LIGHTS OUT Ironically, the Bay Bridged founders Christian Cunningham and Ben Van Houten were on their yearly pilgrimage to South by Southwest when they came up with the idea for a local music website.
In 2006, the two were watching a San Francisco band whose name has since been lost to time, wondering why they'd come all the way to Austin to discover how much they liked this band from their own town. "It just struck us as odd," Van Houten explains.Read more »
“This music was what we wanted to hear,” explains vocalist-guitarist Jigmae Baer of the beginnings of the Royal Baths, “that we weren’t hearing anywhere else.”
The Royal Baths formed two years ago, as Baer was coming to the end of playing with Thee Oh Sees, and guitarist-vocalist Jeremy Cox moved to San Francisco by way of Arcata.
“When we first started, I’d been listening to a lot of finger-picking,” explains guitarist-vocalist Jeremy Cox. “So I was experimenting with open tuning, like Delta Blues, playing Willie Johnson and Skip James.” Read more »
LIGHTS OUT That randiest of Mission District corners, 17th and Capp streets, has long been a hotbed for DIY music, art, and the occasional can-blasting block party. Now San Francisco's best-known indie video blogcast, Yours Truly (yourstru.ly) was taking it over. The Truly team — Caleb Moriarty, Nate Chan, Will Abramson, Babak Khoshnoud — recently invited me to a live shoot at a warehouse near the corner.Read more »
The third annual San Francisco Popfest kicks off Wednesday, May 25 at Rickshaw Stop. The good news is that this year's festival has been expanded to five days, transforming Memorial Weekend into a music extravaganza. There are shows at Rickshaw, Cafe Du Nord, and Hemlock Tavern, as well as a secret Sunday show at Dolores Park. The bad news is that you can only be in one place at a time. Here are four must-see Bay Area groups.Read more »
Sometimes it takes leaving a place to appreciate it. This past weekend, I went to Los Angeles. Once back in San Francisco, I walked from my apartment in SoMa by the freeway to my afternoon job at an elementary school in the Mission. I put on my headphones, pressed play, and the high-pitched wail that opens the Sandwitches' recent release Mrs. Jones' Cookies (Empty Cellar Records) woke me up.Read more »
MUSIC Erik "Ripley" Johnson is on the road. As the mastermind behind psych rock quartet Wooden Shijps and krautrockers Moon Duo, he spent eight months on tour last year. When he started Moon Duo with Sanae Yamada, Johnson knew that there'd be a degree of convenience in traveling as a twosome: it's cheaper and much easier to be flexible and mobile. He was ready to tour as a full-time job.Read more »
MUSIC San Francisco's Mi Ami was a trio when it released the spazz-punk albums Steal Watersports (2009) and Steal Your Face (2010) on Thrill Jockey. Then bassist Jacob Long announced that he was going to leave the group. After Long made that decision, Mi Ami played a few Bay Area shows at El Rio, Rickshaw Stop, and the Knockout. They were full-throttle performances — high in energy, as always. But they also revealed a ripping-at-the-seams that would soon be complete.Read more »
MUSIC As 2011 begins, Bay Area rock is wasting no time staking its claim. This month brings noteworthy albums by at least a handful of local groups and artists. I'll be covering them over the course of the next two weeks, beginning with a trio of new releases:
MUSIC "Every song I wrote was born out of being alone and frustrated in this perpetually sunny place," explains Dee Dee, the leading lady of the Dum Dum Girls, who wrote and recorded the band's debut full-length, I Will Be (Sub Pop), as a way to pass the time in Los Angeles. "It was a struggle to be happy and fill the hours in a day." The album's got a sunny-side-up vibe: the bottom-half has a fried, rough edge, while the top part remains bright and runny yellow.Read more »
Watching Celebration at Big Sur, the film that documents the 1969 Big Sur Folk Festival, I witness the crystalline Pacific Ocean, members of the audience freaking out in face paint, and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, Joan Baez, Joni Mitchell and more singing merry tunes about coming together and putting a lil' love in your heart. Read more »