Kimberly Chun

Feel the 'Love

Rosily buzzing U.K. outfit the Big Pink gets it, Carly Simon and all
|
(0)

kimberly@sfbg.com

SONIC REDUCER How to reconcile an ultra-catchy, hooligan-cozy chorus like "These girls fall like dominos!" with the unpretentious, Dennis Cooper-idolizing music lover who dreamed it up — namely Milo Cordell of the rosily buzzing U.K. outfit the Big Pink?Read more »

Sonic Reducer Overage: Holly Miranda, Quasi, SambaDa, and more

|
(0)

Rain, rain go away -- and gird your damp loins for more music than we could fit into print.

Holly Miranda
The Detroit-bred singer-songwriter sleeps on fire, walks on water, judging from the angelic Magician’s Private Library (XL), produced by her pal Dave Sitek. With Foxtail Somersault and Tortured Genies. Tues/9, 9:30 p.m., $10. Cafe du Nord, 2170 Market, SF. (415) 861-5016.

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
The Bay Area-born band hones a rawer, more rustic sound with a new drummer, Leah Shapiro, and new long-player, Beat the Devil’s Tattoo (Abstract Dragon/Vagrant). With the Whigs (and Cellar Doors Wed/10). Tues/9, 8 p.m., Wed/10, 7:30 p.m., $30. Slim’s, 333 11th St., SF. (415) 522-0333. Wed/10, 6 p.m., free. Amoeba Music, 1855 Haight, SF. (415) 831-1200.

Read more »

Sly 'n' sincere

Don't confuse this Brit with Britney. Plus: Midlake and Barn Owl and Daniel Higgs

|
(0)

kimberly@sfbg.com

SONIC REDUCER "Move while you're watching me / Dance with the enemy — here is my remedy!"

Though the production is vaguely "Toxic," don't confuse this Brit with Britney. Little Boots, a.k.a. Victoria Hesketh, may be a dulcet, highly infectious dead-ringer for Britney Spears — sporting a sweeter voice and 'tude, judging from her lyrical preoccupations and her popular homemade YouTube snippets showing the Boots covering Kid Cudi or Cyndi Lauper. Read more »

Education of a felon

France's Oscar-nominated A Prophet charts a mobster's rise

|
(0)

arts@sfbg.com

FILM Filmmaker Jacques Audiard has described his new film, A Prophet, as "the anti-Scarface." Yet why do this gripping, gritty feat of moviemaking — tutored though not neutered by the schools of grim social realism and grimy magical realism — that disservice? Why deny this heartfelt yet tough-minded entry into the prisonsploitation ranks of Cool Hand Luke (1967), Papillon (1973), and HBO's Oz?Read more »

Foam, creams, Commis, and me

|
(0)

Oh, Commis, why couldn’t you have been holding down your current patch of Piedmont Avenue when I was spending much of my time in a teensy one-bedroom nearby? Then I could have swung by and experienced your wonderful food on a regular basis, that much sooner.

Here in this spare, elegant, moderne space, you get a three-course prix fixe, period -- but what an often fabulous fix to be in. On a recent evening, I got to sample the dishes that earned Oakland native chef James Syhabout -- a veteran of renowned molecular gastro epicenters El Bulli, the Fat Duck, and Mugaritz, as well as Coi and Manresa -- a Michelin star. It’s the only one in the East Bay apart from Chez Panisse’s -- and you can see, and taste, why the inspector was seduced. Read more »

Noise Pop 2010: Magnetic Fields at the Fox

|
(0)

Spare but touching, playful yet perched oh-so-formally on chairs with music and notes on hand, accomplished and unafraid of the occasional sour or dissonant note. Yep, that’s the Magnetic Fields.

The ensemble had the sold-out mob in their precious paws on Feb. 27 at Fox Theater -- from opener “Lindy-Lou,” off the 6th’s Hyacinths and Thistles to “Falling in Love with the Wolfboy” to a haunting version of “Acoustic Guitar.” “Yes,” yowled one fan when the group announced “I Don’t Want to Get Over You.” Even the group's "B" set (the "A" set list will be performed at the March 1 Herbst show) was, as Claudia Gonson put it, teeming with "awesomeness."

The combo could do no wrong -- magnetism worked in its favor, though you got the impression that the band was still working out the kinks, still psychically at the start of their tour. They were a bit casual, a bit messy -- Stephin Merritt sticking to ukulele and Gonson pointing up helpfully when she’d try and miss that exact right high note. Read more »

Noise Pop 2010: Scout Niblett, Sonny and the Sunsets at Cafe du Nord

|
(0)

More impressions of Noise Pop, comin’ right up.

Blame it on a lingering head cold but I was bummed that I had to skulk off before Citay took the stage on Feb. 25 at Cafe du Nord. I got there just in time for Niblett, however: the Portland, Ore., performer was a solo powerhouse, conjuring estrogen-fueled might with a plaintive wail and some blissfully crunchy riffs for a packed house. At the risk of waxing rockist, I only wished it were even louder and harder. Read more »

Noise Pop 2010: Yoko Ono and Deerhoof at the Fox

|
(0)

Noise Pop -- the quality sounds and sonic surprises always amaze, no matter how few or many shows you catch.

I didn’t get to gawk at as much as I’d like, considering I was suffering from a bad case of the sniffles. Still, Yoko Ono, live with the Plastic Ono Band on Feb. 23 at Fox Theater, was nothing to sniff at.

Deerhoof opened with a softer, more subdued set than usual. The Bay Area faves seemed a mite overwhelmed by the big room and opulent surroundings: drummer-founder Greg Saunier said as much as he pondered how “pretty” the venue is. Nevertheless the combo quickly gained steam and confidence, as Satomi Matsuzaki twirled, danced, and gestured on the side of the stage and the entire group switched instruments and uncharacteristically tackled a few covers (the Ramones’ “Pinhead” and Canned Heat’s “Going Up the Country,” the latter dovetailing perfectly with Saunier’s ethereal falsetto). I like my Deerhoof louder, in a more intimate venue, but the band was the perfect choice to prep the audience for Ono. Read more »

Snap Sounds: ApSci

|
(0)

APSCI

Best Crisis Ever

(Quannum Projects)

Kudos go out for the NYC-Australian ApSci for not so much keeping it real but plenty surreal. The hip-hop-electro duo takes it further out on their second Quannum full-length -- and into a motor-mouthed, frantic future.

Read more »

Snap Sounds: Kammerflimmer Kollektief

|
(0)

KAMMERFLIMMER KOLLEKTIEF

Wildling

(Staubgold, released March 2)

At first sonic glimmer, Germany’s Kammerflimmer Kollektief wax too softly, too New Agedly to stir many passions apart from recollections of browsing self-help bookstores and listening a mite too closely to the soundtrack of a massage. Read more »