Category Archives: Bay Area

Hiero After Dark: Images & Words From The Best Hip Hop Party of the Year

All photos by Ché Holts.

This was a long time coming. Sure, the Hiero Day festival graces Oakland every Labor Day weekend, but Saturday night’s Hiero After Dark party at The Midway in SF represented a far more ambitious event for the Hieroglyphics crew. It was so crucial for the culture and nothing short of a triumph.

We can’t deny the influence that Hiero has on Bay Area hip hop culture. Their legacy is timeless. But building on that legacy by propping up other artists in the Bay and mainstream nightlife culture, is what Hiero After Dark did best. The Midway was an apt massive space for the 2,000+ goers and felt like nothing short of a hip hop funhouse.

“Tonight was about connecting the new era…” Hieroglyphics’ Pep Love told us. “…connecting the artists with the new wave doing business: venues, promoters, people who curate events… Community and culture is what packs the house and that’s what Hiero does best.”

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Planet Dust: A 90’s Electronic Dance Party In SF!

Everything Ecstatic is crazy excited to partner with Subsonic and Popscene on a new 90’s electronic dance party coming to Amnesia on Saturday, June 8th!

DJ’s Aaron Axelsen (Subsonic) and Spinelli (Everything Ecstatic) will be dropping classic 90’s electronic bombs from acts like Björk, The Chemical Brothers, Air, Roni Size, Everything But The Girl and more!

You can snag pre-sale tickets for $8 and RSVP on Facebook here. One lucky pre-sale ticket purchase will win a very special CD (remember those?) Come party with us. Holler!

Analog Time Machine: The Warriors (40th Anniversary) at The Roxie

Well this is exciting… Everything Ecstatic is presenting a movie at the Mission District’s iconic Roxie Theater! And not just a plain old movie, but a full-blown “cult classic party” celebrating the 40th Anniversary of The Warriors, with an immersive evening of film, music and beer. We like to call this little endeavor, Analog Time Machine. 

Here’s the gist: Analog Time Machine is a film, a DJ set to start the evening featuring music from and inspired by the film and themed beers from our friends at Local Brewing Co.

The Show: Thursday, May 23rd at the Roxie Theater on 16th St & Valencia. Music at 845, film at 930. Sharp. Tickets are $15 here.

The Film: Walter Hill’s 1979 cult classic, The Warriors tracks a New York subway gang on a mythic 30-mile journey from the north end of the Bronx to their home turf in Coney Island. Their only obstacle is every street gang in all the five boroughs.

The Music: A 45-minute DJ set by our boy DJ Nutzeffekt, with music from and inspired by the film. Think Joe Walsh’s iconic “In The City” and old school soul-sample-addled Wu-Tang cuts.

The Beer: SOMA’s Local Brewing Company will have fresh cans of their Chasing Haze IPA (a double hazy IPA loaded with Citra hops and a touch of Mosaic and Hollertau Blanc hops too) and Honey Punches of Oats Pale Ale (A Spring seasonal pale made with honey from the beehives on the Fairmont Hotel’s rooftop hives…seriously)

RSVP to the event on Facebook, scoop your tickets and see y’all in the Mission on May 23rd! Caaaaan yoouuuu diiigg ittt!!!!!

Everything Ecstatic and Anchor Brewing Presents…

This one’s pretty straightforward y’all! Everything Ecstatic curated a badass showcase of local artists for Anchor Brewing’s SF Beer Week Local music showcase! It goes down Friday February 8th at Amnesia on Valencia St and features the elegant vocals of Zola, the R&B magic of Amen’Auset and a double super special DJ set from Johnny Hwin of Cathedrals.

Anchor will be pouring their new Fog Breaker IPA  (haze free…mostly), Anchor Steam (classic) and California Lager (SZA’s favorite beer…maybe.) Tickets are only $5 at the door, RSVP on Facebook if you’re into that sorta thing and peep the full details on the flyer below!

Zelma Stone’s Debut ‘Layla’ EP Takes Us Back To Today

I had a daydream this week… I was walking down Valencia St in SF and instead of fancy boutiques and pour-it-yourself brewpubs, the sidewalks were lined with flower kids and VW trip vans. I hopped into one of these said vans and Zelma Stone’s “River” was playing… I leaned my back up against the van’s bench seat, dropped my head back, closed my eyes, sunk into the ravishing rhythm and I was happy.

“River” is the opening cut to San Francisco five-piece Zelma Stone’s debut EP, Layla, out today on Honey House Records.And while songwriter and frontwoman Chloe Zelma’s affinity for Jefferson Airplane is evident, calling Zelma Stone a throwback doesn’t do their promising present justice. Seeing them on-stage early last year, I was struck by how at home their contemporary psychedelia is in San Francisco…and coming from such a sprightly group that’s just starting to find themselves, it’s enough to embrace the heck out of their sound and where it could go.

