Phono Del Sol

On your mark, get set: The Music Video Race is off and running — and expanding

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Everyone knows that true artists do their best work right before deadline. [Ed note: I may or may not be writing this an hour or so before mine.]

Now in its third year, the Music Video Race is an annual San Francisco tradition that takes this dictum to heart, pairing 16 different musical acts with 16 filmmakers for a challenge that makes that “find a flag in the middle of this big fake nose filled with green goop” thing on Double Dare seem like a cakewalk: Conceive, film, and edit an entire music video in 48 hours.

After accepting applications from both filmmakers and musicians for roughly two months, MVR organizers matched up pairs by random drawing at 7:30pm on Friday, July 11, turning the teams loose around the Bay Area, with a final deadline of 8pm on Sunday, July 13. This year’s bands include SF’s Rin Tin Tiger (which will cap their participation with a headlining spot at the video release party, held at The Independent Sun/20), Oakland’s Bill Baird (fresh from rocking Phono del Sol), Rich Girls, Lemme Adams, and bed. [Another ed note: Yours truly is in the middle of judging said videos, and they’re really freakin’ good.]

“We try to pick a diverse group of bands — we don’t want 20 garage bands or folk acts, etc. There’s so much variety in the Bay, and we really ant to respect that,” says Tim Lillis, an MVR founder, of how they select the participants. “But beyond that, we’re mostly just looking for flexibility, a willingness to roll with the punches, a sense of adventure.”

New this year: We Bay Area-dwellers aren’t so special anymore. The MVR is expanding to Austin and LA, over the weekends of Sept. 5-7 and Nov. 7-9, respectively.

“We’ve had a few really expansive years here, and I think this will help people understand that this isn’t just a San Francisco thing — we’re stoked to help local scenes build themselves,” says Lillis.


Last year’s winning video, from Ash Reiter

The Music Video Race got its start in 2011, when Lillis and a few friends were out having a beer at Lucky 13 before a Mister Heavenly show — featuring Michael Cera on bass. 

“I don’t know if subconsciously the worlds of music and film intertwined because of that, but that’s what happened,” says Lillis, who has a background in video production as well as having played in a few bands in the Bay Area. “I’d done a 48-hour film project before, which is fun, but a lot of times the results of those things are not the best, and I think it usually has to do with audio quality. With music videos, there’s pre-reocrded music, so you’re able to cut the film to the beat; there’s already a rhythm for the editing.”

The sped-up nature of the event isn’t just for fun, Lillis explains. “I’m a pretty firm believer in constraints,” he says. “Even in my work as an illustrator and graphic designer, I know that when you only have so much to work with, you have to just trust your gut and make decisions and go with them. Often your first instinct is valid, and there just isn’t time to waffle on stuff.”

And if he had any doubts about the race being good for the city’s music scene, last year’s event should have sealed the deal: A couple of musicians who met as MVR participants in 2013 — Alex Haager, then of the band Magic Fight, and Sierra Frost, then of Clintongore — fell in love, and are now married, and living in Portland, as co-owners of the Oakland/Portland-based Breakup Records. They’re also in this year’s Music Video Race, competing in their new band Bed

So, you know. Even if you don’t have a musical or filmmaking bone in your body, there just might be something at the finish-line party for ya. As “how we met” stories go, speed-music-video-making sounds way more punk rock than speed-dating. 

MUSIC VIDEO RACE PREMIERE PARTY W/ RIN TIN TIGER, BED.

July 20, 7pm, $14-$16

The Independent

628 Divisadero, SF

www.theindependentsf.com

www.musicvideorace.com

Start your engines

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esilvers@sfbg.com

Everyone knows that true artists do their best work right before deadline. [Ed note: I may or may not be writing this an hour or so before mine.]

Now in its third year, the Music Video Race is an annual San Francisco tradition that takes this dictum to heart, pairing 16 different musical acts with 16 filmmakers for a challenge that makes that “find a flag in the middle of this big fake nose filled with green goop” thing on Double Dare seem like a cakewalk: Conceive, film, and edit an entire music video in 48 hours.

After accepting applications from both filmmakers and musicians for roughly two months, MVR organizers matched up pairs by random drawing at 7:30pm on Friday, July 11, turning the teams loose around the Bay Area, with a final deadline of 8pm on Sunday, July 13. This year’s bands include SF’s Rin Tin Tiger (which will cap their participation with a headlining spot at the video release party, held at The Independent Sun/20), Oakland’s Bill Baird (fresh from rocking Phono del Sol), Rich Girls, Lemme Adams, and bed. [Another ed note: Yours truly will be helping to judge said videos, and I’m rather excited about it.]

“We try to pick a diverse group of bands — we don’t want 20 garage bands or folk acts, etc. There’s so much variety in the Bay, and we really ant to respect that,” says Tim Lillis, an MVR founder, of how they select the participants. “But beyond that, we’re mostly just looking for flexibility, a willingness to roll with the punches, a sense of adventure.”

New this year: We Bay Area-dwellers aren’t so special anymore. The MVR is expanding to Austin and LA, over the weekends of Sept. 5-7 and Nov. 7-9, respectively.

“We’ve had a few really expansive years here, and I think this will help people understand that this isn’t just a San Francisco thing — we’re stoked to help local scenes build themselves,” says Lillis.

For an extended version of this interview, check out the Noise blog this week (www.sfbg.com/noise) and for more info or tickets to the premiere party, visit www.musicvideorace.com.

 

MUSIC VIDEO RACE PREMIERE PARTY W/ RIN TIN TIGER, BED.

July 20, 7pm, $14-$16

The Independent

628 Divisadero, SF

www.theindependentsf.com

Live Shots: Phono del Sol 2014

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So, what did you get up to on Saturday?

From an abundance of flamingo decorations to the sight of skateboarders with a penchant for performing dangerous acrobatics off stage barricades, July 12’s Phono del Sol — the hometown pride-filled music festival thrown with a new level of fervor each year by the Bay Bridged at Potrero del Sol Park — showcased a variety of genres and kept the musical midsummer blues at bay.

Here’s the best of Phono del Sol 2014.

yalls

Best dark horse: Yalls
Hands down, sickest set of the day — literally. Berkeley-based musician Dan Casey battled a bout of bronchitis but delivered a powerful performance, taking the microphone as if there were no tomorrow for his bronchial tubes. Admittedly, I was a little wary of his set before it began. I first saw him perform as an opener for chillwave superstars Small Black back in March. Yalls reigns as king in venues such as the Rickshaw Stop, where the smoky stage and club lighting complement his beats well. However, he successfully conquered the unfamiliar territory of a sunny, outdoor stage in the middle of the day. I was impressed (his doctor probably isn’t) — not even his slightly nasally vocals could detract from his songs.

tony molina

Best ’90s throwback: Tony Molina
Tony Molina’s biggest strength can easily backfire on him and become his biggest weakness. Making the perfect mixtape for a friend is tough — even tougher when you had to work with an actual cassette tape without the help of iTunes’ drag-and-drop features. It’s important to include a varied selection of songs that also flow into each other. Local musician Molina only halfheartedly hit the mark on Saturday. While he found the delicate balance between grunge and pop in each song, he seemed like he’d simply forgotten to spice his set up a bit. He’s known for exceedingly short songs (none of the tracks on his latest album exceed two minutes) that all flowed into each other a little too well during his afternoon set. Oftentimes, it was difficult to figure out when a song would end and when a new one would begin, which wasn’t a problem when I listened to his 2013 EP Dissed and Dismissed.

blackbird

Best dressed: Blackbird Blackbird
Blackbird Blackbird’s Mikey Maramag has come a long way since he opened for Starfucker in 2013, when I overheard someone in the audience murmur “It’s a wall?” after he asked us to sing along to his song “It’s a War.” Although security cut his set off, Blackbird Blackbird was a notable highlight due to his impeccable sartorial splendor, persistence in trying to connect with the audience, and ethereal vocals. Effortlessly clad in a Hawaiian shirt, he alternated between requesting that “everyone get fucking closer” and enveloping the crowd with dreamy vocals that occasionally battled for dominance over the synth.

das bus
(Das Bus photo by Amy Char)

Best German thing (Das beste deutsche Ding): Das Bus
Two disappointments: the World Cup final took place the day after Phono del Sol and Sportfreunde Stiller’s unofficial World Cup anthem from years past is far too trite to appreciate unironically. Otherwise, the German national football team could’ve claimed this title as well. Das Bus is the Bay Area’s mobile Volkswagen photo booth. In this modern age, we’re both obsessed with photos of ourselves and anything vintage, so Das Bus is simply a rad match made in heaven. A chalkboard outside the van even proclaimed that the experience was pet-friendly, so the family dachshund can jump in with you.

waterhouse

Best audience participation: Nick Waterhouse
Watching this set from a distance while enjoying the food trucks’ offerings, my friend and I marveled at the wall of audience members who swung their bodies along to Nick Waterhouse’s soulful, old-timey tunes. We were impressed by how the number of participants grew steadily throughout the set and the demographics of the dancers. Coachella gets a bad rap these days because some of its most notorious attendees are rich college kids in hipster headdresses. But because Phono del Sol takes place in a small, neighborhood park, it caters more to music aficionados of all ages — ones who don’t pretend to recognize “bands … so obscure that they do not exist” à la Jimmy Kimmel Live. The toddler swaying to Nick Waterhouse’s “This Is a Game” in his mother’s arms and the multitude of well-behaved dogs should remind us that we’re damn lucky to have an annual festival like this just a mere Muni or BART ride away from our neighborhoods. 

Best snippets of stage banter: Bill Baird
As the first act of the day, Bill Baird’s sense of humor was appropriately low key and easy to miss if you trickled into the park late. “We’re Bill Baird,” he announced, in a deadpan voice, before a spiel about the presence of deodorant as one of his stage decorations and how heavily he himself relies on deodorant. (Practical, yes, but I never knew deodorant could be trendy.) Introducing the second lo-fi song, “Your Dark Sunglasses Won’t Make You Lou Reed,” he confessed that the song was originally about talking shit about himself, but the meaning evolved over time; the track now talks shit about one of his bandmates. He may not confess this (if he did, I missed it because I wandered away early to catch the Tiny Telephone tour) but he could very well be talking shit about a pretentious festival-goer…

cat
(Marvin the studio cat photo by Amy Char)

Best hidden gem: Tiny Telephone tour and Marvin the studio cat
Musical magic happens in a small, unassuming corner tucked away behind the park the other 364 days of the year. I couldn’t tell if the Tiny Telephone recording studio tour was poorly advertised or capped at a certain number of people, but it was worth sacrificing the opportunity to see a couple of artists. We explored the studio with owner John Vanderslice, who must be one of the most genuine professionals involved in the music business. His enthusiasm was infectious — he spoke about the difficulties behind monetizing art, the aesthetics of reclaimed wood, and his preference for analog recording (as opposed to something computerized, which is commonplace today).

We even met Marvin the studio cat, who snoozed on top of the console in studio A’s control room. (Adorable, but not affectionate.) I quickly forgot about the studio’s proximity to 280; it felt like I was walking around a cozy cabin in the woods. Still, the studio was weird enough to justify its location in the city — studio B used to be the home of a weed-selling auto shop before it went out of business amidst the rise of dispensaries. 

thao

Best all-around: Thao & the Get Down Stay Down
Hometown heroes Thao & the Get Down Stay Down kickstarted their headlining set with Thao Nguyen’s sincere welcome: “Hello, my hometown.” From the 50-minute-long set alone, I could tell that she’s one of the most talented and down-to-earth modern indie musicians, from her expertise on at least three instruments (not including her impromptu takeover of the drums and her beatboxing prowess) to her introduction of John Vanderslice, “a.k.a. the nicest man in indie rock — it’s a fact.” (The band recorded its last album at Tiny Telephone.) Thao’s energy and stage presence was intoxicating; it was evident how much all the band members love what they’re doing when they lost themselves in the music. The set easily transcended genres even within the first two songs of the set, with a folkier emphasis on the violin on “Know Better Learn Faster” and a louder, rock sound on “City.”

phono crowd

Best festival ending: A little boy’s jam session on the drums under Thao’s helpful eye

“There’s a lot to be proud of living in San Francisco and I hope we remember that,” Thao remarked in between songs. As the crowd slowly dispersed after the band’s encore, I ruminated on her words as I watched her lead a little boy from backstage over to the drums, where she grabbed two pairs of drumsticks: one for her and one for him. She taught by example; whenever he successfully imitated whatever she had done, Thao joyfully raised her arms up and cheered. What was left of the audience quickly followed with an enthusiastic round of applause. I overheard someone behind me mention how this must be the most adorable festival ending ever.

Clutching the setlist I requested from Thao as temperatures steadily returned to normal San Francisco averages, her words rang true. All Phono del Sol attendees should be proud that a festival like this, whose inaugural event was free just three years ago, happens right in our very city…not to mention that it’s a steal compared to Outside Lands.

set
(Set list photo by Amy Char)

phono crowd

Gimme 5: Must-see shows this week

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Hello friends and festival-goers! Did you just get back from High Sierra? Does your hair still smell of patchouli? Are you sad that you actually have to be in the world this week, possibly at a desk, while wearing all of your clothes? (Sexual harassment suits these days, lemme tell you.) 

Fret not, fair Bay Areans. A solid few days of music, most of it bred right here, awaits you. Read on for our picks.

