SONIC REDUCER He’s been at home on the range, in the skies overhead, on the South Pacific sea, and on the streets of Greenwich Village. He was taken under the migrant wing of Woody Guthrie, read to Jack Kerouac, backed up Nico, was called the sexiest man in America by Cass Elliott, thieved Allen Ginsberg’s girlfriend, married James Dean’s ex, and was ensconced in the heart of Bob Dylan’s 1975 Rolling Thunder Revue. Mick Jagger said he purchased his first guitar after seeing him play, and his “San Francisco Bay Blues” was one of the first songs Paul McCartney learned to play. ’Nuff said — Ramblin’ Jack Elliott is a legend and would be even if Bill Clinton hadn’t dubbed him an “American treasure.”
I caught up with the singer of cowboy songs, working stiffs’ ballads, salty sailor chanteys, sad songs of the blue, down and out, and lonesome, near his Marshall home, at a Petaluma watering hole, on the occasion of his forthcoming 75th birthday on Aug. 1.
“I don’t like to think about it,” says Elliott of his age. Still sharp, superarticulate, and a consummate flirt, the Brooklyn-born cowboy digs into his Caesar salad — don’t hold the anchovies, man — in the shade of the restaurant, then pokes at our shared plate of fries with his fork. Despite the heat, his hat remains clamped on his head, a bandanna around his neck. “I like to say, in 17 days and 25 years I’m gonna be 100.”
He isn’t quite ready to hang up his boots and sit at home accepting accolades: The still-riveting interpreter of America’s folk songs attended bull-riding school at 47, still harbors an abiding fondness for ponies and long-distance trucks, and hasn’t given up a dream of someday, well, writing songs on a regular basis. “I’ve only written about five songs in 40 years,” he says, proudly sticking to that story. “I’m not a writer. I want to learn to write, I really do. I’m incredibly lazy, though. I can spend 15 days just sleeping after an airplane trip.”
But much travel is on the horizon for this singer of other folks’ songs — he’s now in demand with the release of a wonderful, spare new album of seldom-played tunes, I Stand Alone. David Hidalgo, Corin Tucker, Flea, Nels Cline, and DJ Bonebrake joined him on the Anti- album, in studios of their choosing. Turns out the man truly stood alone — though you wouldn’t be able to tell from the palpable tough love and hardscrabble synchronicity evident on “Careless Darling,” his gritty-sweet pairing with Lucinda Williams.
I tell him I saw him perform five years ago at the Guardian-hosted “Power to the People” show at Crissy Field, put together, incidentally, by I Stand Alone producer Ian Brennan. “Outdoors!” Elliott exclaims. “Right by the bay. I don’t like performing outdoors because I feel nooo connection with the audience. I can see them getting up or eating a sandwich. I want them to be able to be focused on me, because I’m focused on them and I’m trying to focus on what the heck the song is about. Like, what does it mean?”
But let’s wander back to I Stand Alone. “I’ve never been with a hip company before,” Elliott says of Anti-. “My daughter [Aiyana, who directed the 2002 documentary The Ballad of Ramblin’ Jack] wanted to call it Not for the Tourists. Her husband asked, ‘Why don’t you sing those songs in your show, Jack?’ And I said, ‘They’re not for the tourists.’” The songs were long gone from his set simply because he tired of them, having sung them so often in his early years. Yet they possess a taken-for-granted ease found in things that are so worn and familiar that they’re second nature.
“It’s like what Woody told me one time. I asked him to show me how to play a certain cowboy song. I loved it, and Woody had a very unusual way of singing that song and playing it on the guitar,” says Elliott, recalling the year as 1951 and Woody as a hard-drinking 39 to his 19 years. “I said, ‘Woody, can you show me how to play that song ‘Buffalo Skinners,’ and he said, ‘That’s on the record, Jack, and you can go listen to it.’ I listened to it about a hundred times, and I pretty much learned what he was doing, but I never could quite do it exactly the way he did it. He just wasn’t in the mood to be teachin’ guitar.”
