Do You Remember??? A brief reflection on a super sunny psychedelic Saturday in SF
Post-punk dystopia from Public Interest and a bunch more new music from Hero Dog, KKINGBOO on 7000COILS, Forest Bees, and COMMANDO - plus weekly show recs
Did you spend time in San Francisco last weekend? The sun came out. From Diablo to Tam, it splayed out, splashing radiant lucid braids across the Bay. People were ready. Take Saturday, for instance:
At the Golden Park Bandshell, a handful of the best city’s best psych rock bands—Analog Dog, Mild Universe, Peña, Grooblen, For Your Pleasure—stretched out and moved on up in an epic celebration of the One. You, me, everyone and everything all at once. Flower people who were billions of scattered atoms in the 1960s skipped into the park in their happy human forms, donning daisy chains and paisley fractal suits, dancing as if the universe really were mild. The ferris wheel broke down but the chunky trees fanned out their leafless limbs regardless, palms opening to the breeze. Don’t be mistaken: Death is everywhere, but so is Love, twin stars breathing in and out a hundred times an hour on every city block. In the Mission, people of the Americas danced to club music presented by Amor Digital ft. DJ Juanny, Yuca Frita, Lil Zé. True Americans, not unitedstatesians deranged by violent capitalism and bound by imaginary borders but true Americans—Norteamericanos, Centroamericanas, Sudamericanes—atado por la tierra debajo de nuestros pies. Out on Mission St, the filthy beautiful bloodline of the city, lowriders cruised up and down a sweet springtime tribute to the legendary Selena Quintanilla, another one taken too soon. A true American. Strangers, friends, sun, wind. Darkness descends; still, there’s time. But time warps, and at the Lab a musical tinkerer named Kali Malone experimented with the warping, blowing explosive electronic drone like a living torch through the gathered mass of bodies, knowing full well that this moment is here is here is here as much as a Saturday night can be before it’s gone.
DYSTOPIC OAKLAND REFLECTIONS
For your next post-punk fix, turn to Spiritual Pollution, the new full-length from Public Interest. Written and performed almost entirely by Chris Natividad, the album’s 25 minutes are a trudging march through morose decay, a reflection of the world that surrounds us, backing us into a corner. Surveillance, stagnance, suffering—see it all in the music video for the opening track “Undone” below, which features the port of Oakland, completely empty BART stations, and even a little cameo of the Lower Grand Radio studio. Album highlight may be “Slow Burn,” composed of entrancing rhythm guitar, a second guitar lick sneaking in like a question, and Natividad drably singing-speaking “over and over and over again.”
See Public Interest play their album release show alongside Spllit (Baton Rouge), Nothing Natural, and DJ Corey Duffel at Thee Stork Club on Saturday, April 29.
CATHODE RAY BEAT TAPE
A lot of stuff gets released on Bandcamp Friday. Actual albums that have been a year in the making. EPs that were made last week. Demo tapes. Old t-shirts found in a box at mom’s house. And some actual gems. Here’s one of the latter. Homestead is a 10-track, 12-minute beat tape by San Jose designer and producer Hero Dog. Morning moods abound within these medleys of tight, thudding bass, sweeping lofi synths, the chatter of people and parties, springtime piano melodies, and more. And it even comes with a full-length visualizer all cathode ray neon green and shimmering white.
RHYTHM SWIFTNESS SOARING
“Everything I need to know finds me at the perfect time”
Late at night when all the world is sleeping, I stay up and… listen to hardcore techno and clean my room? KKINGBOO of gender-expansive, Black-owned Oakland label 7000COILS (co-curated with Lalin St. Juste) delivers the high-BPM booty bass goods with “gender fluids”, a 42-min mix intended to serve as a completion spell. In other words, press play and “complete any task you’ve been procrastinating to do,” whether that means tidying up your space or just smoking and clearing your mind. Frenetic and hyper-kinetic, the mix sails through sped up club music from around the world and the Bay, including hip hop, reggaeton, a little Selena, and the dance-and-truth track “Fuck Your Wack Ass Club” by Madre Guía (originally released on the Fire Szn EP last year). Rhythm, energy, swiftness, soaring.
“To what extent are the things that happen to us predetermined by our identity categories, and to what extent is that just the blues of being alive?”
— Thomas Chaterton Williiams
Airy and incandescent, Between the Lines is the second album by Forest Bees aka Sheetal Singh, who formerly played bass in SF alt pop quartet The Stratford 4. Released by Dandy Boy Records, the new album rocks along through ten tracks exploring the effect of racial categories, specifically in regard to South Asian Americans. A couple tracks teeter on the edge of indie pop familiarity (“Absolution”, “Wolf in the Fable”) but much of the rest jumps the boundary, experimenting with tabla (“Some Cliches Are True”), warping washes of noise (“Between the Lines”), and ambient interludes all throughout.
For more recent releases from Dandy Boy Records, check out Celestial Person by Planet Birthday and Orange Whip Licorice by Pure Material.
FUNK METAL POETRY
“And if I
if I ever let love go
because the hatred and the whisperings
become a phantom dictate I o-
bey in lieu of impulse and realities
(the blossoming flamingos of my
wild mimosa trees)
then let love freeze me
I must become
I must become a menace to my enemies.”
— June Jordan
Surprise! The gods have declared that rap rock is here to stay. Blending poetry, goofiness, rage, love, nu-grunge, and funk metal, LUGGAGE N’ UMBRAGE: The Skeebo Sides is the latest EP by SF queer artist collective COMMANDO. In addition to the brilliant inspiration from poet-activist June Jordan, there are whispers of Gil Scott-Heron, Rick Rubin, and even a little local-grown Primus ridiculousness. Expect heavy headbanging, twisters of intertwined tempos, and bizarre but prescient lyricism. Is San Francisco circling back to a psychedelic revival, but this time bigger and more inclusive than the white suburban hippies? Sounds like it.
See COMMANDO celebrate the EP release with support from Middle-Aged Queers and Crush Material at Bandcamp HQ next Friday, April 21.
Our top show recommendations for the coming week:
[experimental] Flung, Raven, Umamifunk, Baqvas — April 14 at Neck of the Woods
[club] NO BIAS ft. Lara Sarkissian, Baalti, Madre Guía, rental vhs — April 14 at Underground SF
[hip hop] 415 DAZE FEST ft. Ofmb DK, Chezi, Stunnaman02 — April 15 at Monarch Gardens
[hip hop] 415 DAY ft. Stunnaman02, Alien Mac Kitty, Grand-O — April 15 at El Rio
[experimental] Benediction: Benefit for Zekarias and Working Name Studios — April 15 at the Crown: Royal Coffee Lab & Tasting Room
[r&b] Lalin St. Juste — April 15 at SFJAZZ
[rock] Etran de L’Aïr, Sun Hop Fat — April 15 at the Chapel
[club] Writing on Raving After Party with DJ CZ and Idhaz — April 15 at Underground SF
[rock] Grooblen, Daytime Lover, Mae Powell — April 16 at Thee Stork Club
[rock] TENCI, Sour Widows, Rose Haze — April 17 at Rickshaw Stop
[rock] The Residents — April 17-19 at Great American Music Hall
[club] 2manydjs, Eug — April 19 at 1015 Folsom
[electronic] The Seshen — April 20 at the Independent
[electronic] Chromeo, Starfari — April 20 at the Regency Ballroom
[rock] Fake Names, Street Eaters, Control Freaks — April 20 at Rickshaw Stop