You should go to Culture Collide tonight

Last night, the first night of Culture Collide, was TONS of fun. I saw Dune Rats (from Australia), Takeoffs & Landings (from Peru), Kamp! (from Poland), Alphabetics (from Costa Rica), Dorine Levy (from Israel), Cloud Nothings (from USA) and Sampology (from Australia).

I’d never heard of most of them, and they were all TONS of fun. And it’s soooo great being able to just bop from club to club up and down Valencia and happen upon killer bands from all over the world.

Check out this jam by Alphabetics:

Check out tonight’s lineup and get tickets here.

Riot Grrl radio

DJ JustStella, one of my favorite DJs of all time, tonight on her BFF show Radio Shoe, which focuses on a different theme every Friday night, delves into the storied world of the Riot Grrl movement. Here’s the deal:

Radio Shoe will be hosting CeCi Moss, the curator of the upcoming Riot Grrl exhibition at YBCA “Alien She” that opens October 25th. She, as well as Dayv Jones, San Francisco’s foremost Riot Grrrl historian, will be giving a bit of a history of the movement, chatting about putting the show together, and playing some hard to find tracks from their personal vinyl collections.

Tune in at 8:00! Or peruse the Radio Shoe episode archives whenever.

Violent Femmes return to San Francisco

The Violent Femmes are playing the Fillmore tomorrow night for what I believe is their first SF show in a long time. After a long hiatus, they went back on tour together last year – they played Coachella this spring, as well as BottleRock Festival in Napa in 2013 (which I saw and was so good), but this will be their first San Francisco proper gig in recent history. You can get tickets and info here. Also, to get yourself pumped up for the show, watch Violent Femmes play “Add It Up” in 1988.

San Francisco is Sondre Lerche’s favorite city in America

I have been listening to Sondre Lerche’s music for over ten years, which is a very long time for me. Since 2001, Sondre has released eight diverse, genre-spanning albums, including the jazz-inspired Duper Sessions, and two film soundtracks, including a haunting score for The Sleepwalker, a 2014 film directed by his recent ex-wife Mona Fastvold and starring Christopher Abbott (Charlie on Girls). I have seen him perform at The Fillmore, Swedish American Hall (RIP), Great American Music Hall, Bimbo’s, and a handful of places in Austin, Texas. I have seen him perform solo, with a full band, and everything in between; whatever the configuration, he always impresses with his distinct voice and shredding guitar.

Sondre’s latest album, Please, dropped a few weeks ago. Please was written in the aftermath of his divorce with Fastvold, and with it, he reinvents himself again. The album’s first single, “Bad Law,” was one of my top summer jams, combining a super charismatic dance riff with chunks of distorted guitar.

This Thursday, Sondre Lerche is playing at The Independent. I had the pleasure of chatting with Sondre about his record, upcoming tour, the color of his music, the idea of guilty pleasures, and why San Francisco is his favorite city in America.

Tell us a little bit about your newest record, Please. I read that it was heavily inspired by your recent divorce. What was your process like? How was it conceived?

SL: I started out wanting to free myself from the regular recording cycle. I just wanted to do one song at a time, to be able to record instantaneously and enter into collaborations without having to carry the weight of the whole record. I just wanted to open up a bit. I usually write really thorough songs that limit what you can do in the studio, so I tried to open myself up to surprise, to surprising myself. There was a lot of music I was listening to that I realized comes out of a completely different process, and I was curious about what that is. So that’s how it started, and as I wrote more and more songs, I thought I knew what the record was about. And then all this stuff happened in my private life, that just forced me to reevaluate a lot of things. One of them was what this record was about; all of these other songs just started coming. I realized that certain things were more urgent than others, and the album just changed. I think it came out of the necessity of ventilating and trying to find reason in what is happening to you. And the studio is just the perfect place to figure out stuff, to get it out. I guess it’s a cliché, but it turns out it’s real.

