Dirty Ghosts - Photo by Liz Caruana

Download: Live This Month: August 2015 (Podcast #368)

In Live This Month, we sample some of the great local and out-of-town bands performing in the coming month in the San Francisco Bay Area.

The Outside Lands Festival is without a doubt the biggest local music event this month, and with good reason, given a well-curated mix of big names and bands-on-the-rise appearing over three days in Golden Gate Park. Whether you’re Outside Lands-bound or not, however, there are plenty of other compelling concerts this month, including a slew of shows celebrating new releases from local bands.

Dirty Ghosts‘ new EP is an appetizer before the band’s new LP later this year, and “Cataract” showcases Allyson Baker’s compelling vocals and her ability to seamlessly blend retro-leaning punk and melodic pop instincts. We’ve similarly tracked the development of Makeunder over the past few years. Great Headless Blank arrives with high praise from NPR’s Bob Boilen, who called the title track, “

[o]ne of the most outstanding and challenging new bits of music I’ve heard this year.” Take a listen in this mix and then read this song-by-song walkthrough about the personal tragedies that impacted bandleader Hamilton Ulmer’s music. We’ve also included songs from new albums by locals PEACERS, the latest band from Sic Alps’ Mike Donovan, the resurgent The Velvet Teen, and the departing The Sandwitches.

The Velvet Teen started in 2000, but Failure predates every band in this mix by a wide margin. The atmospheric alternative rock group’s initial run began in 1990 and ended in 1997, and one could be forgiven for assuming that a seventeen year hiatus would hinder the group’s songwriting. That assumption would be wrong, though–the newly-arrived fourth LP, The Heart Is a Monster, is garnering great reviews, making the band’s upcoming date at the Great American Music Hall worth seeking out.

Enjoy the podcast and then go see some concerts!

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About the bands:

Dirty Ghosts – “Cataract”
On August 27, the band performs at the SF-Eagle with Lecherous Gaze, Slick, and Juanfre & Jenny Bombo

Hibou – “Dissolve”
Supporting Cayucas at The Independent on August 17

Mattson 2 – “Dif Juz”
Headlining Mollusk Surf Shop’s anniversary party on August 15 at The Chapel; also performing are Sandy’s, Be Gulls and Farmer Dave Scher

PEACERS – “R.J.D. (Salam)”
PEACERS opens for Brother JT and Carlton Melton on August 15 at the Hemlock Tavern

The Velvet Teen – “Eclipses”
The band concludes a US tour at Bottom of the Hill on August 21 and the Phoenix Theatre on August 22

Creepoid – “American Smile”
Locals LSD and the Search For God and Night School round out a great bill at Bottom of the Hill on August 14

Health – “New Coke”
Coming to the Rickshaw Stop on August 21

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – “God Is In The Rhythm”
Playing alongside Mild High Club and Once and Future Band on August 29 at the Rickshaw Stop

The Sandwitches – “Play It Again Dick”
Carletta Sue Kay and Kat Robichaud join this local trio at The Chapel on August 20

Makeunder – “Great Headless Blank”
Celebrating a new EP at Leo’s on August 22 with Bells Atlas and Fell Runner

The Black Ryder – “Let Me Be Your Light”
The band comes to The Independent with Peter Hayes of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club on August 21

Pony Time – “Time Tells Me”
Touring with Wimps, the groups hits the Hemlock Tavern on August 14; the show is rounded out by locals Male Gaze and OVVN

toyGuitar – “Human Hyenas”
The Hemlock Tavern hosts a night of local punk and indie rock on August 29, with toyGuitar, California, The New Trust, and Dialectics

Failure – “Mulholland Drive”
Headlining the Great American Music Hall on August 31; The New Regime opens