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Monday, December 4, 2023

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Arts + CultureMusicUnder the Stars: Weed slaps for your 4/20 high

Under the Stars: Weed slaps for your 4/20 high

Kick that wack 'reggae gone wrong' in the Chicken McNuggets with Once & Future Band, GOD.DAMN.CHAN, ET Finger, more

We’d like your 4/20 Day celebration to have the right kind of soundtrack. 

As a DJ, I’ve opened for one too many sniveling hippie Ras Trent “reggae gone wrong” outfits who came to SF to play their first 4/20 show. I recall a band called Four Twenty (from a nearby town called Santa Cruz) playing on Four Twenty at Madrone and even announcing at the top of their set, with that nasal twang: 

“Hi, we’re Four Twenty.”

You can do better, far better than that SF. 

Kick the wackness in the Chicken McNuggets. 

Get back on track in 2023 with the 4/20 Hippie Hill Festival in Robin Williams Meadow in Golden Gate Park. Keep the spark (had to do it) going with DJs Lo Down Loretta Brown (Erykah Badu), Talib Kweli, and Shortkut at The Midway that nite.

But you know how we like to do it at 48hills. Here are some non-obvious ways to keep it crispy and crunchy.

Remember. You can be stone cold sober and still experience a truly unique San Francisco day that you can’t get anywhere else on the planet, Jack!

It’s Under The Stars, the 4/20 version. Let’s get it:

ONCE & FUTURE BAND

While they claim to be a pop group, this Oakland-based band is far from it.

The previous four-top, now a trio, opened for Shannon and The Clams at The Chapel this past New Year’s Eve, taking prog rock through ’60s and ’70s pop, AOR, and jazz fusion flourishes like no one else.

Dive into their discography for blissed-out R&B, blue-eyed soul, and early-’70s psychedelic pastiche. This band, a Bay Area original, who gets props from Vinyl Williams and the psyche music community at large, is perfect listening whether it’s 4/20 day or Bean Throwing Day (yes, that’s a real thing) O&FB will bring out the magical sun.

Here is a cosmic mix they did for BBC Radio 6 that appeared on Tom Ravenscroft’s show.

From Paul McCartney to Pete Rock, George Duke to Patrice Rushen, it’ll keep ya shining like the star you are. We’re highlighting them here because we dig them, if you haven’t guessed.

GOD.DAMN.CHAN, BIG SMOKE VOL. 1 (DOME OF DOOM)

It takes big stones or having the nickname “Smokey” to drop a beat tape about weed on 4/20. 

Channing Day, best known as GOD. DAMN. CHAN, the Portland, Maine-based producer and DJ makes heaters: Weedslaps for your heartstrings.

Chan is mixing his best “salad” to date, with bong hits ripping in the background as Patrice Rushen boogie funk bizness swirls in the weed smoke, and Sanford and Son vocal snippets get diced like shallots.

This isn’t Good Music for 4/20… No, no homeytron. It’s goooood music for your 4/20 get down, on anyday.

Big Smoke Vol 1 is an extension of his hip-hop, trap, electronica, bass, and broken-beat genre melange that made him a  Low-End Theory DJ staple when that LA party-projected to the world who was next up on the bass music frontier. 

But these 24 tracks are a quick wink from our genre-bending pal saying, a la the Simple Minds song: Don’t you forget about me.

Dropping on 4/20, get it here.

ET FINGER, “BRAWLERS” 

ET FINGER, as reported previously here in this column, is the talented collaboration of Bro Safari and UFO!, beat-wave twisters transporting listeners to boastfully strange IDM-goes-trap soundscapes, by tagging up past structures of electronic music and dousing them in different sheens. Simply put, they play Jenga with the genres. Breaks and beats, dubstep, jungle—fast-moving steps that never reach for the predictable.

With “Brawlers,” the duo is thinking globally while acting locally in the drum and bass realm.

Amens snapping, thicc bass riddims running down your shorts, and dub frequencies properly mashing about.

This concentrated valve heat pressure punches out, and warbly bass lines jiggle.

And listen homeboy when that Zamfir pan flute ends of the track, you’ve been notified that a new type of grumbler just blew up the spot.

Classic, classic tune. You can get it right here.

FUNKSIDE W/ TOPH ONE & DELON ON FRIDAY APRIL 21 AT EMPEROR NORTON’S BOOZELAND, 9PM-2AM

Just because I know you’ll have the energy, I’ll tell you right now: Go see these distinct DJs, emperors of groove and all things funky. For over two decades, Toph One and DJ Delon have been shaking both sides of The Bay.

Many things in San Francisco would not be possible without DJ Toph One. Period. 

Time and again, he lends his expertise behind the decks to new and emerging venues, saying, “Yep, the spot is legit,” and it’s off to the races.

Alain Grissette, his guest, is also royalty. He’s been doing it since 1997 as a musical outlet to supplement his role as Jupiter’s band booker in Berkeley. 

He’s also got a wide range of sounds…

Downtempo, drum&bass, AOR, obscure Prince, and The Time from the vault.

Steely Dan secrets, twangy Khruangbin bumpers…

That sound is being pushed by a full atmosphere.

For many up-and-coming DJs in Oakland and San Francisco, sitting in alongside Delon at his back patio sessions has become a “rite of passage.”

To quote the Purple One’s song: “It’s Gonna Be a Beautiful Night.” More info here.

48 Hills welcomes comments in the form of letters to the editor, which you can submit here. We also invite you to join the conversation on our FacebookTwitter, and Instagram

John-Paul Shiver
John-Paul Shiverhttps://www.clippings.me/channelsubtext
John-Paul Shiver has been contributing to 48 Hills since 2019. His work as an experienced music journalist and pop culture commentator has appeared in the Wire, Resident Advisor, SF Weekly, Bandcamp Daily, PulpLab, AFROPUNK, and Drowned In Sound.

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