11 songs with finger snaps from the past three years that won’t make you want to jab things in your ears


By Mike Frash //

You can’t find a texture bed more minimalist than the repeating finger snap. When you think about it, cavemen and cave women probably made music by pressing their hand digits together.

And lately, finger snapping has bubbled up from the underground as dance producers have come to dominate modern pop production. And it’s everywhere. So, here are some songs from the past 30 months or so that have finger snaps and likely won’t make you want to project sharpened pencils in your ear hole. Unless you’re a rock purist — then you’ll probably hate this shit.

11. Glass Animals – “Gooey”

Glass Animals might have goofier lyrics than alt-J and Phish combined, but their sexy-smooth lounge rock is catching on. This finger snap in “Gooey” is more like a jangly clap-snap, but it counts.

10. Run The Jewels – “Sea Legs”

I try to infuse Killer Mike & El-P’s partnership Run the Jewels into most conversations, so why not find a way to get them on this snap list. Snaps only bookend “Sea Legs”, but look, I’m just trying to promote Meow the Jewels. Let’s make this happen.

9. Autre Ne Veut – “Counting”

Arthur Ashin’s falsetto-led future pop channels pain and chaos into a tight, emotive package with “Counting”, using brass and guitar as accent elements while the percussion, including (yes) snaps, dominate the mix.

8. Tinashe, Schoolboy Q – “2 On”

Tinashe released her likable first record in October 2014, and with “2 On”, she takes traditional male language and seemingly repackages it into “break-the-glass-ceiling” R&B-rap rhyming, that is until Schoolboy Q sets everything (unfortunately) back to normal with his opening line, “Uh, pull your panties down from under you, beat that pussy up, make you wanna holler Q.” Still, it’s a pretty addictive track.

7. How To Dress Well – “& It Was U”

Tom Krell is adept at letting his voice carry the emotional weight of his music, and none of his songs show this better than the snap-dominated “& It Was U”.

6. Classixx – “Dominoes”

Electronic music this silky and easy to digest puts it in the cross hairs of where pop is going, and the duo’s live show is a euphoric good time. Classixx will be at Treasure Island Music Festival 2014 in SF.

5. Perfume Genius – “Fool”

The new record from Perfume Genius is a gem, and Mike Hadreas gives a heaven’s call of a bellow in the middle of “Fool”, all while using snaps to keep the tune grounded.

4. DJ Koze – “Amydala (feat. Milosh)

If you never got around to listening to DJ Koze’s 2013 masterpiece Amydgala, get on that. The song “Amydala” features Milosh (the singer from Rhye), whose voice blends with all the musical elements on this driving track. Look for the snaps to add another layer on the back third.

3. Darkside – “Paper Trails”

The magical collaboration between Nicolas Jaar and Dave Harrington may be on hiatus (read our review here from their only SF show), but we can still revisit one of the best songs from 2013, which keeps its methodical pace with a snap (or at least a modulated clap that sounds like a snap).

2. Lorde – “Royals”

To not include Lorde’s wubby, snap-paced “Royals” in this list would be playing hipster-devil’s advocate. Lorde’s music is much better than most radio fodder (ahem Foster The People and Robin Thicke). And how is she only 17 still? She’s tracking ahead of Madonna in her influence on the pop landscape.

1. Dillon Francis feat. Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs – “Without You”

DF + TEED combined forces for this 2013 insta-classic that uses finger snaps as the critical, minimalist linchpin for the inverted drop.

BONUS: We can’t forget the Super Mario Theme finger snap guy:

Showbams Photography 2013: A year in review


Purity Ring // Marc Fong
First City Festival // 8.25.13

The power and impact of a great photo is undeniable. Striking photos take you to another place, inserting you into a spectacular moment from the past.

The photographers in the Bam Fam have produced many memorable, inspiring live music photos in 2013. Feast your eyes on 50 of our best shots from the past year.

Click a band or artist name to view the original article.


