Friday, March 25, 2011

SFPD and CMAC Get Together

Today at noon, the California Music and Culture Association (CMAC) held a luncheon with Commander Greg McEachern of the SFPD and executive director Jocelyn Kane of the San Francisco Entertainment Commission regarding issues of public safety and law enforcement within the entertainment community. For a meeting between parties who have historically been at odds with each other, it was astonishingly amicable and warm-hearted. Commander McEachern explained that he is training his officers to develop strong working relationships with nightclubs and venues in neutral times, so that when trouble does arise, a precedent has already been set for useful dialogue between them. He admitted that, when an officer consistently receives calls to a certain location, he naturally begins to think of that location as problematic, and this can be an obstacle to effective communication - and that sometimes it is, indeed, a shortsightedness on the part of the officer that causes dispute. He encouraged the venues to bring such incidents to his attention, because, he emphasized, a working relationship between the police department and the entertainment community is of paramount importance, both to the parties involved and to San Francisco at large. 

Jocelyn Kane explained the complex dynamics of neighbor relations, and how an equitable compromise is often the best way of settling conflicts over noise and petty crime (public urination being one of the foremost). Even if a compromise is slightly disappointing to all parties, it is better to share this disappointment equally than to ignore completely the demands of one party. Seniority in the neighborhood, she repeated, furnishes no privileges - residents and business owners must cooperate, with the mediation of the San Francisco Entertainment Commission and, if necessary, the SFPD, to settle any dispute that may arise. Both CMAC and the San Francisco Entertainment Commission are concerned with the prevention of the archetypal "guy who likes to fight" from doing just that. 

This meeting seems to mark the beginning of a fruitful relationship between the SFPD, the San Francisco Entertainment Commission, and the venue staff, artists and music fans that comprise the California Music and Arts Association. We have CMAC to thank for protecting the interests of the Bay Area's entertainment community, and allowing venues to keep their doors open and the music pumping.

Revolt Tomorrow Night!

Don't miss out on the Revolt party at Mezzanine tomorrow night - we've got house legend David Harness, who has been described as 'a man who lives, breathes and emanates everything that is beautiful about deep house music and classic garage.' Harness has been active in the Bay Area since the 90s, and is the founder of the ongoing party 'Taboo' in the Mission, which showcases local talent as well as internationally-known DJs. He has established himself as a respected producer and remixer with his company DHJ Productions. Also spinning is the New Jersey-based, Dominican-born DJ Eddie Elias, who has been making his mark on the New York electronic scene, and San Francisco's own DJ Hawthorne, host of the weekly party 'Ghetto Disco.' It's gonna be a great party, get your tickets here!

YACHT Release MP3 of "Dystopia"

Portland-based band YACHT, whose purported modus operandi is to be a "Band, Business, and Belief System," has released an apocalyptic new track "Dystopia." The vocal harmonies sound great, as does the rhythm section. YACHT is situated solidly in the realm of the Biblical Shit, as evidenced by their historical timeline that begins with "The fall of man" and ends with the release of YACHT's new album Shangri-La. One of those might be more important than the other, but I leave it to you to decide which is which.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

New Album By Rubblebucket

Here's a great new track from Rubblebucket, who are releasing their new album Omega La La on Sin Duda Records on June 7th. This Brooklyn-based band is just fantastic. Colorful, poppy, funky, intelligent, catchy - this track's called "Silly Fathers." Give it a listen here.

Frite Nite!

Frite Nite is coming up this Friday at Mezzanine, headlined by the legendary Ana Sia, queen of the self-invented "global slut psy-hop", and with so many good words in one genre, you can't help but get excited. Hailing from San Francisco, Ana Sia is a pioneer of West Coast electronic music, and her set is not something you want to miss. This evening is going to be classy, so look - and drink - your best. Also spinning is Eprom, whose dub beats sound like they come from the bottom of a lagoon of hyphy, bubbling their way up and killing every hapless fish unable to shake its fin to a beat. Don't be one of them! The rest of the lineup is equally killer: NastyNasty, Salva, B.Bravo, Epcot, and Comma. Put on your tux jacket, short-shorts, and scuba snorkel, grab a cocktail, and get your tickets here.

