White Crate — July 23, 2021
Bliss out to Indian classical music meets modular synthesis with Arushi Jain, revisit late 90s psych rock from SF, blast the new Space Jam soundtrack, and more
The big conversation in San Francisco this week?
The same as everywhere else: the delta variant.
But the difference in the Bay Area, a region with high vaccination rates, is that people are starting to seriously ask how to keep restaurants, bars, and other businesses open without regressing to early pandemic problems of rising cases and dangerously strained hospitals and healthcare workers. One possible solution? Send the anti-vaxxers home.
Both city officials and the San Francisco Bar Owner Alliance (which represents 500 bars) are exploring their logistical and legal pathways to requiring that patrons show proof of vaccination before entry into businesses. This wouldn’t be too big a leap: SF itself “already plans to require all 35,000 city employees — from police and firefighters to City Hall clerks — to be vaccinated once the shots receive full approval from the Food and Drug Administration. City workers who refuse to be vaccinated and don’t get a medical or religious exemption could be fired.”
I have a bunch of tickets to shows so, selfishly, I think it’s a great idea. If officials can manage to implement a system that protects people who actually can’t get the vaccine while also encouraging vaccinations among the general population, let’s go for it.
THAT NEW NEW
“One of my secret—and not-so-secret—goals is to make people fall in love with Indian classical music.”
I can’t help myself. This album is too beautiful. Arushi Jain was born and raised in New Delhi, moved to San Francisco to study at Stanford, and is now based in New York City. But it was during her studies in the Bay Area that she found her sound. Melding Indian classical music with the rich tradition of modular synthesizer music in the west, Jain’s new album Under the Lilac Sky is quickly becoming one of my favorites. Read an interview with the artist on Bandcamp.
Bernal Heights-raised La Doña teamed up with San Antonio band Los Texmaniacs on “Mal de Amor” b/w “Alma, Sangre y Sentimiento,” a pair of classic-sounding conjunto songs.
Santa Cruz singer-songwriter Elliott Ok released easygoing indie rocker “Joey.”
“Growing up near Sacramento in the ’80s and ’90s, it was impossible not to know about Little Charlie & the Nightcats.” So opens an obit I found online for the band’s co-founder and guitarist Charles Baty, who appears on the slow-burning “Captain’s Blues” as the next collaborator featured on Funkwrench Blues’ “Need to Know Badass Blues Instrumentals Series.”
Uce Lee, Jazze Pha, and West Oakland rapper Guapdad 4000 sing an ode to freedom of choice on the new single “Options.”
Unapologetically Yay Area, Feel More is the newest mixtape from Gunna Goes Global and Stunnaman02.
Ignoring the fact that Saweetie and Doja Cat already had a hit with “Best Friend,” Kehlani joins Kiana Ledé on sultry R&B track “Ur Best Friend”, adding to the Oakland artist’s collabs this year with Ant Clemons, Amorphous, Lil Durk, and Pink Sweat$.
Oakland metal artist King Woman released “Boghz,” the third single from her upcoming album Celestial Blues, out July 30 on Relapse Records.
Following Our Country, Miko Marks’ first full-length album in 14 years, the Oakland country singer rejoins San Jose band the Resurrectors on a cover of the bluegrass standard “Long Journey Home.”
“A classic of late 90s psychedelic rock from San Francisco stalwarts Mushroom gets a reissue with bonus tracks and rarities.” Never heard of them, but the instrumental space-meets-prog rock group’s first internationally released album analog hi-fi surprise just got featured on Bandcamp’s New & Notable.
SF rappers Ozer and Sussy released “Blow My High” last year, and now the song will be part of the full album Lost in Translation, out next week on Audio Vandals.
German house producer and DJ Purple Disco Machine remixed Patrick Cowley’s 1981 Hi-NRG classic “Menergy” (feat. Sylvester) for an upcoming collection of remixes of disco hits from the back catalog of Unidisc, one of Canada's largest indie record labels.
Rexx Life Raj don’t quit. Following “Kimbo Slice,” “Alpharetta,” and “Lockheed Martin in just the past month, the Berkeley rapper returns today with “Turn Her Up.”
The Seshen, the Bay Area seven-piece whose album CYAN was featured on KQED’s 10 Best Bay Area Albums of 2020, released CYAN Remixes, featuring reworkings by SNVS, Salami Rose Joe Louis, FEVRMOON, Kumar Butler, and Mahawam.
SF house producer 3kelves and Dan Be teamed up on “Docket Keys,” which appears on the new compilation Happy House Vol. 3 by France’s Happiness Therapy.
Spanish DJ HVME, who blew up last year thanks to a house flip of Travis Scott’s 2016 hit “Goosebumps,” teamed up with 24kGoldn and Quavo on the new single “Alright.”
Alameda ska label Bad Time Records released “Bad Influence,” the second single from the upcoming album Nice One by Philly four-piece Catbite. Album’s due out August 6.
I loved Space Jam when I was a kid. And I don’t even care about basketball. But it’s a great film and had a soundtrack to match, so I loved seeing this NPR piece—How the Bay Area Reshaped a Classic Soundtrack—highlighting how a bunch of amazing local artists made it into the reboot, including P-Lo, Saweetie, 24kGoldn, Duckwrth, Symba, and White Dave.
(And while we’re reading Pendarvis Harshaw—a columnist at KQED Arts and the host of Rightnowish on KQED-FM—I’ll also point out their newest piece on the return of live hip hop to the Bay: Stunnaman02 and the 'Big Steppin' Energy in the Room.)
Here’s one for the post-rock heads (like my friend Adam who sent this along). Recorded and mixed at Tiny Telephone in SF—the indie music studio which closed last July—and released on Temporary Residence Limited in 2005, Noumena was the debut full-length album by the Drift. Right from the outset, on opening track “Gardening, Not Architecture,” the SF group paints a slow-moving landscape perfect for spacing out to.
If you ever want to press play on the growing list of artists covered on White Crate, follow this Spotify playlist. Shuffle and crossfade recommended!