Oakland’s Callow to release ‘Mothdust,’ haunt Bottom of the Hill

For almost a decade, Callow has been perfecting their palette of foreboding, spectral tunes that seem to emanate from somewhere in the darkest heart of the woods. Like Castanets, Fletcher Tucker, Six Organs of Admittance, and other artists of this ilk, they’ve carved out an idiosyncratic space—sometimes pigeonholed as “freak folk”—that conjures a certain kind of sylvan mysticism. Their work is like a subterranean dimension that exists beneath familiar mainstreamed neo-folk: atmospheric lamentations of woe cut with wistfulness. Oakland may be a little distant from the black, mountainous treescapes their music evokes, but Sammy Knowles and Red Moses haven’t lost [...]

By |June 22, 2018|Tags: |

Culture Abuse parties across an animated, photocopied zine in the video for “Dip”

Culture Abuse is known around the Bay for 2016’s iconic Peach and its brand of effusive and melodic garage punk. In anticipation of their sophomore full-length, Bay Dream, the band has released a video for “Dip” that’s unique in both the concept and the sheer amount of work involved in the execution. According to Noisey, director Ryan Baxley and the band replicated the scratchy, monochromatic look of a Xerox machine by printing out, distressing, and re-scanning 4,500 individual frames shot through a suspended piece of Plexiglas. Four hundred hours of work resulted in a dynamic, zine-like stop-motion video that features [...]

By |June 13, 2018|Tags: |

The Silhouette Era’s new EP delivers nostalgia with a kick of adrenaline

With a new self-titled EP out on June 22 and some upcoming shows spread across the length of California, the four members of The Silhouette Era are poised for a busy summer. The band established themselves with 2015’s Beacons, and couple of (quite strong) singles followed in 2016, but The Silhouette Era EP is their first release since then. Their Monterey origins are reflected in Beacons’ air of seaside heartache — its wistful melodies are unrushed and affecting. The Silhouette Era preserved a slice of California nostalgia with that album: It’s a lovely snapshot of just a few years ago, [...]

Huichica Festival pairs folk, psych rock, and wine in Sonoma

The Huichica Music Festival has been descending on Sonoma since 2010, pairing folk, psychedelic, and surf rock acts with food and wine from the Gundlach Bundschu winery, which doubles as the festival’s location. Huichica (wa-CHEE-ka) was born of a collaboration between Eric D. Johnson of Fruit Bats, (((folkYEAH!))), and Gundlach Bundschu. Accordingly, Fruit Bats will be one of the show closers on Saturday. This year’s acts also include notable acts like Jonathan Richman (who’s coming off some recent shows in SF), Vetiver, King Tuff, Rodrigo Amarante, Sonny Smith (of Sonny & The Sunsets fame), White Fence, and plenty of other [...]

By |June 7, 2018|

Sponsored: The Front Bottoms at the Regency Ballroom

Given the difficulty of getting a group of people together and developing a shared musical vision — through all the outside commitments and creative spats and empty shows — most bands are lucky to see their fifth birthday. The Front Bottoms have recently celebrated their 10h. The Front Bottoms got their start as an acoustic punk band from the Eastern seaboard — not an uncommon phenomenon in the mid-aughts. But over time, they've evolved from a couple of New Jersey friends self-releasing EPs on cassette to a contract with Bar/None and, in 2013, a highly regarded album, Talon Of The [...]

By |August 31, 2017|Tags: |

Sheer Mag, Tenement, Marbled Eye bring a unique take on punk to the Chapel

Philadelphia’s Sheer Mag has been grinding out classic rock and punk-tinged tracks since the 2014 unleashing of their debut 7-inch. An EP a followed a year later, earning them a number of devotees, until the recent release of their full debut album, Need To Feel Your Love. For its release, Sheer Mag has held fast to an independent mindset that’s seen them shun labels as significant as Rough Trade and Merge in favor of a self-release on their own imprint, Wilsuns RC. The writing team of rhythm guitarist/lyricist Matt Palmer and lead singer Tina Halladay has proven to be a [...]

Three unique local acts (Foxtails Brigade, Everyone Is Dirty, Spooky Mansion) hit the Chapel

Tonight, the Chapel will play host to an excellent trio of acts, each brilliant in their own way: Foxtails Brigade, Everyone Is Dirty, and Spooky Mansion. All three bands are Bay Area locals, and all three have steered their art into striking new territory. Fronted by the silken-voiced Laura Weinbach, Foxtails Brigade concocts an idiosyncratic blend of genres that hovers somewhere between twee indie pop, lounge singing, carnival music, and however you might pin down acts like Reverie Sound Revue, Panda Bear, and Merrill Garbus’s tUnE-yArDs. Like those bands, Foxtails Brigade makes use of angular, unexpected intervals and vertiginous shifts [...]

Video Premiere: Avi Vinocur, “I Should Have Been A Con Man”

(photo: Scott Padden) Singer-songwriter Avi Vinocur made a name for himself playing with Goodnight, Texas and the Stone Foxes — or joining James Hetfield on mandolin during the third Acoustic-4-A-Cure Benefit. Vinocur embarked upon a promising solo career with 2015’s Portraits With No Color, a powerful collection of folk songs that were enhanced by the album’s raw, homegrown production. Friday will see Vinocur release his sophomore effort, No Cause For Alarm. Portraits was largely a spare affair, driven by acoustic guitars that left lacunae of quiet around Vinocur’s country-inflected vocals — a skeletal construction that fit the mournful character of [...]

By |July 27, 2017|Tags: |

Blonde Redhead’s Kazu Makino on creativity and a new EP

Blonde Redhead is a band that possesses that rarest of distinctions: the combination of conviction and longevity that allows a group to push their creative horizons into uncharted territory without becoming lost in the thicket, always remaining resolutely themselves. Since their 1993 founding, the band's palettes and palates have grown to include explorations into electronics, classical instrumentation, a wealth of arcane influences, and radically inventive compositional flourishes. March 10 marked the release of 3 O’Clock, their latest EP. It’s another small milestone in Blonde Redhead’s unbroken string of gorgeous work — a sonic painting made with delicate, patient strokes. Blonde Redhead’s [...]

By |July 21, 2017|Tags: |

Dean Wareham to revisit the early days of Galaxie 500 at the Chapel

Dean Wareham is the mastermind behind the classic bands Galaxie 500 and Luna, original scores for Noah Baumbach films, and Dean & Britta, a duo with Luna bassist Britta Phillips. Deeply beloved by certain nostalgic, sentimental types, Galaxie 500 has found a foothold in music history, as a considerable amount of the ‘indie’ style can be traced back to the group’s late-‘80s work. That handful of albums — Today, On Fire, and This Is Our Music — has influenced the sound of notables including Low, Sonic Youth, and the Brian Jonestown Massacre, while Galaxie 500 songs have appeared in major films [...]

By |July 11, 2017|Tags: |
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