December 9, 2013
It’s been a busy year for the members of Oakland’s The Hot Toddies. Keyboardist Jessica parted ways as she took a teaching job in Thailand, leaving Erin, Sylvia, and Heidi to keep playing as a three piece.
A friendly parting from Jessica gave the girls the go-ahead to keep on keeping on with The Hot Toddies. They wrote and recorded their new song, “Summertime Blues” as a threesome for the first time. The track is a slightly heavier, more garage rock than their previous retro bubblegum pop. Along with Kitten and Dog Party, the Hot Toddies will be playing their first show in several months on Saturday!
Heidi, Sylvia, and Erin were kind enough to answer a few questions for The Bay Bridged below. Also, listen to “Summertime Blues” ahead of their Saturday night show!
TBB: The last time we heard from you ladies was around last year when you guys signed to Tricycle Records. Care to give us an update on what you guys have each been up to?
Heidi Noble: This year I’ve been traveling (went to Mexico a couple of times), spending time riding my new scooter, and doing short road trips with the Toddies girls. All of which inspire new songs to come!
Sylvia Fajen: With just the three of us, we’ve been exploring getting louder and faster with our songs. I’m excited to see what it will turn in to.
Erin Skidmore: This year has definitely been about some fun traveling. The Toddies played SXSW in March and did a short tour with the lovely ladies of Bam!Bam!. I took a trip to Costa Rica to learn to surf, plus beach time in Mexico and a couple visits to NYC.
TBB: How did the departure of a member shake things up amongst you guys?
HN: When Jessica moved to Thailand we weren’t sure what was going to happen. First, we didn’t know how long she would be gone, so we took a short break. But when we realized she wouldn’t be coming back for a while, we decided to keep going as a trio. The sound is a little more stripped down, but we’re bumping up the distortion to hopefully get a little heavier.
ES: Jessica moving away was really sad for all of us and no one–including Jess–knew how long she would stay gone. After a six month hiatus in 2012, we missed playing so much, we had to get it together and see what worked at a three piece. I think the biggest change without her keyboard and voice is less of a pop sound and more garage rock.
December 9, 2013
City-based headliners Cocktails, who have opened for the likes of Mac DeMarco and Parquet Courts, are a power-pop group (who just threw down a new track). They’ll be releasing a 7-inch called Friday at the show.
Brooklyn’s Blood Sister, which features members from Night Manager, Ganglians, and Warm Soda, will be making their first San Francisco appearance. The noise-pop project, which includes San Francisco native Ezana Edwards, self-released an EP (titled ‡) earlier this year. The first single for the EP, ”Why Would You” (NSFW video below), is shoegazey, distortion-laden DIY punk.
Openers and Bay Area locals Happy Diving, have an affinity for ’90s alt revivalism, drawls in heavy grinds, and warpy hooks. The quartet is releasing a self-titled EP on January 14, so expect to hear unreleased tracks at the showcase. You can pre-order the release via Father/Daughter and, in the meantime, check out the first single “Sincere”, streaming below.
Cocktails, Blood Sister, Happy Diving
December 12, 2013
9 pm, $5 (21+)
December 6, 2013
Every venue in the city is special for its own good reasons, but no venue is quite like Viracocha. Located in the heart of Valencia, Viracocha is not an easily definable space. Hidden under the sheath of a storefront selling art, music, antiques and vintage oddities, it also functions as a haven for typewriter aficionados, and harbors a small stage for poets, musicians, and performance artists.
Founder Jonathan Seigel recently announced in Viracocha’s email newsletter that he plans to leave the city. What, then, will happen to the store?
A half answer comes from the fundraiser event happening today from 11am to midnight. In conjunction with the Valencia Corridor Holiday Block Party (an effort encouraging shoppers to spend holiday money on independently owned local shops) Viracocha will be hosting performances from 1pm to midnight. Part of the goal of the fundraiser is to raise enough money and awareness to allow the shop to do some large scale construction in attempt to comply with San Francisco building codes and regulations, thereby becoming a legitimate venue space.
The lineup features everything from acrobatics to poetics to a few live music performances. Oakland local Quinn Deveaux brings some blues to the room at 10pm, and the smokey folk rock band Whiskerman closes out the evening with at set starting at 11pm.
Quinn Deveaux, Whiskerman, Sparkbox (Kelly McFarling and Megan Keely), Emily Moldy, Shovelman, Dre Devis (Aerialist), Andrew Blair, Christian Cagigal (Magician), Cello Joe
December 6th, 2013
11am – 12 midnight
The Bay Brewed Artist Q&A: Shannon and the Clams talk “spaghetti western space ballads” and the best in Bay Area music and beer
December 5, 2013
The Bay Brewed, San Francisco’s only indie rock beer festival, returns on December 7 at Public Works for a third year of great music and beer. Over the next month, we’ll catch up with all six of the festival’s superb local bands to discuss how beer, music, and the Bay Area all fit together. In this edition, we catch up with Shannon and the Clams‘ singer and guitarist Cody Blanchard to discuss the band’s unique sound, their latest LP, and his favorite Bay Area music, venues, and brews.
The Bay Bridged: Your newest album ‘Dreams In The Rat House’ has been very well received by both the media and your audience. What was the recording process like for this record?
Blanchard: We spent a year recording it. We kept feeling it wasn’t good enough and we’d go back and record new stuff or re-record songs we did already. Most of it was recorded in Shannon’s old family cabin in Gilroy in winter where you have to keep the fireplace going all day and all night, some in my house in Oakland, then some in the house I moved into in El Cerrito toward the end of the process. It was fun to spend so much time on it, but also kind of wasteful and indulgent maybe.