Those days of shadowing Guthrie around the country and following his every move, which often got Elliott pegged as a mere imitator, are now “like a dream. I think it was one of the happiest times of my young life because I got to hear all his stories. I’m sorry,” he says, pointing to my recorder, “I didn’t have one of these to record with.” SFBG
RAMBLIN’ JACK ELLIOTT
Sausalito Art Festival
Sept. 2, call for time and price
Marinship Park, Sausalito
Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival
Oct. 6–7, visit Web site for schedule
Speedway Meadow, Golden Gate Park, SF
WHAT? YOU’RE STILL HUNGRY?
Manchester reunited? The punk-pop progenitors are still snarly — just check their latest, Flat-Pack Philosophy (Cooking Vinyl). Thurs/27, 9 p.m., Mezzanine, 444 Jessie, SF. $20 advance. (415) 625-8880.
FAME, HIP-HOP KARAOKE
OK, I’ll give it up if you do: I’m a stone-cold junkie for karaoke. This time you can skip “Rock of Ages” and head straight for “My Adidas” at this launch event hosted by the SweatBox. Fri/28 and the last Friday of every month, 10 p.m.–2 a.m., Bar of Contemporary Art, 414 Jessie, SF. $5. (415) 756-8890.
AND MICAH P. HINSON
Two once and former Holy Rollers come down to earth. Thurs/27, 9 p.m., Bottom of the Hill, 1233 17th St., SF. $10. (415) 621-4455.
Guardian intern Michael Harkin went to the Camera Obscura show on July 20 and this is what he thought:
Scottish delights Camera Obscura treated the Great American Music Hall to a tidy set o’ fey, pretty pop on Thursday night, putting their immense songwriting abilities on display in the most modest of manners.
Singer-guitarist Tracyanne Campbell led the group through a few slower tunes at the start before playing “I Love My Jean,” a fragile, fluttery pop number that they wrote as a tribute to John Peel, eventually opening up to louder, quicker new songs like “If Looks Could Kill” and “Lloyd, I’m Ready to Be Heartbroken.” The snappier bits prompted head-bobbing and sorta-dancing all around. That was a contrast to the back-and-forth sway that otherwise characterized the spectatorship’s movement.
The band seemed like the nicest gosh-darn people you could ever meet. Guitarist and backing vocalist Kenny McKeeve had a particularly friendly demeanor: he addressed the mezzanine sitters by asking if anyone up there could make out the insect bite on his scalp, and uttered the gently surprised reaction, “Thanks so much!” when the stage lights were turned up after his offhand observation of darkness in the room.
More humorous banter came from Campbell, who wouldn’t specify her understanding of the word “jock,” which apparently means something different “where [they] come from.”
Their two-song encore concluded an hour-long (and not overlong!) set with “Eighties Fan,” one of their finest tracks and a song originally produced by Stuart Murdoch of Belle and Sebastian, a companion of theirs in the British Isles’ pop canon.
Not to be overlooked are openers Georgie James, who provided the necessary proof that cheery indie-pop has its place in DC (the District of Columbia, not to be confused with Daly City).
Singer and guitarist John Davis was most recently the drummer for Prince-ified post-hardcore squadron Q and Not U. Here, he collaborated with singer-keyboardist Laura Burhenn, letting on no indication whatsoever of his prominent former project with the sheer tightness of their melodic structures and sentiments.
Middle East–ward the course of empire takes its way these days — a sorrowful and futile operation that does at least confer onto some of us the benefit of being able to look the other way without feeling quite the same pangs of dread. At the edge of the city, the rays of the westering sun glint on the churning waters of the Pacific, most eminent of gray eminences, and if the Pacific has now become mare nostrum, as strongly implied by the president’s recent creation of a “national monument” along a sprinkling of lonely islands halfway to Japan, it also seems quite … pacific, at least as considered through the soaring windows of the refurbished and expanded Cliff House by people who have decided to enjoy the view and their dinner and forget about the wacky North Koreans and their missiles for a while.
