Tonight's the night: Cold Beat at Grace Cathedral
Plus reviews of new releases by Orchestra Gold, Rose Cherami, Bosstype LB + Stunnaman02, Bored Lord, and William Ryan Fritch
First of all, thank you to everyone who came out to the Chapel on Wednesday night. If there’s one thing you can’t fake, it’s that magical exchange between a badass band on fire and a crowd full of fans receiving and returning that same energy. So all due love to Discos Resaca Collective, Louda y los Bad Hombres, and Chulita Vinyl Club DJs Malcriada and Mar.E.Fresh for making it the most memorable of Mission nights.
Next stop? Grace Cathedral. We hope you already got your tickets to this sold-out event, but if any of your friends lagged, we will have limited quantities available at the door. Doors open with Josh Cheon spinning at 7 PM, and Cold Beat starts at 8 PM.
Here’s a little sneak peek…
I’m not going to waste space telling you about the Bay’s history of psychedelia – you likely already know all about it. There are multitudes of articles, films, and books by smarmy white guys out there on it, and they take up a frankly undue amount of space in the recorded history of American rock and roll.
That’s what makes Orchestra Gold such a welcome addition to the canon. Their third album, Medicine, releases this Friday, and it’s a fuzzy trip full of hypnotic vocals and grinding guitars. Based in Oakland, Orchestra Gold is fronted by Marian Diakite, who blends those old psych conventions with Malian musical tradition. Though it folds two styles into one another, single “Koniya” emerges pretty squarely as rock and roll. If the rest follows in its footsteps, we’re in for a heavy, head-spinning album.
— Jody Amable
“you had to be there.”
pouring water in the dark by rose cherami is an eerie noise-ish album by the self-proclaimed “spell stutterer.” Amidst warped instrumentals, this short but powerful album features raw vocals with the ability to cast spellbinding nets on innocent passerby. rose cherami explores the edges of new goth and psychedelic noise, introducing an experimental siren-folk quality while cranking the overdrive to 10; this creates an abrasive and estranging effect, which keeps the listening ear in a state of constant intrigue, aching for that afterbuzz resolution. The track “selfesteem” is a literal play on this defamiliarization concept, as the artist recontextualizes The Offspring’s Smash hit from 1994 into new weathered terrain (and not without a clamor).
— Elise Mills
CREEPING AND THUMPING
“I dunno where you been, I been to hell and back.” Posted up outside a liquor store and curling bags of weed like dumbbells, East Oakland rapper Bosstype LB links across the Bay with Stunnaman02 on “Bankroll,” a fire new midtempo hyphy track produced by Stockton’s Unseen Asylum. Creeping and thumping while reminiscing on that “hood rat shit” they’ve left behind, turn it up.
— Ronny Kerr
PURE BEAT BLISS, SOARING SYNTHS
The first rain of the winter. The first flower to bloom in spring. The first autumn leaves to change their color. The first NO BIAS release of the year. We all have our little moments to help us mark the passage of time, and this is a big one for every Bay Area music lover. For their 23rd release, the unstoppable SF dance label brings us two ravey singles (plus a drumapella and alt mix) from everyone’s favorite producer and DJ, Bored Lord. “Rom Play” starts out as pure beat bliss: first warehouse-rattling kick, then jumpy hi hats, and then phased out snare, until finally heavenly lofi synths get glazed over the whole thing. Likewise in the 140 BPM range, “Generator 2080” applies similarly simple ingredients, building up around soaring synths and a cut up vocal sample to keep the party moving. Condolences if you missed Bored Lord spinning with Bastiengoat at Underground SF last Friday!
— Ronny Kerr
Like most music swimming about the nebulous drone-ambient pool, Polarity by William Ryan Fritch is a slow burn. But worth it. It’s the first segment of a triad narrating fervent commentaries on climate disaster. The complex sonic textures are slow to melt and compound, but inevitable; throughout the course of the album, the dangerous rise of the tide can no longer be ignored. As for the sound design, WRF’s creative use of electro-acoustic technology communicates the direness of climate (in)action today: “…[T]he utilization of hydrophones, ceramic PZM mics and unique contact mic setups […] capture these sounds in a way that let him feel and see the vibration, resonance and energy from these circuits.” It’s this quality that makes this piece so exceptionally tactile. Impressively, he’s able to convey the magnificence and beauty of something that is also so devastating and destructive, and held in precarious balance. An omen pointing to the (un)refinement of (our) decline.
— Elise Mills
Our top show recommendations for the coming week:
[electronic] Cold Beat & the War Garden Choir — Jan 20 at Grace Cathedral
[club] A Club Called Rhonda ft. Jessy Lanza, DJ Spun, Beverly Chills — Jan 20 at the Great Northern
[club] Aircrax, Raven, Oso Feo — Jan 20 at Underground SF
[club] Spiral Stairs, Kelley Stoltz, Blues Lawyer — Jan 20 at Bottom of the Hill
[rock] Orchestra Gold, Tongo Eisen-Martin — Jan 20 at Bandcamp Oakland
[r&B] Isaiah Mostafa, ASTU — Jan 21 at Bandcamp Oakland
[club] Pangea Sound ft. Falcons, SuperNova, Amor Digital — Jan 21 at Crybaby
[club] As You Like It ft. Adra, Kudeki, Ritchrd, Only Now — Jan 21 at Underground SF
[indie] French Cassettes, Juan Wayne, Winsome — Jan 21-22 at Smiley’s Bolinas
[metal] SUNN O))) Shoshin (初心) Duo — Jan 23-24 at the Great American Music Hall