THU/10

WATERS and CATHEDRALS

Get your ALL CAPS game faces on for this buzzy night, which pairs SF’s own Van Pierszalowski and WATERS‘ hook-and-distortion-heavy guitar rock with the melodic, playful electro-pop of singer-songwriter Brodie Jenkins and synth-guitar-wizard-producer Johnny Hwin, aka CATHEDRALS. The latter (one of the Bay Guardian’s bands On the Rise this year) has garnered an impressive amount of attention around the Internets (and at SXSW) without even an EP to their name — this show marks their first public performance in the city. Come prepared to be seduced by Jenkin’s vocals, then do some cathartic headbanging to Pierszalowski’s. WATERS should be in good spirits; they’re heading home from a tour that included two sold-out nights at the Troubadour. [Note: The website says they’re sold out; you should still be able to snag tickets at the door.] (Silvers)

9pm, $12
The Chapel
777 Valencia, SF
www.thechapelsf.com

 

FRI/11

Cynic

The world was not ready for Cynic when they first emerged in the late ’80s. The band’s jazzy prog-metal and anti-macho stage presence (inspired in part by members Paul Masvidal and Sean Reinert’s sexuality — Reinert calls their music “some gay, gay metal”) made them equal parts influential and reviled. On their first national tour opening for Cannibal Corpse, the extreme audience hostility they experienced was enough to make them call it quits for 12 years — during which time their reputation and influence grew. Since the crew’s 2006 reunion, they’ve enjoyed success and reverence, releasing two more albums and playing major festivals in the U.S. and Europe. Their upcoming Fillmore gig is a chance to see one of metal’s coolest influences rock a venue as comfortably and thoroughly as they deserve to. (Bromfield)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=42ngxbGNLWk

9pm, $22.50
The Fillmore
1805 Geary, SF
www.thefillmore.com

 

Lia Rose

Formerly of Or, the Whale, San Francisco singer-songwriter Lia Rose has the kind of voice that seems like it could cut steel with its clarity — but instead, she’s going to pick up a guitar and carve you a lovesick, honey-and-whiskey-coated lullaby, with pedal steel or upright bass or banjo or all three helping to lull you under her spell. The timeless quality of her indie-folk pairs well here with opener We Became Owls, an East Bay Americana outfit that’s been gaining devotees like a steam train for the past year, despite not having an album out (this is their record release show). Gritty, Guthrie-esque sing-alongs are a distinct possibility here; maybe do some vocal warm-ups? (Silvers)

9pm, $15
The Chapel
777 Valencia, SF
(415) 551-5157
www.thechapelsf.com

 

SAT/12

Waterstrider

If you have anything left in you after spending the day and boozing and grooving and (sun-)baking to Wye Oak and Thao et al at Phono del Sol — first of all, we salute you. Second, you could do worse than to head over to Slim’s to see these East Bay mainstays co-headline with Guy Fox. Waterstrider‘s blend of Afro-pop, dance-ready synths, and indie rock is a must for anyone who wishes the latest tUnE-yArDs record were twice as long, or that Little Dragon (whom they’re known to cover) were just a little more, er, Californian. Fox will bring more of a driving, brassy garage-funk spirit to the evening. Another fine pairing indeed. (Silvers)

9pm, $14
Slim’s
333 11th St., SF
www.slimspresents.com

 

SUN/13

Darryl D.M.C. McDaniels

Neck of the Woods becomes a time machine on Sunday as Darryl McDaniels, better known as D.M.C., drops in for a nostalgic journey through the annals of 1980s rap. One third of the explosive rap innovators Run-D.M.C., McDaniels has kept busy since the dissolution of the group more than ten years ago, playing a full festival circuit, doing extensive charity work, and covering Frank Zappa’s “Willie the Pimp” with Talib Kweli, Mix Master Mike, and Ahmet Zappa for a pulsating track on a birthday compilation put out by the Zappa Family Trust. It’s hard to say whether D.M.C. will pull out anything quite as wild during this set, but expect zeitgeist-defining songs like “It’s Tricky” and “Walk This Way,” and hopefully some deeper cuts from the group’s later work (2001’s Crown Royal has some underrated tracks) and D.M.C.’s only solo album, Checks, Thugs, and Rock and Roll. Joining McDaniels on the mic are local groups the Oakland Mind and Jay Stone, each of whom have decidedly D.M.C.-inspired beats and flows and will offer up both politicized and party-themed bangers centered around the Bay. If you’re feeling like “Raising Hell,” then head over. (Kurlander)

9pm, $20
Neck of the Woods
406 Clement, SF
(415) 387-6343

www.neckofthewoodssf.com

Enter to win two tickets to Phono del Sol

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Phono del Sol, the Bay Bridged’s daylong party in Potrero del Sol Park July 12, has added punk veteran Tony Molina to the lineup for this year’s festival. Molina was featured as one of the Bay Guardian’s artists On the Rise, if you need a little refresher.

He joins Wye Oak, Thao and the Get Down Stay Down, White Fence, and others for a (hopefully sunny) day that promises to be an excellent excuse for day-drinking. And we’ve got your tickets right here: To enter, email your FIRST and LAST name to RSVP@sfmediaco.com with “Phono del Sol” in the subject line.

(Here’s some Molina to listen to while you email us.)

Find more information on the rest of the lineup at www.phondelsol.com.

 

 

Gettin’ festy

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esilvers@sfbg.com

LEFT OF THE DIAL Earlier this month, Oakland singer-songwriter Ash Reiter was at Hipnic, an annual three-day music festival in Big Sur thrown by promoters folkYEAH!, featuring Cass McCombs, the Fresh & Onlys, the Mother Hips, Nicki Bluhm & the Gramblers, and plenty of other Bay Area folky faves. Held at the Fernwood Resort and campgrounds, with families gathering under the shade of redwoods, it’s one of the cozier, more homegrown summer festivals in the greater Bay Area — there’s nary a Coachella-esque VIP section in sight — but a three-day pass still comes in at a cool $240.

Looking around, Reiter saw how the ticket price had shaped the crowd.

“There was obviously some great music, but that kind of boutique festival thing is so expensive that a lot of the audience seemed like older, well-off folks, parents — I mean, those are the people who can afford to go to these things,” she recalls. “I’m sure a lot of the bands playing wouldn’t be able to go to that festival, if they weren’t playing.”

It was that kind of thinking that sparked the idea for Hickey Fest, a three-day festival now in its second year and named for its location in Standish Hickey State Park in Mendocino County, “where the South Fork of the Eel River shimmers against the backdrop of the majestic redwoods,” according to the fest’s flyers. Born of the desire to curate a “musical experience outside of just your average festival, a chance for musicians to actually hang out and talk to each other and get to know each other that’s not just in a loud rock club,” Reiter launched Hickey Fest over Memorial Day weekend last year, with a lineup of friend-bands like Warm Soda, Farallons, Cool Ghouls, and Michael Musika. The goal: A festival her musician friends would actually enjoy, in an atmosphere that wouldn’t be “as overwhelming as a BottleRock or an Outside Lands.” She estimates some 500 to 600 people attended in total.

This year’s festival, which runs June 20-22 in the same location, includes another local-love lineup, including Papercuts, Sonny and the Sunsets, Black Cobra Vipers, and more. A $60 ticket gets you three days of music and camping. “I wanted it to be about community, about putting the fun back in music,” says Reiter, who will also perform. “So I did intentionally try to make it as cheap as possible.”

It’s a sentiment rarely heard from music promoters, especially as the days get longer and the work-ditching gets ubiquitous and the college kids are all turned loose for the summer. Festival season is upon us, Bay Area, and make no mistake: It’s a great way to see touring bands from all over the country. It’s a great platform for local bands, who get the chance to play bigger stages and reach new audiences. And as a music fan, it’s a great way to spend a shit-ton of money.

FIELD OF DREAMS

In the summer of 1969, when Woodstock was changing the meaning of “music festival” on the East Coast via Jimi solos and free, mud-covered love, plans were taking shape for a San Francisco festival that, had it actually taken place, would have been legendary: The Wild West Festival, scheduled for Aug. 22-24, was designed as a three-day party, with regular (ticketed) concerts each night in Kezar Stadium, while other bands performed free music all day, each day, in Golden Gate Park.

Bill Graham and other SF rock scene movers and shakers worked collaboratively on organizing the festival, which — had it happened — would have seen Janis Joplin, the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Sly and the Family Stone, Santana, Country Joe and the Fish, the Steve Miller Band, and half a dozen other iconic bands of the decade all taking the stage within 72 hours.

Why’d it fall apart? According to most versions of the story, too many of those involved wanted the whole damn thing to be free. Graham, among others, countered that, while the free music utopia was a nice idea, lights, a sound system, and other basic accoutrements of a music festival did in fact cost American dollars. The plans collapsed amid in-fighting, and the infamous Altamont free music festival was planned as a sort of make-up for December of that year — an organizational disaster of an event that came to be known for the death of Meredith Hunter, among other violence, signaling the end of a certain starry-eyed era.

So yeah, money has always been a sticky part of live music festivals. But the industry has boomed in a particularly mind-boggling way over the last decade; never before have ticket prices served as such a clear barrier to entry for your average, middle-class music fan. Forget Hipnic: In the days after Outside Lands sold out, enterprising San Franciscans began plonking their three-day festival passes onto the “for sale” section of Craigslist at upwards of $1,000 each.

The alternative? The “screw that corporate shit, let’s do our own thing” attitude, which is, of course, exactly the kind of attitude that’s birthed the bumper crop of smaller summer festivals that have sprung up in the Bay Area over the past few years, like Phono del Sol (July 12, an indie-leaning daylong affair in SF’s Potrero del Sol Park, started by hip-kid music blog The Bay Bridged in 2010, tickets: $25-$30) and Burger Boogaloo (a cheekily irreverent punk, surf, and rockabilly fest over July 4 weekend in Oakland’s Mosswood Park — weekend pass: $50). Both pair bigger, buzzy acts with national reach like Wye Oak (Phono del Sol) or Thee Oh Sees and the great Ronnie Spector (Burger Boogaloo) with a slew of local openers.

“I’ve played a few festivals, and when it’s a really big thing, you realize there are just so many other huge bands that people would rather see,” says Mikey Maramag, better known as the folk-tronica brains behind SF’s Blackbird Blackbird. He’ll be sharing a bill with Thao and the Get Down Stay Down, Nick Waterhouse, White Fence, A Million Billion Dying Suns, and others at Phono del Sol — which, judging by last year’s attendance, could draw some 5,000 to 6,000 people.

“I think at smaller festivals you have more people who take the time to really listen, appreciate the music more, really big fans,” he says. “There are fewer artists on this bill [than at large festivals] but they’re all great ones — I’m especially excited to see Wye Oak.”

Maramag will be debuting some songs from his new album, Tangerine Sky, out June 3; the show will serve as a welcome-home from a quick national tour to promote it.

Then there are the even more modest summer offerings, like SF Popfest, which takes place over four days (May 22-25) at various small venues in the city. It’s not exactly a traditional festival — you’re not likely to find slideshows online of the “BEST POPFEST FASHION!!1!” the way we’ve unfortunately become accustomed to from Coachella — but for the small contingent of super passionate ’90s indie-pop fans in the Bay Area (hi!), this is one not to miss.

“I’ve been getting a lot of calls from people who think it’s a very different kind of festival than it is. App people. This one guy had some kind of offer about a parking app for festivals, I think? Which would really not make any sense at all,” says Josh Yule, guitarist for SF jangle-pop maestros Cruel Summer, who received the mantle of SF Popfest organizer from his predecessor in the mid-aughts (older history of the festival is a little hazy, as it’s always been primarily organized by musicians for musicians — for fun and, says Yule, absolutely no profit whatsoever). There was talk of getting some beer sponsors at some point, but he decided against it. “We have friends working the door at most of these things. I was a punk kid in high school, I guess, I tend to stay away from things that would make this go in a more corporate direction.”

This year’s fest is centered around reunions of bands who’ve been broken up for a while, like cult-favorite Sacramento popsters Rocketship, who haven’t played together in at least a decade; the band will be at the Rickshaw Stop Fri/23 for a Slumberland Records showcase. Dressy Bessy, Dreamdate, the Mantles, Terry Malts, and plenty others will all make appearances throughout the fest, as well as a few newer bands, like the female-fronted Stockton garagey-punk band Monster Treasure.

“Obviously it’s not gonna be thousands of people, it’s not going to be outside — it’s going to be 100 to 200 like-minded individuals who all enjoy the same thing, and they all get it,” says Yule. “We got these bands back together to play and they’re all excited about it even though there’s no [financial] guarantee…It’s that community that I’ve always been involved in and sometimes I feel like it’s not around anymore. So it’s nice to go ‘Oh wait, there it is. It’s still there, and it’s still strong.'”

CROWD SURFING

For local bands just starting to make a name for themselves, of course, there’s nothing like a larger and yes, very corporate festival for reaching new audiences. Take the locals stage at LIVE 105’s BFD, the all-day radio-rock party celebrating its 20th year June 1 at the Shoreline: Curated by the station’s music director, Aaron Axelsen — aka the DJ who’s launched 1,000 careers, thanks to his Sunday night locals-only show, Soundcheck, as well as booking up-and-comers for Popscene — the locals stage at BFD has a pretty good track record for launching bands onto the next big thing. The French Cassettes, one of SF’s current indie-pop darlings, sure hope that holds true for them.

“Aaron Axelsen has been really generous to us. I think we’re all clear that none of this would be happening without him,” says singer-guitarist Scott Huerta. The band will be playing songs from its newest album, out on cassette (duh) at the end of May. “But we’re super excited just to be in there. Hopefully we make some new fans. I know I used to find out about new bands by going to BFD and just passing by that stage. It’s by all the food vendors, so as long as people are hungry, we’ll be good. Don’t eat before you come.”

For the Tumbleweed Wanderers, an Oakland-based soul-folk-rock band that’s been hustling back and forth across the country for the past year, hitting the stage at Outside Lands (Aug. 8-10) — that festival everyone loves to hate and hates to love — will be the culmination of years of playing around the festival, quite literally.

“In 2011, we busked outside, and I think that’s the year [our keyboard player] Patrick almost got arrested?” says Rob Fidel, singer-guitarist, with a laugh. “Then the next year we got asked to play Dr. Flotsam’s Hell Brew Review, which is this thing in the park just outside Outside Lands, and we did that for an hour and a half every day for free. And then busked outside. I like to say we played Outside Lands more than any other band that year.

“But to be on the other side of that all of a sudden is awesome,” he says, noting that the band will be playing some tunes from a new record set for release later this year. “It was the same when we played the Fillmore for the first time — we used to busk outside of there and the venue would get super pissed, and now, oh look, that same guy’s carrying our amps…but I think the experience of working our way up like that has kinda taught us you’re gonna see the same people on the way up as on the way down. And we’ve worked really hard these past few years. It’s nice to feel like we’ve earned it.”

It’s only a slight exaggeration to say there are roughly 1,000 other music festivals happening throughout the Bay Area this summer — at the Guardian, our inboxes have been filling up with press releases and show announcements since February; check out the roundup below for a mere smattering of what’s going on. And, ticket price hand-wringing aside, you don’t need to be rich to rock out: Stern Grove’s free Sunday lineups, with heavy hitters like Smokey Robinson, Andrew Bird, Rufus Wainwright, and the Zombies, are among the best we’ve seen. In the East Bay, the Art+Soul Festival is always a source of up-and-comers in hip-hop, funk, and more — this year for the whopping price of $15.

So, yeah, we never got that Janis and Sly and Jefferson Airplane show. So be it. As a music fan in the Bay Area, there’s no better time than summer to smack yourself, remember that you’re super lucky to live here, grab a sweater (because layers), and get out to hear some music. Call it your own damn three-month-long Wild West Festival. We’ll see you in the bathroom line.

