Tuesday, September 30, 2008

MBV at TCASFDC Tanite OK!!!!

Tonight My Bloody Valentine, the best Anglo-Irish, artistic export since W. B. Yeats, plays The Concourse At SF Design Center. What more needs to be said, written, thought, pondered, or even doodled, about this momentous event? How about, see youz there, so get yer pleasure heads on!


Madlib's new one on BBE!

The new Madlib LP, WLIB AM: King of the Wigflip drops today on the BBE/Rapster imprint as part of their Beat Generation series, which has also featured contributions by Jazzy Jeff, Pete Rock and the late and sadly missed J Dilla aka Jay Dee. My introduction to Madlib came via his visionary album The Unseen, under his Quasimoto alter ego, in the spring of 2000. This record blew my mind as it is a carefully woven sonic tapestry built out of blaxploitation movie dialog, sampled grooves and beats, and Madlib’s sped up voice as the impish Quasimoto, a creature of no given species but gifted with an optimum amount of sly, dry wisdom. However, Madlib had been around for quite a few years before that, as part of the group Lootpack, and had added production and remix touches to tracks by fellow Californian (he hails from Oxnard) rappers like Tha Alkaholiks and Zion I.

This new long player is a similarly entertaining weave of spoken word samples, funky, funky beats courtesy of Madlib in his Beat Konducata guise, augmented by raps from gifted rhymers like the very entertaining Guilty Simpson — who delivers the killer line, “I’m so hot I need a fan and you’re so not you need a fan, your beat’s so whack you need a band, naw in fact you need a hand, that claps at you…” — Defari, Murs, Frank n Dank and Madlib himself (sounding like a sped up Quasimoto, of course). However, my favorite track is the blunted r&b of “Yo Yo Affair Part 1 & 2,” which features drowned rhodes textures and the languid vocalizing of a young lady named Frezna. It comes across like Detroit chanteuse Davina colliding with that other motor city legend, J Dilla. I might have to cop the wax just for this cut alone.

Other high points include a very short track called “Life” featuring drummer Karriem Riggins and a little beat juggled mini, megamix courtesy of J Rocc of the amazing Beat Junkies, the LA dj crew renowned for their flawless ability to mix, cut and juggle a hypnotic hip-hop blend that sets butts and minds in motion. Honestly I’d forgotten how good hip hop can still be, as I dj the commercial side of the genre a lot. Top 40 rap no longer features the sampling creativity of past masters like Premier and Pete Rock, and everything is recorded so far into the red that the sound is overbearing. In the endless search for the beat that works the club the funk has been lost, and someone stole the soul, whom I don’t know for sure, I fear it was a conspiracy orchestrated from above. The conspiracy also has dumbed down lyrics and flow as prerequisites. 

Madlib puts some of that lost element back in and guides the genre onto the street and away from the catwalks, Bentleys and stupid dances about superman and dried ejaculate.. Now I remember why I love hip-hop so much, why Mantronix, Run DMC, EPMD, Three Feet High and Rising, Schoolly D and Tribe tripped out a bunch of Irish hooligans bombarded by rain from above, and resin from the Netherlands. Yeah, I just about remember.


Friday, September 26, 2008

Jose Gonzalez @ Yoshi's, Oakland, CA. (9/23/08)

Jose Gonzalez has come a long way since I first saw him at SXSW in 2006, playing on a tiny second stage at Club de Ville. He's been appearing on numerous late night tv shows and taking the stage for larger and larger crowds ever since. He took the stage on Wednesday at the legendary jazz club, Yoshi's, located in Jack London Square in Oakland, California. His set took place in front of the crimson curtains with his acoustic guitar and some backing support in the form of female vocals, bongo drums, and occasional keyboard parts. His sweet, euphonious voice brings fond memories of listening to Nick Drake outdoors on a summer night, and I must confess, the sound in that room is enough to make one salivate. I must say, his concluding performance of Massive Attack's "Teardrop" made me almost shed one of my own. Two thumbs up to Gonzalez's performance. He transcends the all too common indie folk singer/songwriter genre and focuses on melody, voice and evocative imagery. Make us proud, Jose!

Liz Letterland/BS

Not so frantic as the last un, but a goody nundaless!

