Local music

Video premiere: 'With You' by Oakland's DRMS

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Eclectic local eight-piece DRMS (formerly Dreams) today released a haunting video for “With You” off the band's self-titled debut LP. The album release party takes place Sat/28 at Rickshaw Stop. Read more »

SF bragging rights (and ass) galore in Double Duchess' brand-new "Bucket Betch"

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Blatant disregard for traffic safety be damned (really, the bike-riding sparklers past the Castro Theatre shot is magick), the new Double Duchess video for "Bucket Betch" looks like something I'd show to my friends who don't live in San Francisco to make them jealous. See, New Orleans and Brooklyn aren't the only place with queer hip-hop anthems right now. See, it is possible to dance in those shoes. See 2:55 for an expert glitter vogue move. Read more »

Listen to Meklit Hadero and the sounds of Copperwire

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In this week's issue, we talk to Bay favorite musician Meklit Hadero about her latest project, Copperwire -- a hip-hop space opera coming to the Rickshaw Stop on Sat/5. Hadero is joined in the project by two Ethiopian-American emcees, Gabriel Teodros and Burntface. Go more indepth (and outerspace) with Hadero about the project below. Read more »

Splinter sound: Bayonics' side projects take the stage tonight

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Normally, when the white-hot energy that first surrounds a music project fades, there is drama to be had. Obviously. You're sneaking around on the group with that guitarist? Do you really think your lyrics will hit the same notes with that other emcee? Maybe it's because Bayonics have been around the block, but apparently this local funk-hip-hop-soul-R&B mega-group has few jealousy issues: the collective will be showcasing its members' next steps tonight (Wed/29) at "Leapstock 2012" a showcase taking over the top floor of Elbo Room. Read more »

Justin Vivian Bond talks Occupy Wall Street, the power of language, and the politics behind the music

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When Justin Vivian Bond was a little kid, v (more about that unique pronoun below) confidently wore Iced Watermelon lipstick to school and, inspired by feminist movements of the time, brandished a sign reading “Kids Lib!” Adults told the young Mx. Bond that these things were wrong, but v knew how right they felt, and represents for queer pride and radical poltics to this day. The writer, singer and activist is best known for v’s role as Kiki DuRane in Kiki and Herb, a drag cabaret show with partner Kenny Mellman. The show started in San Francisco and made it to Broadway, and was nominated for a 2007 Tony award. V's memoir Tango: My Childhood, Backwards and in High Heels was released this year (wherein Bond tells the lipstick story and a lot more about growing up gender-free). Bond is still touring and will be back in San Francisco Feb. 23, performing from v’s new album, Dendrophile. I talked with v about the upcoming concert, v’s recent performance at Occupy Wall Street, and how music can bring people together. Read more »

Chamber hip-hop opera 'Great Integration' returns with a second act

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Perhaps you've seen the billboard on your daily Bay Bridge commute: simple white background, a hand with two fingers pressed together, and in bold type, the words Great Integration: A Chamber Hip-Hop Opera.

If you, like many commuters, are intrigued by the concept, allow me to shed some light. The two-act performance, which takes places this week, is a true blend of classical music and hip-hop; it's 90 minutes of continuous flow, MCs spinning a dark and moral tale of modern corruption over a live ensemble of flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano, drums, and bass. It's a production spearheaded by the duo behind Oakland's Gold Fetus Records – Christopher Nicholas and Joo Wan Kim, musicians who met in the dorms at Berklee College of Music, and Kim's Ensemble Mik Nawooj. For this particular piece, Nicholas is mostly behind the scenes in organizing mode, and Kim is the music director who wrote the lurid tale at the heart of Great Integration. Read more »

Localized Appreesh: Rank/Xerox

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Some weeks feel so long (thanks a lot Week After Labor Day), you just need another spirited kick in the proverbial ass. So I give you, a second Localized Appreesh this week: Rank/Xerox. The San Francisco punk trio – known for its connections with bands such as Grass Widow (friends/split cassette tape output), and for its other creative endeavors (DIY labels, Web-based videozine Mondo Vision, eye-catching graphic illustrations) – comes from a long tradition of reputable underground punk and arty post-punk, much of which was hatched in San Francisco (Flipper) and London (Wire). 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 »

Sinisterism and lost hills: The Slow Poisoner joins forces with Fantomas in San Francisco

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In conjunction with the continuing "Fantomas by the Bay" series presented by City Lights, the Cultural Services of the Consulate General of France, and the Mechanics' Institute Library, here's an interview with the Slow Poisoner, who may be casting a musical shadow over the Fri./8 event, “An Elegant Threat.” The man also known as Andrew Goldfarb holds forth on his Fantomas bonds, surrealist activity in San Francisco, and the Slow Poisoner's current and next moves. Read more »

Slough Feg's Mike Scalzi talks metal, philosophy

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(For a review of Slough Feg's latest, The Animal Spirits, go here. Read on for an interview with the band's guitarist-singer, Mike Scalzi.)

San Francisco Bay Guardian: I noticed a clear theological theme running through the album. Was that – the Reformation – an area of historical interest to you? I'm interested in that choice, of a less exciting historical topic than maybe a more violent event...

Mike Scalzi: It's not as metal, certainly. But in another way, Martin Luther was very metal, in that he was dedicated. Though he was Christian, in his dedication and his rebellion, he was metal. I was reading about all that stuff in an anthology of Western cultures. It was very general – I had to teach it. I'm a teacher. I started teaching Philosophy of Religion a year ago for the first time, and I'm not really that into teaching it, because its not my area of expertise, but I kinda had to. Read more »