 

May

SF Popfest, May 22-25, locations vary throughout SF, www.sfpopfest.com

Audio on the Bay, Craneway Pavilion, Richmond, May 23-25, www.insomniac.com

BottleRock Napa Valley, Napa, May 30-June 1, www.bottlerocknapavalley.com

 

June

LIVE 105’s BFD, June 1, Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mountain View, www.live105.cbslocal.com

Not Dead Yet Fest, June 7, Thee Parkside, SF, www.notdeadyetfest.com

OMINODAY Music Festival, June 7, McLaren Park, SF, www.ominoday.weebly.com

The San Francisco Jazz Festival, June 11-22, locations vary. www.sfjazz.org

Reggae in the Hills, Calaveras County Fairgrounds, June 13-15, www.reggaeinthehills.com

Hickey Fest, June 20-22, Leggett, www.hickeyfest.wordpress.com

San Francisco Free Folk Festival, June 21-22, Presidio Middle School, SF, www.sffolkfest.org

Berkeley World Music Festival, June 22, People’s Park, Berk., www.berkeleyworldmusic.org

 

July

High Sierra Music Festival, July 3-6, Quincy, www.highsierramusic.com

Burger Boogaloo, July 5-6, Mosswood Park, Oak., www.burgerboogaloo.com

Phono del Sol, July 12, Potrero del Sol Park, SF, www.phonodelsol.com

Northern Nights, July 18-20, Mendocino/Humboldt, www.northernnights.org

 

August

Art + Soul Oakland, Aug. 2-3, City Center, Oak., www.artandsouloakland.com

Outside Lands, Aug. 8-10, Golden Gate Park, SF, www.sfoutsidelands.com

First City Festival, Aug. 23-24, Monterey, www.firstcityfestival.com

 

Throughout the summer: Stern Grove Festival, Sundays, www.sterngrove.org; People in Plazas, dates vary, throughout downtown SF, www.peopleinplazas.org.

The Selector: August 21 – 27, 2013

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God is dead?

WEDNESDAY 8/21

 

“German Summer Films”

Though the Goethe Institut’s latest film series is dubbed “German Summer Films,” it offers a refreshingly loose interpretation of the theme. For example, the first film, Color of the Ocean (2010), is from German director Maggie Peren, but it’s set in Spain’s Canary Islands, and features an international cast in its tale of a border patrol officer (Alex González) who meets a German woman (Sabine Timoteo) entangled with a Congolese refugee (Hubert Koundé). (That said, the second film in the series, 2005’s Summer in Berlin, is more or less the quintessential “German summer film.”) The rest of the series includes acclaimed German-Turkish director Fatih Akin’s 2000 In July; and a 2009 made-for-TV adaptation of Jack London’s Sea Wolf starring Sebastian Koch (2006’s The Lives of Others). (Cheryl Eddy)

Wednesdays through Sept 18

6:30pm, $5 donation

Goethe Institut San Francisco

530 Bush, Second Flr, SF

goethe.de/sanfrancisco

THURSDAY 8/22

 

Cool Ghouls

Bay Area natives Cool Ghouls are fun, reckless, rude garage-rock goofballs and they know it. It’s virtually impossible to attend one of their live shows and not feel the same chill vibes they give off. The group released its self-titled full-length debut album in April of this year, and has been playing shows on it locally since. The Ghouls’ scratchy-screamy vocals backed by playful guitar riffs and tumbling percussion resonated with the young SF crowds and landed them gigs most recently at Bottom of the Hill, the Chapel, Hemlock Tavern, Brick and Mortar, and the summery Phono del Sol fest. Their enjoyably sunny sound was the perfect match. If they get much bigger, their house-party image might have to expand. So catch them while you can, and while they’re still cool. (Hillary Smith)

With Lemme Adams, Black Cobra Vipers

9pm, $10

Bottom of the Hill

1233 17th St., SF

(415) 626-4455

www.bottomofthehill.com

THURSDAY 8/22

 

Melvins

And they said a stoner metal cover of Roxy Music’s “In Every Dream Home a Heartache” couldn’t be done. Well, sludge metal veterans the Melvins are here to prove them wrong. The longstanding band is making a voyage to Slim’s to play its 2013 cover album, Everybody Loves Sausages. Get ready for things to get a little weird and campy, as a bunch of middle aged dudes play a diverse selection of tunes throughout the ages. Embarking on their 30th anniversary tour, the Melvins will be playing songs by artists such as freak folk band the Fugs, the dear and departed drag queen Divine (John Waters’ muse), Queen, David Bowie, and the Jam. In short: don’t miss this hit parade. (Erin Dage)

With Honky

9pm, $22

Slim’s

333 11th St, SF

(415) 255-0333

www.slimspresents.com

FRIDAY 8/23

 

No Age

The newest album from LA noise-punks No Age, An Object, seems almost restrained compared to the bombast of previous records like 2010’s Everything in Between. With An Object, there’s a sense of tense build-up without release, tightly coiled guitar lines over paranoid drumming, and faraway hollers on the Sub Pop record, which comes out Aug. 20. Like much arty post-punk, it makes you feel like you’re holding your breath for the entirety of the tracks, unable to unclench. Relax and settle in: the experiment of An Object is a success, and the album is worthy of passionate intake. Continuing down the experimental route, the duo takes its live show to a more unexpected location this time: the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive. And if you miss this stop, No Age will be back in Oakland Sept. 28 for the Station to Station fest at 16th St. Station. (Emily Savage)

With Devin Gary and Ross, Sun Foot

7:30pm (doors at 5pm), $7

Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

2625 Durant, Berk.

www.bampfa.berkeley

FRIDAY 8/23

 

Nahko and Medicine for the People

Aptly named, Nahko and Medicine for the People seem like some sort of sonic cure. Nahko Bear’s versatile vocals range from a howling, soulful croon to a bouncing, jovial talk-sing. The indefinable quality of the group is further pushed in lyrics “I am a killer whale, I am a lion, I am a panther, I am coyote, I’m just a human being on another fuckin’ journey,” in “Warrior People.” According to their website, Bear is joined on stage by “truth seekers for whom Nahko’s story resonates with their own.” Nahko himself was born a mix of Apache, Puerto Rican, and Filipino cultures and adopted into an American family. Consequently, he suffered from an identity crisis at a young age. The mission of the band is simply to make people feel good, and to give solace to the culturally alienated. They do all that and then some. (Smith)

With Saritah

9pm, $15

Independent

628 Divisadero, SF (415) 771-1421

www.theindependentsf.com

FRIDAY 8/23

 

The Parmesans

Local countrified indie-folksters the Parmesans released their full-length debut, Wolf Eggs, this week. The record’s full of swoony multipart harmonies, plucky instruments, and a chipper sense of hot-sauced humor. All of that is on fine display in track, “Load Up on Eggs and Bacon,” which begins with a solo voice, “when I wake up/I feel shaken” then layered barbershop quartet-style with additional harmonies, “load up on eggs and bacon,” and the sound of an egg cracking. Add to that the strings of guitars and mandolins and banjos, bellowing trumpet, and a light and tight rhythm section. Then bake on high. Oh, and be sure to check the new video for “JuJaJe,” also off Wolf Eggs; there’s no food involved, unfortunately, but the sparse little vid does feature the boys clowning around in various states of lounge. Perhaps there’ll be egg on their faces in the next one. (Savage)

With Before the Brave, Garden Party, Greg Downing

9pm, $10

Thee Parkside

1600 17th St, SF

www.theeparkside.com

SATURDAY 8/24

 

“Sneak Peek at the Fringe”

The colorfully creative chaos that is the 22nd San Francisco Fringe Festival is mere weeks away (it runs Sept. 6-21), but diehards and early birds can check out excerpts from works by eight local companies tonight. Among them: Amy K. Kilgard’s multi-character solo performance, Triskaidekaphobia: 13 Consumer Tragedies; Sean Andries and Siouxsie Q’s tale of a love affair between a mermaid and a tourist, Fish-girl; Maria Grazia Affinato’s autobiographical ode to her Italian family, Eating Pasta Off the Floor; and Genie and Audrey’s Dream Show!, featuring Genie Cartier, Audrey Spinazola, and a “cat piano.” For all the deets — and complete info on the upcoming full fest, visit the Fringe’s website. (Cheryl Eddy)

8pm, free

Exit Theatre

156 Eddy, SF

www.sffringe.org

SUNDAY 8/25

 

San Francisco Bacon and Beer Festival

For the first time ever, San Francisco will host an almighty bacon and beer fest. The Boston version of the event has sold out in under 10 minutes the past three years. Chefs from more than 25 Bay Area companies presenting their best bacon dishes and local craft breweries bringing out their finest for the $50 event are reasons enough to attend the unique gathering. If you’d like one more reason to spend the cash, take comfort in the fact that all admission proceeds will be donated to Sprouts Cooking Club. The club is a Bay Area organization that strives to teach children of all socio-economical backgrounds how to cook hands-on with real chefs, using real ingredients, in real restaurants. (Smith)

2:30pm, $50

Fairmont San Francisco Hotel

950 Mason, SF

(415) 772-5000

Facebook: San Francisco Bacon and Beer Festival

 

MONDAY 8/26

 

Deerhunter

Many who have flirted with musical greatness have also teetered on the fine line between eccentricity and insanity, and Deerhunter frontperson Bradford Cox is no exception. While the Atlanta band’s garage rock albums continue to receive glowing reviews and growing numbers of dedicated fans, Cox’s mental (in)stability has also been featured center stage in the group’s evolution. His charming eccentricities — rambling and semi-incoherent stage banter — are shadowed with more off-putting stunts, as when Cox responded to a fan’s snarky request for “My Sharona” with an hour-long cover of the song in Minneapolis. A Deerhunter show is many things — insane, beautiful, confusing, and frequently very moving — but there is one thing it will never manage to be. Bradford Cox will never be boring. (Haley Zaremba)

With Lonnie Holley, Avey Tare’s Slasher Flicks

8pm, $21

Great American Music Hall

859 O’Farrell, SF

(415) 885-0750

www.slimspresents.com

MONDAY 8/26

 

Évocateur: The Morton Downey Jr. Movie

A trashy pop-culture icon, a chain smoker, a right-wing maniac, a finger-jabbing screamer so notorious his fans were called “Loudmouths:” Morton Downey Jr. was one of a kind, and that’s probably for the best. New documentary Évocateur: The Morton Downey Jr. Movie screens tonight in San Rafael and opens August 28 at the Roxie; it looks at his legacy through clips of Downey’s train-wreck-in-progress talk show and features interviews with the likes of Pat Buchanan, Alan Dershowitz, and Sally Jesse Raphael. (Eddy)

7:15pm, $6.50–$10.75

Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center

1118 Fourth St, San Rafael

www.cafilm.org

MONDAY 8/26

 

Black Sabbath

Before reality television and famous flame-haired wives, even before that bloody bat-biting incident, Ozzy Osbourne was simply a wild-eyed young boy from a hardscrabble town who, together with guitarist Tony Iommi and drummer Bill Ward, formed the world’s first heavy metal group. Black Sabbath has become a hardened, bellowing legend, though in recent years was mostly relegated to playing metal fests like Mayhem, or Ozzy solo at Ozzfest. This year, however, the original group released its first new album together in decades, 13, a lumbering return to form produced by Rick Ruben. With it came instantly timeless first single, “God is dead?” an eight-minute metal epic. Beyond all the hype, myth, and druggy tabloid brouhaha, a vital band still stands before us, wicked as it ever was, and willing to crowd-please with old tracks mixed in with the new. According to live reviews of this headlining non-fest tour, the band has been opening with “War Pigs.” (Savage)

7:30pm, $40–$149.50

Shoreline Amphitheatre

One Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View

www.livenation.com

TUESDAY 8/27

 

The Breeders

Celebrating the 20th anniversary of their breakthrough album Last Splash, ’90s favorites the Breeders released a special deluxe version of the record earlier this year on CD (a seven-disc vinyl version is set to drop next month on 4AD), featuring a host of bonus live tracks, demos, a photo booklet, and more. The classic lineup of the band — Kim and Kelley Deal, Josephine Wiggs and Jim MacPherson — has reunited and is promising Bay Area fans it will perform Last Splash, which was recorded right here in San Francisco, in its entirety, along with its seminal debut effort, Pod. (Sean McCourt)

8pm, $30

Fillmore

1805 Geary, SF

(415) 346-6000

www.thefillmore.com

Live Shots: Phono del Sol 2013 with Thee Oh Sees, Marnie Stern, Surf Club

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John Dwyer stood holding his guitar, smiling and making small talk with the crowd, having been asked by a Phono del Sol staffer to hold off while, presumably, the band on the other stage finished up its set. “Alright, I think we’re just going to get started,” he said, seemingly without cue, and Thee Oh Sees began playing, giving the day a much needed jolt in energy.

Can you have too much control? Up until that point on Saturday, things were running smoothly. The musical acts were alternating without interruption on the two stages set up at the idyllic (and freeway adjacent) Potrero del Sol park, the weather was perfect, you could test drive an electric Fiat, and everyone seemed sated, even in the beer garden where the queue for Lagunitas and wine had started to resemble a Möbius strip, with patrons receiving a drink only to return to the back of the line to wait for another.

Everything was very under control, on the Potrero Street entrance where you could watch skateboarders try to confidently hustle their way past security, only to be directed to buy a ticket if they wanted to gain access to the park skating area during the festival. (“Just a tip,” Dwyer joked, “but if you show up at the skatepark tomorrow you can skate for free.”)

An hour earlier, during Marnie Stern’s set, I’d been wondering when things were going to pick up. The giddy guitar shredder and her band were speeding along at an energy level that seemed well above the stony, post-lunch crowd. Stern herself seemed rather high, hopping around bare-foot on the hot stage, delivering Woody Allen impressions and wondering whether her guitar overpowers her vagina (or vice versa) between finger-tapping blistering rhythms. But the response — polite applause from a largely reclining crowd — was typical for the day up to that point.

If anyone was gonna change that, it was San Francisco’s best live band, and a few songs in, the crowd was good and riled up. Not for lack of effort. I love watching this band play in part because of how animated they are, and half-way through a marathon version of “Contraption/Soul Desert” drummer Mike Shoun — his veins bulging out of his neck like a pissed off Ren and Stimpy character — was totally in control but with a look of effort somewhere between fighting off an epileptic fit and vomiting. Meanwhile, Dwyer was shifting around like he belonged on a Rat Fink t-shirt, changing gears but never slowing down. (The closest they came is during the middle dirge of “Strawberries 1+2” off Floating Coffin.)

With a sound that’s not punk, or garage, or surf, or psych, but rather a distillation of each’s best aspect, Thee Oh Sees have honed a distinctive sound over the last decade that’s totally affecting, so that when Dwyer invites everyone who wants to come up on stage, with the promise that Brigid Dawson has an extra tambourine for someone and the warning that they better not knock anything over, a lot of people take them up on the offer.

It’s not complete chaos, because Thee Oh Sees have enough control to make it work.

Notes on some bands:

Surf Club: I haven’t seen these guys in a while, but the tail end of their set sounded good, as they’ve loosened up on stage and gone a bit from the light surf rock influence that — coming out of Stockton — plagued them with an irony (there’s no beach there!) that writers (like myself) jumped on.