Maybe this weekend won’t be as hectic as the last one, well for a start there is no Treasure Island Festival, and there aren’t a gazillion parties to check out, but happily there are two that are worthy of your attention. Tonight, Friday, Blasthaus come through with the goods once again. This time the legendary and reliable promoter presents a dj set by Kompakt owner and pioneering producer Michael Mayer at (IMHO) San Francisco’s best club venue, Mighty. Kompakt is renowned in minimal techno circles, but manages not to fall into the generic trap that many other imprints and artists in this idiom are in. Local main stay and party rousing dj Nikola Baytala is the support. It will be a damned good one, so go check it out.

On Saturday night DJ Omar and Shaun Slaughter present Full Frontal, a night of sleazy Italo, Euro disco and electro. This will be going down at the legendary San Fran club The Stud, where there have been a coupla two or three sleazy events in the past, or so I’ve heard. The fabbyless and flamboyant Javier Glitterbox guests and the event is hosted by the lovely persons of We Are Champagne. It should be a sweaty, messy and sensual ball of fun times and you could do worse than checking it out. I’ll be busy but I’ll be there in spirit, quick mixing Kano records.


Thursday, September 25, 2008

School Of Seven Bells

School Of Seven Bells is a new band formed by Benjamin Curtis of Secret Machines. Curtis has been around for a while, having started out in Texan garage rockers Tripping Daisy, an outfit that also contained Tim De Laughter, Mark Pirro and Bryan Wakeland of The Polyphonic Spree. In his new outfit he is joined by ex-On!Air!Library! sisters Alejandra and Claudia Deheza. Curtis, is a professed lover of spacey, progressive rock, as was evidenced with Secret Machines, and School Of Seven Bells definitely has an element of this coupled with some shoe gazey and electronic inclinations.

So far they have released material on US indie label Table of Elements side label Radium, British label Sonic Cathedral Recordings, Ghostly International, that Ann Arbor, Michigan based powerhouse of top tunes and refreshing eclecticism, and on Warp Records in collaboration with Prefuse 73 — aka Guillermo Scott Herren, who collaborates with Claudia Deheza as A Cloud Mireya. The couple has also produced a son, from scratch with no samples.

School of Seven Bells are out and about touring at the moment and will be touching down in the UK in late October — hell, they’re even playing in Canada, of all places — and will be in San Francisco and Los Angeles on October 28th and 29th respectively. Take some time out from arranging you Hallowe’en costume to check ‘em out and run and get their “Half Asleep”/”Caldo” single on Ghostly, which came out last week.


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

One nu shoe (gaze) in the Friendly Fires of World Peace. Come again!

Rush out and buy these two records today, or do so by the weekend please! First up is the Friendly Fires self-titled, debut album on British label XL. This ten tracker, which is released stateside today, picks up where the likes of Franz Ferdinand and Bloc Party left off. The band, which is from St. Albans, England, have perhaps ventured the furthest out into the electronic dance music/rock fusion galaxy than any outfit has thus far, and that includes LCD Soundsystem. Members Ed MacFarlane, Jack Savidge, and Edd Gibson craft a sound that is hooky and accessible yet still brimming with lush electronics, driving percussion and an obvious penchant for Prince and Talking Heads.

They also profess a love for the German label Kompakt and the Detroit techno innovator Carl Craig. The opening track, “Jump In The Pool” displays a percussive, dance floor tendency coupled with warm electronic touches that might make one utter the words shoegaze. What about Nu Shu Gaze? Or is there anything new about this considering that bands such as My Bloody Valentine (in SF next Tuesday btw. Oh yeah!) and Slowdive dipped their toes in the warm pool of sound that was early ‘90s electronic dance music? MBV had Weatherall on remixing duties and Slowdive delved into ambient tinged music that hinted at the motor city’s more reflective moments.

However, with Friendly Fires, the day saving pop element is not sacrificed at the feet of innovation, and the Princely predilections of “In The Hospital” will have you in a Raspberry Beret before you can say “I’ve seen the future and it works.” “Paris” is elevated, ascending and joyfully dreamy, while celebrating the possibility of the better things in life — it’s like the sound of Bloc Party in a multi-track pile up with Carl Craig’s mix of Maurizio’s “Domina.” It’s blissful but not brainless or dizzy, euphoric with intellect. Track four “White Diamonds” is similarly compelling, with a punchy bridge, gritty guitar and a churning but uplifting and infectious hook. “Strobe” is downright bloody blissful too, with gorgeous electronic sounds, and beautiful, chiming guitars.

