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Imelda May on motherhood, rockabilly influences, and when to say "Screw it"

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Taking the sounds of traditional rockabilly, blues, and jazz and giving them an injection of her own infectious energy and style, Irish chanteuse Imelda May can make listeners swoon at a ballad or jump up to the searing rockers that pepper her excellent new album, Tribal (Verve), which was released last month here in the United States.Read more »

Holy crap is there a lot of good new music coming out of the Bay this week

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Looking for something to get you past the hump of Hump Day? Well put down that "which Disney princess is your dog" quiz right this second, for a straight-up ridiculous amount of good new music was unleashed upon the world this week, with a disproportionate amount of it coming from our very own home turf.

Listen up, burst with pride, and let us know what else you're listening to.Read more »

Find your fangs: Total Trashfest is upon us

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I can already envision the sound of Shannon Shaw's voice singing Metallica's "Enter Sandman," and it's music to my ears. The James Hetfield-penned classic is the stuff of nightmares, and with "Rocktober" officially here, the timing is right for the return of the Total Trash Halloween Bash. Read more »

Live shots: A hot and sticky Hardly Strictly

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In keeping with Hardly Strictly weekend weather of years gone by, this past weekend was the most summerlike the Bay Area's been all year. Ooo-weee, it was hot out there.

While you're chugging your coconut water and dabbing your sunburn with aloe vera, here are our photos and reviews of our favorite sets.

Lucinda Williams

Lucinda Williams is about the only person I can think of who actually makes me wish I drove a car more often. Read more »

Social Distortion digs up its roots

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Although they got their start in the fast and loud world of the southern California punk rock scene of the late 1970s and early 1980s, Orange County rockers Social Distortion have long embraced American roots music, incorporating country, rockabilly, folk and blues influences into their songwriting and overall sound.Read more »

Chuck Prophet on glam rock, his new record, and how the Castro is turning into a strip mall

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Chuck Prophet's been around the San Francisco music scene long enough to make a name for himself in a few regards: He can be counted on for rock 'n' roll story-songs, for startlingly visual writing. The influence of Lou Reed shines plainly through his somewhat disaffected drawl. And more often than not his adopted hometown of San Francisco (he's lived here for nearly 35 years) is the central subject of his musical mash notes, as in 2012's elegy for the city, Temple Beautiful, with its lamentations about long-dead rock clubs and Halloweens in the Castro. Read more »

The Aislers Set reunion welcomed with open arms, nostalgia at The Chapel

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By Rebecca Huval

After an 11-year hiatus, dream-pop lovables The Aislers Set played to a sold-out room swooning with nostalgia at The Chapel Sunday night.

Singer-songwriter AV Linton sang catchy melodies backed by a curtain of reverb and Yoshi Nakamoto’s chest-thumping, punk-infused drumbeats. Unlike the typical audience of young rapscallions drawn to Valencia, this late ‘90s band surfaced the 30- and 40-year-olds — and even had them jumping and dancing past 11pm on a Sunday. Read more »

Two-fer Tuesday: New music videos from Cathedrals and The Stone Foxes

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Because nothing showcases the breadth of music being made in the Bay Area better than some chilled-out electro R&B followed by a driving blues-rock sprint of a song: Here are the latest music videos from local faves Cathedrals and the Stone Foxes. Read more »

Live shots: Modest Mouse sweat it out at the Masonic

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Modest Mouse got hot and heavy at the Masonic Sept. 26, and we were there to catch them in all their sweaty glory. Mimicking Birds (first photo below) opened.

Read more »

The Mountain Goats' John Darnielle on his first novel, unreliable narrators, and the joys of getting real mail

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John Darnielle’s brain seems like it runs at just a slightly higher RPM than other people’s.

One could get this impression from listening to the tightly crafted mini-universe he creates inside each track on a Mountain Goats record — take your pick, he’s penned some 14 full-length studio LPs inside the last 18 years, not counting a slew of singles and B-sides and other assorted treats — or from his Twitter feed, which zooms from his enthusiasm for black metal to witty commentary about televised wrestling to on-point, eloquent opining about Ferguson, vegetarianism, or abortion rights. Read more »