Cool Ghouls: Sorry Tim Cohen, I can’t save my Kinks references if a band is going to open their set with a song that sounds exactly like Muswell Hillbillies-era Ray Davies. But “Natural Life” was a swell opening and showcased the backup horn section right off the bat, and I subsequently enjoyed this band, and lolled at Pat McDonald’s Beefheart-like goofy rendition of “Eenie Meenie Sassaleenie” as stage banter. (Probably my biggest laugh of the day. The only real competition came from host Anna Seregina, who delivered commentary between bands in a Yakov Smirnoff-style Eastern European accent, probably in reaction to the uphill battle of being a host at a day-time music festival: “I like music like the Dixie Chicks, but they are not playing today.” “Thanks to Aaron Axelson of Live 105 and Popscene. I like Live 105 and I like Popscene. but they do not play the Gypsy Kings so I do not like them.”)

Social Studies: They sounded so much better than opening for Hot Chip the other week. Most likely because as a band it relies less on any sort of posture and attitude and more on a big multi-guitar sound that plays better out in the open. Ditto for singer Natalia Rogovin, whose vocals tend to hang in the air a bit. Shame she was having technical issues with her microphone just as it she was slowing down and coming to the front on “Developer”.

Radiation City: It reminded me off a bigger, less twee Hospitality, without a distinctive sound, but I may have just been hangry.

Painted Palms: These guys sound like “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” meets “Star Guitar,” and hearing them take their time getting into “Falling Asleep” from their Canopy EP, it was clear they know how to structure a song. Occasionally I felt like they could lay off the la-la-la’s, and various oh-oh-oh choruses, if only to let the light, whimsical rhythms float on a bit more.

Bleached: Black bean burger from Doc’s of the Bay. Bad name/pun, great burger, amazing ketchup.

YACHT: Having caught the band recently at Noise Pop, and having just emerged from the pit of Thee Oh Sees, I didn’t make to the end of YACHT’s set. But the duo looked great, obviously.

Summer ghouls

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emilysavage@sfbg.com

TOFU AND WHISKEY In these past three years, Phono Del Sol has built itself up into a tastemaker midsummer’s indie music fest — and it’s one to watch. It makes sense: the one-day fest is curated by on-the-pulse local blog, the Bay Bridged.

And beyond the interesting (and mostly local) band choices — the first year featured Aesop Rock and Mirah, last year the Fresh and Onlys and Mwahaha, and this year Thee Oh Sees, YACHT, Bleached, and K. Flay will headline — there’s something about the approach and atmosphere that calms the nerves.

It’s in the Mission’s Potrero Del Sol park, a hilly, grassy area bordered by an active skate park. During the fest, skaters whizz by near the bands, and street food vendors offer salty snacks on the other side of the stage.

The event tends to inhabit a particular San Francisco garage scene vibe of yesteryear, apart from current complications brewing in the nearby neighborhood between the old and new, the tech workers and SF lifers.

One of the newest bands on this year’s bill fits this feeling as well, the young garage pop four-piece Cool Ghouls. The psych-inflected group is relaxed and gracious, perhaps not yet jaded by the outlying music community or industry. And they’ll be bringing a horn section to Phono Del Sol this year. (Sat/13, 11:30am-7pm, $20. Potrero Del Sol Park, 25th Street at Utah, SF. www.phonodelsol.com).

Cool Ghouls, named after a phrase George Clinton used in a Parliament Funkadelic concert film, are a bit giggly during our conversation from lead guitarist Ryan Wong’s Duboce Park area apartment. They seem new to this whole recognition thing, and thusly, speak candidly, and nearly in circles. Singer Pat McDonald, bassist Pat Thomas, and Wong all grew up in the Bay Area, attending high school in Benicia together, and met up again in San Francisco after college. Alex Fleshman met the others when he went to San Francisco State University.

They formed in early 2011 and began playing shows almost immediately — in early spring of that year, showing up at brick-and-mortar spots, house shows, even Serra Bowl before it closed, and at Noise Pop. That’s where they first crossed my path, as they began popping up at shows on a frequent basis. “Now, we’re being asked to play more local shows then we can play,” Thomas says. “Pat McDonald seems to know a lot of people somehow, maybe it’s his hair? Or he’s just like, really nice.”

Their self-titled debut full-length, recorded by Tim Cohen of Fresh and Onlys and Magic Trick, saw release this April on Empty Cellar Records. “We thought we could record a whole album by ourselves, so we recorded 90 percent of it on an eight-track recorder,” Wong says. “We showed Arvel [Hernandez], who runs Empty Cellar Records…he told us ‘the songs are really good but the recording is just shitty.'”

He enlisted Cohen to record it, and said he’d release it on Empty Cellar. They were ecstatic with the revelation, and excited to work with the talented Cohen. They spent a few days in his Western Addition home, rerecording the full album while crammed in Cohen’s bedroom at the top of a towering Victorian near Alamo Square.

Cohen’s since become a de facto advocate for the band, writing a glowing press release about Cool Ghouls and the album, in which he defiantly explains “First things first: Cool Ghouls are not a retro act… Truth be told, this being their first official release, they may even be a bit naïve in their dogged pursuit of the true-blue, home-spun, rock and roll lifestyle.”

Though he later concedes, “If one were to ascribe to them a ’60s-reverent description, as one often does in the case of San Francisco bands, one would most likely find an artistic kinship with some of the most inimitable, idiosyncratic, yet unmistakably influential bands of the retro-fitting oeuvre. The Troggs, The Monks, Sir Douglas Quintet come to mind immediately. (Save your Kinks and Rolling Stones references.) Like the aforementioned, the Ghouls are natural heirs to the folkloric lineage which precedes them, adding dashes of weirdness where needed.”

The group laughs when I bring up the Cohen praise, “it’s so funny things people take away from press releases…but he did a really good job of writing that, I didn’t even know he understood us that well,” Thomas says. “He doesn’t give you that much in person, he’s a pretty stoic guy, so it’s been really cool to see that through all of that, he was digging us.”

“We were all kind of intimidated, then that came out, and I didn’t have any idea he was even writing anything,” Wong adds.

The Ghouls are democratic, and all are multi-instrumentalists, with each group member writing songs and bringing the skeletons to the group to flesh out. And many of the tracks on the album do evoke that garage pop weirdness Cohen identified, and also a casual self-awareness.

Thomas wrote joyful first single “Natural Life” quickly and brought it to the band. The perfectly corresponding video by his film student brother Rob Thomas features the band frolicking in the Marin Headlands and Sutro Baths. “That whole organic approach, natural approach, putting your pieces in place and then just winging it, is something that we generally do — it keeps it collaborative,” Thomas says.

Another standout, is mid-tempo “Witches Game,” which singer McDonald wrote, starting with the fuzzy guitar riff that rides strong through the track.

Woozy, surfy “Grace” was one of the first songs they ever played together, and usually closes out their live sets. And they agree that jangly psych-pop “Queen Sophie” was one of the more collaborative songs. There’ll be a proper video for that one out soon too.

“The whole album was a group effort. I think of it as a specific piece of where we were at when we recorded it,” Wong says.

The album artwork is worth noting as well, a collage-painting made by Thomas with a big glittery sun, swirly watercolor images of clouds, snowy mountaintops, red-yellow fire, and a colorful rooster. The images weren’t meant necessarily to reflect the songs on the album, but ended up having some meaning after the fact.

“I was just trying to represent what I lean toward anyway, like if it’s a painting I make, it’ll probably evoke the music I make, just because I’m making both of them,” Thomas says. “But liked the rooster image because I was thinking about the way roosters strut, and this is our first album.”

Wong pipes up, “I feel the way the album is with these songs, [it’s about] the morning, and the ideas of the natural life. It’s appropriate because it’s our first album, but maybe I’m looking too much into it?”

Cool Ghouls will move on soon anyway — they’re currently prepping new songs and plan to record a second album this August.

 

DAVINCI

Fillmore District-raised emcee DaVinci plays this free show alongside fellow burgeoning local rap duo Main Attrakionz, Young Gully, Shady Blaze, Ammbush, and Sayknowledge. DaVinci has been releasing tracks for a few years, in late 2012 dropping full-length The MOEna Lisa with an ode to SF in track “In My City” with the telling lyric, “Trying to push us out of the city/but we ain’t leaving,” in a hoarse whisper, but also referencing favorite spots like the waffle house at Fillmore and Eddy (Gussies).

Wed/10, 9pm, free. Brick and Mortar Music Hall, 1710 Mission, SF; www.brickandmortarmusic.com.

 

JAPONIZE ELEPHANTS

The elegant yet spooky old-world-carnival act Japonize Elephants — noted for drawing sounds from eclectic styles like gypsy jazz, bluegrass, and klezmer — will celebrate the vinyl release party for newest album Mélodie fantastique, this week at Amnesia. Go, and witness all the instrumentation you can handle (fiddle, banjo, glockenspiel, vibraphone, accordion, percussion, surf guitar), along with four-part vocal harmonies. A group of waltzing ghosts, like the ones you find on the Haunted Mansion ride, wouldn’t seem out of place here.

Thu/11, 9:30pm, $7–$10. Amnesia, 853 Valencia, SF. www.amnesiathebar.com.

 

Heads Up: 7 must-see concerts this week

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This week I learned that if I should ever be presented with the chance to interview Selena Gomez, I should decline. The Toronto Star published this biting commentary on the current state of press interviews with pop stars, and had more information leading up to the interview than the actual chat. Recommended reading: “Meeting Selena Gomez rule No. 1: Do not mention Justin Bieber.”

Often, the story behind the stage is even more compelling. And there are some storied acts playing live in SF this week: local emcee DaVinci busts out with a freebie, the long-running Flamin’ Groovies are back, as are LA’s Happy Hollows, after a lineup shift and with a new album; we also welcome Weedeater, Japonize Elephants, and Acid Pauli. Plus the return of reliably great outdoor fest Phono Del Sol (Thee Oh Sees and YACHT headline this time).

Here are your must-see Bay Area concerts this week/end:

DaVinci
Fillmore District-raised emcee DaVinci plays this free show alongside fellow burgeoning local rap duo Main Attrakionz, Young Gully, Shady Blaze, Ammbush, and Sayknowledge. DaVinci has been releasing tracks for a few years, in late 2012 dropping full-length The MOEna Lisa with an ode to SF in track “In My City” with the telling lyric, “Trying to push us out of the city/but we ain’t leaving,” in a hoarse whisper, but also referencing favorite spots like the waffle house at Fillmore and Eddy (Gussies).
Wed/10, 9pm, free
Brick and Mortar Music Hall
1710 Mission, SF
www.brickandmortarmusic.com
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8PMgStbVNYk

The Flamin’ Groovies
Influential 1960s rockers the Flamin’ Groovies — who delivered wailing cult classics like “Slow Death,” “You Tore Me Down,” and “Shake Some Action” (you know this last one from its resurrection in the film Clueless) — have gone through some serious band changes over the past four decades, with more than 15 members rotating through the legendary group and some legendary rifts in the mix as well. Roy Loney has moved on to Roy Loney and the Phantom Movers. This current lineup is a circle back to Cyril Jordan, Chris Wilson, and George Alexander, who all overlapped in the group from 1971 through ’80. That powerpop lineup played a hastily arranged show in SF earlier this year, its first time together since ’81, but now it’s given you more advance notice. The current crew is rounded out by drummer Victor Penalosa. Don’t miss it again.
With Deniz Tek (Radio Birdman), Chuckleberries, DJ Sid Presley
Wed/10, 9pm, $25
Chapel
777 Valencia, SF
www.thechapelsf.com
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EI7-ol-TG2o

Happy Hollows
Happy Hollows, the LA group now made up of Sarah Negahdari, Charlie Mahoney, and Matthew Fry, will release its sophomore album Amethyst on July 30. Produced by Fools Gold guitarist Lewis Pesacov, the record has that shimmering indie thing down, especially on single, “Endless.” With “Endless,” you can squeeze your eyes shut and practically see the stars bouncing through the sky along with the beat, or perhaps the neon pink signs flickering down Sunset Boulevard. And then there’s bubbly electro “Galaxies,” (sensing a theme here?), used in the album trailer. They both present a compelling, synth-looped step away from 2010’s Spells.
With Nightmare Air, Broadheds
Wed/10, 9pm, $12
Café Du Nord
2170 Market, SF
www.cafedunord.com
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cJ5ZYMe2bIY

Japonize Elephants
The elegant yet spooky old-world-carnival act Japonize Elephants — noted for drawing sounds from eclectic styles like gypsy jazz, bluegrass, and klezmer — will celebrate the vinyl release party for newest album Mélodie fantastique, this week at Amnesia. Go, and witness all the instrumentation you can handle (fiddle, banjo, glockenspiel, vibraphone, accordion, percussion, surf guitar), along with four-part vocal harmonies. A group of waltzing ghosts, like the ones you find on the Haunted Mansion ride, wouldn’t seem out of place here.
Thu/11, 9:30pm, $7–$10
Amnesia
853 Valencia, SF
www.amnesiathebar.com
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=axWdjXBZqIo

Weedeater
After last year’s triumphantly heavy opening slot before LA doom metal group Saint Vitus at the Indy, North Carolina sludge metal act Weedeater returns to the Bay to play a far more appropriate venue, the dank, dark cave of the Oakland Metro. And this time, local metal duo Black Cobra and fellow NC stoner act ASG will pummel the crowd first, setting up the perfect spotlight for the grimy Weedeater. Here’s hoping there’s another Southern Lord release on the horizon for Weedeater (the band’s most recent LPs, 2007’s God Luck and Good Speed and 2011’s Jason…The Dragon, were both put out by the well-curated metal label).
With ASG, Black Cobra
Fri/12, 9pm, $13
Oakland Metro
630 Third St., Oakl.
www.oaklandmetro.org
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ZSN-d0e_bg

Acid Pauli
“Punk bands, Bjork productions, hip-hop projects, an ambient album on Nicolas Jaar’s label, mixes for Crosstown Rebels: Martin Gretschmann has many musical roles and aliases. In DJ mode as Acid Pauli, the guy sends me Googling every time, re-energizing my excitement for new sounds. Half the time it’s something I’ve never heard like the wonky jazz romp of Der Dritte Raum’s “Swing Bop,” or tectonically teutonic deep house of Gunther Lause’s “Mountain.” (Where the school children astral pop on Jan Turkenburg’s “In My Spaceship” came from I. Just. Don’t. Know.) Even when it’s as familiar as Nancy Sinatra or Johnny Cash, Gretschmann reworkings are something else entirely. At this debut three+ hour set, I expect to see at least few cell phones on the dance floor, Shazam-ing to keep up.” — Ryan Prendiville
With Eduardo Castillo (Crosstown Rebels/Voodoo),
Fri/12, 9pm-3:30am, $12 presale
Public Works
161 Erie St., SF
(415) 932-0955
www.publicsf.com
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PvwCggxOaKc

Phono Del Sol

In these past three years, Phono Del Sol has built itself up into a tastemaker midsummer’s indie music fest — and it’s one to watch. It makes sense: the one-day fest is curated by on-the-pulse local blog, the Bay Bridged. And beyond the interesting (and mostly local) band choices — the first year featured Aesop Rock and Mirah, last year the Fresh and Onlys and Mwahaha, and this year Thee Oh Sees, YACHT, Bleached, and K. Flay will headline — there’s something about the approach and atmosphere that calms the nerves. One of the newest bands on this year’s bill fits this feeling as well, the young garage pop four-piece Cool Ghouls will be bringing a horn section to Phono Del Sol this year.
Sat/13, 11:30am-7pm, $20
Potrero Del Sol Park
25th Street at Utah, SF
www.phonodelsol.com
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TuCx9kgtr38
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aeD3-sdGf1c

John Dwyer’s Thee Fuzz Warr Overload pedal

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You can file this under: sure, why not? Spirited Thee Oh Sees frontperson John Dwyer has “inspired” a new custom pedal for Death By Audio, called Thee Fuzz Warr Overload.

