When I started out as music editor at SF Weekly in June 2003, I thought the Listen Up supplement published three months prior had been sorta janky. Listen Up was supposed to be a shiver-inducing account of our fair burg's local music community, the kind of definitive statement that should be carved in stone, not published on newsprint. But it was far from that. Nothing against the surely well-intentioned people who put it together (who were, I'm guessing, up against all kinds of logistical and budgetary obstacles), but that year's issue just didn't do our scene justice. To be fair, I doubt any single issue could, although that didn't stop me from taking on the task of pushing this boulder up the hill in 2004.
The issue you hold in your hand marks my third, and final (I switched from music editor to staff writer this month), attempt at editing something worthy of the local music scene, essentially an impossible task, as I've already said. But there are some pretty sweet stories to check out in here — tales like “Band of Brothers” by Justin F. Farrar, about the 27-year career of Stone Vengeance, probably the only band from Bayview-Hunters Point ever to open for Slayer; “My Name Is Earl” by Tamara Palmer, about Bay Area rap legend E-40 leading the hyphy movement to the national stage it deserves to be on; and “All That Noise” by Frances Reade, probably the best soup-to-nuts account of the region's spastic, increasingly popular noise scene you're likely to read. Also, we've got the third installment of NOISE POP THE GAME©®, wherein we viciously take the piss out of San Francisco's most popular and long-standing music festival, which, like all things, can always use a good poke in the tuchis. Pretty please, dive into this cupcake and bring yourself up to speed.
But before you do so, join me in acknowledging the good, good people who for the past three years have gone above and beyond the call of duty to help make this issue the white-hot piece of ass that it is: fearless and indefatigable Editorial Operations Manager Deborah Lewis; Art Director and all-around graphics ninja Darrick Rainey; Layout Editor Jenny McElhiney (let's go Oakland!); the dedicated SF Weekly music writers, who net about 17 cents an hour when their insightful and original stories are all said and done (big ups to Nate Cavalieri, who came through with illustrations at the 11th hour); and finally the musicians themselves, who lent their time, energy, and wisdom when they probably had better things to do. As the great Mr. Earl Stevens II once put it, “I'd like to thank the mack god for all tha playa prophets that he sent.” Hear! Hear!
Band of Brothers
Presenting the 27-year career of Stone Vengeance, the most ass-kickin' metal band ever to come out of Bayview-Hunters Point
My Name Is Earl
E-40 blows up, and takes the rest of the Bay Area with him
All That Noise
San Francisco's top-shelf noise scene serves yummy pancakes
Some of My Best Friends Are Records
SF Weekly writers pick their favorite Bay Area records of all time