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Bottom of the Hill

Birds & Batteries Release 'Panorama:' Sneak a Listen

Hot off the heels of their 2009 EP, Birds & Batteries had everyone from the likes of Pitchfork and Rolling Stone buzzing. With praises like, “[Up To No Good is] a bit like a high-concept mashup, this fusion of two of the slickest eras of pop production produces some polished results,” we couldn’t help but perch on the edge of our seat waiting for their next move.

Hot Tickets: Must-See Shows in March and April

It feels like it was just yesterday when the festival touring circuit was over. Well, the winter hibernation is over, and with festivals like SXSW, Coachella, Sasquatch and Bonnaroo just around the corner, there are some big music decisions to make on the home front. Here are our March and April suggestions.

Quasi, The Independent, 3/10: These Portland staples have been touring and impressing fans since '93. Over the years, they've collectively toured and/or recorded with Sleater-Kinney, Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks, Built to Spill, Bright Eyes, and many others.

Noise Pop Last Night: Far Sings Beyonce's 'Halo'

The crowd at Bottom of the Hill last night was overwhelmingly dude, with just a spattering of female support.  It’s been twelve years since Far released their critically acclaimed second album, Water and Solutions, but the nostalgia for the emotive (though never weepy), post-hardcore album was very, very present. Last night’s show wasn’t just a reunion for the band; it was a reunion for the fans, some of whom have been waiting like, a decade to be in the same room with the Sacramento natives.  Case in point: Matranga breaking mid-song to belt out his own rendition of Beyonce’s “Halo,” an improvisation that provoked sporadic hoots and hollers from the few girls in the room.

Trash And Burn: NOMO Tear It Up at Bottom Of The Hill

Space-age bachelor-pad theremins and fuzzed-out riffage meet going-places-fast brass and West African twang? You get that and ‘mo when it comes to NOMO, performing Tuesday, Feb. 2, at Bottom of the Hill.


Hot Tickets: Shows to See in February

Time flies when you're having fun, and we sure must have been having a lot of it because January came and went with a blink of an eye. However, February in San Francisco is an exciting time for music lovers. Not only does it signify the beginning of festival season (Noise Pop's pre-party is on 2/18 and they're pumping music nearly every night straight through 3/1), it's also the start of big artists' West Coast legs of their tour. Yay for us! Noise Pop coverage to come, but to warm you up  here's this month's hot list.

Cool Rules: Cold Cave Revives The Specter of Synthpop

It’s more than a mere ‘80s revival at this point: the pulsing beat and almost Afropop-like rhythm guitar of the title track of Cold Cave’s newly reissued full-length, Love Comes Close (Matador). Are you listening to a great, new track by New Order, returned to its old form, rather than a coolly hot Iladelphia/NYC threesome? Like La Roux, Glass Candy and umpteen Yazoo and Human League acolytes, the group hews that closely to the chilly mechanics of Reagan-era pop. Frankly faux, sharply minimal keys are intertwined in an icy clinch with ennui-laden, art-damaged vocals.

Girls, Girls, Girls: The SF Band Plays Bottom Of The Hill

Who doesn’t love Girls? Even better than the real double-X-chromosome dealie is the all-boy SF band of androgynous charmers, which performs at Bottom of the Hill Saturday, Nov. 21.

Royal Flush: The Dutchess And Duke Play Bottom Of The Hill

Seattle’s Dutchess and the Duke have a knack for throwing you for a loop: Jesse Lortz and Kimberly Morrison’s 2008 debut, She’s the Dutchess, He’s the Duke (Hardly Art), found new ways into seemingly played-out formulas -- namely an early electrified folk sound familiar to fans of Dylan’s Bring It All Back Home -- and the two’s new full-length, Sunset/Sunrise (Hardly Art), goes one better. The storytelling is sharp and surprising. The pop referents hark to the sweetly tough innocence of the Ronettes, as well as the earnest yarn-spinning skills of Phil Ochs. However you shuffle it, Sunset/Sunrise is a delight. 

The War on SF's All Ages Venues Rages On

The ridiculous and unfounded war on SF's all-ages music venues continues. Threats have gotten serious. Accusations ridiculous. A litany of SF's problems (think murder and violent crime) have all been blamed on all-age venues such as Slim's, Cafe Du Nord and the Great American Music Hall. Clearly, rock, jazz, folk and bluegrass are dangerous for our youth. A vocal group of ultra-conservative neighbors have gotten their panties in a bundle and are using the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control as their a-bomb. Check out our video on the issue below and then click here to find out more about what you can do.

Sea, Hear: Beach House At Bottom Of The Hill

What has been washing up on Beach House’s shores? Plans for a new baby, according to the band grapevine, as well as a bouncing new album. Duo Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally have been working on the latter this year in upstate New York at Dreamland Studios, a church-turned-recoding-studio, alongside producer-engineer Chris Coady (Yeah Yeah Yeahs, TV on the Radio, !!!).

After the rapturous reception that accompanied the pair’s second long-player, **Devotion** (Carpark), one can easily accept the word from Seattle -- home of Beach House’s new label, Sub Pop -- that the twosome’s third full-length is going to be a beaut.

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