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Incurable Bromance of Infantree

Infantree is a band that epitomizes the stunning creativity of youthful bromance. The members of this Southern California quartet are so tuned into each other that just about everything they write is quality - enough to get them signed to Vapor Records, co-owned by their long-time idol Neil Young. Their sound is a rich yet simple multi-layering of acoustic instruments and vocal harmonies - it would be easy to call it folk, but it's more than that. It's a blend of great songwriting, impressive musicianship, and most importantly, bro-love. Songwriter Matt Kronish says of his band, "They are my life and I love them." This is the stuff of legendary music. Ringo Starr once reminisced about the Beatles having the entire top floor of a hotel, with four separate suites, and all ending up in a single bathroom together, just because they loved each other (and probably to share a J). What makes this kind of kinship rare is that it can't be manufactured. What would be the chances of Lennon finding McCartney on Craigslist? Infantree is lucky, because they've got it, and they know they've got it. It would be easy to talk about the irony of how, despite the hundreds of shows they have played, including Outside Lands, CMJ, and SXSW, the members of Infantree still can't (or aren't old enough to) drink, or make a trite comment on how their age belies their great songwriting ability. But isn't it precisely because they're young and nappy-headed that they write such powerful music? Talent is talent, whether or not it can get into the club. And Infantree has it in spades.

Infantree's new album, Would Work, came out in September of last year, but they've also generously provided a bunch of free tunes available for download.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Prom Night 1986, Redux

Alright, so you know you fucked up the first time. You showed up one drink short of belligerent, wearing a lime-green blazer with tulip in your lapel, a tulip you picked from the neighbor's front yard, and okay, you said some things you shouldn't have said, at least not to your date, so you slinked back to the poundcake with Jed and took that final, fatal hit of Jim Beam, and thereby insured your virginity against any of the marvels prom night is meant to bestow. The rest is history - so say the historians. But history is ever and still in the making, and if Mr. Schwarzenegger can live down his ludicrous quotations to become Governor of California, there is a chance that you can finally redeem yourself. The fact is, gentlemen and -women, prom night 1986 has come again. This Saturday at Mezzanine, Drink:Eat:Play presents an 80's Prom Night, featuring two 80s cover bands and plenty of classics by Bon Jovi, Prince, Madonna, Journey, and many others. It's going to be a night full of taffeta dresses and ruffled shirts and all the other things you're too embarrassed to wear. Dust 'em off and put 'em on. And if you're feeling ballsy, drop a line to that long-lost date, that would be prom king or queen, that failed first, and invite them. But this time, get a rose, and stick to beer.

Get your tickets here.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Peter Murphy of Bauhaus Tonight @ Mezz!

When Peter Murphy first joined Bauhaus in 1978, in Northampton, England, at the behest of guitarist Daniel Ash, he had never written a single song. It was impossible to tell that Bauhaus would be the gut-busting, genre-defying phenomenon it turned out to be - that is, for about six weeks, which is how long it took Bauhaus to get noticed and shoved into the studio at Beck Studios in Wellingborough. Within a couple of years they were hugely successful in the UK, and scored their second-biggest hit with a distorted, up-tempo cover of Ziggy Stardust. Bauhaus is largely considered to be the first gothic rock group, which makes Peter Murphy the first goth singer - in fact, he has been dubbed "The Godfather of Goth."

Five years and four albums later, the group split up, but Peter Murphy kept on making music, often with a penchant for metaphysical or religious lyricism, which went over the heads of many of his fans in the UK - but his video for "All Night Long" became a hit on MTV, and his career in the US began to escalate. When he released his album Deep in 1990, his popularity in the United States was at its peak. After converting to Islam in the 1990s and moving to Turkey with his wife, Murphy's music began to take on Middle-Eastern influences. He was particularly inspired by Sufi mysticism, which fed into his already-established taste for philosophical lyricism.

Murphy continued to make albums throughout the 2000s, including Dust, Unshattered, and his latest release, Ninth (2010). He has toured extensively around the globe, won over millions of fans, and contributed permanently to music history; it is no small honor to have this living legend play for us tonight at Mezzanine, and one that you wouldn't want to miss for anything.
Get your tickets here.