The Cliff House has stood since the Civil War at what is, more or less, the city’s westernmost point, a rocky promontory wearing slippers of sea foam. The building has been rebuilt and tinkered with several times over the years, but the most recent redo (completed in 2004) is perhaps the most aesthetically radical; its major feature is the Sutro Wing, an addition to the north side of the original building and the home of Sutro’s, grandest of the Cliff House’s restaurants. The most striking physical aspect of Sutro’s is its vertical spaciousness, the multistory vault of air that opens over the dining room floor. There are also shiplike railings and other maritime details, while the room’s western and northern walls consist largely of glass, lightly clad with louvered blinds that can be adjusted to manage the sunlight. For there are those magical moments, yes, when the fog remains offshore, a line at the horizon like a threatening but for the moment thwarted army, and the summer sun actually shines at the coast, long into evening.
Opinion divided at our table (in the dining room’s northwest corner and commanding vistas in two directions) as to whether the basic look was more Miami or Malibu. I thought the latter, but my sense might have been affected by glancing at chef Patrick Clark’s menu, which is a California-cuisine document (“California coastal” seems to be the house term) in both its around-the-world-in-80-days mélange of influences and its emphasis on local, seasonal, organic, and sustainable ingredients, the now-familiar mantra that until recently wasn’t much chanted at the Cliff House.
The latter makes the place worthy of serious consideration by locals, while the former is a kind of culinary broadband for tourists, the offering of a little something for every taste. How about Southern? Clark sets out a fine gumbo ($10.75), a thick, smoky-brown broth studded with bits of full-throated andouille sausage and lapping a lone Dungeness crab fritter that resembles a giant gold nugget. For those not in a bayou mood, there is a decent papaya-shrimp salad ($11.75) or perhaps a plate of falafel ($18.75) with warm pita triangles, tahini sauce, and tzatziki (with cucumber chunks instead of the more usual gratings). I love falafel, but it can get pretty ordinary, indifferent preparation resulting in hardened projectiles suitable for loading into muskets. Clark’s falafel, on the other hand, is a world removed from musketry, consisting of a set of delicately crusted spheres that seem light enough to float into the ether overhead.
Back on planet Earth, a kurobuta pork shank ($26.75) struck me as caveman food: a fist-size club of bone and glazed meat — magnificently tender, it must be said, if enough to satisfy two consequential appetites — served with shreds of braised cabbage, applesauce, and a lovely squash risotto. A soup of asparagus and corn ($8.50), elegantly puréed and drizzled with chili oil, was like the passing of the seasonal torch from spring to summer and clearly a pitch to local sensibility, which possibly was stunned by the giant porcine shank. And one of Clark’s most successful cross-cultural innovations must be his Thai-style bouillabaisse ($26.95), a collection of clams, scallops, large prawns, and large pieces of Dungeness crab still in the shell — all this looks like a seafood junkyard — swimming in a coconut–red curry broth that replaces, rather spectacularly, the traditional fumet (an herb- and saffron-infused seafood stock) and provides a blast of chili heat one does not typically associate with tourist spots.
Given the scale of the portions — of course I am thinking of the lethal-weapon shank, but nothing else is small either, just as at Starbucks the smallest size is “medium” — dessert is for the hardy few. I did enjoy my stolen samples of banana cheesecake ($9), though the roasted banana was tough. Aficionados of postprandial liqueurs, on the other hand, won’t be disappointed; the wealth of possibilities here includes the usual cognacs and ports but also several Armagnacs, beginning with an entry-level pour at an affordable $9. The cordial was of a caramel color deeper than the typical cognac’s and of a surprising, rustic fieriness reminiscent of, but distinct from, that of Calvados.
