Preview: The Abigails, L.A. Witch + more at Brick and Mortar tonight

(flier by Ben Tipton) Acting as a sort of liaison between the Los Angeles garage scene and San Francisco, Hellbent Booking has curated another bill of bluesy, '60s-inspired rock acts that hearken back to a time in the early aughts when the Bay was synonymous with the genre. The Abigails craft an upbeat sort of stompy vaudeville while L.A. Witch and CG Roxanne stick closer to the style thats come to be associated with the Lolipop and Burger Records 'sound.' Joining the LA bands is Isaac Rother, who's soul infused songs provide a nice change of pace on a bill of similarly inclined rockers. If [...]

By |September 9, 2016|Tags: , |

Preview: Creative Adult release sophomore record at Bottom of the Hill

(flier by Michael Bingham) At the end of the month San Francisco's Creative Adult will be releasing their sophomore record, Fear of Life, which sees the band further departing from their formative hardcore stylings and channeling the more palatable melodies of '80s Britpop. Despite the intentional shift, there's still a thick coat of psychedelia across the top — something that's always been present in their sound. The show marks the end of not only Creative Adult's West Coast tour, but also serves as a homecoming show for Happy Diving, who will have just finished their first national tour in support of Electric Soul Unity, a dense rock record [...]

By |August 10, 2016|Tags: |

Preview: Terry Malts and Wyatt Blair tear up The Chapel next week

To celebrate the release of his new album, "Point of No Return," Los Angeles singer-songwriter Wyatt Blair will be joining locals Terry Malts at The Chapel in San Francisco next Tuesday. In a recent interview with LA Weekly, the 24-year-old musician describes his music as his alter ego, born out of teenage years spent idolizing his high school's jocks, and channels "the big superhero" that he wishes he was. His new record is '80s stadium rock, conceived and delivered via his bedroom, and as a joint release by big LA garage rock names like Burger Records and Lolipop. Joining him, and making their [...]

Premiere: Oakland’s undō debut stark video in anticipation of EP

Conceived during a three month stint in solitary confinement, Oakland's undō perform a jarring brand of screamy, freewheeling grind. The trio features members of long time East Bay electropunk group Diesel Dudes, but manage to make a similar racket with only one guitar, a drum set, and vocalist BG's pained delivery. After sporadic performances throughout the last year, undō are set to debut CCCXXXIII, a brief collection of songs that'll be released via their drummer Shaun's label Goth Horse next month. To preview the cassette release, undō, in collaboration local videographer Mila Puccini, have compiled visuals for three of the EP's tracks, but together they move and [...]

By |July 27, 2016|Tags: |

Premiere: BAUS perform ‘We are BAUS’ live at The Grassy Null

  The Grassy Null and Oakland's Vacant Stare Records recently teamed up, releasing a cassette compilation comprised of all the audio from live sessions recorded last year. Today, we're premiering the footage from BAUS's take of their anthemic 'We are BAUS,' which was only recently compiled. The East Bay trio play a frantic, funk-infused brand of no-wave centered around Thomas Jackson's inventive drum work and Sierra Wendt's hooky bass playing. Mike Morales' warped guitar work is more rhythm oriented than anything, furthering the bands ultimate goal — groove. Although all three members handle vocal duties, Sierra and Mike's sassy shouting is [...]

By |July 18, 2016|Tags: |

San Francisco’s Pardoner release new, collaborative EP

  Several groups of artists are putting San Francisco's Outer Sunset on the map in a big way. One group of affiliates congregate under the tape label Discontinuous Innovation and include names like Toyota and Stucko, among others. Another includes the record label Wave Dweller, and bands Future Shapes, No Vacation, and the increasingly noteworthy Jay Som. Pardoner come from another, overlapping circle, but bring their own flavor — a distinct energy. The band recently released a self-titled EP, which follows two other EPs and a collection of B-sides. The new songs seem to signal a departure — not to say the other material [...]

By |July 18, 2016|Tags: |

Happy Diving release singles ahead of LP, announce tour

(Happy Diving. photo: AV Club) Birthed in the suburbs of the East Bay but now distributed across the West Coast, Happy Diving turned heads in 2014, releasing a self-titled EP and their debut LP, Big World, a 10-song, unapologetic tribute to guitar rock, using fuzz and big leads to maximum effect, aligning themselves with similarly minded acts such as California X. Since then the group have toured sparingly, but are returning this summer with their sophomore LP, following a 7" release on Topshelf Records. Entitled Electric Soul Unity, the first two singles show the band picking up right where they left off. The [...]

By |July 11, 2016|Tags: |

Vacant Stare Records to team up with The Grassy Null for compilation tape

Since early 2015, a group of Oakland-based artists and recording engineers have been bringing in their favorite local bands and creating lo-fi, improvised videos that occupy a space somewhere between live performance and full-on music video. The Grassy Null collective is physically a recording studio, but operates as a collective for those who share a love of twisted, nostalgically lo-fi aesthetic. Kyle Day, who performs as a member of Oakland bands Beekeepers and Cough Syrup Kids, operates the studio. Brendan Casey and Michael Zamora shoot and edit the videos, and perform with The Peels and bAd bAd, respectively. Joining them are contributing artists Parker [...]

Oakland’s Marbled Eye debut concise and effective post-punk

(EP cover. design: Michael Lucero) Marbled Eye's debut comes at a time when uninformed critics have used Silicon Valley's Bay migration and the subsequent displacement of local artists to question the state of the area's music scene. Although initially conceived by Chris Natividad and Michael Lucero, Marbled Eye's members also perform with Meat Market, Unity, Useless Eaters, Golden Drugs, and Creepers. The groups self-titled EP serves as another reminder that the Bay's scene is far from uninspired. The songs are concise, well written, and consistent. There's the immediacy of opener "Coated," the cutting, pensive leads on "Primrose," and perhaps the EP's most memorable track, closer [...]

By |June 22, 2016|Tags: |

Interview: Bilinda Butchers on their upcoming tour of Asia

Last week I sat down with Michael Palmer and Adam Honingford of The Bilinda Butchers, middle school friends turned songwriting duo, to discuss their upcoming tour of Asia, which also happens to celebrate the band's eighth year. In 2008, just prior to their high school graduation, Adam returned from schooling in Pennsylvania and the two found that they had independently discovered My Bloody Valentine's Loveless, and immediately agreed they should start a band. Sitting in Adam's San Francisco apartment, we listened to the reissue and vinyl release of their first EP "regret, love, guilt, dreams," and talked about their first tour abroad, the role of the internet in building the bands [...]

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