The band’s sound has been described as everything from doo-wop and old school rhythm and blues to garage, surf, and psych rock. How does the band approach the songwriting process and how would you describe its sound?
We can’t write anything straight. If there isn’t something weird or unsettling in a song, it doesn’t feel right. To us, music isn’t satisfying unless it has something pop and something weird and unique in it. We struggle with coming up with a descriptive genre or phrase. Right now I like “spaghetti western space ballads,” but I don’t think its very accurate, hah.
December 5, 2013
San Francisco-based producer Avalon Emerson is readying her debut 12-inch vinyl release. Coming soon on Icee Hot, “Pressure”/”Quoi!” includes the two title tracks on the A side. Side B features two remixes of “Quoi!” from Tuff City Kids (Running Back’s Gerd Janson and Lauer), including a “Techno” mix and a “Disco” mix. The set will be available for digital download on January 13. Expect a vinyl release from Icee Hot soon. For now, you can preview clips from “Pressure”/”Quoi!” below via SoundCloud.
While “Quoi” is an outstanding new single, it isn’t her first. Avalon Emerson has previously released dance-worthy digital tracks including “Caroline” and “Church of SoMa”. We premiered her Cybernetic Edit of Blue Hawaii’s “The Other Day” earlier this year. No Fear of Pop recently interviewed Avalon Emerson, providing an in-depth profile of the talented local artist.
As one of the Bay Area’s most promising new DJs, Avalon Emerson can be caught spinning vinyl at various nightlife institutions around town. She is a resident/co-founder of San Francisco’s new Play It Cool series, and will be supporting Kim Ann Foxman at Public Works Loft on January 11. Tickets are available now.
Kim Ann Foxman, Avalon Emerson
Public Works Loft
January 11, 2014
9:30pm, $10-15, 21+
December 5, 2013
Push The Feeling is throwing its last dance party of the year this Saturday night. If you’re still standing after The Bay Brewed, head over to the Lower Haight’s Underground SF and vibe to some deep house jams courtesy of San Francisco locals C.L.A.W.S. and Roche. Roche will perform a live set, while C.L.A.W.S. will provide a headlining DJ set alongside residents epicsauce and YR SKULL.
C.L.A.W.S. is San Francisco’s Brian Hook, drummer for Bronze and organizer of discontinued dance parties Gentleman’s Techno and OK Hole. His “That Magik” 12-inch was released in March via Portland-based label Ecstasy. Hear the title track below.
Roche, an XLR8R favorite and a local ambassador for 100% Silk, is a veteran of Push The Feeling and other local showcases. He has been known to bring his entire vintage synth and drum machine collection to his shows, so Roche should end this year’s Push the Feeling series on a high note.
Push the Feeling: C.L.A.W.S., Roche (live), epicsauce, YR SKULL
December 7, 2013
9pm, $6 (21+)
December 5, 2013
San Francisco’s Scary Little Friends, who blew me away with their stellar debut earlier this year, just dropped a video for their track “City at Night.” The video takes you on a fun little journey through, well, the City at night, where white kids from the suburbs are ordering burritos and “pretending they don’t give a damn.” It’s good to put faces to voices and instruments as well.
Scary Little Friends are celebrating their album release Friday at a Bottom of the Hill show, where I’m sure singer Chris Jones’ impressive pipes will be on full display. The “City at Night” video is below.
December 4, 2013
There’s a lot of discussion and debate these days about gentrification in the Mission. Which is good, because it’s an issue we should definitely be discussing and debating. But it’s even more important that we take action—i.e. do something—to make the Mission and all of San Francisco a livable city for all. If you agree, then you might want to come on out to El Rio on Sunday night, when Future Twin will be headlining a benefit for the San Francisco Community Land Trust.
The SFCLT, which counts Future Twin lead singer/guitarist Jean Jeanie as a board member, seeks to keep San Francisco affordable for everyone via an innovative model of land ownership. According to their website: “The San Francisco Community Land Trust is a membership-based organization whose mission to create permanently affordable, resident-controlled housing for low- to moderate-income people in San Francisco through community ownership of the land.”
The intersection of politics/activism and music is one that fascinates me, so I got in touch with Future Twin to see what was up with this benefit, how the band got involved in the cause, and what they think their concert can contribute. (All questions were answered collectively by the band, so I’ll just be crediting the band.)
Check out the interview below. And here’s the video for Future Twin’s “Landslide,” off their Situation EP:
Mike G.: How does your music intersect with the SFCLT’s mission?
Future Twin: We write songs about our lives, and since we live in a densely populated urban area, our lives include the efforts and struggle to find affordable housing. We write songs about shelter, about descending into the mire of human bitterness, about modern isolation, but also about cohesion, resilience, and prefigurative thinking. The band name itself is about prefigurative thinking… the act of manifesting the kind of society you want to live in or the kind of person you want to be.
The San Francisco Community Land Trust is an emerging model of how to stop displacement and create permanently affordable, resident-owned housing in densely populated urban centers, aka cities. The first modern urban or community land trust in America started in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1981. Its a fascinating model that includes dual ownership, perpetual affordability and responsibility.
For too long, we have been adversely affected by displacement, as individuals and residents, as noncom-modified (NONCOM) artists and community members. We recognize and openly acknowledge that displacement and the people or entities that perpetuate it, are committing an immoral and unjust act, that is still considered “legal” just like slavery was considered legal at some point, or hitting women if they disobeyed you. Like other unjust practices and the laws that enabled them, displacement is unjust. It is not right. It is archaic. We are committed to helping stop it. Now. Today. With a proven model that helps people de-commodify space and more equitably share resources as a start, and hopefully opening up more people’s eyes to paths towards a more aware and just lifestyle, and perhaps outlawing displacement once and for all.