April 17, 2013
All too frequently, remixes are just okay, but when they are great, they’re really something special. A truly great remix can shed new light on the original artist’s work and stand on its own as a unique creation. That’s no easy feat, either, given the tension between staying true to an original song’s components and a reworker’s desire to create something new and personal.
These days, it feels far too easy to get remix fatigue. Reworkings seem to pop up almost immediately after original songs are released, and they can come in such a volume that it can be a challenge to separate the excellent from mediocre.
This mixtape attempts to do just that, highlighting twenty recent songs showcasing San Francisco Bay Area artists getting remixed, Bay Area artists doing the remixing, or, in most cases included here, both. It’s a freewheeling collection that includes a wide variety of exciting local talents.
April 4, 2013
The scene at Rickshaw Stop on Wednesday night was much different than on September 14, 2012, the first time Mac DeMarco headlined the venue. Last year’s Friday night gathering attracted around one-hundred people, half of which were there to see Stockton’s Surf Club. Last night was a whole different story. The crowd steadily filled into the sold out venue starting when Calvin Love took the stage at 8:20, until 11:30 when DeMarco exited. Local bands Cocktails and Trails and Ways filled in the middle sets.
DeMarco had noticeably cut his hair and changed his clothes since a delightfully delirious set at SXSW last month. His set, though, was almost identical to the one he played last fall, with a couple of big differences. The four-piece band played against a visual backdrop which spliced together home movies of the band with found footage from parties and pranks. The frontman told the crowd that his bassist Pierce McGarry threw together the video upstairs before the show. Starting off with “I’m A Man,” DeMarco, McGarry, lead guitarist Peter Sugar and a drummer rushed through songs from Rock and Roll Night Club and 2, with all the ironic humor and confident showmanship that we’ve come to expect from this buzz band over the course of a year.
Anyone who has seen DeMarco this year has probably been treated to at least one or two covers. This time, the band exposed the crowd to its full suite of ironic influences. Teasing the intro to Pearl Jam’s “Jeremy” before “Freaking Out the Neighborhood” was only the beginning. After “My Kind of Women,” DeMarco alternated between his own “She’s Really All I Need” and a jammy melody of snippets covering bands such as Limp Bizkit, Rammstein, Rob Zombie, Bachman-Turner Overdrive, Metallica, The Beatles, Tool, The Police, AC/DC, and finally George Michael’s “Careless Whisper.”
Interview: Trails and Ways discuss their history and future, playing The New Parish tomorrow, 2/8/13
February 7, 2013
Oakland’s Trails and Ways started 2013 with a bang: they sold out Cafe Du Nord and released Detornar-Se, a remix album that features reworks from Wallpaper and Yalls, among others. The band gained notoriety early in their existence with some outstanding covers of popular songs, most notably M83‘s “Midnight City”. However, I think their dreamy, gloabally influenced pop originals (such as “Nunca”) are where their true strength lies.
I caught up with Trails and Ways vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Keith Brower Brown via email to discuss their history, their future, and life as a band in the Bay. Below the interview, you can listen to Oakland’s budding pop superstar Wallpaper’s remix of “Mtn Tune” from Detornar-Se, which can be downloaded on iTunes. Trails and Ways play The New Parish in Oakland on Friday night, a gig that will be their last in the Bay Area for several months. Details are below.
The Bay Bridged: For those that aren’t familiar, could you give us a little background on how the band got together?
Keith Brower Brown: We all knew each other living in the co-op houses at Berkeley. When we graduated, Emma [Oppen, T&W's bassist] went to live in Spain, I went to live in Brazil, and we both spent our time with open ears, tinkering on songs. Quirk [Ian Quirk, T&W's drummer] and I started experimenting in his bedroom studio when I got back. By early 2012 we were all back together here and played our first show as the full incarnation of T&W. [More...]
December 28, 2012
2012 has been a pretty fantastic year for Bay Area music. In fact, it’s pretty tough for me to zero in on a true favorite. Ty Segall’s Twins & Slaughterhouse are both pretty phenomenal. Exray’s Trust a Robot is a beloved release in my home. Fresh & Only’s Long Slow Dance will also make my top albums list this year. Geographer’s Myth is beautifully cinematic. Blackbird Blackbird is back with a great new album. James & Evander’s Let’s Go single got me grooving. And there have been countless debut singles by new up-and-coming Bay Area bands to be excited about.
Because it’s hard to pick a favorite, I’m going to shill for our friends in TRAILS AND WAYS in part because they let us release their debut single in our Pairings Box (we also released a super rad acoustic EP by SF’s Mikal Cronin which I’ll disqualify for consideration solely because it primarily features tracks from his 2011 debut). Now that I’ve revealed my bias, I’d also point out that because we are long sold out of the Pairings Box single, there is no financial motive for me to continue to promote them. In other words, I’m selecting them as one of my favorite new Bay Area bands for the same reason I asked them to do a single with us in the first place: I love the music they make.
November 29, 2012
Trails and Ways may have first grabbed attention with interesting and compelling covers of Miike Snow and M83 songs, but, over the past several months, it’s been the group’s original indie folk-pop songs that have kept our interest.
Over the past two years, the Oakland foursome has put out two EPs and a whole bunch of singles, gaining widespread blog buzz for a uniquely Brazilian-influenced sound that impresses with strong four-part harmonies and soaring, anthemic melodies. We expect both to be on display when Trails and Ways kicks off The Bay Brewed 2012 this Saturday, and it’s easy to tag this band as one to expect big things of in the future.
Enjoy a collection of originals and covers from Trails and Ways below. Many of these can be downloaded by liking the group’s Facebook page.
November 16, 2012
If you’re not sure what to do this weekend, consider four options featuring local bands celebrating new releases:
Over at the Hemlock Tavern on Friday night, heavy rockers Glitter Wizard will be partying for the release of their latest album, Hunting Gatherers, on Captcha Records. Stream the whole new album below.
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!
November 1, 2012
As they push forward to the release of their debut album Trilingual, Oakland’s Trails and Ways have shared with us another solid track, titled “Border Crosser.” Written by rhythm guitarist/synther KBB, “Crosser” is meant to channel a 1942 love letter between his grandparents – following their emigration from Europe to the Middle East and eventually California. You can grab a free download of the song with a simple “Like” over on Facebook.
As they explained to us recently, the band is dedicating the rest of the year to Trilingual‘s completion, along with releasing videos for “Border Crosser” and past Bay Bridged-featured track “Tereza.” Additionally, the quartet hopes to announce both Northwest and East Coast tour dates after the holidays while “saving up gas money for SXSW in the hopes of making that trip as well…so keep your fingers crossed for us!”
You can also catch Trails and Ways in person at the Bay Bridged’s very own Bay Brewed Rock and Roll Beer Festival on December 1st at Public Works! Get your tickets now!