If you see a lot of live music in the Bay Area you certainly have encountered Eran Yarkon. Eran is from Israel but moved here in 1999. The Bay Area live music scene has no fan more dedicated. The guy has his finger on the pulse so to speak. Eran turned me on to Monotonix (from Tel Aviv) and their performances at Treasure Island 2010 and the Rickshaw in January 2011 were truly legendary. Eran is a laid back, friendly guy that seems to know everyone. It should be no surprise (except to himself perhaps) that he recently created his own record label – Guitars & Bongos.
Now that is a record cover! And as it suggests this is no regular record.
Guitars & Bongos’ first release, Love Police, from Charlie Megira & The Modern Dance Club was recorded in Jaffa, Israel, but the mastering was done right here in Oakland with none other than local hero Greg Ashley. Jaffe, an ancient city near Tel Aviv, sits on the Mediterranean Sea which may explain some of the serious Link Wray surf rock. But don’t hang too loose, the next song jumps to face-melting, screamy grunge. The guitar work is exceptional. The double LP comes with a free digital download and is available from the Guitars & Bongos website. The 31 songs cover a lot of ground to say the least. There is something for everyone (if you like Joy Division, Mermen, Dinosaur Jr., or the Modern Lovers!). The band has not yet played in the US but with a little luck we will have them here soon, and buying the record could help cover the cost of airfare.