June 15, 2010
This week in the Bay Area:
Tuesday, June 15
Foreign Cinema, Sunbeam Rd., Slowness @ Hemlock
Wednesday, June 16
WomenROCK! with Bernadette, Stripmall Architecture, Conspiracy Of Venus, ZIVA, Burlesque performance by The Cheesepuffs @ The Independent
Jay Brannan, Terra Naomi, Jhameel @ Bottom of the Hill
Genius and the Thieves, Victory and Associates, Hi-Nobles @ el Rio
Friday, June 18
Chuck Prophet & the Mission Express, Stephanie Finch & the Company Men @ Great American
LSD & The Search For God, The Meek, Fuxa, dj Darragh Skelton @ Hemlock
Shellshag, Grass Widow, Dirty Marquis, Street Eaters @ el Rio
Devon Williams, The Impediments, Haunted Tiger, Blue Jungle, Cum Stain, Cosmonauts @ Pissed Off Pete’s
Saturday, June 19
Younger Lovers, Hawnay Troof, No Babies, Primary Colors @ 21 Grand
The Hot Toddies, The Albert Square, Please Do Not Fight, The Like Me’s @ Homestead Lanes
The Mumlers, The Aerosols, A B & The Sea @ Blank Club
Monday, June 21
Brian Jonestown Massacre, Federale @ The Fillmore
Sunbeam Rd – “Houseboat”
Conspiracy of Venus – “Soldier’s Things”
The Hi-Nobles – “Shake”
The Attachments – “I Wish I Could Be as Excited as I Am Now”
Chuck Prophet – “Let Freedom Ring!”
Hawnay Troof – “And I”
The Mumlers – “Coffin Factory”
Weekend – “All American”
Hank IV – “Dirty Poncho”
June 3, 2010
April 2, 2010
Things kicked off early with The Mumlers taking the stage shortly after 8pm. I was upset with myself for missing their set during Noise Pop so I owed it to myself to make sure I was at this show. The Independent is a great venue, a personal favorite of mine, and was the largest one I’ve seen the guys play to date.
Treating us loyal fans well, they played through several of their better known songs including “Red River Hustle,” “Shake Your Medication,” “Don’t Throw Me Away,” and instead of closing with “Coffin Factory” per the usual, ended on “Don’t Throw Me Away.” By the middle of their set, The Mumlers had a pretty packed floor, and cheers before, in the middle, and after every song. One thing that always blows me away is their musicianship – at one point, multi-instrumentalist and hype man Felix was playing tambourine with one hand, baritone with the other, and then he would set the horn down to play some keys just to pick the brass up seconds later.
March 2, 2010
Written by Todd Wanerman
Noise Popâ€™s Friday night roster posed some maddeningly appealing choices. Some members of our usual research team opted to check out Atlas Sound etc. at the Great American, arguing that it offered the promising new talent that the festival excels in. I and several of my familiars could not resist The Mumlers, The Growlers, Sonny and the Sunsets and The Ferocious Few at CafÃ© du Nord. True, I have seen the three local acts on the bill many times. But the prospect of all three of them together, with a fourth act fresh off of touring with Dr. Dog, just sounded like party of the year.
The Ferocious Few have built a mighty legend around town, as much for their fearless guerrilla street jams – ignoring or dropping F-bombs on anyone who suggests that they pack up and move on as for their super-charged take on Howlinâ€™ Wolf/Elmore James/Creedence style blues. As Fernandez himself pointed out, the duo is more accustomed to playing on the sidewalk outside of a Noise Pop show than being up on stage, so how would they fare in the spotlight?
Fernandez started with a simmering solo acoustic number, while drummer Aguilar expressed his sangfroid by leisurely applying lip balm. They had their set on the boil soon enough, with Aguilarâ€™s frantic brushwork on display and Fernandez breaking two strings in the first 3 songs. The qualities that make them so appealing -â€“ their sincere delivery of traditional song forms, and their hold-nothing-back energy -â€“ was a little diluted in a legit setting, but still in abundance. The Fewâ€™s first full-length studio album, Juices, comes out this month on Birdman Records.
