Review + Photos: The Blank Tapes, Killer Whale at the Independent

The Blank Tapes (photo: Ria Burman) One of my favorite locals bands played the Independent Friday night. If you love groovy, funky, chill beats and have yet to hear Killer Whale, check them out! Their 2017 album, Casual Crush, is triumphant. The song "Keep in Easy" is rich in guitar riffs, which echoes eighties excellence and sweet nostalgic somethings. Add to the mix, the funky fun feels of "Pink Pacific" & the groovy beats and lyrical sentiment of "Daydreams," the album shines with a sunset-summer sound. The Blank Tapes, on their Super Bloom tour, followed with their laid-back psychedelic rock [...]

Mixtape: San Francisco’s Modern Psychedelic Sounds

This episode first appeared on Download: Mixtape: San Francisco's Modern Psychedelic Sounds (Podcast #406) With the fiftieth anniversary of the Summer of Love this year, the psychedelic sounds of the Bay Area in the '60s are back in the popular consciousness. But Bay Area psych music shouldn't just be thought of as a source of nostalgia; five decades after the Summer of Love, local bands are continuing to make stellar music applying a psychedelic lens to a number of styles and sounds. Sure, there are plenty of loud, heavy guitars at work in bands like Night Shapes and [...]

Premiere: Killer Whale’s ‘Casual Crush’ LP

Photo: Tyrone Bartoli Killer Whale's unique sound has been on my radar for quite some time, so I'm pleased as punch to give you all your first listen at his most formal release to date - the Casual Crush LP, out March 31 on Gaylord's Party Music. Casual Crush's sound is located somewhere close to where yacht rock, R&B, and the beach meet with laid-back rhythms and Thomas Johnson's drawl holding it all together. Casual Crush was recorded in New Orleans, where Johnson spent several years living and performing. Although there aren't obvious nods to jazz or bayou rock from [...]

Listen to Killer Whale’s ‘Pink Pacific’ EP today; see them at Bottom of the Hill tonight

One of my favorite finds of 2015 was Killer Whale, the project of San Francisco's Thomas Johnson. His releases were a fusion of genres centered around psychedelic rock that was much more fulfilling than almost anything out there. He just released a two-song Pink Pacific EP a pair of tracks that brings a heavy dose of doo-wop and falsetto on "Foolish Man" and lazy island-meets-drum-machine vibes on "Coconut Dreams." Basically, it's like we said: watch this guy in 2016. He's good. Listen and download below, and see him perform at Bottom of the Hill tomorrow night. Pink Pacific EP by [...]

By |February 9, 2016|Tags: |

Mixtape: Fourteen San Francisco Bands to Watch in 2016 Download: Mixtape: Fourteen San Francisco Bands to Watch in 2016 (Podcast #379) Every year, it's an exciting challenge to compile our "Bands to Watch" mixtape: exciting because it heralds another year full of great music from the Bay Area's rising stars, and a challenge because there are far too many young acts worth including. This year's mix of bands to keep an eye on in 2016 collects fourteen artists from around the Bay Area. Notably, all of them are new to The Bay Bridged podcast, offering a variety of sounds that include forward-thinking bedroom pop, stripped-down singer-songwriter tunes, energized [...]

Get to know: Killer Whale

When asked about his inspiration for his latest album as Killer Whale, Thomas Johnson told me "I basically wanted to make a psychedelic rock n roll record." But his end result, Ocean Blood, gives us so much more. Yes, psych rock vibes are present, but Johnson also seamlessly integrates country, folk, and even jazz elements. Synths, layers upon layers of vocals, and programmed drums add a great sonic touch, but you get the feeling Johnson would be compelling with just his twangy voice and a guitar. Johnson, a Baton Rouge, LA native now living in San Francisco, recorded the album [...]

By |June 16, 2015|Tags: |
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