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Friday, October 17, 2014

The Top 4 Parties in San Francisco This Weekend: James Murphy, Mike Q, Profligate, and More

Posted By on Fri, Oct 17, 2014 at 12:30 PM

James Murphy headlines Public Works on Thursday, Oct. 16.
  • James Murphy headlines Public Works on Thursday, Oct. 16.
Public Works and As You Like It present James Murphy and more at Public Works, 9 p.m-3 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 16. $25-$30;

This one needs no introduction, really. If you're over the age of 14 and under the age of 40, you probably know James Murphy — or, at least, his band, LCD Soundsystem. LCD called it quits in 2011, but since then, Murphy has ramped up his DJ career, lugging records around the world, and even developing his own massive, globe-trotting sound system called "Despacio." As a veteran of the New York scene, Murphy has a record collection that's bursting at the seams, but you can be sure his DJ set will focus on the disco-flavored post-punk (and post-punk-flavored disco) that made his band and record label one of the most-loved of the mid-2000s.

What makes Murphy especially important as a DJ is the way he's able to bridge musical gaps in his audience — the LCD Soundsystem fanbase, for the most part, was not particularly concerned with the trappings of house or disco music. Nevertheless, they were exposed to it through the steady influence of these genres throughout LCD Soundsystem's career, which in no small part paved the way for electronic music's steadily increasing relevance in American music culture writ large. 

Murphy's audience still follows him wherever he goes, so at the time of this writing, presales for this party have likely sold out — early arrival is highly suggested. 

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This Week: Kesha vs. Dr. Luke, Iggy vs. Snoop, Azealia Banks vs. Ebola

Posted By on Fri, Oct 17, 2014 at 11:40 AM

click image courtney_love2_sfw.jpg

"So many of them that are about me. Most of Siamese Dream is about me. I think they put it on... There's a song called "Bodies" that's on Melon Collie. And then there's "Today"... and there's "Tonight Tonight"... Then he stopped writing about me and then he stopped having hits."
Courtney Love has just declared that every good song in the history of Smashing Pumpkins is about her. (BBC Radio 6

"This lawsuit is a wholehearted effort by Kesha to regain control of her music career and her personal freedom after suffering for ten years as a victim of mental manipulation, emotional abuse, and sexual assault at the hands of Dr. Luke."
Kesha is alleging that Dr. Luke sexually and verbally assaulted her — and the details of the allegations are pretty shocking. (NME)

"Undoubtedly, Kesha’s lawsuit is nothing more than a continuation of her bad and offensive acts. We are confident that Dr. Luke will prevail in all matters, and that our client will be awarded substantial damages for this malicious conduct."
Dr. Luke's attorney Christine Lepera ain't having none of that jazz. (NME)

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DJ Vadim on 20 Years of Touring and His New Musical Superhero/Album "Dubcatcher"

Posted By on Fri, Oct 17, 2014 at 9:17 AM

  • DJ Vadim plays Dub Mission at the Elbo Room this Sunday, Oct. 21.

Having traveled to 74 countries in the span of his 20-year career, producer and DJ Daddy Vad aka DJ Vadim has always made music that touched on themes of political awareness and social consciousness. With a wide-ranging musical palate that reflects his worldly travels, his style combines hip-hip, dub, reggae, and cultural beats. While touring relentlessly, he has held membership in groups like The Bug, The Isolationist, The Russian Percussion, One Self, and The Electric, and has collaborated with artists from DJ Krush to Kraftwerk. Currently on tour for his latest record, the dancehall reggae album Dubcatcher, he will make his Dub Mission debut this Sunday, Oct. 19, at Elbo Room.

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Thursday, October 16, 2014

RIP Isaiah "Ikey" Owens, Keyboardist for Mars Volta, Jack White, and Many More

Posted By on Thu, Oct 16, 2014 at 1:31 PM

click image Ikey Owens, 1975 - 2014. - PHOTO BY JOHN GILHOOLEY
  • Photo by John Gilhooley
  • Ikey Owens, 1975 - 2014.

Sad news broke on Tuesday that much-loved keyboardist and producer Isaiah "Ikey" Owens had passed away of a suspected heart attack while on tour with Jack White in Mexico. He was 38 years old. While Ikey Owens isn't a name that everyone will immediately recognize, there is no doubt that you'll have come into contact with his boundary-pushing work if you're a longtime alt-music fan.

