Mansion celebrate release of ‘Early Life’

(record release flier by Sam Lefebvre) After months of inactivity, Oakland's Mansion returned with news of an LP and promptly set off on a tour that took them to New York and back. The quartet's time in hibernation proved fruitful, yielding 11 tracks of pointedly focused noise, where every instrument is wielded like a drum and strange sounds are wrung from detuned guitars. Despite its density, the record is full of memorable moments - from opening track "Cell Phone"s towering lead to "Ronny Goes to Jail"s dissonant, marching verse. Candace Lazarou's vocals reign the songs in - adding melody where menacing guitars [...]

By |November 16, 2015|Tags: |

Get To Know: Nelsen & Farney

Near the end of their song "New Direction," Nelsen & Farney sing, "So if my style turns you off, please just stop listening." That's going to be awfully hard to do given that their latest LP, One For Many Roads, is drenched in mellifluous harmonies and memorable melodies. Though the song itself is a satirical lashing of the insipid state of mainstream music, the duo, comprised of singer-songwriters Mark Nelsen and Devin Farney, don't exactly forge an entirely new direction as their music is heavily indebted to past pop masters like Harry Nilsson, Paul Simon, and Crosby, Stills & Nash. [...]

By |November 13, 2015|Tags: |

Wicked Man releases ‘Terranean Tremors’ EP

We first told you about Oakland's Wicked Man over a year ago, and since then they've added members, and just dropped a second EP, Terranean Tremors. The EP premiered on Culture Collide, where the author compared each track of the EP to a more well-known track. It's a great read, but Wicked Man are really doing their own thing with Tremors. Yonatan Tietz's voice is entirely unique, the rhythms throughout the EP are full of surprises, and the female guest vocalists are a great complement to Tietz. All-in-all, they're a great representative of an East Bay scene that's pushing music [...]

By |November 12, 2015|Tags: |

Hear now: Tricycle Records releases fifth local music compilation

Artwork by Adrian Landon Brooks Since you've landed here on this site, you probably have a penchant for local music. We're excited to announce that our friends at Tricycle Records are releasing their fifth Friends of Tricycle Records compilation today, featuring 17 local bands and artists! And you can listen and download for free! Like their past  compilations, Volume 5 features bands on and off their roster performing covers and original songs. Of the Tricycle roster, Everyone is Dirty does a cover of Roxy Music, Rich Girls does a cover of the Motels, and the Union Trade, an original. We're excited to take [...]

By |November 6, 2015|Tags: |

The She’s release “Cherry Red” off upcoming split single

The She's just released “Cherry Red” off a Split 45' from Empty Cellar Records with The Dry Spells. The song starts with some guttural shout-cough type thing. First time I heard it I thought something happened to someone next to me, something that called for immediate attention. This is one of the ways the song will snag you. Like a lot of The She's music, the song is loud, catchy and punctual. The song (and group) is really tight – there's never a doubt on where the song is and where it's going. Three and a halfish minutes of popping [...]

By |November 6, 2015|Tags: |

Future Shapes releases new single “Feel”

New Future Shapes single "Feel" poses some deep questions about the nature of reality and hints at an unspecified, intangible, existential need hanging off the haunting reverb and laid-back groove. But if you're looking for answers to the metaphysical mysteries, all singer-songwriter Fil Cala offers in the chorus is "It's probably me, just being crazy." Perhaps, Fil. Or perhaps you're onto some terrifying, inexplicable secret about the universe that can only be translated through your self-coined genre of "shitwave." This gem of mindfreak soul is a preview of the band's upcoming EP, Microchasm, set to be released early next year. [...]

By |November 5, 2015|Tags: |

POP ETC announce LP ‘Souvenir,’ watch karaoke-themed video for single “Bad Break” now

Remember the Morning Benders? In case you need a refresher, the Berkeley boys behind everyone's favorite album of 2010 (Big Echo, released via Rough Trade) are now POP ETC. To help fans with the change, they released a mixtape back in 2012. Since then, we haven't heard much from them, until now -- the band, led by Chris Chu, just announced their first album as POP ETC. It's called Souvenir and it'll be out on January 29, 2016. The album took them years to record, but the final product is one they're proud of. Speaking about the record, Chu said in a [...]

By |November 5, 2015|Tags: |

Get to know: The Saxophones

Photo: Jesse Littlebird Oakland band The Saxophones began about 10 years ago as a solo songwriting project for Alexi Erenkov, who was in college studying jazz saxophone, flute, and clarinet, but as he put it, he was "dreaming of playing guitar and singing". So despite the woodwind-y name, this project is somewhat ironically dominated by Erenkov's intimate vocals, with sprinklings of sax solos and clarinets mixed in. The Saxophones just dropped their first track in several years, "On the Water", which is also the first track from their forthcoming EP, set for release on limited-edition lathe-cut vinyl. Highly [...]

By |November 2, 2015|Tags: |

Try the Pie announces ‘Rest,’ a compilation of early recordings

Bean Tupou of Try the Pie (photo: Rocky Nguyen) South Bay-based musician Bean Tupou of Try the Pie is involved in a variety of projects in support of the DIY community, from the San Jose collective Think and Die Thinking to the twee-punk act Sourpatch among others. Using music and art as a platform for socially conscious messages and queer-positive politics, Tupou skillfully offers a hand at helping to create spaces that are inclusive for the underrepresented—-coming from a queer Tongan background themself. Try the Pie's first full-length, Domestication, was released earlier this year; its follow-up is Rest, [...]

By |October 29, 2015|Tags: |

The Illumignarly releasing ‘Apocalypse Gnar’ EP

I'm not sure exactly what's in the water in the North Bay, but they've been sending us some great loud music of late. Santa Rosa's The Illumignarly are no exception, although they aren't fitting into any typical punk or hardcore scene. The Illumignarly makes first and foremost surf music, but adds a punk edge that brings the energy level up a notch or three. The Illumignarly started as a side project of guitarist Derek Nielsen and Scott Manwell, who had played in bands together in the North Bay. They'd been in a surf band in high school, and when Nielsen [...]

By |October 27, 2015|Tags: |
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