There are artists who are known for being shy and reclusive — for producing their best work while holed up in their room, or in a cabin in the woods, or on a solo bender.
And then there are those who feed off the energy of an audience. The magic of a live performance is in the interaction, right? In the knowing that, though you're just a face in a crowd at a venue like thousands of others across the country, the experience you're having with a musician live on stage is unique to that evening; whether it's a drum coming in a millisecond later than it did the previous night or banter that changes based on what the band drank backstage. Read more »
A couple of years ago, on a warm summer evening in the city of Blue Lake, California, I stopped by my friend’s house after work. A man with a curly mop of hair was sitting in the front yard with his toes in the grass, strumming an acoustic guitar.
This isn’t unusual in Blue Lake. The unincorporated town hides among the Humboldt County redwoods and always seems to attract a steady flow of tone-deaf vagabonds. But it turned out the man was not at all tone-deaf and only partially transient. It turned out the guy on my friend’s lawn was David Kilgour of the New Zealand indie rock band The Clean. Read more »
If you've ever walked out of a dance party wishing you could take the party home with you, Push The Feeling has a solution to your problem. For the last two years, Kevin Meenan and Drew Marcogliese have hosted dance parties at the Lower Haight's Underground SF nightclub under that name; they've hosted all manner of DJs, from local heroes like Giraffage to blogosphere faves like YACHT and Les Sins (aka Toro Y Moi).Read more »
“I think I’ve heard of them before,” is the kind of spineless response you’ll never hear if you ask someone about Fuck Buttons. If you’ve heard them, you’ll most definitely will remember. With music that elicits feelings of wonder and rebellion, intense live shows, and of course an, err -- catchy name, Benjamin John Power and Andrew Hung leave a lasting impression.Read more »
Upon first listen, Sylvan Esso kind of takes hold of you. Nick Sanborn’s melodic, layered, driving electronic beats pair perfectly with Amelia Meath’s blissful voice and artful lyrics. The way Sylvan Esso — the band’s self-titled debut album, which dropped May 13 — is wrapped together feels so intuitive, so ethereal, that it will likely bring you to your feet for an impromptu dance session.Read more »
For nearly four decades now, legendary British rockers The Damned have been haunting stages around the world with their brand of gothic-inspired punk.
Since storming onto the London punk scene in 1976, the band has evolved and survived multiple line-up changes over the years, with the group now led by founding members Dave Vanian and Captain Sensible, who are keeping the original spirit of The Damned alive and well.Read more »
The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger is out to topple everyone’s expectations. The two-piece band has rather public identities to overcome: Sean Lennon is the only child of John Lennon and Yoko Ono, and his girlfriend Charlotte Kemp Muhl is a world-class model who was the youngest covergirl on Britain’s Harper’s Bazaar.Read more »
Kitten Grenade takes the ukulele seriously. Katelyn Sullivan picked up the instrument when she was lonely and unhappy in Los Angeles, jonesing to be back in San Francisco. Now the instrument adds chiaroscuro to her self-titled debut EP released this January: the lilting chords contrast her brassy voice and its message of heartbreak.Read more »
Three decades after its initial release, New Order's Power, Corruption, & Lies (1982) might sound deceptively ordinary. From the early '90s successes of Happy Mondays and the Stone Roses, to more recent outfits like LCD Soundsystem and Cut Copy, it's easy to take for granted just how completely the Manchester band's hybrid of guitar rock and sequenced dance music has permeated the modern musical landscape. Yet, as bassist and co-songwriter Peter Hook would have you believe, that fateful LP was the moment that started it all.
"New Order [was] one of the first rock bands that used dance elements, and now everybody does it," Hook tells the Bay Guardian over the phone from a hotel room in Vancouver.
In continuation of a recent tour that featured song-for-song replications of both Unknown Pleasures (1979) and Closer (1980) by Hook's previous band, the equally revelatory post-punk outfit Joy Division, his current ensemble, Peter Hook & the Light, is set to grace the Mezzanine stage on Fri/27 with front-to-back covers of New Order's first two LPs, 1981's Movement, and of course, Power, Corruption, & Lies. Read more »
The band Negative Standards is essentially a crust art project.
While maintaining d-beat chords and sludge-like breakdowns, the Oakland-based group makes use of non-instrumental noise and videos created by the band’s bassist, Will, during shows.
And as a quartet that blends elements of crust, doom metal, and noise; Negative Standards sticks out like a sore thumb in the endless sea of fellow crusty brethren and fuzzy lo-fi that exists in the East Bay. Read more »