The pedal is limited to 500, and so says Death by Audio, once they’re gone, they’re gone. The Brooklyn-based effects pedal company also put out a signature Ty Segall pedal (Sunshine Reverb) which sold out in a day.

Thee Fuzz Warr Overload is available now for pre-order on the Death by Audio site ($225, like whoa), and ships June 30. 

I’ll let Death by Audio excitedly describe the pedal in all its fuzzy glory:

“This pedal is based on the super powerful circuit of the Fuzz War combined with a switchable hot-rodded treble boost. The Fuzz circuit controls include Gain, Level, Tone and the Boost circuit has a Level control. Combining these circuits unlocks new and virtually endless guitar tone possibilities. The specialized Tone knob allows you to sweep between rumbling low end, scooped out mid section and sizzling highs. The Gain knob can go from a smooth overdrive through distortion and up into uncharted territories. Thee Fuzz Warr Overload combines raucous fuzz and a killer treble boost to bring your sound to the next dimension.”

Here’s Dwyer demoing the pedal (plus a real cute turtle and some kids):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CPDYcA9kG1k

The next local Thee Oh Sees show is the Phono Del Sol fest July 13 in Potrero Del Sol Park ($25).

Emily Savage’s Top 10 Albums and Shows of 2012

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For our annual Year in Music issue, I asked local musicians, rappers, producers, and music writers to sound off on the year’s best songs, album releases, shows – pretty much anything they wanted, music-wise. For the next few days, I’ll be posting them up individually on the Noise blog. You can also check the full list here.

So, I (Emily Savage, Guardian music editor) included my top albums list in my Ty Segall cover story (also a part of the Year in Music issue). For easier access, here’s that list below, along with my “Top Live Shows That Created The Most Post Memories in 2012” list. Whew, what a year:

Emily Savage, Guardian

New Albums I Listened to Endlessly in 2012
1. Grass Widow, Internal Logic (HLR)
2. Cloud Nothings, Attack on Memory (Carpark)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6X1URP5eg6I
3. Ty Segall, Slaughterhouse (In the Red)
4. Dum Dum Girls, End of Daze EP (Sub Pop)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q3f9ZiH6Euw
5. Frankie Rose, Interstellar (Slumberland)
6. Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Alleluja! Don’t Bend! Ascend! (Constellation)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IEsdiiYkhT8
7. The Fresh and Onlys, Long Slow Dance (Mexican Summer)
8. THEESatisfaction, awE naturalE (Sub Pop)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qGWFBt_IPOg
9. Terry Malts, Killing Time (Slumberland)
10. Guantanamo Baywatch, Chest Crawl (Dirtnap Records)

 

Live Shows that Created the Most Posi Memories in 2012
1. Feb. 14: Black Cobra, Walken, Yob at New Parish
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33TPqjurEsE
2. Feb. 23: Budos Band and Allah-Lahs at the Independent
3. March 30: Hot Snakes at Bottom of the Hill
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VOj3sW6Tm38
4. April 10: Jeff Mangum at the Fox Theater
5. July 21: Fresh and Onlys and La Sera at Phono Del Sol Music Fest
6. July 28: Total Trash BBQ Weekend at the Continental Club
7. Aug. 11: Metallica at Outside Lands
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hjfpBPItgoM
8. Aug. 31: Eyehategod at Oakland Metro
9. Oct. 9: Saint Vitus at the Independent
10. Oct. 27: Coachwhips and Traditional Fools at Verdi Club
 

YEAR IN MUSIC 2012: Top 10s Galore

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YEAR IN MUSIC Local musicians, rappers, producers, and music writers sound off on the year’s best songs, album releases, shows, personal triumphs, and local acts.

 

 

HANNAH LEW, GRASS WIDOW

 

TOP 10 OF 2012

1. Starting our own label HLR and releasing our own record (Internal Logic)

2. Total Control’s LP

3. Touring with the Raincoats and singing “Lola” with them every night

4. Getting obsessed with Silver Apples

5. Hollywood Nails

6. Wymond Miles LP

7. Scrapers (band)

8. Sacred Paws (band)

9. Making eight music videos and losing my mind

10. Wet Hair’s LP

 

ANTWON, RAPPER

 

TOP 10 2012 RAP JAMZ

1. DJ Nate, “Gucci Gogglez” 2. Chief Keef, “Ballin” 3. French Montana, “Shot Coller” 4. Chippy Nonstop, “Money Dance” DJ Two Stacks remix 5. Cash Out, “Cashin’ Out” 6. Future, “Turn on the Lights” 7. Gucci Mane, “Bussin Juggs” 8. Juicy J, “Drugged Out” 9. Lil Mouse, “Don’t Get Smoked” 10. Lil Reese, “Traffic” feat. Chief Keef

 

MICHAEL KRIMPER, GUARDIAN

 

THE ENDLESS DESIRE LIST

 

(IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER, OR, OUT OF ORDER)

1. Les Sins/”Fetch”/12″ (Jiaolong)

Run, fall, catch your desire.

2. The Soft Moon/”Want”/Zeros (Captured Tracks)

Infinite want, can’t have it. O, ye of bad faith.

3. Frank Ocean/”Pyramids”/channel ORANGE (Def Jam)

Pimping Cleopatra, whoring the pyramids.

4. Daphni aka Caribou/”Ye ye”/Jiaolong (Jiaolong)

Affirmation on repeat.

5. Grimes/”Genesis”/Visions (4AD)

Whatever, you know you like it.

6. Todd Terje/”Inspector Norse”/It’s the Arps (Olsen/Smalltown Supersound)

Inspecting never felt so good.

7. Burial/”Kindred”/Kindred (Hyperdub)

Kindred outcasts, jealously desiring their solitude.

8.John Talabot/”Estiu”/Fin (Permanent Vacation)

If a permanent vacation wasn’t hell, this might be its soundtrack.

9. Purity Ring/”Obedear”/Shrines (4AD)

Nothing pure in this abject need.

10. Kendrick Lamar/”A.D.H.D.”/good kid m.A.A.d city (Interscope)

Crack babies: she says, distracted, endless desire.

 

TYCHO, AKA SCOTT HANSEN

 

FAVORITE BAY AREA AND BAY AREA-AFFILIATED MUSIC ACTS

1. Toro Y Moi 2. Christopher Willits 3. Blackbird Blackbird 4. Jessica Pratt 5. Sam Flax 6. Ty Segall 7. Yalls 8. Doombird 9. Little Foxes 10. Dusty Brown

 

BEN RICHARDSON, GUARDIAN

 

BEST METAL ALBUMS OF 2012

1. Dawnbringer, Into the Lair of the Sun God (Profound Lore)

2. Asphyx, Deathhammer (Century Media)

3. Woods of Ypres, V: Grey Skies & Electric Light (Earache)

4. Uncle Acid and The Deadbeats, Blood Lust (Metal Blade)

5. Pallbearer, Sorrow And Extinction (Profound Lore)

6. Windhand, Windhand (Forcefield Records)

7. Omens EP

8. Hour of 13, 333 (Earache)

9. Gojira, L’enfant Sauvage (Roadrunner)

10. Lord Dying, Demo

 

CALEB NICHOLS, CHURCHES

 

TOP 10 VINYL PURCHASED IN 2012, AND WHERE I PURCHASED THEM

1. The Shins, Port Of Morrow (Amazon — forgive me, I had a gift card.)

2. The Walkmen, Heaven (Urban Outfitters clearance — yeah, I know, but you can’t beat brand-new vinyl for $10.)

3. Various Artists, Death Might Be Your Santa Claus (Boo Boo Records, San Luis Obispo. My hometown record store.)

4. Ella Fitzgerald, Live at Montreaux (Boo Boo Records, San Luis Obispo)

5. Mahalia Jackson, Christmas With Mahalia (Abbot’s Thrift, Felton, CA — Great thrift store in the Santa Cruz Mountains.)

6. Benjamin Britten/Copenhagen Boys Choir, A Ceremony Of Carols (Abbot’s Thrift, Felton, Calif.)

7. Thurston Moore, Demolished Thoughts (Urban Outfitters clearance)

8. The Hunches, Exit Dreams (1234Go! Records, Oakland)

9. Various Artists/Angelo Badalamenti, Wild At Heart OST (Streetlight Records, Santa Cruz)

10. Tijuana Panthers, “Crew Cut” seven-inch (Picked up at show — Brick and Mortar Music Hall, San Francisco)

 

KACEY JOHANSING, SINGER-SONGERWRITER

 

TOP 10 FAVORITE SONGWRITERS IN THE BAY AREA

1. Sleepy Todd

2. Tommy McDonald of The Range of Light Wilderness

3. Emily Ritz of Yesway and DRMS (biased opinion, I know)

4. Kyle Field of Little Wings

5. Alexi Glickman of Sandy’s

6. Michael Musika

7. Bart Davenport

8. Indianna Hale

9. Jeffrey Manson

10. Sonya Cotton

 

HALEY ZAREMBA, GUARDIAN

 

TOP TEN CONCERTS OF 2012

1. El Ten Eleven at the New Parish

2. Good Old War at Slim’s

3. Girls at Bimbo’s

4. St Vincent and Tune-Yards at The Fox

5. Bomb the Music Industry! at Bottom of the Hill

6. Fucked Up at Slim’s

7. Amanda Palmer and the Grand Theft Orchestra at the Fillmore

8. Ariel Pink at Bimbo’s

9. Conor Oberst at the Fillmore

10. Titus Andronicus at the Great American Music Hall

 

CARLETTA SUE KAY, SINGER-SONGWRITER

 

BEST OF 2012

1. “See All Knows All,” A Thing By Sonny Smith at The Lost Church.

2. “Silent Music” music ephemera show at Vacation (651 Larkin) curated by Lee Reymore, opening party set by the Fresh and Onlys, after -party pot cookie monsters invade the Gangway.

3. Dusty Stax & The Bold Italic Present: “Summer Soul Friday Night”.

4. Wax Idol’s Hether Fortune fronting the Birthday Party cover band at Vacation.

5. Jessica Pratt’s debut LP (Birth Records).

6. Bambi Lake at the Museum of Living Art.

7. Pruno Truman, aka Heidi Alexander from the Sandwitches “Sleeping with the TV on” b/w Carletta Sue Kay “No, no” (Weird World).

8. Opening for Baby Dee at Brick & Mortar Music Hall.

9. Kelley Stoltz’s cover of “Sunday Morning” on Velvet Underground and Nico by Castle Face & Friends (Castle Face).

10. Christopher Owens premiers Lysandre live at the Lodge.

11. Mark Eitzel’s Don’t Be A Stranger (Merge) and its accompanying promo video series. Featuring Grace Zabriskie, Neil Hamburger, Parker Gibbs et al.

 

EMILY JANE WHITE, MUSICIAN

 

TOP 10 SONGS OF 2012 BY FEMALE ARTISTS

1. “Spinning Centers” Chelsea Wolfe: Unknown Rooms

2. “Who Needs Who” Dark Dark Dark: Who Needs Who

3. “Oblivion,” Grimes: Visions

4. “Old Magic” Mariee Sioux: Gift for the End

5. “Apostle” Marissa Nadler: The Sister

6. “In Your Nature” Zola Jesus: seven-inch (w/ David Lynch Re-Mix)

7. “Silent Machine” Cat Power: Sun

8. “Moon in My Mind,” Frankie Rose: Interstellar

9. “Serpents,” Sharon Van Etten: Tramp

10. “Video Games,” Lana Del Rey: Born to Die

 

MORNIN’ OLD SPORT

 

FAVORITE ARTISTS/ALBUMS

1.Moons, Bloody Mouth

2.Patti Smith, Banga

3.Mykki Blanco, Cosmic Angel: The Illuminati Prince/ss Mixtape

4.ABADABAD, The Wild EP

5.Kendrick Lamar, Good Kid m.A.A.d city

6.Shady Hawkins, Dead to Me

7.Howth, Newkirk

8. Bikini Kill EP (reissue)

9. Sharky Coast, Pizza Dreamz demo

10. FIDLAR, No Waves/No Ass seven-inch

 

ROSS PEACOCK AND NATHAN TILTON, MWAHAHA

 

ALMOST TOP 10 ALBUMS (IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER)

1. Air, Le voyage dans la lune

2. Naytronix, Dirty Glow

3. I Come To Shanghai, Eternal Life Vol. 2

4. Beak, >>

5. Steve Moore and Majeure, Brainstorm

6. Clipd Beaks, Wake

7. Brian Eno, LUX

8. Neurosis, Honor Found in Decay

ALMOST TOP 10 SHOW (IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER)

1. Pulp at the Warfield: Think that was this year. Cocker sings sexy

2. Red Red Red: just saw this guy play at a warehouse in Oakland…live house music made with actual hardware!

3. Flying Lotus at the Fox was pretty epic….. insane visuals.

5. Lumerians at the Uptown

6. Neurosis at the Fox: Fuck!

7. Deerhoof at SXSW ….. maybe the best live band in the universe

8. Indian Jewelry at the Terminal …. strobe light universe

 

EMILY SAVAGE, GUARDIAN

 

LIVE SHOWS THAT CREATED THE MOST POSI MEMORIES IN 2012

1. Feb. 14: Black Cobra, Walken, Yob at New Parish

2. Feb. 23: Budos Band and Allah-Lahs at the Independent

3. March 30: Hot Snakes at Bottom of the Hill

4. April 10: Jeff Mangum at the Fox Theater,

5. July 21: Fresh and Onlys and La Sera at Phono Del Sol Music Fest

6. July 28: Total Trash BBQ Weekend at the Continental Club

7. Aug. 11: Metallica at Outside Lands

8. Aug. 31: Eyehategod at Oakland Metro

9. Oct. 9: Saint Vitus at the Independent

10. Oct. 27: Coachwhips and Traditional Fools at Verdi Club

 

NEW ALBUMS I LISTENED TO ENDLESSLY IN 2012

1. Grass Widow, Internal Logic (HLR)

2. Cloud Nothings, Attack on Memory (Carpark)

3. Ty Segall, Slaughterhouse (In the Red)

4. Dum Dum Girls, End of Daze EP (Sub Pop)

5. Frankie Rose, Interstellar (Slumberland)

6. Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Alleluja! Don’t Bend! Ascend! (Constellation)

7. The Fresh and Onlys, Long Slow Dance (Mexican Summer)

8. THEESatisfaction, awE naturalE (Sub Pop)

9. Terry Malts, Killing Time (Slumberland)

10. Guantanamo Baywatch, Chest Crawl (Dirtnap Records)

 

TAYLOR KAPLAN, GUARDIAN

 

TOP 10 ALBUMS OF 2012

1. Hiatus Kaiyote: Tawk Tomahawk (self-released) I could tell you that a bunch of white Australians somehow merged the sound-worlds of Erykah Badu, J Dilla, and Thundercat into a 30-minute, self-released debut LP that rivals the best work of any of those musicians, but you just might have to hear for yourself: hiatuskaiyote.bandcamp.com.