I’m not gonna do a track by track, just get out and check this album, because it’s brimming with talent and transcendent fun. And while you’re scooping it, pick up the killer German compilation, Computer Incarnations For World Peace II on the Berlin based Sonar Kollektiv label. This is volume two of a compilation series, which kicked off with a Baldelli honoring collection of heady tunes for the more thoughtful dance floor. Number two continues the tendency towards brain stimulating rump shakers and features a selection of more recent releases from European and American producers.

You get tunes from L.A. residents Woolfy, and Tony Watson (under his Project Santro guise), and from Euro main stays like Todd Terje, Crazy Penis and Château Flight. The music itself walks a fine line between tuneful electro, Italo, Cosmic classics, and disco. It’s an unmixed comp, compiled by Frankfurt dj, producer and music journalist Gerd Janson, and its mood is fairly consistent throughout. That mood is groovy, funky, lush and leaning towards the more mid tempo side of things. So it’s great warm up or cool down music, and you should go get it. 


ATP NY - Friday, September 19 (Pt.1)

"Rubbed with ham" would be the theme of Day 1. This from the lips of Patton Oswalt as he riffed on the spectacularly disheveled interiors found at Kutshers Country Club, the site of the legendary ATP festival's first outing in the Catskills, hosted by My Bloody Valentine.

Meat Puppets were a proper first experience in this bizarre atmosphere. The walls in the Stage 1 auditorium, speckled in stardust and planetary bodies proved the perfect backdrop for their fantastic spaced-country punk. The songwriting still shines bright after all these years as did the extended space freakouts and fantastic guitar picking of Curt Kirkwood and co.

Tortoise performed a sonorific reading of their classic, "Millions Now Living Will Never Die", which demonstrated the dimensionality and brute power of the imported PA, leaving high expectations for the massive volume rockers to come later in the weekend. They were followed by others in the Don't Look Back series of classic recordings performed live including Thurston Moore and Built To Spill.

The vibe is high, the executive card room is buzzing amongst other things...Parts 2 and 3 to come.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Another banging weekend in San Frandisco!

I think that sometimes I take San Francisco for granted and focus on the negative, like you need a six figure salary — or extremely rich parents — to live here and the city has become a haven for increased snootiness and a plethora of schlocky top 40 clubs, a seeming contradiction but it seems to happen nonetheless. However, there’s always been an underground music scene. and though it struggles amid a suffering economy and a dynamic club culture that has gone a little generic and off the boil, to a large degree it maintains.

This week, like many others, it maintains with gusto to spare. I’m not out every night of the week, for various reasons, financial and health wise (cue violins), but I did catch a few cool events this week and there is one to catch tonight for sure. On Sunday I went over to City Hall to the Sunset Get Out The Vote party. Booming tunes in front of City Hall and a finale of Nikola Bayatala knocking out a kicky, deep and atmospheric minimal techno set. Though I’m always rabbiting about how I can’t stand generic sets, Baytala’s style is not generic, it has a feel, and I’m sure he pulls in tunes from a few genres to achieve that feel. It sure sounds like it, and puts him well ahead of the posse when playing this style of techno. Add to this that people were able to register to vote it was a very worthwhile — and free — little do. The crowd was well up for it too, as is the norm at any Sunset shindig.

On Wednesday night I stopped in to Vessel to catch The Glimmers (at last) and Headman on the decks along with Gun Club’s able bodied and eared deck tech Ryan Poulsen. The party was a joint effort between Infatuation (the brainchild of Richard Oh! and Sleazemore) and the Gun Club and Trigger posse. I’ve always wondered why the Glimmers haven’t played here, and now I don’t have to anymore. And I ran into them on Geary the following day, a meeting of three record nerds and I had two crates of records with me at the time. In the morning!!! Records aren’t just for night, they’re for life.

