Jessy Lanza to headline an evening of electronic R&B

Jessy Lanza, the ethereal electro R&B specter behind Pull My Hair Back  (out last year via Hyperdub) will be haunting Amnesia this Saturday as the headliner of the 15th Pro Fans Showcase. Pull My Hair Back, co-written and co-produced by Junior Boys' Jeremy Greenspan, eschews the bloat and overly-saccharine nuances of modern pop in pursuit of raw, breathy vamping. It speaks to Lanza's restrained but ever-present personality—-she knows how to work a room while still maintaining poise. The same can be said for opener Running in the Fog's Amanda Harper. The San Franciscan pulls from 90s R&B and jazz with a keen reverence for [...]

Forlove – 'Holding Open' EP

Photo credit: Krescent Carasso Forlove is the solo project of Animal Friend singer/keyboardist Jasper Speicher. Although Animal Friend is definitely influenced by electronic music, Speicher takes those elements even further with Forlove. Extended synth dance rhythms dominate. "It's recorded music, so it relates more to house, dub, electro-accoustic, etc.," explains Speicher. Speicher has performed Forlove music live, with plans for more show in the works. Rather than stand behind a computer for an entire show, he does what he can to keep it interesting, including playing controlling a synth with a lightbulb. How do you control a synth with a [...]

By |January 21, 2014|Tags: , |

Premiere: Split Screens – "Close Your Eyes"

San Francisco's Split Screens, the band led by talented multi-instrumentalist Jesse Cafiero, created a distinct, dreamy laid-back vibe on their 2012 debut self-titled EP. Since the release, Split Screens has gigged up and down the West Coast while writing and recording for their debut LP, set for a release later this spring. Today, we're happy to give you a first listen at Split Screens' new material with the track "Close Your Eyes." Continuing the tones of their debut EP, "Close Your Eyes" would be great to listen to while soaking up some of our unseasonably warm sunshine. January 21, Split [...]

By |January 17, 2014|Tags: |

Play It Cool: Avalon Emerson releasing debut 12" at Public Works

Photo: J Astra Brinkmann When San Francisco-based producer Avalon Emerson isn't busy developing code, she can often be caught DJing at late-night dance parties around the Bay Area. One of these parties is Play It Cool, a monthly series that returns for its third installment in the upstairs loft at Mission Street's Balançoire (Update: the show is now at Public Works) this Friday in celebration of resident DJ Emerson's new record. Her debut 12" EP, “Pressure”/“Quoi!”, was just released on Monday via Icee Hot. Friday's record release party will feature DJ sets from all four of Play It Cool's residents, [...]

By |January 16, 2014|Tags: |

bAd bAd – "Problem Now/Leonel"

Everyone knows garage rock is "over", but what about "TURKISH SURF PUNK MARIACHIS"? That somewhat audacious description was my introduction to San Francisco's bAd bAd. Incredibly, about one minute into their track "Problem Now" I thought to myself, "Holy Shit, I think they nailed it!" Although I admittedly know nothing about Turkish music, the rhythm and percussion at least sound like what I imagine should come from Turkey. The relentless acoustic guitars reminded me of some of the Everly Brothers' work bringing to light a link between music from Tennessee and music from Mexico that I hadn't conciously realized existed. [...]

By |January 15, 2014|Tags: |

Video Premiere & Giveaway: Big Tree – "Like a Fool"

Berkeley quintet Big Tree has continuously released great folk-influenced pop music since they moved to the Bay in 2012, and today we're happy to share with you their new video for the track "Like a Fool." In a move that almost seems like an homage to the past, Big Tree is actually shown performing the song in the video. Through the video's simple premise, the tight shots of the band are a way to kind of get to know the members of Big Tree a little better. The group had a busy 2013, highlighted by the release of their My, [...]

Rich Girls to play debut show at the Make-Out Room

Following the release of their debut album The One I Want this past November, Rich Girls, the solo project of former The Blacks front-woman Luisa Black, will be playing their first show at the Make-Out Room on January 16. The new act, which takes some musical elements from Black's former work, offers a poppy summer-daze feel with a subtle garage rock sound. The track “Sink Like Stones” (video below) features Black’s reverbed vocal abilities, a head-bobbing rhythm section, and an anthemic sound that could compliment any road trip playlist beautifully. The end result: a band that's pop-centric and melodic yet [...]

By |January 14, 2014|Tags: , |

Wander – "Mourning"

With the looming death (or at least apparent dampening) of garage music to come out of the Bay Area being marked this year by local media outlets, including SF Weekly, it's refreshing to see bands come out and move away from the ever-reported garage rock genre and into something different. Wander, a post-rock outfit from the East Bay, falls into that category of bands, showing that the San Francisco Bay Area still nurtures music acts that range far beyond the garage rock or psych-rock genre. Their newest album Mourning, furthers the group into the ambitious feat of remaining merely instrumental. However, [...]

By |January 13, 2014|Tags: |

Meanest Man Contest – 'Everything Worth Mentioning' LP

Meanest Man Contest has reminded me to not define an artist by genre or a record by year it was released. I missed the October 2013 release of Meanest Man Contest's Everything Worth Mentioning, but I eventually heard the heartbreaking track "In the Dark", the only entirely new song on the album. I was intrigued enough to learn more, and to my surprise, everything I read about MMC had the "hip-hop" label attached to the description. When I finally listened to the LP in full, I definitely heard some great rhymes from Eric Steuer and instrumental hip-hop roots, but that [...]

Listen to 'Forever,' the new LP from Painted Palms

San Francisco's Painted Palms are releasing their first full-length LP, Forever, next week on January 14 via Polyvinyl, but you can hear it now streaming over at Pitchfork Advance. Their second release since last March's Carousel 7", Forever was written the same way that the duo of Reese Donohue and Christopher Prudhomme made music when they were living in different states -- piecing together elements composed separately. https://soundcloud.com/polyvinyl-records/painted-palms-forever/ Despite that approach, Forever shows no signs of disjoint—the 60s psych-pop reverent tracks are smoothly built, and the album's bright sounds seem as cohesive as ever. But while the album sounds as perpetually sunny as its title, the subject [...]

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