Music Features

On the Rise: Space Ghost

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Space Ghost's textured, sample-based electronic compositions might sound like fat rain drops dribbling over tight beats, as is the case with "SD", or like the remnants of a soulful club hit stretched over hollow wooden percussion in newly uploaded tracks like one-minute-long "King City."Read more »

On the Rise: Wax Idols

"Let's turn down the static world/listen to the sound of a void."

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If anything threatened to overshadow the attention around Wax Idols' epic new album and front person Hether Fortune's stage presence, it might have been Fortune's social media-documented quickie Reno wedding to rocker Tim Gick of TV Ghost earlier this month. But from another angle, it just adds to her appeal. The dominatrix/singer seems full of passion, lust, and complicated relationships, and they bleed out of her any way she lets them, be it through her robust Twitter flow, her personal relations, or her beautiful, darkly maturing music.Read more »

On the Rise: Kowloon Walled City

Just because it's heavy, doesn't make it metal

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The line to get in to Kowloon Walled City's album release show with Golden Void at the Hemlock in early January snaked around the building and into the alleyway. It was undeniably packed, and entirely sold out, with hordes of black-hoodied fans still waiting outside in the rain. A relatively uncommon sight for a night with a few local acts at the divey Tendernob venue.Read more »

On the Rise: The She's

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I had a seemingly innocuous query for all-teenage, all-girl sunny rock'n'roll quartet, the She's: what've you got in store for 2013? The band's answer sums up its appeal: "New EP in the works, inspired by our secrets, other people's secrets, The Great Gatsby, heartache, etc. Musically inspired by bands...such as La Sera, Wild Nothing, Tame Impala, and Dum Dum Girls. Graduating (from high school), touring, recording, making friends." Just perfect, right?Read more »

On the Rise: A-1

"It can get heady at times but I try to keep it light."

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A-1's slaps are full of sparkling, one-way conversation. The born-and-raised Mission resident's flow is verbose, packed in nicely and precisely, but often with a humorous edge and a cutting wink. There's the most obvious peek at his wit, with After School Special, a '90s TV show themed mixtape he dropped in 2010.Read more »

On the Rise: Warm Soda

Sugary and syrupy, with fizzy pop hooks and pump-up drum hits

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The people were itching to be pumped for whatever Warm Soda was going to be. After producer-musician Matthew Melton's beloved garage pop outfit Bare Wires dismantled ceremoniously early last year, he announced the name Warm Soda, and we collectively gripped our seats. Thankfully, there was no cause for disappointment.Read more »

On the Rise: Trails and Ways

"You say bossa nova dream pop, I say Brazilian shoegaze."

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This is the year we'll finally get to spend some QT with Trilingual, which will technically be Trails and Ways' debut LP. Though there's still no release date or label, it will be coming out in 2013. It seems like we've been hearing about this much-anticipated release for ages, given all the buzzy blog love thrust on the Oakland indie-pop quartet.Read more »

On the Rise: Chippy Nonstop

"Next LVL club bangers and sultry club grind jams"

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East Bay rapper Chippy Nonstop is meant to be seen as much as heard. Last fall's "Money Dance" single off the Money Dance 101 EP was made exponentially better by the club-worthy video accompaniment — which has since racked up more than 45,000 views on Youtube in three months — created by Jon Smiff, with beats managed by producers DJ Twostacks and Grave Goods.Read more »

On the Rise: Holly Herndon

Hushed, layered vocals trailing off into an unseen world

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Using just her laptop and live vocal processing, Holly Herndon creates alternate universes. The PhD student at Stanford's Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics manipulates programs into heart-racing, thumping, brain dripping compositions that methodically carry the listener away, then jerk it back with startling shots of noise. The best case example of this is "Movement," the title track off last fall's experimental RVNG Intl. release.Read more »

Freak show

The Residents talk eyeball masks, $100,000 box sets, and their 40 anniversary tour. Meanwhile, Beak> gets weird(er)

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emilysavage@sfbg.com

TOFU AND WHISKEY As Homer Flynn describes to me the Bay Area musical landscape during the time when iconic, experimental music-arts collective the Residents first rolled into town in 1966, I can't help but picture a tiny gold hammer cracking the earth wide open like it was a piñata, with glitter, powdered wigs, freakish masks, oversized eyeballs, and gingerbread men spewing out in a magnificent tangle.Read more »