Review: DeVotchKa

Nick Urata of DeVotchKa once said of performing his music, “When you are standing naked up there, in the clutches of an attention-challenged audience, you find out immediately what works.” The knowledge of what works onstage and what doesn't is by no means an exact science. If DeVotchka's music contains healthy servings of Balkan revelry, should they prance about maniacally like their dark cousins in Gogol Bordello? Or should they focus on their impeccable musicianship, like the clarinet and kanun virtuosos of the Near East? Or should they focus on the lyrics, and embody the language of each individual song?

At their show on Monday, March 3rd at the Great American Music Hall, they seemed to do all of the above. Certainly, Nick comes off as more of a lovelorn poet than a gypsy-crazed rockstar. He is not a man of theatrics, but it would be a mistake to assume that he is not a great performer. His voice is clear, high, and otherworldly, á la Thom Yorke; his guitar playing is impressive yet relaxed, and he prefers the acoustic axe to his black magic Les Paul (which he is not afraid to crank up when the moment is right); he is a master of the underappreciated but astonishingly beautiful Greek instrument bouzouki; and most of all, he seems to mean every word he sings. Urata is a frontman with a powerful aura, who, without any fuss or pantomime, and seemingly without effort, had everyone enthralled.

Of course, the band's dynamics were in-fucking-credible. Tom Hagerman played the accordion, keyboard, and violin like he was born playing all three at once; Jeanie Shroder hefted her christmas-lighted sousaphone and slow-danced with her double bass unfalteringly, and Shawn King played the trumpet in one hand while drumming with the other. With a band like that, it's kind of hard to suck. And with a frontman like Nick Urata, it's kind of hard to not have to do 2 encores - which they did, with great flair. And even as Nick finished his champagne, a double whisky, and a half-bottle of wine onstage, the feeling of intimacy never left the room, and when he raised the bottle and toasted "the city of his dreams", the cacophonous applause was as genuine as the performance.

DeVotchKa's new album, 100 Lovers, was released on March 1st.

New Wave City, April 9th!

New Wave City is a monthly dance party thrown by DJs Skip and Shindog to celebrate the wonderfully liminal New Wave era of the late '70s - early '80s. Each event features a tribute to one of the seminal acts of the period, such as Depeche Mode, The Smiths, The Cure, New Order, Siouxsie and the Banshees, etc. You'll hear songs from the featured artist throughout the evening as well as the rest of the best of New Wave. Next month's party will be a tribute to New Order, to be hosted at Mezzanine on April 9th. The party has "Blue Monday" theme, which means you dress in blue, drink blue drinks, ogle blue dancers, and feel great. In the upstairs room will be guest DJ's Donimo (Shadowplay) & Danny White (Indie Slash). New Wave City is, as the slogan says, "The First and Foremost 80's Dance Party" -- "first", as in, first on your list, and "foremost", as in, the 80's couldn't have done it better. Check out the promo video:

See you there!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Le Castlevania, Fukkk Offf @ Mezz Tonight!

Although Le Castlevania has toured extensively everywhere from Mexico to the UK, DJing alongside electro bigwigs like Justice and MSTRKRFT, Dylan Elland still returns to his native Atlanta, Georgia every month to fill his slot as resident DJ at a huge indie-electro party, aptly entitled “FUCK YESSS.” Dylan doesn't look like a Southerner. Dylan really doesn't look like most people you're used to seeing, with his lighting hair and piercings and model chic: he looks like a creature of the beat, and that's exactly what he is. Castlevania doesn't just spin, he channels the nightmarish ecstasies of some neon god. He's like a conduit to some alien boogie-land where they eat synthesizers for breakfast and rave 20 hours a day. His tracks are blistering, as his thousands of fans can attest.

Co-headlining is Fukkk Offf hailing from Hamburg, Germany. Fukkk Offf, whose Myspace page features an atomic blast photoshopped into a hand giving the middle finger, consists solely of Bastien Heerhorst. Impossibly, unfortunately, shamefully, Bastien has before never spun in SF, so tonight is going to be a first for everyone – and it'll be a hell of a first. Fukkk Offf is a master of fudgy bass, freaky vocal hooks, and beats that are downright sinister. His popular track “Rave is King” features a calm, tone-deaf, female computer voice crooning “Alcohol. Drugs. Overdrive. Noise. Neon lights. Party People. Can you feel it? Rave is king.” The guy's got a point. And he's out to prove it.

