Video Premiere: Drift through Steinhart Aquarium with W.O.E.

Out of the current crisis will emerge a large quantity of artistic output, most certainly. For many musicians, isolation is not new: There's always another chord to loop, another vocal track to harmonize and another layer to agonize over before deleting for good. But this quarantined world is far away from sticky, beer-soaked floor of a venue or the backyards full of JUUL vapor. Memories of these immersive worlds are touchstones back to the familiar normalcy of the past, an escape that now seems filled with disease vectors. Though it may be changed forever, these experiences are a crucial piece [...]

By |April 20, 2020|Tags: |

Blues Lawyer luck into ‘Something Different’

Following the release of their 2018 debut album Guess Work, wonderfully anxious pop outfit Blues Lawyer was forced to reconsider their original plan for the project, which was to stop. See, the band was supposed to serve as an outlet for the songwriting collaboration between guitarist Rob Miller, of the defunct post-punk act Mall Walk, and drummer Elyse Schrock, of the awe-inspiring and groovy the World, who had originally planned to play a few shows and let the project fade away. To their surprise — and to our benefit — the two found a special channel in Blues Lawyer that allowed [...]

By |August 30, 2019|Tags: |

Tracking the story of Andrew Oswald and Secret Bathroom

Andrew Oswald at Santo Recording (all photos: Jon Bauer) At the moment, Andrew Oswald operates out of a cozy room at Santo Recording Studio, located in West Oakland. The graffiti-covered building is unassuming from the outside, but at the first step within, a familiar warmth emanates from the modest vintage decor. An array of older model microphones line the top of a piano and a collection of dated guitars cover the back wall of the live room. Upstairs sit Oswald's new digs, a smaller space that was being used for storage before he made it his own last year. A [...]

Video Premiere: Half Stack clock out in “Quitting Time”

Twang-seeking Oakland rockers Half Stack took their time to channel the rugged spirit of classic country music into a crooning album titled Quitting Time, released by label Processional Cross last year. Since then, they've been working on a new full-length record and have played a considerable amount of local shows, including a spot on the recent Noise Pop festival. The trifecta of guitarists, lazily shuffling beats, and wholesome vocals recall the comforting tunes of the Flying Burrito Brothers and the Grateful Dead, performed with the intimate authenticity of sheer adoration. Luckily, we're honored to present a new music video for the [...]

By |March 15, 2019|Tags: |

Noise Pop Preview: Daughters’ furious return

Noise-obsessed band from Rhode Island, Daughters, might seem like a part of the recent series of half-hearted reunion shows or the string of overwrought 'ten-year-anniversary-of-our-seminal-album' tours that we bore witness to last year, but they're not. Sure, they had a heyday full of heavy touring, legendarily raucous live shows, and a few important albums from more than a decade ago. And, yes, attention spans dwindled and in 2008 the band went on a hiatus that seemed permanent to their fans. But last year, they released You Won't Get What You Want to a wide range of praise. Like Daughters' albums [...]

By |February 22, 2019|Tags: |

Noise Pop Preview: Club Night recalibrate

Oakland's weirdo-pop group Club Night is no stranger to practicing patience, especially for their debut record, What Life, set to be released on Tiny Engines. The release of it was originally attached to their upcoming Noise Pop performance, but will now be postponed until April because the high demand for vinyl these days caused a back-up at the plant. Guitarist and vocalist Joshua Bertram's attitude isn't hampered by the arbitrary delay, instead he sees it as an opportunity to refocus and refine. “It's a living, breathing organism. It's not always going to be on, it's in these different stages of [...]

By |February 20, 2019|Tags: |

Rays premiere enchanting video for “To The Fire”

For years now, Oakland darlings Rays have produced artful rock that fascinates and provides solace to the weirdo-rock enthusiasts of the Bay. It's jangly and fun, and builds from lush grooves, bright lo-fi vocals, drums, and guitars. On Rays' 2018 album You Can Get There From Here, released by Trouble In Mind Records, they've polished their sound a bit, but remain tied to the enchanting melodies and deeply poetic lyricism. They're taking up a residency at the SF Eagle for the month of February, focusing their attention on a series of live performances that include the friends and family that have [...]

By |January 25, 2019|Tags: |

Black Marble’s gloomy bedroom ‘dance’ record

As Chris Stewart finishes the latest record for his somber synth-pop project Black Marble, he's reflecting on how he came to be interested in crafting his own music. With his third record in its final stages, he finds himself in a similar emotional space as he was at the beginning: making music that his friends would love. It spread from there infectiously, following a wave of artists producing synth-driven drone-focused pop like Cold Cave and the Soft Moon. Stewart's project found it's place in the midst of goth, post-punk, industrial and gloomy pop, amplified by a warm, lo-fi atmosphere that [...]

By |January 22, 2019|Tags: |

Home Sick 2 strives for post-punk variety in Petaluma

You'd be hard-pressed to find a band more comfortable with change than Santa Rosa's Ceremony, now 15 years into a career of stagediving and a raucous exploration of post-punk's boundaries. From the current of movement that trademarks their intimate live performances to the gradient stylistic shifts they produce from album to album, they've lovingly embraced the evolutionary trajectory of their artistry. According to guitarist Anthony Anzaldo these are biologically inherent aspects of the band's creative process, allowing for each member's distinct interests to intersect in a way that captures a specific moment in their career. Though the sound is ever-changing, [...]

By |January 16, 2019|Tags: |

Best Of 2018: Jordan’s 10 best releases to help navigate the current dystopia

Whether it's the environment, the country, or society in general, this year we've reached peak points in dystopian fear and despair. It seems that moments of peace, clarity and sincere self care in the modern era can only be found with our eyes closed, door shut and music blaring. Here are some of the things that I heard this year that blocked out the noise of the end of the world for a while: Blood Orange, Negro Swan A cathartic journey into identity and depression, this record glows throughout tracks of R&B, hip-hop, alt-pop, and ambient soul, showcasing Dev Hynes' [...]

By |December 19, 2018|Tags: , , |
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