I do have a few complaints. The sun, if any, can be nearly blinding at certain times of the day. The noise level is at the high end of acceptable, in part because of a live jazz quartet that sometimes plays in the lounge on the mezzanine. And the service, while friendly and knowledgeable, can be a little sluggish if the restaurant is full, as it often seems to be. Tourists or locals? Both, no doubt. SFBG
Lunch: Mon.–Sat., 11:30 a.m.–3 p.m.; Sun., 11 a.m.–3 p.m.
Dinner: nightly, 5–9:30 p.m.
1090 Point Lobos, SF
Imagine being a moviegoer, say, 60 years ago. Then, as now, Hollywood prompted wiseguys and eggheads to complain that the average picture was made by idiots for idiots. In particular, what could be more brain-deadening than yet another 90 minutes spent enduring gaudy production numbers, rickety romance plots, stale patter, throwaway songs, and forced (as they used to put it) gaiety?
Now we are up to our necks in invasions from outer space, fantasy landscapes, mass destruction — everything the average 13-year-old imagination and computer-generated imagery can devise. The barriers for physical depiction have collapsed, yet movies seem dumber than ever, with fewer actual ideas. It’s enough to make you wish for a return to relative realism, like say 100 chorus girls dancing around a giant cake. Really: Quit with the dragons. Bring back the musical.
Strangely, this year’s San Francisco International Film Festival does turn back the clock, in that several of the higher-profile features this year are honest-to-god musicals, and original ones too — there isn’t a boring Broadway transfer among them.
The first musical to open the festival in 20 years (1986 had Absolute Beginners) is Peter Ho-Sun Chan’s lavish Hong Kong confection Perhaps Love, a Jacques Demy–<\d>meets–<\d>Moulin Rouge exercise in decorative, sentimental self-consciousness. Too many bathetic ballads eventually slow things down, but as an exercise in pure stylistic excess, the result looks and feels like you hope the after-party will.
As idiosyncratic and personal as Love is, it seems conventional compared with the two other musicals from lands of the (Far) East. Eighty-four-year-old veteran Japanese wild man Seijun Suzuki’s Princess Raccoon is an anarchic anomaly based on a popular whimsy almost as old as he is, updated to be just as agelessly lunatic. The against-odds love between titular princess (Ziyi Zhang) and prince (Joe Odagiri) occurs amidst a nonstop camp parade of non sequitur delights, visual as well as aural. There’s song (Hawaiian to rap to prog rock), dance (tap to moonwalk), evil Catholicism, Kabuki theatricality, rampant CGI, giant penis sculptures, and a mystical Frog of Paradise. It’s suitable for unhinging viewers of all ages.
That cannot be said for Tsai Ming-liang’s already notorious Thai-French coproduction The Wayward Cloud. In this gorgeous, absurdist cipher, dizzy production numbers alternate with graphic sex scenes in a Taipei where a chronic water shortage has prompted mass consumption of watermelon juice. If Cloud ever finds a US distributor, multiple viewings will be in order — the first may leave you too gobsmacked to know what just befell you.
I’d like to say the home team is holding up its end in the all-singing, all-dancing department. But the two big guns at 2006 — slotted as "centerpiece" and "closing night feature," respectively — left me cold, even if you’ve got to hand their makers a nickel for trying something different. Actor-turned-director-cum-horrible-scenarist John Turturro’s Romance and Cigarettes is a karaoke musical set to a mix tape of his formative faves (Dusty, James Brown, even Engelbert). James Gandolfini and Susan Sarandon play a working-class Queens couple who bust up, then meander amidst various wacky characters (Winslet, Walken, Buscemi, etc.) before the inevitable reconciliation and a somber finish the movie doesn’t have the emotional depth to pull off. While nicely designed, the film’s scatological humor and broad performances are painful in that same tone-deaf, infantile way as recent John Waters (A Dirty Shame); the production numbers are as shapeless as the screenplay.
