Music

Keep the faith

Little Dragon escapes the R&B-according-to-hipsters pitfall

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Dreams on 45

Sonny Smith brings you "100 Records" — and the jukebox to play them

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A chillwave primer

Washed Out caps one of a growing number of electronic new waves

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arts@sfbg.com

MUSIC Chillwave is atmospheric and can fill the background, washing over you and allowing you to float through the world, or it can work as foreground with drastic beats that make you dance. Chillwave relaxes and excites. You feel it all around yourself. It's multifunctional: the perfect backdrop for walks through SF on blue-sky days, for dipping your toes in the sun-speckled sand, for stealing kisses with your lover, for dance parties. It's faded and fuzzy synth-pop of blissed-out beauty.Read more »

Double vision

Montage master Johan Grimonprez clones Hitchcock

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The just-reissued Vampires of Dartmore album Dracula's Music Cabinet (Finders Keepers) includes a track titled "Hallo, Mr. Hitchcock," in which beloved Hitch silently answers a series of phone calls from a manic, murderous prankster. The track isn't used in Johan Grimonprez's latest unconventional film essay Double Take, but it would be ideal material for the movie. Read more »

Straight from the heart

Best Coast craft love letters to and from California

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MUSIC It's typical to want to leave everything behind at times, because everything just seems the same after a while, no matter where you're from. When Bethany Cosentino ventured to New York City for college and hated being walled in by the snow and skyscrapers, she inundated herself with the warm melodies of the Beach Boys, surf music and 1960s girl groups — the soundtrack of her native California. Read more »

Wise "Blood"

Yeasayer says no to predictability on its sophomore album

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MUSIC Most bands change over time. Change makes most people uncomfortable. I — for all intents and purposes — am most people. Therefore, when a band I care about changes, most of the time I feel uncomfortable.Read more »

Sound effects

Mincemeat or Tenspeed put the pedal to the mettle
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MUSIC One can infer a lot about a musician's relationship to hardcore from their effects pedals. Black Flag pissed off the jocks by growing their hair out and exploring ponderous jam-band territory, but modulating the guitar signal might have been a more serious affront. Black Dice took the latter tack, with Bjorn Copeland's guitar playing the role of sound generator in contrast to Greg Ginn's Tourette's-stricken riff machine. Read more »

Welcome to violence

Madlib, now in his hardcore phase, hands out sonic pamphlets like a prophet of doom
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MUSIC Late last year, Stones Throw Records announced it would release a full-length album of tunes by its veritable resident producer, Madlib, in 2010 ... every month. Dubbed Madlib Medicine Show, the 12-part series sounds like a rap nerd fantasy.Read more »

Potrero punk power

Power threesome Dadfag makes things sink and make sense

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When I meet with the triad that makes up Dadfag at Four Barrel Coffee, Eva Hannan explains that they are operating on no sleep. She and fellow guitarist-vocalist Danielle Benson had woken up at dawn to drive their Sacramento friends from Ganglians home after they'd stayed in the city to see Dadfag play the previous night at El Rio. The exhaustion doesn't show. Instead, Dadfag have the same delirious energy one witnesses when they perform, except that Benson has blown out her voice.Read more »

Do make drone

Thirty years of Big City Orchestra's bent circuits, Beatlerape, and popcorn sounds

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MUSIC "One, 1,000 ... two, 1,000 ... three, 1,000 ..." I'm counting down the seconds, by phone, between rare Bay Area lightning flash and thunderbolt with dAS, experimental composer and core member of Big City Orchestra. He's at the 30-year-old noise-collage collective's studio in Alameda, preparing for the BCO radio show, ubRadio, streamed live every Wednesday afternoon through a Web site in Amsterdam. "Maybe I'll just put a box of microphones out in the storm today," dAS says with a chuckle, to catch the air's anticipatory crackleRead more »