Sonny and the Sunsets has been one of my favorite local groups since I happened upon them at a Happy Hour show at the Makeout Room over a year ago. Their leader, Sonny Smith, has been a cult figure around town for years, for everything from music to comics to playwriting. As he told me, he put the Sunsets together to focus on a more driving, energetic sound than that of his earlier solo albums like Fruitvale. Lucky for Sonny, he recruited another local legend, Kelley Stoltz, who absolutely floored the crowd right here at the du Nord with his own songs at a Haiti benefit a few weeks back, as his drummer. Bassist Ryan Browne joined in a little later, rounding out one of the strongest rhythm sections in town.
February 23, 2010
Stream the episode:
This week’s podcast offers up songs from eleven of the great bands performing during the 2010 Noise Pop Music Festival, which kicks off on today, February 23rd. If you missed last week’s preview mix, check it out here, and stay tuned all week for comprehensive coverage of Noise Pop 2010.
About the bands:
East Bay band The Splinters (“Mysterious”) have their debut full length, Kick, coming out in March. The band opens the February 24th Rickshaw Stop show with Foreign Born, The Fresh & Onlys and Free Energy.
Mist and Mast (“Burning Homes”) not long ago released their second album, Action at a Distance. They’ll be kicking off the February 24th Noise Pop Happy Hour at Bender’s that also features Love is Chemicals and The Ian Fays.
San Diego’s Tape Deck Mountain (“Bat Lies”) perform at Noise Pop before touring down to South by Southwest. The band opens the February 25th show at Cafe Du Nord, also featuring Citay, Scout Niblett and Greg Ashley.
Local trio The Sandwitches (“Back to the Sea”) are about to head out on a cross-country tour. They’ll be at Cafe Du Nord on February 24th at a Gorilla vs. Bear co-presented show with Harlem, Best Coast and Young Prisms.
The Voidist is the third solo album from LA-based songwriter Imaad Wasif (“Priestess”). See Wasif with The Soundtrack of Our Lives, Nico Vega, and Music For Animals at The Independent on February 27th.
December 16, 2009
Here’s the second part of our retrospective on great Bay Area albums from 2009. Read Part 1 of this collection here.
October 13, 2009
Photos by: Agata Kamler
Wednesday night isn’t your typical marquee night when it comes to going to see a show. Let’s face it.. it’s the middle of the week and you’re probably getting beat up at work, but those who were vigilant enough to strike it out to the Hemlock on Wednesday were treated to a all-around fantastic night of music.
First off, Osage Orange from Vermont took the stage. A bunch of horns and an accordion played accompaniment to the usual guitar, bass, drum. The band sounded like something out of the old-world maritime tradition with a little pop sensibilities thrown in for good measure.
Next, Emily Jane White took to the stage with her violinist and cellist. Her music is devastatingly beautiful and sincere, and though she mentioned that playing the Hemlock is always a challenge because they never have a sound check, they sounded amazing regardless. The EMJ band is like a comfortable desolation, or some kind of solemn beauty. It had a room full of drunkards brought to a dead silence, slack-jawed at what was going down in front of them.
September 30, 2009
Photos by: Bank of Karma
If you build it…they will come, and (((folkYEAH!))) has surely nestled itself into the soul of Big Sur over the past four years, drawing both Bay Area and national talent into unconventional settings that make it hard to return to the dive bars and overlarge auditoriums within our urban confines.
The grounds of the Henry Miller library, if you haven’t been, basically consist of a large yard, with a backdrop of gorgeous greenery and redwoods and an extended deck leading out from the small store that houses a hodgepodge of the author’s memorabilia and other like-minded literature.
Not too sound uber-Californian, but everyone seemed at ease, including the performers. The Mumlers began as the sun still glimmered between the trees, and their lazy blue-eyed stoned soul picnic was a perfect starter to the evening. Working from a ballad-heavy set, Will Sprott and company played with the poise of 50s something cover band to a mostly seated crowd. With the release of their new record, Don’t Throw Me Away, and an ensuing tour stint with the Black Heart Procession, it won’t be long before they attract some legitimate national attention.