A bailar! Celebrate San Jose cumbia mainstay Discos Resaca Collective y Mariposas del Alma with Chulita Vinyl Club at the Chapel SF
Happy new year :)
If you purchased tickets to our very special show with Cold Beat at Grace Cathedral next Friday: Good job, and thank you! It’s now completely sold out.
If you haven’t purchased tickets to our very special show with Discos Resaca Collective y Mariposas del Alma at the Chapel next week: What are you waiting for? The incredible big cumbia band from San Jose is going to be playing with support from Louda y los Bad Hombres and the always-amazing Chulita Vinyl Club.
MATHEMATICAL POST-PUNK UPCHUCK
If you’re gonna play 924 Gilman on the 24th day of the ninth month of the year, you’ve really gotta nail it, right? I don’t make the rules, I’m just an amateur numerologist. In any case, here’s one band who did just that. On their new live album Control Sessions (Live at Gilman 9/24/22), Oakland art rockers Gumby’s Junk play music mostly from last year’s full-length Apple House, stitching together freaky spaced out krautrock jams, honey soprano ghoulish wailing, and mathematical post-punk upchuck. It’s less chaotic than that sounds. This is a band that seems to have it all figured out: Just imagine if King Crimson forgot everything they ever released and happened to play their first live show at the most legendary punk venue in the Bay. Out now on Control Records.
A SIMPLE VOICE, HEART FORWARD
“Over there, over there I hear that music strumming
In the air, in the air like everything’s alright
Even though half is the world burning
I can still see the truth burning in the night
And everything is beautiful, everything is good”
Even though we’re dedicated to music from the Bay Area, it’s rare that we get to write about music by the original people of this land. This is one of those opportunities. However, as often is the case with these things, it’s complicated. Like most of us in the Bay, Goodfeather is not descended from the Ohlone. His father was a Mohawk from New York and his mother was a Mexicana from Texas, so he has a great deal in common with the diverse people of the Bay, who largely arrived here in the last century. Perhaps that in of itself is an important lesson for non-Native people here. According to Goodfeather: “Many people might not know it but there is a large Native American population right here in the Bay Area. They were lured here off of the reservations with the promise of jobs in the 1960s.”
I give all this as context because we often think about people and place, but the truth is that you could listen to the whole album without noticing the artist is Native American. More likely it would remind you of the classic singer-songwriter work of the 1960s-1970s, except this one is impeccably produced by SF-born, four-time Grammy®-nominated producer Greg Landau, who released the album on his label Round Whirled Records. Perhaps it’s cliche to say, but it really sounds like Goodfeather is singing and strumming his guitar right in the middle of your living room. Simple and true words, simple and sweet acoustic guitar, and a simple, singular voice, heart forward.
GREY, RAINY DAY GOTH ROCK
Christmas Eve isn’t the most popular day of the year to release a new album, but do you think a nihilist really gives a fuck? With a middle finger to making it in time for end-of-year lists or even anyone’s listening rotation, Oakland post-punk duo Vague Lanes—Mike Cadoo (Gridlock, Bitcrush) and Badger McInnes (Here We Burn, After the Apex)—released Foundation and Divergence, a full-length album of languid guitar lines, slogging drum machines, and only the most morose singing. If you’re looking for a little sunshine to perk you up from these grey rainy days, you’ll have to look elsewhere, my friend.
BEATING HEART OF A FRISCO RAP CAT
Like MC Pauze, I left my heart in New York.
As someone who just returned from America’s city of cities, I get it. “The mecca of the culture” has the food, the music, the energy coursing through its streets like lightning, and it’s been that way for decades. So now I’m back in the provincial little Bay Area, wondering what keeps me calling this place home. It’s definitely not for the bridge behind Martín Herrera-Pazmiño, aka MC Pauze, on the cover of his new album Through Time. Or any other bridge or impressive architectural achievements. Every city has those. It’s not even for the food or the music. It’s always the same simple reason: for the people.
Backed by his people—Professa Gabel, Equipto, Cold Medina, Monk HTS, SundaY, Cyph4, J.Lately, and more—Pauze spends 24 tracks rapping just as pure and simple over a couple dozen boom bap beats, hearkening to that classic NY sound. An hour-and-a-half might sound like a long time for an album these days, and it is, but it’s been building and building over a long period of change and growth. The artist explains:
“This album has been more than 6 years in the making and I cannot be more excited to finally release it into the world. Although I have been apart of a few groups and have released music before, I consider this my first album because of the time it took it to create it. I was creating these songs while simultaneously working on music with others, going to and graduating from college, and beginning to teach at SFUSD. I had to live through all those experiences in order to create this album. I can’t wait for you to hear the music because it is the most real body of work I’ve created to this point.” – Pauze
One of the last albums released in 2022 and one of the best if you want to hear the sound of San Francisco’s heart.
FIREY EARLY 1990s SF PUNK
Before the tech takeover, before widespread gentrification, before third-wave coffee shops, fancy cocktail bars, and yoga studios on every corner, and before Kilowatt stopped hosting live music, there was a potent underground punk scene in San Francisco.*
The Rip Offs, one of the most incandescent bands of the before times lit up the city from 1993-1995, and left behind a trail of singles, and ultimately just one superb full-length: Got a Record.
I recently picked up the record at Down Home Music Store in El Cerrito, and almost entirely because of the amusing and shocking album art. On the front, four men stand in front of a San Francisco police station lineup with black nylon stockings covering their faces. The back features those same four mysterious men pissing on an SFPD van. I had to have it for the album art alone.
But the record over-delivers on their bellicose album cover: thrashing guitars, driving yet skilled rhythm section, humorous lyrics, and melodic vocal harmonies galore. In conclusion, perfectly executed antagonistic garage rock. Apparently they were quite the fuckers on stage too, routinely taunting crowds and making fools out of their fans, they certainly left an impression.
*Kilowatt recently gained approval to host live music again after a group of bartenders from Thee Parkside and Bottom of the Hill purchased the bar. They plan to reopen in early 2023.
— Elliot Engel
Our top show recommendations for the coming week:
[experimental] The San Francisco Tape Music Festival — Jan 13-15 at Victoria Theatre
[club] Detroit Love ft. Carl Craig, Moodymann, Nina Sol — Jan 13 at Public Works
[club] NO BIAS ft. Bored Lord, Bastiengoat, Obstac, Ritchrd — Jan 13 at Underground SF
[club] Black Techno Matters presents Liber8 SF — Jan 13 at F8
[rock] Gumby's Junk, Wsabi, Shame Waves — Jan 13 at Thee Stork Club
[rock] Fuckwolf, The Mona Reels, Rip Room, XDS — Jan 14 at Thee Stork Club
[club] Vitamin1000 ft. Adware, b0nitababy, sfcowboy — Jan 14 at TBA - Warehouse
[electronic] AROMA, Ricky Lake, Camilla Covington, Louie Elser — Jan 14 at Eli’s Mile High Club
[punk] ESG, Fake Fruit, Vivian Panache, Sue Problema — Jan 14 at Great American Music Hall
[club] Discos Resaca Collective y Mariposas de Alma, Louda y los Bad Hombres, Chulita Vinyl Club — Jan 18 at the Chapel