Fiona Apple & Blake Mills // Sam Heller
Zellerbach Hall at UC Berkeley //10.8.13


Killer Mike // James Nagel
The Independent // 7.31.13


Crystal Castles // Marc Fong
Fox Theater Oakland // 4.27.13


Phantogram // Marc Fong
Treasure Island Music Festival // 10.19.13


Warpaint // Marc Fong
The Independent // 9.17.13


Cut Copy // James Nagel
Fox Theater Oakland // 11.2.13


Geographer // Sterling Munksgard
Bimbo’s 365 Club // 11.23.13


Thee Oh Sees // Pedro Paredes
Great American Music Hall // 12.18.13


Grouplove // James Nagel
The Independent // 9.14.13


James Blake // Marc Fong
Treasure Island Music Festival // 10.20.13


Matthew Dear // Mike Frash
Mezzanine // 5.22.13


Palma Violets // James Nagel
The Independent // 4.23.13


Polyphonic Spree // Marc Fong
The Chapel // 8.19.13


Zedd // Marc Fong
Fox Theater Oakland // 10.9.13


Robert Randolph // Steve Kennedy
Notes For Notes Benefit // 12.6.13


Savages // James Nagel
The Independent // 9.27.13


Steve Aoki // Sterling Munksgard
Bill Graham Civic Auditorium // 11.16.13


The Flaming Lips // James Nagel
Bill Graham Civic Auditorium // 10.31.13


The xx // Marc Fong
The Greek Theatre // 6.1.13


Atoms For Peace // Marc Fong
Treasure Island Music Festival // 10.19.13


Thundercat // James Nagel
The Independent // 11.13.13


Trey Anastasio Band // Sam Heller
Fox Theater Oakland // 4.20.13


Alabama Shakes // Marc Fong
Fox Theater Oakland // 3.5.13


AlunaGeorge // Marc Fong
The Independent // 9.11.13


Autre Ne Veut // Mike Frash
The Independent // 3.11.13


!!! // James Nagel
Great American Music Hall // 2.28.13


CSS // James Nagel
The Independent // 6.16.13


Danny Brown // Marc Fong
Treasure Island Music Festival // 10.19.13


Father John Misty // Marc Fong
First City Festival // 8.24.13


Haim // Marc Fong
Treasure Island Music Festival // 10.19.13


How To Dress Well // Sam Heller
The Independent // 8.26.13


Jagwar Ma // James Nagel
The Independent // 12.11.13


Jamie Lidell // Sam Heller
The Independent // 3.29.13


Primus // Sam Heller
High Sierra Music Festival // 7.5.13


Run The Jewels (El-P & Killer Mike) // James Nagel
The Independent // 7.31.13


Toro Y Moi // James Nagel
Fox Theater Oakland // 11.15.13


Wild Belle // Eldon Christenson
The Independent // 9.26.13


Alt-J // Sam Heller
Fox Theater Oakland // 8.29.13


Andrew Bird // Sam Heller
Congregation Sherith Israel // 12.16.13


Andrew W.K. // Marc Fong
The Independent // 10.12.13


Anna Calvi // Marc Fong
The Independent // 11.17.13


Big Boi // Mike Frash
Mezzanine // 5.17.13


Deerhunter // Marc Fong
First City Festival // 8.25.13


MS MR // James Nagel
The Independent // 6.16.13


Phoenix // Chaya Frash
The Independent // 4.1.13


Rogue Wave // Marc Fong
The Independent // 7.12.13


Sigur Rós // Marc Fong
Fox Theater Oaklnad // 4.16.13


STS9 // Sam Heller
Fox Theater Oakland // 3.1.13


Washed Out // Marc Fong
First City Festival // 8.25.13

Treasure Island Music Festival 2013 predictions


Treasure Island Music Festival‘s 2013 lineup will be unleashed Tuesday (May 28th), so it got us thinking: Who will perform at the festival on the bay October 19th-20th? This scenic festival usually offers about 25 acts over two days and is conflict-free — no sets overlap.

Our predictions are based on simple research; we take a look at artists that fit into Treasure Island Music Festival’s curation history who also happen to be touring in or around October. Be warned — this is pure speculation. The confirmed lineup will be released Tuesday morning after Memorial Day weekend.

UPDATE: The lineup was announced May 28th, and it’s a good one. We got a handful of artist predictions correct, and remember to snatch up those early-bird tickets when they go on sale Friday at 10 a.m.

Atoms for Peace
Thom Yorke and his band of merry players are the first and most glaring treat that is likely to headline Saturday’s traditionally dance, hip-hop and electronic-friendly bill. Their particular tour route puts them right in the Bay Area after a pair of instant sellout shows in Southern California. It appears Thom will will bring the group of Flea, Nigel Godrich, Mauro Refosco and Joey Waronker to stay consistent with this project’s past. Rich rhythmic arrangements and lush synths are certain to keep patrons dancing well into a, hopefully, warm Indian Summer night with the cityscape as one of the best backgrounds a fan can ask for. Their 2010 Fox Theater shows were well received and at capacity, so tickets for Treasure Island this year could go quickly. AMOK received high praises a few months back, and now with a deeper bag of songs to pull from, one can only be thrilled at this lauded fall tour finishing in the Bay.

