Get to Know: Cougar on a Meth Binge (it’s not what you think)

Before I tell you about Cougar on a Meth Binge, please take a moment to listen to their track "Mono Lake": Whoa! Was that a banjo? Incredibly charming and delicate female vocals? Subtle percussion and acoustic guitar coming together to create a droning yet enchanting soundscape? Yes, Cougar on a Meth Binge is in fact a sweet new indie-folk band from the East Bay led by the voice of Lauren Alegre, who is also a member of the perhaps more aptly named Alegre Sisters. Cougar on a Meth Binge's self-recorded debut EP Greetings Kittens is available as a free [...]

Premiere: Listen to M. Lockwood Porter’s new single

Berkeley's M. Lockwood Porter released his debut LP, Judah's Gone, last summer, and today we're excited to premiere his first new material since that release – the tracks "Chris Bell" and "Secrets". These songs are steps forward for Porter - while Judah's Gone was self-recorded and was heavily focused on his Oklahoma roots, "Secrets" and "Bell" were recorded in a proper studio and expand Porter's subject matter. "Chris Bell" is a tribute to the Big Star founding member who was killed in a car accident in 1974. "They've been one of my favorite bands for about a decade, but I [...]

Video Premiere: Field Medic – “Wooden Chest”

Kevin Sullivan is the frontman for Rin Tin Tiger, but he also has a great thing going with his solo acoustic project, Field Medic. He released his debut Field Medic EP last June, a second EP on Valentine's Day, and today, we're pleased to share Field Medic's video for the solo acoustic song "Wooden Chest" with you for the first time. In the video for "Wooden Chest", Sullivan is constantly alone. Despite his solitude, Sullivan seems content, making me imagine that although he yearns for companionship from someone in his lyrics, he's going to be OK if it doesn't work [...]

Non-Market collective releases debut compilation

"Non Market", a collective of East Bay friendbands that currently includes Trails and Ways, Astronauts etc., Waterstrider, Bells Atlas, The Seshen, (and perhaps a few more related acts), has released their debut compilation. The five track EP is all covers, partially because of the background of many of the bands' members. "A lot of us come from/get inspiration from the jazz tradition, where you play standards all the time," explains Keith Brower Brown of Trails and Ways, "and these tracks are some of the standards of right now." The EP kicks off with the best falsetto in town, Anthony Ferraro [...]

Sun Kil Moon releases ‘Benji’ LP

By my count, San Francisco's Mark Kozelek released seven(!) albums in 2013. Granted, four of them were live recordings, but that's still an insanely busy year. I guess it's only fitting that just two months into 2014, he's released a Sun Kil Moon LP, Benji, his first under the Sun Kil Moon moniker since 2012's Among the Leaves. Benji once again showcases Kozelek's ability to take seemingly mundane details about everyday life and create scenes that are vivid, tragic, and heartbreaking. Perhaps the best example of Kozelek's style is "Ben's My Friend", which takes you through Kozelek's weekend in the [...]

DRMS releases ‘American 707’ Film and soundtrack

Photo: Ginger Fierstien I'm a big fan of musicians that take their art into other realms beyond a basic music video. Oakland's DRMS did just that with their release of American 707, an ambitious 17-minute film and soundtrack directed by Elia Vargas. DRMS keyboardist Rob Shelton tells me the project began with some "highly experimental recording sessions" in 2012. "These sessions left us with a lot of material to use in a new way, not so much as writing a song and recording it, but recording something and then writing the song." The end result is an incredibly cool mixture [...]

By |February 21, 2014|Tags: |

Get to Know Papa Bear & The Easy Love

Aaron Glass, aka "Papa Bear", may be a bit of a dying breed. As the barefooted frontman of his folk group Papa Bear & The Easy Love, Glass leads the band with an impossibly happy grin and joyful energy, ending every show with a singalong version of his song "I'm For Today”. Glass is currently living in a massive artist collective/community in the Lower Haight, where he says "We're a big ol' family that likes to have a good time, and I personally feel like we're all working towards helping people see the world in a more vibrant way." In [...]

Playlist: Discover DSTVV’s roots

San Francisco's DSTVV has one of the more unique sounds in the Bay. Frontman Joel Cusumano has drawn largely from a wide ranges of seemingly unrelated artists that were popular in the '90s and '00s and added his clever, smartass droning delivery to create what he has half-jokingly dubbed "industrial grungegaze." In anticipation of DSTVV's show at the Hemlock Friday night with Teams, Snow Wite, and Blood Sister, Joel was nice enough to create a Spotify playlist highlighting some of his influences, or "DSTVV Roots" below. I asked him to go into more detail on a few of his selections. [...]

By |February 19, 2014|Tags: |

Premiere & Interview: Magic Fight’s swan song

Magic Fight made some noise locally last year when they released their debut album, participated in the Music Video Race, and capped it off with an appearance at our very own Bay Brewed. Sadly, they became yet another casualty of rising rents in the Bay Area, with front man Alex Haager moving to Portland to start Breakup Records, which will retain a strong local presence despite their headquarters up north. Tomorrow, they're releasing their final release, two songs as part of a split cassette single with Frozen Folk. You can't purchase the cassette until tomorrow, but you can listen to [...]

By |February 18, 2014|Tags: |

Celebrate Valentine’s Day with tunes from local artists

It's Valentine's Day, and what better way to express your love for your significant than with music? Here are some creations from a wide variety of Bay Area artists to help you make the most romantic day of the year perfect. Is anything more romantic than an acoustic guitar serenade? Well, maybe. Still, Field Medic, the solo project of Kevin Sullivan of Rin Tin Tiger has released a damn fine Valentine's EP of acoustic love songs that you can check out here for the first time. From the opening line of "I wanna spend my days off on opiates, and [...]

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