Under the Stars is a quasi-weekly column that presents new music releases, upcoming shows, opinions, and a number of other adjacent items. We keep it moving.
We gonna hush with that whole cutesy intro thing this week cause I ain’t feelin’ it. Ya mean? I recently was re-introduced to the whole SF funny chick style, which I thought had gone the way of paper Muni passes. Naaah, son. It’s still here, like racism. Some may actually call it just that… let’s put a pin innit for a different day, though.
So what’s the purpose for this rant in what should be a light-hearted intro for a music column? Just cause you are trying to do good in the world doesn’t mean everyone else is.
We stay stoked to hear about the thriving African music club scene here in SF, where DJs spin the latest hits, be they Afrobeats from Nigeria or Amapiano from South Africa. Please listen to the wonderful story by Ugandan American writer and producer Jessica Kariisa on the Afropop Worldwide platform—or if you are feeling the need to better educate yourself about the African American roots of popular music genres that currently appear to be free of African Americans, go attend Mark Montgomery French’s live show “All Your Favorite Music is (Probably) Black,” Thu/22 at The Lost Church in North Beach. It promises to be informative and enlightening. Let’s keep talkin’ music.
SONNYJIM & THE PURIST, WHITE GIRL WASTED (DAUPE!)
Trust in the light in which Homer Simpson is drooling. I’m getting used to the whole boom-bap revival. It’s “Glorius” to quote Sa-Ra. It’s the type of lean-in made up of beats. Carefully-sculpted waveforms of rhythmic poetry.
No chorus, hooks, or singers sangin‘ a song. Just emcees rapping as if their lives depend on it over the most delectable hooks, loops, and whatever else makes a track saucy. This vibe-y, just-serious-enuff debut from Sonnyjim & The Purist features MF Doom, Jay Electronica, Madlib, and DJ Premier.
Wall-to-wall plumes of kush posing as tracks. Keep your fingah ready, because it’s going to stay active pressing that arrow triangle to figure out how dope that line just was that you might have missed due to Preem and Madlib’s still pristine production skills.
“Lemmon 714”, a dedication to one of the most outlandish moments in The Wolf of Wall Street, with beats deft and droopy like microaggressions stuffed in Ugg boots (SF funny chick style.) It’s the drunk-flute, plush-carpet, jazzy knock you didn’t know you needed.
Find it here.
JOAN JETT FEST AT THE BALBOA, SEPTEMBER 22
I went to see The Runaways, or rather ran to see it, the weekend it was released in 2010. Not that I expected it to be a cinematic journey in authentic filmmaking. I’m always interested in musical transitional periods. The Runaways, the very first all-girl rock and roll band, were only around for a short time, from 1975 to 1979, but the group arose in the midst of musical chaos.
Rock, disco, and punk—they were all influenced by (as lead vocalist Cherie Currie has stated) David Bowie first, followed by those three genres. Disco was the polar opposite of what the band wanted to be. However, the music still had an impact
The movie had my man Michael Shannon playing the Devil, record producer Kim Fowley coming with the, “I’M KIM FOWLEY, RECORD PRODUCER. YOU’VE HEARD OF ME,” and director Floria Sigismondi capturing that moment in Los Angeles when disco was bleeding into something else, and the upcoming punk kids embraced the weirdness of it all. It feels like an accurate take on strange times, which are usually where the good stuff comes from.
God bless The Balboa for booking local bands The She’s and Buzzed Lightbeer to perform before this screening of The Runaways—talk about context. Come out and celebrate Joan Jett’s birthday in style. Doors open at 7 p.m., bands start at 8 p.m., and the film begins at 9:30pm.
Get your tickets here.
JENN JOHNS & THE F.U.N MANIFESTO PRESENT: THE GATHERING A HARVEST RITUAL AT THE NEW PARISH, SEPTEMBER 23
Mang, I just saw Lalin St Juste perform with The Seshen at The Independent a month ago in support of Brijean. St Juste, as usual, had the audience in a frenzy of adoration and rapturous joy. This sonic alchemist will collaborate with vocal powerhouse Jenn Johns and talented emcee Damon Turner for a night dedicated to bringing in community and harvesting what is required to forge ahead with intention and power.
“The Gathering—A Harvest Ritual” will also feature co-founder of 7000 COILS DJ KKINGBOO and DJ Abeldee.
Tickets can be purchased here.
ELVIS COSTELLO AT GREAT AMERICAN MUSIC HALL, SEPTEMBER 30
Two benefit concerts dubbed “Elvis Costello sings Hunter/Garcia” have been announced on behalf of Prader-Willi Homes, a non-profit that provides housing to people living with the organization’s eponymous genetic disorder. The highly-anticipated events will take place right after Costello finishes his afternoon set at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, which kicks off the same day in Golden Gate Park. Costello’s evening benefits will feature rare and intimate tributes to Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter, with an early show at 7 p.m. and a final call at 10 p.m.
Purchase standing-room-only tickets here.