MM: The first song on the record, “Bad Law,” is such a great dance song, despite being quite dark lyrically. What is that song about?

SL: It’s a song that took a lot of time to write. It started with that riff, and then I recorded the bass and drums, which was new – I usually start out with guitar. I had this idea of the sort of paranoia you feel when you pass through customs. As a Norwegian flying into the States, even though I now have a green card and have nothing to hide, I always feel a certain paranoia. So I wanted to play around with that ritual, where you feel so watched and pressured, that in the end you started doubting yourself, and maybe you do have something to hide. Maybe that’s how the police get people to confess things that they didn’t do. In the end, you’re just so worn down. It felt like a reasonable metaphor in the context of the record and everything else.


Fun New Find: Jessica Hernandez & The Deltas

In a shady nook at the Porch Stage (the best stage) this weekend at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass fest, I was impressed by a soulful rock band from Detroit called Jessica Hernandez & The Deltas, who were perfectly described as “think Gwen Stefani meets Amy Winehouse” (thanks Ty). She had all the 90s fashion spunk of Gwen, and the sexy dark retro vibe of Amy, and a powerful voice and dance moves to match it. Behind Jessica was a band of young guys, including a trombonist, playing upbeat and highly danceable music. The crowd went wild for them, and they even made an older drunk couple grind erotically. FUN!

Listen to them here.

Another highly honorable mention of the day was 21-year-old Oklahoma native Parker Millsap, who played soulful, crooning ballads that were brought to energetic life with his honky tonky band and his rockabilly moves. Check him out!

DJ Purple jamming live on stage with ‘LCD Soundsystem’

He managed to mix a little “Careless Whisper” into “Daft Punk Is Playing at My House.” An epic surprise at an all-around epic final LCD show by North American Scum. (But they’ll be back soon with a Talking Heads show.)

[via Simon]

LCD Soundsystem cover band playing its final show as LCD Soundsystem this Saturday at El Rio

If you’re anything like me, when you heard the news LCD Soundsystem was splitting up and playing one big final show at Madison Square Garden, you immediately booked a trip to New York and sat on Stubhub for hours trying to get tickets. And hopefully, like me, you didn’t fall prey to scalpers and instead got tickets to a couple of the much more intimate second-, third-, fourth-, and fifth-to-last shows at Terminal 5. And then you had an awesome time seeing the band perform at its bittersweet peak.

And then, if you’re still like me, you were waaaaay stoked to learn there was an LCD Soundsystem cover band operating in SF, and even stokeder to learn that they were actually really good. And finally, if you’re like me, you got to relive the bummer all over again when North American Scum announced their final show, which is this weekend in the Mission.

But, they’re still awesome, and El Rio is a helluva lot more intimate than MSG or Terminal 5. Let’s party! Advance tickets are apparently going fast, and it’s kind of a small room, so get yours (only $8) here!

When startups go TOO far


Some words are just too sacred, and mean so much to so many people, that they shouldn’t have to undergo the indignity of being appropriated in order to woo the fortunes of some narcissistic VC. As our pal Eric put it:

Seriously?!? Can’t they just call it kloosh or something? Jesus Christ.

If someone ever tries to raise seed money for a startup called Dune, I’m going to go all Muad’Dib on their asses.


Tomorrow is the Bay Area Record Fair at Thee Parkside – Should be fun!

Psychedelia holds reign at The Fillmore

I’m going to tell you a secret: last night was my first time ever going to The Fillmore.

And seeing English psych-rock band Temples, with opening band Wampire (Portland), seemed quite appropriate, as the groovy light/bubble show oozed behind the stage. The only thing is that it made me wish I was 1) on drugs, and 2) actually seeing one of the many original bands that Temples’ sound replicates (Byrds, The Doors, etc).  Something about the whole experience seemed like a 60s Psychedelic Rock Revue. Once I got over that, it was a good time.

Things I was told to be excited about at the Fillmore:

a) Bucket of Apples to eat – Check!

b) Poster Room – Check!