While still a relatively fresh name in hip-hop, elusive Brooklyn rapper SAINt JHN is no stranger to the music industry. Since 2010, he has lingered in the shadows, writing lyrics for the likes of Usher, Jidenna, and Hoodie Allen before taking the stage himself in 2016 with his debut single “1999.” Born in Brooklyn, JHN spent much of his formative years in Guyana, which influenced his artistry and flow, claiming in an interview with Billboard, “To have the background of being in Guyana gave me a really specific type of influence. Because dancehall music is really melodically driven. Sometimes, the subject matter is a bit harsh, so I can borrow from both of those things.” Collection One, JHN’s debut studio album released in March, is just as much of a reflection of JHN’s upbringing as it is of his career in the music industry. Stylistically, JHN’s flow balances rapping and singing, with standout track “Reflex” exemplifying the strength of his voice. Lyrically, JHN bounces between braggadocio and confessional thoughts, never giving the false pretense he is rapping as a character. - SF Weekly
Chris Corner’s synthpop / dark electronic pop project IAMX stopped by San Francisco’s Great American Music Hall this past Monday, May 7th, in promotion of their latest album, ‘Alive in New Light’. Touted as, ‘An Evening with IAMX’, the show featured moody, minimal electronic music and projections setting the tone before the band hit the stage, as well as an extended performance celebrating the band’s discography. - Geoffrey Smith II / SF Weekly
Click HERE for the rest of the review + photos!
“This ain’t jazz rap, this that spaz rap,” Ritchie with a T angrily spits into the mic on “Oh Sh*t!” the opener off Injury Reserve’s 2016 debut album Floss. For the Arizona hip-hop trio, the line is a tongue-in-cheek response to the often-repeated observation that the group shares superficial similarities with legendary jazz rappers A Tribe Called Quest. While all members admit to the inspiration, the similarities end there. Injury Reserve works in a bizarre realm of hip-hop, and hardly sounds like any other contemporary group— let alone one from the Golden Age. In a 2017 interview with Complex, Injury Reserve they spoke candidly about their sound — and all three members claim Kanye’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is their biggest influence — but their unique style comes from the mere fact that “Phoenix doesn’t have a hip-hop scene,” Ritchie claims. The group found themselves at house shows playing alongside EDM DJs and punk bands in equal number, seamlessly fitting into every niche to be found in Phoenix’s music scene. Through the internet, Injury Reserve’s unusual yet innovative style found a passionate and growing fanbase, and the group’s new EP Drive Like It’s Stolen shows the group’s unmatched potential. - SF Weekly
An all-star punk-metal quartet that reunited two virtuoso members of the legendary experimental band Fantômas returns to the Bay Area when Dead Cross takes the stage at the Great American Music Hall Wednesday night.
The quartet performed its first live shows last summer, headlining small theaters (including its local debut at the UC Theatre in Berkeley) and making several festival appearances that earned Dead Cross kudos for ferocious blasts of intensity the band delivers from the stage. The group plays the Great American Music Hall Wednesday night ahead of a scheduled date in Mexico and a planned summer tour through Europe. Opening the show will be Mamaleek, a shadowy, experimental black metal outfit allegedly made up of two anonymous brothers who arrived in San Francisco via Beirut and mix elements of jazz, electronic and Middle Eastern music into their eclectic, menacing stew.
Click HERE for the rest of CBS SF Bay Area's preview & pick up your tickets soon!
British art rock quartet Django Django appears at the Great American Music Hall on Saturday, April 28, hot off the heels of two weekends in the desert at this year’s Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival (or the first-ever Beychella, if you will). The group — producer-drummer David Maclean, vocalist-guitarist Vincent Neff, bassist Jimmy Dixon and keyboardist Tommy Grace — is known for its genre-bending ethos, featuring strong rockabilly, Jamaican dancehall and pop influences.
The band is on tour following the release of its third full-length album, “Marble Skies,” which recalls much of the homespun charm that characterized Django Django’s 2012 self-titled debut, an album recorded in Maclean’s bedroom. With the latest work, the group steps away from the expansive sound of its second album, “Born Under Saturn,” to create new material that is well-honed and attentive. Los Angeles indie pop artist Ofelia K supports. - SFGate
Near the end of a 20-minute phone call from Los Angeles, Alice Glass, the former frontwoman of the electroclash band Crystal Castles, goes quiet. She says she has been feeling “a little bit frazzled” throughout the interview.
(That’s only been occasionally apparent with a few hesitant pauses and asides like “Does that make sense?” or “No, wait …” or “I’m just trying to put into words ...”)