The show also features some terrific local talent. RealBoy is comprised of a duo who met in kindergarten (presumably at a rave): Daniel Gomez and Austin Jacobsen have been playing all around San Francisco, mixing old-school swing and Duke Ellington clarinets with pounding, irresistible beats. Also on the bill are Fabian Campos, spinning some excellent disco house, Robot Mafia, and MikeyyDrops, each promising to be fantastic. The upshot of which is that tonight's party is going to be epic.

What Happened to Mardi Gras?

Way back when, before the invention of America and Christianity, the Romans threw some really great parties. One was called Lupercalia, the “Wolf Festival”, which involved all the fine young men getting naked and running around spanking women with, in the words of Plutarch, “shaggy thongs,” and the women would purposefully get in their way to get spanked. Another was called Saturnalia, where everybody would go on a week-long bender, and slaves would get to order around their masters to give them foot massages and get them snacks. All this had a lot to do with Pan, the god of stinky uncontrollable animal urges, so there was plenty of hanky-panky in all shapes, sizes, positions, directions, and orientations. People would get drunk and play flutes and get really, really freaky. And, of course, there was music everywhere. All over Rome there were horns blowing, drums thumping, and strings twanging. In fact, music, along with some edgy comedies, helped loosen people up to do whatever they wanted.

Then, after the advent of Catholicism and the institutionalization of the crushingly-sober Lent period, a more cloak-and-dagger version of this became popular in Europe: the Carnival of Venice. People would put on weird, elegant masks and mingle in the Piazza San Marco, and, under the guise of these masks, people of different social classes would indulge in lascivious behavior. Noblewomen would get with peasants, dukes would get with bar wenches, that kind of thing. Again, the circus element was huge: jugglers, fire-blowers, sword-swallowers, blaring horn bands, sonorous string bands, along with the carefully-crafted masks, helped take people out of their normal mindset and make them want to boogie.

Modern-day Mardi Gras is a bit more watered down. Don't get me wrong, Fat Tuesday is great, but it isn't as mind-bending as the pagan clusterfucks it derives from. Or is it? Okay, so most of us don't have hundred-person orgies in bathhouses with live music playing, or have fortunes of jewels to spend on random magic potions for our newfound squeezes. But we do have some pretty nifty innovations of our own. We get to hear mind-blowing sounds on ridiculous sound systems, get to see crazy light displays and drink impossible cocktails, we get to hang out with fantastic individuals who dig what we dig. We get wackos like Charlie Sheen being super real and telling us to make magic, we get DJs like Chris Harnett and David Carvalho spinning exactly what we want to hear. So it isn't Saturnalia, Lupercalia, or the Carnival of Venice; but it has the potential to be better. That's a choice that we make when we decide where and with whom we're going to start the night – and resolve to let the night do the rest.

WhiteNoize Mardi Gras 2011

Maybe the reason that WhiteNoize is so collaboratively awesome is that its DJs are individually awesome. With years of producing under their well-cinched belts, Chris Harnett and David Carlvalho have formed a veteran's army of two, with Harnett bringing his clever beat-making skills into synergy with Carvalho's considerable musical repertoire. Individually, they have performed all over the West Coast (including at Mezzanine) and have DJed high-profile parties like The Red Bull Grand Prix, the Grand Opening of H & M, and even the Democratic National Convention. Together, they are unstoppable. WhiteNoize's remix of Fatboy Slim's peaked at #26 on Beatport's top 100 house chart and was one of the top ten "must listen" tracks of the week. Yes, they are maestros of house music, and yes, they will have you dancing your ass off. But what distinguishes Whitenoize is their mastery of sound texture. On a good sound system you can hear the multilayering of phasers and filters that interweave above the beat, and the crispness of the samples that punctuate the upbeats. The result is both sexy and subtle. Add to that a premier venue and a Saturday night in the Bay, and you're in for a treat. Partake in masterful mixology in more ways than one. Saturday, March 5, WhiteNoize at Mezzanine.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Lindstrom with Jonas Reinhardt and Corinne @ Mezzanine 2/12

