Music Features

War of the roses

Rhys Chatham's piece for 100 guitars, Tricycle Records comp release, more Melt-Banana

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emilysavage@sfbg.com

TOFU AND WHISKEY Rock 'n' roll guitarists do not typically have the opportunity to play with full, live orchestras. Though legendary avant-punk composer Rhys Chatham has long challenged that notion.

"I thought it would be nice to write a piece for a literal orchestra of guitars, both for its unique sonority, as well as for the social element of massing so many guitarists together, to give them the experience of playing in an orchestra, the way classical musicians do," the 61-year-old writes from his home in France.Read more »

Years Latyr(x)

Bay underground hip-hop luminaries Lyrics Born and Lateef team up again for futuristic new LP

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arts@sfbg.com

When the last Latyrx album, The Album, came out in August 1997, hip-hop was still trying to figure out its footing in a post-Biggie and Tupac world. The duo, made up of East Bay rappers Lyrics Born and Lateef the Truthspeaker, was one of the first conscious acts to make waves in that world before the actual subgenre of conscious or progressive hip-hop solidified.Read more »

Alive, not well

La Luz, Six Week Records, Crashfaster, and more

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[Update: La Luz was in a car accident during its tour and will no longer be playing these shows. The accident totaled the van, destroyed the gear, and band members suffered injuries. To donate, click here]Read more »

High fidelity rockers

At look at your local musician-record store employees

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MUSIC Everyone knows the best way to music idolatry is a solid education in the school of rock (or pop, or hip-hop, or goth, Madchester, shoegaze, techno, et. al). And what better way to soak up the sexy, jagged history of music than to work at one of the few brick-and-mortar stores left that sells it exclusively.Read more »

Mathematical!

After 15 years, Aquarius Records co-owner Andee Connors revives classic math rock band A Minor Forest

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arts@sfbg.com

MUSIC To locals, Andee Connors is perhaps best known as the longtime co-owner of Aquarius Records, an independent record shop in the Mission. Aquarius, which specializes in obscure underground releases, is a landmark vinyl provider in SF that first opened its doors in 1970 to a group of stoners in the Castro, as the story goes.

Connors began working at aQ in 1994 (the shop by then long settled in the Mission), and became co-owner a decade ago. These days, he can still be seen behind the counter.Read more »

Cover me bad

The art of the Halloween tribute band tradition

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MUSIC Halloween's like Christmastime for crafty weirdoes. But for me, crudely sewn, elaborate costumes are only half the fun. Around these parts, creativity seems to peak during what is arguably the most wonderful time of the year. The Bay Area particularly steps it up by honoring the punk band tradition of the Halloween cover show (where legendary bands are paid tribute through song and dress).Read more »

Perma-teens

Garage rock pioneers the Sonics return on a wave of Total Trash

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arts@sfbg.com

MUSIC It's entirely debatable what year this current wave of the garage rock revival broke out.Read more »

In the year of worms

Grass Widow's Hannah Lew offers Cold Beat tales of 'death, paranoia, and science fiction'

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emilysavage@sfbg.com

TOFU AND WHISKEY That voice. Those eerie, singular vocals that are somehow both alien and intimately familiar. They sound like electric Tesla coils wrapped in whipped silk. San Francisco's Hannah Lew is most often heard harmonizing by three with her striking post-punk trio Grass Widow. With newer project Cold Beat, it's her vocals alone above the needling guitars and anxious synths of a different band.Read more »

Kids in America

French Cassettes unspool sunny tales of "Gold Youth." Plus: Danish Renaissance woman Oh Land and new books by East Bay punk goofballs Bobby Joe Ebola and the Children MacNuggits

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emilysavage@sfbg.com

TOFU AND WHISKEY "Us Kids," the first single off French Cassettes' debut full-length Gold Youth (self-released), is a sunny, upbeat slice of San Francisco life. It's unadulterated indie pop exuberance, the shiny glee of mischievous youth in a extraordinary city under a thick layer of fog.Read more »

Bye bye irony

Har Mar Superstar grows up, Fuzz releases its debut, Fuck Buttons returns to form 

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emilysavage@sfbg.com

Tofu and Whiskey Furry, greased-up man child Har Mar Superstar — the singer-songwriter who's become known as the R&B Ron Jeremy — is changing his act. Sorta. He still gets sweaty at his live shows, so naturally he will shed a few layers of clothing.Read more »