Tonight there’s Miss Kittin and The Hacker live at 103 Harriet Street with support from Nikola Baytala, courtesy of party stalwarts Blasthaus. While Saturday sees Trigger (a Gun Club offshoot) at 111 Minna with live music by Lemonade, Djs Solar and Commodore 69, art and fashion from Karina Michel, Joshu Vela, Shane Orr, Ernesto Ortiz and Derrick Boyd aka Dead Seal, and photography by Jared Harrell. On top of this, electro super party Superego kicks off at DNA Lounge with live action my favs Lilofee, The Frail and PJ Pooterhoots, and dj duties by the likes of Kid Hack, Miles The Intern and Eli Glad.

So there’s plenty going on here in SF this weekend, so check it out and enjoy!


Thursday, September 18, 2008

Wailing Ultimate

Though I’m never shy about digging around for a few good, classic tunes, and pride myself on amassing a kick ass collection of dance floor nuggets through my own hard labor, and thrifty, Scottish sensibility, I do get tired of the endless trainspotting, nostalgia and — dare I say it and not sound like a hypocrite — blogging about obscure records from club music’s yesteryear. Be it Italo, boogie (or cheesy but often glorious, ‘80s pre house, electro-funk), early house and garage, after a while it gets all bit too tedious and spectator driven for me.

When I feel that way then I explore some new music that’s not dance oriented, like indie rock or folk or some classic punk rock, like Wailing Ultimate. This was released on the now defunct Homestead label, a sub-label of the also now defunct Dutch East India Trading, a New York distributor that released selected titles like US domestic pressings of Peel Sessions. Wailing Ultimate was a sampler of all the great bands on Homestead’s roster, and is pretty much replete with stunning and almost stunning tracks by an array of obscure and not so obscure mid ‘80s indie rock and hardcore outfits.

If you’re a fan of Hüsker Dü, The Pixies or Throwing Muses, then you’ll love this record, if you can find it as I believe it’s out of print. Dinosaur Jr. are on here — as Dinosaur without the Jr. suffix — with the stellar “Repulsion,” as is Big Black’s “Il Duce,” a mind blowing fusion of drum machine, noisy guitars and Steve Albini’s caustic lyrics and vocals. “The Well” by Salem 66 shows some ‘60s influence as does my personal favorite track, “Valley Of The Gwangi” by Phantom Tollbooth. Many years (like fifteen maybe) after I had heard this song on a copy of The Wailing Ultimate that my buddy Johnny took back to Galway from a trip to the US in '87, I walked into Amoeba Music on the Upper Haight and Guided By Voices were playing a song instantly recognizable to me but which I couldn’t put a name on.

After thinking about it for a minute I figured that it must be a track from Wailing Ultimate, probably “Valley Of the Gwangi” by Phantom Tollbooth. How I figured that out I don’t know but it so happens that Robert Pollard the Guided By Voices frontman rerecorded Power Toy, the third album by Phantom Tollbooth, added new lyrics, and released it in 2003 as Beard Of Lightning. The three original members of the band were on there too and even with Pollard on board the outfit was still called Phantom Tollbooth. “Valley Of the Gwangi” is a blistering three minutes and fifteen seconds of super fast, psychedelia and free jazz inflected punk rock with the best start and stop on a dime timing this side of Fugazi. It also feels like an early and raw manifestation of math rock and and is just straight up bloody awesome. Check it on the play list for proof.

There are other gems too, “Song of the South,” by Breaking Circus, “Sun God” by Squirrel Bait and “In a Glass House” by Antietam, as well as tunes by Naked Raygun, Big Dipper and Live Skull. This album is testament to a serious peak in American rock music before the more polite and twee college rock sound took over in the ‘90s and the angst and rage dissipated. This was hard core punk embracing other influences like psychedelia and jazz, and running with them. The late ‘80s wasn’t all just Chicago house and hip-hop, there was this glorious noise too, and Wailing Ultimate takes me back to a time when all the music coming at us felt like it was revolutionary, probably because it was. Someone reissue this please!


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Richard Wright R.I.P.

Richard Wright of psychedelic rock legend, Pink Floyd, lost his life to cancer on Monday. He died amongst family in his home in Britain at just 65 years of age.

Wright's textured keyboard parts added an essential element to Pink Floyd's sound. The first time I heard Pink Floyd, I was but a young lass. The record The Dark Side of the Moon was about as close to outer space as I've ever gotten and that's saying a lot because I've stood atop a few REALLY tall buildings. All kidding aside however, my twelve year old world was changed forever and for that I'll always be thankful. So cheers to the late, great Richard Wright. The world is a better place for having known you.

