Electronic Music

Noise Pop goes electronic: The indie rock festival continues branching into booty-shaking territory

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By Whitney Phaneuf

Over the course of its 22 years, the Noise Pop Festival has expanded its definition of indie beyond rock and into genres like hip-hop and electronic music. The festival had to evolve with its audience’s eclectic tastes, its general manager Dawson Ludwig explained in a recent interview, without sacrificing the aesthetic that celebrates alternative, DIY culture.

“As the term indie rock has expanded and been redefined, it’s opened itself up to mean a lot of things,” Ludwig said. “Those who buy tickets to Bob Mould are just as likely to buy tickets to DJ Rashad.”

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Goldies 2014 Music: The Seshen

Call it what you will — the fresh, soulful sound of The Seshen demands to be heard

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GOLDIES "What was the latest? Afro-futurism? Afro-futurism," says Lalin St. Juste, songwriter and lead singer in the East Bay band The Seshen, of how the somewhat un-categorizable band has been categorized by critics most recently. "Which we're kind of OK with. It makes me think of, like, a silver afro."Read more »

I Love This City's tasteful use of confetti, fog, and lighting

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When I first heard that the inaugural I Love This City festival was moved from AT&T Park to Mountain View’s Shoreline Amphitheater, I thought fate (or Live Nation) was twisting my arm. Read more »

The organ, the laptop, and 'Digital Loom'

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The SF Symphony's awesome-looking American Mavericks festival -- which will present a "wild side" of contemporary and modernist classical works not often heard on a Davies Hall scale (Meredith Monk! Jessye Norman singing John Cage!) -- kicks off next week with a host of edgy aural goodies. 

And this Sun/4, in a kind of pre-fest wallop, Quebecoise organist Isabelle Demers will take advantage of the enormous Davies pipes to play a number of neat pieces, including one by SF's electronic-adventurous Mason Bates, entitled "Digital Loom," (hear a sample here). "Digital Loom," from 2009, embodies Bates' signature fusion of techno-ambient effects, often laptop generated, with symphonic elements to create something not quite Sci-Fi, not quite rave, not quite Stravinsky at his most cosmic-colorful, but all quite cool.

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The Performant: Weekend in Wonderland

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ALICE and Folsom Street Fair fall down different holes

From North Beach to South of Market, clowning to carousing, the weekend offered up a veritable smorgasbord of sensory overload and playful edge. First off, a debut performance of a quirky bit of deconstruction in new kid venue on the North Beach block, The Emerald Tablet. Written and conceptualized by two spirited performers (Edna Miroslava Barrón and Karen Anne Light), “ALICE: Down the Rwong Wrabbit Whole” offered a welcome introduction to both the space and the still-fresh faces of the presenting duo.

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Musical alchemy

Quantic mixes rhythm and travel on new best of record

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MUSIC I've never defended the idea of a "best of" record. Some anonymous curator is typically given the task of sifting out a musician's hits from the misses, of establishing an artist's definitive compilation once and for all. A fairly daunting project for judging something as fickle and varied as musical taste. So I have to admit I was skeptical when I picked up The Best of Quantic album put out by the British imprint Tru Thoughts earlier this month.Read more »

Time and space pilot

Electro-composer Amon Tobin returns from the future with ISAM -- and an alien, next-level stage show

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MUSIC Pioneering electronic composer Pierre Schaeffer used a specific word to describe his work, which took 'common' noises and manipulated them into music — acousmatic: "referring to sounds that one hears without seeing the causes behind it."Read more »