Music Features

Two men, one spark

More than 40 years of Sparks, East Bay hip-hop royalty Glam.I.Rock, and UK goth-poppers Esben and the Witch

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Precious Metal

With the release of her dark, avant-pop sophomore album, Oakland's Metal Mother is free to pursue her primal side

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emilysavage@sfbg.com

MUSIC A lot of elements needed to come together to inspire Metal Mother's new record, Ionika. You can almost picture the woman behind the sobriquet, crouching in some foggy wooded wonderland, scooping up soil and critters, ancient buried treasures of forgotten societies and precious metals. Before we get into specifics, let's slip off the mask. Metal Mother is really, mostly, the glossy coating of one delicate Oakland musician: Taara Tati.Read more »

Injured player in the game

After surgery, Saafir, the Saucee Nomad is left wondering whether he'll ever walk again

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arts@sfbg.com

MUSIC "I have a new respect for people with disabilities," Bay Area legend Saafir, the Saucee Nomad says, sitting in his wheelchair in the East Oakland living room where he's temporarily crashing. "I was aware of their plight, but I never imagined how much strength it took mentally to deal with every day, day to day. It's a cold strength."Read more »

Name droppers

When you're golden -- Golden Grrrrls -- monikers carry weight

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Vinyl addicts

Record shop timeline: Youngster store Stranded hosts a reading, 1-2-3-4 Go! celebrate five years

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emilysavage@sfbg.com

TOFU AND WHISKEY "Rock and roll has never been remotely monolithic," early Rolling Stone columnist Greil Marcus writes in the introduction to the 1978 book he edited, Stranded: Rock and Roll for a Desert Island (Da Capo Press). "There have always been countless performers to pin your hopes on; though one may have found identity as a member of an audience, one also found it by staking a place in that audience, defining one's self against it."Read more »

Unexplored terrain

Composer Steve Reich draws out Radiohead's melodic fragments for new work, 'Radio Rewrite'

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arts@sfbg.com

MUSIC From David Bowie and Brian Eno's forays into ambience, to the unrelenting pulse of trance and house, minimalist icon Steve Reich's propulsive compositions have irreversibly shaped the pop world's development since the 1970s. Now, four decades into his career, Reich is reversing the formula with "Radio Rewrite:" a new piece adapted from and inspired by the recordings of alt-rock institution Radiohead.Read more »

It's Pony Time!

Seattle's Pony Time just wants to have fun -- LA punks the Bronx, and Dallas gospel-funk act the Relatives will melt faces. Plus: Rank/Xerox at El Rio!

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emilysavage@sfbg.com

TOFU AND WHISKEY This week? It's Pony Time. No, that doesn't mean we're taking you to Ikea for meatballs. I'm talking about the band, which will be traveling here soon, and given its predilection toward weird news and pop culture, I feel like it might enjoy the above reference.Read more »

Do want

New York electronic artist Autre Ne Veut chips away at layers of R&B harmonies and futuristic free jazz

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I'm your fan

When Leonard Cohen comes around, an orgy of admiration follows

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arts@sfbg.com

MUSIC Like most love affairs, there was little indication on our first encounter that it would turn into a lifelong infatuation. I was 17, methodically singing my way through a book of folk tunes, one of which was his first real hit, "Suzanne". Though I admired it for its lyrical content, it weighed heavy on my range, and I soon moved on to other songs.Read more »

Just chill

On the cusp of headlining Noise Pop slots, Toro Y Moi releases an album equally inspired by J Dilla and his new Bay Area home

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arts@sfbg.com

MUSIC Four years ago, in the waning days of the aughts, the befuddling adlib term "chillwave" forged in the throes of the blogosphere, accompanied nearly every story about acts like Neon Indian, Washed Out, and Toro Y Moi. For the uninitiated, chillwave is a cheap, slap-on label used to describe grainy, dancey, lo-fi, 1980s inspired music, and most importantly is a disservice to any band associated with it. Luckily for music writers and listeners alike, this term has died a relatively swift death.Read more »