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.”
January 24, 2013
Fresh from the infamous Girls break-up of 2012, Christopher Owens‘ newest project and solo debut, Lysandre, dropped last week (1/14/13) on Turnstile/Fat Possum. The candid, more poppy release was met with a resounding chorus of critic approval, as Drowned in Sound writes:
These songs marry the simplicity of the debut’s structures with the overarching consistency and ornamentation of record three (on this go round, adding a good deal of rasping sax and wistful flute), and it’s fun to hear how the two disparate periods of Owens’ trajectory meld together. Songs like ‘Here We Go Again’ and ‘New York City’ account for the otherwise baffling disappearance of the early surf-rock influences, while numbers like the title track snap with Owens’ penchant for tum-tee-tum pop (which enjoyed its final hurrah in Father, Son, Holy Ghost’s ‘Magic’).
Along with the new record, West Coasters also get a whole new set of tour dates. Owens will trek from San Diego to Vancouver during the last few weeks of March, hitting San Francisco’s Palace of Fine Arts on the 23rd. Tour dates and tickets are available on his website.
Palace of Fine Arts
March 23, 2013
October 29, 2012
Christopher Owens, the former Girls frontman, has announced the release of his debut solo album. Lysandre is slated for a January 14th release on Turnstile. Owens has describes the record as “A coming of age story, a road trip story, a love story.”
The album does have an interesting backstory. Inspired by the events of Girls’ first ever tour in the summer of 2008, its namesake recalls a woman Owens met in France during a festival performance. Lysandre is written, recorded and sequenced as a complete narrative.
Recorded with former Girls producer Doug Boehm, the record was written almost entirely in one creative outpouring. The San Francisco-based singer-songwriter explains, “Lysandre could easily be mistaken as an album about a love affair. But it’s much more than that.”
Chris Owens’ unmistakably personal songwriting is sure to flawlessly intertwine hope and heartbreak, apparent from the album’s first single. You can stream the first two tracks from the album via Turnstile’s SoundCloud page. Hear “Lysandre’s Theme” and “Here We Go” below.
Owens just announced a solo show at The Lodge at the Regency Ballroom on November 9th. Tickets are on-sale now.
The Lodge at the Regency Ballroom
November 9, 2012
July 6, 2012
San Francisco band Girls had a big hit on their hands with their album Father, Son, Holy Ghost, released this past September, following 2010′s Broken Dreams EP and 2009′s Album. So, it came as something as a surprise when frontman Christopher Owens announced he was leaving the band via Twitter on July 2, 2012. The three tweets read:
1) Dear all, This may come as a surprise to many and has been an issue of much thought for me. My decision was not easy to make
2) I am leaving Girls. My reasons at this time are personal. I need to do this in order to progress
3) I will continue to write & record music. More will be announced soon. I thank you all for everything. Sincerely–Christopher
No word yet on whether or not the rest of the band will remain together. Check out the video for “Honey Bunny” (off Father, Son, Holy Ghost) here.
March 19, 2012
Here’s a special treat for Girls fans: the band will be at Bimbo’s – a super classy establishment if there ever was one – on April 11th, and tickets are still available (9:00pm, $22/advance, $25/door, 18+).
Not only that, but as of this posting, no other bands are listed on the bill. That means a full evening’s worth of Girls and everything they have to offer. Who knows if any openers will be added between now and April 11th, but either way, it’s sure to be a great show. [More...]
February 13, 2012
Via Pitchfork: Over the weekend at the Laneway Festival, Girls covered “I Will Always Love You” – a song originally written by Dolly Parton, but made extremely famous by Whitney Houston, who passed away on Saturday.
In this live video, Christopher Owens performs a gentle rendition of the song as the audience joins in, barely holding it together as he softly strums along.
December 14, 2011
We might be biased, but, from this vantage point, 2011 reconfirmed that the Bay Area continues to have the most vibrant music community nationwide. The SF scene cranked out a ton of amazing albums this year, and our final podcast of 2011 highlights twelve great releases from Bay Area artists over the past twelve months. This isn’t a “Best of” list per se, but these acts did create some of our favorite music in 2011. We’ll be doing more year-in-review coverage over the next few weeks, but, for now, enjoy this collection of great songs from this year.
Lumerians – Atlanta Brook”
Dominant Legs – “Where We Trip The Light”
We’d been awaiting Dominant Legs’ full length for a while, and Invitation did not disappoint. The SF band created a unique world of buoyant, shimmering pop on the album, with Ryan Lynch and Hannah Hunt’s vocal interplay a particular highlight.
Mikal Cronin – “Get Along”
Before this year, Mikal Cronin had collaborated with Ty Segall on Reverse Shark Attack, and released records with Moonhearts, but his self-titled solo album allowed his unique psych-pop talent to take center-stage.
Exray’s – “Hesitation”
Part Time – “I Wanna Take You Out”
As Part Time, David Speck released a collection of synth-pop gems on Mexican Summer in July. He’ll be following up What Would You Say? with a new 7″ soon.
tUnE-yArDs – “Powa”
Does this one even need any observation? tUnE-yArDs’ profile skyrocketed with the release of the universally-acclaimed w h o k i l l, and we couldn’t be happier.
November 8, 2011
Out December 6th via True Panther, Girls have a new single that’s billed as a tribute to Felt/Denim/Go Kart Mozart leader Lawrence. The record is a red, one-sided, heart-shaped 7″ limited to 1000 copies. Give “Lawrence” a spin above. (Via Pitchfork)