The first clue that Gui Boratto's Chromophobia is an extraordinary Kompakt disc a song collection that places the German label back at the forefront of the best electronic music can be found on its cover art. Since its inception, Kompakt has had a signature clean design style for its releases. Developed by one of the label's three co-owners, Wolfgang Voigt, it's made great use of simple circles and basic color combinations. Read more »
One night last September, I hitch a ride with G-Stack of the Delinquents and Dotrix of Tha Mekanix to Dem Hoodstarz's album release party in San Francisco. As we park outside the club, Mistah FAB rolls up with a modest posse. In contrast to his usual iced-out Technicolor clubwear, the man also known as Fabby Davis Jr. is low-key, dressed all in black, a pair of designer stunna shades supplying the main clue to his identity. Read more »
Would you consider remixing Thelonious Monk? Pianist Jason Moran would, and he has.
He's not playing those remixes, though, when he comes to town this week to re-create the famed pianist-composer's Town Hall concert of 1959. This time through, Moran, along with Monk's son, drummer T.S. Monk, will play the large-band concert relatively straight. But the performance is a primer for Moran's newest musical exploration: a Monk-based multimedia performance titled In My Mind.
Moran says the idea stems from an SFJAZZ request that he replicate the Town Hall show. Read more »
Forty years ago Rufus Wanta sent lyrics to one of the song-poem studios that were popular at the time. The record he eventually received from the company was, with its tacky torch-song treatment, a big disappointment. Call it poetic justice, then, that keyboardist Nathan Wanta uses words penned by his grandfather in a song written by his band, Last of the Blacksmiths. Read more »
Iggy Pop spit in my face at one of the Stooges' sold-out shows at the Warfield last month. And I loved it. The crowning moment, however, came just before that, when he stared me down and mouthed the lyrics of "1970": "Beautiful baby, feed my love ... all night ... till I blow ... away," then slithered away from the seesawing mass in the pit. Read more »
I have some Björk memories stowed on shelves and in crates. There's the signed copy of the Sugarcubes' "Birthday" 12-inch from the days of the group's English-language interview with Melody Maker, when Björk showed up late and apologized with the immortal first words "I was shitting" (a moment that all who mistook her for a cute elf should have noted). And I've got a great teenage Kodak shot of a friend who helped start riot grrrl long before she picked up a guitar, sitting on Björk's lap.
FULL CIRCLE Once upon a time, at Kezar Pavilion in San Francisco, the Dead Kennedys blew the Clash off the stage. I think it was early spring 1980. I didn't pay much attention to dates in those days, but I remember this much I was there.
On that night the DKs delivered their fat, funny broadsides with a joyous abandon that few bands of the era could match. Vocalist Jello Biafra who finished his set drenched in sweat and wearing only his underwear's elastic waistband was simply inspired. Read more »
Call them the new British bitch pack: barefoot soul shouter Joss Stone and her ascendant sistren, skankin' Lily Allen and torchy Amy Winehouse (Corinne Bailey Rae's exempted due to being a queen of nice and hazy sentiment and, well, yes, color). The Pipettes also deliver Ronettes-Supremes paeans but have yet to splash large beyond the UK. Read more »
Van Halen may have made it into the music record books for Most Ridiculous Tour Rider for their demand for M&Ms picked free of the turdlike brown numbers. But musician-director Vincent Gallo might make the rock hitmakers jump with his own Mission Creek Music and Arts Festival must-have. "I'm not going to show you his rider," festival founder Jeff Ray says wryly. "It's a little crazy."
"Oh, c'mon," I say, perched on a couch in the red and yellow office in Ray's Mission flat. Read more »