Monday, April 22, 2013

The Mallard Plays a Blistering Farewell Show at the Knockout, 4/18/13

Posted By on Mon, Apr 22, 2013 at 12:15 PM

The Mallard played its farewell show at the Knockout last week. Photos by Amelia Sechman.
  • The Mallard played its farewell show at the Knockout last week. Photos by Amelia Sechman.

The Mallard


Synthetic ID

Pure Bliss

The Knockout

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Better than: Savages' savagery at the Independent?

Thursday night at the Knockout, Mallard leader Greer McGettrick took stage and asked the sound engineer, "Can you make it sound like I'm in a cave?" He did, but the Mallard's final performance achieved that effect itself. The urgent and clamorous set drew heavily from the Mallard's forthcoming sophomore album, but the group is now broken up and won't perform to support its release. The Mallard retreated too deeply into its cave and expired. Deprived of light and indulging darkness with dissonance and cataclysm, the band's final show affirmed the Mallard's evolution into a savage live outfit that will be dearly missed.

See also:

* S.F. Rockers the Mallard Break-Up, Announce Second Album

* The Mallard Prepares for Takeoff

* Noise Pop: The Mallard Eschews Usual Songs, Covers Throbbing Gristle Instead, 2/28/13

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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

INXS Breaks Up, World Asks, "Wait -- INXS Was Still Going?"

Posted By on Wed, Nov 14, 2012 at 8:42 AM


As you may have heard, INXS broke up earlier this week, stunning music fans everywhere -- because music fans everywhere had no idea that INXS was still performing. In a statement announcing the "news," INXS went on to demonstrate their own inability to understand irony as a concept by saying things like: "We understand that this must come as a blow to everybody, but all things must eventually come to an end..."

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Friday, March 2, 2012

Why Do Artists' Sales Increase So Much After They Die?

Posted By on Fri, Mar 2, 2012 at 8:06 AM


This week, Whitney Houston became the first female artist to have three albums in the top 10 of the Billboard 200 album chart at one time. In the two and a half weeks following her death, Whitney sold 2.7 million songs and 668,000 albums -- a massive increase. There's no doubt that if she were still with us, Whitney would have always sold records. But like this? It's extremely doubtful. So what is it that compels people to rush out and buy the music of recently deceased artists? Why is there always a sudden spike in sales? 

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Friday, November 25, 2011

Distortion 2 Static's Top Five Celebrity Guests

Posted By on Fri, Nov 25, 2011 at 10:16 AM

During its 10-year run, the Distortion 2 Static hip-hop TV show graduated from profiling local upcoming artists to chatting it up with rap superstars. Started by Prince Aries, Ariel Nuñez and DJ Haylow, the show signed off on its broadcast run back in September; a farewell shindig will be going down at Mighty tonight. (Read this week's print feature about the show.) Before the big end, we snagged Prince Aries and DJ Haylow to reminisce about their favorite guests from Distortion 2 Static's vast interview vault.

Prince Paul
  • Prince Paul

5. Prince Paul

Prince Aries: "I actually get my name from Prince Paul -- that's why I called myself Prince Aries. I think we sat down for almost two hours; I was still new to interviewing and wasn't good at cutting it short, but I asked him [about] everything, from what equipment he used to Stetsasonic and De La Soul and Gravediggaz. He was a good sport about it and it felt like we were just kicking it. It was at the Hotel Triton in San Francisco.

"One thing that stood out from the interview was that I was asking him about the gear he was using to make beats. To me, coming up listening to Prince Paul, he's very innovative, so I thought he'd be kind of a techie and up on the new gear. But he wasn't! I think he said he had an MPC and a sequencing machine. But anything beyond that he didn't care or know anything about!"

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Monday, October 3, 2011

Saturday: Broken Social Scene Brings Out Issac Brock and Stars for an Epic "Final" Show at the Fillmore

Posted By on Mon, Oct 3, 2011 at 12:34 AM

Stars' Amy Millan and Broken Social Scene's Kevin Drew at the Fillmore Saturday night. - MATT SMITH
  • Matt Smith
  • Stars' Amy Millan and Broken Social Scene's Kevin Drew at the Fillmore Saturday night.

Broken Social Scene

Oct. 1, 2011

The Fillmore

Better than: All but a handful of other '00s-era indie rock bands.

