Interview: Flaming Lips’ Wayne Coyne and Steven Drozd discuss ‘The Terror,’ the evolution of their live show and much more
June 16, 2009 by Brian Davidson · 1 Comment »
Filed Under Mp3, News
The members of San Francisco’s My First Earthquake come from very different backgrounds. Two members used to play in metal bands, one helped develop essential parts of the iPod, and the other used to play in a band with We Are Scientist’s Keith Murray. With so much experience and diversity, it is only natural that the group have taken it upon themselves to release their own debut album, Downstairs. Their record release show goes down Saturday at Cafe du Nord (9:30, $10) with Blue Rabbit and B and Not B.
Downstairs is a display of the do-it-yourself spirit culminated. A notable track on the album is “Vow to Vowels.” With its catchy dance rhythm, organ melody, driving bass, and infectious vocals, one can’t help but get out their seat and shake it a little (or a lot). The whole album treks across the landscape of tight-synth induced dance pop, making a promise out of the four musicians abilities as a group. You can pick up the new album at the show.
June 16, 2009 by The Bay Bridged · 3 Comments »
Filed Under KQED, News, Podcast
Stream the episode:
This week’s podcast profiles Papercuts, the indie rock-pop band led by San Franciscan Jason Quever. The band’s released a series of well-received albums, culminating with 2007′s Can’t Go Back and, this April, You Can Have What You Want, both on Andy Cabic and Devendra Banhart’s Gnomonsong label. Quever’s collaborated with Cabic’s band Vetiver before, and he’s been involved in recording and producing a wide variety of projects in his Pan American Recording Studio, including locals like Still Flyin’, Donovan Quinn and Skygreen Leopards. Having your own home analog studio means you can take the time to perfect a warm, vintage-referencing sound, so it’s little surprise that You Can Have What You Want expertly sculpts nostalgic California pop into something thoroughly modern.
You Can Have What You Want is definitely a shift for Papercuts, but it’s not out of left field. After Can’t Go Back, Quever found himself moving past that album’s Byrdsian folk-rock, more interested instead in embracing the dreamy-pop sounds that has long touched his works. With the new album, the warm haze is planted front and center, with Quever’s vocals resting atop gorgeous layers of warm keyboards, an aesthetic likely influenced by Alex Scally’s (Beach House) involvement in the studio. As discussed in the interview, Scally’s role was hard to define, but it’s notable as the first time Quever’s had a collaborator so involved in Papercuts’ sound. Where Papercuts go next is anyone’s guess, but You Can Have What You Want is an affecting work from this talented band.
June 15, 2009 by Brian Davidson · Leave a Comment »
Filed Under Mp3, News
That Ghost will be playing at The Knockout this coming Tuesday (9:30pm) with Japan’s PWRFL POWER, Daniel Francis Doyle (Austin) and Naked Hearts (NYC). Don’t be fooled by the name — “That Ghost” is actually the solo project constructed by nineteen-year-old Ryan Schmale of Santa Rosa. The sound that comes along with the name consists of lucid instrumentals and lazy distorted vocals, creating a sense of being trapped in some sort of dream. Schmale’s simple chord progressions, patterns and ideas have earned appearances at national festivals, including this past SxSW.
Schmale has been recording and releasing EP’s and full-lengths out of his bedroom since 2006, before being picked up by Brooklyn’s Twosyllable Records for his 7″ I Crossed Out the Options/Fridays Off‘ (2008). That Ghost’s most recent effort, Young Fridays, proves that there is a promising future for the young musician — it can be downloaded at the twosyllable store or on iTunes.
That Ghost will continue with more tour dates: [More...]
June 15, 2009 by Ben Richardson · Leave a Comment »
Filed Under Concert Picks, Feature Article, News, Show Reviews
Annie’s is constantly cementing their status as the best no-bullshit punk and metal venue in the city, and they pulled together a powerhouse weekend bill with a little something for everyone. Tarrakian kicked things off, representing the stoner/doom contingent, and the thunderous quartet did much to please the reddened eyes and ravaged ears of that subgenre’s faithful contingent. I first heard them while on unrelated business at Soundwave Studios–siren-song ten-ton riffage was bleeding out in the hall and eventually enticed me into banging on the door of their practice space and soliciting identification. They gave me a sticker. The band sounded even better on Saturday, making good use of bassist/singer Kelsey’s she-Ozzy delivery and a number of dueling, psychedelic solos.