Robert Altman’s take on A Prairie Home Companion may well please fans of the radio show. His woozy fallback style, which kicks in whenever the material doesn’t wake him up (last alert moment: Gosford Park), is apt enough for Garrison Keillor’s cozy, faintly ironic cornball humor and penchant for a fake "authenticity" borne of nostalgia for never-was Americana. Keillor is not, to put it kindly, a natural camera presence. But then Companion doesn’t do the professionals any favors either, rendering even Meryl Streep negligible and giving Virginia Madsen the worst role of her career (yes, worse than being Bobcat’s love interest in Hot to Trot). Everybody onscreen appears to be having a very good time. If you want to enjoy tepid, quasi-folksome chuckles and movie actors singing bluegrass and gospel songs poorly, then you will too.
(Peter Ho-Sun Chan, Hong Kong, 2005)
Thurs/20, 7 p.m., Castro
(Party 9:30 p.m., Regency Center)
PRAIRIE HOME COMPANION
(Robert Altman, USA, 2006)
May 4, 7 p.m.
(Party 9:30 p.m., Mezzanine)
(Seijun Suzuki, Japan, 2005)
April 26, 9:30 p.m., Kabuki
April 28, 2:30 p.m., Castro
April 30, 8 p.m., PFA
ROMANCE and CIGARETTES
(John Turturro, USA, 2005)
April 28, 8 p.m., Kabuki
THE WAYWARD CLOUD
(Tsai Ming-liang, Taiwan/France, 2005)
Sun/23, 9:30 p.m., Castro
Tues/25, 10:15 p.m., Kabuki
April 26, 3:30 p.m., Kabuki
April 28, 9:15 p.m., PFA
It takes real rock ‘n’ roll godhead to turn down the chance to be a “golden god” — but Terry Reid did it. The man who passed on the chance to be the vocalist of the New Yardbirds (ne Led Zeppelin) is back. And perfect timing too: His song, “Seed of Memory,” stood out, soulful and startling, amid the more predictable Southern rock of last year’s gore revivalist flick The Devil’s Rejects.
I’m digging this Water live recording (above), released in 2004. Not a starting point, say longtime followers, but it does feature David Lindley.
Terry Reid performs with Parchman Farm and the Cuts April 2, 9 p.m., at Mezzanine, SF. $10 advance. www.ticketweb.com
SONIC REDUCER I love the fact that whenever you leave this country, you immediately come to the discomfiting realization that … you’re such a damaged by-product of capitalist America. Case in point: Last week I gazed upon the beauteous, barren, and treeless expanses of Iceland, miles and miles of rock, scrubby grass, and mirrorlike pools of ice. Iceland in the spring is the chill, brown-white-and-blue equivalent of the Southwestern desert, austere yet fragile in the face of certain global warming, and barely containing an undercurrent of volcanic energy reminiscent of Hawaii’s Big Island. So why do I look at these moonscapes and wonder where all the people are and why there aren’t any houses, strip malls, or ski resorts out here? Why do I look at untrammeled land and see real estate?
Reykjavik: I’m here on a press trip with other media field operatives from BPM, OK!, Nylon, and Vapors, studying the club culture, seeing the sights, taking in gutfuls of fresh, fishy air by the wharf, gazing at snowcapped mountains, and perusing menus in shock. I just couldn’t help blurting a culturally insensitive, "Omigod, that’s My Little Pony!" when I saw the roast Icelandic foal with a tian of mushrooms, caramelized apples, and calvados sauce on the bill of traditional Icelandic restaurant Laekjarbrekka.
Likewise, the Icelanders probably can’t help turning those cute puffins and herb-fed lambs into meaty main courses to warm them through those long, dark winters. The real, long-haired, sweet-faced Icelandic horses turned out to be more engaging and curious than I’d ever imagined, strolling up to our group out in the wilds near Thingvellir to examine the hipsters (and hip-hoppsters) and be ooohed over. "They’re more like dogs than horses!" our Icelandair rep, Michael Raucheisen, exclaimed.
