Free Salamander Exhibit Restores Our Faith in Prog-Rock Freakery and Costumes at Bottom of the Hill, 3/1/14

free-salamander-exhibit-550.jpg
Free Salamander Exhibit at Bottom of the Hill
Free Salamander Exhibit
Black Map
Lasher Keen
Saturday, March 1, 2014
Bottom of the Hill

Better than: Lamenting the demise of progressive guitar rock in the twenty-teens.

Sleepytime Gorilla Museum was the last of a venerated avant-rock movement that put the Bay Area on the map. When the band called it quits in 2011, it seemed like a whole avenue in contemporary music was being closed with them. That kind of sprawling, cinematic, heavy rock band with high production values was, as you might imagine, a challenging endeavor to sustain given the number of ears it reached. Couple that with times so lean, even "mainstream" artists who can sell their songs to car commercials are griping about dough, and, well, it's just an untenable way to operate these days.

But if tonight's show at Bottom of the Hill was anything to be believed, art rock isn't dead, it's just under construction. Members of Sleepytime Gorilla Museum graced us with their new endeavor, Free Salamander Exhibit, and though it's decidedly paired down next to their previous project, what matters -- the crunchy, skewed sonic aspects -- remain intact. Meanwhile, a younger generation is donning costumes and re-animating the corpse of the creative fool's errand.


More »

Mark Kozelek Asserts His Glorious, Terrifying Humanity at Great American Music Hall, 3/1/14

DAZ_5291-Kozelek-web-1.jpg
Debra A. Zeller
Mark Kozelek at Great American Music Hall on Saturday.
An evening with Mark Kozelek
Saturday, March 1, 2014
Great American Music Hall

Better than: Jesus' Son: The Musical

One of the most heavy-handed Significant Message scenes in the new Robocop is the one where this guy -- a vet, presumably -- has just been outfitted with new robotic prosthesis-hands and is trying to play classical guitar again for the first time since losing his hands while esteemed robotic prosthesis doctor Gary Oldman looks on dotingly. The prosthesis-hands work great at first, but then the guy is so overwhelmed -- with gratitude, presumably -- that he starts to fuck up "Concierto de Aranjuez," so Gary Oldman's lab tech turns down the guy's emotional rawness levels or whatever. But the guy still can't play it right and now he's frustrated in addition to overwhelmed, and Gary Oldman or his lab tech tries to explain that he should just calm down because his emotions are interfering with the function of the prosthesis-hands. And the guy is like -- Significant Message alert -- "I need emotion to play."

I bring this up because, well, what do you think goes through Mark Kozelek's head when he sits on stage performing, or sits at home writing, these almost objectively beautiful songs that are almost always about either learning of somebody's death or failing to find love in a sustainably requited or redemptive form? (Also because, come to think of it, Kozelek makes cameos in movies sometimes, and what if the presumable vet in Robocop had been him? (Also, what do you think the odds are that Mark Kozelek's next album will include a song about learning of Paco de Lucía's death? R.I.P., Paco de Lucía.))


More »

Real Estate Conjures a California Sound at the Independent, 2/28/14

real-estate-indy-1.jpg
Real Estate at the Independent on Friday.
Real Estate
The Shilohs
Dream Boys
Friday, Feb. 28, 2014
The Independent

Better than: Real Estate with 10 fewer songs.

Sometimes it's easy to forget that Real Estate isn't a San Francisco (or at least California) band. Its sound -- that singular Real Estate Sound -- is clean guitar tones and vaguely wistful vocal melodies, a musical accompaniment to a Pacific Ocean sunset as it turns from orange to pink to purple to twilight blue. Onstage Saturday at the Independent, bassist Alex Bleeker gives the band away with his effusive praise for the city of San Francisco. Praise like that these days only comes from outsiders looking in.

But, for a night, let's pretend that the New Jersey quintet is Californian. After all, we are at a Noise Pop show, a sold out one at that, and it just wouldn't be proper to miss out on the local acts playing all over town tonight (local acts like Dominant Legs, who will open for Real Estate tomorrow night, at least for everyone who takes the 8 p.m. start time seriously). Actually, scratch that. The local acts are important, but let's remember: San Francisco is a destination. The best bands don't always have to be from here, because they're damn sure going to come here. And Noise Pop is as much about the bands from the local scene as it is about the bands who are honored to take part in this often magical indie-rock festival -- which could very well be older than some of the people in the room tonight.


