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Friday, April 24, 2015

Sounds of Pop/Sounds of Protest: A Conversation with Greil Marcus and Gina Arnold

Posted By on Fri, Apr 24, 2015 at 5:34 PM

Students at the University of San Francisco were treated to an engaging discussion yesterday between music journalist and author Gina Arnold and revered cultural critic Greil Marcus on the sounds of pop music and protest. Hosted inside a classroom but open to the pubic, the event celebrated the life and work of USF Media Studies professor (and SF Weekly writer) Andrew Goodwin

The two music minds explored various topics relating to the idea of art as more than just entertainment, but an instrument for political action. The duo discussed the racial connotations of Pussy Riot dramatizing Eric Garner's death in its "I Can't Breathe" video at length, and questioned whether using music to react to single incidents was more or less effective than vague lyrics critiquing larger issues.

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The Night Light Celebrates Three-Year Anniversary with Three-Day Party

Posted By on Fri, Apr 24, 2015 at 1:40 PM

The Night Light, a neighborhood bar located in the heart of Oakland's Jack London District, has played host to numerous bands, comedians, and DJ's over the course of the last three years. 

The two-story cocktail bar features an intimate live music venue above the 1940's-inspired first floor. It was voted "Best New Bar" in 2012 by the East Bay Express Reader's poll, and has yet to slow down a constant outpouring of good times and good music. To celebrate, it has announced a three-day party starting tonight.

Here's the lineup, according to the Facebook event:

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Lee Gallagher and The Hallelujah Preach the Gospel of Rock 'n' Roll at Brick & Mortar

Posted By on Fri, Apr 24, 2015 at 10:51 AM

Lee Gallagher and The Hallelujah kicked off their performance Wednesday night with "Gloryland," the first single off their debut self-titled album. The Brick & Mortar crowd, peppered with familiar local musicians (and amounting to a fairly substantial turn out for a Wednesday night), immediately began to dance with full intensity and enthusiasm — particularly the front row.

Their next songs, "Shallow Grave" and "1935", swelled the room, creating an energetic peak before cooling down the crowd with their ballad, "Feel Like Going Home." Lee Gallagher and the Hallelujah always seem to make true believers out of new audience members with their gritty, and intriguingly addictive rock song, "Night Trip," which leads you down a rabbit hole of abstract seediness before the band cleanses you with their signature, "Hallelujah Prelude" and dream-like psych song, "Sugartown."

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Anthony Dragons Discusses His Show With Curren$y and Forthcoming Mixtape

Posted By on Fri, Apr 24, 2015 at 9:45 AM


Though Anthony Dragons is a pretty accomplished local rapper, he's had a hard time settling on a name for himself — which is why you may not have heard of him despite the fact he has opened for Kendrick Lamar, Wale, and Talib Kweli when they've played in the Bay Area. His previous names, RGLND and Anthony Almxghty, never felt quite right, but Anthony Dragons is something he wants to stick with longterm. The surname references his Chinese zodiac sign and has all the qualities he wants to embody in his rhymes — swift and stealthy with a formidable presence.

Dragons currently has mixtape in the works and, though he hasn't shared much about it, it promises to be as eclectic as his past work. He has a penchant for mid-tempo, jazz and funk-influenced production, yet he's also no stranger to party music. One of his early mixtapes, 6olden, is full of hyphy beats and even has a verse from Too $hort. Yet, in his lastest effort, Ode English, his lyrics evolved into something more experimental and complex, packing in lots of surrealist metaphors and left-field analogies. A clever storyteller, he uses his music to process difficult experiences from his East Oakland childhood.

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This Week: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Revelations, Metallica Phone Mishaps, and Kanye Working at The Gap

Posted By on Fri, Apr 24, 2015 at 9:19 AM

While the annual round of always-quotable, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductions are coming up first today, elsewhere this week, things have erred on the dark side. From Cyndi Lauper shaming senators for their homophobia and Lauren Mayberry standing up to misogyny, to the dire condition of Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown's daughter, it's been a rather dark seven days — unaided by the news that hundreds of potential new Metallica riffs just got abandoned in a phone somewhere. The only comfort to all this? Willie Nelson's selling weed now. Silver linings...

Here are the quotes of the week:
  • Instagram / Miley Cyrus
"I got a call to say, this was Wednesday, would I join the Beatles? And I said, 'Well, when do you want me to join?' And he said, 'Tonight!' And I said, 'No, I can't do that. I've got a band here. We've got a job. I'll come Saturday.'"
Ringo Starr on his invitation to be a Beatle, at his Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction. (Rolling Stone

"I'm going to start off this induction with the first time I wanted to have sex with Joan Jett. We were doing Oprah together, and I go up to Joan's hotel room… There's towels shoved underneath all the door cracks, shower caps around all the smoke detectors. Joan is running around spraying orange-smelling cleaner to mask the smell of "the pot" (that's what you guys call it)…”
Miley Cyrus, on Joan Jett at the latter's induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. (Rolling Stone)

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Thursday, April 23, 2015

Lil B Talks Apps, Technologization, and Insects

Posted By on Thu, Apr 23, 2015 at 3:52 PM

Lil B, aka The Based God, recently released his latest app: the TYBG Meme Creator. The new app lets devoted followers of Lil B easily create Based God-approved memes (without any of those annoying tags) to share with their friends.

