Music interview

Here are some things that happen when you interview hip-hop legend Biz Markie during a promotional celebrity appearance at an A's game

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Tonight's game starts at 7:05, at which point Biz Markie, the “clown prince of hip-hop,” most famous for his hit sing-songy single “Just a Friend,” off the 1989 album The Biz Never Sleeps, will be throwing out the first pitch against the Houston Astros.

This particular game, the evening of July 23, also falls on the A’s 15th annual Root Beer Float Day, a beloved tradition that raises money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation by having A’s players, coaches, announcers, the staffs of several radio stations, and celebs of various stature (Real World cast members) scoop and serve root beer floats at $2 each for two hours before the first pitch. Read more »

Carletta Sue Kay on strip clubs, literature, and dumpster-diving after art exhibits

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Not long after I sat down with Randy Walker, the male, non-performing ego of one of San Francisco's most undefinable musical acts, vocal powerhouse Carletta Sue Kay (who performs at The Chapel this Fri/25), we talked a bit about college. Walker asked me the prerequisite questions about the social scene and my major, perking up at the sound of a humanities-centric discipline. I asked if he’d done the whole college thing. Read more »

Thick as blood: Sibling duo Broods are the next kiwis on the rise

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“Kiwis tend to hold back and be too humble. They don’t want to be over-confident, but I think people are starting to realize that a little bit of confidence can go quite well,” says Caleb Nott, the elder brother of the sibling sensation from New Zealand known as Broods. He sits comfortably next to his sister, Georgia, in the back of The Independent, several hours before their show.Read more »

Telegenic Band Check: Corpus Callosum

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SFBG videographer Ariel Soto-Suver met local SF band and performance troupe, Corpus Callosum, in their studio to record a live set and learned all about their love of video game music.

Think this is Judas Priest's final concert? You've got another thing coming

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With some of the most memorable and recognizable heavy metal anthems ever put to tape or performed live, Judas Priest has been at the forefront of the scene for some 40 years now. Featuring singer Rob Halford’s piercing vocals, the twin guitar attacks of Glenn Tipton and K.K. Downing, and the rock solid rhythm section of Ian Hill and Scott Travis, the band has come a long way from its humble beginnings in Birmingham, England, where it earned the moniker, “Metal Gods.” Read more »

Big Harp on writing lyrics, Saddle Creek, and touring with kids

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I listened to Big Harp's debut album, White Hat, without any preconceived notions, and fell in drippy, folky, love. I fell into the slight country twang and gentle plucking of baritone singer-guitarist Chris Senseney, and the sweet backing vocals of bassist Stefanie Drootin-Senseney. Read more »

We want the airwaves: KFJC's birthday party

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At 8 p.m. on Oct. 20, 1959, the first words spoken on local college radio station KFJC came pumping through the air waves. It was station manager Bob Ballou, operating from a broom closet at the old Foothill Junior College campus in Mountain View. In the decades that followed, the station has grown known for its eclectic show lineup and in-house concerts: Noothgrush, Exhumed, and Foxtails Brigade, among so many others. Read more »

Feminist dance pop: Q&A with MEN's JD Samson

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Just as she did with Le Tigre, JD Samson blurs the lines between feminist theory and modern pop music with her most recent musical endeavor, MEN. The experimental art-pop band, which began in 2007, is a collective with fellow Le Tigren Johanna Fateman – among others – that's as subversive as it is danceable. Read more »

The instruments of my life: Q&A with Beirut's Zach Condon

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Zach Condon, the pied piper of Beirut, is known for a great many things – his quavering voice and heart-tugging music (watch the new video for “Santa Fe” and try not to weep, I dare you), the global journeys on which he embarked to gain such a worldly sound, and, perhaps above all else, his skilled takes on an array of string and horn instruments. He employs their use to enable listeners an audio-vacation: the far corners of Eastern Europe and the Balkans, to the chateaus of French chansons, to his mariachi-filled hometown of Santa Fe, New Mexico.

As Beirut's two Bay Area shows this weekend (at the Fox Theater in Oakland and the Independent in SF) are very, very sold out, I'm assuming there are a few of you out there grasping tickets as you read this. And if not, there are always scalpers (note: we do not condone buying from scalpers). Read more »

Sound and environment: Moving beyond tropical bass with Chief Boima

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A couple weeks ago I shot a long-winded email to former Bay Area DJ and producer Chief Boima. I had just finished speaking to Dun Dun of the Los Rakas crew for what eventually became this article, and he mentioned an upcoming EP with former Bay Area DJ and producer Boima. Now, if you don’t know about Boima, you need to get acquainted with the Banana Clipz digital funk on Ghetto Bassquake (for free download, too). It’s a joint instrumental album between Boima and Oro 11 of Bersa Discos that merges electronic architectonics with rhythms, melodies, and sound bits from the African diaspora.
Enough of that, though -- Boima withstood my long-windedness, and after a couple exchanges, he did all the explaining. Read more »