2. Lone: Galaxy Garden (R&S) This is the Lone album we’ve been waiting for. The British laptop producer’s past efforts, while exquisitely lush, were inhibited by a sense of hollow simplicity; Galaxy Garden, his danciest effort yet, shows improvement on nearly every front, from generously layered percussion, to a nuanced, bittersweet take on melody and harmony. A gorgeous fulfillment of Lone’s hedonistic vision.

3. Scott Walker: Bish Bosch (4AD) Difficult as it is to proclaim Bish Bosch 2012’s best album, (its hulking weight and unyielding grimness renders casual listening a difficult proposition) no LP this year has matched its gutsiness and sonic adventurousness, or consolidated so many ideas into a singular space. An array of musical possibilities as dense, thorny, and encyclopedic as a Pynchon novel, with Walker’s quivering, operatic baritone as its sole, anchoring force.

4. Zammuto: s/t (Temporary Residence) Former Books member Nick Zammuto’s solo debut impresses with its vitality and strength of purpose. Despite the heightened emphasis on conventional songwriting this time around, Zammuto strikes that divine balance between bewildering sound-collage and pop approachability that made the Books such an endearing project in the first place.

5. Tame Impala: Lonerism (Modular) Kevin Parker’s first LP as a lone, multitracking solo artist under the Tame Impala moniker, is a bubbly, golden pop album, despite its pervasive theme of existential dread. Its hooks achieve a weird form of transcendence, befitting the Beatles and Britney Spears in equal measure.

6. Laurel Halo: Quarantine (Hyperdub) Much like Oneohtrix Point Never’s Replica (2011), Quarantine is ideal soundtrack material for those late-night, marathon web-surfing sessions that seem to transcend time and space. Halo’s cold, glassy electronics are anchored by dry, straightforward vocals on an album that occupies a mysterious void between vocal pop and ambient electronica.

7. Field Music: Plumb (Memphis Industries) Less a song-cycle than a series of hooks, Field Music’s latest is the work of a band with a hundred wonderful ideas up its sleeve, and only 35 minutes to communicate them. Channeling the impulsive energy of Abbey Road‘s second half with proggy dexterity, Plumb cements this vastly underrated British outfit as one of the most visionary songwriting duos around.

8. THEESatisfaction: awE naturalE (Sub Pop) Splitting the difference between progressive hip-hop and neo-soul, this Seattle duo’s breakthrough record zips through its 30-minute run-time with remarkable tenacity and economy. Bearing the exhilarating energy of J Dilla’s rip-roaring beat-tapes, and shrewd lyricism that effortlessly balances the political, the personal, and the cosmic, awE naturalE feels urgently, confrontationally NOW.

9. Nik Bärtsch’s Ronin: Live (ECM) Not quite nu-jazz, math-rock, or classical minimalism, Swiss ensemble Nik Bärtsch’s Ronin is as compelling, and innovative, as any live band around, tackling Reichian time signatures with the borderline robotic technical ability of Juilliard grads, and the undeniable groove of an airtight funk band.

10. d’Eon: LP (Hippos In Tanks) Approaching the tongue-in-cheek meta-pop of James Ferraro’s Far Side Virtual with a twisted mythology of Christianity and Islam vs. iPhones and the Internet, and a bizarrely heavy dose of Phil Collins’ influence, d’Eon’s LP‘s totally dubious backstory is redeemed by solid songwriting, lush synths, killer keyboard solos, and a ’70s big-time art-rock sensibility. The most convoluted release to date from the prankish Hippos In Tanks imprint.

Honorable mention: Farrah Abraham: My Teenage Dream Ended (self-released) You can’t make this shit up: the year’s weirdest, most haunted and terrifying album wasn’t brought to us by Swans or Scott Walker, but the star of MTV’s Teen Mom. Trapped between the real world, and a web-based alter-reality, it’s the sound of an All American girl, brought up on The Notebook and Titanic, finding herself imprisoned in a Lynchian nightmare.

 

Live Shots: Phono Del Sol

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Hosting an all-day outdoor festival in the middle of a chilly SF summer was a crapshoot, but the Bay Bridged bet well. The sun sizzled so strongly over Phono Del Sol attendees and bands last Saturday that one musician had to call out into the crowd for coverage.

La Sera’s Katy Goodman (also of Vivian Girls) had to take a pause from her creamy crooning – likely at that moment singing of a break-up – to borrow a baseball hat from one of a few dude lounging in the grass just out front of the Potereo del Sol Park stage.

To stage right a handful of skaters glided through the skatepark, mostly rolling just above lip of the half-pipe then back down again. To stage left, a sea of women in sundresses and men in flimsy T-shirts stood behind the fence drinking $5 cups of beer, or munching Kung-Fu Tacos or Kasa Indian Eatery rice plates from the bank of food trucks.

It was a prime, summery, music-punctuated Saturday in San Francisco for the second annual Phono Del Sol, with a good turnout of fans parking themselves along the shade-covered hills first, then slowly filling in the direct-sun center bowl.
 
Host Broke-Ass Stuart popped up between each act with a Pauly Shore joke or witty aside, and DJs Andy Cabic, Kevin Meenan, and Zach Rogue, kept the music pumping while the acts set up. The break-down times were quick, leaving precious minutes to rush to beer and food. And Vitamin Water offered free, sticky-sweet beverages to those in need of non-alcoholic liquid between acts.

After Sacramento’s Sea of Bees left the stage, Stuart described its sound as “make-out music” and implored the then-sparse crowd of fans to kiss their partners, a rare awkward moment.

La Sera’s Goodman next arrived on the concrete stage, wearing one of those seasonal sundresses, and opening with dreamy, girl group-esque ditty “Break My Heart.” She asked for that aforementioned cap a few songs in and swayed steadily throughout the set, occasionally mentioning the “chill” vibe at the intimate fest.

Gardens & Villa came out pan-flute first, kicking off the set with “Thorn Castle” off last year’s self-titled LP, an insta-indie pop classic. As the director of the band’s video for “Spacetime” noted during the Phono Del Sol appearance, Gardens & Villa (that’s “vee-ya”) sounds precisely the same live as it does on the record – a notable achievement as the album was a joint project with legendary producer Richard Swift.

A cluster of sun-chasers later gathered to dance by the stage in a sinewy fashion during minimalist psych act Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s riff-heavy performance. You could get lost in those dance moves as the guitar crawled on.

The closing performance, by SF’s own the Fresh & Onlys, was the perfectly appropriate finale for such a pleasurable afternoon. Peppered with tracks off the upcoming Long Slow Dance, the swirling, hooky garage band’s set was both familiar and enticingly…fresh.

In a cap and camo jacket, swarthy singer-guitarist Tim Cohen seemed in relaxed spirits, repeatedly asking those in the crowd to hold up their kids (they obliged). He later addressed the general grass-sprawled audience, “you guys look like little kids at an assembly.” Pause. “That’s what happens you take acid.”

Only complaint? The entire bottle of sticky-sweet Vitamin Water I spilled on my weather-appropriate sundress. That and the sunburn.

Our Weekly Picks: July 18-24

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WEDNESDAY 18

Waters

Former Port O’Brien band leader Van Pierzalowski founded Waters on the shores of Norway, New York, California, and Alaska. He’s now touring with his new Norwegian bandmates, for their album Out in the Light, and will open for Nada Surf in cities across US this summer, with a final stop in Oslo, Norway. Port O’Brien’s ragged edges and nautically inspired lyrics can still be found in this new project, but its debut album is receiving critical acclaim for its grungier sound, and for Pierzalowski’s decision to stretch out his vocals, reaching new heights. Check out standout track “Take Us Out to the Coast” and get ready to rock. (Shauna C. Keddy)

With Tijuana Panthers, Chasms, Churches

7:30pm, $12

Brick and Mortar Music Hall

1710 Mission, SF

(415) 800-8782

www.brickandmortarmusic.com

 

The Bouncing Souls

These New Jersey punks have been inciting fist pumping and circle pits for over 20 years, and they celebrated this milestone by self-releasing their ninth studio album Comet this week. The Bouncing Souls have been important players in the punk scene for years, pioneering the lighter side of the genre and hitting the road for seven Warped Tours. Their relentless touring has earned the Souls a dedicated, cross-generational following, from ’90s diehards to the teens who discovered them last summer. There’s nothing complex, nuanced, or hip about a Bouncing Souls song, but that’s what makes these party-punk anthems so accessible. Leave your thinking caps at home and get ready to rage. (Haley Zaremba)

With the Menzingers, Luther

8pm, $21

Slim’s

333 11th St, SF

(415) 255-0333

www.slimspresents.com

 

THURSDAY 19

Roy Davies

As founder, key songwriter, singer and guitarist for legendary British Invasion innovators the Kinks, Ray Davies penned classics such as “You Really Got Me,” “All Day and All of The Night,” “Lola,” and many more. His latest release, last year’s See My Friends featured a who’s who of legendary musical guests including Metallica, Bruce Springsteen, Lucinda Williams, Alex Chilton, and Billy Corgan, all performing with the icon on re-interpretations of his most famous tunes. Fans won’t want to miss the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer when he plays a relatively intimate show at the equally historic Fillmore here in San Francisco. (Sean McCourt)

With The 88

8pm, $50

Fillmore

1805 Geary, SF

(415) 371-5500

www.thefillmore.com

 

Beachwood Sparks

Many may recognize the warm and fuzzy sounds of Beachwood Sparks’ cover of Sade’s “By Your Side” from the indie-hit film Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World. Fans who have checked out their music beyond the popular cover will know that country and indie-rock sounds more so define this band. Its new album, The Tarnished Gold, finds the group over a decade into its career delivering just the kind of LA-influenced summer jams that have made it such a beloved California act. The album achieves a sound of great ease, and is receiving praise from the likes of NPR, which applauded the band for its ability to create a seemingly effortless sound that transports listeners. Beachwood Sparks’ Americana and ’70 pop sounds may induce listeners into making daisy chains in grassy fields. (Keddy)

With Allah-Las, Sweet Chariot, DJ Britt Govea

7:30pm, $18

Independent

628 Divisadero, SF

(415) 771-1421

www.theindependentsf.com

 

Fountains of Wayne

After a 16-year career, Fountains of Wayne is still tragically unknown. Even the Grammy it nabbed in 2003 was a nod to its obscurity — the band, which had been together for seven years at that point, was given the award for Best New Artist. After the band’s five minutes of fame with the Grammy moment and its cheesetastic international chart-topping single “Stacey’s Mom,” it faded again into the background. Years later, these guys can still write some wickedly funny pop songs and they’ll leave you wondering why they never fully broke through. (Zaremba)

With Mike Viola

8pm, $26

Great American Music Hall

859 O’Farrell, SF

(415) 885-0750

www.slimspresents.com


FRIDAY 20

Friday Nights at the de Young: African Diaspora

This week’s installment of Friday Nights at the de Young treats us to traditional African Manding music in both song and dance, along with an art demonstration by artist-in-residence alum Ramekon O’Arwisters. Attendees can bring their own pieces of fabric to the event and should be ready to share a life story: the goal of O’Arwisters’ demonstration is to examine weaving through storytelling and crocheting, giving a taste of the African-American folk art and textile tradition. The packed Friday night lineup also includes “Love Letters,” a lecture by C. Derrick Jones, nephew of Harlem Renaissance pioneer Aaron Douglas. Jones’ aerial dance group Catch Me Bird is currently putting together a project called Off the Walls, based on the work of his uncle. (Keddy)

6pm, free

De Young Museum

15 Hagiwara Tea Garden, SF

(415) 750-3600

deyoung.famsf.org

 

“Steve Prefontaine Film Festival”

Local distance runners who’re about to start tapering for the San Francisco Marathon (July 29!) — and have already planned their Olympics viewing parties (go Shalane!) — will not want to miss Film Night in the Park’s “Steve Prefontaine Film Festival,” highlighting the awesome achievements of the Oregon legend. The record-breaking athlete, who helped popularize running in the 1970s (the fact that he was a babe, mustache and all, didn’t hurt), died at age 24 in a single-car accident — giving rise to the nickname “the James Dean of running” — but remains an inspiration for his intense dedication to the sport. The Pre double-feature includes Robert Towne’s 1998 Without Limits, starring Billy Crudup (not to be confused with 1997’s competing biopic Prefontaine, starring Jared Leto), and the 1995 documentary Fire on the Track: The Steve Prefontaine Story. (Cheryl Eddy)

8pm, donations accepted

Creek Park

451 Sir Francis Drake Blvd., San Anselmo

www.filmnight.org

 

“PERSIAN LOOKING”

Maryam Rostami’s theatrical exploration of her Persian heritage has extended from deeply moving solo theater (last summer’s play-in-progress preview “Persepolis, Texas”) to hilariously relevant drag — not many performers can bring down the house with a number performed in a deconstructed burqa, using only eyebrows to “lip-sync.” Her latest ensemble piece, “PERSIAN LOOKING” is “specifically about the way that Middle Eastern women living in the West process the news that we hear about our sisters living in warzones back ‘home.” It’s paired with another cool-sounding examination of women in the contemporary world: Cara Rose DeFabio’s “She Was a Computer,” which uses language from obsolete computer manuals and the audience’s own cell phones, among other things, to look at how gadgetry and its social currency are passed down through female generations. (Marke B.)

