Bottom of the Hill
Catchy, upbeat, danceable, addictive - Portland-based electro-pop group Starfucker (or STRFKR to some) is on the up-and-up. They took a minute to chat with us before swinging through the Bay Area later this week.
Welcome back to San Francisco! What’s been happening with you guys since the last time you were here?
San Francisco bands pretty much wrote the book on psychedelic music, thanks to its status as the nexus of all things trippy and acid-fried in the late 60s and early 70s. And because humans will always need an excuse to get totally zonked out and have a good time, Wooden Shjips proudly continue to carry the torch for anyone who digs their music hypnotic, sexy, impossibly loud and accompanied by brain-bending visuals.
Japanese-born Guitar Wolf is one of those bands that does its thing no matter where they are, who they're playing to, what year it is, or how sweaty they get while doing it. Love them or hate them, they'll never care. The band's "thing" is their own badass creation of "jet rock n' roll," an ear-splitting, aggro blend of garage, rockabilly and the Ramones' loose-hipped punk, which they've been snarling out relentlessly on stages around the world since 1987.
Local Band Name Breakdown: Where we ask Bay Area bands the story behind their names. Don't pretend you never wondered.
The whip-smart boys in Nodzzz are an irreverent trio who bang out awesomely hilarious, lo-fi rock songs, in the nerd-tastic vein of New Wave Brit Nick Lowe and the late great Warren Zevon. We've been tapping our feet and laughing out loud constantly to tunes from their new disc Innings (Woodsist), coming later this year. Check out "Time (What's It Going to Do) here. Mesmerized by the plethora of z's that populate the band's name, we asked singer Anthony Atlas to explain:
On his debut album, Too Young to Be in Love, out tomorrow, Seth Bogart (aka Hunx of Oakland band Hunx and His Punx) does two things very well. Drawing inspiration from pop’s formative years during the Brill Building heyday––which gave us everything from big bands to Bobby Darin to ’60s girl groups––Bogart’s set of ragged and innocent songs of love and heartbreak both honor those glory days and brilliantly turn them on their proverbial heads. Bogart’s flamboyance is icing on the cake, making the songs even more deliciously fun.
Japanese band Acid Mothers Temple & the Melting Paraiso UFO is soldiering on in spite of their home country's state of disaster, and thank goodness for that. We feel like we need serious refuge from all that's going wrong in the world right now (tsunamis, gloomy weather, no more free Britney Spears show, etc.), and AMT's berserk psychedelic freak jams are just the medicine to do the trick.
Something bewitching this way comes—in the form of UK band Esben and the Witch. Imagine the dreamy, gloomy atmospherics of Siouxsie and the Banshees, the left-field rock ‘n’ roll emotiveness of Scott Walker and the literate swoon of PJ Harvey encapsulated in one threesome—and you get something of an inkling of Esben and the Witch’s debut long-player, Violet Cries (Matador).
I spoke with Daniel Copeman, who plays guitar and contributes electronics to the band, last week, as the hooting and hollering sounds of South by Southwest in full swing went down in the background. Esben and the Witch headline at Bottom of the Hill tomorrow, March 23.