After almost a decade together, San Francisco instrumental rock band Continental has decided to call it quits, as longtime guitarist Craig Escalante is leaving the Bay Area for New York. The band has a special sentimental value for The Bay Bridged, as they were the first group we ever featured on our podcast almost two years ago, when we nervously (and, to be honest, poorly) interviewed Craig about the band.

We remain eternally grateful for their early support, and have long discussed redoing the episode in a manner more appropriate for this terrific group, whose songs always felt too melodic to really be called post-rock, but too complex and mostly instrumental to be pop songs. The group’s final album, 2005’s What Was Gained From What Was Lost, showed that they had mastered this balancing act to great effect and it earned the group very positive critical responses.

Continental’s final show is this Friday at Alliance Française de San Francisco from 7-11pm and features a performance by fellow instrumental rockers Carta and a DJ set by Christopher Willits.

You can check out the feature podcast episode here, but we must warn you that, listening 90 episodes later, it is pretty rough stuff. We’d much rather you took a listen to some of Continetal’s great music instead:

[audio:] Continental – “Light Out” (from What Was Gained From What Was Lost)

[audio:] Continental – “August Ends” (from What Was Gained From What Was Lost)

[audio:] Continental – “Stella” (from 2003’s Four-Letter Words)

You can find out more information about Continental over at their web site. You can also check out an untitled new song, one of apparently a number of unreleased tracks the band has recorded over the last two years, at their MySpace page.