El Olio Wolof

Us Bay Area folk like to make fun of places like Bakersfield and Fresno - what we consider sweltering hot hell. That is, until a great band comes out of the depths. And with that somewhat unflattering but well-intentioned intro, we have Merced's El Olio Wolof.

Search for El Olio Wolof on Google and you'll come up with all kinds of raving reviews from local Fresno and Modesto papers who think they're the bees knees. And not without substance - the band has a 'relaxed and groovy' sound, using some accordion, woodwinds and organ to spice up the already soothing starter.

Their myspace page says it well, actually: "...invoking majestic kingdoms where Shel Silverstein's brand of playful poetics meets the ebb and flow of dusky indie rock." Fronted by the somehow befittingly-named Radioactive Cauliflower (I really hope his real name is Bob), the band will be touring California in promotion of the new album until late April.

Their new album is entitled A Tedious Task, ironic when thought of in context to the act of listening to their music, which feels anything but tedious. It feels quite like the perfect use of time. Their songs weave stories as complex as fairy tale spells and as simple as apple trees growing from seed.

El Olio Wolof will play their CD Release show this Friday at Bottom of the Hill with Death Sentence: Panda!, Mute Socialite and Carla Bozulich's Evangelista (LA). The show is at 9pm and will cost you $10.