Caitlin Cobb-Vialet’s ‘Boots and Menthols’ is a curious and contemplative journey

Caitlin Cobb-Vialet's "Boots and Menthols'"is the latest in a string of serpentine stream-of-consciousness singles from her upcoming EP, out in October on War Chant Records. Like her previous singles, the excellent "Not A Child" and "I Confuse Us," this one is loaded with ennui and self-aware musings and features subtle yet complimentary production by Jim Greer. Though these songs all incorporate different sonic palates, the through-line is Cobb-Vialet's electric piano playing and matter-of-fact vocal delivery. The singles also share a rhapsodic quality; throwing a traditional verse/chorus structure out the window. Each is its own journey, and each ends [...]

By |October 1, 2021|Tags: |

Photos: The Seshen + Mahawam at the Independent

The Seshen (photo: Ben Einstein) Another weekend brings another bundle of great shows back to the Bay Area. The Seshen celebrated their first indoor concert in since the pandemic hit at The Independent on Saturday, sharing the stage with Mahawam and King Isis. We captured the kinetic energy of the night, snapping photos during both Mahawam and the Seshen's dynamic performances.

Louiza releases new video — party this weekend!

(photo: Photography by Matt Mimiaga) Louiza, aka Oakland musician Rebecca Mimiaga, releases a music video for "Anomie" on Friday, July 9 at 7th West in Oakland. The release party also celebrates the release of the new EP On/Off, out now on all major platforms. Louiza's albums have always been eclectic affairs. On her previous full-length Swim At Night, a song layered with Pet Sounds-esque vocal harmonies is just as likely to be found adjacent to a summery pop/rock song as it is a dense bass-driven groove with a sonic wall of brass. But as its title On/Off suggests, this record [...]

By |July 6, 2021|Tags: |

TONG anatomize the patriarchy on ‘MAN’

Photo by Parker Simon The Greek word apocalypse typically conjures up thoughts of a violent destruction or a catastrophic end. Yet, the word itself translates literally to: an uncovering, a reveal, a parting of the veil. It is in this context that San Francisco three-piece band TONG ponder the apocalypse on their new album MAN, out now. MAN is a particularly heavy song cycle by most standards. It sounds at home among the likes of King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard and Ty Segall's discography. Corporeal imagery is sung in unison with heavy riffs; Parker Simon's gnarled basslines [...]

By |May 17, 2021|Tags: |

Kelly McFarling’s bucolic and transportative “Deep The Habit”

Photo by Emily Sevin "All that I have / oh magnolia / painting light on the window / all that I have / my collection, deep the habit my memory / my collection / deep the habit my memory / all that I have" "There it is!!!" he blurts out, rising swiftly from his chair and almost knocking it over. "Deep the habit!" he exclaims to an empty room. I don't know about you, but I get very excited when I discover the moment a song mentions, especially in passing, its album's title. It makes me feel like a detective [...]

By |March 6, 2021|Tags: |

King Dream pushes the big red reset button on “Return to Zero”

photo: Giant Eye Photography Like the rest of us, musicians had to make the great pivot in 2020. For Jeremy Lyon of King Dream, whose average week stacked multiple shows with different bands, playing solo, private events, parties, weddings, bar mitzvahs, you name it — the shift to "work-from-home" was, well, rather extreme. And yet, he's been keeping pretty busy. The shows — albeit remote ones — are still there. Sometimes they're live on the web, sometimes pre-recorded and rebroadcast. One day it's for Social Distance Live, the Bay Area-based affair that bands together many local artists covering a famous [...]

By |February 12, 2021|Tags: , |

Lil Flower Nasti comes up roses on ‘The Blooming’

Sarah Arnold was usually one to find herself behind the lens, not in front of it. A professional photographer in the live music and event spaces, Arnold steps out on her own as genre-hopping performer Lil Flower Nasti. Anchored by her strong voice and bold songwriting, The Blooming feels like a confident declaration of purpose. Despite its less-than-13-minutes run time, it features all the skits and voicemail interludes you'd expect from a classic hip-hop record. Unlearn The World, a mainstay in the Bay Area music scene, handles production duties — sending The Blooming back and forth between musical universes. Sometimes [...]

By |January 5, 2021|Tags: |

Brijean signs to Ghostly International, releases “Moody”

Photo by Jack Bool Brijean, the duo of percussionist/singer Brijean Murphy and multi-instrumentalist Doug Stuart, returns with a new single and some pretty big news. They've signed to Ghostly International, current home of Tycho and Shigeto, among many others. Ghostly has also re-released the duo's excellent debut album Walkie Talkie. Both members of Brijean are accomplished in their own right; Murphy has toured internationally with Poolside, Toro y Moi, and U.S. Girls. Stuart has performed with a host of Bay Area bands for the past decade plus, including Bells Atlas, Meernaa, and Luke Temple. Together, the two musicians [...]

Bobbing’s hyperactive ‘Mixtape’ will surprise and delight you

Oakland’s Bobbing returns with Mixtape — a stuttering, unhinged triumph. The 17-track, sitcom-length album weaves seamlessly between snippets of ideas with the precision of a paring knife. Bobbing · Mixtape What's going on here? Why is it so good? If I had to guess, I think it’s because the album’s foundation lies in erratic head-knocking grooves. Bobbing's music is the ultimate blend of volatile-but-tight drum beats and surprising textures, melodies, and voices. As a result, Mixtape never bores — no single idea wears out its welcome. Joyful, curious, and often funny (take “The Big Unit,” a sort-of stream of consciousness [...]

By |July 21, 2020|Tags: |

“Our Children Are Sacred,” a bilingual affirmation of love for the next generation

Diana Gameros, Liliana Herrera, and Francisco Herrera In protest of the intolerable and infuriating treatment of children separated from their families at the US/Mexico border, an all-star team of musicians and artists have come together with "Our Children Our Sacred," out now. Part sing-along and part rallying call, "Our Children Are Sacred" is a new civil rights anthem that retaliates against the horrible and inhumane with a message of hope and love. A choir of voices celebrates this joy with the words: "Our children are sacred, our children are beautiful, our children are a gift," weaving together the [...]

By |June 22, 2020|Tags: |
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