Railcars -  Photo by: Jess Rhodes
 

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This week, our podcast features Railcars, the recording project of San Francisco's Aria C Jalali. Jalali began recording solo under his own name while at UC Berkeley, gathering a band under the Railcars moniker when he was invited to open for the Handsome Furs in early 2008. He returned to working solo to record Railcars' first 7" Cities vs. Submarines, released almost a year ago on Gold Robot Records. Recorded by Jamie Stewart (Xiu Xiu) in his kitchen, the five-song set featured lyrics drawn from Aria's vivid recurring dreams, and sounds generated from a cornucopia of drum machines, synths and effects. For all of the sonic abrasion, there are strong melodies at work too, and the combination is simultaneously otherworldly and concrete, much like the flying submarines that haunted Aria's dreams.

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The next few months mark big changes for Aria and Railcars. For one, there's the impending release of Cathedral With No Eyes, a 12" concept album based around the life of St. Edmund that comes out September 29th on Stumparumper Records. Beyond that, Railcars also has a number of other releases planned, 7"s and cassettes, and a lengthy list of tour dates nationwide. From our perspective, though, the elephant in the podcast is that soon after this episode comes out, Aria's moving Railcars back down to Southern California, where he's found inspiration in the DIY community of The Smell. While we're sad to see him go, we're confident we'll be hearing a lot more from Railcars in the future.

We sat down with Aria at The Bay Bridged Studio in late June to discuss his touring experiences, the forthcoming album and more. We've also included four songs in the episode from both of his vinyl releases.

Upcoming Shows:

Railcars are heading out on a national tour in October. Some dates are already filled in at their MySpace page. No local show yet, but we'll keep you posted.

Links:

- Visit Railcars on MySpace, where you can download Cities vs. Submarines for free.

- Purchase Cities vs. Submarines from Gold Robot Records and on iTunes.

- Check out videos at Railcars' YouTube page.

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