Greg Ashley

Welcome back,

It’s been some time since our last Monthly Mix, our regular series of episodes where instead of featuring just one band, we turn the spotlight on sampling a number of the best bands in the Bay Area. This month, we’ve got songs from nine different bands, all from their upcoming or recently released albums.

Greg Ashley leads off our episode with “Fisher King”, an excellent song from his newest solo album Painted Garden, recently released on Birdman Records. Also known as the lead songwriter in Oakland’s The Gris Gris (who we included in our first mix show), Ashley is currently touring North America in support of the album, his first solo record in four years. You can download “Fisher King” here and swing by Birdman for tour dates and information on purchasing the album.

Rubies is a project from Simone Rubi, one of the founding members of local indie-poppers Call and Response. This project finds Rubi exploring electronic dance elements along with the strong pop melodies that have characterized her other band’s releases. While the full-length Rubies album won’t be released until later this year, you can catch the band at the Rickshaw Stop this Friday as part of the latest show presented by our friends at here for more info. Check out Rubies’ web site and MySpace page as well.

HIJK, formerly known as Hijack the Disco, is currently anticipating the release of their debut full-length, The Pen and the Letter, later this year. The song we’ve included, “Alibi”, comes from both the upcoming album and the promotional EP the band is circulating to whet fans’ appetites. You can hear more at HIJK’s web site and MySpace page, and our listeners in Portland and Spokane can catch them touring with our friends Love is Chemicals in early May.

Boy in the Bubble is the project of Oakland-based singer and songwriter Josh Seidenfeld. On his debut CD Songs from the City on the Sun, Seidenfeld, backed by Los Angeles’ Oliver Future, delivers some very fun and infectious rock music with strong glam elements. Check out the Boy in the Bubble web site and MySpace page here. You can pick up a copy of the album at CDBaby or on iTunes.

As we mentioned a few weeks ago, Foxtail Somersault just released their new EP Fathom, the first track of which we’ve included in the episode. To hear more from the EP, head on over to Foxtail Somersault’s web site, where you can stream the entire album and purchase it as well. You can also hear more at their MySpace page. The band’s next show is this Thursday the 29th at the Oakland Metro, with fellow locals Minipop, Built for the Sea, and Excuses for Skipping.

We included Form and Fate on a past mix, and wanted to showcase the band’s intense instrumental rock again as the quintet awaits the release of their debut CD The Form and Fate of Lakes, which hits stores on April 10th and is already available on iTunes. For more information, head to the band’s web site and MySpace page. The band will be celebrating the release of their new CD on Wednesday, April 11th at Bottom of the Hill with fellow locals Zero Mass, We Be The Echo, and Aim Low Kid.

The Passionistas‘s former drummer apparently described them as “lo-fi punkadelic”, and that’s probably just as good or better than any multi-hyphenated concoction we were going to invent to describe their distinct take on rock and roll. Their debut album, titled God’s Boat was produced by Kelley Stoltz and will be out in June on the New and Used Records record label run by Bay Bridged contributor Will Benham. The band will be playing next with Love is Chemicals and Spark and Decay at the Hemlock Tavern on April 11th and you can hear more at their MySpace page.

On their new CD The Way We Bend Oakland’s The Parish blend indie and country rock sounds to create a unique mixture that feels contemporary while referencing the best of classic rock music. You can pick up The Way We Bend on iTunes here. Find The Parish online at their web site and MySpace page. Their next live show is Friday, April 13th at the House of Shields with The Val Papadins, who we included in our last monthly mix.

The Union Trade recently released their debut EP Now the Swell on Tricycle Records. As you can hear in the song we’ve included, the band blends elements of shoegaze and post-rock into dense, melodic anthems. You can hear more from the band at their web site and MySpace page, and you can pick up Now the Swell at iTunes and Amazon. The Union Trade will be playing with The Dont’s on Wednesday night, in a show we previewed yesterday.