Mae Powell makes bitter sweet with “Fuck I.C.E.”

They say that ignorance is bliss, but that's only true for the ignorant. Those who are suffering because they have been marginalized, disenfranchised, and discriminated will still exist wether we're aware of their stories or not. That's why it's so important that we continually reach out to others, spread consciousness, and take action. San Francisco-based singer-songwriter Mae Powell, addresses this with her new single, "Fuck I.C.E." On the surface, "Fuck I.C.E." sounds like the perfect music to roller skate to. It sounds like summertime and soft-serve ice cream and sun-drenched beaches. It's smooth with these very ropey guitar hooks that [...]

By |April 19, 2021|Tags: |

Local Book Release: ‘In Defense of Ska’ by Aaron Carnes

Do you like ska? More importantly, would you admit to liking ska? Ska, a music with a delightfully checkered past, started Jamaica in the 1950s, moved across the pond to the UK for the 2-Tone revival, and then enjoyed some commercial success in the late 1980s and 1990s. Everyone I knew in the 90s owned a Clueless soundtrack purely for track 10: "Where'd You Go" by The Mighty Mighty BossToneS. Though ska had a slow-burn rise to widespread popularity, its exit was quick...and brutal. In recent years, ska has been the butt of many jokes, and this brilliant art form [...]

By |April 12, 2021|Tags: , |

SFCM and SF Symphony announce Emerging Black Composers Project

The San Francisco Conservatory of Music (SFCM) and San Francisco Symphony are partnering for a major new initiative, The Emerging Black Composers Project. The project aims to support the development of Black American composers who are early in their career. Composers selected to be a part of the project will collectively produce 10 new works in 10 years, with the first commission debuting in the 2021-2022 season. The project is part of larger plan from SFCM, which also encompasses a partnership with the SFCM President’s Advisory Council on Equity and Inclusion. “San Francisco Conservatory of Music is embarking on a series of ambitious [...]

Tim Presley to release new book: ‘Under the Banner of Concern’

(photo:Ruth Swanson) "I guess now we’re all living in those old paintings of people lying around on couches doing nothing with their boobs out." - Dana Berger, actress and Tweeter Yes, Dana. I'm here. When I'm not working, I'm doing nothing. If I didn't have a roommate, these boobs would be OUT. The pandemic has taken away so many things. Though artists have tried to get creative with online streaming platforms and bring performances into people's homes, the substitution only reminds some of us about the vast distance between our wants and our gots. I want to feel the bass [...]

By |August 11, 2020|Tags: |

KnightressM1 debuts “Polarity Integrate”

Oakland-based trio KnightressM1 debuted their new video for single "Polarity Integrate" on July 10. The video offers a combination of disparate images alongside heavy instrumentals. Lead vocalist and violinist Emily Palen performs musical alchemy by transforming her violin into the sounds typical of a rock guitar with hints every once in a while of the true nature of the instrument. This isn't a gimmicky move on Palen's part: The sounds she produces are unique and don't fall squarely in the guitar or violin camps, which is also true of the arrangement of the song. The chorus has the typical build [...]

By |July 16, 2020|Tags: |

Review + Photos: The New Pornographers at the Fillmore

The New Pornographers (photo: Patric Carver) What is the deal with The New Pornographers? Are they, like the proverbial goldfish that grows to fit the size of its tank, going to continue to expand in both musicianship and creativity forever and ever? Not to mention their sheer numbers? Starting off as a six-piece and now up to an eight-piece with Dan Bejar waiting in the wings as a "former (possibly future) member," I imagine that the personnel roster of The Pornographers is eventually going to read like the listing off of some fundamentalist Christian family's offspring, adding a new one [...]

Beyond The Bay: Silversun Pickups at Ace of Spades

Silversun Pickups (photo: Patric Carver) Silversun Pickups played to a sold-out crowd at Ace of Spades. Security was very tight, and there was a line winding around the block to get in for the entirety of the opening band's set. However, the wait and the copious security checks proved to be worth it. The Pickups played a beefy set that contained all of the songs that fans wanted to hear. It was an amazing night. The Pickups are masters of distortion. It's massive and overwhelming but in a soothing way. They are the weighted blanket of distortion — consuming and comforting. [...]

By |January 1, 2020|Tags: |

Review + Photos: Peter Hook and the Light at the Fillmore

Peter Hook and The Light (photo: Patric Carver) When I am at the Fillmore, I always like to spend a little time during the show in The Introvert Self-Exclusion Zone — I mean, the poster room. There's a lot of history on the walls, posters representing a fraction of the acts that have graced the Fillmore's famous stage. It's fun to soak up a little nostalgia while the performance in the main room is still washing over me. However, on the November 8 Peter Hook and the Light show, I didn't feel the pull to be surrounded by my old [...]

Review + Photos: Big Wreck at the Bottom of the Hill

Big Wreck (photo: Patric Carver) "Wow. This place is small." This was the most common observation amongst Big Wreck fans gathered at Bottom of the Hill, most of whom seemed to be visiting the space for the first time. Opening act Texas King managed to make the walls of the space seem a little more expansive. The crowd, a general mix of jaded Wreck fans anxious for the main event, met the youthful enthusiasm of Texas King at first with some eye-rolling at their on-stage antics such as jogging in place, Springsteen-style. However, the rock and roll eventually won out [...]

By |October 28, 2019|Tags: |

Review + Photos: Ride at the Regency Ballroom

Ride (photo: Patric Carver) Ride came back to San Francisco to play a packed show at the Regency Ballroom. Opening act Spirit of the Beehive had a bright and beautiful sound that, much like the film they're named for, contained some darker substance upon examination. All of their songs sounded pretty, but there was an overall feeling of longing ever-present in the hum-like vocals and straining guitars. They were a great warm-up act for the dream-pop rockers Ride. Ride has a lot of things going for them, but stamina is definitely what first comes to mind when I think of them. You don't [...]

By |October 17, 2019|Tags: |
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