Elk were next, churning out that folk-tinged sort of black metal that is becoming increasingly au courant. The sound reveals some effective compromises, being raw, but not too raw, and thick without losing that trebly, black ened guitar sound high in the mix. The vocals are surprisingly satisfying, evoking the classic Abbath croak without bald-faced imitation. Hailing from Oakland, Elk will benefit from the camaraderie of many like-minded local headbangers while they hone their as-yet fuzzy antlers. Huge, cloyingly heavy builds defined their outing at Annie’s, and even those most frostily kvlt could hardly quibble with their black metal bona fides. Added bonuses included a full panoply of spiky accessories and the unlikely sight of an extreme metal drummer playing traditional grip.
Local institution Saros appeared in direct support, mining a more exotic black metal vein. Is there a way frontwoman Leila Abdul-Rauf can be nominated for some kind of Interstellar Badass award? All of 5’3″, Abdul-Rauf effortlessly deploys all the vocal power and guitar wizardy of a towering, corpse-paint-slathered Norwegian, and she and the rest of the band kick out black metal that is both traditionally grounded and impressively inventive. Drawing on a rich range of influences and penning multi-part, atmospheric odysseys, Saros can be counted on for razor-wire, low-end gallop, as well as intriguing, amelodic asides. The more I see them, the more they suprise me, incorporating unexpected sounds and patterns while hewing effortlessly close to the core of their sound.
Lest too much black metal cast a pall on proceedings, headliners Insanity offered a classic repertoire of old-school death metal, thrashy in the vein of Possessed while incorporating elements of early Death. All of this is appropriate, of course, because Insanity were founded in 19-fucking-85. Mostly overlooked and unknown to many, most of all me, they’re back with new line-up after the unfortunate passing of founding drummer Bud Mills, one of the percussion pioneers of the now omnipresent blast beat. Sporting infectious, throwback riffs, and endowed with the heady energy of death metal’s early days, they provided a rousing conclusion to an already raucous night. Singer/Guitarist Dave Gorsuch was the clear ringleader, putting his team of youthful shred acolytes through their paces with songs that recalled the boundary-pushing excess of death metal’s most fertile epoch. Undaunted by obscurity and a long, tumultuous career, one wishes Gorsuch and company the best in their ongoing race against the metronome.
June 12, 2009 by The Bay Bridged · 2 Comments »
Filed Under Feature Article, News, Show Photos
Photos by: Charlie Homo
Or, the Whale
June 12, 2009 by Ben Van Houten · 1 Comment »
Filed Under Mp3, News
SF’s Sleepy Sun–fresh off a European tour including stops at the Primavera and All Tomorrow’s Parties festivals–is back in the US and gearing up for the release of their debut album Embrace on ATP Recordings on June 16th. The record, which mixes psych rock freakouts, folky intimacy and otherworldy sounds, is simply one of the most exciting releases of the year and very much worth checking out.
The band’s live show is equally captivating, and you’ve got a can’t-fail chance to see them Friday, June 19th at the Great American Music Hall, where they’ll be celebrating the new album’s release. LA’s Spindrift, locals Assemble Head in Sunburst Sound and DJ Wet Burrito also perform.
9pm, $13, All Ages.
June 12, 2009 by Nicole L. Browner · Leave a Comment »
Filed Under Mp3, News
Local artist Kid Mud, whom you might remember as the solo electronic/indie artist with two EPs out on New and Used Records, will release his first full-length, Now They Shut us Down on June 16. The following day he will celebrate and introduce the album to an audience at El Rio (8:30pm, $5), performing as part of Vive le Rock, an annual evening of local music and film. Gosta Berling and Skeletal System round out the bill, and two short films by Nick Gamino will serve as intermission between the live music.
“Federated” is a particularly jumpy track off the album, which progresses in and out of Duncan’s pensive and astronomical hums. While in the past Duncan recorded on his own, Now They Shut Us Down is a blend of home recording and studio time at Mountain Ghost Studios (Jamestown, CA), and with invitation to collaborators, including his own sister. Another of the noteworthy tracks, “909 Garden,” features vocals from Jim Ruiz; the faint repetition of acoustic guitar under the chorus rounds of this duet reminisces the ambient side of Grandaddy’s catalog.