It was billed as the last Broken Social Scene show for a long while -- maybe forever, as this populous Toronto rock collective plans to go on indefinite hiatus after a handful of live dates in South America. Whether it ends up being The Last North American Broken Social Scene Show or not, Saturday's nearly three-hour, sold-out performance at the Fillmore, following the band's afternoon set at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, had all the makings of a heroic rock band's grand exit.

There were famous guests, including Modest Mouse's Isaac Brock, and Amy Millan and Evan Cranley from the BSS-related indie-pop band Stars. There were many impeccable performances and a few unscripted bits of chaos, including a Brock-led version of Modest Mouse's "The Good Times Are Killing Me" that barely came together after three false starts. There was lots of emotional commentary, mostly from figurehead Kevin Drew. And there were a few good-natured jokes about whether this time Broken Social Scene would actually fulfill its long-threatened plan to go on hiatus.

Mostly, though, there were excellent songs -- 25 of them in the end -- played with the kind of desperate, heartfelt energy that happens when everyone believes this might be it.

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Monday, January 3, 2011

R.I.P. Billy Taylor, Bobby Farrell, and Agathe von Trapp, Musicians Who Died in the Last Days of 2010

Posted By on Mon, Jan 3, 2011 at 11:15 AM

Nothing gets you in the mood to start fresh in a new calendar year like a few last crappy things happening in the last one. Also, bad things come in threes. (Feel free to suggest any relevant truisms I've missed in the comments section.) Anyway, three more musical notables joined the ranks of Guru, Captain Beefheart, and Ronnie James Dio last week.

The biggest newsmaker is jazz pianist and prolific award-winner Billy Taylor, who died Dec. 28 at 89. Here he is explaining jazz improvisation on the television show The Subject Is Jazz, then giving a lovely example:

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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Coda Owner Bruce Hanson Says the Recession Killed His Mission Jazz Venue

Posted By on Thu, Dec 23, 2010 at 11:39 AM


Coda, the upscale Mission music venue and restaurant that's played host to the likes of Stevie Wonder, Liz Phair, and some of the city's best jazz musicians, will close its doors Dec. 31, a victim of the tough economic times.

Coda replaced Levende Lounge at 1710 Mission St., opening its doors on August 1, 2009. Owner Bruce Hanson says he knew when he opened that the recession would make it hard to succeed, but that he wasn't expecting the troubles to last this long.

"We knew it was going to be difficult," Hanson says. "No one knew that this was going to be the worst economic time since the 1930s. Had this been a normal recession, we would have come out of it."

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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Coda Jazz Supper Club to Close Jan. 1

Posted By on Tue, Dec 21, 2010 at 8:31 AM


It's official folks: Coda Jazz Supper Club at Mission and Duboce is closing for good on Jan. 1, 2011.

This sad news follows our report last week that the Triple Crown, a DJ-friendly bar at Market and Octavia, will also shut down operations after its New Year's Eve party.

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Friday, December 17, 2010

R.I.P. Don Van Vliet, aka Captain Beefheart, 1941-2010

Posted By on Fri, Dec 17, 2010 at 3:14 PM

Don Van Vliet, aka Captain Beefheart
  • Don Van Vliet, aka Captain Beefheart

Captain Beefheart, the noted experimental musician and painter born Don Van Vliet, died this morning in California following complications from multiple sclerosis. He was 69.

Van Vliet is best known for his 1969 album with the Magic Band, Trout Mask Replica, a work Rolling Stone recently ranked the No. 58 greatest album of all time. The record, and Beefheart's subsequent musical career, fueled the idea that rock music could be experimental and untethered to the limits of rhythm, tempo and key -- despite the fact that the skilled Van Vliet was known for a legendary five-octave vocal range. Born in California, Van Vliet found an educator and muse in Frank Zappa, who encouraged his evolution from visual artist to R&B harmonica/sax player to blues rocker to avant-garde luminary throughout the course of the Magic Band's career.

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Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Triple Crown To Hold Big NYE Bash -- Then Close for Good

Posted By on Thu, Dec 16, 2010 at 8:45 AM

The Triple Crown
  • The Triple Crown
That's right folks, the Triple Crown -- that outpost of happy-hour treats, fake leather seats, DJ nights, and big chandeliers perched on the corner of Octavia and Market -- is closing.

