Record Store Day 2013 is tomorrow (pick up vinyl from locals Ty Segall, Golden Void, Moon Duo and more)
April 19, 2013
Lovers of vinyl will go to bed tonight with visions of sugar-plums dancing in their heads, as Record Store Day – the high holiday for audiophiles around the world – returns tomorrow, and more than 25 Bay Area independent record shops are participating in the madness. This year’s event (the seventh official RSD) features not only its usual array of special releases from high profile musicians, but a handful of local acts are jumping into the fray, dropping limited edition wax that will no doubt delight many scenesters from the Bay and beyond.
Included on that list of local denizens participating in RSD is SF’s reigning prince of indie rock, Ty Segall. Ty is back with his umpteenth release in recent years, a 7-inch entitled Ty Rex 2, which, like his 2011 effort Ty Rex, features covers of a handful of classic T. Rex tracks, “Cat Black (Wizard Hat)” and “The Motivator”. Listen to “The Motivator” below (via Soundcloud), and if you’re not familiar with the 1971 original, go here.
Other Bay Area acts joining in the RSD fun are The Bay Bridged favorite Golden Void, which is premiering two new tracks on their 7-inch release Rise to the Out of Reach b/w Smiling Raven, Moon Duo (with Circles Remixed), and Sonny & the Sunsets (with Imagine).
Check out the full list of special releases on RSD’s website, and figure out which local record shop will get your hard-earned money here. See you out there, and try not to trample anybody as you race to grab your favorite band’s limited edition vinyl.
Rock/See: A Concert for the Roxie! tonight at Verdi Club, 4/5/13 (Thee Oh Sees, Sonny & the Sunsets, & more)
April 5, 2013
Poster Design: Philip Pascuzzo
The Roxie Theater, the Mission’s last remaining independent movie theater, is putting on a benefit concert at Verdi Club tonight, with all proceeds going to support the theater’s campaign to renovate and upgrade their smaller sister theater, the Little Roxie. The neighborhood cinematic institution recruited “four of San Francisco’s finest lo-fi/garage bands” for the event: headlining are the seemingly ubiquitous Thee Oh Sees, with fellow locals Sonny & the Sunsets, Future Twin, and Assateague opening.
In 2003, the Roxie opened the 49-seat Little Roxie, a “mini theater” just two doors over from the main theater on 16th Street, and is now looking to make improvements to its tiny neighbor on its tenth anniversary. The event is designed not only to celebrate the theater itself, but also to call attention to the Mission’s position as one of our city’s thriving artistic and cultural centers:
ROCK/SEE promises to be a memorable evening that merges music and movies with community and history. One theater and four bands all rooted in providing audiences with a unique, intimate, and mind-bending experience will come together to deliver just that. The event will celebrate the San Francisco Mission District neighborhood they all emerged from, while raising money to support one of the city’s last remaining independent cinemas.
The Roxie made a point of partnering with four bands from SF’s indie music community – instead of the path taken by other non-profit arts organizations that are “joining forces with corporate entities and developers” – to help raise the funds “to continue supporting diverse, independent creative works not driven by financial interests.” The show will incorporate projections by local filmmakers Barry Jenkins, Jim Granato, and others.
Headliners Thee Oh Sees are gearing up for the release of another new LP, entitled Floating Coffin, out April 16 on Castle Face Records. Watch the video for the album’s first single “Minotaur”, and get full details on tonight’s Rock/See benefit, below.
Rock/See: A Concert for the Roxie! (Thee Oh Sees, Sonny & the Sunsets, Future Twin, Assateague)
April 5, 2013
8:30, $25 (SOLD OUT)
April 3, 2013
In Live This Month, we sample some of the great local and out-of-town bands performing in the coming month in the San Francisco Bay Area.
We’re due for an onslaught of anticipated new albums from Bay Area bands, and that outpouring begins this month with a number of the local artists we’ve included in this mix. Both Life Coach and Tartufi have gained members since their last records — Life Coach recently became a duo with the addition of The Mars Volta’s Jon Theodore on drums, while Tartufi gained a third member, bass player Ben Thorne (also of MINOT). On the garage rock front, we’ve included a selection from Shannon and the Clams‘ Dreams in the Rat House, which arrives in late May, and one from Burnt Ones‘ new album on Burger Records.
