Clubs and venues usually see a decrease in attendance during the summer as vacations and festivals vie for us wage slaves' precious greenbacks. Do not visit your family. Don't go to Lollapalooza in Chicago. Stick around, save your cash, and blow it on something worth seeing, like the following local musicians.
A No. 1 Billboard 200 chart debut this month and 182,000 units sold can't be wrong East Bay gothcore band AFI knows how to entertain. This fifteen-year-old quartet headed by Oakland resident Davey Havok plays every show like it's the last, winning AFI a rabid fan base called the Despair Faction. Mosh pits, crowd surfing, stage diving, fights the band runs a tight, high-energy show that moves from radio station hits to fan club favorites with a nary a half-step break. Properly costumed in tattoos, black hair, "guyshadow" (male eyeshadow), and whatnot, the four bandmembers roam the world this summer to support their second DreamWorks album, Decemberunderground. Major stops on the Vans Warped Tour and a quick outing to Japan mean you're bound to catch them somewhere. AFireInside.net
A dude rapping in front of a turntable can get old by song two. Yet this Oakland-based hip-hop duo regularly pulls whistling, standing ovations and encores after they've busted their asses for hours. How? Well, one dude is named Gift of Gab, and he has it. He rhymes on the positive tip about drug addiction and taking care of your family instead of the usual murder, murder/kill, kill, kill. And DJ/producer Chief Xcel lays down crisp simple beats when he's not cutting the whole thing up with some of the flashiest, complicated handiwork in the Bay Area (he's DJ Shadow's homey). Going on year fifteen in the biz, and touring this year to promote 2005 release The Craft, Blackalicious is one of the most reliably entertaining shows in hip-hop. Hopefully you'll catch Gab rap the whole alphabet from analogue arsonist aimin' at your artery to overzealous rhyme ZEA-LOTS! Pimmmp. Quannum.com
With two albums and about a hundred thousand miles spent inside their stinky tour van, West Oakland metalheads Domeshots combine the energy of a new band with the experience of jaded rockers. Fronted by short, rugby-player-looking singer Danner Alexander and aural terrorist-guitarist Jim Seichas, Domeshots creates a screeching, pounding wall of sound backed by mean leprechaun bassist Eric Tamo and enthusiastic drummer Dave Criss. What separates them from the metal hordes? Stamina. They've played more than 185 shows in a single year and will tour the West Coast throughout the summer and fall. Let's leave the final word to the band: "Quite simply, we rock your faces off, musically deficate [sic] in the void, then sew it back up with kisses. When it's all said and done, expect a call from Jail."
A bushy-black-haired young dude belts out: Do you think about me in your quiet times?/Cast out soft-core demons when I come back home as piano notes cascade, drums pound, and guitar chords wail. The hipsters at Bottom of the Hill are confused. "Isn't Anticon a rap label?" they say. Well, meet Why?, fronted by former Jew for Jesus and Oaklander Yoni Wolf, who doesn't consider boundaries as he assembles snippets of inside jokes from a shattered relationship into spoken, sung, and rapped lines over minimal drums and the aforementioned piano and guitar. Rock? Too unplugged. Indie? Too hard. Rap? No DJs. SF Weekly called it rap-rock. Ouch. Maybe we'll just call it good. Why? will tour Europe this summer while most of us are touring YouTube. Be sure to catch 'em when they return in late July.
Where to start? The terrible and powerful perversion of such an innocent childhood figure? The flamethrowers, motorcycles, and cookie guns? The leather miniskirted cookie girls pelting the audience? Or the wireless mic, which lets the leather-clad Mongoloid join you in the pit for a rousing, beer-soaked freakout? God bless this band. Founded in 2002 by local Devo cover band Mongoloid, these five creatures (plus the cookie girls) play Sesame Speed Metal. Some of their best songs: "Wash Yourself," "One of These Things Is Not Like the Other," and "C Is for Cookie." Now, plenty of people will want to talk about artistic integrity and seriousness and yada yada. They're douches. Drink nine warm Pabst Blue Ribbons, crush all the cans on your forehead, and possibly have the most fun you still can legally have in this country. WeAreMongoloid.com
"What's that slimy white thing he's penetrating with a vacuum attachment? What in God's name is going on here?" The answer is Matmos, a freaky fusion of art-school sound stunts, and balls. Namely the balls of Mission District residents MC Schmidt and Drew Daniels. Schmidt is a "Sound as Art" college instructor, while Daniels just finished a Ph.D in literature, which gives the duo's antics academic grounding and justification. Just ask Björk, who brings them along on tour, or the Whitney Museum of Art in New York, where their work is shown ... er, heard. Schmidt says the best way to listen to their new CD The Rose Has Teeth in the Mouth of a Beast is to lie on the floor in a dark room with headphones on. In lieu of such sonic sequestering, take in their first ever North American tour, which returns here in October, and be prepared to be confused, delighted, and a bit scared every now and then. "Is he really playing a cow uterus?" Yes. Yes, he is. Brainwashed.com/Matmos
Culture Spy - February 19, 1:45 PM
Seven Days - February 18, 5:00 PM
Seven Days - February 17, 4:09 PM
Seven Days - February 16, 3:24 PM
What the Fork - February 15, 2:00 PM