Under the Stars is a quasi-weekly column that presents new music releases, upcoming shows, and a number of other adjacent items. We keep turning the brain cycles, avoiding a coconut of intrigue. Adhering to the hushed tones of NPR speak, but still betting on that bucket full of awesome. Stay One Hunnid, SF!
And speaking of one hunnid-ness, music still remains one of the key portals to adding minutes…moments, enriching ones life.
In the recent Pitchfork article 33 Musicians on Their Favorite Albums of the Last 25 Years, we find out how Radiohead’s OK Computer calmed a hectic time for Bun B, Kenny Garrett’s Songbook gave Kamasi Washington inspiration, and Portishead’s Roseland NYC Live record in its dark sparkle glory—”mournful, angry, sexy, all hypnotically woven together with beats and live strings and tasteful scratching”—served as a beacon to Sharon Van Etten.
With music, all you have to be is you. On with it!
Declaime, The Last Stand (Fatbeats/Arawax Records)
It is important, actually paramount to insert Declaime aka Dudley Perkins’s name into those golden days of Stones Throw label conversations that everybody’s been having since the passing of MF Doom.
The Oxnard rapper and singer/songwriter created an extensive amount of music with producer Madlib, over many years. It’s that nasal, off-beat, quick-witted intellect that always catches the ear. He’s one of the few emcees who can be talking, speaking in fact, in several different directions all at once, with ice water resolve.
It’s educational, sugar in the medicine, real Money flow. Genuine. Similar to my fave episode of Amoeba’s What’s In My Bag, where he and his partner Georgia Anne Muldrow are just speaking on music. No frills, just raw truth as it pertains to their children and their individual funk and jazz upbringing. Relationship goals, people.
2019’s Black Love & War, their third album as a duo, saw the Cali-bred, Nevada-based couple, keep that same energy while raising the spirit of Blackness and everybody who embraces the culture. Perkins took a large chunk of the lead narratives—either sung, rapped, or spoken—delivering a strong mortal presence through his idiosyncratic voice, while Muldrow, who produced 14 of the 16 tracks, took the straight vocal lines, clear harmonies of foundation. Their yin-yang, one-two combo, complemented Muldrow’s “fOnk,” a blend of ‘70s funk and West Coast G-funk, into a lavish, psychedelic sound that’s got a little guts to it. These apocalyptic times called for it.
The Last Stand, Declaines powerful new record, features Latoiya Williams, Joseph “lovedragon” Limburg, Juan Lobo, Braxton Cook, Ayun Bassa, and others. But most important we get more of that Declaine humanity upliftment flow, that the world is indeed in need of right now.
Give Back/Get Back: Public Works Free Party, October 22
Public Works has always been about Giving the People What They Want, and as we all come out of disco hibernation, PW felt it was time to throw a party for our awesome community of dancers, free thinkers, innovative creatives, and all-around good humans to celebrate. On October 22, the club is hosting the Give Back/Get Back party, a night of fun, mayhem, and celebration, featuring DJs Dusky and Truncate, Chrissy, Kudeki, and Max Gardner. This free circumstance even has an open bar from 9-11pm. Headliners Dusky and Truncate will lead the audible charge while stellar local crews Direct to Earth, Pile Palace, Only Human, Renegade Maskerade, and Electroluxx will keep the beats going all night long.
This will be an entire venue extravaganza in the main room, loft, as well as a fresh-air filled Silent Disco under the stars. RSVP here.
Seablite at The Golden Bull Sunday, Oct 23
Bay Area shoegaze/dream-pop four-piece Seablite returns with their trademark fuzz, reverb, and delay for an upcoming performance at The Golden Bull, Oakland’s downtown venue co-owned by Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day.
While we expect new projects from them in the future, 2019’s debut Grass Stains & Novacaine was lauded by Bandcamp Daily for “cheerful pop melodies, undulating female harmonies, and lyrics that you can’t really understand, because it’s not about the words so much as the overall mood.”
2020’s High-Rise Mannequins found Andy, Galine, Jen, & Lauren floating out balmy vocals, riding layered squelch, with choruses punctuated by guitar slash and effervescent twee.
Along with bands Dummy, Cindy, and Blue Ocean, our sage indie-pop maestros have turned up for 2021 and we could not be more excited.
Drummer Andy Pastalaniec, gearing up for his own solo project, Chime School, prepped to release November 5 on Slumberland Records, has concocted a blithesome cluster of indie rock compositions as well.
The talent in this Bay-Area foursome continues to run deep and wide. Buy tickets here-it will sell out.
20th Street Block Party Saturday October 16
San Francisco-based indie band Zelma Stone, fronted by Chloe Zelma Studebaker, has just been added to this weekend’s free—with RSVP—20th Street Block Party line-up. (We profiled the artist in September.)
Part-street food festival, part-music festival, and part-local shopping bazaar, the block party will showcase the Mission district. Home to the Noise Pop offices for over a decade. With a focus on all things local, the fall event highlights the small businesses, food, music, art, and rich culture that inspires the 20th Street corridor.
Music headliners include Y La Bamba and Con Brio, plus other SF acts like French Cassettes, Same Girls, and more. Over 20+ local businesses are confirmed to join in on the festivities that includes the one of a kind culinary arts of nonprofit partner La Cocina, which directly benefits from proceeds along with nearby nonprofit 826 Valencia. Noon to 6pm, Mission District (20th & 19th Street between Bryant and Harrison). To RSVP go here.