In honor of Owens' sizable contribution to music, then, we'd like to present some of his finest moments. RIP Ikey. You will be missed.

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Monday, October 13, 2014

Last Week: Taylor Swift Holds Her Own, Hayley Williams Holds Her Pee, and Gwen Stefani Can't Stop Laughing

Posted By on Mon, Oct 13, 2014 at 9:22 AM

  • Christopher Victorio

"Being on my own, prioritizing my girlfriends, my family and my music above everything else and trying things I never thought I'd try... It's really been a liberating and freeing time... I made the decision to spend time on my own and figure out who I am...I'm not too worried about whether I meet someone... I'm going to be happy either way."
Taylor Swift' doesn't need any of those silly boys anymore. Get it, girl! (People)

"Sometimes i sit at my computer for a minute... then 87 hours later i look up and realize it's dark outside and i've had to pee for ages."
Paramore's Hayley Williams has got really great bladder control. (Twitter)

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Thursday, October 9, 2014

The Top 5 Parties in San Francisco This Weekend: Tambien, Thugfucker, and More

Posted By on Thu, Oct 9, 2014 at 1:19 PM

Tambien (Marvin and Valentino) headline Mercer Saturday, Oct. 11. - PUBLIC POSSESSION
  • Public Possession
  • Tambien (Marvin and Valentino) headline Mercer Saturday, Oct. 11.
FACE and Play It Cool present Tambien at Mercer, 10 p.m.-3 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 11. $10;

This is not your parents' disco party.

Tambien, also known as Marvin and Valentino, are a pair of producers and DJs based out of Munich. Roughly speaking, you could call their music "disco," but that doesn't do it justice. They start with a disco blueprint, for sure — 115-120 bpm rhythms and funky basslines, but instead of sampling funk and soul records, they incorporate sounds and influences from psychedelic outsider music, lending their productions and DJ sets a druggy, hazy, tripped-out feeling.

The pair runs a record shop in Munich called Public Possession, which also happens to be the name of their record label. Launched just last year, they've already released 12 records, many of which have sold out and are trading at high prices — and for good reason. The records, mostly from otherwise-unknown or up-and-coming artists, are all different flavors of disco and house, some feeling very Balearic (guitar flourishes, sun-kissed atmosphere) while others have a new-beat, body-music type of feel, paying tribute to Front 242 and all that. An easy, persistent groove is the thing they all share in common.

Tambien's DJ sets incorporate all of these vibes into one cohesive whole. They're a little bit house, a little bit disco, a little bit weird, and a little bit playful. Their spiritual sound-brethren seem to be New York's ESP Institute, run by renowned crate-digger Lovefingers, whose more-is-more approach mirrors Public Possession's throw-it-all-in-the-mix attitude. Rounding out the bill are Play It Cool's residents Matthew, Guillaume, and Derek, who will set the pace for the night until Tambien takes over.

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Uncle Acid’s Kevin Starrs on Touring with Black Sabbath

Posted By on Thu, Oct 9, 2014 at 9:56 AM


In the space of five short years, British psychedelic doomsayers Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats have risen from a fledgling project to become one of the more celebrated modern metal exports from the U.K.

Founded by principle songwriter Kevin "K.R." Starrs, the shadowy group from Cambridge initially garnered notice in 2009 with a few catchy, fuzz-drench songs, posted on the band's MySpace page. Entreaties from fans for an album led to an an extremely limited-edition CD-R entitled simply Volume 1 that showcased tuneful proto-metal dirges that matched memorable Beatles-esque vocal melodies to pulverizing riffs. A second self-released album – 2011's sonic homage to classic Hammer Films horror Blood Lust – further refined Starrs' songwriting and scored Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats a deal with Rise Above Records.

For last year's ambitious follow-up effort Mind Control, Starr drew inspiration from '60s exploitation flicks and the murderous machinations of hippy cult leader Charles Manson to craft one of the most diabolically listenable concept albums in recent memory. While the band made its stateside debut back in May when it played the Maryland Death Fest, this current fall tour marks the first time most metal fans in the U.S. will get a chance to see Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats.

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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

World Music Re-Imagined at OneBeat SF

Posted By on Tue, Oct 7, 2014 at 1:01 PM

  • OneBeatSF

San Franciscans will be treated to a distinctly fresh version of world music next week, when OneBeat, an initiative of the U.S. Department of State, partners with the Global Lives Project to present OneBeat SF. 

