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Saturday, July 20, 2024

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Arts + CultureMusicUnder the Stars: Fake Fruit goes clown show, Fresh...

Under the Stars: Fake Fruit goes clown show, Fresh & Onlys return…

James Devane de-stresses the algorithm, Voluntary Hazing silence notifications, NxWorries team up, more music

It’s Under The Stars babe….. Where we are always stoked to see local digs pop up in new visuals from local artists who treasure these Bay Area spots just as much as we do.


For example, Fake Fruit, the Oakland-based post-punk outfit, that signed to Carpark Records, just released their second single from the album Mucho Mistrust, arriving in August.

“Cause of Death,” which has an eerie “welcome to the clown show of the music business” vibe, sees the trio transform into harlequins overnight and take part in what can be conceived as a circus, which looks like it’s shot inside The Chapel.

 The track wavers between pop aesthetics and anthemic structures shot through the band’s dirgy prism.  

On the inspiration for the video, California native Hannah “Ham” D’Amato elaborates: “I was thinking about that meme where the man is gradually turning into a clown without realizing it, and how that’s kind of what it feels like to participate in the rigged game of capitalism/the music industry where the house always seems to win.”

Ok, Let’s get after it!


With all the clamor about what minimal techno is in 2024, San Francisco producer James Devane has found a way to create lofty soundscapes, by incorporating synths on a four-day workweek and drum machines tuned to “chill-bro” tones.

It’s ambient vibes, all day, in post-COVID, right? But now they’re operating on their own algorithm.

You can find that aesthetic at a barely populated downtown coffee shop, near the Embarcadero, that’s dressed up like an Apple store. 

That, right there? A scary, but real, thing.

Searching, Devane’s follow-up to 2022’s Beauty is Useless, showcases a unique, slowly paced, odd-duck funk, warbling off the peculiar time signatures that run at chameleon-like blood pressure cool.

Not one slapper in the coffer, and it’s a gift. Everything surveys squelchy textures or lazy day slumber like it’s dressed to the nines in some crushed velvet Vuori leisure pants a blonde gymnast would advertise between episodes of ‘“Clipped” or “The Bear.” 

Devane chooses wisely: full arrangements, slowly creating color pools in your earbuds instead of fast whammers. No dumb shit here.

Maybe, just maybe, the snare drum hummer “No More No Less” could be pitched up to breakneck pace for moon stomping, but why? The dreaming before dancing ethos reads quite nice on a summery day out in the park, catching a breeze or watching a frisbee just sail through the sky.

According to the Bandcamp notes, the label states “hours of source material (presumably the artist’s own) run through custom software and fashioned into tracks that random through musical key, tempo, and rhythm.

“A search button and a save button” is Devane’s statement. Can a computer really get down this de-stressed?

Searching, which gets enhanced, excuse me—elevated—with a CBD drink FYI, adds a whole other strain to the chill-room playlist that slightly bumps at golden hour.

Grab it here.


From the intel gathered up here, it’s a reunion show for beloved SF band Fresh & Onlys.

For the first time since 2019, these San Francisco indie darlings are getting back together—for just one show. 

From the official bio: “Originally formed by Tim Cohen, Shayde Sartin, Wymond Miles, and Kyle Gibson, Fresh & Only released their self-titled 2008 debut at the fulcrum of a flourishing San Francisco music scene. The debut distinguished the band from their peers in the lauded ‘San Francisco garage scene.’ With tunefulness equally indebted to pastoral psychedelia, punchy new wave, and hyper-literate proponents of lofty 80s pop, The Fresh & Onlys swiftly moved through the ranks of venerable indie rock labels.”

As if that was not reason enough to venture out, there is a killer BBQ happening at 6pm and two stellar bands in support (The Intelligence and Earth Girl Helen Brown). I mean, after the 4th of July: bands and BBQ in a movie theater?

Don’t overthink it, Sparky, just come on down.


When Bill Murray first read Sofia Coppola’s script for Lost In Translation, the comedy icon asked just one question: How funny do you want it?

That’s what Anderson .Paak can do for any project.

Do you want Gully Soul? Smooth hip-hop that will burn your ass with sharp content? C’mon now, don’t let the smooth taste fool you.

Or do you require a multi-instrumentalist who can back up Beyonce or sit in with The Roots any day of the week?

Ever since the West Coast-based rapper and singer-songwriter released his double album Malibu in 2016, he’s bounced around guesting here and there, starting a project with Bruno Mars, showing up on commercials with Michael B Jordan. Hey, it’s all earned. But this team-up with Knxwledge, the follow-up to Yes Lawd! from eight years ago, is the thing where we get to hear all the versions of Anderson .Paak.

Why Lawd? brings soul, R&B, hip-hop—with feeling. Thundercat, H.E.R., Snoop Dogg, Earl Sweatshirt weave their talents throughout but it’s producer Knxwledge tuning the arrangements on cool, no skips mode and Anderson .Paak is just being his charming, charismatic talented self.

When you are satisfied with all the rap beef, come get to these good eats.

Grab it up here or buy it in the store.


Deep in the thicket of the 2020 shutdown, a 12-member band from San Jose emerged.

Voluntary Hazing, a ska and pop-punk band who, at times, stumbled into psychedelic, disco, and acoustic sounds, charmed the bejesus out of us here at 48hills.

I’ll cut to the chase, they are themselves. As I said four years ago and I stand by it, they are cool. Like eating a burrito in Dolores Park, type of cool. No enhanced flash, just fun. Well Boppers, they are preparing to drop their new long player of a release Addictive Little Sounds on Friday, July 19 at a release show at The Art Boutiki Music Hall, 44 Race Street in San Jose.

Please mark your calendars now. About the album title, band leader Kayla Renelle says “The addictive little sounds in question are the notifications of one’s smartphone. The loose concept of the album is how those little computers in our pockets affect our anxieties and influence how we operate outside of our phones.”

Follow them here. Pick up tickets here.


Seeing different emcees team up with legendary producers brings new energy to the hip-hop scene of a certain age. That Premier/Snoop collaboration was all quality, with smoke in the air, no doubt.

But this upcoming release from Common and Pete Rock? They both express that it has been a dream for them to work together. Fans are also excited, saying “it has been our dream to see you both collaborate after all these years too”.

Listen, I have followed Pete Rock throughout all the Petestrumentals on BBE and such, and he has never lost his fastball. But this track, “Dreamin'”, with Common representing the culture with nothing but love and Aretha’s “Day Dreaming” repurposed for a golden touch?

Great things do come to those who dream.

Pre-order here.


When Franck Martin, our local modular synthesizer wizard, who hosts a monthly electronic music showcase at Noisebridge in the Mission every fourth Thursday, gives the heads up about a project getting ready to be released, we try to give it space. Modular music is a mainstay in the Bay Area’s artistic scene.

The Four Sided Note, a title that reflects a groundbreaking nature, hinting at the quadraphonic soundscape that serves as both a performance environment and a compositional element, is a six-track self-released project by Doug Lyner, mixed by Franck Martin, that does indeed follow in that alternate reality mold. “Performed live on an array of modular synthesizers (including a Mystery Serge)” according to the liner notes, the release follows computer blips, high-pitched frequencies, and alien talk melodies that flutter about like insects, bouncing on computer music machines, making the smallest notes echo through a forest. 

Pick it up 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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