Music

Snap sounds

Quick takes on new releases

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Lykke Li is a pop star who surrounds herself in clouds of reverb, so the obvious reference point for her music is Phil Spector's '60s girl-group productions. But strip away the layers of sound and her third album I Never Learn is essentially a set of adult-contemporary ballads that would slot nicely into any KOIT lineup. These songs are personal rather than universal, introverted rather than extroverted, subtle and slight rather than big and dumb —though there are some pretty shameless hooks on this album, readymade for festival sing-a-longs.Read more »

Of borders and love songs

Diana Gameros brings her unique musical perspective to the YBCA's MEX I AM Festival

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Snap sounds

Quick takes on new releases

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THE SOFT PINK TRUTH

Why Do The Heathen Rage? (Thrill Jockey)Read more »

A hard look at 'A Hard Day's Night'

At 50, the Beatles third album demands a critical re-listen

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arts@sfbg.com

More than any other Beatles album, A Hard Day's Night — which turned 50 last week — embodies the clichés surrounding the band's early period. The cheesy harmonies, the "whoa"s and "yeah"s, the sappy love songs: All are there in abundance. It's also the most obvious manifestation of the John/Paul dichotomy. Though the idea of John as the bad boy and Paul as the balladeer is largely accepted as a myth by Beatles fans, that dynamic is a lot closer to the truth than folks give it credit for, and on no album is it clearer than A Hard Day's Night.Read more »

Start your engines

The little SF music video contest that could is all grown up — and expanding

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esilvers@sfbg.com

Everyone knows that true artists do their best work right before deadline. [Ed note: I may or may not be writing this an hour or so before mine.]Read more »

Burger Boogaloo Breakdown

Our picks for the best of the rest

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Thee Oh SeesRead more »

Summer spins

Quick-takes on new releases

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BORIS

NOISE

(SARGENT HOUSE)

Boris have been dabbling so much in pop lately it's tempting to look at the band's latest album, Noise, as a return to their sludge-metal glory days. There are only eight songs, its title is appropriately hostile, and the dark gray cover looks formidable compared to the white-hued, glamorous art on the last few Boris records. But remember: This album is called Noise. Not Metal, not Amps Up To 11. Not even Heavy Rocks, the name given to two of Boris's most metallic albums. Noise.Read more »

Dirty, sweet, and far from down low

Brooklyn's Cakes da Killa wants to be more than just "the blowjob rapper"

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Jazz jams in Brisbane

In an unpretentious location, the 7 Mile House serves up some of the city's most storied jazz veterans

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By Jeff Kaliss

arts@sfbg.comRead more »

The shaman, the oracle, and the engineer

Sleep Genius bands are pushing boundaries — and proving the Bay Area underground is alive and well

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