But it's not departing without a bang -- or in this case, a boom-bap, an oonce-oonce, and a talking drum. See, Triple Crown's kicking the champagne bucket on New Years' Eve, so a pack of notable local DJs will be there to peel the black paint off the walls with fresh jams and make sure you remember the occasion. (Relatively speaking.) Only 300 people will get in, making this downright intimate compared to that other NYE party you were considering -- hell, you might even see someone you know!

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  • Nevada City and the South Yuba River: A gold country getaway

    Nestled in the green pine-covered hills of the Northern Sierra Nevada is the Gold Rush town of Nevada City. Beautiful Victorian houses line the streets, keeping the old-time charm alive, and a vibrant downtown is home to world-class art, theater and music. The nearby South Yuba River State Park is known for its emerald swimming holes during the summer and radiant leaf colors during autumn. These days the gold panning is more for tourists than prospectors, but the gold miner spirit is still in the air.

    South Yuba River State Park and Swimming Holes:
    The park runs along and below 20 miles of the South Yuba River, offering hiking, mountain biking, gold panning and swimming. The Highway 49 bridge swimming hole is seven-miles northwest of Nevada City where Highway 49 crosses the South Yuba River. Parking is readily available and it is a short, steep hike to a stunning swimming hole beneath a footbridge. For the more intrepid, trails extend along the river with access to secluded swim spots. The Bridgeport swimming hole has calm waters and a sandy beach -- good for families and cookouts -- and is located 14 miles northwest of Nevada City. Be sure to write down directions before heading out, GPS may not be available. Most swimming holes on the South Yuba River are best from July to September, while winter and spring can bring dangerous rapids. Always know the current before jumping in!

    Downtown Nevada City
    The welcoming, walkable downtown of Nevada City is laid back, yet full of life. Start your day at the cozy South Pine Cafe (110 S Pine St.) with a lobster benedict or a spicy Jamaican tofu scramble. Then stroll the streets and stop into the shop Kitkitdizzi (423 Broad St.) for handcrafted goods unique to the region, vintage wears and local art “all with California gold rush swagger,” as stated by owners Carrie Hawthorne and Kira Westly. Surrounded by Gold Rush history, modern gold jewelry is made from locally found nuggets and is found at Utopian Stone Custom Jewelers (301 Broad St.). For a coffee shop with Victorian charm try The Curly Wolf (217 Broad St.), an espresso house and music venue with German pastries and light fare. A perfect way to cool down during the hot summer months can be found at Treats (110 York St.) , an artisan ice cream shop with flavors like pear ginger sorbet or vegan chai coconut. Nightlife is aplenty with music halls, alehouses or dive bars like the Mine Shaft Saloon (222 Broad St.).

    The Willo Steakhouse (16898 State Hwy 49, Nevada City)
    Along Highway 49, just west of Nevada City, is The Willo, a classic roadhouse and bar where you’re welcomed by the smell of steak and a dining room full of locals. In 1947 a Quonset hut (a semi-cylindrical building) was purchased from the US Army and transported to its current location, and opened as a bar, which became popular with lumberjacks and miners. The bar was passed down through the decades and a covered structure was added to enlarge the bar and create a dining area. The original Quonset beams are still visible in the bar and current owners Mike Byrne and Nancy Wilson keep the roadhouse tradition going with carefully aged New York steaks and house made ingredients. Pair your steak or fish with a local wine, such as the Rough and Ready Red, or bring your own for a small corkage fee. Check the website for specials, such as rib-eye on Fridays.

    Outside Inn (575 E Broad St.)
    A 16-room motel a short walk from downtown, each room features a unique décor, such as the Paddlers’ Suite or the Wildflower Room. A friendly staff and an office full of information about local trails, swimming and biking gets you started on your outdoor exploration. Amenities include an outdoor shower, a summer swimming pool and picnic tables and barbeques. Don’t miss the free vegetable cart just outside the motel in the mornings.

    Written and photographed by Beth LaBerge for the SF Weekly.

  • Arcade Fire at Shoreline
    Arcade Fire opened their US tour at Shoreline Amphitheater to a full house who was there in support of their album "Reflector," which was released last fall. Dan Deacon opened the show to a happily surprised early audience and got the crowd actively dancing and warmed up. DEVO was originally on the bill to support Arcade Fire but a kayak accident last week had sidelined lead singer Mark Mothersbaugh and the duration of the west coast leg of the tour. Win Butler did a homage to DEVO by performing Uncontrollable Urge.