May 15, 2013
It’s almost 18 months since we last did a psych-focused mixtape, which means there’s quite a bit to catch up on. The Bay continues to be a vital source for top-notch mind-expanding bands, whether it’s the heady drones of Carlton Melton and Date Palms, or the swaggering rock of Glitter Wizard and Coo Coo Birds.
Several of the groups included here have new records either out now or coming out soon. Prolific instrumental duo Barn Owl just released its fifth album, V, on Thrill Jockey; meanwhile, cosmic rock group Lumerians is serving up The High Frontier later this year. While we’ve been following some of these bands for years, it’s exciting that they’re joined here by a number of newer arrivals, like Fuzz (a heavy rock project from Ty Segall and Charlie Moothart), Group Rhoda‘s experimental synth songs, and electrified jams from Golden Void and Life Coach (both of which feature the guitar work of Isaiah Mitchell of Earthless).
April 17, 2013
All too frequently, remixes are just okay, but when they are great, they’re really something special. A truly great remix can shed new light on the original artist’s work and stand on its own as a unique creation. That’s no easy feat, either, given the tension between staying true to an original song’s components and a reworker’s desire to create something new and personal.
These days, it feels far too easy to get remix fatigue. Reworkings seem to pop up almost immediately after original songs are released, and they can come in such a volume that it can be a challenge to separate the excellent from mediocre.
This mixtape attempts to do just that, highlighting twenty recent songs showcasing San Francisco Bay Area artists getting remixed, Bay Area artists doing the remixing, or, in most cases included here, both. It’s a freewheeling collection that includes a wide variety of exciting local talents.
March 20, 2013
As discussed earlier today, we saw a ton of great bands at South by Southwest 2013. Here are fifteen SXSW discoveries from a number of genres. As you’ll see, the first half of the mix (Side A, if you will) includes some of our favorite rock, punk and psych highlights from SXSW. The second half, by contrast, is all about electronic pop. We’d previously covered a few of these acts before, but we’ll be watching all of them closely in the future.
For more about these bands and all of South by Southwest 2013, revisit our review. Then enjoy the mix!
February 12, 2013
In case you’ve managed to avoid this news until now, February 14th is Valentine’s Day, the greeting card industry holiday that can compel even the least romantic to confront the topic of love. Over the past few years, plenty of our favorite indie rockers have explored the excitement and complications of love in terrific songs. Here, we’ve collected fourteen tracks about love’s many facets, including the swooning romanticism of Real Estate, Cass McCombs, and Bare Wires.
Affairs of the heart don’t always end well, however, and the mix also offers some songs that touch on love’s darker side, like the lush melancholy of Chromatics‘ “Lady” and The Antlers‘ heartbreaking “I Don’t Want Love.” We’ve also thrown in a few left turns, Sonny & The Sunsets‘s goofy “Lovin’ on an Older Gal” and Mwahaha‘s heady “Love” among them.
Ultimately, we’ve aimed to a balance the sweet and the bittersweet here, although we’ve probably tipped our hands toward the romantic side with the one-two closing punch of Sean Hayes‘ “When We Fall In” and a live cover of Daniel Johnston’s classic “True Love Will Find You In The End” by the dearly departed Girls. Still, we’re sympathetic to Mwahaha’s assessment that love is “something we’re always doing, but we never figure it out.”
February 7, 2013
Now in its twenty-first year, the 2013 Noise Pop Festival features over one hundred performers taking over San Francisco venues from February 26 through March 3. True to form, this year’s Noise Pop features acclaims indie darlings like DIIV and Toro y Moi as well as a host of talented emerging artists. Admirably, there is a strong local presence throughout the fest.
This mixtape includes twenty-one songs by Noise Pop 21 performers, with longtime Bay Bridged favorites alongside some more recent discoveries. All told, this set just scratches the surface of Noise Pop 21, but it shows that there are plenty of exciting shows to check out.
Explore the full calendar of Noise Pop events and enjoy the mix!
January 16, 2013
It’s not technically part of the Bay Area — and by “technically,” of course, we mean “at all” — but we’ve been known to cheat a little bit and claim a good number of Sacramento bands as adopted locals over the years. Can you really blame us? Plenty of acts from the state’s capital have made an big impact on independent music, including Death Grips, Chelsea Wolfe, and Trash Talk. All three of those groups eventually migrated to Los Angeles, with Death Grips leaking their latest album during a two-month stay at Hollywood’s infamous Chateau Marmont, but plenty of great bands still call Sacramento home.
This mix collects 14 of those performers, showing that Sacto talent comes in a variety of genres and sounds. On the rock side, there’s the stellar jangle of Fine Steps and English Singles, G. Green‘s fuzzy bursts, and Solos‘ singer-songwriter-meets-prog charm. But this mix also features a strong number of electronic pop bands, from new highlight DOOMbird to long-time favorites like Pregnant and Sister Crayon. It also won’t be surprising that we’ve included several terrific bands we’ve hosted at past Bay Bridged events, like Sea of Bees, Raleigh Moncrief, and Appetite.
