All Shook Down Music Fest: A Guide to the Artists

Crystal Castles
If you don't already know how spectacularly special these Canadian electrogoth wunderkinds are, this is probably the first time you've read a music publication (a Crystal Castle is no longer just what She-Ra lived in). You should also probably go and purchase both of the duo's stunningly innovative self-titled albums immediately and promise to catch this set. We're only worried that in a live situation, we'll all freeze to death under the glare of Alice Glass's icy demeanor and the fact that she and bandmate Ethan Kath are quite transparently two of the coolest people on earth. If Robert Smith shows up to do his bit on “Not in Love,” we might actually die.

Mistah FAB
Before checking out this smooth Oakland native and hyphy originator, hit him on Twitter. No, seriously. He wrote a song called “Hit Me on Twitterr!!!!!!!!” so he'll probably Tweet you right back. And with lyrics like “First it was BlackPlanet, then MySpace, then Facebook took over my place, woah, now I'm stuck on Twitter, if I see a girl, then I'm-a go get 'er,” this Mistah is gonna have a whole mess of ladies and nerds desperate to see him in action. Unmissable.

Maus Haus
Think about what Friendly Fires would sound like if they wandered into the desert, took too much acid, and came back as an electronic outfit, and you pretty much have Maus Haus. This local trio will go over well with Postal Service fans and just about everyone else who can't decide what musical genre they like best. Maus Haus does a bit of everything, and the results are fabulous.

Expertly crafted rock 'n' roll that borrows from the '60s but belongs firmly in the 2000s, formulated by six lunatics who can't decide whether they want to be the Byrds, Devo, or the Strokes. So they sound like a combination of all three. And if you don't think that could work, just go watch 'em and let them prove you wrong — you'll enjoy losing the argument.

The Blank Tapes
Fans of the Kinks' jaunty, seemingly simple odes to life as we know it as well as Ray Davies' down-to-earth but always heart-warming delivery would do well to check out the Blank Tapes' always-engaging frontman, Matt Adams, and the ever-changing cast of characters he performs with. It may be the closest you'll get to the '60s without the aid of a flux capacitor.

Con Brio
Grooves, grooves, grooves, and a mighty mountain of soul: Fronted by the always-sassy Xandra Corpora, this septet is essential viewing for those who are cra-biddly-woo-wah-crazy for jazz sensibilities, infected with the funk (the musical kind, not the stink kind, thank you very much), or just love a good organ solo and a set of finger-clickin'-good music. Feel free to scat along.

J-Boogie'sDubtronic Science
We'd never encourage anyone to indulge in illegal activities, but let's just say that those of you with medicinal marijuana prescriptions might enjoy watching the often-laid-back, frequently political, and always-gorgeous hip-hop soul that DJ and producer J-Boogie will be presenting with his band, Dubtronic Science — a collection of hugely talented vocalists, MCs, horn players, and percussionists. Enjoy (we know you will).

Aaron Axelsen
If you're a Live 105 fan, then you probably already know all about this guy. He is, after all, the radio station's music director and the man responsible for soundtracking Saturday night parties all over the Bay Area with his electronica-oriented show, Subsonic. You may have already seen him DJ at one of his club nights too — Popscene, probably — and if so, you'll know he knows how to get people on their feet. A good time is guaranteed.

Shawn Reynaldo
You may remember him as Disco Shawn, but he'd rather you didn't. Yes, the S.F. beat scene enthusiast and founder of parties like Icee Hot and Tormenta Tropical goes by his real name now, rather than that silly one that never should've stuck in the first place. Once he starts dropping beats though, you won't give a hoot what the hell he's calling himself these days, as long as he keeps going. Dance, people, dance!

Seasunz and the Earth Amp. Project
Yes, the title makes this sound like a science project involving greenhouses and speaker systems, but in reality, Oakland's Seasunz is a hop-hopper who makes music that's an experiment in (those most essential of subjects) rump-shakin' and feelin' fine — with some topical politics thrown in for good measure. Listen to Earth Amplified, last year's album with J. Bless, for evidence.

Richie Cunning
Resist the urge to yell “ham!” every time someone says his name in your vicinity, and just be happy that this young hip-hopper wrote one of the bitchiest love letters to San Francisco we've ever heard (check out the excellent “The City” from 2010's Night Train). He's one of the finest rappers the Bay Area has to offer, and he makes us feel good every time we see him. Let him do the same for you.

DJ Centipede of Mophono
Despite this DJ's name, he isn't actually one of the musicians from the Mos Eisley Cantina in Star Wars, although the music he makes is frequently as mind-melting as a light-saber to the face. Unsettling like Aphex Twin, dark like a black hole, and with enough bass and heavy beats to upset your stomach for a week, this S.F. experimentalist — a regular at the Change the Beat parties at Som Bar — is a quirky one to watch.

Download the All Shook Down Music Fest schedule and map.

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