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Kimberly Chun

DIY Revive: Nikki McClure At Needles & Pens

Of all the homespun stars to spin out of DIY/riot grrrl constellation spinning around Olympia, Wash., and Portland, Ore., ala the Gossip and Sleater-Kinney, Nikki McClure has to be one of the easiest to adore.

Working The ‘Weekend’: Calvin Harris Picks Up The Beat

Remember Loverboy? Remember “Working for the Weekend”? UK dance-pop savant Calvin Harris isn’t about to mess with that golden pop formula and instead doubles his pleasure with a similar sentiment, the title of his second album, Ready for the Weekend (Ultra).

Built to Spill For Halloween? Yes, Please

Love that Doug Martsch: grunge survivor, underground-bred character on par with fellow bearded wonder Will Oldham, and a soulful musicmaker who keeps finding new twists and turns in the Built to Spill sound. When I spoke with him three years ago, he was still reeling from a series of injuries suffered during pickup games on the basketball court -- a major Martsch passion. He detached a retina at one point, and on another occasion, while playing ball at the Tenderloin’s Golden Gate YMCA, he popped an eardrum and went deaf in one ear for a few months.

‘Whip It,’ For Real: BAD Girls Bring It To The Rollerderby Championship

You’re all crushed out on the tough girls with tats, roller skates and an appetite for tearing around a rink like a bat outta hell, I know you are -- I saw you sneaking into Whip It for the umpteenth time just the other day.

Well, now you’ll be able to get a taste of real-life roller-derby action -- though keep the Barbie skates at home -- when the B.ay A.rea D.erby (BAD) Girls take it to the rink for the season’s final bout -- an interleague championship -- right here in our fair city, Saturday, Oct. 24, at Fort Mason’s Herbst Pavilion. Last year’s champs, the Oakland Outlaws, will grapple with the Richmond Wrecking Belles. It’s the big time -- and big girl fun for all.

Sunday Mourning: Erika Chong Shuch And Sean San Jose Perform at Intersection

If you’ve ever seen them in action, you’ll want to see anything talents like Erika Chong Shuch. resident artist and choreographer at Intersection for the Arts, and Sean San Jose, nonprofit program director and member of resident theater ensemble Campo Santo, freely dream up. And now you get a chance to see what’s moving them at the moment with The Future Project: Sunday Will Come, their new performance collabo at Intersection. The performance -- conceived as part of a cycle of new works that aims to grapple with the unknown -- runs through Nov. 7.

Songwriting Savant: Daniel Johnston Plays Regency Ballroom

The phrase musical legend gets tossed around far too often for most music critics’ comfort, but when it comes to Daniel Johnston the appellation’s perfectly acceptable and understandable. The man is an original, a true-blue all-America outsider artist who made music despite the odds, despite the outright oddness of his vision. The Sacramento-born savant has made more than 30 albums, written jillions of songs, collaborated with artists like Sonic Youth and Sparklehorse, found fans in musicians like Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain, played to initiates the world over, and was the subject of the ‘05 doc, The Devil and Daniel Johnston.  

Tear It Down: The Heavy Bring It To Slim’s

Funk, soul, hard rock, pop, and a downright twisted, manically twisting sense of humor are all hallmarks of the Heavy, a band that must be enjoyed live to be believed. I know ‘cause the UK combo had me -- and the Playboy bunnies -- in its sway with its fusion of old-school soul and rock ‘n’ roll aggression last year at South by Southwest’s Playboy bash, as the group opened for Moby, Justice and MGMT. Now the time has come for you to throw down your arms and surrender to the Heavy beat at Slim’s Oct. 27.

Cool Rules: Why? Plunges Into ‘Eskimo Snow’

Why?’s Yoni Wolf is something of a pocket indie-rock/hip-hop genius, positioned right in our East Bay backyard, hidden in plain sight. You might spy him jogging around Oakland’s Piedmont neighborhood or washing up at choice underground shows at 21 Grand. And otherwise you can catch him all over the new Why? disc, Eskimo Snow (Anticon), or live at Great American Music Hall Oct. 17 with a new five-piece lineup including Andrew Broder and Mark Erickson of the Fog.

Dirty Fun: David Hevel’s Pulverized Pop

High kitsch, Looney Tunes and taxidermy critters cavort alongside invocations of Michael Jackson, Brangelina and Lady Gaga at David Hevel's second solo show, “Beautiful, Dirty, Dirty, Rich," at Marx & Zavattero. The San Francisco artist borrowed a lyric from the current queen of dance-floor pop for the name of his exhibit, a witty, unsettling, yet proudly synthetic synthesis of camp attraction and repulsion. It’s not too late to catch the show before it ends on Oct.17.

Sea, Hear: Beach House At Bottom Of The Hill

What has been washing up on Beach House’s shores? Plans for a new baby, according to the band grapevine, as well as a bouncing new album. Duo Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally have been working on the latter this year in upstate New York at Dreamland Studios, a church-turned-recoding-studio, alongside producer-engineer Chris Coady (Yeah Yeah Yeahs, TV on the Radio, !!!).

After the rapturous reception that accompanied the pair’s second long-player, **Devotion** (Carpark), one can easily accept the word from Seattle -- home of Beach House’s new label, Sub Pop -- that the twosome’s third full-length is going to be a beaut.

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