October 16, 2013
Guitars and drums may make up the core of indie rock, but a considerable number of Bay Area artists also use instruments more traditionally associated with an orchestra than a rock band. Adding strings, horns or woodwinds might seem pretentious to some — and, admittedly, genre names like “chamber rock” and “orchestral pop” probably don’t help that assessment — but, when used deftly, these instruments can heighten a song’s emotion, add weight to dynamic shifts, and provide layers of texture that generate wonderfully unexpected moments.
String and brass instruments are core components of a number of the bands included here, like The Family Crest, who recently released an EP on Tender Loving Empire, as well as Foxtails Brigade, and Grayceon. Additionaly, Bay Area singer-songwriters like John Vanderslice and Doe Eye have local access to an ascendant group of classically-trained talents: the Magik*Magik Orchestra.
A number of the songs included in this mix feature Magik*Magik contributions; that shouldn’t be a surprise given the group’s prodigious talents, and a resume that includes recording and performing with the likes of Death Cab for Cutie, Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood, The Dodos and Geographer. After being included on so many other people’s recordings, it’s only appropriate that Magik*Magik have an album of their own, and the group’s debut solo effort is forthcoming in 2014. Until then, they’re continuing to add wonderful components to many Bay Area artists’ compositions.
Enjoy the mix!
September 4, 2013
It’s time for our weekly Wednesday ticket roundup! Dig through our discount bin and enter to win.
To enter any contest, email firstname.lastname@example.org with the name of the band you’re enter for in the subject line and your full name in the body of the email. A winner will be selected at random and notified via email. One pair of tickets available for each show unless otherwise noted.
July 19, 2012
Now that you’ve learned that, even though it looks weird, ‘judgment’ really is spelled like that, we’d like you to meet Judgement Day, a string-slaying, big-haired metal band from Oakland (assuming you haven’t met them already — they’ve become kind of a big deal in the last five years or so). We’d also like you to know that they have a new album, Polar Shift, slated for release at the end of the month (7/31/12).
The album marks a departure from their past work, or so says violinist Anton Patzner in a video released in late May. “You might know us as a pretty loud, heavy, distorted type of band, but the new record sounds a little bit more like this…” he says, as the audio cuts suddenly to a few seconds of a snappy, upbeat track.
The album will be released on Minus Head Records, and will be available on iTunes, CD, and vinyl. Judgement Day are currently touring California in support of it, and will tour the United States in the fall.
Check out their creepy and hypnotizing video for “Klagenstuck” below.
July 18, 2012
Instrumental songs sometimes get unfairly pegged as background music, but the best ones are exactly the opposite — captivating and hypnotic without a voice or voices dominating the work. The Bay Area is home to a number of artists who create alluring instrumentals, from the drones of Barn Owl and Date Palms to the post-rock compositions of The Drift and Silian Rail and the electronic works of Yalls, Tycho and Devonwho. Artists like Judgement Day and Al Lover & The Haters show that you don’t need vocals to establish a unique musical identity, but none of the bands here are simply novelties. And while technique plays a big part in making strong instrumental songs, it’s melody and feeling that are most prominent here.
Notably, a few of the songs included here come from new and recent albums. Judgement Day’s new album, Polar Shift, which includes the terrific “Forest Battle,” comes out on July 31st. Silian Rail’s “Young Moon” is on each/other, the band’s latest compelling collection. “Deep End” isn’t a new song per se, but it’s on Yalls’ Yalls II collection of recent singles, which is available now. Finally, Tussle‘s “Night of the Hunter” is several years old (making it a veritable classic by modern blog standards), but the band’s first album in four years comes out in September.
May 15, 2012
Broke-Ass Stuart has been living in SF for a decade now, dispensing top-notch advice for the budget-conscious. Stuart’s celebrating ten years with a party on Thursday night at Public Works that, naturally, features a bunch of great entertainment, and, also naturally, won’t break the bank. Judgement Day, Birds & Batteries, and Social Studies, all for just three bucks? Happy anniversary, Broke-Ass. More details & RSVP here.
April 21, 2011
When string metal trio Judgement Day reached their Kickstarter goal for “An Epic Acoustic Metal Record,” they originally intended to provide a 15-track compilation of rarities to the fans who donated (among other thank-you gifts). After re-evaluating, however, and discovering how pleased they were with the overall result, the band decided to open up Bâ€¢Sides to a wider audience.
Bâ€¢Sides, a collection representing 8 years of making music as a band, is available via Judgement Day’s Bandcamp.
Judgement Day is currently on tour with Pinback (all dates after the jump). A hometown show will take place (without Pinback, but with TBA “special guests”) at the Uptown on May 13th (9:00 pm, $10). In the meantime, be sure to check out Judgement Day’s recent trip to the Daytrotter studios.
Judgement Day with Pinback: [More...]
January 27, 2011
String metal rockers Judgement Day are jumping on the Kickstarter bandwagon. The band’s Kickstarter project is “An Epic Acoustic Metal Record,” and they are working to raise $2500 by February 8th, 2011.
It’s time for Judgement Day album 3! Throughout our career we’ve done a ton of experimentation with amplifying violin and cello and matching them to brutal, heavy drums. For our third record, we’re throwing that all out the window and taking string metal back to its roots: acoustic violin and cello, and bucket percussion. You may have seen our “bucket kit” by now. We’ve been using it on a few songs at all of our shows lately and for all of our “sneak attack” street performances. It’s a really cool set-up with mega-potential for unique awesomeness.
The money raised by the Kickstarter fund will help the band with several recording costs – renting a small secluded studio space up north, buying food and some new percussion instruments, and paying an audio engineer. Head over to Judgement Day’s Kickstarter page for more info.
- Sonya Cotton writes EP in memory of her mother, launches Kickstarter campaign
- In 2010, Kickstarter ushered in a new era of fan-supported albums
- Judgement Day – ‘Peacocks/Pink Monsters’
August 25, 2010
From Monument to Masses perform their final show at Great American Music Hall on Saturday, August 28th (9pm, $15). They’ll be joined by fellow local instrumental rock bands Judgement Day and Silian Rail.
It was a real treat to sit down and interview these guys for the podcast last year, and we know they’ll be missed by devoted fans around the world. Earlier this year, guitarist/co-founder Matthew Solberg offered a lengthy statement about the band’s decision to call it quits:
“…There is too much to say here about our experience. Weâ€™ll be blogging about it later, Iâ€™m sure. Suffice it to say, that Iâ€™m incredibly grateful for my time spent with FMTM and I wouldnâ€™t trade it for anything. From the responses we heard in talking to people about our music, Iâ€™m convinced that the music worked; it did itâ€™s job. It reached people on a different level than most musicâ€¦ and thatâ€™s exactly why I committed myself to the band in the first place…I loved every minute of it â€“ even the minutes that I hated. FMTM was a very frustrating band, mired in frustrating business relationships, frustrating personal relationships, and frustrating contradictions between what we wanted to be and what we were; where we wanted to go and where we were headed. Given these obstacles, FMTM fell prey to a sort of “band entropy” wherein everything that we tried to control slipped even further out of our control. Eventually, the net losses outweighed the net gains and no one was happy. Thatâ€™s when you know your band needs to break up, regardless of whether it breaks your heart or not…”
We have a pair of tickets to give away to Saturday’s show. The third person to e-mail contest[at]thebaybridged.com with the subject line “I want to see From Monument to Masses” gets the tix.