After a scrumptious Asian fusion meal at the elegant, cream-colored, deco Apotek (started with kangaroo tartare and finished off with a mistakenly ordered $125 bottle of Gallo cab; travel tip number one: Reykjavik is not the spot to sample California vino), our wild bunch was more into checking out a local strip club than settling in with a good book like Dustin Long’s charming Agatha Christie parody, Icelander (McSweeney’s), or the catalog for the National Museum of Iceland’s current photo exhibit of fishing village life in the southeast, "Raetur Runtsins" ("Roots of the Runtur"). We were more likely to price the local, ahem, pharmaceutical offerings ("$175 for a gram of coke is not cheap!" was one assessment) at the city’s nightclubs than shop for runic love charms or grandmotherly woolens.
One reason for the aforementioned vast, unpopulated expanses: There are only 300,000 people in the entire country — albeit well educated, well employed, relatively youthful, and wired. (Is it any wonder this isle has the highest concentration of broadband users in the world?) Most of the youth culture was happening in the capital, where about a third of the population lives it up, sucks down Brennivin and macerated strawberry mojitos, dances with compact little hand motions that resemble a funky elfin hand jive. I must confess that, watching Deep Dish’s Ali "Dubfire" Shirazinia skillfully work Iceland native Björk into his house mix at NASA, I’ve rarely seen more hot, seemingly straight men dancing, en masse, on the floor, on the mezzanine, in the booths, every damn where. Where did they get the energy — from a geothermal pipeline or those mischievous sprites called Julelads?
As we piled into the van to steep at the sulfur-scented but soul-soothing Blue Lagoon and study the brand-spankin’ Icelandic Idol Snorri Snorrason (I kid you not) serenading the soakers lagoonside with Jack Johnson–like tunes, I could only sit and plot my next visit — possible when Icelandair resumes its summer flights from SF in May? It’ll be too late to catch late April’s new Rite of Spring alt-jazz and folk music festival, but not for October’s Iceland Airwaves music fest (Oct. 18 through 22, www.icelandairwaves.com), where big tickets like the Flaming Lips have filled the city’s venues alongside Icelanders such as Sigur R??s. I’ll have to catch these new Icelandic rock artists:
Ampop, My Delusions (Dennis)
This trio was getting the royal hype in Reykjavik — posters were plastered everywhere. How nice to find that their jaunty yet dramatic English-language orchestral psych-rock traverses the dreamier side of Coldplay and Doves.
Mammut, Mammut (Smekkleysa)
Polished though quirky, this bass-driven, all-lady post-punk fivesome takes a bite of the Sugarcubes, Siouxsie Sioux, and the Raincoats, with plenty of all-Icelandic lyrical histrionics.
Storsveit Nix Noltes, Orkideur Havai (12 Tonar; to be released on Bubblecore)
Last glimpsed at South by Southwest’s Paw Tracks/Fat Cat showcase, these Animal Collective tourmates draw inspiration for their instrumentals from Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, and the Balkans.
Mugison, Mugimama — Is This Monkey Music? (12 Tonar)
The Mark Linkous of Icelandic rock digs into the raw stuff on this acclaimed full-length. He also recently scored Baltasar Kormakur’s film A Little Trip to Heaven, reinterpreting the Tom Waits track of the same name.