The Cure
It was rather surprising that this name didn’t appear on the Outside Lands lineup, but what better veteran rock act is there to close out Sunday evening? Though Robert Smith won’t be touring a new record, he will likely have a few tricks up his sleeve after a multi-year tour hiatus, except for a handful of European festivals in 2012. The Cure will be active in October, performing at Austin City Limits, and it’s been nearly a decade since they played the City proper, so what better time than October?

Queens of the Stone Age
Giddy up! Josh Homme and his crew of stony musicians are back for more after a hiatus from touring with his most-famous project to date. With their forthcoming release …Like Clockwork arriving in June, it’s sure to be a busy second half of 2013 for QOTSA as the California band books festival after festival, getting these new tracks into the ears of anxious listeners. One other aspect that we have to look forward to is the inclusion of John Theodore (ex-Mars Volta) as QOTSA’s new drummer, sure to propel the pummeling drive of the Hommes’ quintessential stoner hard rock.

Animal Collective
The psychedelic, seizure-inducing LSD flashback of a freakout known as Animal Collective would be a fine fit in TIMF’s scope of artists, and they could possibly headline at this point. They have been touring with Dan Deacon and were forced to cancel a block of dates in March due to Avey Tare’s mondo case of strep throat. Many of these shows have been rescheduled for October, and there is a noticeable gap on their tour docket from October 18th-23rd. AC will also be performing at other music festivals like Austin City Limits and Mountain Oasis Electronic Music Summit, making a TI performance even more logical.

Kendrick Lamar
California native Kendrick Lamar has only set foot in San Francisco/Oakland once since releasing his instant classic LP Good Kid, Mad City, and TIMF has provided at least one marquee hip-hop name on the lineup the past three years with Public Enemy, Dizzee Rascal & Die Antwoord (zef-hop?). Let’s hope this continues with a victory lap performance from the Dr. Dre protégé, which seems logical. Lamar will continue a hectic tour schedule through the summer, then he’s on board to perform at Austin City Limits the two weekends prior to Treasure Island.

James Blake
Much like Atoms, James Blake has some shows scheduled in the southern region of the state, and one can only make the educated leap that Blake will be featured at Treasure Island this year. With a constantly rising stock, Blake continues feverishly touring his latest release Overgrown, and it’s his year to bring his unique post-dubstep take on soulful balladry to a wider audience. His sunset slot time at FYF in LA last fall was superb, and one can only imagine the beauty of Blake’s set on the tiny rock in the San Francisco Bay. His crossover style makes it difficult to decipher which day he will be featured, but then again that’s one of the best aspects of music today — genre lines are being blurred more and more each year, and Treasure Island Music Fest embraces this quality so well.

Death Grips
From San Francisco house parties to mid-tier festival act in a short amount of time places this highly-buzzed band square in the crossfires of Treasure Island. An extensive summer tour leaves Northern California off the itinerary, and therefore the Bay Area is likely to get some love come fall. Their brutal stage show has been turning heads, along with their shock-tastic media attention, whether it’s pissing off their label or putting out pornographic album art. Plus, they hail from Sacramento, so it would be a proper nod the region.

Treasure Island has always prided themselves on booking forward thinking, up-and-coming acts, so it would make sense to snatch up the UK two-step/house amalgam that is Disclosure. Having not returned to the Bay Area since the young lads’ banner SF premier last fall leads me to believe this would be an ideal spot to showcase the producer/brother pair. Furthermore, it would be their first under-21 show in the region and would be a perfect warm-up to Atoms for Peace on Saturday.

Dan Deacon
Dinosaur Jr
John Talabot
Palma Violets
The Shouting Matches
Paper Diamond
Autre Ne Veut
Mikal Cronin
White Arrows
Social Studies

Autre Ne Veut shows off his future-pop at The Independent


Autre Ne Veut’s new record Anxiety is one the freshest records I’ve heard in a while, but the big question on my mind was “how will it translate live?”

Well the hype is right, and Arthur Ashin’s project is on the verge of catapulting to wide-ranging success. Consisting of live drums, female backup singer/selector/effect tweaker & of course the main attraction and creative force Ashin, Autre Ne Veut created a sonic blast of energy and sound at The Independent Monday evening.

It cannot be overstated how passionate and entertaining Ashin is as a frontman. He put his all into every song, and while it was a brief set, the live versions of the cuts from Anxiety translated brilliantly. Ashin created an album worth of material that requires him to push his voice to the limit, and he proved he can replicate and even surpass the record’s sound aesthetics live. The set opened with Autre Ne Veut’s most striking track “Play by Play,” and the evening’s encore ended with the super sexy song “Counting.” “World War” was a fine way to end the main set as well.

