When Ripley Johnson and Sanae Yamada first began making music together as Moon Duo, they didn’t set too many parameters for themselves or what the group could be. “I think initially, we didn’t want to define it so much,” Yamada says. “It was more asking the question, where can we take music with just two people trying to play rock. We tried not set any limitations or strict boundaries.”
According to Yamada, keyboardist, drum machine maestro and knob-twiddler for Moon Duo, she and her musical/romantic partner just wanted to give themselves the freedom to do whatever—even if that meant turning Moon Duo into a trio. And so they did. Continue reading »
Derrick “Dstrukt” de Mayo has a thing for pineapples, grapes, and V8 Juice. Believe it or not, these are the very things he needs in the studio to get the inspiration going—which was what inspired his newest EP, Pineapples and Grapes. When he isn’t busy in the studio, you can find Dstrukt spinning at 55 South’s weekly soul dance party, Motown on Mondays, and making (good) fun of colleagues in the prolific South Bay DJ collective, BVMO. Continue reading »
It can be hard to believe now, but two decades ago ska had a pretty big moment. It was a time before Gwen Stefani’s solo debut and Bradley Nowell’s overdose, when alternative radio stations were spinning bands like the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Reel Big Fish, Goldfinger and Less Than Jake with regularity. And then there were the Voodoo Glow Skulls. Continue reading »
Leave it to Kronos Quartet to deliver a program exploring ethnic wars, genocide, bombings, Afro-Cuban percussion, liturgical Jewish prayers, Tibetan mysticism and the Brooklyn Bridge. As they’ve done for 40 years now, Kronos continues to interpret the future of the string quartet, and the program they have planned for this Sunday, at Stanford’s state-of-the-art Bing Concert Hall, is no different.
The concert will feature mostly new works—all of them by female composers, including Missy Mazzoli, Santa Ratniece and Aleksandra Vrebalov. Continue reading »
Tha Doggfather, himself, Snoop Dogg, is coming to San Jose next Friday, Oct. 10, to preside over what is sure to be a hazier-than-usual party at downtown night club, Studio 8. Continue reading »
There are two important facts to understand about Blue Dream, the latest solo album from Orenda Fink, half of Alabama dream-pop duo Azure Ray. First, the songs were inspired by the devastating experience of her dog passing away. Secondly, although it might seem contradictory, it’s probably the most joyful, hopeful album she’s ever written. Continue reading »
These days, terrestrial radio isn’t the first place most would turn in search of new or obscure music. But this weekend—all day Friday and Saturday—fans of the spacey sounds of modern psychedelic music, will be tuning into KFJC, Foothill College’s radio station, as it will be broadcasting live from the Liverpool International Festival of Psychedelia in the United Kingdom. Continue reading »
It’s that time of year again. As summer slips into autumn, the farmers prepare for the harvest, and the people prepare for the long hard winter ahead… It’s also time for Beyond Wonderland. A traveling electronic music circus—a playground for late teens and early 20-somethings to figure out just how little they can wear or just how borderline offensive a slogan they can slap across the front of a tank top. They come to get blitzed and feverishly dance—or flail, really—to throbbing electronic bass, twinkling melodies and grinding fax-machine-death-knells shaped into one of the tones commonly recognized as one of the 12 notes in the traditional Western musical scale. Continue reading »
For his 10th studio album, Wu-Tang Clan affiliate Killah Priest went big. Really big. The Psychic World of Walter Reed, is a sprawling two-disc conceptual record that covers everything from rugged street-hardened tales of dope dealing and gun running, as well as cosmic journeys to the ends of the universe. The album features guest verses from Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, and Inspectah Deck, and production credits from RZA and GZA.
But Priest wasn’t done just yet. On Aug. 9, the Brooklyn-born rapper secured Kickstarter funding for his book, The Psychic World of Walter Reed—an accompaniment to the record of the same name. He is bringing his book to San Jose this week. Continue reading »
DJ Snake, who along with Lil John, created one of the most unabashedly, antagonistic party anthems in recent memory, will be headlining the Beyond Wonderland electronic music festival this Saturday. That song, “Turn Down for What,” exhorts listeners to keep the volume pumped, both literally and figuratively—as “turned up,” or “turnt,” in the parlance of our times, has become slang for getting wasted, reckless and otherwise partying hard.
But if last year’s Beyond Wonderland event was any indication, there will be plenty of Mountain View residents who will wish the festival would turn down. According to a report by the Mercury News, locals made around 130 complaints about noise in 2013—many of them related to the deep bass produced by electronic acts like DJ Snake and Kaskade who will be performing this year. Continue reading »