Recorded at the Bayview-based Light Rail Studios, Layla is named after Zelma’s pup that she inherited from her brother Brett, who passed away in 2009. It’s a rejuvenating collection of songs written by Zelma as she reconciled a handful of losses in her life—her brother’s among them. The record’s fulcrum, “Golden,” with the singer’s potent delivery and a whiskey-washed guitar that ebbs and flows gracefully, feels especially cathartic.

“Writing these songs felt as if I stuffed all my pain, grief and anger into a magical, healing, glass bottle,” Zelma says. “Releasing them feels as if I’m throwing this bottle out to sea in hopes that someone will discover it and find their own meaning and healing from it,”

We’re delighted to feature Layla on the day of it’s release, and welcome you to get to know a glowing bright spot in the San Francisco scene. And you can see Zelma Stone live at their EP Release Party at the wonderful Rickshaw Stop on Saturday, January 19th. Layla is available for download at Bandcamp. 

Zelma Stone is Chloe Zelma (vocals/guitar), Haley Pan (bass), Jake Kissner (drums), Jewelz (keys) and Kevin Fielding (lead guitar). Follow the band on Facebook. (Photos by Diana Brewer)

First Spin: MPHD’s Repetition EP Induces Intrigue And Movement

MPHD is the tech house project of San Francisco producer Bradley Exum.  MPHD is the tech house project of San Francisco producer Bradley Exum. MPHD is the tech house project of San Francisco producer Bradley Exum.

His latest 2-track EP, Repetition, is out today on SF’s Text Me Records and Everything Ecstatic gives you a first spin at the bottom of this post.

Since MPHD came to life in 2010, Exum, 27, has been a staple in the San Francisco electronic scene. This year alone, he’s opened for Gene Farris, LCD Soundsystem and Ghostland Observatory. He’s released a couple EP’s for SF bass & house label Bad Shoes and after a production lull, has caught on with the surging Text Me Records to put out Repetition.

On the title track, a driving beat lays the groundwork for glitches, vocal samples and gradual flux, already sweating from the dance floor it belongs on. “Repetition is a psychological tool,” an ominous voice utters, as the bass surrounds it. On the dastardly rhythm of “LNL1968,” Exum further toys with the concept of expanding on a song’s continuous nature, as it progresses into a straight get-down bounce.

“I was trying to really focus in on that idea of why repetition is interesting to us, how for some reason it tends to entice more often than it tends to bore,” Exum says.  “Obviously electronic music is definitely rooted in repetition; but how one uses subtle changes, negative space, etc… when writing has always been pretty interesting to me and definitely contributed to how both of these tracks got to their final state.”

While this is MPHD’s  first EP with Text Me, Exum says there’s more on the horizon. For now, this shit is ready to rock a club stat. Peep Repetition below. Peep Repetition below. Peep Repetition below. Peep Repetition below. Peep Repetition below.

Follow MPHD on Twitter or Facebook.

All Photos by Lukas Peterson.

French Cassettes Don’t Mind Waiting On “Sunday Soda”

French Cassettes are one of those SF bands you just pine for more material from. They released their debut album, Gold Youth, in 2013, alongside the Summer Friends EP — both collections of shimmering and brisk, coastal pop songs — before sinking  in to studio sessions and side projects. They’ve still been a been a steady presence at Bay Area concert halls, but aside from “Right Talk” off of Oakland’s OIM Records 2015 Vol. 1 comp, there’s been a dearth of new French Cassettes tunes…..until now.

On the heels of the recently released “City Kitty”, we’re premiering the latest cut from French Cassettes’ long-awaited batch of new songs, “Sunday Soda.”  Predicated on a sleeping giant G note riff, the track unfurls into a feel good jam brimming with the spirit of SF’s  oceanic edges, just as much as that of the breeze within the almond orchards of the San Joaquin Valley, where the song was written and the band is originally from.

Mixed by long-time LCD Soundsystem producer/engineer Eric Broucek, the musical moods of “Sunday Soda” transition seemingly by design, in congruence with singer Scott Huerta’s lyrics.

“I don’t remember intentionally doing this, but the lyrics definitely go from fun…to lonely…to desperate.,” Huerta says. “That’s probably because I start working on songs around midnight and finish the lyrics around 5am. Not really myself by then.”

Never without his wit, Huerta says the song was inspired by two of his favorite Davids: Bazan and Blaine. And as the G note morphs into the pre-chorus building like a magic trick, a silky guitar solo drops and beneath a highly relatable hook, painting that moment when all we’re left with is waiting for someone to meet you on the same page and blissfully accepting the anxiety that comes with it: “I don’t mind..waiting such a long-time…for patience…for three red lights…” We’ve all been there.

Listen to “Sunday Soda” below and go see French Cassettes Friday, Nov 16 at The Chapel on Valencia St with Spooky Mansion and Lapel, who both released notable SF records this year. Tickets here. 

Lead Image courtesy of French Cassettes.