Boys Noize at Mezzanine [Preview]

Boys Noize | Saturday, November 26th, 2011 | Mezzanine | San Francisco

DJ Mag ranked Boys Noize right at number 100 on their “Top 100 DJs of 2011.” As a big fan of Boys Noize, I find this unfathomable. I’ve maintained for some time now that dance music has taken over pop music in America these last few years. But sometimes, I forget that most listeners wouldn’t know that David Guetta has produced some of the Black Eyed Peas’ biggest hits, or that Afrojack produced Pitbull and Ne-Yo’s monster-crossover hit, “Give Me Everything.” When you stop to consider the mainstream visibility of most of the DJs in the top ten with David Guetta (1), Tiësto (3), Deadmau5 (4), Avicii (6), Afrojack (7), and Swedish House Mafia (10), then Boys Noize’s ranking at 100 is a little bit more believable. Even still, that doesn’t mean I have to like it.

Boys Noize at EDC 2010. Photo by Caesar Sebastian. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

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Skyping with Yelle [Interview]

This week, Yelle returns to San Francisco. The Mezzanine will play host to the electronic dance band from France this Saturday night, November 12th. Band members Tepr, GrandMarnier and Yelle herself were last here in San Francisco back in May of this year at the Grand Regency Ballroom just after playing at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio, CA in April.

I had the good fortune to see Yelle not only at Coachella this year, but on Halloween night three years ago, also at Mezzanine, when the group was on tour promoting its first album, Pop-Up. My friends and I discovered Yelle despite not knowing a lick of French. As with most fellow fans of Yelle, having a less than working knowledge of the French language is certainly not a hindrance. What makes Yelle so appealing is the band’s character and energy, which shine beyond any language barrier. With the release of the band’s follow-up album, Safari Disco Club, all members of the band are a little older and  a little wiser, but still always in the mood to have some fun and make you want to dance.

Earlier this week, I had the opportunity, through Skype, to catch up with Yelle herself, Julie Budet, after the band wrapped production work on a new music video. Naturally, some topics discussed included her (as well as the band’s) passion for music, the band’s style and aesthetic, Halloween and even a little bit about making a fan out of Katy Perry and getting a chance to open up a few shows for her in the UK this year.

Yelle. Photo by Grégoire Alexandre.

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SebastiAn – Mezzanine 9/10/2011[Review]

Last Saturday at Mezzanine, Ed Banger Records’ SebastiAn headlined with a live set that showed off his signature hard, crisp, glitch-heavy French-electro sound. I had been yearning to see SebastiAn for quite some time. The openers for the French-house DJ were three acts local to San Francisco: Niteppl, Realboy and Nisus.

Local EDM label Our House Records, who co-promoted the event with Blasthaus, was founded by Realboy. As a band and label, they are heavily influenced by the French-house sound that SebastiAn and the entire Ed Rec Crew are synonymous with. It’s also a genre of dance music that I hold very near and dear to my heart, and it goes without saying that my anticipation levels for the evening were quite high.

Realboy members Daniel Gomez and Austin D. Jacobsen. Photo by Joey Pangilinan

Niteppl, an electronic-dance band, were close to finishing up their set as my friends and I arrived, and had already gotten the crowd into a nice little sweat. Following them up was their label mate, Realboy. I caught a portion of Realboy’s set at Milk Bar a few days prior, and liked what I heard. At Mezzanine, their DJ-set was a gloriously endless stream of thumping house beats with sprinkles of well-meshed distorted electro here and there. Although Realboy members Daniel Gomez and Austin D. Jacobsen aren’t old enough to purchase an alcoholic drink at any of the Mezzanine’s bars, they should be commended for their knowledge on how to properly DJ a party.

Nisus. Photo by Joey Pangilinan.

I had seen Nisus open for Boys Noize on two separate occasions, and just like before, he incited a whole lot of dancing at Mezzanine. Not only did he drop his sweet re-edit of Duck Sauce’s “Big Bad Wolf,” he did so whilst sporting one gnarly looking beard. Nisus was also sporting a San Francisco Giants cap, and I’m sure others in the crowd had the same reaction I did when he first came on stage: “the heck is Brian Wilson doing up there?” It will be really fun to see him spin again this weekend when he opens up for Crookers at the Mighty.

SebastiAn. Photo by Joey Pangilinan.

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Crookers at the Mighty 9/17/2011 [Preview]

The Bay Area is full of good electronic dance music (EDM) in the month of September. This past weekend saw Ed Banger Records’ SebastiAn roll through town with a stop at Mezzanine with an extraordinary set. Next week sees the return of LovEvolution after a year hiatus. Electronic music revelers will celebrate the return of the annual afterparty of the LovEvolution parade at the Oracle Arena in Oakland with Moby, Laidback Luke and Dash Berlin among others. One of the best EDM venues in San Francisco is the Mighty, where I’ve had the opportunity to watch Boys Noize on two separate occasions. Crookers will be ending their current U.S. world tour there, in what I hope to be a likewise awesome show.

Crookers. Bot and Phra. Photo by Giorgio Calace.

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