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This week, our podcast features the music of San Francisco’s Wooden Shjips, a quartet that plays experimental psych filtered through a stripped-down rock approach. That unique sound helped the band burst onto the national scene in 2007 with their very self titled full length album, released on Holy Mountain. It’s been something of a rapid ascent for the guys, who released a debut 10″ the year before, distributing copies for free at shows and winning early praises. Now, they’re heading back to South by Southwest, before a number of festival dates in the US and abroad.

As we learned during the interview, the band’s sound has changed considerably over the past few years. When it began, guitarist-singer Erik “Ripley” Johnson encouraged members to play instruments they weren’t familiar with, and the band had an expectedly more experimental sound. Wooden Shjips, however, is a decidedly rock statement, with a lean, driving sound that balances well with the repetition and drone. All in all, it’s a challenging and exciting work that has earned some serious praise.

We sat down with bassist Dusty Jermier and organ player Nash Whalen several weeks ago at The Bay Bridged studio. In addition to our discussion of the band’s unique sound, we’ve got four songs from the band’s discography, including one from the band’s debut and another from its “Dance, California” 7″.

The 2008 South by Southwest Festival is happening this week, and the band has several dates in Austin, including:

Friday, March 14th
1106 E 11th St, Austin, TX
Vice Saves Texas party
5:15 pm, Free with RSVP

Saturday, March 15th
Waterloo Park, Austin, TX
Mess With Texas 2 party
2:40pm, Free

Saturday, March 15th
The Tap Room at Six, Austin, TX
Holy Mountain showcase
11:50pm, $tba

Wooden Shjips don’t have any upcoming Bay Area dates, but will be heading to a number of cities this Spring. Find out more all of those dates at their MySpace page and web site. You can pick up the Wooden Shjips album from Holy Mountain, and their latest 7″ from Sub Pop. You can also find both on on iTunes.

Thanks for listening!

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