8pm, $20

Also Sat/21, 8pm; Sun/22, 2pm and 8pm

CounterPulse

1310 Mission, SF

(415) 626-2060

www.counterpulse.org

 

Sam Bush

Multi-instrumentalist Sam Bush has been highly influential in the bluegrass and “newgrass” genres of Americana music, performing with artists such as Lyle Lovett, Bela Fleck, Emmylou Harris, and more, all while inspiring a world of fans with his excellent mandolin, fiddle, banjo, and guitar playing skills. Recently honored with the Americana Music Association Lifetime Achievement Award — quite a feat considering he only just turned 60 — Bush released his latest album Circles Around Me in 2009, and continues to thrive on stage, where he switches off instruments and energetically blends a host of sounds all into a joyous mix. (McCourt)

9pm, $26

Great American Music Hall

859 O’Farrell St., SF

(415) 885-0750

www.slimspresents.com


SATURDAY 21

Phono Del Sol Music and Food Festival

Out of the darkened beer-soaked clubs and into the dewy green park with you. The Phono Del Sol Music and Food Festival returns this weekend, and the price is still right. It’s just $7 to $10 max (unless you go VIP) for the pleasure of chilling in the grass with pals while rollicking locals Fresh & Onlys, sincere globe-trotters Unknown Mortal Orchestra, and Santa Barbara synth-and-flute freaks Gardens & Villa fill the park with sweet music. Produced by the Bay Bridged blog, this year’s curated lineup also includes Vivian Girl Katy Goodman’s shimmery solo effort La Sera, along with Northern California bred acts such as Dominant Legs, Sea of Bees, and Mwahaha. Its bears mention that the food lineup also rocks, and nearly a dozen local food trucks will come roaring over the hill: munch on the spicy fusion of Kung Fu Tacos, Doc’s of the Bay, Kasa Indian, Voodoo Van, Frozen Kuhsterd, and more. (Emily Savage)

Noon-6pm. $7–$10.

Potrero Del Sol Park

25th Street at Utah, SF

www.phonodelsol.com

 

My Best Fiend

One of a handful of of rock bands on the esteemed Warp Records’ largely electronic roster, My Best Fiend cranks out pastoral ballads of human frailty that mutate slyly into psychedelic, space-bound epics. The Brooklyn outfit’s debut full-length, In Ghostlike Fading, emanates a distinctly ’70s vibe, recalling the heady propulsion of Pink Floyd’s looser, slower jams; the stoned disillusionment of David Crosby’s If I Could Only Remember My Name; the sun-drenched melancholy of Neil Young’s Harvest. Not to be mistaken for a group of twentysomethings halfassedly replicating their parents’ record collections, My Best Fiend sets its tunnel vision on a specific time and place in rock music, channeling it poignantly, respectfully, ecstatically. (Taylor Kaplan)

With White Cloud

9pm, $10

Brick & Mortar Music Hall

1710 Mission, SF

(415) 800-8782

www.brickandmortarmusic.com

 

Sonny and the Sunsets

San Francisco native Sonny Smith likes to keep himself busy. This summer saw the release of his band’s third album in as many years. Before that he was was occupied with his “100 Albums” project, in which Smith collaborated with visual artists to invent 100 different album covers by 100 fake bands as well as a single off each of the faux records, which he wrote and recorded with the help of other Bay Area artists such as Ty Segall and Thee Oh Sees’ John Dwyer. Longtime Companion, his latest (real) effort, is not as grandiose or harebrained as some of Smith’s other creations, but its simple Americana charm is just as stunning. (Zaremba)

With Wet Illustrated, Pink Films, Cool Ghouls

9pm, $15

Independent

628 Divisadero, SF

(415) 771-1421

www.theindependentsf.com


TUESDAY 24

Ava Luna

Reminiscent of TV On the Radio in its thorny, postmodernist treatment of soul, punk, and R&B, and the Dirty Projectors, with their anything-goes vocal dynamics, Ava Luna’s sound is in a constant state of flux, too busy searching and experimenting to settle into a comfortable groove. Remarkably dense, brimming with tension, and jumping wildly between musical languages, the Brooklyn band’s newly released debut LP, Ice Level, bears the audacity of a group with a much longer resume. In an age of too many laptop shows, and rock bands resorting to predictable schtick, this dynamic seven-piece ought to deliver a richly stimulating, thrillingly unstable performance. (Kaplan)

With That Ghost, Youngman Grand

9pm, $10

Bottom of the Hill

1233 17th St., SF

(415) 621-4455

www.bottomofthehill.com

The Guardian listings deadline is two weeks prior to our Wednesday publication date. To submit an item for consideration, please include the title of the event, a brief description of the event, date and time, venue name, street address (listing cross streets only isn’t sufficient), city, telephone number readers can call for more information, telephone number for media, and admission costs. Send information to Listings, the Guardian Building, 135 Mississippi St., SF, CA 94107; fax to (415) 487-2506; or e-mail (paste press release into e-mail body — no text attachments, please) to listings@sfbg.com. Digital photos may be submitted in jpeg format; the image must be at least 240 dpi and four inches by six inches in size. We regret we cannot accept listings over the phone.

Music Listings

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Since club life is unpredictable, it’s a good idea to call ahead or check the venue’s website to confirm bookings and hours. Prices are listed when provided to us. Visit www.sfbg.com/venue-guide for venue information. Submit items for the listings at listings@sfbg.com. For further information on how to submit items for the listings, see Picks.

WEDNESDAY 18

ROCK/BLUES/HIP-HOP

Brian Bergeron Johnny Foley’s. 9pm, free.

Bouncing Souls, Menzingers, Luther Slim’s. 8pm, $19-$21.

Charles vs. Rags Tuttle Johnny Foley’s Dueling Pianos. 9:30pm.

Chatham County Line, Easy Leaves Cafe Du Nord. 8pm, $15.

Eddie Money Yoshi’s. 8pm, $35.

Johnny Rawls Biscuits and Blues. 8 and 10pm, $15.

SO, Glass Gavel, Shake Me! Bottom of the Hill. 9pm, $10.

Soul Train Revival Boom Boom Room. 8pm, $5.

Upstairs Downstairs, Origami Ghosts, Myonics Hemlock Tavern. 9pm, $6.

Valient Sailors Hotel Utah. 9pm.

Waters, Chasms, Churches Brick and Mortar Music Hall. 9pm, $10-$12.

Scott Weiland Independent. 8pm, $49.50.

JAZZ/NEW MUSIC

Cat’s Corner with Nathan Dias Savanna Jazz. 9pm, $10.

Cosmo AlleyCats Le Colonial, 20 Cosmo Place, SF; www.lecolonialsf.com. 7-10pm.

Dink Dink Dink, Gaucho, Eric Garland’s Jazz Session Amnesia. 7pm, free.

Ricardo Scales Top of the Mark, 999 California, SF; www.topofthemark.com. 6:30pm, $5.

Sonic Poetry Community Music Center, 544 Capp, SF; www.outsound.org. 7:30pm. $10-$12; $45 festival pass. Outsound New Music Summit.

FOLK/WORLD/COUNTRY

Cumbia Tokeson, Radio La Chusma, DJ Rabeat Elbo Room. 9pm, $8-$10.

DANCE CLUBS

Booty Call Q-Bar, 456 Castro, SF; www.bootycallwednesdays.com. 9pm. Juanita MORE! and Joshua J host this dance party.

Coo-Yah! Som., 2925 16th St, SF; (415) 558-8521. 10pm, free. DJs Daneekah and Green B spin reggae and dancehall with weekly guests.

Hardcore Humpday Happy Hour RKRL, 52 Sixth St, SF; (415) 658-5506. 6pm, $3. With Therinds, Dick Wolf, Holy Blowout.

Mary Go Round Lookout, 3600 16th St, SF; www.lookoutsf.com. 10pm, $5. Drag with Suppositori Spelling, Mercedez Munro, and Ginger Snap.

Megatallica Fiddler’s Green, 1333 Columbus, SF; www.megatallica.com. 7pm, free. Heavy metal hangout.

Obey the Kitty: Richie Panic, Justin Milla Vessel, 85 Campton, SF; www.vesselsf.com. 10pm, $10.

THURSDAY 19

ROCK/BLUES/HIP-HOP

Beachwood Sparks, Allah-Las, Sweet Chariots Independent. 8pm, $18.

Boneless Children Foundation, Bonnie & the BANG BANG, Taxes Brick and Mortar Music Hall. 7:30pm, $5-$8.

Fountains of Wayne, Mike Viola Great American Music Hall. 8pm, $26.

Guido vs. Charles Johnny Foley’s Dueling Pianos. 9:30pm.

Handshake, Fierce Creatures, Conveyor, Coast Jumper Bottom of the Hill. 9pm, $10.

“In a Cloud 2” SF compilation release Amnesia.

Jay Trainer Band, Segue & Jeff Zittrain Band Red Devil Lounge. 8pm, $8.

John Lawton Trio Johnny Foley’s. 9pm, free.

Eddie Money Yoshi’s. 8pm, $35; 10pm, $30.

Oliver, popscene DJs Rickshaw Stop. 10pm, $13-15.

Spencey Dude and Doodles record release variety show Hemlock Tavern. 9pm, $5.

Walter Trout Biscuits and Blues. 8pm, $30-$35.

Why I Hate, Shell Corporation, Mighty Fine, Hooray for Everything Thee Parkside. 9pm, $7.

JAZZ/NEW MUSIC

Composers Muse Community Music Center, 544 Capp, SF; www.outsound.org. 7:30pm. $10-$12; $45 festival pass. Outsound New Music Summit with Christina Stanley’s Skadi Quartet, and more.

Jazz Jam with Eddie Ramirez Savanna Jazz. 7:30pm, $5.

FOLK/WORLD/COUNTRY

JimBo Trout and the Fishpeople Atlas Cafe, 3049 20th St, SF; www.atlascafe.net. 8-10pm.

Twang! Honky Tonk Fiddler’s Green, 1330 Columbus, SF; www.twanghonkytonk.com. 5pm. Live country music, dancing, and giveaways.

DANCE CLUBS

Afrolicious Elbo Room. 9:30pm, $5. DJ Pleasuremaker spins Afrobeat, Tropicália, electro, samba, and funk, plus Sola Rosa.

Arcade Lookout. 9pm, free. Indie dance party.

Base: Chris Liebing Vessel, 85 Campton, SF; www.vesselsf.com. 10pm, $10.

Get Low Som., 2925 16th St, SF; (415) 558-8521. 10pm, free. Jerry Nice and Ant-1 spin Hip-Hop, ’80s and Soul with weekly guests.

Thursdays at the Cat Club Cat Club. 9pm, $6 (free before 9:30pm). Two dance floors bumpin’ with the best of 80s mainstream and underground with DJ’s Damon, Steve Washington, Dangerous Dan, and guests.

Tropicana Madrone Art Bar. 9pm, free. Salsa, cumbia, reggaeton, and more with DJs Don Bustamante, Apocolypto, Sr. Saen, Santero, and Mr. E.

FRIDAY 20

ROCK/BLUES/HIP-HOP

Back Pages Johnny Foley’s. 9pm, free.

Rome Balestrieri, Charles, Guido Johnny Foley’s Dueling Pianos. 9pm.

Frank Bey Biscuits and Blues. 8 and 10pm, $20.

Sam Bush, Allison Harris & the Barn Owls Great American Music Hall.9pm, $26.

Fast Times Maggie McGarry’s, 1353 Grant, SF; www.maggiemcgarrys.com. 9pm, free.

Glimpse Trio, Points North, S.K.O.P.E Bottom of the Hill. 10pm, $12.

Grass Widow, American Splits, Wax Idols, Worlds Longest Guitar Solo With Breaks Rickshaw Stop. 9pm, $10-$12.

Collin Ludlow-Mattson & Folks, Blank Tapes, Ash Reiter, Pat Hull Amnesia. 9pm, $8-$10.

Melvins Lite Slim’s. 9pm, $21.

Moonbell, Some Embers, Chasms, DJs Kevin Johnson and Nako Thee Parkside. 9pm, $5.

Pow!, Permanent Collection, Future Twin, Al Lover & the Haters Brick and Mortar Music Hall. 9pm, $5-$8.

Strangled Darlings, Ian Fays, Blonde Stranger Hemlock Tavern. 9:30pm, $7.

Tainted Love Bimbo’s. 9pm, $23.

Tosh Meets Marley Elbo Room. 10pm, $15. With Nnuklee Dube, DJ Irie Dole and King of Hearts.

“Vagabond Lovers Club” Cafe Du Nord. 9pm, $12-$15. With Slim Jenkins, Frantic Rockers, Golden West Trio, burlesque, DJs, and more.

JAZZ/NEW MUSIC

Audium 1616 Bush, SF; www.audium.org. 8:30pm, $20. Theater of sound-sculptured space.

Benn Bacot Savanna Jazz. 7:30pm, $8.

Midnight Sun Jazz Quartet Bubble Lounge, 714 Montgomery, SF; www.bubblelounge.com. 6-9pm, free.

Thwack. Bome. Chime Community Music Center, 544 Capp, SF; www.outsound.org. 7:30pm. $10-$12; $45 festival pass. Outsound New Music Summit.

Markus Wettstein, Betsey Biggs, Dylan Bolles, Edward Schocker Meridian Gallery, 535 Powell, SF; www.meridiangallery.org. 8-10pm.

FOLK/WORLD/COUNTRY

Bluegrass Bonanza Plough and Stars. 9:30pm, $8-$10. With Travers Chandler, Avery County, Woody Hill.

Taste Fridays 650 Indiana, SF; www.tastefridays.com. 8pm, $18. Salsa and bachata dance lessons, live music.

DANCE CLUBS

DJ What’s His Fuck Riptide Tavern, 3639 Taraval, SF; (415) 681-8433. 9pm, free. Spinning old school punk and other gems.

Joe Lookout, 3600 16th St.,SF; www.lookoutsf.com. 9pm. Eight rotating DJs, shirt-off drink specials.

Night of the Living Deadwardians Cat Club, 1190 Folsom SF; www.dancingghosts.com. 9:30pm. Miz Margo and Sage spin darkwave, synthpop, post-punk, and Xander and Fact.50 spin old world cabaret and steampunk.

Old School JAMZ El Rio. 9pm. Fruit Stand DJs spinning old school funk, hip-hop, and R&B.

Paris to Dakar Little Baobab, 3388 19th St, SF; (415) 643-3558. 10pm, $5. Afro and world music with rotating DJs including Stepwise, Steve, Claude, Santero, and Elembe.

Pledge: Fraternal Lookout. 9pm, $3-$13. Benefiting LGBT and nonprofit organizations. Bottomless kegger cups and paddling booth with DJ Christopher B and DJ Brian Maier.

Raindance Presents: Reflections with Dubtribe Sound System, Heyoka, and more Public Works. 9pm, $20.

Ron Reeser Vessel, 85 Campton, SF; www.vesselsf.com. 10pm, $10-$20.

SATURDAY 21

ROCK/BLUES/HIP-HOP

Charles, Rome Balestrieri, Guido Johnny Foley’s Dueling Pianos. 9pm.