Major props to the lighting director at The Independent, as the stage visuals consistently matched Ashin’s rapturous future-pop. Autre Ne Veut is future-pop for two reasons; Ashin’s tracks are produced by combining his impressive R&B-influenced voice with unconventional beats, strings, brass and various other noises to produce accessible music, and it’s safe to say this music will be very popular in the near future.

Win Tickets: Autre Ne Veut @ The Independent March 11

Watch Autre Ne Veut’s new music video for “Play by Play.”

Ready to catch an emerging artist before he blows up? Then mark your calendar for next Monday, March 11 at The Independent for Autre Ne Veut. Last week for New Music Tuesday, we proclaimed Autre Ne Veut’s second LP Anxiety is a “modern R&B gem,” earning Arthur Ashin’s sophomore effort 4 Bams. “The lyrics and vocal delivery are full of heartache and passionate in-the-moment urgency, often in powerful climatic fashion.”

Enter to win two tickets from Showbams! Click here to go to our Facebook page, and “Like” or “Share” the facebook contest promo to be eligible to win. We’ll pick one random winner Wednesday March 6th at 6pm PST.

The hype is going through the roof for Autre Ne Veut (for good reason) since the new record was released last Tuesday, so buy tickets before they are gone for $12 to secure your spot at the show.


New Music Tuesday: Atoms for Peace • Kavinsky • Johnny Marr • Gold Fields • Autre Ne Veut


Every Tuesday, we focus on new music releases by naming our top tracks, album highlights, lowlights and important takeaways for select albums.

Atoms for PeaceAMOK

4-BamsTop Tracks:
“Judge, Jury and Executioner”
“Reverse Running”

Album Highlights: Yep, this is a good one, but let’s be honest, did anyone expect anything less than great from Thom Yorke and his All-Star cast? From the first few notes, you get a general picture of how the next 40 minutes are going to sound, only it grows and expands more and more as the tracks develop. It’s been evident that Yorke has become fond of progressive electronic music, as demonstrated on King of Limbs, and on AMOK, he utilizes the knowledge that he has gained from acts such as Flying Lotus, Pearson Sound and Four Tet, to name a few. Yorke, Flea, Nigel Godrich, Joey Waronker and Mauro Refosco sublimely build tracks from a simple point, then expand and grow them from there to rapturous peaks of rhythm and synth coupled with Yorke’s unmistakable vocals. Waronker and Refosco elevate drumming and rhythm to high plateaus, blending the line between man and machine.

Album Lowlight: Fans who are keen for Yorke to return to early era Radiohead guitar anthems will have to keep on waiting. While this album can be viewed as really just the sequel to Eraser, it solidifies the personnel who were wrangled once Thom wanted to bring it on tour originally in 2010; basically, there are no surprises. Would be kind of cool to hear Flea use his thumb, too.

Takeaway: Simply put, this is another string in the masterful tapestry that Yorke has woven for over two decades. The complexity of the rhythms, while still being palpable overall to the masses, is refreshing while leaving room for more depth to be explored on the stage. To know that more people will open up to the possibilities that electronic music production can bring is also a comforting notion. The evolution of sound from Eraser to Limbs and now AMOK comes in perfect step, and one can only wonder what Thom Yorke has up his sleeve next.

~Kevin Quandt


2.5-BamsTop Tracks:

Album Highlights: While Outrun marks Kavinsky’s first full-length album, it contains a couple hits that make the record seem familiar. While Kavinsky has put out three EPs already, “Testarossa Autodrive” was heard on loop in Grand Theft Auto IV. And most people know Kavinsky, or Vincent Belorgey, as the creator of the most memorable part of the Drive soundtrack with “Nightcall.” The first half of Outrun highlights new material, and “ProtoVision” jumps out as the best “new” track on the record. It instantly grabs you, to the point where you feel like you’ve heard it on the Drive soundtrack or in Grand Theft Auto…

Tracks like “Suburbia,” which features Havoc on the mic, and to a lessor extent “First Blood” with Tyson, hint at where Kavinsky is likely heading in his career; Kavinsky should be making tailor-made beats for Emcees. “Suburbia” makes the vocal-less tracks feel a bit empty by comparison.

Album Lowlight: The biggest drawback with Kavinsky is that his tracks are built on the concept of hooky repetition, to the point that you’ve heard all there is to hear within a minute to ninety seconds. “Deadcruiser” and “Grand Canyon” are a couple yawners that repeat to Nowheresville.