This isn’t The Based God’s first foray into the tech world – he’s released emoji and vegan food apps in the past – but this new meme creator is perhaps the best (and most fitting) app from the enigmatic Bay Area rapper so far.

One review of the app reads as follows:

"Before lil b blessed us with this ultra-rare meme creator I felt like life had no meaning. I went though the day dreaming about based god memes, but I never got to make them. But now I can make them anytime I want! It is hard for me to articulate how incredible this app truly is. I hope every one in the world is able to get this app. TYBG. PROTECT LIL B AT ALL COSTS."

We used the app as an excuse to speak with The Based God himself about his new app, technologization, and the earth.

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Grateful Dead Original Members Hype Overpriced Pay-Per-View of 'Fare Thee Well' Concerts

Posted By on Thu, Apr 23, 2015 at 2:28 PM

Never let subtlety get in the way of a good press release. Much like the Grateful Dead's interminable shows, a release sent out yesterday about the band's "farewell" concerts in Chicago (and now also Santa Clara) is overblown hyperbole, to put it mildly. The release goes so far as to suggest those shows will be the biggest concert event "of all time."

Maybe the most costly concert event...

The surviving members announced in the notice — which repeatedly refers to the band as "Grateful Dead Original Members" — that the shows will be broadcast live via Pay-Per-View on cable, satellite, and online streaming devices. It'll also be in movie theaters around the country.

Yup, pretty much anything that has a screen on it can transport you to the last Grateful Dead Original Members concerts, which take place nearly 20 years after the Dead last performed with Jerry Garcia, the band's late lead guitarist, singer, and songwriter.

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The Top 5 Parties in San Francisco This Weekend: Tornado Wallace, Richie Hawtin, Kahn and More

Posted By on Thu, Apr 23, 2015 at 12:06 PM

Tornado Wallace headlines BeatBox Saturday, April 24.
  • Tornado Wallace headlines BeatBox Saturday, April 24.
Honey Soundsystem presents Tornado Wallace at BeatBox, 10 p.m.-4 a.m. Saturday, April 25. $10-$20;

One of the most fascinating quirks of electronic music is how regional scenes are closely tied to specific sounds. Detroit is synonymous with techno (Berlin is too, for that matter); Chicago is essentially synecdoche for house music; New York and disco are forever linked, thanks to that city's Studio 54 and Paradise Garage clubs. On the flip side, this means that whenever a producer or artist from outside of a given region tries his or her hand at a style of electronic music typically associated with said region, interesting results may occur.

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New Condos Force Elbo Room Closure

Posted By on Thu, Apr 23, 2015 at 10:07 AM

The Elbo Room, the Mission District bar and live music venue, announced on Facebook last night that it will not be allowed to re-sign its lease and will close its doors in November. The owners of the property, Dennis Ring and Susan Rokisky-Ring, plan to build condos.

The Elbo Room has played host to numerous local and touring live bands, but may be most known for its lively DJ nights and dance parties like Afrolicious and Dub Mission. It hopes to find a new location soon.

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DJ Isaac Jordan Talks East Coast Versus West Coast DJing and His Famous Edits

Posted By on Thu, Apr 23, 2015 at 9:04 AM

Frequent club patrons know that while the DJ may play your favorite song, nobody really has the time or patience to hear you belt out “Uptown Funk” in its entirety. Instead, DJs will often play a condensed or rearranged version of the song, known as an edit. For club DJs therefore, a reliable source of effective edits and remixes is a godsend, saving them hours and ensuring that they always have the perfect version to drop during their set.

For the past 15 years, Philly-born DJ Isaac Jordan has been that source. The DJ is known for his ability to make a prolific amount of quality edits, from club favorites to classics, as well as maintaining a reputation as one of the most versatile club DJs around. First gaining notoriety on the DJ forum The Hollerboard, the demand for his edits soon inspired him to launch his own blog, 2000Down. While in the past couple of years the blog has seen fewer updates, the self-proclaimed “nomad by nature” DJ has leveraged his success, traveling and performing around Europe and the U.S., living in Barcelona, New York, and recently settling in San Francisco.

We caught up with the DJ about his musical history, moving to San Francisco, and his DJ dream team. He plays three local residencies this week at W Hotel (Thursday, 4/24), Bruno’s (Friday, 4/25), and Matrix Fillmore (Saturday, 4/26). 

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