City Deluxe, Limes, Sir Lord Von Raven Thee Parkside. 9pm, $5.

Cockasterphy, Edge Play Thee Parkside. 3pm, free.

Dig, Happy Body Slow Brain, Time Spent Driving Bottom of the Hill. 10pm, $10.

Fast Times Top of the Mark, One Nob Hill, SF; (415) 392-3434. 8pm, free.

Low Rollers Riptide Tavern, 3639 Taraval, SF; (415) 681-8433. 9:30pm, free.

My Best Fiend, White Cloud Brick and Mortar Music Hall. 9pm, $7-$10.

Owl City, Jayme Dee Slim’s. 8pm, $21-$25.

“Patiopalooza” El Rio. 4-8pm, $8 (includes barbecue). With Chris James & the Showdowns, Mission:Blackout, Finding Stella, Burn River Burn.

“Phono Del Sol Music and Food Festival” Potrero Del Sol Park, San Bruno Avenue and 25th Street, SF; www.phonodelsol.com. 11:30am-6pm. $7-$10. With Fresh & Onlys, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, La Sera, Gardens & Villa, and more.

San Francisco Music Club Biscuits and Blues. 8 and 10pm, $20.

Sonny & the Sunsets, Wet Illustrated, Pink Films, Cool Ghouls Independent. 9pm, $15.

Sole Johnny Foley’s. 9pm, free.

Sydney Ducks, Ruleta Rusa, Between Your Teeth El Rio. 10pm, $7.

Tainted Love Bimbo’s. 9pm, $23.

Thunderbleed AKA Blind Vengeance, Nate’s Denver Neck, DJ Real Hemlock Tavern. 9:30pm, $7.

Too $hort Yoshi’s Lounge. 10:30pm, $30.

JAZZ/NEW MUSIC

Audium 1616 Bush, SF; www.audium.org. 8:30pm, $20. Theater of sound-sculptured space.

Fire & Energy Community Music Center, 544 Capp, SF; www.outsound.org. 7:30pm. $10-$12; $45 festival pass. Outsound New Music Summit with Jack Wright, Dave Bryant Trio, Vinny Golia Sextet, and more.

Future Bionic Lab, 2948 16 St, SF; www.projectsoundwave.com. 8pm, $12-$25. Soundwave 5 multimedia and interactive performances by Jay Kreimer, Diana Burgoyne, and Cellar Ensemble.

Harmolodics Workshop Community Music Center, 544 Capp, SF; www.outsound.org. 2-4pm, free. Outsound New Music Summit.

Gina Harris & Torbie Philips Savanna Jazz. 7:30pm, $10.

Tiempo Libre with San Francisco Symphony Davies Symphony Hall, 201 Van Ness, SF; www.sfsymphony.org. 7:30pm.

FOLK/WORLD/COUNTRY

Andy y Su Orquesta Callao Ramp, 855 Terry Francois, SF; www.theramprestaurant.com. 5-8pm.

Alfonso Maya Mission Cultural Center, 2868 Mission, SF; www.missionculturalcenter.org. 7:30pm, $15.

Joy Mills, Miss Lonely Hearts Plough and Stars. 9pm.

Will Magid’s World Wide Dance Party: Balkan Extravaganza Cafe Du Nord. 9:30pm, $15.

DANCE CLUBS

Bootie SF: Triple Tribute DNA Lounge. 9pm, $10-$15. Bootie pays tribute to MCA of the Beastie Boys, Donna Summer, and Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees.

DJ Scotty Boy Vessel, 85 Campton, SF; www.vesselsf.com. 10pm, $10-$20.

Fringe Madrone Art Bar. 9pm, $5. Indie music video dance party with DJ Blondie K and subOctave.

Forward with Nitin, Tomas Barfod, Adnan Sharif, Galen Public Works. 9pm, $15-$20.

OK Hole Amnesia. 9pm, $7.

Paris to Dakar Little Baobab, 3388 19th St, SF; (415) 643-3558. 10pm, $5. Afro and world music with rotating DJs including Stepwise, Steve, Claude, Santero, and Elembe.

Reunited Rickshaw Stop. 10pm, $10-15. Presented by Jeffrey Paradise and Ava Berlin.

Saturday Night Soul Party Elbo Room. 10pm, $5-$10. DJs Lucky, Paul Paul, and Phengren Oswald spin ’60s soul 45s.

Ana Sia Mighty. 10pm.

Smiths Night SF Rock-It Room. 9pm, free. Revel in 80s music from the Smiths, Joy Division, New Order, and more.

Radio Franco Bissap, 3372 19th St, SF; (415) 826 9287. 6 pm. Rock, Chanson Francaise, Blues. Senegalese food and live music.

Wild Nights Kok BarSF, 1225 Folsom, SF; www.kokbarsf.com. 9pm, $3. With DJ Frank Wild.

SUNDAY 22

ROCK/BLUES/HIP-HOP

Bekah Barnett Martuni’s, Four Valencia, SF; www.urbanminstrel.com. 7pm.

City of Ships, Young Lions, Abstracer Hemlock Tavern. 6pm, $7.

John Lawton Trio Johnny Foley’s. 9pm, free.

Los Boleros Ramp, 855 Terry Francois, SF; www.theramprestaurant.com. 5-8pm.

Rome DNA Lounge. 8pm, $15.

JAZZ/NEW MUSIC

Next Generation of Jazz Orchestra Yoshi’s. 8pm, $10.

Noertker’s Moxie Quartet Cafe Royale, 800 Post, SF; www.caferoyale-sf.com. 7pm, free.

Savanna Jazz Jam Savanna Jazz. 7pm, $5.

Faith Winthrop Bliss Bar, 4026 24 St, SF; www.blissbarsf.com. 4:30-7:30pm, $10.

FOLK/WORLD/COUNTRY

E Family Sigmund Stern Grove, 19th Avenue and Sloat Boulevard, SF; www.sterngrove.org. 2pm, free. Featuring Pete, Sheila E, Juan and Peter Michael Escovedo.

Jack Gilder, Darcy Noonan, Richard Mandel Plough and Stars. 9pm.

Heel Draggers, Merchants of Moonshine Amnesia. 8pm, $7-$10.

Twang Sunday Thee Parkside. 4pm, free. With Devil’s Own, Grief Counselors.

DANCE CLUBS

Dub Mission Elbo Room. 9pm, $6. Dub, dubstep, roots, and dancehall with DJ Sep, Ludichris, and guest Dub Snakkr.

Jock Lookout, 3600 16th St, SF; www.lookoutsf.com. 3pm, $2. Raise money for LGBT sports teams while enjoying DJs and drink specials.

La Pachanga Blue Macaw, 2565 Mission, SF; www.thebluemacawsf.com. 6pm, $10. Salsa dance party with live Afro-Cuban salsa bands.

MONDAY 23

ROCK/BLUES/HIP-HOP

Adventure Playground, Froadz El Rio. 8pm, $5.

Before You Fall, Five Characters In Search of an Exit, Sun Sets Here Brick and Mortar Music Hall. 8pm, $5-$8.

Damir Johnny Foley’s. 9pm, free.

Earl Brothers Amnesia. 6pm.

Reel Big Fish, Big D and the Kids Table, Suburban Legends, Maxies Regency Ballroom. 7pm, $22.

Religious Girls, Young Lions, Hides Bottom of the Hill. 9pm, $8.

JAZZ/NEW MUSIC

Bossa Nova Tunnel Top, 601 Bush, SF; (415) 722-6620. 8-11:30pm, free. Live acoustic Bossa Nova.

DANCE CLUBS

Death Guild DNA Lounge. 9:30pm, $3-5. Gothic, industrial, and synthpop with Joe Radio, Decay, and Melting Girl.

Krazy Mondays Beauty Bar, 2299 Mission, SF; www.thebeautybar.com. 10pm, free. Hip-hop and other stuff.

M.O.M. Madrone Art Bar. 6pm, free. DJs Timoteo Gigante, Gordo Cabeza, and Chris Phlek playing all Motown every Monday.

Vibes’N’Stuff El Amigo Bar, 3355 Mission, SF; (415) 852-0092. 10pm, free. Conscious jazz and hip-hop from 1960s-early ’90s with DJs Luce Lucy, Vinnie Esparza, and more.

TUESDAY 24

ROCK/BLUES/HIP-HOP

Ava Luna, That Ghost, Youngman Grand Bottom of the Hill. 9pm, $10.

Boca Do Rio Elbo Room. 9pm, $7.

Donna Jean Godchaux Band Brick and Mortar Music Hall. 9pm, $10-$13.

Family Folk Explosion Amnesia. 9:15pm, $5.

Hollow Earth, Heavy Action, Winter Teeth Knockout. 9:30pm, $6.

Seisiun Plough and Stars. 9pm.

Stan Erhart Band Johnny Foley’s. 9pm, free.

System and Station, Brain on Fire, Control-R Hemlock Tavern. 9pm, $7.

“Summer of Love Tour” Slim’s. 8pm, $16. With Allstar Weekend, Honor Society, Namesake.

Two-Tone Steiny & the Cadillacs Biscuits and Blues. 8 and 10pm, $15.

“Wake Up Madagascar” Yoshi’s. 8pm, $20. With Jaojoby, Razia Said, Saramba and Charles Kely.

JAZZ/NEW MUSIC

Marty Eggers Pier 23 Cafe, Embarcadero, SF; (415) 362-5125. 5-8pm.

Andrea Marcovicci Rrazz Room. 7:30pm, $35-$45.

DANCE CLUBS

Eclectic Company Skylark, 9pm, free. DJs Tones and Jaybee spin old school hip hop, bass, dub, glitch, and electro.

Post-Dubstep Tuesdays Som., 2925 16th St, SF; (415) 558-8521.10pm, free. DJs Dnae Beats, Epcot, Footwerks spin UK Funky, Bass Music.

Study Hall John Colins Lounge, 138 Minna, SF; www.johncolins.com. 9pm. Hip-hop, dancehall, and Bay slaps with DJ Left Lane.

Heads Up: 7 must-see concerts this week

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Use a selection of mixtapes as a base crust, add a pinch of sweet Young Magic, some crunchy Grass Widow(s), extract of Phono Del Sol and warm Summer Soul, along with a creamy dollop of pastoral My Best Fiend. What have you got? The week in San Francisco sound pie. Stick a fork in it.

Unfortunately, that recipe was supposed to include two spicy shakes of the flamenco passion of Charo, but she had to cancel her Yoshi’s shows this week due to illness. Here’s wishing her a speedy recovery. Check out this sexy video to see what we’ll be missing. Heartbreaking, really.

But don’t let it bring you down. Here are your must-see Bay Area concerts this week/end:

Young Magic
Last time Australian electronic-psych trio Young Magic swung through town, then opening for Youth Lagoon, we declared them a band to watch. Here’s your chance, don’t blow it.
With Quilt, Shock
Tue/17, 8pm, $10-$12
Rickshaw Stop
155 Fell, SF
(415) 861-2011
www.rickshawstop.com
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ydYhTG4LbI

Churches
Local power-pop trio Churches (with members of Rogue Wave, Port O’Brien, and Grand Lake) channels reflections of the past, those rough, alienating, fresh hell years of high school in the loud grunge angst of the ’90s.
With Waters, Tijuana Panthers, Chasms
Wed/18, 9pm, $10-$12
Brick and Mortar Music Hall
1710 Mission, SF
(415) 800-8782
www.brickandmortarmusic.com
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dztzf2Z8Nw8

Mixology, Mixtapes and Remixes
More of an event than a straight-forward show, Mixology, Mixtapes, and Remixes does still have a rough sonic edge: music swapping, DJs, live music. The San Francisco Mixtape Society (recently profiled in SFBG) is hosting a swap, so bring a mixtape, CD, or USB stick inspired by the creepy/sensual theme of “night creatures.” There’ll be DJ remixing by Friendzone, Yalls, and Giraffage; along with performances by ethereal Heathered Pearls and Gorillaz co-founder Dan the Automator.
With Push the Feeling (epicsauce DJs and YR SKULL) 
Thu/19, 6pm, $10-$12
California Academy of Sciences
55 Music Concourse, SF
(415) 379-8000
calacademy.org
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rKw58G4APDc

Grass Widow
Its been called out here before as an absolute must-see, apologies. However this is the official album release party, so…go, celebrate Internal Logic with this harmonizing local post-punk trio. And read our interview with the band in this week’s issue.
With American Splits, Wax Idols, the Worlds Longest Guitar Solo with Breaks
Fri/20, 9pm, $10–$12
Rickshaw Stop
155 Fell, SF
www.rickshawstop.com
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=meCV2sfThYA

Summer Soul Friday Night
San Francisco has a way of letting us float through a teenage Shangri-La, well into adulthood. Summer Soul Friday Night, hosted by the Bold Italic and Dusty Stax, sounds as though it will vibe like the Enchantment Under the Sea meets Motormouth Maybelle’s record store. There’ll be sharp-dressed young men in ties and ladies in skirts or dresses (as required) swaying to the soulful punch of the Gold Star Band, lead by Quinn DeVeaux and featuring guest star crooners Carletta Sue Kay, Paula Frazer, Tahlia Harbour of Sonny and the Sunsets, and Freddie Hughes, among others. Also included: Dick and Sama of Rooky Ricardo’s spinning vinyl, and a summer cocktail by Templeton Rye.
Fri/20, 8pm, $30
Verdi Club
2424 Mariposa, SF
summersoulfridaynight.eventbrite.com
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sRHgav4AoCc

Phono Del Sol Music and Food Festival
Phono Del Sol returns this weekend, and the price is still right:  just $7 to $10 max (unless you go VIP) for the pleasure of chilling in the grass with pals while rollicking locals Fresh & Onlys, sincere globe-trotters Unknown Mortal Orchestra, and Santa Barbara synth-and-flute freaks Gardens & Villa fill the park with sweet music. Produced by the Bay Bridged blog, this year’s curated lineup also includes Vivian Girl Katy Goodman’s shimmery solo effort La Sera, along with Northern California bred acts such as Dominant Legs, Sea of Bees, and Mwahaha.
Noon-6pm. $7–$10.
Potrero Del Sol Park
25th Street at Utah, SF
www.phonodelsol.com
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GaUDCpTxmj4

My Best Fiend
“My Best Fiend cranks out pastoral ballads of human frailty that mutate slyly into psychedelic, space-bound epics. The Brooklyn outfit’s debut full-length, In Ghostlike Fading, emanates a distinctly ’70s vibe, recalling the heady propulsion of Pink Floyd’s looser, slower jams; the stoned disillusionment of David Crosby’s If I Could Only Remember My Name; the sun-drenched melancholy of Neil Young’s Harvest.”  — Taylor Kaplan
With White Cloud
Sat/21, 9pm, $10
Brick & Mortar
1710 Mission, SF
(415) 800-8782
www.brickandmortarmusic.com
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7P61iJ_I4i8