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Kimberly Chun

Spellbound: A Chat With Esben And The Witch

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.  

Grinderman Brings The Dirty Blues To The Warfield


















“I waaant you,” wails Nick Cave on “Kitchenette” off the latest Grinderman album, 2 (Anti-). Oprah Winfrey burning up the flatscreen, buck-toothed imbeciles are plaguing the vocalist’s existence, and Cave’s howl starts on a high note before teetering over into an even more precariously higher place and then crashing and burning with the undercutting next line. “Yeah, I want you—to be my friend.”

Hot 20 2010: Meklit Hadero, Musician

Meklit Hadero,
Musician

Meklit Hadero was born to sing. “I always wanted to be a singer,” says the Ethiopian-born, U.S.-raised cultural activist who studied political science at Yale and ended up serving as the director at Red Poppy Art House for two years. “You hear singers say all the time, ‘When I was barely talking, I was singing, and I always felt like something was missing in my life.’ That was me. When I got to San Francisco, I realized it put up or shut up.” The result is Hadero’s new album, On a Day Like This ... .

Eyeing This Week’s Art Openings

Consider the fall arts season fully underway -- courtesy of a trove of intriguing shows focusing on new works by Bay Area artists.

Double Your Pleasure With The Watson Twins At Cafe Du Nord

Louisville, Ky., has garnered renown as the largest burg in the state, a college basketball epicenter and the home of moodily imaginative post-punk music-makers like Slint and Bonnie “Prince” Billy. How do natives Leigh and Chandra Watson, otherwise known as the Watson Twins, fit in?

Have One On Joanna Newsom At The Fox

What’s new with Joanna Newsom? A hotly anticipated show, certainly, with a full-blown band at the Fox Theater on Aug. 2. But what else has changed since I first met Joanna Newsom, back in 2003?

Back then she was playing with then-boyfriend Noah Georgeson -- the prettying keyboard-pounding support in his Strokes-y new-rock combo the Pleased.

Pink And Proud: Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti Plays Bimbo’s

Consider Ariel Pink (ne Ariel Rosenberg) the most intriguing mystery man at the chaotic house party we dub the postmodern post-punk underground. One of the most wildly imaginative music-makers around, having recorded for years on his own ultracheap lo-fi gear, the L.A. musician is now working with a relatively stable backing band that goes by the name Haunted Graffiti, which recently released the critically acclaimed, studio-quality album, Before Today, on 4AD. Overall Pink seems to have come a way from the days when he was shouting and pounding on his keyboards, alone on stage at Bottom of the Hill, while Liza Thorn of SF’s Bridez blow-dried his hair. I spoke to Pink in L.A.

The Fisher Collection: Scoping Out 'Calder To Warhol' at the SFMOMA

It’s a introduction with a hot must-see/sell-by date. “Calder to Warhol: Introducing the Fisher Collection” just opened at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art this week, but many of the staggering modern and contemporary artworks -- the buoyant Alexander Calder mobiles, epic, straw-strewn Anselm Kiefer paintings and monumental Chuck Close portraits -- won’t be on view forever (though the museum is now the home of all these masterworks). A good deal will be under wraps until the forthcoming expansion of the museum, which will include a new wing for the collection.

Best Of San Francisco 2010: Arts, Entertainment and Nightlife

Achtung! Wagner-loving operaphiles, electronica junkies, garage-band groupies, fans of burlesque, modern dance maniacs and sunset skippers. If it’s past 6 p.m., we’ve got plans for you.

 

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