Café Du Nord
Casiokids have been rocking Norway for 5 years with their sunny, casio-driven, electro-pop, but Norway couldn’t keep the band all to themselves forever. Their latest release, Topp Stemning På Lokal Bar on Polyvinyl Records, is the group’s US debut, launching their buzz from across the pond into the states. Despite their geographic distance, they manage to find themselves stateside quite a bit. They rocked SXSW and CMJ and now they’re back again on their very own mini headlining tour. Casiokids are known for their theatrical live shows and they’ll be hitting San Francisco’s Cafe Du Nord on August 18th.
Twenty years ago, were you a club kid dancing your nights away to Depeche Mode's awesome synthpop classic Violator? No doubt you've mellowed a bit since then, which is why this re-imagining of Violator is particularly brilliant: the Jack Curtis Dubowsky Ensemble and strings will perform the entire album from start to finish, completely live at Cafe Du Nord tonight for Violator's 20th anniversary. So go back to a time before you were all grown up, had a big scary job and bills to pay, because you have some re-living of your teenage years to do.
Hafta love a band that pens tunes on compelling subjects ala “Graveyard Drug Party” and “Adult Acid.” And so it goes with Thee Oh Sees. They like to keep things interesting. The group headline the Stand with Haiti benefit at Cafe du Nord Tuesday, Feb. 2 -- surely the most critic- and hipster-friendly concert yet to gather funds for the very excellent cause of getting relief to the earthquake-ravaged country.
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.
To those of you who have been keeping up on the phenomenally aggressive music scene we have here in the Bay Area, you're well acquainted with indie-pop meets country locals, Birds & Batteries. They first popped up on our radar when we featured them in our 2008 Hot 20 Under 40. Even then, we just knew they were going places. They've kept rather quiet since their last release, I'll Never Sleep Again in 2007, but there's nothing silent at all about their latest EP Up To No Good.
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.
O what sweet, fierce music the Drones make -- children of the night, dark denizens of the valley. The Australian group fielded much acclaim for its 2006 album, Gala Mill, and now the band, led by vocalist and guitarist Gareth Liddiard and partner and bassist Fiona Kitschin, are back by the Bay. In hand is a new fourth Drones full-length, Havilah (ATP Recordings) -- a disc spilling over with spaghetti western guitar, moody musical textures, loping and stumbling rhythms and a distinctly Oz-based stark poetry. I caught up with the droll Liddiard via email this week, on the brink of the Drones’ Friday, Sept.
“Damn it! Why the hell do I live on the East Coast?? And why is this in September??” was one comment on the SF experimental-music label Root Strata’s blog, trumpeting the humble On Land Festival (Sept. 19-20 at Cafe du Nord) hailing from the outside edges of a sprawling Left Coast noise and experimental music scene.