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Friday, April 17, 2015

Live Review: Alt-J at the Greek Theatre

Posted By on Fri, Apr 17, 2015 at 12:10 PM

April 16, 2015
Greek Theatre

When attending a sold-out show at the Greek Theatre, expect a near Messiah level of adoration from the crowd. Despite last night's steep $60 ticket price, the 8,500 capacity outdoors amphitheater was teeming with ecstatic, barely 21-year-olds. Preppy collared shirts and H&M tank tops with fabric strategically cut-out overwhelmed the staggered valley of fans.

It's a strange contrast to scan thousands of near-blissful faces and realize you are listening to a very pleasant set from a very polite band. Alt-J's name refers to the delta symbol, which means "change" in equations, but its performance lacked revolution. The four members moved little onstage, all wore black, and kept their lighting minimalistic and geometric. You could derive the same amount of joy from listening to one of Alt-J's records on high-priced headphones — but that's entirely okay. It only means that Alt-J are a wildly successful studio band, and that success, based off of an album's merit, can translate to headlining the Greek Theatre two nights in a row.

A nice jaw line doesn't hurt either.

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1-2-3-4, Whose Punk Record Store?

Posted By on Fri, Apr 17, 2015 at 10:33 AM

Joel Gion of the Brian Jonestown Massacre, and an employee at 1-2-3-4 GO! Records’ new location on Valencia St. in San Francisco, Calif. on April 8, 2015.
  • Joel Gion of the Brian Jonestown Massacre, and an employee at 1-2-3-4 GO! Records’ new location on Valencia St. in San Francisco, Calif. on April 8, 2015.

Against the far wall of 1-2-3-4 Go! Records’ new store on Valencia, brown butcher paper is draped over record crates filled with exclusive LPs, 10 inches and EPs to be unveiled on Record Store Day. Across rows of bins holding used and new punk rock, indie, jazz and rock and roll vinyl, owner Steve Stevenson’s back is against the wall. Above him is a shelf holding records by The Buzzcocks, Against Me!, The Damned, Nirvana and a few others. Both his hands are covered in price stickers, which he adheres in rapid succession to the stack of GWAR’s America Must Be Destroyed reissues.

It has been a hectic six weeks for both Stevenson’s 1-2-3-4 Go! staff and the Lost Weekend Video crew. Both teams (and a few volunteers) have worked 14-hour days to convert Lost Weekend Video’s 18-year-old location into a shared space in time for 1-2-3-4 Go!’s grand opening tomorrow, on Record Store Day [Sat. April 18].

“It’s really a cockameny idea,” Dave Hawkins, co-owner of Lost Weekend Video said. “When everyone else is moving out, we’re moving more cool stuff in.”

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Never Young: The Art Punks

Posted By on Fri, Apr 17, 2015 at 10:00 AM

Never Young is a futuristic-sounding noise rock band that utilizes off-kilter breakdowns and a vocal recording style reminiscent of Fugazi to create a fresh take on a classic genre — guitar rock.

Like Rites of Spring through an Instagram filter — but a good one (maybe Early Bird) — the band uses a digital aesthetic to enhance its core product: post-hardcore song writing sensibilities with a modern, artsy twist.

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Matt Wong: The Jazz Prodigy

Posted By on Fri, Apr 17, 2015 at 9:49 AM

  • Scott Chernis
Matt Wong is a 16-year-old high school senior, San Francisco native, and “jazz prodigy,” according to Adam Theis of the Jazz Mafia, who has played with Wong.

Wong hit the stage at the world-renowned Blue Note jazz club in New York City at the age of 10, the majestic Davies Symphony Hall at 14, and Great American Music Hall at 16. His skills on the piano (and anything else with keys) have followed a similar trajectory as other musicians — but at an almost-alarmingly quicker pace.

But, that’s normal for Wong. He’s been skipping grade levels since elementary school, and has been on an accelerated learning track for his entire academic career.

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This Week: Madonna's Frisky, Florence Is Broken, and Miley Cyrus Can't Stop Giving Us Fuel for Nightmares

Posted By on Fri, Apr 17, 2015 at 9:40 AM

A lot of wrong was brought to our attention this week. The Madonna-Drake make out sesh was wrong from every single angle: If you back her making the move, his visibly disgusted response was wrong (and rude). If you sympathize with Drake's response, then Madonna was wrong to plant one on him in the first place. Elsewhere, this week, we saw Senator Marco Rubio name-dropping EDM stars, Florence Welch breaking herself mid-Coachella set, grunge legends Temple of the Dog getting ripped off, Madonna (her, again!) hitting on her son's friends, and Kanye West mis-using the word "Literally". Wrong. All kinds of wrong, from all kinds of angles. So obviously, we figured this was the perfect time to push you in the direction of Miley Cyrus's Instagram account... Where almost everything is wrong all of the time, and that's kind of the whole point. 

