John Vanderslice – White Wilderness
Released on Dead Oceans January 25, 2011
John Vanderslice is the Timmy Lincecum of the San Francisco music scene. Though slightly older and favoring a croquet mallet to a baseball bat, Vanderslice is just as much of a hometown hero to many and provides just as much — if not more — of an escape for listeners and show goers alike.
Lia Ices — Grown Unknown
Released on Jagjaguwar 1/25/11
It is no easy task to try and describe Brooklyn’s latest breakout sensation Lia Ices. After some hunting around, I discovered I was not alone with this sense of confused wonder and adulation. The New York Times describes her as “pristinely strange”; Pitchfork marvels at her ability to “flit gracefully between sultry, come-hither coos and emotive yelps,” comparing her to Cat Power, Feist and Tori Amos; and Spin.com takes the cake with this wholly referential and cutting-edge comparison, “Joanna Newsom’s pot-smoking, college-dropout sister.”
I jumped at the opportunity to see X perform at Slim’s last week. Never having seen them as a youth, I was a little wary that the time that passed since their heyday in the 80s may have been a cruel burden upon their abilities and my memories. But, as I entered the sold out club, I began to feel the energy of the crowd and a tinge of excitement started to creep up my spine.
I had the pleasure of seeing the Sacramento-based project Sea Of Bees play twice this holiday season (thanks Santa). Once backed by a drummer and lead guitarist, and once solo, standing at a microphone in the middle of a holiday happy hour party filled with revelers drunk on highly alcoholic beer. Both times, I was immediately struck by the voice of Jules Baenziger, the brains and brawn behind Sea Of Bees.
With New Year’s just days away and many clubs and venues still quiet in a Christmas slumber, now is the perfect time to reflect on some of the year’s best releases. The annual Best Albums of 2010 list published on SF Station. We collected a few videos from some of the lesser-known acts that made the list.
I walked into The Independent last night filled with hopeful desire. No, I was not on the hunt for some arm candy nor was I on the lookout for a certain small batch bourbon that only select bars and clubs in this city carry. I was on edge because I had heard from the headlining band’s publicist that this was their first time in San Francisco, their first time on the West Coast, and their first time touring the United States.