Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Your Daily Lick: Jef Stott

Saracen (Six Degrees Records)

by Nate Seltenrich
Wed, Apr 30, 2008 at 12:41 PM

Worldly musician, producer, and DJ Jef Stott blends electronics with Middle Eastern instruments (most played by him) and occasional guest vocals. As far as club fare goes, his concoctions are closer to the source than most, showing deep respect for other cultures in their presentation to Western audiences.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Your Daily Lick: The Child Readers

Music Heard Far Off (Soft Abuse)

by Nate Seltenrich
Tue, Apr 29, 2008 at 12:40 PM

To call them experimental wouldn't quite be fair; the Child Readers seem to know exactly what they're doing. Unsuspecting listeners, however, won't have a clue. The songs are mostly sounds, the melodies are barely there, and words such as "chorus" and "verse" are of no use. Understand that and you're halfway there. To call them experimental wouldn't quite be fair; the Child Readers seem to know exactly what they're doing. Unsuspecting listeners, however, won't have a clue. The songs are mostly sounds, the melodies are barely there, and words such as "chorus" and "verse" are of no use. Understand that and you're halfway there.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Amy Winehouse Coming to Berkeley

Mon, Apr 28, 2008 at 7:25 PM

Barring any issues with visas, rehab, or her pending divorce, Amy Winehouse will perform at Berkeley's Greek Theatre on August 1, according to Ticketmaster.com. Tickets, which will cost between $39.50 and $79.50, go on sale this Sunday, May 4 at 10 a.m. Scalpers everywhere are celebrating.

Your Daily Lick: Ruffians

Desert of Tears (Old School Metal Records)

by Nate Seltenrich
Mon, Apr 28, 2008 at 12:39 PM

Metal has always been fond of its past, ceaselessly (and unironically) worshipping early architects while embracing most new acts to tap vintage sounds. Berkeley's Ruffians, formed in 1983 and recently reunited, are simultaneously the real thing and faithful revivalists: The perfect storm?

Friday, April 25, 2008

Your Daily Lick: Five Cent Coffee

Bourbon & Beans (self-released)

by Nate Seltenrich
Fri, Apr 25, 2008 at 12:38 PM

My baby don't shop at Maybelline/She's got a natural beauty like a hobo in the gutter drinkin' gasoline, from opening track "My Baby," makes a fine calling card for Five Cent Coffee's irreverent, minimalist country sound. Equally telling is the trio's sparse deployment of washboard, melodeon, kazoo, and "17½ lb. chain."

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Armageddon Exhibit A: "Smell Yo Dick"

It couldn't be ... yes, it is

by Nate Seltenrich
Wed, Apr 23, 2008 at 2:34 PM

Cheers to 2008, for it has brought us something we never thought possible: a catchy, radio-friendly R&B/hip-hop ditty called "Smell Yo Dick." The story goes like this: if you suspect your man is sleeping around on you, all you gotta do is smell his dick! The chorus follows thusly: Why you comin' home at five in the mornin' / Somethin's goin' on, can I smell yo dick?. Riskay coos sweetly, but firmly enough to suggest she will sniff that dick. Guest rappers and embattled lovers Aviance and Real trade their sides of the story while that irresistible "smell yo dick" hook bounces in the ether ... until Riskay brings it back home, again and again. True beauty, and a sure sign that American pop-culture is either enlightened or doomed. Watch the video here or follow the jump for the embedded footage.

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Your Daily Lick: Julia Francis

Lucky Penny (No Shrinking Violet)

by Nate Seltenrich
Wed, Apr 23, 2008 at 1:01 PM

Not just another pop-rock singer-songwriter record, but close. Francis' self-indulgent kiss-and-tells, however eloquently expressed, don't help. They are thankfully more than redeemed by a proficient cast of session musicians who provide invaluable accompaniment on guitar, bass, and drums.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Your Daily Lick: Stegosaurus Rex

The Dino Soars (Unfun Records)

by Nate Seltenrich
Tue, Apr 22, 2008 at 1:00 PM

Opening track "East Bay Kickback" says it all, with promise of slick electro jams bearing few vocals and no hang-ups. Some cuts, such as "Polar" and "Fleeting Disco Do" pump the energy up to club levels. Most hit the sweet spot between relaxed and ready-to-go - a good place to be, but tough to sustain for seventy minutes.

Jay-Z Concert Actually Happens, Mary J. Steals the Show

by Rachel Swan
Tue, Apr 22, 2008 at 10:31 AM

Rapper Jay-Z descended on Oakland's Oracle Arena last night for a much-anticipated show with queen of R&B Mary J. Blige and over-hyped "ghetto falsetto" opener The-Dream. (How the "ghetto falsetto" craze got started is really anybody's guess, but please, someone, make it stop). Complete with fiery geysers, splashy video projections, staged dramatizations of the break-up songs, guest appearances by Memphis Bleek, and yes, a real live band with real horns and a real R&B string section, the show was a typical blow-out affair.

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Blues-Rock Duo the Wood Brothers Perform Tonight at Cafe du Nord

by Rachel Swan
Tue, Apr 22, 2008 at 9:31 AM

Sometimes flat and folksy, sometimes raggedy and guttural, Boulder-raised duo the Wood Brothers fall in the same vein as groups like the Black Keys: slack, bluesy guitar melodies, acoustic sonority, raw vocals that lend extra gravitas to songs about love and loneliness and the passage of time. Considering their divergent backgrounds -- bassist Chris Wood came up in the New York jazz scene, while his brother Oliver played guitar in Atlanta and adopted a much rootsier style -- theses guys show a level of musical depth that's unparalleled in mainstream rock.

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