On a recent sunny afternoon in Berkeley, the head-nodding rhythms of Barrington Levy's '80s dancehall hit "Here I Come" could be heard wafting down Telegraph Avenue. As the outdoor reggae mix continued, the music's mysterious source soon became evident. Right off the ave on the corner of Haste were two chunky 10-inch JBL speakers, booming. Read more »
As the daughter of an international musical legend and sister to an entertainment phenomenon, Anoushka Shankar could be weighted down with baggage. But the young sitar virtuoso shows no sign of being bent or bowed. She makes music with her father and teacher, sitar master Ravi Shankar, but shares a tattoo, on the curve of the lower back, with her famous older sister, Norah Jones, with whom she is quite close, despite Norah and Ravi's oft-reported distance. Anoushka might even be considered a bridge, maintaining strong familial bonds with both. Read more »
No one turns the tables on the turntable quite like Otomo Yoshihide. San Francisco is a renowned turntablist holy land, thanks to the Return of the DJ comps David Paul has put out on Bomb Records, and the stylus-stylish feats of Q-Bert and the Invisibl Skratch Picklz. Yet the most audio-inventive and visionary SF-set turntable achievements to date probably reside within the new CD-DVD Multiple Otomo (Asphodel), largely recorded during the artist's recent Bay Area visit. Read more »
Casiotone for the Painfully Alone's Owen Ashworth sounds like he's in dire need of a friend. To listeners, the 29-year-old San Francisco native exudes the air of a hopeless romantic holed up his bedroom, his floor littered with broken Casio SK-1s and ready-to-be-pawned drum machines instead of crumpled-up balls of chicken scratch.
"Casios are such ubiquitous instruments, and I think there are as many homes with Casios in them as guitars," Ashworth explained from Chicago, where he now lives. Read more »
An irrational exuberance overcomes the dance media when something good comes out of Paris. A decade ago it was Daft Punk, and now it is Ed Banger Records the label run by longtime Daft Punk manager Pedro Winter and Justice. Read more »
In May 2002, El Producto issued the acidic collage Fantastic Damage on his label, Definitive Jux. Winning universal acclaim for its compendium of broken-home tales, hard-won insights, and teenage misadventures, the recording crystallized a moment when rap musicians could reject the corporate-approved pay formulas proliferating on MTV without losing a receptive and knowledgeable audience.
Five years later that promise has seemingly passed. Read more »
If gnashing guitars, thundering drums, and growling vocals are suddenly silenced, will faces still find places to melt? It's been five months since Pound-SF closed, after reportedly being evicted by the San Francisco Port Authority. (As early as May 2006, owner Tony Carracci spoke at a San Francisco Entertainment Commission meeting about his frustration at not being able to obtain a long-term lease for the space.) The all-ages club, tucked into San Francisco's industrial bayside, hosted a large portion of the city's metal shows during its five-year lifespan. Read more »
It was the unquiet dead, whispering in the dark, who set John Cobbett on his path.
In December 2001, Cobbett a longtime Mission District rocker and guitar hero with such notably heavy outfits as Slough Feg, Ludicra, and Hammers of Misfortune was on the East Coast visiting his identical twin brother, Aaron, a photographer living in Brooklyn, just across the East River from the smoldering ruins of the World Trade Center.
"I visited the site. It was at night and freezing cold," Cobbett notes. Read more »
True to the post-postmodern hyperreal world of the inner-Web, I hit the Trucks' MySpace page before I'd heard their 2006 self-titled CD (Clickpop). Browsing through their photo pages, I saw toy xylophones, lots of keyboards, underwear on the outside, leg warmers, pigtails, and more stripes than a Quiet Riot promo photo. A brief listen to their posted tracks left me feeling old and arrhythmic. Read more »
"We ram dancehall and cork party / Papa Jammy in your area."
The 1980s was a turbulent decade in Jamaica. Government control had shifted from Michael Manley's socialist-leaning People's National Party to Edward Seaga's free marketoriented Jamaican Labour Party. Read more »