Daniel Alvarez

Mood music

Baths brings Houses along on his 'Obsidian' victory lap

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Don't hold your breath

Johnny Marr sidesteps Smiths reunion rumors with solo debut, 'The Messenger'

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arts@sfbg.com

MUSIC Every passing year, the clamor gets louder; the rumors get more outlandish. An all-vegetarian Coachella. Fifty million dollars for five shows. Sixty-seven copies of the movie version of Moby Dick and a football helmet full of cottage cheese. While the rest of the world waits with baited breath for his old band to reunite, the perpetually unfussed Johnny Marr simply gets on with it, focusing on what's ahead instead of what's behind.Read more »

Freeing Frank Ocean

On the verge of a sold-out tour, the R&B star reveals himself

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arts@sfbg.com

MUSIC If there was ever a genre that needed a good kick in the ass, it was R&B. For every Aaliyah, there have been ten J. Holidays, content to toe the party line and continue singing those same ol' songs. Lucky for us, a slew of exciting artists (the Weeknd, Miguel, How to Dress Well) have revitalized the genre by crafting progressive work and bringing new influences and ideas into the mix. None has shone brighter than Frank Ocean.Read more »

California love

Best Coast sheds more fuzz, remains enamored of home state

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arts@sfbg.com

MUSIC You shouldn't hate Bethany Cosentino, but you might. In recent years, few artists have been more polarizing in the (admittedly small) indie rock community than the LA-native and her group Best Coast.

After releasing four stellar, uber-lo-fi, reverb-drenched seven-inch singles in 2009 and '10, Cosentino and her bandmate (and old baby-sitter) Bobb Bruno unleashed their debut LP, Crazy For You. The disc was a more polished, accessible release and lacked much of the fuzz from their early singles.Read more »

Frankie Rose's brief, enthralling Brick and Mortar stop

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In case you hadn't noticed, Frankie Rose's got the Internet goin' nutz. The 33 year-old has served time in two super buzzy groups of girls (Dum Dum & Vivian) and NYC critical darlings the Crystal Stilts and is about to kick off a tour with Real Estate.

The blogosphere's thickest rims have been falling over themselves to praise her sparkling sophomore LP, Interstellar (Slumberland, 2012), and on Saturday night, Rose took herself and that buzz (I hear it needs its own van) to a sold-out Brick and Mortar Music Hall for an brief yet enthralling 10-song set. Read more »

Bike lightly

Build your own bamboo steed in this new Tenderloin shop

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DIY has long been an integral part of San Franciscan culture. Underground music venues, art cars, pop-up food trucks — San Franciscans have been crafting their own good times for years. And while the concept of creating and customizing your own bike isn't new, a bike studio in the Tenderloin is putting a lightweight, environmentally-friendly spin on it.Read more »

The ones you love

Nothing but ramen for 47 days to see Morrissey live

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arts@sfbg.com

MUSIC There are certain people in your life that you will always forgive. No matter how noxious or unreasonable their actions, you'll always find the silver lining, like a delusional Sam Spade. They could be responsible for defiling a gaggle of farm animals, and you'd convince yourself that the roosters were asking for it.Read more »

Hot Chip's Joe Goddard talks emotional lyrics, covers, and 80s pop

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Hot Chip's Joe Goddard has had one helluva year. He and his bandmates released their highly-anticipated LP One Life Stand in February and took a massive risk by going for a more streamlined, cohesive sound.The gamble payed off: the disc has received generally positive reviews and the group has spent the latter part of 2010 criss-crossing the globe, including a Sun/17 stop at the Warfield. Just a few months removed from a triumphant American headlining tour that was supported by critical darlings the XX, the Londoners are back opening up for their longtime friends LCD Soundsystem and playing some of the American biggest gigs of their career. Throw in the birth of his first child and a hectic DJ schedule, the Guardian was lucky to grab a quick word with the Hot Chip main man at his home in London.

San Francisco Bay Guardian: Considering how high expectations for One Life Stand were, how are you feeling about it now that it's been out for a while?

Joe Goddard: It feels good. It was a stressful process, but it seems to have gone down quite well. Honestly, when I get done making an album, I always get a little bit tired of it and want to move on to the next one, so I really haven't listened to it much myself. That said, the shows have been going well, and people seem to really enjoy the new tracks in the live setting. I don't exactly know what people's opinions are, but I guess people have been enjoying it, which makes me happy [laughs].

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Wise "Blood"

Yeasayer says no to predictability on its sophomore album

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MUSIC Most bands change over time. Change makes most people uncomfortable. I — for all intents and purposes — am most people. Therefore, when a band I care about changes, most of the time I feel uncomfortable.Read more »

The Kajagoogoo of Jacques Attali

Or: Hard Times, meet your old friend, Great Music
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arts@sfbg.com

MUSIC For those of you who missed the memo, it all hasn't exactly been smooth sailing for the good people of the ol' U.S. of A over the last year or so. You don't have to be Noam Chomsky to realize that if the national unemployment rate is hovering right around 10 percent, that's not good. Read more »