Ezra Furman returns with ‘Transangelic Exodus’

The great Berkeley musician Ezra Furman returns in February with the follow-up to 2015's beloved Perpetual Motion People. Judging from the two videos below, Transangelic Exodus (out 2/9 on Bella Union) looks like it's going to be another winning collection of smart, ultra-catchy indie rock-pop songs. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E7bhgtixLOU https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QX8CiG4aRLo Ezra's also got a ton of tour dates over the next several months. Ezra Furman Tour Dates: 02/25 - St. Louis, MO - Blueberry Hill Duck Room 02/26 - Chicago, IL - Thalia Hall 02/27 - Indianapolis, IL - HI Fi 02/28 - Columbus, OH - Ace of Cups 03/03- Toronto, ON [...]

By |January 29, 2018|Tags: |

Video: Monophonics deliver soulful cover of “My Heart Cries”

Local psychedelic soul titan Monophonics has a new EP, Mirrors, coming February 15. The six-song set of covers finds the band digging into and reinterpreting a number of their influences. Below, check out a video of the band's cover of the Invicibles' "My Heart Cries," featuring stellar lead vocals from local jazz singer Tiffany Austin. Monophonics is about to embark on a month-long tour — check out those dates below as well. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PG107nMMCeo Monophonics Tour Dates: 02/06 – Eugene, OR – HiFi Music Hall 02/07 – Bend, OR – Volcanic Theatre Pub 02/08 – Bellingham, WA – Wild Buffalo 02/09 [...]

By |January 29, 2018|Tags: |

Bay Area rap vet Rich Iyala returns with new sound in “DAMNWELL”

San Francisco son Rich Iyala resurfaces to the mainstream music market with "DAMNWELL," the first single featuring Mars Today and Krikit Boi, off his upcoming album Camp Mendocino. For the past few years, Rich has immersed himself in uplifting the Bay Area community and social justice campaigns, expressing his support through on-the-ground action and utilizing his platform and reach to its full potential. Bur Rich's activism was through music first. It's been a long hiatus since the rap veteran first emerged as sayknowledge in hyphy's heyday, but Camp Mendocino is a promising take on SF hip-hop reacquainted with its funk [...]

By |January 26, 2018|Tags: |

Evil Twins release debut on Vacant Stare

Like your pop full of attitude, lo-fi, and quick and to the point? If so, Evil Twins are for you. With just one song on their debut over 75 seconds on their debut album, Evil Twins maximize sass per second. Evil Twins are the brainchild of Trevor Straub (Pookie & The Poodlez, Nobunny, Unity Skateboarding) and Stevie Shakes (Unity Skateboarding) — you can learn a bit more about them in the Unity Skateboarding feature in the New York Times (!) The always wonderful Vacant Stare Records has this quick gem of an album for sale on cassette — click through [...]

Oakland’s Same Girls call upon the dog days of summer in “Sailing”

Ah, youthful days of summer. For some of us that felt like eons ago, but Oakland band Same Girls' latest single "Sailing" recalls a sunny bliss, lifting the rainy days of January. Lead singer Taifa Nia has a deeper message, however, beneath the groovy guitar lines and funky bass. As drummer Otto Janes describes, "'Sailing' is like a dream — the melodies suggest wish fulfillment, but there’s a darker edge to it. As if in the dream, you can’t really find what your looking for, or you have to wake up as soon as you do."

By |January 22, 2018|Tags: |

New ‘Pirouette’ 7″ coming soon from Jay Som

Jay Som's Everybody Works was one of last year's best Bay Area releases, so we're really excited about the announcement of the Pirouette 7" (out this month on Polyvinyl Records), which includes two new songs recorded alongside (but omitted from) last year's LP. According to Melina Duterte: Both of these tracks were made during the spring of 2016 - the first demo stages for Everybody Works. They were fun to write and record but felt out of place on the track list during the finalization of the album. These tracks remain close to my heart and I'm really grateful they're [...]

By |January 18, 2018|Tags: |

Oakland’s Dick Stusso signs to Hardly Art, shares “Modern Music”

Photo provided by Billions Corporation Until two years ago, Oakland's Nic Russo was a talent known mostly among his close circle of friends. He'd played in bands since high school, but had never taken it too seriously; most of his music still lived at home, in half-finished demos on an old four-track. His friends on the other hand, took note. One had accumulated a hard-drive full of Russo's music, from shared demos to live recordings, and another had recently started his own tape label, Vacant Stare Records. With some encouragement, Russo put together enough songs that they agreed to split [...]

By |January 17, 2018|Tags: |

Oakland’s Ricky Lake debuts “Wino,” first single off Text Me Records

For a little while, Ricky Lake had a fear about working with a music label. Up until this year, the Los Angeles-born, Nashville-bred, Oakland-residing artist was making music solely from his bedroom, cold-emailing YouTube producers for beats and releasing impromptu projects on SoundCloud and Bandcamp. There's a rigidity associated with labels — contracts, royalties, processes, money. Ricky, who admitted that part of his creative process sometimes involves being intoxicated, simply thought that wasn't a world he fit in. But after linking with Text Me Records ("Text Me is about creativity and making what you want to make happen," he says) [...]

By |December 8, 2017|Tags: , |

Premiere: Experience “Christmas in Real Time” with Luke Sweeney

For the past several years, San Francisco's Luke Sweeney has tried to kick off the holiday season by writing and recording a Christmas song with his buddy Roberto Pagano, and he's back for another round this year. I'll let Luke himself tell the story of 2017's miraculous Christmas birth (of song): This year, I wasn't feeling inspired. I hadn't a shred of an idea for the song until the day before our annual tradition was set to commence. I holed up in my studio for a bit and tinkered with a few melodies until I had a tiny skeleton tune [...]

By |December 6, 2017|Tags: |
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