Liz Letterland

Friday, September 12, 2008

Big Black, Hammersmith Clarendon, July 1987 Part 2

As we piled into the Clarendon, which was upstairs if I remember correctly we were greeted by the cacophony of either Head of David or A.C. Temple. I believe it was the latter. These British bands were on the Mute Records sub-label Blast First, which released Big Black and Sonic Youth material in the UK. I don’t remember much of the opening band’s set but I do remember them finishing up and the stage being completely quiet and the venue being full of seriously rowdy British skater punks who were roaring abuse at the empty stage in the hope that Big Black would magically appear and start playing right away. Next thing a small, skinny dude, wearing torn jeans, spiky hair, John Lennon glasses and a Die Kreuzen t shirt, stepped onto the stage, walked up to the mic, politely (very politely actually) asked everyone to quiet down and said that the band would be out in a minute. The crowd went ballistic, for this was Steve Albini, Steve Albini playing some of Big Black's last shows, because the band had already decided to break up and this London show was part of their final tour.

He looked like he should have been playing in The Feelies, but looks can be deceptive as we all know. He tinkered with the drum machine a bit, which sounded extremely loud, and left the stage again. Now the crowd was fit to be tied or corralled for that matter, and stage diving and people throwing ensued. Albini stepped onstage once more, made polite overtures that were greeted by abuse, swearing and roaring which all had a very British accent (in all senses of the word) to them. This time, while courteously assuring the crowd that the show was about to begin, he strapped on his guitar, not over his shoulder, but around his waist. This looked pretty odd and was an omen of what was to come. Next thing bassist Dave Riley (who started out as an assistant audio engineer for Parliament and Funkadelic in his native Detroit) and guitarist Santiago Durango came on, and attached their instruments in the same fashion.

Albini stepped up to the mic again, and I can’t remember if he made any more civil overtures, but I do remember him shouting “one two, fuck you!” into the mic and a barrage of driving, hard, but melodic noise emanating from the stage. The crowd went crazy, and I was as gobsmacked as I’ve ever been by music in my life. In fact I felt like that guy (Peter Murphy from Bauhaus) in the old Maxell ads from the ‘80s, with his hair and tie blowing back from the sound. I think the first song was “Passing Complexion” (see the youtube clip on the previous Big Black post) and Big Black followed with over an hour of pile driving, deranged machine rock, tinged with the brutal funk of Riley’s bass playing.

Albini opened every song with “One two fuck you,” and they ploughed through “Jordan Minnesota,” “Kerosene,” “Bad Penny,” “Cables,” and more. And after completely laying waste to the crowd — and my psyche — they finished with a cover version of Wire’s “Heartbeat,” and were joined onstage by Bruce Gilbert and Graham Lewis of Wire, Gilbert on guitar and I think Lewis was on keyboards, which were rolled in especially for this song. This was the final gobsmacking to top all gobsmackings and at the end of the song as everyone left the stage Albini said "...and tonight we walked with giants..." It certainly felt that way to me, and walking back out into the warm London night my buddy Keith asked me, “what didya think of that Orr?” No words were necessary, memories — a little foggy now — of that night are etched on my brain forever.


Thursday, September 11, 2008

Big Black, Hammersmith Clarendon, July 1987. Part 1

In 1987 I went to London, in the summer, like the kid in The Smiths song, except that I wasn’t from the north of England (I was living in the north of Ireland) and I knew that I’d go back home at some point (to finish school) though I was broke as a joke. That was the reason I went over there, not to find myself — I already knew where I was, I started at the end of my fingers and finished at my feet and head, easy — but to get some money together to go into my third and last year of school. Invariably that meant working on the building sites of the great, late ‘80s English building boom. So be it, but there would be clubs and shows and trips to the Rough Trade shop on Talbot Rd. off Portobello, and various indie dance stores to fidget through empty shrink wrapped sleeves with names like Phuture, Lidell Townsell, Denise Motto and Dynamix II scrawled on them and a dj knocking out some kick ass mixes over a stellar sound system. Oh yes.

