AltWeeklies Wire

The Dutchess and the Duke Break Hearts on Acoustic Stringsnew

Sunset/Sunrise is permeated by a much darker mood than the band's debut, She's the Dutchess, He's the Duke, but the follow-up succeeds by using the same simple arrangements.
SF Weekly  |  Jennifer Maerz  |  11-04-2009  |  Profiles & Interviews

Jay Farrar, Ben Gibbard, and a Bad Actress Pay Tribute to Kerouac's 'Big Sur'new

On the One Fast Move or I'm Gone soundtrack, Farrar and Gibbard trade off singing 12 songs with lyrics taken from Big Sur, including lines from the poem "Sea" that closes the novel. Farrar admits to being intimidated at first to use Kerouac as his lyricist, until he settled into a stream-of-consciousness songwriting style.
SF Weekly  |  Jennifer Maerz  |  10-22-2009  |  Profiles & Interviews

Unagi Keeps Hip-Hop Reference-Richnew

Unagi takes hip-hop on a maximalist ride that jells with his geography. He talks up living in the birthplace of Del the Funkyhomosapien, Hieroglyphics, and DJ Shadow, and his drive to "go for more obscure references than [sampling] the obvious song."
SF Weekly  |  Jennifer Maerz  |  07-15-2009  |  Profiles & Interviews

Norwegian Death Metal Doc 'Until the Light Takes Us' Aims High(brow)new

Norwegian death metal is a fascinatingly dark corner of the musician-as-fanatic landscape. Until the Light Takes Us is an attempt to create the definitive film on the subject, but directors Aaron Aites and Audrey Ewell instead offer a passive, jumpy synopsis that's more artsy than insightful.
SF Weekly  |  Jennifer Maerz  |  07-08-2009  |  Reviews

Toshio Hirano, the Tokyo Yodelernew

Hirano is a poorly kept secret who nonetheless provokes the protective nature of his followers. The night I was at Amnesia, one young fan showed concern that I would increase Hirano's exposure, shaking his head and saying, "But he's our local treasure."
SF Weekly  |  Jennifer Maerz  |  06-17-2009  |  Profiles & Interviews

The Units Punked the System, Played JC Penneynew

I've been dwelling on San Francisco's punk roots a lot lately after stumbling into an excellent new collection of out-of-print material by San Francisco's original synth punks. The group's music and mantra provide interesting angles from which to view an era of rapid technological and artistic progress -- much like the one we're in now.
SF Weekly  |  Jennifer Maerz  |  06-10-2009  |  Profiles & Interviews

Animal Collective: Live from Big Surnew

There wasn't a couple getting hitched, but Animal Collective's show in Big Sur felt more like a hippie wedding than a concert.
SF Weekly  |  Jennifer Maerz  |  06-05-2009  |  Concerts

Outdated Rules Threaten the Life of San Fran's All-Ages Clubsnew

The livelihood of San Franciso's best-known all-ages venues is under siege based on issues that have nothing to do with public safety, but rather on archaic views of how a nightclub should operate.
SF Weekly  |  Jennifer Maerz  |  05-27-2009  |  Recreation

Green Day Breaks Down 21st-Century Politicsnew

21st Century Breakdown proves that Green Day still has the power to rally the troops, even without a specific enemy to fight against. The band has been vaulted to mainstream punk's socially conscious mouthpiece, and the trio's Bay Area lefty ideals are as lofty as its songwriting gestures.
SF Weekly  |  Jennifer Maerz  |  05-14-2009  |  Reviews

Jamie Stewart's Infinite Sadness Is Exhaustingnew

Jamie Stewart is a morgue-serious songwriter. And yet it's impossible to take the Xiu Xiu frontman seriously. The ache in his indie rock takes introspective moping to such an exaggerated extreme it's difficult to endure with a straight face.
SF Weekly  |  Jennifer Maerz  |  04-08-2009  |  Profiles & Interviews

LiveNation Battles Neighbors Over Big Concertsnew

LiveNation is re-envisioning the landmark landscape of San Francisco's Nob Hill to include a more regularly booked concert hall.
SF Weekly  |  Jennifer Maerz  |  03-13-2009  |  Music

Pop Residencies Gain Traction in

Residencies by local indie-rock and pop bands, however, haven't quite taken hold in San Francisco like they have in other cities, despite efforts from clubs over the years. But now they are gaining traction.
SF Weekly  |  Jennifer Maerz  |  03-04-2009  |  Music

Tommy Hall, an Originator of Acid Rock in the '60s, is Still Psychedelicnew

For many of his 66 years, Hall has been pursuing intellectual enlightenment through acid. He began that quest in the mid-'60s with the 13th Floor Elevators.
SF Weekly  |  Jennifer Maerz  |  02-18-2009  |  Culture

New Doc Reveals Many of Scott Walker's Mysteriesnew

In a new documentary, Stephen Kijak takes us through Scott Walker's history, methodology, and cultural relevance by collecting interviews with the underground legend and the musicians he's influenced, as well as vintage performance and modern studio footage.
SF Weekly  |  Jennifer Maerz  |  01-21-2009  |  Reviews

Von Iva Hits the Big Time with Jim Carreynew

How do you amass a large audience from outside the traditional music industry? If you're San Francisco's Von Iva, the answer has moved from labels to licensing -- a direction that recently landed the group in the onscreen company of Jim Carrey and Zooey Deschanel.
SF Weekly  |  Jennifer Maerz  |  12-03-2008  |  Profiles & Interviews

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