MC Myka Nyne and friends celebrate that most blurry of holidays; the best in dirty French techno comes to town

In the rest of America, it may be no more than a holiday for dazed deviants, but in the Republic of the Bay, where there are more bongs than Republicans, 4/20 is something special. It's a day for family and friends to gather and celebrate the value of a good buzz. And while old-school reggae fans may be more stoned per capita, no genre has done more to popularize marijuana for this generation than hip hop. On Wednesday, April 20, at Studio Z, join up with some best friends and recognize the intersection of music and horticulture. Myka Nyne from the legendary Freestyle Fellowship (which almost single-handedly birthed West Coast underground hip hop 15 years ago) is joined by Project Blowed MC Trayloc as well as an assortment of local talent to honor this most blurry of holidays; call 252-7666 or go to for more info. -- Sam Chennault

It's 1998, and Paris is burning. The sound of French house is on fire, the city aglow with the squeal of keyboards glossier than an oil slick on the Seine. Daft Punk's brand of so-called "filter disco," with its brilliant cocaine sheen, is becoming as iconic as the Eiffel Tower. Then along comes a crew of misfit producers -- artists like Ark, Krikor, Kean, and Cabanne -- who want nothing to do with anything bright or polished. Using the most rudimentary machines the Clignancourt Flea Market has to offer, they make beats that roll unevenly, dirtying the fingers with coal-black smudges, all of which is documented over the next seven years on numerous releases for Parisian labels like Karat and Circus Company. Their melodies, if you can call them that, are pieced together from distorted samples -- banged pianos, garish squawks. Their music borrows hip hop's collage sensibility, but leaves the seams even more ragged; it's all fray and funk. Is it a coincidence that these entities' names each include a clattering consonant, the sound of hacking and coughing? Call the genre "hairball house," and catch it in action this Saturday, April 23, when Ark, Krikor, and Kean, aided by Dave Aju, San Francisco's own Circus Company member, visit their spectacular mess upon Polo's Blue Cube for "Les Gardiens du Techno"; call EXC-ITED or go to for more info.-- Philip Sherburne

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