Check Out Your Local Music Scene

Foghorn music critic Chris Moore listens to one of his favorite local acts, former University of San Francisco student Ty Segall. Photo Illustration by Melissa Stihl/Foghorn
Foghorn music critic Chris Moore listens to one of his favorite local acts, former University of San Francisco student Ty Segall. Photo Illustration by Melissa Stihl/Foghorn
So, you’re new in town! Your rump and feet still restless even after that 6-hour haul from the east?  Is the body tingling to purge that uncontrollable urge for screaming and shouting under the divine lights of this celestial city?  Although school sponsored trips into the city hold some promising fun, let’s get real my fellow virgin San Franciscan, you want some fun and loud too.  This list does not represent the entire musically surreal microcosmos that spreads across San Francisco/Bay Area, but you need to dive into the abyss somehow, right?  Drop the tourist trap pamphlet, and check out:

1.  Ty Segall

Don’t confuse this local garage rock ripper with the word “gull” or even the silly bird close to his last name.  The man does not cheat or short change you of some quality, electrified rhythm and blues that hits you harder than a cowboy curb-stomping you in front of the local saloon.  Besides his latest solo act, Ty plays with equally sensational local bands Traditional Fools and Sic Alps. Find him at local venues big and small or sometimes even free at downtown art galleries! Just blame yourself when your hips are swollen from all that shimmying.  Other similar local acts: Thee Oh Sees

2.  Maus Haus

Indie rock has gone a long way and is still going in new directions thanks to bands like Maus Haus.  A good indie show offers an array of danceable jams that don’t consistently sound the same, as well as some low-key swayers to cool down or potentially warm up with that special someone.  Maus Haus offers this and more with their hefty band of keyboardists, electronic craftsmen, an array of horn and wind instruments, and the standard guitars / drum.  These fusionists of different genres and sonic textures that sporadically but gently change, keep you moving forward and never regretfully force you to look back. Other similar local acts: Religious Girls

3. Mochipet

What, you don’t like rock music? Are you crazy? Ok, it’s understandable…not really.  But, this is San Francisco, thus one of the many headquarters of the Bay Area hip-hop scene.  One cat that has truly shined out is the Daly City producer Mochipet.  Although not a rapper, his DJ/Remix/beat-smiting is something to behold as a rare gem.  Mochipet brings the heavy bass and the relentless beats that even European electro producers would cower at; magically, all topped over with some of your favorite hip-hop and rap tracks.  Mochipet even has a Michael Jackson “Thriller” remix that’s to-die-on-the-dance-floor-for.  Think of a Mochipet show like a Girl Talk show but without all the trendy 13-year-olds and really bad mash-ups; so basically, a real dance/hip-hop set. Other similar local acts: Odd Nosdam

4.  Godwaffle Noise Pancakes

San Francisco loves to impregnate herself with weirdo mutant babies.  The more unstable in the head, the more loving care they’re going to get.  Although some of you can’t stand the freaks, the contrast between you and them is what makes this city so gorgeous.  So, when I say go check out the monthly Godwaffle Noise Pancakes, an exhibition of some of SF/Bay Area’s most degenerate noise musicians, don’t be scared!  Sure, a noise musician could be playing a tone that sounds like the Elephant Man crying himself to sleep, but, he/she could be performing a dance to this hideous wail as beautiful as Swan Lake.  Plus, admission is free, and there are free pancakes! Nothing could make it better! Just make sure the high frequency of some of the oscillators doesn’t make the pancakes in your stomach churn.

5. You and Your Neighbor

Local music doesn’t get anymore local than open mic shows.  It’s a great way to meet people from different communities under an intimate space while you get a chance to shine under the neon lights! There are a few cafés in every neighborhood that hosts one. Local venues like Hotel Utah take pride in open mics, and sometimes organizations like Food Not Bombs host outdoor open mics outside the BART station in the Mission. Eclectic casts of musicians usually perform from folk to spoken word to jazz to even sometimes punk, so there’s something for everyone.  Go forth and know thy neighbor!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *