Ride the undulating “whoa-oh-oh-oh-oh”s of “Real Love” off Beach House’s third album, Teen Dream (Sub Pop), and you’ll find yourself deep in the ether, though Alex Scally and Victoria Legrand don’t seem attached to any demographic in particular. As a matter of fact, the concerns of such songs as “Real Love,” “10 Mile Stereo,” “Better Times,” “Lover of Mine,” and “Used to Be” seem rooted in a teenage world of long ago and far away, regarded through the prism of adulthood.
The special tonight, March 11? It has to be the opening of the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival -- now in its 28th incarnation and taking off with Today’s Special, David Kaplan’s rom-com with a Bollywood/foodie twist (Indian cooking icon Madhur Jaffrey plays the mother of a sous chef in search of the secret spice missing from his life).
It’s one thing to cover the bands -- it’s whole another wet ‘n’ wild burrito to book and promote the bands themselves. Ah, the lines get mighty fuzzy these days, where the blogosphere meets brick and mortar, and the latest entry into the party-throwing frenzy we call the SF music scene comes from Epicsauce.com.
It’s always inspiring to see a band stretch its wings - bending them toward the sky, if you will - and fly. And that’s what Bay Area indie-rock combo the Morning Benders have done with its sophomore full-length, Big Echo (Rough Trade), beckoning to listeners to reach for their headphones and follow.
After seeing Midlake open for the Flaming Lips at Noise Pop a few years back, I would have never suspected that the way-quiet, almost lo-fi indie rockers would produce one of the finest, most ambitious albums of 2010 thus far. Yet that’s just what you have with the release of the Denton, Texas, band’s new The Courage of Others (Bella Union), a tribute to and continuation of the legacy of rusticated folk-rock forebears like early Fleetwood Mac, as well as the deep drink from the ever-yielding wellspring created by ‘60s English folk revivalists like Fairport Convention.
There’s no time like dream time -- propelled by information streams and reads on radical culture, race and feminism, as well as journeys, both pleasurable and migratory, and histories, both national and personal. And it's time to dive into a sizable overview of San Francisco artist (and Dean of Graduate Studies at the San Francisco Art Institute) Renee Green’s time-based work when Yerba Buena Center for the Arts presents the largest US exhibition of her pieces in more than a decade: “Renee Green: Endless Dreams and Time-Based Streams.”
“Visionary” is bandied about too often for anyone’s comfort level -- yet Jaron Lanier very well might fall under that header as one of the first Silicon Valley thinkers to use the term “virtual reality,” a field he was instrumental in developing as the founder of VPL Research. A composer, visual artist and writer, as well as a computer scientist, Lanier helmed the team that worked on the first multi-person virtual realms and avatars in the ‘80s -- World of Warcraft fiends and James Cameron can raise their glasses to him right about now -- and later predicted the changes that the Web would bring to the flesh-and-bone, brick-and-mortar world.