Friday, June 14, 2013

music video race cover story for san francisco bay guardian

Bands on the run

20 Bay Area musical acts + 20 local filmmaking teams = 48 hours of fun, sweat, and music video magic 

In an airy third-floor loft in SOMA, not far from the Sightglass Coffee flagship and an antique mall with a pennant flag twisting out front, 20 filmmaking teams shuffle across a makeshift finish line some time before 8pm Sunday evening. Exhausted, they hold in their hands a digital file, the physical evidence of a brand new project — a joint effort between Bay Area bands, directors, producers, and editors. Something of this magnitude would traditionally take weeks or even months to complete, but in this focused case, it was all completed in a thrilling 48-hour period.
Flash back to the start of the weekend; it's Friday night in the lower-level grotto of Sports Basement on the Mission-Potrero border, and everyone is huddled near complimentary Lagunitas beer. There's a buzzy sense of anticipation. The bands and solo artists — truly diverse in sound and geography — are waiting to hear which filmmaking team they'll be paired with for the remainder of the weekend [...]

Sunday, May 19, 2013

tofu and whiskey: bleached for san francisco bay guardian

Love spells trouble

For Bleached, LA is the city of sisterly love. Plus Stero Total, Mariee Sioux, Mike Patton, more 

TOFU AND WHISKEY The twin star driving forces behind Bleached have been around. Not in a cruising with delinquents kind of way, but that's probably where their music is best blasted — careening down the California coast in a shiny convertible with a shitty ex-lover or two, rooftop down, an open bag of Flamin' Hot Cheetos, lipstick-stained cola can, and the stereo crackling [...]

tofu and whiskey: life coach for san francisco bay guardian

How to make it in rock'n'roll

Phil Manley's Life Coach, Anna Hillburg's solo album, King Khan and BBQ Show return 

TOFU AND WHISKEY "I felt like, if I don't put these songs out, they're just going to fade away," Phil Manley says from the enclosed playground in the Panhandle. He's doing double-duty as an artist on an interview and a father watching his 15-month-old daughter in the park. And he's prepping for a show at the Knockout later in the night [...]

dog park guide for san francisco bay guardian

San Francisco has more dogs than children, which might be a comment on the price of housing — even the largest canine companion doesn't need a bedroom. But with all of those furry beasts seeking exercise in a dense urban area, the city's made a point of finding places for dogs to run, romp, and play — with some success, and some ... well, not such great success [...]

Saturday, May 18, 2013

tofu and whiskey: sparks for san francisco bay guardian

Two men, one spark 

More than 40 years of Sparks, East Bay hip-hop royalty Glam.I.Rock, and UK goth-poppers Esben and the Witch 

TOFU AND WHISKEY It's the B-story scene that rules 1983's Valley Girl. Popped collar-sporting Skip is nervously riding his bike to the suburban home of his preppy high school girlfriend, Suzi — but we the audience know he's more interested in her young step-mom. (He met the feisty Valley mom when she served him sushi at a house party. Gross me out.) It's a palpable moment of orgasmic anticipation — with a surprise twist — that bops along perfectly to the soundtrack: "Eaten By the Monster of Love," by experimental pop duo, Sparks [...]

metal mother cover story for san francisco bay guardian

Precious metal 

With the release of her dark, avant-pop sophomore album, Oakland's Metal Mother is free to pursue her primal side 

MUSIC A lot of elements needed to come together to inspire Metal Mother's new record, Ionika. You can almost picture the woman behind the sobriquet, crouching in some foggy wooded wonderland, scooping up soil and critters, ancient buried treasures of forgotten societies and precious metals. Before we get into specifics, let's slip off the mask. Metal Mother is really, mostly, the glossy coating of one delicate Oakland musician: Taara Tati [...]

tofu and whiskey: golden grrrls for san francisco bay guardian

Name droppers

When you're golden -- Golden Grrrrls -- monikers carry weight 

TOFU AND WHISKEY I was in the back of a tour van in a suburban parking lot once, on a warm summer night, with a dictionary splayed open on my lap. It was still hot enough outside that the back doors of the van were swung open out onto the asphalt, and some of the band members stood outside while the rest of us faced them on the back bench. We were all doing Bible drops into the dictionary, squeezing our eyes shut and trying to let our fingers pick random words to be shoved together into a shiny new band name. Whatever we came up with that night, they scrapped it [...]

