• Professor Music: This Column Can't Get No Satisfaction

    Professor Music: This Column Can’t Get No Satisfaction

    In May of 1965 The Rolling Stones were recording at RCA Studios in Hollywood. Keith Richards needed to record a horn line but didn’t have a horn player booked for the session. So Richards grabbed his Maestro Fuzzbox, Gibson Guitars’ first “stomp box,” a small pedal with a…
  • Nerdcore pioneer MC Frontalot on his new LP, breaking up with the Internet

    Nerdcore pioneer MC Frontalot on his new LP, breaking up with the Internet

    Nerdcore hip-hop pioneer MC Frontalot‘s new album, Net Split or, the Fathomless Heartbreak of Online Itself, is a breakup album about the Internet. “I mean, don’t worry,” the artist, born Damian Hess, clarifies. “It’s not like I’m gonna stop using the Internet.” Just like breakup songs usually aren’t…
  • PHOTOS: Failure and Swervedriver double up to conquer the Fillmore

    PHOTOS: Failure and Swervedriver double up to conquer the Fillmore

    SAN FRANCISCO — Shoegaze bands Failure and Swervedriver share several similarities: Both have taken lengthy hiatuses, returned and released recent records faithful to their signature styles. So it came as no surprise that both drew many crossover followers to the Fillmore Tuesday. Failure’s newer records are clean, sonically sophisticated…
  • REVIEW: The Messthetics bring chaos to The Chapel

    REVIEW: The Messthetics bring chaos to The Chapel

    SAN FRANCISCO — As the Messthetics took The Chapel stage on Monday night, bassist Joe Lally gave a shout out to the legendary San Francisco music magazine Maximum Rock and Roll and the Black Lives Matter movement. The mix of punk and politics was no surprise given Lally’s…
  • Tuesday Tracks: Your Weekly New Music Discovery – April 23

    Tuesday Tracks: Your Weekly New Music Discovery – April 23

    It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer volume of music on the internet. Don’t get me wrong, I love how platforms like YouTube, Bandcamp and Soundcloud have opened the floodgates of independent artists. But navigating the flood is easier said than done. That’s where RIFF steps in. We do the…
  • REVIEW: The 1975 creates a sensory experience at Bill Graham Civic

    REVIEW: The 1975 creates a sensory experience at Bill Graham Civic

    SAN FRANCISCO — Manchester’s The 1975 provided a full sensory experience to a sold-out Bill Graham Civic Auditorium on Monday night. The group began with “Give Yourself A Try” and “TOOTIMETOOTIMETOOTIME.” Striking, bold colors flashed across the screen behind the band as the first notes of the latter song rumbled…
  • INTERVIEW: Picture This, the biggest band in Ireland, finds hope in 'MDRN LV'

    INTERVIEW: Picture This, the biggest band in Ireland, finds hope in ‘MDRN LV’

    Irish pop band Picture This has ruled its home country’s charts since 2017, when the quartet released its self-titled triple-platinum debut album. Since success is measured differently in Ireland and the U.S., singer and chief lyricist Ryan Hennessy uses an American equivalent to express the significance of the…
  • REWIND: Easter-adjacent songs from Jefferson Airplane and Irving Berlin

    REWIND: Easter-adjacent songs from Jefferson Airplane and Irving Berlin

    Tomorrow is Easter so obviously I have to do an Easter column. This presents a bit of a problem for me because Easter is a religious holiday and I’m completely incapable of not offending people. I offend people perpetually without even trying. And while Christmas has a vast…
  • Q&A: Rupa and the April Fishes propelled by civil justice on 'Growing Upward'

    Q&A: Rupa and the April Fishes propelled by civil justice on ‘Growing Upward’

    San Francisco’s Rupa Marya has spent her adult life dedicated to fighting injustice. The doctor and musician has used her actions to back up her often outspoken lyrics in global alternative band Rupa and the April Fishes. Rupa and the April Fishes Barrio Manouche 9 p.m., Friday, April…
  • INTERVIEW: Slothrust feeds on the magnetism of music

    INTERVIEW: Slothrust feeds on the magnetism of music

    The new live action and hand-drawn animation video for “Peach” encapsulates the sort of magical vibe alt-rock trio Slothrust was searching for when writing and recording its 2018 album, The Pact. BottleRock Napa Valley May 24 to 26 Napa Valley Expo Tickets: General admission $160-$360. The video sees the…
  • REVIEW: K.Flay shakes off the 'Bad Vibes' at intimate tour opener in San Francisco

    REVIEW: K.Flay shakes off the ‘Bad Vibes’ at intimate tour opener in San Francisco

    SAN FRANCISCO — A sold-out crowd packed into the friendly confines of Bottom of the Hill to see K.Flay on an overcast Monday. It may have been the beginning of a long work week, the weather may not have been perfect, the Warriors may have been in the…
  • Q&A: Steve Kilbey of The Church on never facing writer's block and hating grunge

    Q&A: Steve Kilbey of The Church on never facing writer’s block and hating grunge

    Starfish became the best-selling album for Australian alt-rock band The Church, but what frontman Steve Kilbey remembers most from making the 1988 record is how star producers Greg Ladanyi (Fleetwood Mac and Don Henley) and Waddy Wachtel (The Rolling Stones, Jon Bon Jovi) were rude to him and his bandmates. As…