 9, 2016 at 11:06 AM

click image PUSSY RIOT, "CHAIKA"
  • Pussy Riot, "Chaika"

Most bands don't get assaulted by civilians, publicly beaten and maced by police, or imprisoned for protesting against Russian President Vladamir Putin. But then again, most bands aren't Pussy Riot.

On Wednesday night, the Russian feminist punk-rock group will head to The Warfield for a conversation with SF-based Russian-American writer and spoken word artist Zarina Zabrisky. No, this is not a show, it's a talk. But don't let that bum you out. These are fascinating, fearless women who (as evidenced above) do more than just make music. At the event, you'll get to hear their thoughts, insights, and opinions on basically everything, which is a rare opportunity indeed. 

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Thursday, December 3, 2015

Pandora Predicts 25 Artists Who Will Make it Big in 2016

Posted By on Thu, Dec 3, 2015 at 1:16 PM

  • Credit: Flickr/Sascha Kohlmann

Today, the streaming radio service that is Pandora (ie: one of the company's responsible for uprooting the music industry and generating higher rent prices in Oakland), has released a list of 25 "Artists to Watch" in 2016. It's unclear how exactly they came up with their selections (the press release merely says they were "selected through a combination of Pandora's music industry expertise and data insights"), but it's interesting to check it out, nonetheless.

They've chosen artists across a broad range of genres, including rap, country, pop, electronic, rock and R&B, and we agree with a few of them. For instance, 22-year-old crooner Bryson Tiller's Dec. 8 show at the Regency Ballroom has been sold out for weeks now, if that's any indication of his forthcoming success. Some of the artist they've listed have been around for a while (like Ty Dolla $ign), whereas others, (like Post Malone) are not only newbies, but are so far simply one-hit wonders. Keep an eye and an ear out for these artists in the next year because, at least according to Pandora, you'll be hearing a lot from them. 

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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Drake, Nicki Minaj and Adele Are Nominees For TIME's Person Of The Year Award

Posted By on Wed, Nov 25, 2015 at 1:55 PM


I love when polls are open to the public. You never fail to get some zany, cuckoo submissions — Deez Nuts, anyone? Even though Deez Nuts is (sadly) missing from this year's list of Person of the Year nominees (defined as a person or group that "for better or for worse...has done the most to influence the events of the year"), the candidates are still interesting, nonetheless.

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Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Billie Joe Armstrong Is Now an Actor or Something

Posted By on Wed, Feb 4, 2015 at 1:04 PM

  • Like Sunday, Like Rain
...emphasis on the "or something."

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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Study That Says Listening To Beyoncé Makes You Dumb Is Offensive, Dumb

Posted By on Wed, Oct 22, 2014 at 5:01 PM

Oh, hell no.
  • Oh, hell no.

We're sure software developer Virgil Griffith had nothing but the best intentions when he set out to determine if there were correlations between people's SAT scores and what kind of music they liked, but it's time to put this ongoing study — which is making the rounds again, as it has on and off for the past five years whenever Griffith releases a new chart and the Internet freaks out — to bed.

And no, that's not just our knee-jerk reaction to someone talking shit about our love of Beyoncé.

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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Here Is the Billboard That Proves the Rolling Stones Are Playing San Francisco This Year

Posted By on Tue, Apr 2, 2013 at 3:36 PM

The S.F. billboard
  • The S.F. billboard

So the Rolling Stones have been making a rather large, um, bang on Twitter all week about some big announcement coming tomorrow, April 3. Yes, it is almost certainly going to be U.S. tour dates for this spring -- a continuation of the band's 50th Anniversary shows of last year. And yes, it's almost certainly going to include San Francisco. Because if not, this electronic billboard at the west end of the Bay Bridge, and those ads on Muni stops around town would be, like, really dick.

See also: The Rolling Stones Announce Two Bay Area Concerts in May

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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.'"