Trifecta of Love (self-released)
With a sound that ranges from Sonic Youth-like drone rock to charmingly folksy almost-pop in the space of just four songs, Trifecta of Love is an impressive little EP. Vocals are imperfect but in a likeable way, guitars are appealingly jangly. Overall it manages to sound reminiscent of a lot of great bands without being derivative — never an easy feat to pull off.
At Mama Buzz Cafe (2318 Telegraph Ave., Oakland) on April 4. 7 p.m., free
San Francisco band the Papercuts, led by songwriter Jason Quever, have signed to Sub Pop Records, it was announced today. The famed Seattle label plans to release a new record from the band in early 2011. The Papercuts' most recent release was last year's You Can Have What You Want.
Bruce Roehrs (1950-2010) passed away on March 13, and now some local punk bands are helping to raise funds to ensure that the longtime Maximum Rock N Roll columnist will receive a proper memorial. Texas Thieves, Sharp Objects, Ruleta Rusa, and Bad Tickers will play a special benefit show on Friday, Apr. 2, at Thee Parkside. 9:30 p.m., $7. (The show doubles as a release party for Sharp Objects’ new 7-inch.) The memorial service will be held Friday, Apr. 9, at the Columbarium from 1 to 4 p.m. (1 Loraine Court, near the intersection of Stanyan and Anza Streets, just north of Golden Gate Park and directly south of Geary Blvd., SF) and will be open to the public. A show at Thee Parkside will follow the memorial.
California Americana musicians will gather for the first California Telecaster Summit at Cafe du Nord on Friday, April 2. Celebrating the twangy sound of the world’s oldest solid-body Fender guitar will be Jesse Jay Harris, 77 El Deora, Merle Jagger, and East Bay Grease — featuring Drunk Horse’s Eli Eckert, Red Meat’s Michael Montalto, Jason Morgan, bassist Carson Binks, and drummer Raj Kumar. The event also doubles as the release party for East Bay Greases’ new 45 RPM single, “Just Head.” 9 p.m., $10.
A lucky group of several hundred fans, donning black jackets and studded belts, lined the sidewalk outside of Slim’s in San Francisco Thursday night to gain access to an exclusive concert by local punk band-turned-superstars AFI.
“This show is a bit out of the ordinary as the band is definitely playing much bigger venues these days,” said Tracey Buck, a publicity representative for Slim’s. According to Buck, the allotment of tickets sold out in less than ten minutes.
Opening the show, Los Angeles-based quartet Scarlet Grey displayed a broad pop-punk vocabulary with a seamless series of melodies. A performance from Bay Area locals Said Radio followed, but their hardcore-punk sound and indecipherable lyrics seemed to interest only a handful of dedicated fans, who thrashed about for the duration of the band’s choppy set.
It wasn’t until around 10 p.m. that the crowd sprung to life, when AFI guitarist Jade Puget jumped to the edge of the stage to play the opening riff of the hit single “Medicate.”
Club Oasis in downtown Oakland plans to close for construction starting next week and will reopen May 8, when they'll start hosting live bands and DJs weekly. Manager Dawt said the restaurant/club will revamp its patio to get up to code with the city, and will then host live bands depending on the weather (the patio is outside). However, DJs will spin house and reggae music weekly. For booking info, contact owner Fishe at 510-763-0404.
San Francisco singer-songwriter Sonny Smith has always taken a character-driven approach to his music. In fact, he began his music career while working on a screenplay for a movie. With his guitar nearby, Smith ended up turning dialogue and plot structure into songs. He did residencies writing plays in which he sang songs in character. He often assumes the persona of a fictional character or sings dialogue, or features guest singers as characters in his songs.
So it wasn’t a huge stretch when Smith was attempting to write a novel last year that incorporated fictionalized singers and musicians that then tempted him to think about what their album covers might look like, and songs might sound like. He thought it’d be cool to write fictional songs for the fictional characters, and applied for and received a five-week residency at the Headlands Center for the Arts to pursue the idea. “Once I got there I started writing some songs and I fairly quickly sort of found out the job of drawing other record covers [should go] to an artist,” he said. He assigned a couple of the covers to some artists who were also at the Headlands at the time, and realized his sketches weren’t sufficient. “I can’t have rough sketches and one really incredible piece,” he surmised. Likewise, the songs couldn’t be rough either. “So that’s where it quickly went to the next level from my original idea, what I was thinking it was going to be,” he said. “The novel got shelved immediately because once I got artists to work on the record cover it wasn’t hard to see that this was the project.”
Fitting with Smith’s ambitious nature, he decided to commission 100 different record covers and write 200 songs (two per record). A little more than a year after starting the project, Smith will celebrate the finished 100 Records project with a show at Gallery 16 (501 3rd St., San Francisco), which displays the art show until May 31. The opening reception happens Friday, Apr. 9, from 6-9 p.m. A jukebox will spin all 200 songs and Smith will perform with his band, the Sunsets.
1320 Records, the digital-only label founded by STS9, will hold its first-ever showcase event called 1320.SF, on Thursday, Apr. 1. The event aims to highlight local artists like the Flying Skulls, who dub themselves a “nu school, crunked-out production crew that rocks live improvisational dub-step, breaks, and stage-raging electro,” and live video mixers Savage Henry. Also performing are David Murphy & David Phipps of STS9, Nalepa Dub Orchestra, Virtual Boy, Knowa Knowone, and visuals by Kevlar. Other 1320 showcases will be held around the country this year. SF’s event happens Thursday, Apr. 1, at Temple (540 Howard St., SF). 9 p.m. For tickets, go here.
Liquor stores are being replaced by coffee shops (not necessarily a bad thing) and residents are getting squeezed out of historically black neighborhoods like the Fillmore district, laments SF rapper DaVinci in his latest video, "What You Finna Do." The track appears on DaVinci's latest release, The Day the Turf Stood Still, which is available as a free download here.
DaVinci will perform tomorrow, Mar. 26, at 111 Minna, with Blu & Mainframe, along with special guest beats by Freddie Joachim and Boogie Brown; and on Friday, Apr. 2, at Mezzanine with Freeway & Jake One, Freddie Gibbs, J-Billion, Jern Eye, Beetiki, and Street.
San Francisco's The Dodos have released a new video, "Longform," on Pitchfork, and announced a US tour in support of Time To Die, our now on Frenchkiss Records. The band stops by Oakland's Fox Theater on July 18 with the New Pornographers and Imaad Wasif, who we just profiled.