pop Archive

Book Review: Rock and Roll Explorer Guide to San Francisco and the Bay Area

San Francisco has a rich and varied cultural history. The city by the Bay has been home to a long succession of cultural scenes, form the Beat poets to the psychedelic explosion to the punk and new wave phenomenon of the late ‘70s and early 1980s. Relevant to my own interests, I’m writing a book

Album Review: Peggy Lee — Something Wonderful

A casual listener might only be able to name “Fever” – and possibly “Is That All There Is” – but Peggy Lee scored a lengthy run of hit singles. The primary arc of her career ran from the early ‘40s (when she was the singer in Benny Goodman’s big band) through 1974, when she hit

Album Review: The Mommyheads — Coming Into Beauty

If you’re not familiar with the Mommyheads, try this: imagine a cross between the quirky intelligence of They Might Be Giants, the sophisticated use of studio-as-instrument of Talking Heads, and the enduring pop sensibility of Todd Rundgren (more on that last bit presently). The Brooklyn band was active from the tail-end of the 1980s through

A tUnE-yArDs Extra

I recently engaged Merrill Garbus of Oakland-based indie group tUnE-yArDs; our conversation was the basis of my recent feature in SF Weekly. But a few of the topics we discussed didn’t make their way into that feature. Here, then, are highlights from the rest of our interview. – bk What are your current thoughts regarding

Different by Design: tUnE-yArDs Get Comfortable Being (a little) Less Weird

When Merrill Garbus made Bird-Brains – the 2009 debut recording from her Oakland-based project tUnE-yArDs – part of what earned the album critical plaudits was its quirky, offbeat character. Eleven years and five albums later, tUnE-yArDs returns with Sketchy. And at this point in her career, Garbus and her primary collaborator, bassist Nate Brenner, feel

30 Days Out, April 2021 #1: Alexa Rose, Brie Capone, David LaMotte, Eric Gales

I’ll spare you the April Fools Day jokes and instead move on to letting you know about foru live-and-in-person music performances happening in the next 30 days in Asheville. Three are locally-based artists (who customarily tour pretty widely), so not only are these opportunities to see live music, they represent a sampling of the best

Album Review: The Tummies — 9:30 Girl

I love beat groups. Cue up anything from early Beatles to obscure ‘60s acts like freakbeat combo the Renegades (you haven’t lived until you’ve heard their cover of Bill Haley and His Comets’ “Thirteen Women”) to – arguably – the Smithereens, and you’ll get my rapt attention. The high-energy, enthusiastic vibe wins me over almost

Hundred-word Reviews, March 2021

Hey, kids: collect ’em all! Five new albums, all highly recommended. Here’s the lowdown on each, in exactly 100 words per. Maxwell Farrington & Le SuperHomard – Once If you’re at all like me, you often find yourself sitting around pondering this age-old question: “What would it sound like if Lee Hazlewood recorded an album

The Moon and You: Curious About What Happens Next

This feature appeared previously in Bold Life. Ryan Furstenburg and Melissa Hyman each had things going as singer-songwriters before they met in 2011. But once they combined their creativity, the result was something special. “Our first date was playing music together,” Ryan recalls. “Melissa offered me money.” “I could tell he was really broke,” Melissa

Always Finish What You Started: Van Dyke Parks on ‘Orange Crate Art’ (Part 3 of 3)

Continued from Part Two… Parks recalls a visit to a friend in rural Virginia, nearly 2500 miles due East from southern California. “I went past, Galax, where the Old Fiddlers Convention is held,” Parks remembers. “It inspired me to write ‘My Jeanine,’ [set] in a place that doesn’t exist and a time I haven’t forgotten.”