The four men of Solcraft call their sound "Bay Area style rock," but it's unclear what that means even after a listen to their EP. What one does hear is three songs and twelve minutes of capable, relatively straightforward alt-rock with a crunchy grunge edge, something like Godsmack playing Collective Soul which isn't as bad as it sounds.
Only one pair of panties were thrown at last night's Maxwell show, and it looked like they hadn't been broken in, yet. The panties were extra large and white, styled like floppy little-boy briefs. A phrase stamped across the back became legible when Maxwell stretched out the elastic with his fingers: "I Heart Maxwell."
Granted, panties are expensive, and we're in a recession. They might not have been as expensive as the black brassiere that came flying from another adoring fan. But they're expensive enough to justify not wanting to adulterate your favorite Victoria's Secret G-string and hurl it at the Paramount Theatre stage. No matter how much you love thirty-five-year-old, edgily handsome, multi-platinum-selling Maxwell. No matter what he promised earlier in the evening. (In the middle of his set, Maxwell asked if someone in the audience was planning to lie on top of him later that night. He also dry-humped the floor and said "I'm gonna chop you up like vegetables and eat you like you've never been eaten before."). It didn't even matter that he dedicated "the next song to the future panties that will be on this stage."
Here's a clip of Maxwell singing one of the songs he performed last night, "Fortunate":
Fourteen-minute opener "Magnetic North" emanates creaks, drips, and lasers, courtesy of Applebaum's "mouseketier electroacoustic sound-sculpture." In the extensive liner notes, he stresses the importance of "playing" music like children instead of "performing" as adults. This distinction tells you all you can know about Sock Monkey without actually listening.
A host of Bay Area musicians get together at Yoshi's to honor Louis Armstrong on the day of his birth, from special guests John Coppola and Roger Glenn to vocal jazz mainstay Faye Carol. Adept musicianship, intermittent clips of Louie in conversation, and warm-hearted renditions of old Armstrong favorites make it a keeper.
Don't let the name fool you into expecting some sort of "We Built This City" redux. Rather, this don't-call-it-a-comeback album is a collection of folk and traditional protest songs, including covers of Bob Dylan's "Chimes of Freedom" and Woody Guthrie's "Pastures of Plenty." Paul Kantner, David Freiberg, and even Grace Slick are on board.
Playful, chaotic 21st-century pop music à la Animal Collective and Broken Social Scene - with an emphasis on chaos. Child Bearing Man is willfully uneasy: a little rough, often noisy, occasionally harrowing, but underpinned by the simple joys of melody and rhythm.
This Bay Area quintet's six-song, self-released EP has the feel of an intimate bedroom project. Singer-songwriter leanings, alternative folk, and a bit of early '90s college rock mingle with an unexpected Brit-pop aesthetic, revealed through bright acoustic guitar chords and a slight vocal affect. The songs are unassuming but improve with age.
Enjoy fine tunes by artists featured in this week's music section. Radio Express is your chance to hear the bands we write about!
Submitted by Arlene Harriet Skjerly.
Just because you sing about revolution doesn't mean you're part of one. J. Boogie's sophomore album is certainly fun and features a wide range of local talent including Lyrics Born, MC Zion, and Crown City Rockers. But style doesn't mean substance, and deep down Soul Vibrations is merely a lightweight dalliance of borrowed hip-hop, soul, and world music.