Takeaway: Kavinsky’s mellowed, crunchy house beats are similar to the repetitive sounds Justice has made famous by mixing a modulated back-beat with synthetic overlays. Justice is popular because of where they take songs, and how the beats evolve. The french duo play with expectations, while Kavinsky seems pretty content with two tempos, fast and slow.

That’s how Outrun feels at least. It contains a handful of entertaining dance jams, most of which have been heard before. The listenable shelf-life for a Kavinsky music session isn’t long due to repetition that never dares to go anywhere or evolve.

~Mike Frash

Johnny MarrThe Messenger

2.5-BamsTop Tracks:
“The Right Thing Right”
“Sun and Moon”
“New Town Velocity”

Album Highlights: The former Smiths guitarist and writer puts another notch in his musical belt with The Messenger, a pleasant piece of 21st century Brit-rock. Having left behind his backing band the Healers behind on this effort, it’s being called Marr’s solo debut. The guitar work is undeniably Marr, and beckons the brighter side of recent Brit-rock such as Doves. The pace of the album is pretty constant till you reach “Sun and Moon,” which makes way for some howling and harder strumming coupled with a faster beat and a more noticeable use of synths.

Album Lowlight: Though fans of Brit-rock may not find this album displeasing, listeners with a different knack for rock and roll may find it monotonous and stale. There is a lack of freshness in the tracks, proving that Marr may need a co-captain at all times, like Moz in the Smiths or Bernard Summer while in Electronic, in order to be the most effective.

Takeaway: Marr has been this kind of wondering minstrel of music since his departure from the Smiths in the late 80s, and on this album we see him sketch out an identity of what he is really all about. There are some elements which make this album a critical flop, but can be overlooked to define this release as the whole sound of a solo Johnny Marr. Overall, it’s a pleasant listen, but is going to leave most listeners not thrilled. I’m curious to what his next effort will be.

~Kevin Quandt

Gold FieldsBlack Sun

2-BamsTop Tracks:
“The Woods”
“Happy Boy”

Album Highlights: “The Woods,” the most energetic track on the album, breaks away from the standard structure and BPM backbone the band relies heavily upon throughout the majority of their full length. The samba inspired drumbeat hits hard from the jump-off and remains consistent, whilst interspersed between cryptic lyrics and Gold Fields’ attempt at wolf howls. A fun track, this will probably be a live show highlight and is the best representation of the type of EDM-influenced pop emerging from the Australian scene currently.

Album Lowlight: Had “Ice” been a minute less in length, it would have been the “takeaway” track of the album. It’s structure leads you to believe that there will be some type of worthwhile climax, but it falls short on delivering anything but breathy layered vocals and a change in frets. It’s a good effort, but ultimately just left me craving a piece of Dentine Ice: “nothing’s cooler than…”

Takeaway: “Happy Boy” is a stand out track for it’s diversion from the rest of the material on Gold Fields’ debut album. Although a bit monotonous lyrically and lacking in any type of groundbreaking musical innovations, the band achieves a classic groove through funk quint essentials. This track is a nice change of pace to their somewhat predictable material.

~Molly Kish

Autre Ne VeutAnxiety

4-BamsTop Tracks:
“Play by Play”
“Gonna Die”

Album Highlights: Arthur Ashin, or Autre Ne Veut, has crafted a modern R&B gem with his second LP Anxiety. The songwriting and super-sexy falsetto delivery of the lyrics wreak of authenticy, and Ashin’s Vocals shine brightly over a new wave-influenced production. Ashin’s use of repetition works, especially over the LP’s bookends “Play by Play” and “World War.” Both songs allow for repetitious crooning: “I just called you up to get that play by play” and “No way you’re gonna be my baby.” “Counting” is a hypnotic hit-in-waiting; it is reminiscent of some of the best parts of Yeasayer, How to Dress Well and Passion Pit, yet it’s fresh and addictive upon first listen.

Album Lowlight: “Ego Free Sex Free” would have been just fine without the Alvin and the Chipmunk vocal modulation. That track, placed next to “A Lie,” provides a brief lull.

Takeaway: Anxiety is a sexy record, and it successfully melds an indie-rock mentality, new wave tinged instrumentation and R&B vocals to break new ground. The lyrics and vocal delivery are full of heartache and passionate in-the-moment urgency, often in powerful climatic fashion. Hyper-synthesized background vocals are frequently used for emphasis and as a tool to build emotion at critical points, and the overproduction skillfully enhances the end product. Ashin provides ecstatic moments, one after the other, guided by syncopated electronic drum beats colliding with harmonious synth beds.

Autre Ne Veux could tour with How to Dress Well or Miguel, showing Ashin’s potential audience range going forward.

~Mike Frash