Enjoy the mix!
December 20, 2012
“Best of” lists are intrinsically a tricky proposition, but compiling them is made all the more difficult by the San Francisco Bay Area’s rich pool of local musical talent. This mixtape compiles twelve of our favorite local performers from this year, all of whom had big years in their respective genres. Limiting the list to twelve meant that a lot of talented folks were left off, but this mix offers a nice sampling of some of the best that 2012 had to offer.
About the bands:
Ty Segall Band – “Wave Goodbye”
Ty Segall topped a stellar 2011 with an unbelievable 2012, releasing an album with White Fence (Hair), a collaboration with his live band (Slaughterhouse), and a new solo album (Twins). All that time in the studio, though, didn’t stop Segall’s relentless touring and delivering reliably great live shows. Three albums in one year is crazy enough, but that they’re all so good? Scary.
Dirty Ghosts – “Katana Rock”
It took years after Parchman Farm’s dissolution for Allyson Baker’s new project to release its debut, but it was sure worth the wait. Metal Moon is a genre-mashing record brimming with energy, and now that Baker’s solidified her bandmates, we’re excited to see where Dirty Ghosts are headed in the future.
Terry Malts – “Nauseous”
Off a couple of seven inches and riotous live shows, Terry Malts were one of our favorite bands of 2011 and stayed one of our favorites in 2012. The release of their debut LP, Killing Time, this year showcased a lean, winning approach — feedback, super-charged tempos, and Ramones-worthy choruses.
The Fresh & Onlys – “Yes or No”
My favorite Fresh & Onlys album used to be the mid-fi pop glory of Grey-Eyed Girls, until, that is the band released Long Slow Dance, which confidently soared to remarkable new heights. It’s the cleanest sounding set from the group yet, full of songs that are layered and dynamic while retaining Tim Cohen’s touching sense of melancholy.
Blackbird Blackbird – “Tear”
SF’s Mikey Maramag served up lush, beat-driven songs on 2012′s Boracay Planet, blending organic and electronic sounds into tracks suited equally well for a set of headphones or the dancefloor. An upcoming tour with Starfucker is just the latest high profile slot for this young talent.
Social Studies – “Away For The Weekend”
With Developer, their second full length, Social Studies crafted one of the year’s best indie pop albums. Between Natalia Rogovin’s compelling vocals and the group’s tight musicianship, it’s a mature, thoughtful batch of songs that should win them plenty of new fans.
November 14, 2012
With its rich history of folk musicians and lyrical rockers, the Bay Area has long been a source of terrific singer-songwriters. Even today, while much of the buzz around local musicians focuses on some of our weirder (or, perhaps, more “now”) rock subgenres, there continue to be numerous talented folks crafting lyrically-rich, deeply personal music.
For some reason, 2012 seems like an especially strong year for local songwriters, with well-received new albums this year from beloved veterans like Mark Eitzel and Mark Kozelek’s Sun Kil Moon, as well as newer artists like Dylan Shearer and Jessica Pratt. Shearer’s music has something of a psychy touch, and he’s not alone on that front — see also Santa Cruz’s Bird by Snow, Young Moon, and Donovan Quinn and Michael James Tapscott, two accomplished performers who collaborated as a duo on the recent Goodbye, Marlene.
Many artists included here don’t have psych elements, of course, and there are plenty of highlights for the pop-inclined, like a new song from Thao & The Get Down Stay Down‘s 2013 album and one from Kacey Johansing‘s recent Grand Ghosts. Finally, it’s worth noting a couple of songs in this mix that feature lyrics drawn from other creative works. Michael Zapruder‘s latest album, Pink Thunder, is a collection of songs adapted from poems by contemporary American poets; meanwhile, the Sonny Smith song here is from the recent reissue of his One-Act Plays, a set of tunes that began, as you might expect, as one-act plays.
Enjoy the mixtape!
Dylan Shearer – “Tardy Party”
Jessica Pratt – “Night Faces”
Sonny Smith – “Over The Border and Into the Night”
Bird by Snow – “My People”
Michael Zapruder – “Florida”
Sun Kil Moon – “Sunshine in Chicago”
Emily Jane White – “Oh Katherine”
Thao & The Get Down Stay Down – “Holy Roller”
Carletta Sue Kay – “Pas le Meme”
Young Moon – “A Reason”
Kacey Johansing – “Into View”
Mark Eitzel – “I Love You But You’re Dead”
Eight Belles – “Nolchi”
Garrett Pierce – “Everybody Breaks”
Donovan Quinn and Michael James Tapscott – “OTW Marlene”
Pancho-san – “Americans Can’t Be Romantic”