The evening of free music at Public Works is a preview to OneBeat's upcoming festival tour through the Southwest and along the West Coast, and marks OneBeat's first musical project on this side of the nation. The music at the event is a unique re-imagining of "world music," with several original works composed and produced exclusively for the event.

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Friday, October 3, 2014

Thievery Corporation: Masters of Chill

Posted By on Fri, Oct 3, 2014 at 1:27 PM

  • Thievery Corporation's 2014 album cover, "Saudade"
The DJ collective Thievery Corporation has spent the past 20 years making music that feels like an around-the-world audio travelogue: they borrow heavily from the sounds of South America (Bossa Nova), the Caribbean (reggae and Dub), and South Asia (Indian classical music) and then aim to modernize them by mixing it all together with electronics, live instruments, and a vast assortment of singers and rappers.

The result is a typically laid-back cocktail of sound that functions well as background music in a swanky bar or coffee shop but also has the ability to come front and center when performed live by a dozen or more musicians, which they did last night at the Fox Theater in Oakland. The group, currently touring, released their ninth full-length album, Saudade, earlier this year.

Last night's show delivered in many ways. Band members, full of enthusiasm, danced and jumped around the stage when the music became more upbeat and lively during moments of quick-tempo reggae and hip-hop. Live, the music is obviously much louder and vibrant than on recordings, so heavy bass reverberated and echoed throughout the Fox. Combined with a complex light show, the show aimed for elements of psychedelia. The crowd obviously signed up for this immersive, blanket of acoustic and electronic sounds: fans throughout the theater danced and swayed for the duration of the show.

The band performed songs from their full catalog, ranging back to earlier, jazzy club songs from the late-90s up through more pop-inflected songs from the mid-2000s, and selections from more recent albums, "Culture of Fear" and "Retaliation" which have overtly political album titles, song titles, and lyrics.

"We love conspiracy theories," said Rob Garza, 44, who formed Thievery Corporation in 1995 with partner Eric Hilton. "We spend a lot of time looking under the rug, at the militarization of the police force, the constant state of surveillance of citizens."

Though it may not be clearly evident by their musical tastes, Garza says the two were influenced by the punk movement in Washington, D.C., their hometown. The DIY ethos of Fugazi's Dischord Records inspired them initially to release their music independently. Garza is a spokesman for the World Food Programme.

The softer, quieter, downtempo elements of the group's music enable it to become a backdrop, and The Fox Theater show certainly had its lulls, although true fans no doubt crave these moments just as much as the more excitable ones. On Thievery Corporation's audio journeys, ample time is provided to simply chill. Their live performances, with roughly a dozen musicians onstage, have come a long way. Garza and Hilton, in their early shows, would show up with a CD of instrumentals, and sit down and play cards. "We didn't pretend we were doing anything," Garza says.

The new album, Saudade, released earlier this year, dropped the politics of the previous two records and focuses entirely on Bossa Nova. It's music for the beach. "We just thought, let's just do a whole album about this music that was so inspirational for us. It's nice to make a record having nothing to do with politics, just to take a breath and make some nice music. It's very feminine."

Since Thievery Corporation started, EDM has taken off in a huge way and artists like Skrillex can bring in hefty paychecks for just one gig. The electronic music genre has expanded into the mainstream. "When we started, there was a whole scene of electronic music in 99, but it never really did break out," Garza says. "With this whole EDM craze, hopefully people will go back an explore Dub, early house, and techno."

Thievery Corporation performed with guests BoomBox Thursday at the Fox Theater in Oakland. 
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This Week: Don't Mess With JLo's Coconuts, Slipknot's Camel Poo or Aidy Bryant's "Big, Fat Ass"

Posted By on Fri, Oct 3, 2014 at 11:50 AM

  • Jennifer Lopez/Instagram

"Sitting at a light, Riding high right before some drunk fool rear ended us in my new whip!!! Thank god everyone ok!!! #GRATEFUL #THANKYOUGOD #DontdrinkandDrive!!!! #cursedthatfoolout #theBronxcameout #dontmesswithmycocnuts #mamabear #leahstayedcalm #thatwasweird"
JLo panicked and posted too many hashtags, after a drunk-driver crashed into her. (Instagram)

"Personally picked by Slipknot themselves, the smell of Knotfest will permeate the festival grounds. Oil drums will be filled with camel shit… set aflame to last the entire festival."
Slipknot wants their fans to smell like camel poo. Niiiiiice. (Rolling Stone)

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