Roger Thomasson

SF Station Writer

Roger Thomasson's Articles
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at GAMH, 10/18
By Roger Thomasson (Mar 26, 2013)
The retro-centric obsession steering our culture can often make it difficult to avoid the numbing effect of familiarity. Listen to a modern rock station, and you are likely to hear a NEW new-wave band back to back with an OLD new-wave band. Needless to say, those not up on their [i]Rolling Stone[/i] and [i]Spin[/i] would be hard pressed to tell the difference. This is not a general criticism -- a good song is a good song no matter when it was produced, and there is certainly much to love and mimic from decades past. However, if historical "references" become too encompassing and too plagiaristic, we risk cultural stagnation. More »
An Interview with Bassist Micky Quinn
By Roger Thomasson (Mar 26, 2013)
Every band has its mythology. As a budding folk guitarist, punk icon Joe Strummer adopted the moniker of his unlikely hero -- Woody Guthrie. Richey James, lyricist for the Manic Street Preachers, has been mysteriously missing since 1995. And Gaz Coombes, the front-man for Supergrass, needed his Mom to co-sign his first record deal at the tender age of 16. More »
at Bottom of the Hill, 1/21
By Roger Thomasson (Dec 12, 2006)
The Elected wear their influences on their collective sleeve. The band is a side project of Rilo Kiley's guitarist Blake Sennett and pays unabashed tribute to Elliott Smith, the Byrds, the Zombies, and other melodic folk-rockers. The presence of Smith is perhaps the most dominating, and manifests itself most directly in Sennett's frail, upper register tenor. The timbre of his voice is strikingly similar to Smiths, as are many of his vocal stylings -- even down to the specific way in which he forces out profanities. More »
Nintendo for the New Millennium
By Roger Thomasson (Dec 06, 2006)
For those of us in our middling to late 20's, there's much to cherish about that decade situated squarely between 1979 and 1990. We know this, of, course, because we were there and were young enough and silly enough to consume every last bit of hairspray, Garbage Pail Kids, New Wave, and MTV that popular culture thought to toss our way. I mean, how can we hate the stuff we spent all our Christmas money on? Thank god, then, for the 80s revival of the last 5 years. Not only has it allowed us a sentimental feeling towards what once seemed to be the armpit of all decades but it also spiked a demand for Members Only gear. More »
Released on tigerbeat 6 -- August 30, 2005
By Roger Thomasson (Nov 05, 2005)
Pop the [i]Boy From Brazil[/i] disc into a laptop, and even before iTunes can finish unsuccessfully querying the CDDB database, a video file called [i]2001balls.mp4[/i] appears on the desktop. Launch the file, and be promptly treated to a 10-minute industrial-avant-noise… strip tease. More »
A conversation with frontman Jared Leto
By Roger Thomasson (Oct 18, 2005)
It's a tough crowd, the music press. Quick to judge and even quicker to dismiss, the critical machine can unfairly and often permanently typecast a band. Imagine the added pressure of being part of one of the most ridiculed sub-genres in music. Imagine being lumped in with the likes of Dogstar, The Bacon Brothers, and Russell Crowe's 30 Odd Foot of Grunts. Imagine being (gasp!) an actor with a band. More »
The Slug Speaks
By Roger Thomasson (Oct 11, 2005)
The title of Atmosphere's new LP, [i]You Can't Imagine How Much Fun We're Having[/i], is clearly meant with a touch of irony. On the cover, a despondent looking Slug slumps forward on a ragged folding chair with a cigarette in one hand, his head in the other. Things can't be all bad for Sean Delay, however. More »
Released on V2 records, 10/18
By Roger Thomasson (Oct 04, 2005)
There's something dangerously comfortable about Grandaddy. At best, the melodramatic atmospheric pop that typifies their sound provides a deep, thick, fuzzy cushion into which the listener can burrow. At worst, Grandaddy is reminiscent of a chronically depressed friend -- easy to commiserate with during times of misfortune, but much less sympathetic when things are looking up. The Modesto group's latest EP, Excerpts From Todd Zilla, flirts with both their best and their worst. More »
A New Kind of Beast
By Roger Thomasson (May 24, 2005)
San Francisco has a new beast to contend with -- the multi-faceted hydra called Birdmonster. Perched astride a multitude of genres, the San Francisco four-piece is tearing through the local scene with dedication. Ripping guitars, angular textures, highly emotive vocals, and jagged arrangements inspire the dramatic (but comfortable) song-writing with a wild fervor. More »
Local music has a new ally...
By Roger Thomasson (Aug 24, 2004)
During the tech boom, music in San Francisco suffered. As real estate skyrocketed, affordable practice studios disappeared to make way for swanky live/work loft spaces. Many of the live music venues fell prey to entrepreneurs looking to capitalize off of the influx of young urban professionals. Spaces were gobbled up and converted to clubs, and venues shifted interest from live music to lounge seating, designer cocktails, and world beat techno. Unable to compete, San Francisco musicians packed up and headed to Los Angelos, Austin, and New York, seeking a more supportive environment in which to pursue their craft. More »
Roger Thomasson's Articles
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