However, it was one of the shows that really stood out that summer, defined it, if you will. A bunch of us who knew each other from going to school and hanging out in Galway (a cute city on the Irish west coast) were squatting in South London, in Camberwell, not far from the green and close to the North Peckham Estate. This was the worst housing project in Western Europe at the time, and wasn't just comprised of a few blocks, but rather a huge, sprawling maze of two storey flats, all connected by bridges. At its centre an intense drug war was being conducted between local and African immigrant gangs. Nice. But, there was still the art college, some dope kebab places around the green,  great pubs and some nice weather.

But back to the show, one evening while I was hanging out with my buddy Keith at his squat on Vicarage Grove, he played me a John Peel session of an American punk band called Big Black. I had heard of them, but not heard ‘em as there were plenty of American exchange students in Galway and they would pass me tapes of some of the new hardcore that was coming out on labels like SST and Homestead Records: Hüsker Dü, Phantom Tollbooth and Black Flag. Plus buddies of mine would go out to Boston or California for the summer and come back with Minor Threat, Fugazi, Sonic Youth and Bad Brains records. And you'd get hipped to bands like Meat Puppets, Salem 66, Naked Raygun, Butthole Surfers and Dinosaur Jr. It was a good time and good music, but I hadn’t heard Big Black. So when Keith played me their hard, funk-infused, and drum machine driven punk rock and told they were playing at the Hammersmith Clarendon in two weeks I had to see them live.

July 24th 1987 was a Friday and we  jumped on the bus or maybe the tube at Elephant and Castle (I can’t remember which mode of transport) and we piled into the Clarendon sometime in the late evening. The venue also housed a psychobilly night called The Klub Foot (a legendary psychobilly club) so there were a gang of heads mulling around the venue, mostly outside, with insane mohawks on insane heads. I also spotted Wayne Hussey from The Sisters of Mercy and The Mission.

To be continued….


Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Lilofee at Elbo Room

Lilofee played last night at Elbo Room on a bill with synth poppers Electric Valentine and Freezepop. I found the latter two outfits endearing for a while but I must confess that I lost interest after a few songs. Freezepop member Sean T remarked that the group formed as a reaction to the dire state of music at the end of the ‘90s. A valid point, no doubt, but almost ten years later the super hooky electro and synth pop that emerged in that era is sounding a little dated. Both bands write infectious and involving electro pop but sometimes depth and substance are what’s needed.

Lilofee write songs with both of these qualities and can deliver them live. “Lock and Key, ““We Belong Apart” and set closer, “Destroy Me,” are great studio songs that retain their vitality in a live setting because the lyrics are smart but not overwrought, the hooks pull you in and the band’s music is a heady amalgam of electro, indie pop and shoegaze. It doesn’t do any harm that Lilofee look pretty impressive too, as the imposing front women Kimi Record is backed by the debonair gentlemen, Rob Easson, Dan Aquino and Cyrus Etemad

The quartet will be playing on Saturday, September 20th at DNA Lounge on the roster of the new monthly shindig Superego. Make a point of being there.


Monday, September 8, 2008

The Emperor Machine - What's In The Box

I’ve seen this one in the stores for a week or so but its official release date is today. Those of you who are familiar with new electronic dance music will no doubt have stumbled across The Emperor Machine, a side project of Chicken Lips and the brainchild of Andy Meecham. This four track EP is a heady mixture of squelchy, analog synth sounds, funk bass lines and cracking beats. All the tracks are instrumental, with side one featuring the mid-tempo “What’s In The Box?” and “Box Dub,” while on the flip there are the more umptempo, hectic and funk fuelled “Non-Functioning Apeman,” and “Functioning Apewoman.” These tracks will fit in well with tunes by the likes of Lindstrom, Prins Thomas or with classic numbers in the garage, disco, Cosmic and Italo veins.

Meecham started out in the late ‘80s with Chicken Lips co-hort Dean Meredith as Bizarre Inc. They released a mini album and some singles of Chicago house, NY garage and Detroit techno flavored club tracks on the Blue Chip label out of Stafford, England. This was also home to techno outfit Nexus 21, which became the ravetastic Altern 8. Bizarre Inc. scored a huge early ‘90s club hit with “Playing With Knives” (which will undoubtedly be rolled out again when the irony brigade tires of ‘80s re-runs and decides to inflict a ‘90s inflected tsunami on us, minus all the good music of course). Meecham and Meredith recorded much of their material on the now defunct British label, Vinyl Solution, which was based above the London record store of the same name and which released music by Eon and Depth Charge (aka J Saul Kane).

