Review: The Melodic, Song Preservation Society, Dyllan Hersey 7/10/13 @ Rickshaw Stop

I'll never forget my middle school bully, Allen. (I say that like he was the only one; there were several). One of the P.E. teachers played guitar, and on Fridays, a bunch of us more musically-curious students would tote our cheap or hand-me-down guitars to school with us and gather in his portable classroom at lunch time. I was one of them. So was Allen. For me, guitar was fun to play, but I wasn't any good at it. Allen wasted no time in reminding me. Repeatedly. Not a Friday went by that he didn't angrily shout at me for [...]

Video: Cool Ghouls – "Queen Sophie"

Photo: Daniel Johnston Earlier today, Phono del Sol performers Cool Ghouls premiered their video for "Queen Sophie" over on Impose, and like all things involving the Ghouls, it packs as much fun as possible into four minutes. Filmed in a San Francisco apartment, it's basically chronicling an afternoon at Cool Ghouls headquarters from the perspective of a model train. Apparently alcohol was involved. Watch it, smile, then buy your tickets for Phono del Sol and prepare to have the Cool Ghouls make you smile some more. We've already given you plenty of reasons to show up early to Phono del [...]

Videos: "Dog Concert with Marnie Stern" / "I am Marnie Stern"

The most striking thing about the compliments frequently offered about Marnie Stern's guitar prowess is that they aren't accompanied by the usual caveats about the often-limited songwriting abilities of master technicians. Indeed, this year's The Chronicles of Marnia, which you can stream below in full, collects dynamic, engaging songs that are served, not hindered, by Stern's awesome playing. In addition to her great music, the two videos included here showcase Stern's sense of humor. In the one above, she performs for a group of dogs, so expect noses at the camera lens and other adorableness. After the jump, you can [...]

Dirty Beaches announces North American tour dates, includes a San Francisco stop in September

Alex Zhang Hungtai has been making music under the moniker Dirty Beaches since the mid-2000s, but it wasn't until he released 2011's Badlands that the project garnered widespread attention. Inspired by his father's days in a rockabilly outfit, he captured a familiar, aching sound, wrapping the delicate power of nostalgia in an attractive good-bad package of desire-fueled ballads and tougher, punk anthems. While the 1950s and 1960s vibes of Badlands, particularly on tracks like "True Blue" and "Lord Knows Best," drip with the rebellion and grease of early rock and roll, Dirty Beaches latest offering, Drifters/Love is the Devil, released earlier this [...]

By |July 10, 2013|Tags: |

The Mantles premiere video for "Hello"

Oakland-SF’s The Mantles have released a video for “Hello,” off their record, Long Enough to Leave, out now on Slumberland Records. Picked up by Brooklyn Vegan, the “Hello” video is directed by Hannah Lew of San Francisco’s Grass Widow. (You may also notice guest star Kelley Stoltz at the piano.) It's a little bit trippy and a little bit goofy, but still looks really fun. In just a few days, The Mantles will start an East coast tour with dates from MA to D.C. If you’re going to be over there in the next week or two, you can check [...]

By |July 9, 2013|Tags: |

Video Premiere: Petejota – "Sisketheewan"

Petejota, the garage/psych project of Oakland's Hernando Buitrago, is releasing a new single and video for the track "Sisketheewan", which we're extremely excited to premiere below. Similar to previous Petejota releases (which you can find on its Bandcamp page), "Sisketheewan" has plenty of fuzzy guitars and vocals, but is a brand of garage rock that you can chill out to. Buitrago, who recorded "Sisketheewan" entirely by himself, tells me the word "Sisketheewan" came to him in a dream. "When I woke up, I could remember the sound only 'sisketheewan and the malawallees' and had to figure out how to write [...]

By |July 8, 2013|Tags: |

Ticket Giveaway: Song Preservation Society, 7/10/13 at Rickshaw Stop

I throw around the phrase "Laurel Canyon" a lot when it comes to acoustic-minded, heavily-bearded bands, but you guys... I really mean it this time. Next time you need a hit of achingly authentic living-room rock, check out Song Preservation Society. Not too far from Laurel Canyon themselves, L.A.’s Song Preservation Society take their cues from their chilled-out forefathers, layering echoing harmonies over gentle acoustic strumming. The result sounds so damn real it makes me want to go back to a time I never lived in. Here’s two videos from them. (I couldn’t pick just one). “Terra’ is a stark [...]

Giveaway: see Deep Time at The Chapel on 7/9/13!

Austin duo Deep Time is playing a series of West Coast shows this month, and the band is performing at The Chapel on July 9th. Want free tickets to the show? Enter to win below. To enter this contest, submit an email to contest[at] with your full name in the body and "Deep Time" in the subject line. Winners will be chosen at random and will be awarded one pair of tickets unless otherwise noted. Deep Time, Dylan Shearer, Heidi Alexander The Chapel July 9, 2013 9pm, $12

By |July 5, 2013|Tags: |

Giveaway: Wild Ones with Your Are Plural & Li Xi at Bottom of the Hill

Wild Ones are the latest indie pop band to emerge from the Portland scene that produced Typhoon and Bay Area favorites Radiation City (speaking of Radiation City, got your tix to Phono del Sol yet???). While Wild Ones' music shares some sonic similarities with their scene-mates—a flair for experimentation and overall smooth textures—they are definitely doing their own thing, incorporating enough hints of krautrock, electronic music, and synth pop to keep you on your toes. Wild Ones' new record Keep it Safe is coming out July 9 on Party Damage Records, but they're swinging through town a couple days early [...]

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