Best Local Pop Prince - 2007
Some day they should erect a statue of Will Schwartz right next to Willie Mays or that giant arrow on the Embarcadero. He's a San Francisco institution, as nutty as the beatniks and as sleek as the trolley cars, only more musical. Having supplied the bass bounce to guitar-heavy altrockers Imperial Teen, Schwartz proved himself a pop Svengali in 2003 with his new outfit, hey willpower. The group, which features Schwartz and keyboard aficionado Tomo Yasuda of Tussle (as well various backup dancers), makes the kind of smooth electro-pop you'd expect on the Top 40 charts, if those charts were full of homoerotic lyrics and blippy beats. Gloriously catchy tunes like "Uh Uh Uh" and "Hundredaire" sound like Justin Timberlake on college radio, the beats danceable and the subtext obscured by noise. On the group's releases and at its live shows, Schwartz walks the fine line between high-tech gloss and lowbrow kitsch, proving that booty shaking can be mind-quaking. As he says on his Web site, "Let's dance now, and we can talk about it later."