Music Features

Open mind music

Finding life after Deerhoof, Chris Cohen unveils the new Curtains
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› a&eletters@sfbg.com

Do you ever get the feeling you've been cheated? Not to misinterpret the question asked by a sneering Johnny Lydon of a San Francisco crowd as his band was self-destructing onstage at the now-defunct Winterland Ballroom almost 30 years ago, but seriously, folks, life seems unfair sometimes. In other words, here's a sensible afterthought for your musical mind: there are simply too many damn bands at our fingertips, and sometimes we're only lucky enough to encounter a handful of the really good ones. You might find yourself uttering regrets like "Fuck! Read more »

High tide

Wooden Shjips ride waves of blogoscopic acclaim with lo-fi psychedelia
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kimberly@sfbg.com

Let's face it: half the kick of discovering a little-known noodler or late-night four-tracker lies in the shock of the unknown. Jaded ears perk up at the sound of some never-was untouched by time, history, or, hell, pop itself — after all, musical obscuros like High Speed and the Afflicted Man, one of Wooden Shjips guitarist Ripley Johnson's favorites, were far from popular.

Wooden Shjips itself — give or take that copycat culture–jamming "j" — might have easily slipped past notice. Read more »

Kirby Dominant

Starr: The Contemplations of a Dominator
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KIRBY DOMINANT

Starr: The Contemplations of a Dominator

(Rapitalism)

In a moment when Bay Area hip-hop is synonymous with hyphy in most people's minds, it's radio-shock savvy of Kirby Dominant to throw down a solo effort that follows no trends while his Niggaz and White Girlz project with Chris Sinister continues to generate word of mouth. Read more »

New wave on the tracks

Kirb and Chris seduce all the Molly Ringwalds with the truth on Niggaz and White Girlz
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johnny@sfbg.com

Hip-hop's maze is infinite in size, shape, and perspective, but sometimes MCs get trapped at an impasse and start repeating each other like a gaggle of parrots. During times like that — times like now — it takes imaginative minds to break through and open new verbal doors. Read more »

Get in the Vans

The Pack are young, gifted, and black -- and have a hook on the "punk rock shoe"
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› a&eletters@sfbg.com

Not surprisingly, a sneaker store was the meeting place for two young members of the popular East Bay hip-hop quartet the Pack, whose slow and smoldering bass-heavy runaway rap hit "Vans," about the "punk rock shoe," has the infectious hook "Got my Vans on, but they look like sneakers."

"Me and Stunna went to the same school. So we knew each other," Lil Uno said. "But one day we just both happened to be in the same shoe store ... Read more »

Hanging on the 'Phone

Bay Area band Elephone evade the expected
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› a&eletters@sfbg.com

It's hard to take Elephone seriously — not just because of their whimsical name, but because with this San Francisco quintet, what you see definitely isn't what you get.

Witness vocalist Ryan Lambert and guitarist Terry Ashkinos out of what you might assume was their natural habitat. The duo looked strangely at home in the lobby bar at the Fairmont Hotel, where the soft tinkle of piano keys polluted the air and floor-length fur coats were as ubiquitous as they are politically incorrect. Read more »

I heart your dark side

Don't mix up the singer with her song, but do fall for Rykarda Parasol
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duncan@sfbg.com

I've got to admit — I was intimidated. I've done enough interviews that I don't usually get the jitters beforehand, but San Francisco songwriter Rykarda Parasol's sheer self-possession on last year's full-length Our Hearts First Meet (Three Ring) had me a little spooked. Yeah, I've sat through enough interminable creative-writing workshops to know not to confuse the author with the story, the narrator with the narrative, the singer with the song. Read more »

Making their lists

Bay artists and contributors toast 2006's best
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PAUL COSTUROS
Total Shutdown, Death Sentence: Panda!, Murder Murder
(10) Bay Area representing and dominating at the End Times Fest in St. Paul, Minn., June 22–<\d>24.
(9) T.I.T.S., Throughout the Ages split double 12-inch with Leopard Leg (Upset the Rhythm) and live. Forest-witch psych never sounded so good.
(8) Fuckwolf CD on Kimosciotic and live. Dub done via destruction by way of swallowing glass and delay ...
(7) Burmese, White (Planaria) and live. Read more »

Hallelujah, more lists!

Online exclusive: more local players and playas' top 10s
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MATTHEW EDWARDS
MUSIC LOVERS
(1) <\i>The Fall live at the Independent, May. Mark E. Smith, wife, and a band he put together the day before — classic Fall. Peerless.
(2) <\i>John Legend, Get Lifted (Sony). More ideas per song than most indie bands have in a lifetime. Stellar soul.
(3) <\i>Margaret Cho singing "Old Man's Cock and Balls" to the tune of "Old Time Rock and Roll," Provincetown, July
(4) <\i>D'autres nouvelles des etoiles — Serge Gainsbourg DVD. Read more »

Unholy spirit

Oakland's Saviours prove they're metal
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cheryl@sfbg.com
It was dark and stormy the night I journeyed to Oakland to meet the Saviours — a perfect weather match for their music, which I've had on constant ear blast since picking up their Tim Green–<\d>produced debut, Crucifire (Level Plane, 2006). These guys are fucking serious. Read more »