444 Jessie St.
San Francisco, CA

Doors at 9 pm
Tickets on Sale:
$16 Advanced Tickets

For Bottle Service Call 415.626.8880

Sorry we've been out of touch for a bit. It is with great excitement that I write today's post however, showcasing Norwegian talent Hans-Peter Lindstrom. Coming from one of the most unique musical backgrounds in the industry, Lindstrom is definitely a one of a kind act. Raised on country and western music in the outskirts of the Norwegian oil town Stavanger, he now lives in Oslo where he is making contemporary disco and running his Feedelity label. Never really having an interest in dance music, Lindstrom always favored more contemporary and old fashioned styles of music. After getting fed up with music in general, he went into retirement around '99. Fortunately for the musical world, that "retirement" was short lived, and soon he had bought a sampler and was diving head first into the world of dance music.

With major works done for artists such as Franz Ferdinand and LCD Soundsystems, Lindstrom is a name not to miss. Also performing alongside Lindstrom is rising producer Jonas Reinhardt. Not to forget new Bay area freestyle sensation Corinne wrapping up the lineup making one hell of an eclectic night at Mezzanine. See you there!

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Twelves

444 Jessie St.
San Francisco, CA

Doors at 9 pm
Tickets on Sale:
$16 Advanced Tickets

For Bottle Service Call 415.626.8880

Brazillian boys João Miguel and Luciano Oliveira are the faces behind the moniker "The Twelves." After founding the group in 2005, the duo went on to get their big break from their remix of M.I.A.'s "Boyz" track. The song received tremendous worldwide blog and radio coverage, launching their name alongside some of the heaviest hitters.

After a stream of consistent top notch remixes and track appearances alongside names like MSTRKRFT and LCD Soundsystems, The Twelves have been a steadily growing presence in the industry. With a tendency to incorporate as many improvised features as they can into their live shows, expect to see quirky mash-ups and remixes all on the fly at Mezzanine this February 5th!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Toxic Avenger @ Mezz

444 Jessie St.
San Francisco, CA

Doors at 10 pm
Tickets on Sale:
$15 Earlybird, $20 Limited Advance!

For Bottle Service Call 415.626.8880

Hailing all the way from Paris, France is Simon Delacroix a.k.a. The Toxic Avenger. Making his first big name for himself in the electronic industry in 2007 with the release of Superheroes, "Toxie" has come a long way since then, shaping his sound in a way that few can match. Keeping audiences entranced with a thrashing and loud yet melodic rhythm he continues to raise the club standard. Things are only looking up for The Toxic Avenger after remixes by The Bloody Beetroots, Drop the Lime, and South Central; as well as performing with artists such as MSTRKRFT, Chromeo, and even the infamous Public Enemy.

Contrary to the name of one his latest single releases, "Toxic is Dead," Simon is busier than ever touring from Paris to Melbourne. With the recent November debut of his Angst EP, The Toxic Avenger is going to have his hands full all around the world, not just with his keyboard.

Thursday, January 6, 2011


Jaffe Events and Superbad Entertainment Presents:


444 Jessie St.
San Francisco, CA

9PM Doors
Tickets on sale NOW! This event will sell out.
$30 Advanced Tickets | Limited Discount 2 for $40
$50 VIP Tickets (Upper Level VIP Area Access)

For Bottle Service Call 415.625.8880

Faith Renée Evans (born June 10, 1973) is an American singer-songwriter, record producer, actress and author. Born in Coral Gables, Florida and raised in Newark, New Jersey, Evans moved to Los Angeles in 1993 for a career in music business. After working as a backing vocalist for Al B. Sure, she became the first female artist to be signed to Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs’ Bad Boy Entertainment label in 1994, on which she released three platinum-certified studio albums between the years of 1995 and 2001. In 2003, she left the label to sign with Capitol Records.

Next to her recording career, Evans is widely known as the widow of New York rapper Christopher “The Notorious B.I.G.” Wallace, whom she married in 1994 two months after meeting at a photoshoot. The turbulent marriage led to Evans’ involvement in the East Coast-West Coast hip hop feud, dominating the rap scene at the time, and ended with Wallace’s murder in a yet-unsolved drive-by shooting in Los Angeles in March 1997. A 1997 tribute single featuring Puff Daddy and 112, entitled “I’ll Be Missing You,” became Evans’ biggest-selling hit to date and won her a Grammy Award in 1998.