Help Out Cardiacs Singer Tim Smith at a Benefit Show This Sunday

Categories: Show To Know

Cardiacs, with Tim Smith in front

You will not find many kind words in big-time music mags about Cardiacs. Since its founding in 1979, this British prog-punk outfit has built a feverish, cult-like fanbase while provoking revile and scorn from most critics (and some listeners as well). The band's fearless blend of punk angst and prog complication -- shifting time signatures, varied tempos, and crazy-tight dynamics -- seems to break a lot of conceptions about genre, and that's partly why it's interesting -- and maybe why it's hated. (Its adventurous sound is also why the band has been cited as an influence by Radiohead, Blur, and Faith No More.)

Despite their relative obscurity and polarizing music, Cardiacs have built a long-lasting career, releasing records through their own quasi-corporation (The Alphabet Business Concern) to this day. That is, until recently: Cardiacs singer Tim Smith, whose blaring (some have said "fucking awful") vocal style is a signature element of the Cardiacs sound -- and who writes a great deal of the music -- suffered a major stroke in 2008. Since then, he has been paralyzed, and is unable able to work on new Cardiacs music. On Sunday, a bunch of creatively minded Bay Area musicians are gathering at Cafe Du Nord to perform songs by the Cardiacs in a benefit show for Smith.

The lineup of talent includes Oakland experimentalist Dominique Leone, avant-percussionist Moe Staiano, art-funk-rock ensemble the Inner Ear Brigade, and electro-cello outfit Amy X Neuburg & her Cello ChiXtet. The benefit show goes down this Sunday at Cafe Du Nord; check here for more about Tim Smith and his stroke.

And for the record, we're with those people who think Cardiacs are brilliant and criminally under-appreciated.

Follow us on Twitter @SFAllShookDown, follow Ian S. Port @iPORT, and like us at

Location Info



Cafe Du Nord

2170 Market, San Francisco, CA

Category: Music

My Voice Nation Help
Sort: Newest | Oldest

I am honoured to be a part of this. With fortune, all will go exceedingly well and we shall have our set recorded and mixed from the board and videoed.

~Marc Laspina ~ Recardiacs Fly


The best band ever to play the face of this earth...ever. Tim will one day get the recognition as the genius he is until then gigs like these are vital for his care.

Well done and good luck from the uk

Karen x

clammy lammy
clammy lammy

God bless your pretty faces. I hope it goes well...


CARDIACS played their music facing an old fashioned clock. They played and some people listened but others were watching the clock and waiting for it to stop. Ticking. The band played on and disregarded the time. The world at large, they still didn't listen. Then suddenly and without warning, the event occurred and the music stopped. The clock sounded louder than ever and people began to notice that the tunes were not playing anymore. They missed them, after all. The clock is too loud.

Fast Robert
Fast Robert

Basic facts about Cardiacs:1. No has ever created music like them before2. The fit more ideas in one song than most bands come up with in their lifetime3. The take a few listens to "get". Unfortunately at first listen they sometimes come off as annoying or chaotic so many listeners never get to that Eureka Moment. This is also why they have a few poor record reviews.4. Love em or hate em, Cardiacs music demands respect. It's beyond intricate, with very unique structures. Tim Smith is the Frank Zappa of England.

Mr Sheridon
Mr Sheridon

THEE best band on the planet, with NO exceptions


Best band ever, and finally getting noticed stateside.

Now Trending

From the Vault



San Francisco Event Tickets
©2014 SF Weekly, LP, All rights reserved.