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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Gongs, Boopers, and Disintegrating Loops: The S.F. Electronic Music Festival Will Challenge Your Assumptions About "Electronic Music"

Posted By on Wed, Sep 5, 2012 at 3:30 AM

Negativwobbyland with their Boopers.
  • Negativwobbyland with their Boopers.

Just what is electronic music, anyway? That phrase typically connotes electronic dance music, your techno/electro/electronica, untz-untz-untz and all that. The mostly annual LovEvolution festival calls itself a celebration of "electronic music culture," and we here at All Shook Down described the not-actually-in-the-city I Love This City Festival as featuring "electronic artists." That's all completely valid, and we love it, but that's not all there is to the fire of electronic music, either.

Ever since 2000, the annual San Francisco Electronic Music Festival has offered a different kind of electronic music experience, one which is simultaneously more straightforward and more abstract than the other events, with a primary focus on "independent artists whose innovative aesthetics challenge academic and commercial standards." This isn't the electronic music of DJ Tiesto at Shoreline, but instead harkens back to a more basic form, to John Cale testing the sonic limits of the Vox Continental organ in a chilly New York apartment in the 1960s.

So, where the other festivals are electronic dance music, the San Francisco Electronic Music Festival is electronic experimental music, what the founders call "sound art." As an added bonus, you get to sit down, and the restrooms are clean and easily accessible.

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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Roach Gigz's Five Essential San Francisco Spots: Music, Crab, and Baseball

Posted By on Tue, Sep 4, 2012 at 8:57 AM

Roach Gigz releases his debut album today.
  • Roach Gigz releases his debut album today.

Roach Gigz releases his debut studio album today. Titled Bugged Out, the rapper is banking on the project to build on the buzz his mixtapes have cultivated and jolt his career up another notch. So with Gigz being at the forefront of San Francisco's fresh new generation of rap talent, we got him to run through his five essential hometown spots. He obliged -- and came through with a selection heavy on food and music. Gigz performs with Main Attrakionz, A-1, and Baby E this Friday, Sept. 7, at Slims.

Amoeba Music

Man, I was addicted to music. I used to be in Amoeba for hours. All the way in the back, when the hip-hop section used to be in the right corner, you could catch me going through every single clearance CD they had. I used to come up on all the good shit. I have this one memory from back in the day when Eminem first came out with the Slim Shady LP. My mom dropped me off in front to go run in and buy the CD, but the teller who was helping me, she was like some older woman [who] played me out crucially: She walked me outside to the car and convinced my mom not to let me buy it because it was too explicit and that bullshit. Every time I'm on Haight street I always stop by Amoeba.

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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

King Khan Would Like To Give You a Tarot Reading Before His S.F. Concert

Posted By on Tue, Aug 28, 2012 at 11:11 AM

This man will tell you the future.
  • This man will tell you the future.

King Khan, everyone's favorite body-fluid-obsessed, Berlin-based psych-soul misfit, is not content merely to come to play a show in San Francisco. Even when that show may involve antics that would cause all your mothers to weep. So before King Khan and the Shrines bring their hot-sauce-slingin', party-starting musical chaos to Great American Music Hall on Sept. 4, Khan is holding a contest for fans, the winner of which will get to have his Tarot cards read by the King himself.

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Friday, August 24, 2012

The Video Game-Inspired Music of S.F.'s J-Pop Summit: A Chiptune Off the Old Block

Posted By on Fri, Aug 24, 2012 at 3:30 AM

The Glowing Stars
  • The Glowing Stars

If you play games, you've probably built some strong associations around the music of games. Maybe you recognize a passing Pandora jam from the latest Madden. Maybe you catch yourself humming the Super Mario Bros. theme at your desk at work -- hell, you at least know the tune. Even that goddamn Angry Birds song grows on you. Gaming music has exerted an especially powerful pull on gamer geeks, tech-heads, and mainstream artists alike, but the etymology of its influence isn't always obvious.

As part of its "Cyberpop Overload!" theme, S.F.'s fourth annual J-Pop Summit Festival has dotted its musical lineup with such "video game inspired artists and DJs" -- a broad claim that speaks as much to the evolution of gamer culture as it does to its music.

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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Top 10 Reasons Bay Area Indie Bands Move to Brooklyn

Posted By on Tue, Aug 21, 2012 at 10:42 AM

Trade the Bay Area for this?
  • Trade the Bay Area for this?

Bay Area bands move to Brooklyn. It's just a thing that happens. You've got your Morning Benders (ahem, POP ETCs), your Royal Baths, and now S.F. gloom-gaze outfit Weekend trading Oakland (formerly S.F.) for the hallowed grounds of Williamsburg or Bushwick or Greenpoint or wherever. But why? Why do they leave the lovely Bay Area for the nation's alleged cultural capital? Why trade the stench of bum shit on S.F. sidewalks for the reek of bum piss in the subway tunnels of NYC? More to the point: Why do they leave the land of holy burritos? Good question. Here are the top 10 reasons Bay Area indie bands move to Brooklyn.

