Review + Photos: Vetiver wraps extensive tour with homecoming show at the Independent

Vetiver (photo: Joshua Huver) Andy Cabic's Vetiver wrapped an extensive tour Wednesday night with a two-hour homecoming show at the Independent in San Francisco. "We drove straight through from Chicago to be here," Cabic announced early in the show. "We slept, but we were driving non-stop." Variety is the spice of life, and Cabic is no stranger to varying his ways, whether it is a new lyric, a different fill, or the way he builds his set lists. He applies the same aloof and varied approach to his records. Released late in 2015, Complete Strangers was slowly assembled over several years and focuses on [...]

By |May 23, 2016|Tags: |

Nada Surf returns to SF for sold-out show at GAMH

"We are in the middle of a slow-motion, 20-year tour here in San Francisco," joked Matthew Caws, lead singer and guitarist behind indie rock favorites Nada Surf. On Friday, May 20, Nada Surf played the second show of an extensive 35-city tour, appearing at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco, featuring a 25-song set list and a double encore. "We started at The Bottom of the Hill, up to Slim's, The Fillmore, Great American, we've still got Bill Graham and the Swedish to get to," laughed Caws. The band is touring in support of their eighth studio album, You Know Who [...]

By |May 23, 2016|Tags: |

Introducing Smoking Room, a new Oakland tape label

(Smoking Room, design by Samuelito Cruz) The brainchild of tireless Bay Area scene contributor Samuelito Cruz, Smoking Room is a new tape label serving as a launch pad for Cruz's projects and the work of his close friends. Popping up online this month, the label is already debuting it's first two releases — a formal release of "Space Riffs Vol. 1," a collection of songs released online by Happy Diving bandleader Matt Berry back in 2014, and a second run of Oakland's Baja Boys brief debut tape. Featuring alternate versions of Happy Diving songs, an ode to the transcendent effects of caffeine, and an [...]

By |May 23, 2016|Tags: |

Premiere: The Sunset Shipwrecks release angst-fueled “Vengeance Will Be Mine”

What do you do when your band and your city meet their end? Start a new band and sing about it all. Well, that's exactly what Ryan Massey did when his band, Fat Wreck Chords/Lookout! mainstays American Steel, met its dissolution and the tech boom of San Francisco forced him to move out of the house he called home for ten years. The energy and anger this double-whammy instilled in Massey led him to start up a new project: The Sunset Shipwrecks The new band features elements of their timeline both old and new. Massey brought back American Steel drummer [...]

Dead & Company kick off summer tour with free show at the Fillmore

Dead & Company, the latest revitalized legacy project in the name of The Grateful Dead, announced Wednesday afternoon that they will kick off their 25-date summer tour in honor of their humble beginnings with a free show at the Fillmore. The line-up consists of original founding members Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann and Bob Weir with John Mayer, featuring Oteil Burbridge and Jeff Chimenti. Tickets are available via LiveNation — but these are gonna go fast. The catch of it all (there is always a catch) echoes guitarist Bob Weir's parting words following the massively successful Fare Thee Well events in Santa Clara [...]

By |May 19, 2016|Tags: |

Premiere: Meet Berkeley’s Bows and hear their dreamy, ambient “Should Have Known”

(photo: Emily Hayward and Marta Dymeck The story of the Berkeley band Bows starts out with tragedy, but continues with desperation, fear, and a post-apocalyptic colony outside of Earth. Wait, what? We'll start with tragedy: Bows started with a break-up more physical than most musical projects. Before leaving to play CMJ with their other band Big Tree, singer and keyboardist Kaila McIntyre-Bader broke both elbows in a bike spill. Because playing her instrument, the piano, was impossible while she healed, she experimented making sounds on her computer and challenged bandmate Luke Bace (who conveniently plays the bass) to recreate them [...]

By |May 19, 2016|Tags: |

Premiere: OVVN’s debut LP is uncompromisingly dissonant art rock

(I Love Myself And Want To Live album art by Phil Elias) Begun in late 2013, as a recording project with no intentions of live performance, OVVN have since expanded into an impressive four-piece. Centered around band leader Ethan Jayne's pitched vocals and atonal compositions, he's joined by Connor Alfaro (Acrylics, Fussy, the Down House) on drums, Jonathan Reddick (ex-Twin Steps) on bass, and Max Caufman on guitar. The experienced crew, affectionately referred to as "the boys," imbue the home recordings with a necessary urgency that has garnered the band attention from across the Bay. The foursome cultivate a tension [...]

By |May 18, 2016|Tags: |

Get to know: Midnight Sons

When we released our Bay Area twang mixtape, we KNEW there would be some omissions. When there's so much going on around the Bay, it's inevitable when you try to provide a complete overview of a scene in an hour-long mixtape. In the comments, someone brought one such omission to our attention that I'm going to share with you right now: San Francisco's Midnight Sons. Midnight Sons got their start in what some might think would be the last place in the world for a country band to originate: San Francisco's Tenderloin. However, when you listen to primary songwriter Nick [...]

The Yellow Dress kicks off tour with local DIY angels this Wednesday

I'll never forget the night I stood beside my friends in a small attic in the Richmond District, singing loudly along side by side to "Existential Heckle" by The Yellow Dress. We may have been in a crowded space, we may have been having our own existential heckle as we found our way to the space hours before, but, in that moment, we all felt safe and at home in someone else's bedroom. All our worries were left on the floor glaring up at us in silence, while we were unapologetically belting, "IT'S GOING TO BE OKAY." There's something about [...]

Premiere: Angelica Rockne’s new 7″ “When I See You/Joshua”

Angelica Rockne may live in Nevada City, but the former San Francisco resident remains closely tied to the Bay - she collaborated with western-pop band Evil Eyes for a time, she performs regularly in the area, and she recorded her 7" we're about to share with you at Hyde Street Studios with Scott McDowell. "When I See You" is a throwback to one of those 70's pop songs with a big, harmonious chorus that belongs on an AM car radio on a two lane highway. A slide guitar gives the track a country tone, while Rockne's voice has just the [...]

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