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Music + Nightlife

The Morning Benders Sign to Rough Trade Records

Rumors about where The Morning Benders would sign have been circulating for months. Well, Rough Trade Records has emerged as the lucky label to bag our Berkeley beloveds. The boys will release their sophomore effort, Big Echo on March 9th, then embark on a two-month cross-country head-lining tour. The album was produced by lead singer Christopher Chu and Grizzly Bear's bass player Chris Taylor.

Our Picks: The Top 10 Bay Area Albums of 2009

We've already broken down our Top 10 Best Albums of 2009, but with the plethora of highly talented musicians right in our backyard, how could we ignore these amazing Bay-Area based achievements? Since we're already on a list-making roll...

Inbox: Moon Duo, Or, The Whale, Wallpaper

Oh, hello Moon Duo. Nice to meet you. San Francisco's Sanae Yamada and Erik Johnson (of Wooden Shjips) are introducing themselves with a near seven-minute lo-fi-space-y and uber haunting jam. Listening to "Stumbling 22nd St" is like walking in to a Quentin Tarrantino movie during one of his classic stomach wrenching scenes. Sit tight for the release of Escape (Feb. 16, 2010).

Holy butts, Or, the Whale. In a True Blood moment the main character of said band's new video for "Rusty Gold" reveals his birthday suit and shape-shifts into a chocolate lab. Not sure what the message is here, but the video seems to be a perfect fit for the song's backwoods feel.

Our Picks: The 10 Best Albums of 2009

We're jumping into the "best-of" list fray. While there were MANY near misses, this list represents the 10 albums that were on our permanent rotation this year. 2010 is shaping up quite nicely, and we're looking forward to an even more exciting year in record releases...Now, let the snarky comments commence!

'Tis the Season of Sold-Out Shows: Edward Sharpe & Gaga

'Tis the weekend of hyped-up, sold out shows. Lady Gaga's Monster Ball is blowing through town (check out our Look of the Week to get prepped for that extravaganza) and Saturday's Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes GAMH show has been inspiring some pretty creative Craigslist pleas for tickets. We're a big fan of Edward Sharpe in the 7x7 offices (we play "Home" in an attempt to alleviate the chill situation) and are excited to see this band grace many of the year's best of lists.

John Vanderslice, Rogue Wave and Mark Kozelek to Play Noise Pop

Dust off the Chuck Taylors, the 18th annual Noise Pop Festival returns to our neighborhood venues February 23rd-March 1st. The west coast's reigning hipster-pop extravaganza announced early confirmations including Magnetic Fields, Mark Kozelek, Atlas Sound, and Four Tet. And, of course, there's always a local smorgasbord of talent and 2010 is no different with Rogue Wave, John Vanderslice, and Wallpaper set to play. For the music-tech inclined, the festival includes a mini-conference at the Swedish American Music Hall on Feb 27th.

Sold: Green Day and Metallica Cribs

Are local rockers are in mass exodus? Both Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong and Metallica's Kirk Hammett have sold their surprisingly tame Bay Area cribs. Hammet's Pac Heights mansion has been on the market since 2005 and sold for nearly $9 million, while Armstrong's Oakland hills home sold for $4.8 within months its September listing. Each comes with a private recording studio, of course. Roadies not included.





NSSN: Scene of Action Wins the Local Spot

Not So Silent Night is pulling out all the stops this year, appealing to every kind of listener they have. Besides the Soundcheck Holiday Ball happening at Bimbo's 365 tonight, we're most excited about tomorrow's (12/10) Pre-Party at Mezzanine featuring sets from Gossip and Passion Pit, both of which we've been huge fans as of late. Unfortunately, as of writing, every one of Live 105's various Not So Silent Night events are completely sold out.

Cool School: Bebel Gilberto Mixes It Up At Bimbo’s

New bossa nova doyenne Bebel Gilberto has done a lot of growing since her SF debut back at the turn of the century at Bimbo’s 365 Club. Her 2000 debut, Tanto Tempo, had just come out on Ziriguiboom and local imprint Six Degrees and the recording was only beginning to reach the ears of both Brazilian music fans and electronica coolios, both world pop aficionados and lovers of well-chilled downtempo beats.

Live 105 Soundcheck Holiday Ball - White Rabbits, Band of Skulls and more

Usually Live 105's holiday shows are steeped with bands that attract the teeny-bopper groupie types, but this year that couldn't be farther from the truth. Live 105's huge December show, Not So Silent Night (12/11) and their subsequent smaller, and more intimate Soundcheck Holiday Ball is way more impressive (kudos to the booking agents!) than any other year that we can remember.

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