Music + Nightlife
Lord, I love a good midweek party -- and I especially adore discovering a new nightspot.
The relatively new Bold Italic site -- a Yelp-ish online entity dedicated to insider tips -- complied with an event at Le Club. I’d never been to the Nob Hill venue -- once a private club and now helmed by the owner of Bambuddha Lounge -- but my, oh, my, it was a deco revelation. The vibe was ‘20s-era speakeasy with chandeliers, plenty of cozy corners and a hideaway pool room. I felt like I had been spirited away to a posh lounge overseen by my coquettish, ex-Ziegfeld showgirl grandma.
Earlier this week, Jennifer Maerz at SF Weekly reported on a troubling trend in DJ-police relations. According to the article, police have been raiding underground parties and confiscating DJ equipment as evidence—including the laptops of DJs who aren't even spinning at the time of the raid. In many cases, the property has not been returned, prompting the Electronic Frontier Foundation to take on the cases of two DJs mentioned in Maerz's article, DJs Justin Credible and Matthew Higgins.
It’s always fun to encounter Fiery Furnaces’ Matthew Friedberger -- the man is not only one of the most wildly prolific songwriters of his generation but he seems like a genuinely nice, intense fellow, who just happens to be overflowing with interesting ideas and projects (proof: 2009 saw the release of Fiery Furnaces’ I’m Going Away as well as two other shorter releases including Take Me Round Again, which saw FF covering itself).
Oh, Miss Jones -- what the devil are these synths doing all over your silky, plush-kitted-out pipes. I’m talking about “Chasing Pirates,” off Norah Jones’ new album, The Fall (Blue Note), out today.
The ‘80s-esque offender just may have pop classicists rushing for the door, teeth clenched in rage at the artifice of it all: Synth and Wurlitzer chords burble and throb in counterpoint to Jones’ slipping and sliding vocals, more soft-rock Bruce Springsteen than OMD, riffing off the Boss’ “Fire” and punctuated by baldly faux handclaps. “And I don’t know how to slow it down,” Jones croons, lost in a fantasy of paranoia and escape and alone for the night. “My mind’s racing from chasing pirates.”
Jordan Catalano fest, err, NSSN 2009 isn't just an opportunity to stalk Jared Leto (30 Seconds to Mars) or Emily Haines (Metric) but your chance to make some local band's dream come true. Once again, Live 105 is holding a local band competition, pitting 15 bands against each other in an American Idol-style face off (vote/listen, here). The top five vote getting bands will battle it out at the Bottom of the Hill on Monday, December 7th. (Our money is on Mister Loveless or Scene of Action.) The winning band gets to open the sold-out event at the Oakland Arena. A far cry from the garage.
It’s sheer pleasure to encounter a debut as delightfully fresh as Anjulie’s. There’s nothing musty or fussy about the retro-soul/R&B stylings of the self-titled Hear Music disc by the Los Angeles-based, Oaksville, Ontario-bred daughter of Guyana immigrants. This is the type of music that gently grooves with the throwback soul of Duffy and Adele -- and despite her pouty, morning-after poses of late, little of the bad-girl drama of Amy Winehouse. Anjulie opens for Oakland-native hometown hero Raphael Saadiq at Fox Theater Wednesday, Nov. 18.
Maybe it’s because the Black Heart Procession play in near darkness or maybe it’s the smoky air of mystery surrounding unassuming leader Pall Jenkins -- whatever the case may be, the San Diego-Portland combo sometimes seems like one of the more unsung outfits to come out of the turn-of-the-millennium indie-rock era.
The black, black heart of the band’s new album, Six (Temporary Residence), drew me in and kept me there, wondering at its bleak appeal. Luckily, Jenkins was there with answers, via e-mail. You’ll get a chance to glean more answers when Black Heart Procession performs Sunday, Nov. 15, at the Independent.
The past decade has been filled with genre-bending breakthroughs, so-so bands making it big, complete trainwrecks for musicians, and mind-blowingly amazing live performances among many other things. It's that time of the year again when people start rounding up their year-end's best lists, only this year NPR's All Songs Considered (a personal podcast favorite of ours) is twisting it up a little bit. NPR wants you to nominate "The Decade's Most Important Music," quite a huge task to behold upon their listeners. It's only been up two days and already is garnering a circle of debate around it. Quite shockingly there are a lot of indie and lo-fi bands up for nomination.
We jumped at the opportunity to film Nashville band Paper Route for a guerilla-style video shoot inside Powell St. BART station. The lads are currently on tour with Paramore and opening tonight's SF gig at the Warfield. BART turned out to be a perfect setting to soundcheck even with the station operator's voice chiming in the background.
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