More »

Mother Falcon on Orchestral Rock, Making it, and Touring For Love, Not Money

Mother-Falcon-550.jpg
That is a lot of Mother Falcon people.
"Chamber rock" just doesn't seem like an adequate description of what sprawling Austin outfit Mother Falcon does. Sure, the band uses strings and brass -- and guitars and drums and vocals -- in its cinematic, fiery, sublime compositions. And the group does structure songs into choruses and verses, the way a rock band might. But, well, you'd need a rather big chamber to fit all 21 or 23 official members of Mother Falcon. And "rock' feels limiting here -- given all those players and their instruments, Mother Falcon's sonic textures reach ethereal and mighty places rock bands can only go when they hire an orchestra. So: Orchestral rock? Chamber pop? But then who cares? Mother Falcon is just interesting, which explains a sharp upward trajectory of late, propelled by NPR discovering the group last year at South By Southwest. The group headlines the Chapel this Thursday, Feb. 27, with Foxtails Brigade for a Noise Pop show. Ahead of that, we spoke with tenor sax player Andrew Fontenot about touring with more than a dozen musicians, what "success" means, and what to expect at the Chapel this week.


More »

Listen: Adam From James & Evander Launches Pale Blue Dot, a New Space Disco Project

pale-blue-dot-550.jpg
Pale Blue Dot
If you don't know, now you know: We are big fans of sublime East Bay electronic bummer pop outfit James & Evander. We also tend to like other musical projects that J&E's Glenn Jackson and Adam Myatt get involved in -- like the brand-new group Pale Blue Dot, a trio that specializes in what the members call "Carl Sagan disco." Think of space disco, but with a heavy dose of retro-futurism and a distinctly optimistic tint to the songs' slowly unfolding electronic layers. Pale Blue Dot's debut EP, available on Bandcamp (as well as limited edition cassette, natch), will appeal to fans of easygoing ambient electronic music in the vein of Tycho, as well as anyone coming down from a Todd Terje high:


More »

Noise Pop Announces 2014 Headquarters at The New Black

Categories: Noise Pop

noise-pop-2014-grab.jpg
So the Noise Pop Festival is a series of indie-focused shows that takes place at the end of February in San Francisco. Right? Well, yes, but this year the festival is morphing into something else as well. Organizers just announced what will be the "centerpiece" of this year's event: the Noise Pop Headquarters, a big space that will host film screenings, live shows, happy hour parties, brunches, exhibits, clothing markets, and more.

The "Headquarters" is really the existing warehouse of the New Black, an art gallery/design space in the Mission that Noise Pop will be taking over from Feb. 25 to March 2. Events at the space will include a Feb. 26 screening of Our Vinyl Weighs a Ton: This Is Stones Throw Records, followed by a show with label founder Peanut Butter Wolf, J. Rocc, and other Stones Throw artists. The music/video website Yours Truly will be exhibiting pictures, video portraits, and letters on March 1. There's more interesting-sounding stuff, too -- here's the lineup:


More »

Noise Pop Adds to 2014 Lineup: the Limousines, Majical Cloudz, Social Studies and More

Categories: Noise Pop

the-limousines-300.jpg
The Limousines
Noise Pop 2014 is barely a month away, but the lineup is still being finished. Organizers just announced the addition of several new artists to the 2014 city-wide indie music festival, including locals the Limousines and Social Studies, Majical Clouz, Audion, Digital Mystikz, DJ Rashad, Kelela, and more. The festival takes place Feb. 25 to March 2, and tickets and badges are available now. Here's the full lineup:


More »

Noise Pop '14 Adds Artists: Com Truise, Shabazz Palaces, Mikal Cronin, and More

Categories: Noise Pop

freshonlys-noise-pop-14-550.jpg
The Fresh & Onlys
Noise Pop today announced yet more additions to the lineup for next month's 22nd edition of the citywide indie rock festival. Notable names include Seattle avant-hip-hop duo Shabazz Palaces, rockers the Fresh & Onlys and Mikal Cronin, plus Com Truise, El Ten Eleven, the Donkeys and more. Here is the full lineup for the festival, which runs from Feb. 25 to March 2 at various clubs around the city:


More »

Noise Pop Adds Real Estate, Dr. Dog, Throwing Muses, and More to 2014 Lineup

Categories: Noise Pop

Real-Estate-Woodsist-1-a.jpg
Real Estate performing in Big Sur in 2012.
February is getting ever closer, and so is the full lineup for the Noise Pop festival's 22nd year. Organizers today announced another batch of bands for 2014, including Real Estate, Throwing Muses, Dr. Dog, Cold Cave, and many more. Also announced today is the festival's film lineup, which includes Mistaken for Strangers, about the National, and Revenge of the Mekons, about the legendary cult British post-punk outfit. Check out what's on tap for various Bay Area venues next Feb. 25 through March 2:


More »

Noise Pop Announces First Names for 2014 Festival: Mark Kozelek, Bob Mould, and More

Categories: Noise Pop

image005.jpg
Ferris Plock
The end of Treasure Island marks the official conclusion of the warm-weather festival season in S.F., which means -- you guessed it -- it's already time to start getting ready for next year. Noise Pop today announced the first batch of artists for its namesake 2014 festival, which will take place in clubs across the city from Feb. 25 to March 2, 2014. Here they are:


More »

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

Drink

©2014 SF Weekly, LP, All rights reserved.
Loading...