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

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Surface Tension, a new party by the folks behind the popular Warm Leatherette nights, brought out the goth kids for a night of abrasive, hypnotic, techno-meets-early-industrial music courtesy of Sandra Electronics, a joint project from techno luminaries Regis and Silent Servant at the renovated Project One. Bonus: Aesthetics that screamed "1980's dystopia" — in the best way possible.

Thao and the Get Down Stay Down serenaded the eastern span of the Bay Bridge in their new video for "Feeling Kind," a bittersweet blues-y number off her latest album. It's a song about trying to forget your modern troubles for a moment — and, for at least as long as it takes to watch Nguyen romp gleefully down that pedestrian walkway, interspersed with shots of Treasure Island, we pretty much succeeded.

Vallejo's own E-40, aka Earl Stevens, aka Forty Water, went solo 20 years ago this week, and Bay Area rap was never the same. When Federal dropped in 1993, he was already well-known in the hip-hop community, but the album marked a turning point; he signed to Jive Records shortly thereafter. We got nostalgic watching the "Practice Lookin' Hard" video from that year — featuring, among other things, a 22-year-old Tupac lounging at a playground in Oakland.

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Cheb i Sabbah, the Algerian-born DJ and producer who helped introduce traditional African, Asian, and Arabic music to American audiences, passed away in San Francisco from stomach cancer at the age of 66. Sabbah was a source of local pride — he held court DJing at Nickies in the Lower Haight for years — but his loss was felt by world music fans, well, around the world.

Viracocha, the whimsical Valencia Street antique store/performing arts space, could close by February if the owners can't come up with funds to pay rent. Look for fundraisers and special events in December to support them.

Even from Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong, we weren't expecting an Everly Brothers covers album — full of duets with Norah Jones — to be his next move. On the plus side, we've gotten a jump-start on our holiday shopping for every one of our white relatives over 50.

 
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