This project evolved into Chicken Lips in the late part of the last decade, as Meecham and Meredith — with the help of Steve Kotey — explored classic disco, electro funk (or boogie, which is currently fetishized from Bologna to Bognor Regis and beyond), post punk and Italo, all with a definite dub inflection, a la Larry Levan on cuts such as “Seventh Heaven” by Gwen Guthrie, and evidenced on their excellent debut album, Echoman, which is replete with stunning dj tools for the discerning deck technician. As this decade wore on the long time partners decided to explore solo efforts too. Meredith branched off into White Light Circus, while Meecham explored the darker side of the dance floor with The Emperor Machine. Both projects are on the DC Recordings label, which is run by J Saul Kane from above the Vinyl Solution store, old connections don’t die easy. And both fuse elements of funk, with moody soundtrack touches and analog synth stylings. Padded Cell also release their brand of pensive dance music on this imprint too.

So if you haven’t checked The Emperor Machine or any of the other artists on the DC Recordings stable please do so now. I’m off to make a nice cup of tea and listen to Goblin, perfect tea drinking music fo shure.


Friday, September 5, 2008

Egyptian Lover birthday bash at Loaded tonight!!!

As if Modeselektor and Ellen Alien at Mighty weren’t enough, those facilitators of fevered, frantic and facetious festivities, Loaded, are throwing a do over at the Rickshaw Stop tonight, featuring Egyptian Lover live with Jamie Jupiter, while support comes in the shape of the turntable stylings of Baby Ryan and Commodore 69. It’s Egyptian Lover’s birthday bash, so it’s gonna be a blasht I’m sure. The music will be loud, the floor will be packed, the pyramids will be oh so shiny, the women here will be oh so cute and everyone will be cutting a rug to the beats that Egyptian Lover deftly computes. And because Mighty goes til 4AM you can check out both shows. Prepare to energize indeed!


Ellen Alien, Modeselektor, Blasthaus, yaaaaayy!!!!!!!

If you’re out and about in San Francisco tonight, you might want to get yourself to Mighty for the Modeselektor and Ellen Alien show. What can I say about these artists that hasn’t already been said? They’re German, I believe, and they craft forward looking and extremely well produced electronic music that you can dance to. The Shindig is being thrown by the ever reliable Blasthaus, doors open at 9PM, it will go after hours and will probably be a zoo, as both artists will rock the holy living shit outta the place and you will leave there drenched and filled with an innate sense of well being. Hokely dokely?


Tuesday, September 2, 2008

They won't lie low, even for a fee!

Lilofee is one of the freshest acts I’ve heard to come of San Francisco in a minute. And if you live in SF I’m sure you’ve heard the group in the last month or so because it has been playing out quite a bit. The quartet started up in late 2007 as a collaboration between multi-instrumentalist Rob Easson and vocalist Kimi Recor, the amazonian chanteuse who also fronted Invisibles, a San Fran electro outfit, which released material on DJ Hell’s label International Deejay Gigolos. As a live act, Lilofee becomes a four piece as the duo is joined by Dan Aquino, aka dmap! of SF rockers Every Move a Picture, and Cyrus Etemad, who, with significant other Rini Merdjanova, throws the long running and popular shindig Loaded at the Rickshaw Stop.

Thus there’s plenty of music — and merry making — experience between these four players. This is evidenced in some sterling live performances at Mezzanine and Popscene and in their repertoire of songs, like my personal fave “Lock and Key,” and the lurching and deliciously atmospheric “She Breathes Electric.” Essenitally Lilofee is fusing a pop sensibility derived from ‘60s girl bands with darker electro and industrial influences. The sound comes across as an evolution of the electro from the early part of this decade (before it got immersed in endless irony and became a parody of itself) and would sit nicely beside the likes of Miss Kittin and the Hacker and classic '80s new wave acts like Experimental Products. However, Lilofee's penchant for hooks makes its music all the more seductive and accessible.

This quartet is playing at Elbo Room next Monday night, the 8th of September. Be there and check ‘em out!