With ‘Pale Cicada,’ Hamilton Ulmer’s seeking heaven on earth

(photo: Ginger Fierstein) The cloud-capp'd towers, the gorgeous palaces, The solemn temples, the great globe itself, Ye all which it inherit, shall dissolve And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, Leave not a rack behind. For all the ways in which Oakland is evolving, It’s incredible that people can maintain enthusiasm for Lake Merritt. On a recent temperate Wednesday — the first one after a rash of blazing heat, the first one where people are beginning to cautiously venture outdoors — Hamilton Ulmer of Makeunder is lounging in the shade on the banks of the lake, near the pergola. Other grateful [...]

By |July 2, 2019|Tags: |

Makeunder come roaring back with “In Between My Dead-End Jobs”

(photo: Ginger Fierstein) Dear reader, I'm sorry to be the one to tell you this, but you could really use a makeunder. Not a makeover — you look great, smell fine. But you could really use some Makeunder in your life. That's because their new single, "In Between My Dead-End Jobs," is a bombastic, maximalist, psychedelic-funk freakout. It's like George Clinton and Andrew Bird teamed up with the sole intention of making your head bob. You certainly wouldn't confuse this for the idiosyncratic minimalism of their previous releases; the new Makeunder is a leviathan. I got the chance to see [...]

By |June 12, 2019|Tags: |

Makeunder return with “Promethean Heat”

I literally said "Whoa!" out loud when this came barreling through my garage-sale-sourced speakers. Though he's been an Oakland fixture since the earlier part of this decade, I'm mostly familiar with Makeunder mastermind Hamilton Ulmer's Great Headless Blank-era work — just as surprising, but far more understated — so I was not at all expecting that opening riff. Produced by tUnE-yArDs' Nate Brenner, who wrote a lovely introductory essay on the track for Talkhouse, "Promethean Heat" portends a new release for later 2019: Makeunder's very first full-length, Pale Cicada. Keep an eye on Good Eye Records for news.

By |May 16, 2019|Tags: |

Oakland-based Makeunder debut “What A Lovely Bandsaw!” remix

Hamilton Ulmer, the man with the vision behind Oakland's art-pop group Makeunder, has announced the first pressing of the EP, Great Headless Blank, on vinyl on October 14. One of the tracks on the EP, titled "What A Lovely Bandsaw!" has been remixed by Nate Brenner of tUnE-yArDs, possibly more recognizable as Naytronix. The remix premiered via Clash two weeks ago, attributing "a uniquely visual property that arrives laced in superlative color” to the track. The original track, Ulmer reveals, is about the day his family sold all of the belongings of his deceased father in order to prep the home for the market. [...]

By |October 13, 2016|Tags: |

Makeunder unveil video for ‘Great Headless Blank’

Makeunder, the Oakland-based orchestral rock troupe led by Hamilton Ulmer, revealed their first work as a full band just over a year ago. Now the Great headless Blank EP has it’s first visual accompaniment to go along with the bombastic title track. The video was premiered on The Creators Project, where it’s revealed the animation is actually a mass of individually painted frames fabricated by artist and director Carine Khalife. Considering the rigorous time generated on even the most simplistic piece of stop-motion, the hours needed to bring this song to life has since swiftly gone over my head. The [...]

By |August 31, 2016|Tags: |

Mixtape: 2015 Highlights from San Francisco Bay Area Indie Music

http://media.libsyn.com/media/thebaybridged/2015_Highlights_Mix.mp3 Download: Mixtape: 2015 Highlights from San Francisco Bay Area Indie Music (Podcast #377) At The Bay Bridged, we always bristle a little at the prospect of attempting to sum up a full year of the local independent music scene in a single retrospective podcast mixtape. Such a challenge is especially difficult in a place like the Bay Area, where year in, year out, a wide variety of talented local musicians release compelling and impressive albums, a great many of which gain acclaim well beyond the Bay's borders. Instead of trying to identify some objective list of the "ten best" [...]

Makeunder and the making of ‘Great Headless Blank’

The last time we talked to you about Makeunder, we told you NPR featured them not once, but twice on All Songs Considered. Make that thrice, kinda — in addition to their previous appearances, a blog post about the band's latest EP, Great Headless Blank, got blasted out to the nation last month on the NPR site. But life goes on for Hamilton Ulmer, the man behind Makeunder. "The day to day is still pretty much the same," he says. "I have the same struggles as anyone who wasn’t been on NPR. Writing new songs, figuring out what to do [...]

By |August 17, 2015|Tags: |

Live This Month: August 2015 — an audio guide to upcoming SF concerts

http://media.libsyn.com/media/thebaybridged/LTM_August_2015.mp3 Download: Live This Month: August 2015 (Podcast #368) In Live This Month, we sample some of the great local and out-of-town bands performing in the coming month in the San Francisco Bay Area. The Outside Lands Festival is without a doubt the biggest local music event this month, and with good reason, given a well-curated mix of big names and bands-on-the-rise appearing over three days in Golden Gate Park. Whether you're Outside Lands-bound or not, however, there are plenty of other compelling concerts this month, including a slew of shows celebrating new releases from local bands. Dirty Ghosts' new [...]

Makeunder shares “Great Headless Blank”, receives NPR love

Photo: Ginger Fierstein We've been telling you about Oakland's Makeunder for quite some time, but now people outside the Bay are starting to pay attention. Their latest release, "Great Headless Bank", the title track from their forthcoming EP, appeared not once but TWICE on NPR's All Songs Considered last month. It isn't quite Rolling Stone, but it's some damn fine attention for a young indie band today. Makeunder is led by Hamilton Ulmer, who largely recorded the new EP in his home studio, (albeit with occasional help on a few tracks). Live, however, Makeunder explodes into a seven-piece to more [...]

By |May 13, 2015|Tags: |

Premiere: Makeunder – “What a Lovely Bandsaw!”

(Photo Credit: Ginger Fierstein) Hamilton Ulmer finds weird ways to sing the blues. The music he creates as Makeunder is both maximalist and brutally raw, full of urgency while simultaneously fixated on the most minute details. His first EP, Radiate, Satellite, was recorded over five days on a laptop microphone, using only a handful of old instruments to tell the story of “the life and death of a rural Californian family.” What it lacked in sound quality it made up for in trap doors and unexpected turns; like the childhood home that Ulmer sings about (and in) over the course of [...]

By |February 24, 2015|Tags: |
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