Making both sides of the Bay Area happy, Grand Lake will play shows in both Oakland and San Francisco this weekend to celebrate the release of their new record. Friday’s show in Oakland is the official release party at LoBot, with Starfucker, Guidance Counselor, What’s Up (all from Portland) and Man/Miracle. Saturday they play at The Hemlock with Starfucker and Guidance Counselor.

[audio:] Grand Lake – “Nevermint”

Grand Lake is the project of ex-Port O’Brien bassist Caleb Nichols, with long-time friend Jameson Swanagon on guitar, Ryan Parks on drums and Erika Pipkin on keys and vocals. The new album is called Nevermint, and is released on 500 Records and is available in the Bay Area and on the Internets as of yesterday.

Grand Lake’s music has been described as “minimalist indie pop.” With Swanagon having studied contemporary improvisation, many of the songs feature intricate and slightly dissonant guitar parts, accompanied by light drums and Nichols’ smooth and punctuated vocals. Soft harmonies and keyboards drift in and out, adding just the right amount to the already sparse but striking arrangements.

Check out their new video for “Concrete Blonde on Blonde”:

Concrete Blonde On Blonde from Joe Golling on Vimeo.

Rounding out a crazy week of shows, Grand Lake will also be playing a free show at Amoeba Berkeley on Thursday at 6pm. And if you’re in the mood for something more free-form and more relaxed, head over to BlueSix next Saturday, April 4 for a night of improv and tunes with Swanagon, Nichols and Jacob Rex Zimmerman on sax. That show starts at 9 and is $5.

Thursday’s LoBot show is $5 and starts at 9pm (plus Nevermint will be on sale that night so you can pick one up!). Friday’s Hemlock show starts at 9:30 and is $8.