Tiny Telephone Recording

Download: Mixtape: Mixtape: Stepping Inside San Francisco’s Recording Studios (Podcast #355)

San Francisco’s legacy of producing great music isn’t just a function of supremely talented bands and inviting concert venues. Hidden behind the scenes is the Bay Area’s rich array of recording studios, providing opportunities for artists, local and otherwise, to create great albums. An ideal studio isn’t just a quiet room stocked with the right mixing board, microphones, and other gear. More than that, it’s an environment in which musicians can elevate their songs, permanently capturing them at their best.

There’s a long history to a number of the most prominent local studios operating today. Hyde Street Studios, for example, began in the late 1960s as Wally Heider Studios, hosting acts like Jefferson Airplane, The Grateful Dead, and Creedence. Fantasy Studios in Berkeley emerged around the same time, developing into an important space for top jazz artists, as did Coast Recorders and Different Fur Studios.

More recently, a number of newer studios have emerged in the Bay Area. John Vanderslice’s Tiny Telephone Recording arrived in 1997, and it’s now a destination for indie artists, so in-demand that Vanderslice is expanding to the East Bay, where Tiny Telephone will join Jingletown Recording, New, Improved Recording and Sharkbite Studios.

A number of producer-led studios play an important role in fostering emerging bands. Over the past decade, Jack Shirley’s The Atomic Garden has become a reliable source for new punk, post-punk and noise pop like Wild Moth, Tony Molina, and Joyce Manor. Monte Vallier, from bands Half Church and Swell, now runs Ruminator Audio, recording Weekend, Wax Idols, Vaniish, and others. And Eric Bauer’s Bauer Mansion has played a vital role in the recent garage rock explosion, recording breakthrough albums by Ty Segall and Thee Oh Sees.

This mixtape collects ten new and recent songs from San Francisco Bay Area bands, all of which were recorded at local studios.

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About the Bands:

The Dodos – “Competition”
From Individ, recorded at Tiny Telephone Recording

Howlin Rain – “Wild Bush”
From Mansion Songs, recorded at Bauer Mansion

Lee Bob & The Truth – “Mission Breakdown”
From The TRUTH LP, recorded at Decibelle Recording

Hot Flash Heat Wave – “Hesitation”
From a forthcoming LP, recorded at Different Fur Studios

Great Apes – “New Rough, Old Diamond (A Conversation Between Vesuvio and Specs)”
From Playland at the Beach, recorded at The Atomic Garden

The Fresh & Onlys – “Who Let The Devil”
From House of Spirits, recorded at Lucky Cat Recording

Beep! – “Alien Mating Call”
From Too Physical, recorded at New, Improved Recording

Li Xi – “Pluto”
From Meet Me Somewhere, recorded at Ruminator Audio

Sea Knight – “Chasm”
From Where Are You, recorded at Sharkbite Studios

Sun Kil Moon – “Ben’s My Friend”
From Benji, recorded at Hyde Street Studios