Tony Papanikolas

Back in sight

No longer missing psychedelic architect Roky Erickson

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MUSIC Roky Erickson spent much of the past few decades as the subject of endlessly rehearsed cautionary tales about the dangers of mind-altering drugs and mental illness, and romantic anecdotes framing him as a quasi-oracle, gifted and cursed with a second hearing into the weirder vistas of rock 'n' roll.Read more »

Grind fidelity

Toward a new theory of grindcore, and even metal

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Stone age drop out

Sleep is back, creating vast and mysterious sonic worlds-without-end

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arts@sfbg.com

MUSIC Dopesmoker (Tee Pee Records, 2003) begins with a move characteristic of Al Cisneros' style. Striking a series of low to mid-range notes, Sleep's bassist and incantatory vocalist draws forth a series of monster bass tones that warp and disassociate as they decay.Read more »

Beach fossils

The sad, creepy, weird and beautiful music of the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

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arts@sfbg.com

"Live from Betty Ford, it's the Eddie Money show!" — Eddie Money, Santa Cruz, 8:45 PM, 7/30/10

MUSIC It's hard to convey your passion for amusement parks without sounding like the lyrics to "Lakeside Park," Rush's sentimental 1975 tribute to the summertime midway. Hopefully this observation should serve as a decent justification for an elegy to the unspoken muse of the group's Caress of Steel.Read more »

Orgone and back again

Put on your space helmet, brace yourself, and bear witness to Hawkwind Triad

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"IT'S A BACK-BRAIN STIMULATOR! IT'S A CEREBRAL VIBRATOR! TURN YOUR EYEBALLS INTO CRATERS!"

Thus intones Dave Brock on "Orgone Accumulator," an ass-kicking Rube Goldberg-device of a space rock staple, and to this day the final word on the science of orgone accumulation. But Brock just as well might have been describing his immortal Hawkwind, and its 30-plus-year legacy of melting brains.Read more »

Doom and decay

The slow and stoned sound of Saint Vitus — born too late, or too early?
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MUSIC The Bay Area has a strange relation with its musical past — accounts of Phil Lesh's recent somnambulation among the living attest to this, but the same can be said about much of the past 10 years. For better or worse, as the early '00s crawled back into the woods to die, many of us were left with the impression that the past 10 years were composed of a series of disorganized, vaguely parasitic gestures, a theme party where every group of new guests seems to ape a different decade. Read more »

Lovecraft, baby!

Horror in music is still as easy as H.P.
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More on SFBG

>>New doc explores H.P. Lovecraft's lasting influence -- and Cthulhu slippers!

>Neo-goth and retro and contempo horror music pulse forth

arts@sfbg.com

Lovecraft is a resonating wave. He's rock and roll.

— Neil Gaiman, "Concerning Dreams and Nightmares," The Dream Cycle of H.P. Read more »

Repulsion

It's not just a clever name
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PREVIEW Repulsion: the name says it all, really. Napalm Death covered them, Darkthrone's Gylve "Fenriz" Nagell — that eternal beacon of uncompromising black metal misanthropy — has a tattoo of their logo, and countless other longhairs heard something lurking beneath the muffled fuzz of an nth-generation bootlegged tape. Read more »

Bad Brains

Some of rock's most volatile live performers
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PREVIEW Most Bad Brains fans can remember where they were the first time they heard the DC hardcore legends' self-titled debut (ROIR, 1982.) For me, it was during an extended drive through Utah with my parents, a trip made memorable by a fortuitous stop at a strip mall with a Sam Goody. (My Damaged story is a lot cooler, I swear.) The album did nothing to improve my PMA during the car ride, but I vividly remember finding Bad Brains' sheer unhinged speediness awe-inspiring, and not a little disorienting. Read more »

Obituary

A group known for its unwavering devotion to metal at its most primal essence
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PREVIEW Inevitable vocal chord-corrosion aside, many of death metal's earliest bands have managed to stay exciting for a remarkably long time. Working within a genre that tends to shift toward increasingly challenging frontiers, an elite corps of older acts seems to find inspiration in recent innovations, or, conversely, forgotten older tropes due for a nostalgic revisiting. So how do we account for the enduring relevance of Obituary, a group known for its unwavering devotion to metal at its most primal essence?

Obituary's legend began in Florida, 1985. Read more »