This post first ran on KQED.org.Download: Mixtape: The Musical World of Kelley Stoltz (Podcast #389)
If one were only to consider his consistently strong solo albums, San Francisco musician Kelley Stoltz would rightly be labeled an impressive talent. Over the past decade and a half, he’s released seven LPs of finely-tuned rock-pop for labels that include Castle Face, Third Man, and Sub Pop. Influenced by classic artists like The Kinks and The Beach Boys, Stoltz conveys a unique and ever-evolving interest in pop mixed with elements of psychedelia and garage rock. Even more impressively, his solo albums have been truly solo affairs, self-recorded at his own Electric Duck Studio, with Stoltz playing most of the instruments throughout.
In addition to being a talented solo artist, though, Kelley Stoltz has also contributed to the music of many other local bands. As a producer, he’s worked with acts across a variety of genres, from intense local punk band Life Stinks to the pure pop of The Moore Brothers and Bart Davenport. As a multi-instrumentalist, he was a long-time member of Sonny & the Sunsets, and part of Stephanie Finch‘s band. A full consideration of Stoltz’s many, varied contributions to local music would surely land somewhere between daunting and overwhelming.
Given his wide range of experience in local music, we asked Kelley to select and comment on some notable highlights among the many projects that he’s contributed to over the years. True to the breadth in his resume, he picked albums offering a wide variety of sounds, from the first record he produced for another band — 2007’s God’s Boat by The Passionistas — to a new EP from Useless Eaters that arrived earlier this year.
The mix is book-ended by a couple of Stoltz’s own songs from different points in his career as well. All told, the mixtape is a testament to the musician’s many significant contributions to the local music scene.
Track Listing and Comments from Kelley Stoltz
Kelley Stoltz – “Cut Me Baby”
From In Triangle Time (Castle Face Records, 2015)
The Mantles – “Hello”
From Long Enough To Leave (Slumberland Records, 2013)
Kelley Stoltz: “The most fun I had, personality-wise, for months on end. Great tunes!”
The Passionistas – “Wild West”
From God’s Boat (New and Used Records, 2007)
KS: “My first ‘production’ job. I approached them after seeing their live version of ‘Amazing Grace’ at the Make Out Room. Good lads.”
The Moore Brothers – “Heard About You”
From Aptos (American Dust Recordings, 2009)
KS: “It’s fun to watch masters at their craft.”
Thee Oh Sees – “It Killed Mom”
From Sucks Blood (Castle Face Records, 2007)
KS: “My inexperienced mic-ing techniques made for a spooky recording. I remember my Tascam 388 tape machine went down on day one and Glenn Donaldson brought his by to save the day.”
Life Stinks – “Strange Prison”
From You’ll Never Make It (Ss Records, 2015)
KS: “Did this