Sizzle and Fizzle: Highs and Lows from the Last Week in S.F. Music

sizzle

Vallejo rap godfather E-40 has launched a wine business. Introducing Earl Steven Selections, a line of three fermented grape juices bearing the name of Uncle Earl himself. The Mangoscato sounds pretty tasty, but the regular Moscato, with its "cacophony of honeysuckle, gardenia, orange blossom, white cherry, apple, pear, and peach," seems the clear winner, doesn't it?

We spoke with longtime club and radio DJ Lester Temple about '70s club culture in S.F., remembering the days of the I-Beam and local greats like Patrick Cowley and Sylvester. It was "pretty much a nonstop party," Temple says of the time. "I was in my 20s and it was pre-AIDS, so people had a tendency to let it all hang out without too much inhibition."

The Headphones Project is a new blog that explores a daily question: What are all those people ensconced in their earbuds listening to? The answers are more diverse than you'd expect: The guy sitting on a brick wall in Oakland who's listening to Northwestern University Trumpet Ensemble, or the woman on a sunny day at Ocean Beach who's playing Pink's "Fuckin Perfect" while taking pictures.

Fizzle

Tame Impala started a great party at Bill Graham Civic on Halloween, but the Flaming Lips couldn't keep it going. The band mostly played material from its abrasive, difficult new album, which didn't fit well with the party atmosphere. The few classic songs in its set were played slowly. It should've been a perfect Hallo- ween concert, but alas.

Helpful advice: If you're going to parody a song, maybe try to understand what it's about first. Some kids at a local start-up accelerator made their own version of Lorde's "Royals," but they turned a song that proudly rejects materialism into a mission statement about making money. We're guessing the irony is lost on them as well.

When will Ariana Grande get to be herself? Every time the rising former Nickelodeon star releases a new song, it's like watching the same blank canvas getting painted by a completely different person. Her latest, "Right There," is a throwaway. We're sure she can do something better, if only her management will let her figure out who she wants to be.

 
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