VANIISH - Photo by Damon Way

Download: Mixtape: New SF Bands with Great Musical Resumes (Podcast #344)

In a scene as active as the San Francisco Bay Area, it’s not uncommon to learn that the members of your favorite band are also involved in other musical projects. It’s also not surprising to see bands break up, burn out or go through significant lineup changes, enabling former players to explore new terrain on their own. All of this means that a number of newer bands with unfamiliar names might have some familiar faces — or, perhaps more appropriately, voices — involved. It also means that if you’re a fan of a San Francisco band, chances are you’d also be interested in some of the other projects of its current and former members.

This mixtape collects songs from emerging San Francisco bands whose members have been in other notable local projects. As you’ll hear, a number of these groups occupy the same universes as their members’ other works, but they’re all unique and interesting irrespective of their biographies. They’re also ten bands you’ll definitely want to check out.

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About the bands:


VANIISH – “Memory Work”
From: San Francisco
Keven Tecon (currently also of Wax Idols, formerly of The Soft Moon) began his new project VANIISH last year. Forming a quartet that also includes Wax Idols’ Amy Rosenoff on bass, the band’s just released Memory Work. The album, rich with atmospherics, was produced by SF’s Monte Vallier, who has also recorded great albums for Weekend, Wax Idols and others.

New Faultlines

New Faultlines – “Lifeguard”
From: Oakland
Led by brothers Zach and Luke Robbins, the members of New Faultlines have performed with Nobunny, The Mallard, Useless Eaters, and more over the years. In addition to two cassette tapes, the garage pop group’s recent 7″ is the last record from the reliable Dulc-i-tone label, who describes it as “a perfect final offering from Dulc-i-Tone’s fine family of beautifully handmade and fucked-up musical treasures.”

Pat Thomas

Pat Thomas – “Not Right Now”
From: San Francisco
As the bassist of the beloved Cool Ghouls, Pat Thomas has written one third of the band’s songs, but he wrote and performed all of his solo album, Coasters Riding in the Air. Out now on Empty Cellar Records, the LP offers more of the consistently great rock and roll the Ghouls are known for.


MINOT – “Tharsis”
From: Oakland
Out last month, Equal/Opposite is the first LP from MINOT, a rock trio whose tight, intricate playing confirms its members’ lengthy musical experience. Matthew Solberg previously played guitar in the stellar instrumental band From Monument To Masses, and was a member of Turks with MINOT drummer Shannon Corr. Bass player Ben Thorne also performs complex rock songs in the terrific Tartufi.

joel gion - apple bonkers

Joel Gion – “Yes”
From: San Francisco
Current and former members of Brian Jonestown Massacre appear on Joel Gion’s solo debut, which is hardly a surprise given Gion’s longstanding role as BJM’s tambourine player. Apple Bonkers — a reference to the tech boom, according to the label — offers the musician an opportunity to showcase his personal take on psychedelic rock-pop.


Foli – “Figure Eight”
From: San Francisco
Ben McClintock and Tom Smith, both members of the stellar indie pop band Social Studies, are joined by Cam Bateman in Foli. The psych-touched rock band isn’t maybe as new as some of the others in this mix, having released A La Maquina early last year, but the group is definitely one to keep an eye on, especially with a new LP coming soon.


Sandy’s – “Yuba Diamond”
From: San Francisco
Sandy’s is a new project from Alexi Glickman, whose band The Botticellis released one of our favorite 2008 albums, Old Home Movies. After that group broke up, Glickman recorded and toured with Little Wings before developing Sandy’s as a solo project. Fourth Dementia features a revolving cast of performers joining him, including members of Sonny & The Sunsets, The Botticellis, and Yesway.


Miserable – “Bell Jar”
From: San Francisco
Previously a singer in local heavy shoegaze band Whirr, Kristina Esfandiari recently launched two compelling projects, Miserable and King Woman. The Halloween Dream EP is alternately dreamy and intense, and came out in February on The Native Sound.

Flesh World

Flesh World – “A Sturdy Swiss Hiker”
From: San Francisco
Jess Scott’s terrific band Brilliant Colors and vital label Make-a-Mess Records make any new project she’s involved in one to check out. And Flesh World, formed with Scott Moore of Limp Wrist, offers melodic punk-meets-post-punk with a roughly distorted edge. La Vida Es En Mus released the band’s first LP late last year.

Joshua Cook

Joshua Cook & The Key of Now – “A Prayer For You”
From: San Francisco
Joshua Cook used to be the lead guitarist and backing vocalist for the ascending The Soft White Sixties, and he’s brought both of those talents to his new solo project with The Key of Now. Cook’s debut solo album, Misadventures Part One, arrived in November.