“I really didn’t do a lot of interviews before,” Glass says. “It’s just something I really want to do more of because I remember reading different music magazines and things when I was a kid, and it made me really interested to learn about new music.”
Given the circumstances under which she left Crystal Castles, that sentiment has a deeper significance: Alice Glass has found her voice, and she’s ready to use it.
Click HERE for the rest of SFGate's interview!
Hip-hop relies on constant experimentation, and the brutally intense punk hip-hop duo Ho99o9 (pronounced horror) sound unlike any other artist either in hip-hop or punk. Rappers and longtime friends theOGM and Eaddy formed the group in Newark around 2012, equally influenced by figures like Bone Thugs-n-Harmony and Rob Zombie — and these unlikely antecedents can be heard in the duo’s blistering releases. Ho99o9 earned a cult following with two thunderous EPs in the years leading up to their 2017 debut album, United States of Horror. It’s 45 minutes of unhinged aggression, with a sonic range that includes hardcore punk anthems to heavy industrial beats, with both theOGM and Eaddy taking turns spitting violently unforgiving bars. Although technically a hip-hip duo, Ho99o9’s mosh-friendly sound is likely to appeal to those who follow hardcore punk rather than hip-hop. But hip-hop fans should still give the duo a listen, as Ho99o9’s shocking and socially critical lyricism along with their boisterous presence make them unique in either genre. - SF Weekly
Windhand returned to action earlier this year with a new split album with fellow Virginians and occult rockers Satan's Satyrs that ramped up the hypnotic psychedelic elements to the band’s sound. In addition to reuniting with Jack Endino in Seattle to record their forthcoming fourth album Eternal Return slated for release this fall.
For the group’s current tour to promote the split album, Windhand returns to San Francisco to headline the Great American Music Hall Sunday night. The group is joined by thunderous Philadelphia-based heavy prog/psych crew Ruby the Hatchet, who released their latest effort Planetary Space Child on Tee Pee Records late last summer. - Dave Pehling
Click HERE for the rest of CBS SF Bay Area's preview!
Last Thursday night, Great American Music Hall was a home-grown happy zone for hundreds of eager audience members and longtime fans of the Family Crest. Just a few days earlier, the band released The War: Act 1, their first major release in four years, and the crowd was riled and ready to celebrate.
Click HERE for the rest of The Bay Bridged's review!
(photo: Kate Haley)
Russian Circles put on another one of their mind-blowing live shows to the delight of the sold-out crowd at the Great American Music Hall on a Thursday night. The trio of bassist Brian Cook, guitarist Mike Sullivan, and drummer Dave Turncrantz have developed into one of the most interesting and captivating live bands in the rock/metal underground: combining raging heavy metal, atmospheric post-rock, and deep electronic textures.
Click HERE for the rest of SF Sonic's review!
All photos by Elizabeth Gohr.
For a band like the Buttertones, there’s a natural push and pull between nostalgia and looking ahead. Much of their sound is rooted in the past, with influences like punk rockers the Cramps, avant-garde singer-songwriter Scott Walker and the surf-rock and rockabilly of the 1960s and ’70s. And yet, the band manages to make listeners feel very much in the present
Although Tommy Victor and Prong may be thirty-plus years into their career, it most certainly doesn’t stop them from absolutely steamrolling their way in and out of venues across the world, and their recent show at Slim’s in San Francisco was no exception. Supporting their twelfth studio record, Zero Days, the band returned to the venue for the first time in almost twenty years and picked up right where they left off.
Check out SF Sonic's review of the night HERE!
All photos by Raymond Ahner
Wax Idols have a big night ahead on April 14, when they will headline the Great American Music Hall to play their upcoming album from start to finish.
“It’s a cool way for us to showcase all the work we have been doing the last few years and where we’re at as a group now which we’re really proud of,” said bandleader Hether Fortune. “It’s important to us to give the Bay Area people who have supported the band from the beginning the first opportunity to hear the record and have a unique experience.”
Click HERE for The Bay Bridged's preview!
Groove Soul artist Gene Evaro Jr.’s signature brand of folk electro-funk is making its way to Slim’s in a few days. The show is just days after the release of his third LP Like it’s 1965, which sees him blending Paul Simon folk songs with some deep funk from bands like Sly & The Family Stone. We wanted to learn more about this hot artist, so we reached out to him to talk about how he describes his music, what his main influences are and whether living in the desert has an impact on his music.
Click HERE for Music in SF's interview!