Best Local Albums Steeped in Local Locales - 2012
Chuck Prophet's Temple Beautiful and Sun Kil Moon's Among the Leaves
Mark Kozelek is a perennial contender in this category, as Bay Area references always fill his albums, whether recorded under his own name, as Sun Kil Moon, or with the Red House Painters. Among the Leaves is no exception. Martinez and the Carquinez Strait get more shout-outs here than they ever have or ever will again, and the record — a beautiful and melancholy 17-song set played almost entirely on nylon-string guitar — also makes stops on the corners of Market and Hyde, Fifth and Minna, and Ellis and Hyde. But the most poignant San Francisco nod comes in "Song For Richard Collopy," a touching ode to the late owner of the Inner Richmond's Collopy Guitars. Chuck Prophet's latest, Temple Beautiful, is dedicated to the City by the Bay. Named for an old Geary punk club that sprang up on the site of the ill-fated People's Temple, the classic-rocking notes many of the city's great characters, including the Mitchell Brothers, Carol Doda, Harvey Milk, Jim Jones, Laffing Sal, Fillmore Slim, and Emperor Norton. Prophet has admitted that when writing Temple Beautiful he wasn't too finicky about the facts, which fits: San Francisco has always aspired as much to an ideal as a reality.