Plenty of reliably strong live performers are also touring through SF in April, including guitar wizard Marnie Stern, whose The Chronicles of Marnia has great songs as well as the best/most ridiculous title I’ve heard all year. If you’re more inclined toward country rock with an experimental twist, do check out Phosphorescent. I was really impressed by Matthew Houck’s band at South by Southwest; it’s a tight group of musicians who do great service to his rich songs. Finally, Telekinesis knows its way around a great indie pop song, and the band’s live shows find bandleader Michael Lerner drumming and singing with equal vigor.
Enjoy the podcast and then go see some shows!
About the bands:
March 19, 2013
Polyvinyl just offered up this teaser of “Dark Corners,” the first track on Sonny & the Sunsets‘ new album, Antenna to the Afterworld. The album comes out on June 11th, and that’s all the information we have right now. In case you missed it, here also is Sonny and his band’s cover of John Lennon’s “Imagine,” coming out on a 7″ on Record Store Day.
Review & Photos: Sonny & the Sunsets, Magic Trick, Cool Ghouls, and Dune Rats @ BOTH 3/2/13 (Noise Pop 2013)
March 5, 2013
Noise Pop 2013 – Sonny & the Sunsets @ Bottom of the Hill 3/2/13 – photo by Jackie Andrews
I was excited to check out Dune Rats, who came all the way out here from Australia to melt ears with their slacker rock, but a single-tracking BART train from the East Bay made me late. Luckily I was able to catch the last half of their set. Self-described as a “budstep” band, they do a pretty good job of channeling the early 90s aesthetic of Ned’s Atomic Dustbin, Nirvana, Wayne’s World, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for starters. In other words, they are your new best friends. Seriously, these guys are FUN.
Next up was Cool Ghouls, who create energized 60s-style garage and flower power psychedelia that got the crowd moshing almost instantly. They recently played a show in the cave adjacent to Sutro Baths, so they obviously live up to their name.
Next, Magic Trick took the stage and, after a rocky start (guitars were out of tune which lead to an abrupt stop and a little bickering, followed by guitarist Noelle Cahill flipping Tim Cohen the bird with smile), they settled in with their crescendo-y ballads accompanied by thoughtful, sage-like delivery of vocals and large hand gestures from Cohen.
Sonny & the Sunsets shared drummer James Kim with Magic Trick, so set-up was quick. Sonny Smith greeted the audience and assured the crowd that it was his bandmates and NOT he who had done illicit substances when he was clearly the one who was befuddled and more than a little intoxicated. He was on fire, charmingly interacting with the crowd (“I lost my belt somehow”) and his bandmates, tossing LPs and t-shirts into the crowd, and toward the end of his set requesting that the lights be turned down to play in intimate darkness. They played all of their most rocking songs, including fan favorite and crowd request, “Too Young to Burn.” Definitely the best and most entertaining Sonny & the Sunsets performance I’ve seen yet, FTW.
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.”
November 21, 2012
As a playwright, author, solo artist, and the leader of Sonny & The Sunsets and numerous invented bands, Sonny Smith has worn a dizzying array of hats over the years. Even just among his work with The Sunsets, there’s a restless creativity at play, so it shouldn’t have been all that much of a surprise that this year’s Longtime Companion embraced country inflections over jangly garage pop.
And while “the country album” is a phrase that rightfully should give music fans chills more often than not, Smith’s rich sense of music history — previously showcased through the cavalcade of invented bands in the 100 Records project — finds him incorporating twang in the service of thoughtful, personal songs. And given Smith’s track record, would you expect anything else?
November 6, 2012
On Saturday, December 1st, we’re proud to be throwing San Francisco’s only rock and roll beer festival, The Bay Brewed 2012, where we’ll be taking over Public Works for a full afternoon of tasty craft brews and great indie music. It’s a can’t-miss festival featuring music performances by Bear in Heaven, Sonny & the Sunsets, Born Gold, Blasted Canyons, James & Evander, and Trails and Ways, and unlimited beer tasting from twelve great SF Brewers Guild breweries. To get you psyched for the festival, enjoy this mixtape, which collects fourteen songs from all of our Bay Brewed performers.
Buy advance tickets to The Bay Brewed right now because you don’t want to miss this!