10. They just read that USA Today article about how Brooklyn is "hip" now.

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Friday, August 17, 2012

Ty Segall Will Be Jamming With Little Kids at Indie Mart This Weekend

Posted By on Fri, Aug 17, 2012 at 4:30 AM

  • Segall

Along with the many reasons to go to Indie Mart this Sunday, there's this: S.F. garage-rocker of note Ty Segall will be jamming out onstage with kids from the San Francisco Rock Project, a nonprofit offering music education to local kids ages 7 to 18. If this sounds like it might be the cutest thing ever, let us assure you: It will be. Segall is already kind of like a little kid who plays with fuzz pedals and tours around the country and puts out excellent albums. Seeing him play live with kids will likely be to normal notions of cute what Segall's guitar sound is to normal notions of distorted. We'll just put in a request now for a rousing rendition of "Louie Louie."

The Segall/kid jam is only one entry on a long roster of musical performances at the Indie Mart's five-year celebration this Sunday. Also on the bill is Bobb Saggeth (just guess which legendary heavy metal band they're in tribute to), Hooves, Disappearing People, and Meat Market. And that's just the music, of course. Given that this is Indie Mart, there will also be food trucks, beer, and more than 110 local vendors selling crafts, pottery, clothing, furniture, art, books, bags, and probably other things.

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Friday, August 3, 2012

Probably Fake John Lennon Sidewalk Signature Persists on San Francisco Corner

Posted By on Fri, Aug 3, 2012 at 10:55 AM

The folks over at Uptown Almanac point our attention to a sidewalk square that was possibly -- but likely not -- signed by John Lennon. For some reason, the city seems to be going to great lengths to protect the square of sidewalk in question, at least if the picture above is any indication.

Unfortunately, this square at Fell and Stanyan almost certainly does not possess John Lennon's actual signature, because -- as various commenters have pointed out -- Lennon could not have been in San Francisco on either Dec. 5, 1969 or May 12, 1969, the two dates that could be indicated by the sidewalk.

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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Martuni's: The Last S.F. Piano Bar in a Karaoke World

Posted By on Thu, Jul 26, 2012 at 10:25 AM

Those not singing "We are Family" along with pianist Joe Wicht risk the revocation of their "gay cards." - J.P. DOBRIN
  • J.P. Dobrin
  • Those not singing "We are Family" along with pianist Joe Wicht risk the revocation of their "gay cards."

If you've ever been inside Martuni's, that dark-walled bar on the corner of Valencia and Market, you know it's a special place: As SF Weekly staff writer Joe Eskenazi describes in this week's cover story, Martuni's is a piano bar thriving in a karaoke world. It's the last remaining example of what used to be dozens of similar joints around the city, where professional accompanists would back novice-to-pro singers in renditions of classics from Broadway or the Great American Songbook.

Its competition has withered away, but Martuni's remains, even in a world where younger crowds favor the mechanized renditions offered by karaoke lounges. Though both ostensibly involve singing in public and drinking, what happens at a piano bar is very different from karaoke, Eskenazi writes:

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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Should the Eagle Tavern Become a Historic Landmark?

Posted By on Tue, Jul 24, 2012 at 2:31 PM

Thee Oh Sees performing at the Eagle Tavern.
  • Thee Oh Sees performing at the Eagle Tavern.

It is with much love that we remember the Eagle Tavern, a gay bar, live venue, and S.F. landmark that sadly closed last year. Now, members of the Harvey Milk Club are circulating a petition to make the Eagle a historical landmark, in order to keep it from falling into the hands of a group of non-queer business folk. From the club's recent letter:

It has recently come to our attention that a non-LGBT group of entrepreneurs has entered into a purchase agreement for the former Eagle Tavern. This comes as a shock to many in the LGBT community as there was no outreach done or notice given about this historical community space despite the fact that many LGBT San Franciscans had expressed much interest in the building's future. Furthermore our community had previously heard that there were queer entrepreneurs in negotiation to take over this space; buyers who intended to return it to a place that would continue to serve as a center to those who previously patronized the Eagle and enjoyed it as a LGBT-friendly space.

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Friday, July 20, 2012

SFJAZZ Center: Five Things We Learned on a Tour of the Construction Site

Posted By on Fri, Jul 20, 2012 at 11:30 AM

The main performance room of the SFJAZZ center, now about 55 percent completed.
  • The main performance room of the SFJAZZ center, now about 55 percent completed.

In case you haven't heard, SFJAZZ -- the nonprofit group that presents a world-class jazz festival in San Francisco every year -- is building a brand-new home in Hayes Valley. Comparable only to Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York, the SFJAZZ Center will be a 39,000-square-foot, $55 million performance venue, community space, educational facility, and neighborhood hangout -- and the only facility of its kind on the West Coast. Now under construction on Franklin Street, near Davies Symphony Hall and the War Memorial Opera House, the SFJAZZ center will add to the already considerable lure of the surrounding arts district.

On a recent tour of the center's construction site with the folks in charge at SFJAZZ and the building's architect, Mark Cavagnero, we learned lots of interesting details about the project. Here are five of them:

1. Expect it to open on time, on Martin Luther King, Jr., Day (Jan. 21) 2013 with a big party.

Randall Kline, Executive Director of SFJAZZ, says there will be a two-week celebration of the building's opening with performers that will immediately make this brand-new stage a hallowed one, plus a focus during the second week on Bay Area artists. He wouldn't give up any names just yet, but a look at the caliber of artists SFJAZZ regularly books should give you some idea.

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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.'"