Music

A musician grows on Market Street

San Francisco's wunderkind "Trumpet Kid" on the musical education he's gained from playing in the city streets

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esilvers@sfbg.com

If you've spent time in downtown San Francisco, chances are you've seen him: thin as a rail but dressed to kill, light on his feet in squeaky-clean dress shoes amidst the grey monotone of Market Street, he takes a deep breath in — and when he breathes out, into the mouthpiece of his trumpet, the sound is pure confidence, come to sonic life.Read more »

Stalin: Darkness Visible

With his new album, Bay Area boss J.Stalin shines a light on Bay Area rap — and his own 12-year career

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arts@sfbg.com

I remember the day I met J.Stalin, 10 years ago. He bounced into the Mekanix's East Oakland studio, walked up to me, and shook my hand.Read more »

Spring chickens

'Tis the season for new releases, featuring a bumper crop of Bay Area bands. Plus, an identity crisis: Bay Area surf-mariachi-punks bAd bAd defend their honor against LA electro-pop kids badbad

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Love rumbles

Who is Charlie Megira? A Berlin rebel with a Bay Area connection

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arts@sfbg.com

MUSIC Like some bastard love child of Link Wray and Johnny Thunders, Berlin-by-way-of-Israel rock 'n' roller Charlie Megira has mastered the art of blending 1950s-style rock guitar and spooky, blood-curdling howls. In his newest incarnation (though not as new as it may seem, but we'll get to that later), the Bet She'an Valley Hillbillies, he takes those building blocks and adds a vroom-vroom rockabilly twang.Read more »

All (really, all) are welcome

Composer Mark Growden finds his calling with the Calling All Choir

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By Whitney Phaneuf

arts@sfbg.com

Mark Growden had a passion for jazz and classical music from a young age, growing up in the small northeast California mountain town of Westwood. So he set out to be a composer. He only learned to sing as an adult — out of necessity, when his instruments were stolen — and only then did his rich baritone vocals become a way to book gigs and get his music heard.Read more »

Soul power to the people

Sharon Jones kicks cancer and hits the road with the Dap-Kings

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By Rob Goszkowski

arts@sfbg.comRead more »

On the Rise: Avalon Emerson

A playful combination of house and techno, preferably listened to on a big club sound system

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That delectable boom you hear on dance floors across the city and SoundCloud mixes throughout the cloud-cosmos, overlayed with an earworm diced-diva sample and frenzy-inducing keyboard clang? It's "Pressure," the January release from DJ and techno wiz Kahley Avalon Emerson (who goes by her last two names) on local label Icee Hot.Read more »

On the Rise: Friction Quartet

Post-classical determination

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Opening for infamously iconoclastic, 40-year-old Bay Area contemporary music heroes Kronos Quartet, as the young Friction Quartet did earlier this year, might launch even the most experienced string player into a bow-snapping fit of nerves. But the Friction foursome was built on determination and fearlessness. "I wanted to start a contemporary string quartet since I was in high school," co-founder and violinist Kevin Rogers explained. "Doug [Machiz] and I decided that if he ever moved to San Francisco, that we would form one together. Read more »

On the Rise: Rocky Rivera

"Golden Gate gangster of love"

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Take it from this one: Most music journalists are not secretly very talented musicians, toiling away in writers' clothes. Most emcees, of course, are not Rocky Rivera -- a San Francisco-born rapper whose love of hip-hop first took the form of a journalism career, including covering the Bay Area's hip-hop scene for this very publication, Rolling Stone, and others.Read more »

On the Rise: Astronauts, etc.

"Supermelodic pulp/arena pop"

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It'd be easy to resent Anthony Ferraro, the force behind Astronauts, etc., if he didn't seem like such an agreeable guy. In the months following his graduation from UC Berkeley last summer -- a time when many of us are flipping coins to decide between the barista job or the unpaid internship -- Ferraro had just become Toro y Moi's new keyboardist, and was juggling prep for their international tour with writing songs for his second solo EP. Read more »