JEFF The Brotherhood, Bully play SF’s Independent this weekend

  JEFF The Brotherhood is really coming into their own. The new album Wasted On A Dream (out now via Infinity Cat Recordings) proves that, though you might suspect as much based on the tidbits we'd heard about it before it released. "It's the most time we've ever spent writing songs, the most time we've ever spent in the studio, and it's definitely the most fully realized JEFF The Brotherhood record we've ever made," Jake Orrall says. The band wanted to make something that was just as much a ruckus as anything they'd made before, but still reach fans of genres ranging from [...]

Wreck & Reference, Bosse-De-Nage, and So Stressed announce show at Oakland’s Golden Bull

  California duo Wreck & Reference have only been around since 2011, but the band has already toured as support with an array of acts of an impressive caliber; Deafheaven and Liturgy, just to name a couple, have smacked them onto their bills in recent years. With the release of 2014's drearily stellar Want, Wreck & Reference presented a novel type of metal — one that was rooted in electronic instruments and challenged the classic (and some might argue, tired) tropes of the "conservative" genre. The band is finally about to embark on their own headlining nationwide tour, and will stop in Oakland at the [...]

Woodsist Fest announces 2015 lineup featuring Real Estate, Woods, White Fence, and more

  Woodsist Fest is back! The Big Sur festival is returning with a one day event on May 18, 2015 in a brand new location: the Loma Vista Gardens. Presented by (((folkYEAH!))), the sixth annual event features a stellar lineup of acts, including Real Estate, Woods, White Fence, Little Wings and more. Last year, Real Estate released the stellar album Atlas, widely regarded as one of the best of the year via Domino, so this year's fest should feature some incredible music in a gorgeous setting. Tickets are on sale now here at their website.

Pro Fans bring TOPS, Dinner, and Kid Trails to Brick & Mortar this month

  Formed from the wreckage of the Montreal synth pop group Silly Kissers, TOPS quickly made a name for themselves around the Canadian fringe pop scene. They attached their band to the same label, Arbutus, responsible for artists like Grimes, Braids, and Majical Cloudz (who coincidentally formed around the same time). The band, fronted by the self-admittedly shy Jane Penny, crafts tender tracks lifted by Penny's soft melody. It feels different from typical radio-bait, but that may be due to its reticent delivery: where pop music today embraces volume and brash statements, TOPS is more calculated—evidenced by their new 7", Change of Heart/Sleeptalker. Dinner, [...]

By |February 13, 2015|Tags: , , |

Diet Cig signs to Father/Daughter, will release album this month

Diet Cig has only released a couple tracks thus far—"Scene Sick" and "Harvard" (below)—but the New Paltz, New York duo made up of Alex Luciana and Noah Bowman is already making waves with their bedroom-made pop. After signing with local label Father/Daughter, the band will release a new EP on February 24, Over Easy, featuring five angsty tracks that manage to be biting and a little bit gritty without losing any charm. "Fuck your Ivy League sweater," Luciano sings. "You know I was better." The band only formed last summer and recorded their EP on Halloween, so don't expect to see [...]

By |February 3, 2015|Tags: |

Viet Cong releases new album ahead of SF debut at Rickshaw Stop

(Photo by Colin Way) A band that chooses a name like Viet Cong clearly never intends to evoke an undermining sense of joy—rather, the Calgary quartet embodies rigidity and bleakness through a post-punk aggressiveness in their compositions. Their genre exists in an existentialist space, but their lyrics have a lighter side, at least to lead singer Matt Flegel. "I have a bleak sense of humor, too," he says. "So some lyrics might seem funny to me even though anyone else might think they're desperately hopeless." Humorous or not, they're delivered with ennui, which is a front for the real emotion of the album. Viet [...]

By |February 3, 2015|Tags: |

Wood Shoppe founder talks Astronauts, etc., staging free shows, and their third anniversary party

These days, San Francisco isn't really known for its free events. Ticket prices have swelled, festival costs are up, and you can't buy a pint at a show for less than $5. The music industry in the city is stressed, and a night out will set you back more than it ever has before. Free concerts—let alone ones that feature professionally curated local acts—are almost mythical. And yet, Wood Shoppe, a nonprofit production collective and free monthly music series, has been able to stage a free monthly show for the last three years. Formed by local industry vets from High [...]

Twerps to release new album Range Anxiety, announce Bottom of the Hill show in March

Shortly after Twerps formed and premiered their self-titled debut album in 2011, they were already onstage at SXSW and CMJ and hitting tours with Mac DeMarco and Real Estate. Since then, they've been steadily producing more and more music, and will finally release their second full-length album Range Anxiety January 27 via Merge Records. The album's first single, the playful pop love song "Back to You", is as sunny as their home Melbourne and as innocent as their name would suggest. But that doesn't mean they've always sounded that way. Although the band has seen its fair share of lineup changes, they've embraced the change [...]

By |January 26, 2015|Tags: , |

Berkeley’s POP ETC. release video for new single “Running In Circles”

Berkeley's POP ETC. seem to have spent a lifetime consuming popular music's nuances. They can funnel decades' worth of synthesizers and crushing melodic textures into a bright pastiche of a song, but still manage to make it sound like nothing you've ever heard before. Their newest track, "Running in Circles", recalls '80s grooves with spastic pizzicato, with vocalist Christopher Chu bellowing like he's mid-power ballad in a John Hughes film. That reaching for familiar aesthetics in their music, though, is a strategy they often employ — not just a novel pursuit for their newest release. "Pop music always elevates and celebrates the hook—the catchy bit that sticks [...]

By |January 16, 2015|Tags: |

Alvvays headlining Pro Fans show at Rickshaw Stop with Absolutely Free and Talk In Tongues

The songs of Alvvays seem like the musical incarnations of a teen girl's diary entries: moody, hopeful, and wide-eyed. Their self-titled album, released this summer via locals Polyvinyl, teems with innocence and earnest, as ephemeral as youth but as vicious as naive determination. Molly Rankin, the Toronto group's lead singer and guitarist, adds a '60s softness to the band's sound, while Kerri Maclellan, Alec O'Hanley, Brian Murphy, and Phil MacIsaac coordinate anthemic pop melodies to channel their trademark sweet angst. Their penchant for melancholy has drawn a few like-minded fans, including

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