Without further ado, here are the quotes of the week:
  • Instagram / Drake

“don’t misinterpret my shock!! I got to make out with the queen Madonna and I feel 100 about that forever. Thank you @madonna"
Drake on the fact that he looked repulsed after Madonna made out with him onstage at Coachella. (Instagram)

"I was at breakfast with my son Rocco, thinking, I haven't had a date in a couple of weeks. I looked at my son without thinking and said 'Do you have friends you could introduce me to?"
Hey, look at that! Drake is off the hook! Stay frisky, Madonna! (US Weekly)

“I’m so sorry to say, that after what was one of my favourite shows ever at Coachella, I have discovered I have broken my foot from leaping off the stage… This album was so much about making something from what was broken, so lets see what we can do with this.”
Get well soon, Florence Welch! (Facebook)

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Thursday, April 16, 2015

The Top 5 Parties in San Francisco This Weekend: Deadbeat, Tiger & Woods, Oscar Mulero and More

Posted By on Thu, Apr 16, 2015 at 10:58 AM

Deadbeat headlines Monarch Saturday, April 18.
  • Deadbeat headlines Monarch Saturday, April 18.
Direct To Earth presents Deadbeat at Monarch, 10 p.m.-3 a.m. Saturday, April 18. $15-$20;

Dub techno is perhaps the most idiosyncratic subgenre of techno. It was invented from whole cloth by a pair of Germans, Moritz von Oswald and Mark Ernestus, known for their work as Basic Channel and Maurizio. Longtime fans of reggae and dub, the pair discovered that typical dub recording techniques — i.e., using the recording studio to inject space, echo, and reverb into reggae tunes, transforming them into "dub versions" — translated perfectly to techno. And so dub techno was born, inspiring leagues of imitators.

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Quinn DeVeaux: The Bluesy Traveler

Posted By on Thu, Apr 16, 2015 at 10:40 AM

  • Paul Waters
Quinn DeVeaux uses his bluesy, soulful voice to channel the vibes of Ray Charles, Bo Diddley, and Chuck Berry in what many would consider neo-soul or neo-gospel, but if you ask DeVeaux, it’s just “timeless music.”

DeVeaux actually found his influence in someone else’s influence. Listening to bands like the Doors and Led Zeppelin in his youth led DeVeaux on a quest to track down the roots of their artistry. What he found (in musicians like Muddy Waters and Reverend Gary Davis) was a timeless blues sound he felt compelled to be a part of with Quinn DeVeaux and the Blue Beat Review.

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Tony Molina Is the King of West Bay Power Pop

Posted By on Thu, Apr 16, 2015 at 10:16 AM

Tony Molina’s solo music career started unceremoniously around 2008, when a friend bailed on their scheduled studio recording dates and Molina decided to pick them up and record by himself. The following success, which has enabled Molina to tour with some of his favorite bands (like Canada’s Fucked Up), has been similarly unplanned.

2013’s Dissed and Dismissed quickly became a cult favorite with its truncated power-pop anthems — but it was also only recorded because Molina’s other band, Ovens, couldn’t make the studio dates.

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Flamin’ Groovies: Shake Some Action Live

Posted By on Thu, Apr 16, 2015 at 9:57 AM

  • Anne Laurent
When the Flamin’ Groovies went into Rockfield Studios in Wales to record Shake Some Action with producer Dave Edmunds in 1972, they had no idea they’d be making a classic. The San Francisco-based band was just doing what came naturally, cutting the best new songs in their catalogue, with the best producer available. “We moved the band to London when the rock scene in the U.S. began petering out,” says guitarist and songwriter Cyril Jordan, one of the band’s founding members. “Some bands change their style to sound like whatever’s on the charts. The Groovies just wanted to play rock ’n’ roll. We never changed. One time, Carl Perkins told me that rock always comes back stronger every time they say it’s dead, so we kept rocking.

“We moved to England to record at Rockfield Studios with Dave Edmunds. They had a signature sound, like Sun Studios had with Sam Phillips and Gold Star had with Phil Spector. They had a unique placement for the echo on the tracks after compression. You could instantly tell if a song had the Rockfield sound.”

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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Good Luck Getting a Ticket to Faith No More at The Warfield This Weekend

Posted By on Wed, Apr 15, 2015 at 2:50 PM

  • Dustin Rabin
Ask old­-school San Francisco rockers about Faith No More, and you'll elicit that swoony glaze in the eyes of nostalgic bliss. Pioneers of genre ­mashing, FNM blasted onto the burgeoning alt-rock scene of the mid '80s with a fresh, brash, crazy combo of pounding grooves, soaring melody, and over­-the-­top lyrics. The band's potent songs fused extreme metal and rap with eerie film soundtracks for an uncommon mix that captured the mad energy of the times.

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