Far West Day Dream (self-released)
There’s something amusingly depressive about Far West Day Dream. Falling Broadly situated in the Americana genre the whole album feels like an ode to heavy drinking, moping, and contemplating. In other words, it’s really more country than anything else. Not a cheerful record, but it’s skillfully executed and rather pretty, in its folkier moments.
At Nomad Cafe (6500 Shattuck Ave., Oakland) on July 30. 7 p.m., free
Far East Movement at Mezzanine in San Francisco on July 24, 2010. Photos by John Joh.
More photos after the jump...
Western Medicine (Arbeit Macht Dinge)
A rock band that’s openly political? One might be forgiven for assuming that those went out of style. But Generalissimo might prove that assumption wrong. They’re a high-concept band, controlled and very explicit. Western Medicine isn’t a comfortable album to listen to, and it’s not meant to be. Yet it’s pretty great stuff if you like your rock cold, aggressive, and mildly unsettling.
At The Hemlock (3248 22nd St., San Francisco) on July 23. 9 p.m., $6
Earlier this month we wrote about concerns surrounding musician pay for the Fillmore Jazz Festival. Local promoter and booking manager Stephanie Dalton was largely spearheading the campaign to raise musician pay, and she has since conducted an informal survey of musicians about the issue, the results of which she sent out yesterday in her weekly e-mail newsletter. The gist is that though most had positive experiences with the Fillmore Jazz Festival's promoter, Steven Restivo, a majority of respondees also believed there should be a minimum pay scale for musicians who perform at San Francisco street festivals, and are in favor of asking the Entertainment Commission of San Francisco to set forth by-laws regarding musicians' pay structure at such events. Many also agreed that asking bands to perform a ninety-minute set for no more than $75 per band member (which Restivo did) devalues the compensation scale for professional musicians.
The complete PDF file here: Survey_Results_Regarding_Equitable_Pay_for_Musicians_in_Bay_Area_Festivals.pdf
IG2 (Guy Joseph Music)
Interstellar Grains sound like what you’d get if you gene-spliced a classic drone rock outfit with a group of jazz improvisationists, then added a ’70s funk band. IG2 has a loose, free flowing feel. It shifts from one mood to another smoothly, but the overall sense of improvisation and experimentation remains. Clever, sophisticated stuff.
At Café Du Nord (2170 Market St., San Francisco) on July 30. 9:30 p.m., $10
The East Bay Express' Annual Best of the East Bay Party is coming up on Friday, August 6, at Jack London Square. As usual, we have a great lineup of local bands performing at the free event, which will also include live art, a car show, extreme sports, dance battle, food, fashion vendors, and lots more. 5-11 p.m., all-ages, free.
Here's a sampler of some of our headliners:
Mighty Underdogs "Science Fiction":
Neil Young at the Fox Theater in Oakland on July 11 & 12, 2010. Photos by Jamie Soja.
Doom, In Full Bloom (Attinuator Records)
Falling at the harder end of the indie rock spectrum, members of Death Valley High describe themselves as “dance core”, which isn’t a bad way to explain their sound. Doom, In Full Bloom is definitely an album you could dance to, in that awkward indie kid way. But it’s certainly not what most people think of as dance music. Dark, with aggressive guitar riffs and a strong sense of rhythm, it has a bit of a goth vibe, but heavier.
At SubMission Art Gallery (2183 Mission St., San Francisco) on July 31. 8 p.m.
Slink to Intensity (self-released)
Moira Scar is a little reminder of the time when punk was weirder and a lot more fun. Like a deliciously demented hybrid of the New York Dolls, Sonic Youth and dark cabaret — plus some deliberately strange and provocative visuals — they’re like GWAR for art school kids. “Slink to Intensity” sounds like it came straight off the soundtrack to one of the odder French animations, while “You Make Me Scream” has an almost Celtic folksy edge to it. If you’re a lover of all things weird, dark, and kind of twisted, you’re going to adore Moira Scar.
At Life Changing Ministries (1629 8th Street, Oakland) on July 24. 4 p.m., tba
Quadrangle (Porto Franco Records)
Quadrangle is a strange album. Entirely instrumental, it has some jazz elements but overall is almost impossible to pin down to one genre. Maybe “experimental” would be the best description. The sound is open and airy and ambient — music to meditate to, essentially.
At Revolution Cafe (3248 22nd St., San Francisco) on July 23. 9 p.m., free