For the real folkways, check out Raddir/Voices: Recordings of Folk Songs from the Archives of the Arni Magnusson Institute in Iceland (Smekkleysa/Arni Magnusson Institute), which includes a great booklet on the music, collected between 1903 and 1973 and revolving around Icelandic sagas and cautionary fables of monsters, ogres, and child-snatching ravens. SFBG
CH-CH-CHECK IT OUT
Anthony Hamilton, Heather Headley, and Van Hunt
Hamilton killed, from all reports, at SXSW, and we all know how good that Hunt album is. Wed/19 and Mon/24, 7:30 p.m., Paramount, 2025 Broadway, Oakl. $39–$67.75. www.ticketmaster.com
M’s and the Deathray Davies
Chicago cock-rockers meet quirk poppers. Wed/19, 8 p.m., Rickshaw Stop, 155 Fell, SF. $8. (415) 861-2011
The chairs are pushed back when this band of Tuaregs, the indigenous people from Eastern Mali, break out the guitars. Wed/19, 8 and 10 p.m. Yoshi’s, 510 Embarcadero West, Oakl. $14–$20. (510) 238-9200
The gritty girlfriend that might be the next Mary adds a late show. Fri/21, 11:30 p.m., The Grand, 1300 Van Ness, SF. $32.50. (415) 864-0815
The ensemble premieres a collaboration with Walter Kitundu, takes on a Sigur R??s number, and teams with Matmos on "For Terry Riley." Fri/21–Sat/22, 8 p.m., Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 701 Mission, SF. $18–$35. (415) 978-ARTS
Saddle Creek’s electro-folk-pop sweetheart steps out from Azure Ray. Sat/22, 9 p.m., Cafe du Nord, 2170 Market, SF. $10. (415) 861-5016 SFBG
Weekend’s here and I’m hoping to keep it hail-free this time around. There are some heated hip-hop shows this weekend: Ghostface with M1 from Dead Prez at Mezzanine tonight and that massive Andre Nickatina and Equipto at Studio Z Saturday. Arab Strap are strapping the groovy boys on tonight and tomorrow at Cafe du Nord — with much excitement about His Name Is Alive. I’m psyched to see Islands with Metric at the Fillmore (along with the Strokes and Eagles of Death Metal at the Concourse) — and that’s all tonight. My ears are already starting to smart.
Whoa, it’s Band of Horses.
Credit: Robin Laananen
And Sub Pop breakout beasts Band of Horses are playing with Earlimart tonight at the Independent (and if you miss them, the Horseys also play a free show at Amoeba Music in SF on — fooled ya — April 1, 2 p.m.). Remember these guys from onetime Bay Area indie rock band Carissa’s Wierd? Very wierd how what comes around goes around — and gets reincarnated as equine musicmakers. Nice beards, dudes. Couldn’t bother to shave, could you? S’OK — I didn’t either!
And then it’s open season on Noise Pop starting Monday. Yeehaw.
Whoa, it’s Tapes ‘N Tapes at Cafe du Nord
Last night I went to du Nord to see Minneapolis band Tapes ‘N Tapes play their hearts out and praise SF (and diss LA, complaining about the dreary cold down south — we got lucky, I think). They rocked, all over the place — still forming their sound, no doubt. Twas a strong one.
OBLIGATORY MP3-RELATED QUASI-NEWS TIDBIT
Your pals at Jagjaguwar (www.jagjaguwar.com) e-mailed, ever so personally, to say they signed Vancouver band Ladyhawk, who are touring with Magnolia Electric Co. Wasn’t that also the title of a cheesy Mists of Avon Ladies-style fantasy flick in the ’80s? Anyway, said band’s self-titled CD/LP debut is due June 6.
The label writes that the band’s album is “a stomping and sweaty ride through the Vancouver streets that they all know well, as viewed from the seats of a bruised and doorless Astro Van. In this ride, you can’t help but feel that you will fall out and you will fall down, and your joints will all be sore at the end of the trip. Ladyhawk’s core is bracing rock. Neil Young’s Tonight’s the Night is the hailstorm on the hood of the Replacement’s Let It Be, while distorted guitars invoke the thread and swerve of Silkworm and Dinosaur Jr.”
I write that the ’90s are back and there’s nothing you can about it. Except to bury your combat boots in a small hole in the backyard and then pile dog manure gathered from Dolores Park trash cans all over it. It — the ’90s, that is — will probably still come back — but at least you tried.
If you embrace the grunge revivalism, listen to the MP3 for “The Dugout” from Ladyhawk’s debut at www.scjag.com/mp3/jag/dugout.mp3