Between POW!’s “Hi-Tech Boom,” the schticky “Google Bus Song” from Cachebox, and Violent Vickie’s “Fuck You!!!!!”, it’s safe to say San Francisco musicians — the ones that are left here, haha! sorry — are currently leading the nation in anti-gentrification music.
This is a good thing, of course. It means the city still has a pulse. You know what we’ve been sorely lacking, however? As Emma Goldman basically said, give the people a summery, socially conscious anthem we can fucking dance to.
Enter Katie Day, who self-released her new EP, Burn It to the Ground, yesterday. There’s a lot to like here, including a love song for the Lower Haight, but the instant earworm is a semi-tongue-in-cheek indie-electro-pop jam called “San Francisco (Before the West Falls),” with shimmery, bubble-gum synths and keys layered with lyrics that lament the bygone days when coffee was 80 cents, and give serious side-eye to the tech bros moving into her neighborhood: “Someone told me about the boys next door/They put the boards on the window of the record store/And now the kids don’t get to play no more…”
“The extreme wealth disparity we’re experiencing in SF as a result of tech can make living here as an artist straight-up oppressive, but I think having a song that speaks to that oppression and makes you want to get up and dance anyway can negate any feeling of self-pity, even if you’re living under constant threat of eviction while there’s trained German Shepherd acting as an elevator operator at the Google office,” Day wrote me when I asked about her inspirations. “It’s something they can’t take away from you.”
Get your un-gentrifiable dance on when she plays with Stages of Sleep, New Spell, and Memory Motel this Sat/7, 8pm at Amnesia.