Music + Nightlife
The Rural Alberta Advantage are about as rustic as the throbbing synth that opens its newly re-released 2008 debut, Hometowns (Saddle Creek). But you don’t need to listen long to immediately glean the band’s backwater charm as the chimes and strings kick in. Like an indie-rockier American Analog Set, a more stately and minimalist Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, or a folkier, filled-out Matt and Kim, the Rural Alberta Advantage’s earnest feistiness shines through the homespun, lo-fi production of Hometowns.
After a long, sun-filled weekend highlighted by scrumptious freedom fries, libations and fireworks overdoses, the city by the Bay remains fairly quiet. However, there are a few numbers stopping by that have us all sorts of excited. Check out our favorite picks for the week.
An extremely thematic and well-thought-out album is about to hit stores near you, and we were lucky enough to preview it a few weeks in advance. We're talking about the much-anticipated album of up-and-comers (and personal favorites), Portugal. The Man. While their third album, Censored Colors, knocked them through into super-fame, the forthcoming fourth record, The Satanic Satanist, shows a side of Portugal the public has yet to see. Perhaps a more massively appealing album with its vocal-centric and decidedly uncomplicated musical arrangements, what remains inside is a deep potential for what’s next and even more so, the very obvious fact that Portugal. The Man has and always will be a stellar live band that doesn’t entirely translate to record.
San Francisco has always been a nurturing home for a thriving hip-hop scene over the decades, and while it’s remained somewhat quiet over the past few years, a few promising artists have emerged. One such artist named Michael Lovasco (aka Dego) has paired up with other Bay Area legends such as Too $hort, The Jacka, Netta B and fellow rising star, Barnone, on his premiere solo album with a less than stellar title, The Album.
Lend an ear to the Heavenly States’ most recent album, 2008’s Delayer, and you realize, this Bay Area band has it. And what, pray tell, is “it”? Imagination, guts, and the wide-angle ambition to put together a great, layered, multi-textured indie-rock album. Add the fact that Heavenly States was the first to tour Libya -- an adventure captured in the as-yet-unreleased feature-length documentary, Borderline -- as well as a super-energized live show, and you have a slice of heaven right here in the Bay.
It’s obvious from the very short list of featured musicians this week, the land of music remains quiet as weary artists take a break from non-stop festivals and shows on their summer tour. We expect it to kick back up and into full force in late July, but for now, here are a few must-sees this week.
The sound of hot, lazy summer days spent basking on a warm stone beside a swimming hole, or dangling from a rocker on a front porch, listening to cricket cackle and sucking back cans of Old Style -- that’s sound of Deer Tick, the most soulful indie rock boys to come down the pike since the Black Keys. The band plays the Independent on Wednesday, July 1.
Tonight a rare collection of local break-throughs combine forces to celebrate Battlehooch’s album release party for their latest electro-prog compilation, Piecechow. A bunch of UCSC grads, these guys have gained underground respect and fame from musicians and freak-noise fans alike. At the show, expect rampant spandex outfits, unpredictable stage antics and staggering genius musicianship. They’ve street busked, they’ve gained a huge following and now they’re taking it on the road for their Piecechow tour.