michelle shocked rant (web only) for san francisco bay guardian

Alt-folk singer Michelle Shocked goes on homophobic rant, Yoshi's says she won't be back

What is going on with Michelle Shocked? The Texas alt-folk singer-songwriter, formerly known as a leftist-feminist relic of the late 1980s/early '90s, apparently went on a homophobic rant at one of her two Yoshi's shows this past Sunday in San Francisco [...]

tofu and whiskey: stranded and 1-2-3-4 Go! for san francisco bay guardian

Vinyl addicts 

Record shop timeline: Youngster store Stranded hosts a reading, 1-2-3-4 Go! celebrate five years 

TOFU AND WHISKEY "Rock and roll has never been remotely monolithic," early Rolling Stone columnist Greil Marcus writes in the introduction to the 1978 book he edited, Stranded: Rock and Roll for a Desert Island (Da Capo Press). "There have always been countless performers to pin your hopes on; though one may have found identity as a member of an audience, one also found it by staking a place in that audience, defining one's self against it." [...]

tofu and whiskey: pony time for san francisco bay guardian

It's Pony Time!

Seattle's Pony Time just wants to have fun -- LA punks the Bronx, and Dallas gospel-funk act the Relatives will melt faces. Plus: Rank/Xerox at El Rio! 

TOFU AND WHISKEY This week? It's Pony Time. No, that doesn't mean we're taking you to Ikea for meatballs. I'm talking about the band, which will be traveling here soon, and given its predilection toward weird news and pop culture, I feel like it might enjoy the above reference [...]

noise pop 2013 coverage (web only) for san francisco bay guardian

*Noise Pop 2013: Cruel Summer, Lake, and the Blank Tapes at Hemlock
It's a low-key kind of Noise Pop year compared to the past three or four, without the huge, attention-grabbing headliners of yore  (looking at you, Flaming Lips at Bimbo's), but Wednesday's show at the Hemlock Tavern could have been nuzzled in nicely in any very early NP lineups, which is what made it feel authentically true to the inherent spirit of the festival [...]

*Noise Pop 2013: The Thermals and Dirty Ghosts at Rickshaw Stop, Bender's happy hour
I first learned of the Thermals in 2005 from the DVD series, Burn to Shine, in which bands play a house that's set to be demolished. In an unlucky Portland, Oreg. home, the pop punk trio – by then together for just under three years – bounding with energy, played exclusive single "Welcome to the Planet.” That particular Burn to Shine installment also featured live, untouched performances by Sleater-Kinney, Mirah, the Decemberists, and the Gossip. A basic slice of life in Portland that year, all under one soon-to-be-gone roof [...]

bands on the rise 2013 for san francisco bay guardian

Bands on the Rise 2013

Teen surf pop, glam garage, Mission hip-hop, Brazilian shoegaze ... say hello to the vibrant new class of movers and shakers in the Bay Area's diverse music scene 

MUSIC Ask 10 artists the same question, get back a dozen answers. The replies to my very brief questionnaires this year — it's our second annual On the Rise issue — were revealing, like peeling back the skin of a tender orange, or rather fragrant onion [...]

tofu and whiskey: the residents for san francisco bay guardian

Freak show

The Residents talk eyeball masks, $100,000 box sets, and their 40 anniversary tour. Meanwhile, Beak> gets weird(er) 

TOFU AND WHISKEY As Homer Flynn describes to me the Bay Area musical landscape during the time when iconic, experimental music-arts collective the Residents first rolled into town in 1966, I can't help but picture a tiny gold hammer cracking the earth wide open like it was a piñata, with glitter, powdered wigs, freakish masks, oversized eyeballs, and gingerbread men spewing out in a magnificent tangle [...]

tofu and whiskey: brass menažeri, petra haden for san francisco bay guardian

Hello goodbye

It's the end of Brass Menažeri, the 10th anniversary of BAGel Radio, and the start of Petra Haden's foray into a capella film scores. Plus: Pussy Riot Night at City Lights! 

TOFU AND WHISKEY While it'll be hard to say goodbye,Brass Menažeri's founder Peter Jaques might have the best possible reason for dissolving his decade-old, San Francisco band. He got a Fulbright grant to study traditional Greek music — in Greece [...]