Music + Nightlife
After a slow couple of weeks on the show circuit, the second half of summer tours are beginning to pick up speed once again. From big names to small local fames, every single venue in the City seems to be featuring at least one showstopper this week. Check out our picks for the week:
They’ve blazed the stages at Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, Rothbury and many, many more, and in the process, have pioneered a cult following across the world. They’ve become quite renowned for their ridiculous stage show usually involving some sort of costumes (whether dancing people in gas masks, ghouls, bunnies, Freddie Mercury replicas, whatever) and they’ve changed the explanation of their name more times than one can count. Of Montreal’s always effervescent style has transformed from lo-fi shoegazer to electronic disco/funk and quirky prog-pop over the years, but Kevin Barnes has always made sure to keep their indie roots in tact.
Stopping by the Independent last night on his 10,000LB Hamburger Tour wunderkind A-Trak made it clear that the 90’s are making a come back. The Montreal native, clad in his signature ensemble of a leather jacket and shades rocked the crowd of 20-somethings with a sample-filled electro set. Remixes of cult favorites like Daft Punk and Justice were interlaced with hip-hop throwbacks that had us feeling nostalgic for our youth. Safe to say if you were looking for a hot summer dance party in the midst of the chilling San Francisco weather last night’s show is where you would have found it.
Carla Bozulich could have been Courtney Love. Looking back on Bozulich’s storied career, I’m sure more than one music writer has toyed with the thought. As the fire-starting frontperson of Ethyl Meatplow and later the Geraldine Fibbers, playing sprawling Alternative Nation-era shows and filling the stage with her eye-pulling magnetism, her tempestuous charisma, Bozulich could have crashed and burned on the shores of too much public and media attention too soon. Heck, she even had her Kurt, an esteemed fellow musician and love interest in the form of Nels Cline, who now plays guitar with Wilco.
I love the way each installment of Fabric Records’ mix series, the recorded spinoffs of the London nightclub Fabric, so acutely reflects the sensibility of its makers. Its DJs, producers, and artists have roved widely in all sorts of electronic and dance music genres: house, grime, minimal techno, electro, microhouse, hip-hop, breaks and drum ‘n’ bass. Recalling the imprint’s releases -- from the 2005 turn by dancefloor legend Carl Craig and the acclaimed ‘07 offering by Ricardo Villalobos to 2008 disc by Get Physical founders M.A.N.D.Y. and a recent entry by SF producer and Dirtybird label honcho Claude VonStroke -- I really have to marvel at the overall quality of the productions: the Herbaliser’s 2006 mix continues to be a fave for its blend of classics like Eric B.
You can’t catch The Gay from a toilet seat or from walking through The Castro, but listen to one too many Judy Garland ballads and who knows? It could be enough to turn you. At least, that’s what Connie Champagne is warning – and/or promising – in her new cabaret act, “Connie Champagne Sings Songs to Make You Gay.”
Growing up as a b-boy during the birth of hip-hop on the Upper West Side of New York was certainly not easy for now world-renowned graf artist Justin Bua, and his artwork is the proof. His b-boy skills and involvement in the hip-hop community made him notable, but his graffiti art surely put him on the map. As a tribute to his upbringing, which was heavily influenced by Michael Jackson, Bua completed and unveiled his “most inspired piece to date” titled King of Pop reflecting the icon in his prime, complete with the signature shiny glove in a strikingly classic MJ pose.
Micachu Levi may not be reinventing the wheel with her inviting melange of tweeting synths, noise shards and bent rhythms. But the adeptness with which she has synthesized 21st century American underground indies as varied as Deerhoof and Dan Deacon, Matt and Kim and High Places, and their avant-hardcore resistance to traditional song structures and hip-hop/electronic music-affiliated affinity for cut-and-paste appropriation, is tough to deny. It would be like dismissing electricity as flash-in-the-pan trendy.
If your band is handpicked by Joan Jett to join her label and your all-time hero, Morrissey, invites you to join him on tour, you must be something special. And Texas trio, Girl in a Coma definitely is. Sisters Phanie and Nina Diaz, and pal Jenn Alva have achieved more in less than a decade than most bands could dream of attaining in a lifetime. Named for the Smiths’ song, “Girlfriend in a Coma,” the group has gained critical acclaim and toured the nation both as an opening act and as a headliner. Now the girls are on the road yet again, promoting their new album, Trio B.C., and coming to SF’s Bottom of the Hill on Thursday, June 16. Find out below what lead singer Nina has to say about working with a punk rock queen, returning to SF, and adding a few tattoos along the way.
The latest show to hit SF Art Exchange, “Chairman of the Board. Knight of the Realm,” chronicles the careers of Frank Sinatra and Sir Elton John by famed British photographer Terry O'Neill. Lining opposite walls of the gallery space, this rare solo exhibition pits 20+ photographs of an effortlessly polished Sinatra against 20+ of a quirkily dynamic John. Masterfully arranged in a mix of both black-and-white and color, the show tells not only of the men being shot but also sheds light on the man behind the camera. We caught up with the talented Terry O’Neill at last week’s preview event at the Clift to talk photography, music and celebrity.
When did you become interested in photography?