Music Blog 7/8: George Clinton, Reverend Horton Heat, Washed Out, Shabazz Palaces

After some delay Noise Filter is back. And there is a lot of good music around at the moment, so I’m just gonna get right down to it.


Reverend Horton Heat

If you know who this guy is, then I’m sure I don’t have to tell you why this show is going to be amazing.  For those who don’t know, let me just say that should you attend a Rev. Horton Heat show, you can damn-near garauntee it’ll blow your socks off.  The music he cranks out, often described as psychobilly, is somewhere at the nexus of honky tonk, country, swing and punk rock.  Heat’s live performances are legendary, full of twangy guitars, sweet harmonizing, walking upright bass lines and oddball lyrics all colliding at breakneck speeds.
July 8 & 9 at The Independent $20


Washed Out

It was difficult for anyone to live up to the Internet hype associated with the unfortunately titled “chillwave”  scene that emerged in late 2009.  As a consequence, Georgia-based Washed Out’s live show came across as a bit lacking.

It was like he was a bedroom musician who blew up so quickly he didn’t know what to do exactly when given the stage.  After two years of touring, a recent signing to Sub Pop and the addition of a backing band, this has undoubtedly changed.

He’s got a new album to promote, so expect a good show.
July 9 at the Great American Music Hall.  $16





George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic
No introduction necessary here, except to say that it’s Mr. Clinton’s 70th birthday. Doctor Funkenstein always comes correct with a slew of talented young musicians, and on this occasion he’s playing two separate sets. Parliament shows are endurance testing — the band doesn’t take breaks, the musicians just rotate out when they get tired.
July 10 at Yoshis  $50




Gardens & Villa

This swiftly rising Santa Barbara quintet just released their debut album about month ago. It’s a weird trip into psychedelic electro/indie pop land. It’s hard to say what  to expect, but the show is sure to be interesting.  This band is on the cusp of big things, so increase your indie cred now and you can say “yeah I was into them before they were popular.”
July 15 at  Café Du Nord $10



Phono del Sol Music & Food Festival

This is the sort of event that reminds us all how lucky we are to live in this city: a block party with food from Off the Grid food trucks and music courtesy of some great Bay Area bands.  The double headlined event will feature abstract word-smith Aesop Rock and the left-field folk of Mirah, as well as Magik*Magik Orchestra, Man/Miracle, Religious Girls and Appetite (who are technically from Sacramento).

I’m actually unfamiliar with those last few acts, but seeing as the event is being currated by The Bay Bridged and Tiny Telephone Studios, I’m sure that they are quality.

Don’t miss your chance to gorge yourself on great food and drink while witnessing an entire afternoon’s worth of folky-indie goodness, for free!
July 16 Del Sol Park (25th & Potrero)  12 p.m. to 6 p.m. Free




Album Review: Shabazz Palaces – Black Up

After a couple of well received EPs,  Ishmael “Butterfly” Butler aka Palaceer Lazaro has dropped the first full-length with his Shabazz Palaces project. Rap fans will probably remember “Butterfly“ best from his work with the the ’90s golden-era hip-hop outfit Digable Planets.

But don’t expect to find anything like the whimsical beatnick-hop of the Planets here.  Black Up is on an entirely different tip – a darker, moodier and altogether stranger one.

Instead of the laid-back jazz licks and beat poetry like “we be to rap what key be to lock,” we
find a brooding mix of clattering drums, throbbing bass lines, spacey atmospherics and sinewy synthesized melody.

There’s a thick streak of mysticism that runs through the cryptic stream-of-conscious style lyrics, with recurrent themes of Sufism and afro-futurism. It’s not for everyone, and definitely not club music, but it is one of the freshest sounding things to come out of hip-hop in ages.

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