By Ian S. Port
By Tony Ware
By Emma Silvers
By Gary Moskowitz
By Alee Karim
By Ian S. Port
By Ian S. Port
By Derek Opperman
The idiosyncratic indie-rock duo Two Gallants upped the ante this year with the release of the stripped-down The Scenery of Farewell EP as well as their third full-length, Two Gallants (which is the second album for the Omaha wonderlabel Saddle Creek). Too accessible for freak-folk and too innovative to be retro, the band has carved a unique niche in the underground and is finally starting to cross over into the mainstream. San Francisco's best-kept secret is now an internationally renowned touring act — we're just confused as to why it's taken so long.
Zeph & Azeem
J-Boogie's Dubtronic Science
Alex 'Zanders' Andreas — Boom Boom Room
Kevin Arnold — Noise Pop
Monika Bernstein, William Linn — Blasthaus
Will Bronson — SMC Recordings
Christian Cunningham, Ben Van Houten — The Bay Bridged
Marshall Lamm — Marshall Lamm Promotions & Public Relations
Jennifer Maerz — Music Editor, SF Weekly
Audra Morse — Incredibly Strange Wrestling, Thee Parkside
Ryan Romana — Six Degrees Records
Katy St. Clair — Bouncer columnist, SF Weekly
Special thanks to the following: Lotus Vodka: presenting sponsor
Vespa San Francisco, Going.com,
SF Institute of Esthetics and Cosmetology, Varcose Travel Incentives: sponsors
SF Weekly 2007 Music Awards Staff
Executive Producer: Josh Fromson
Producer: Sunset Promotions
and Tania Celante
Associate Producer: Jennifer Maerz
Web Maestro: David Downs
Editorial Operations Manager: Vicky Walker
Writers: Eric K. Arnold, Jonah Bayer, Grant Brissey, John Garmon, Michael Alan Goldberg, John Graham, Evan James, Maya Kroth, Mark Keresman, Toph One, Tamara Palmer,Frances Reade, Mike Rowell, Dan Strachota, Ben Westhoff
Art Director: Darrick Rainey
Layout Editor: Audrey Fukuman
Some of you know him as the former frontman of MK Ultra, others know him as the owner of Tiny Telephone recording studio, and most of you know him from his prolific solo work. No matter which way you're familiar with John Vanderslice, it's hard to deny that he's probably the busiest guy in indie rock. This year he's found time to share the stage with peers like Spoon and Bishop Allen, play live on NPR, and release his latest full-length, Emerald City. Completists should also make sure to check out his cover of Radiohead's "Karma Police," which is available via the Web site Stereogum.com.
Sponsored by Lee and Woo Optometry
Triclops! is a lab experiment gone horribly right, a gene-spliced beast grown in a beer-stained petri dish. With DNA extracted from freako punk bands like Fleshies, Victims Family, and Bottles & Skulls, the Triclops! monstrosity ravages eardrums, PA systems, and anything that gets too close to singer John "Geek" Mink — who spends more time rolling around on the floor than your average stuntman on fire. Triclops! song tempos shift with whiplash quickness, vocals ricochet off the walls, and effects pedals get abused beyond CIA-sanctioned protocols. Meanwhile Geek's microphone cord snakes around your ankles as he flails and shrieks about poisons, toxic sludge ponds, and how Oakland's Lake Merritt is "filled to bursting with dead bodies and goose shit." Need a cure for phony hipster "weirdness"? Triclops! is now offering inoculations.
Launched as an experiment in rhythmic primitivism, Wooden Shjips has garnered attention worldwide since the band's first 10-inch EP last year. Guitarist Ripley Johnson, bassist Dusty Jermier, organist Nash Whalen, and drummer Omar Ahsanuddin released their self-titled debut album last month. Rolling Stone made the CD a pick of the week, calling its metronomic garage riffage "Day-Glo drone rock." That's a pretty fitting description of the band's hypnotically compelling music, which carries on the catatonically throbbing tradition of such legends as the Velvet Underground, Suicide, and Spacemen 3, with added elements of '60s psychedelia and noisy guitar blasts.
With its bludgeoning rhythms and serrated guitar leads, this self-described "piss-angry metal band" from Oakland is turning the heavy-rock scene on its head. Saviours, which just toured the U.K. with prog-metal outfit Mastodon, recently signed to New York's Kemado Records, home to other cutting-edge acts like Danava, the Sword, and Dungen. Currently recording a new full-length with Joe Barresi (Melvins, Kyuss) for release in February 2008, the foursome will put out a one-sided 12-inch in mid-November. For fans of Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, and Megadeth, Saviours truly live up to their name.
Rock 'n' Roll Adventure Kids
Pass the hot dogs, roll up those shirt sleeves, and pour yourself a cup of Lucky lager: You won't want to be underfed, overdressed, or anywhere close to sober when the Rock 'n' Roll Adventure Kids fire up their twang-danged rock machine. Parlaying a love of backwater blues romps (and a slightly licentious sense of humor) into raw and rollicking fuzz-punk outbursts, the Adventurers play with the wild glee of prospectors who just discovered gold in them thar hills. The singer bears an eerie resemblance to a young Dustin Hoffman, it's true — but these ain't no straw dogs. The Kids rip it up! Gawd damn, yes.
Sponsored by Jack Trux
Jazz generations following the Swing Era (1934-45) had little use for the clarinet — there've literally been a handful of musicians who specialize in the instrument in bebop and beyond. Fortunately, one of these experts is hometown hero Ben Goldberg, a diverse yet focused clarinetist and composer. Goldberg led the Hebraic-inspired New Klezmer Trio in the late '80s and early '90s, was an original member of John Zorn's Masada, recorded with Nels Cline and Beth Custer, and more recently joined instrumental bicoastals Tin Hat. His intrepid, astringent tone and brooding, challenging compositions put him at the forefront of jazz's cutting-edge zone.
Bay Area jazz guitarist Brewer may not have been nicknamed "The Hardest Working Man in Show Business," but he surely gives the Godfather of Soul a run for his money. By his own estimation, Brewer plays out an average of 300 nights per year. He's written more than 100 original compositions, formed his own record label, and released a double album entirely comprising original material, all by the age of 31. None of this would matter if the man were merely competent at his art, but he garners enthusiastic accolades for understanding melody and his conservative use of repetition.