Jen Verzosa

Resurrection

The exquisite pain and rebirth of freak folkers Little Teeth

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MUSIC In a once-pink house, atop a hill where San Francisco and Daly City collide, freak folk four-piece Little Teeth practices its trash thrash in a small living room decked with tawdry holiday tchotchkes year round, as if suspended in a never-ending Christmas.Read more »

Classic style

Genre-defying local act Extra Classic plays retro-grooves on its new LP

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arts@sfbg.com

MUSIC "We were listening to these old [Jamaican]records that were just incredibly psychedelic and very alive — breathing and pumping with groovy consciousness," says Alex deLanda, bassist of San Franciscan outfit, Extra Classic. "But they were recorded on four-tracks."Read more »

Heart it or hate it

Welcome back, emo kid

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MUSIC The term "emo" has become synonymous with whiny, tight-jeans-wearing 13-year-olds with asymmetrical haircuts. (Thanks, Hot Topic.) But stereotypical B.S. aside, in the beginning, emo — short for "emotional punk rock" — was a compelling music movement in the early 1990s and 2000s typified by melodic guitar, motley rhythms, and expressive, pour-your-heart-out lyrics.Read more »

Life at 45 r.p.m.

Gold Robot's Hunter Mack speaks on the record

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arts@sfbg.com

MUSIC Hunter Mack is many things — visual artist, U.C. Berkeley mechanical engineering PhD, new dad — but music fans know him best as the owner and president of Oakland-based, 7-inch-centric Gold Robot Records. The indie label's releases include the now-disbanded Volunteer Pioneer, San Francisco's Man/Miracle, and Bonnie "Prince" Billy of Drag City Records, among others.Read more »

Steady rollin' once again: Two Gallants return at Bottom of the Hill

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The San Francisco pop-folk duo Two Gallants played to a sold-out crowd on April 23, at its familiar stomping grounds, Bottom of The Hill. It was a reunion show of sorts. Two and a half years had passed since Adam Stephens (lead vocals/guitar/harmonica) and Tyson Vogel (drums/vocals) played together. In the interim, Stephens went by his full name, Adam Haworth Stephens, when gigging solo, and Vogel played guitar under the moniker Devotionals. While those endeavors were undoubtedly strong, they didn't match Stephens' and Vogel's musical synergy as a duo. Read more »

In the gutter with King Baldwin: Bowling with Alexander Eccles and Gabe Turow

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"It's $40 for one game with shoes. Or, $38 for one hour and shoes," says the Serra Bowl cashier with mild frustration while he Lysols a pair of freshly-worn bowling shoes at the counter. Gabe Turow, percussion, keys, and back-up vocals for the chamber pop-turned-funk duo King Baldwin, turns to me, perplexed. Which is the better deal? Off to the side, Alexander Eccles, lead vocalist of the San Francisco-based duo, sits comfortably in a plastic chair, wearing his brown "bowling hat" slightly askew. Turow and I deliberate. We opt for the hourly rate. Read more »

Recording season

The Dodos take time in the studio and collaborate with Neko Case on No Color

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MUSIC "It's one of those things you say in an interview and then regret two years later," sighs Meric Long, vocalist and guitarist of San Francisco pop folk duo the Dodos, when asked about the influence of West African drumming on the group's music, a factoid that saturates the blogosphere. "As a band, in our press, we get branded [with] that."Read more »

But he's got talent: Withered Hand overcomes visa problems to reach SF

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On Sunday, March 20, Dan Willson, mastermind behind the Scottish outfit Withered Hand, took the stage with his acoustic guitar at SF’s Hemlock Tavern. Only weeks prior, however, the show was teetering on the precipice of being canceled. Despite being submitted months in advance with an expedite fee, Willson's visa application was flagged a week before his flight by an U.S. Immigration official that demanded more proof of Willson’s “extraordinary talent,” his achievement of “significant recognition,” and performances at “events that have a distinguished reputation.” Read more »

Noise Pop Film Festival: the new new age?

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The Family Jams, a documentary by Kevin Barker (the man behind Currituck Co. and and on-again-off-again accompanist of Vetiver), captures the careers of the genre-fucks Devandra Banhart, Joanna Newsom, and Vetiver in their infancy on a 2004 summer tour. (The doc screens Thurs/24 as part of the Noise Pop Film Festival; check out a trailer here.)

Near the film’s beginning, Barker, in a voiceover, shares a memory of seeing large flying cockroaches that lived in his grandmother’s kitchen drawers in Hawaii. In the next scene — whodathunk? — a large cockroach appears during a show in Houston, Texas when his musical family (Banhart, Newsom, and Andy Cabic of Vetiver, among others) plays together at the show’s end. Could this link 'twixt families be made any more obvious?

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Free jeans! -- A Q&A with Caleb Nichols of Grand Lake

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Hailing from San Luis Obispo, Calif. by way of Oakland, Grand Lake has become an art rock darling among the hip, not only because of its applauded 2010 LP Blood Sea Dream (Hippies Are Dead), but also for its cover of the theme song from The Adventures of Pete and Pete, originally done by Polaris. In March, the group is releasing an EP on Hippies Are Dead. In the interim, you can listen to the its take on Radiohead’s “The Tourist,” below. It was recorded in an art gallery in San Luis Obispo, and all of the reverb on the track comes from the room itself -- nothing is digital. Grand Lake is set to rock out with Yuck and with Smith Westerns on Sun./13 at Bottom of The Hill. In advance of the show, I caught up with Grand Lake bandleader (and Port O’Brien alum) Caleb Nichols by email. Read more »