Friends W/O Benefits to provide white-hot noise Thursday at Bottom of the Hill

San Francisco's best bizarro punk/dance/rock duo Friends W/O Benefits is sharing one impressive bill Thursday night at Bottom of the Hill. Alongside the Friends are the similarly wild and weird mini And The Bear, playing a genre they call "power volume" but one I call "holy shit they just blew out my eardrums because I didn't know rock bands played this loud anymore." They're like if Fugazi dropped out of college, did a bunch of meth, then burnt down the mental institution the state tried to hold 'em in. Then there's The Brankas, who play tender, piano-driven love ballads. Of [...]

Behind the Music: How local musicians are paying the bills

You see them late into the night. They're sweaty with passion. They revel in the glory of the bright lights. They move to the beat of their own drum. And they're waking up tomorrow morning to go to work. These are your favorite local artists and believe it or not, they're punching the clock just like you and me. As tech has rolled in, musicians (and other creatives) have begun to roll out. It is harder than ever to make ends meet these days, but these artists are biting the bullet with a little creativity and doing what it takes to [...]

Friends w/o Benefits announce new singles project, rock a Noise Pop happy hour

In the promo video for their Real Singles Life project, Friends W/O Benefits outlines their plan to release eight new songs over the course of four months, a single each month with an 'A' side and a 'B' side. But that's not even the best part. The best part is when they say they'll be covering topics ranging from 'love and longing' to 'taxes and cookies' to 'FUCKING SHARKS.' Emphasis not mine, but that was a fun sentence to write and one I'm sure will, sadly, never happen again. The first two are out now on Bandcamp - "Sausalito Catfish" [...]

Best of 2014: Travis Hayes Busse on Friends W/O Benefits

I hope one day I'm fucking cool enough for California // I hope one day I'm able to say I made it in the Golden State. From the first time I listened to Friends W/O Benefits, I couldn't help instantly relating to their songs. I found myself transported back to the days of youth, angst, and mosh pits. Their music is real and tangible - unafraid to stand its ground and be its own. It is the ultimate middle finger to a scene that continues to get caught up in its own bullshit. White Trash Ninja and Cadet Edac are [...]

Friends W/O Benefits: the surreal sound of the real California

It's hard to point out the exact reason why I fell in love with Friends W/O Benefits.  Maybe it was that goofy promo video they sent me expressing their affection for the Bay Bridged.  Maybe it was the included email that featured drummer Cadet Edac lambasting the mediocre state of the modern live music scene and decrying "Thee Oh See You Laters'" exodus from San Francisco.  Or maybe it's their association with Balanced Breakfast, a community of musicians striving to keep interesting, thought-provoking music alive despite trying times in the Bay.  It could've possibly been the fact that they released [...]

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