Waxahatchee – “Under a Rock”

Waxahatchee’s American Weekend was a soft spoken, heartbreaking work of personal narratives that brought you into the room with Katie Crutchfield. One album later, and it’s clear that Crutchfield is pulling out all the stops for her forthcoming album, Ivy Tripp. Her latest single “Under a Rock,” is a short yet hard-hitting number that features classic Crutchfield with deeply personal lyrics that are easy to cry along with. However, the track is full sounding, with an entire backing band elevating Crutchfield's signature sound. It’s clear Waxahatchee is maturing, and it's clear that Ivy Tripp might be the most evolved album in [...]

By |March 4, 2015|Tags: |

Lizzie McGuire or As Told By Ginger? Getting real with Los Angeles’ Slutever

Los Angeles’ Slutever are Nicole Snyder and Rachel Gagliardi, a two piece that started off as best friends but have evolved into something much more. They are creators of the most honest portrayals of the modern young woman in music right now, with heartbreak, adulthood, reality TV, and the general what-the-hell-is-going-on as key factors on their short yet addicting EP Almost Famous.  Rumor has it that is you eat pop rocks and drink soda your stomach will explode. That’s a little bit like Slutever — kind of addicting and a little dangerous, yet you want to try it and keep doing it. Except you probably won’t [...]

By |February 23, 2015|Tags: |

Try the Pie releases “Domestication”

Try the Pie is the creative brain baby of San Jose’s Bean Kaloni Tupou. Having been involved in an array of local Bay Area projects, including Crabapple and Sourpatch, Tupou has finally moved on to release her own solo effort with the release of her first LP, “Domestication.” Try the Pie’s previous releases include a handful of singles that are intimate, touching, and earnest in their home recordings. They transport you into the room with Tupou, and in a way, feel as if you’ve been allowed to listen in on some of Tupou’s most inner secrets. In the same vein [...]

By |February 11, 2015|Tags: |

Jailed BFF’s & Lost Shoes: Introducing Oakland’s Puzzled

Oakland's Puzzled might be the best thing to come out of the Bay Area right now. Composed modestly of three members—Stephen Taylor, Mike Morales, and Elyse Schrock, together they make driven, melodic pop music. Their songs, comprised of emotional meltdowns and video games, are earnest and almost childlike. The opening track, “Mario” is easily the most addictive of the album. The combination of guitarist Taylor’s vocals with drummer Schrock's harmonies evokes comparisons of early indie forerunners Beat Happening’s Calvin Johnson and Heather Lewis. However, if possible, Puzzled is far more primitive, with lyrical content that brings to mind super sensitive twee heroes Tullycraft. [...]

By |February 5, 2015|Tags: |

Stoned and Alone: Oakland’s Toner drops self-titled LP

(Photo by Ant Boyd) Oakland’s Samuelito Cruz is well versed in the Bay Area music scene. Having been involved in a variety of local Bay projects, including Happy Diving and Never Young, Cruz has finally taken time to work on his own personal project: Toner. A chilled out, mellow breeze of musical melodies and diddies, the title track “That’s Fine” brings you in with shimmering guitars and the disaffected, melancholic vocals of Cruz. Written in July and recorded throughout the months of August to December, the album was primarily produced in Cruz’s hometown of Newark in a backyard shed. The [...]

By |December 23, 2014|Tags: |

Avant-garde trash rock: Urthdance cassette release

Urthdance is abrasive and explosive. It sounds very angry, like something that has been kept in a tiny box, but is now ready to come out into the world. Kind of like a Gremlin right before it's fed after midnight. Or, as they’re described on the world-wide-web, “Jagged avant-trash rock hurts-so-good atonality with fist-pumping anthems.” They sing about Walmart and (Wat)Twatsonville. They also have a physical cassette ready for you. Bringing in their first show since January, Urthdance are wrapping up 2014 with a release show for their grand opus of a cassette, Burning Man. Dubbed the Holiday Meltdown Christmas Fail, the [...]

By |December 18, 2014|Tags: |

’90s Nostalgia: San Francisco’s Fish Breath

The dream of the '90s is alive and well in San Francisco's Fish Breath. Their self-titled cassette, out now on Hair Growth Records, is a grab bag of sad boy sad songs that are easy to cry with. Take the opening track, “The Way Deer Look At Me,” a melodic little number that grows and expands into an eruptive, grungy track all while painting levels of melancholy. Following suit are tracks “Salty Leech” and “Torture.” Albeit far more caustic in comparison to “The Way Deer Look At Me,” the tracks continue in a similar vein with an aggressive affliction that is prevalent in [...]

By |December 12, 2014|Tags: |

Foxes in Fiction comes to the Great American Music Hall

The first Foxes in Fiction album I ever listened to was 2010’s Swung from The Branches. The songs––a mixture of field recordings and ambient noises––served as my bedroom soundtrack that summer in my tiny, windowless Sunset apartment. After obsessing over the album for months, I became increasingly curious about this mysterious Canadian experimentalist. With some research I discovered that this particular album was frontman Warren Hildebrand’s attempt to deal with the loss of his younger brother, whose age and birthday fell just a few days short of mine. The track “8/29/91” is deeply personal, with a sample of Bukowski reading a [...]

By |August 19, 2014|Tags: |

Ticket Giveaway: Slint at the Fillmore

Slint is a band that has resonated deeply among many - having disbanded themselves by the time their most acclaimed album Spiderland released, the group produced the kind of post hardcore epitome that spoke to their generation. Since then, the band has regrouped irregularly since splitting, always leaving fans in an uncertain limbo. That is until this year, as with the release of the deluxe box issue of Spiderland has come a West Coast reunion tour that is to follow their already sold-out East Coast run. The box itself is worthy of any Slint super fan, including bonus tracks, a book, and a documentary. Slint is playing [...]

By |August 18, 2014|Tags: |

Review & Photos: Alex G packs the Rickshaw Stop

Alex G (Photo: Ruby Perez) Wrapping almost entirely around the block stood a line of young people as they waited impatiently to enter the Rickshaw Stop. At nearly 9 p.m., openers Foie Gras were well done with their set, and the dark and abrasive sounds of Oakland’s Never Young could be heard thumping inside. Meanwhile, much of the crowd that would later fill the venue stood in a singular line, outside the venue. Alex G This was unfortunate, considering the show’s roster included a well rounded lineup; Foie Gras, Never Young, Elvis Depressedly, and Alex G were all due to [...]

By |August 7, 2014|Tags: , |
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