Music interview

The funkmaestro of Vulfpeck on gaming Spotify, German pronunciation mishaps, and Google search optimization

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By Jonathan Kirchner

Members of the band Vulfpeck describe themselves as a "half-Jewish German-American rhythm section." Creators of severely catchy, mostly-instrumental grooves, the four-piece — who first met in a German literature class at the University of Michigan — have built a following with their quirky YouTube videos: Each album track is accompanied by a cleverly shot and edited video of its recording. The videos not only capture the band's camaraderie, loose attitude, and sense of humor, but also their musical cohesion as a group. Each song is endlessly and effortlessly funky. Read more »

Owen Pallett on integrity, having his boyfriend as a manager, and the baroque pop of 'In Conflict'

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You probably wouldn’t assume that someone who’s been putting out solo material for nearly 10 years would be best known for their contributions to other artists’ work, but Owen Pallett shows us that it can happen, and that it’s not necessarily a bad thing, either.Read more »

Kiesza storms the pop scene at the Rickshaw Stop

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By Rob Goszkowski

It’s entirely possible that Kiesza outgrew her gig at the Rickshaw Stop a few minutes after it was booked. Those in attendance at the Pop Scene-presented show were fortunate to see the singer, songwriter, and dancer from Calgary in such an intimate club venue on Thursday, Aug. 28, given the staggering rise that she’s in the midst of.Read more »

Catching up with The Presidents of the United States of America

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Though they hit the peak of their fame in the mid-'90s post-grunge era with hits like "Peaches" and "Kitty," the Presidents of the United States of America have enjoyed a more fruitful and fascinating career than many of their ilk.

From collaborating with Shonen Knife and Sir Mix-A-Lot to starting an indie label to performing a Pokemon tribute song at the Pokemon Black/White American launch party, their career is shaping up to be as long, delightful, and brilliant as their name. Read more »

Not just an Animal Collective side project: Entering the Slasher House with Avery Tare

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In spite of music videos that are more than vaguely reminiscent of the horror film genre — not to mention the band's name — the “jazz power trio” of Avey Tare's Slasher Flicks are far more than some campy side project.Read more »

Little Dragon roosts at The Fox

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By Rob Goszkowski

Janet Jackson was in heavy rotation when Little Dragon went to work on Nabuma Rubberband, the album they released in May. That’s the Janet-era Janet — the sexy, sultry version of the R&B superstar — so it’s no coincidence that there are a few slow jams on the fourth record by the electro, soul, and synthpop quartet.Read more »

Catching up with David Kilgour

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A couple of years ago, on a warm summer evening in the city of Blue Lake, California, I stopped by my friend’s house after work. A man with a curly mop of hair was sitting in the front yard with his toes in the grass, strumming an acoustic guitar.

This isn’t unusual in Blue Lake. The unincorporated town hides among the Humboldt County redwoods and always seems to attract a steady flow of tone-deaf vagabonds. But it turned out the man was not at all tone-deaf and only partially transient. It turned out the guy on my friend’s lawn was David Kilgour of the New Zealand indie rock band The Clean. Read more »

Here are some things that happen when you interview hip-hop legend Biz Markie during a promotional celebrity appearance at an A's game

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Tonight's game starts at 7:05, at which point Biz Markie, the “clown prince of hip-hop,” most famous for his hit sing-songy single “Just a Friend,” off the 1989 album The Biz Never Sleeps, will be throwing out the first pitch against the Houston Astros.

This particular game, the evening of July 23, also falls on the A’s 15th annual Root Beer Float Day, a beloved tradition that raises money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation by having A’s players, coaches, announcers, the staffs of several radio stations, and celebs of various stature (Real World cast members) scoop and serve root beer floats at $2 each for two hours before the first pitch. Read more »

Carletta Sue Kay on strip clubs, literature, and dumpster-diving after art exhibits

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Not long after I sat down with Randy Walker, the male, non-performing ego of one of San Francisco's most undefinable musical acts, vocal powerhouse Carletta Sue Kay (who performs at The Chapel this Fri/25), we talked a bit about college. Walker asked me the prerequisite questions about the social scene and my major, perking up at the sound of a humanities-centric discipline. I asked if he’d done the whole college thing. Read more »

Thick as blood: Sibling duo Broods are the next kiwis on the rise

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“Kiwis tend to hold back and be too humble. They don’t want to be over-confident, but I think people are starting to realize that a little bit of confidence can go quite well,” says Caleb Nott, the elder brother of the sibling sensation from New Zealand known as Broods. He sits comfortably next to his sister, Georgia, in the back of The Independent, several hours before their show.Read more »