'Tis the season for new releases, featuring a bumper crop of Bay Area bands. Plus, an identity crisis: Bay Area surf-mariachi-punks bAd bAd defend their honor against LA electro-pop kids badbad
Springtime in the Bay Area is beautiful — but if we're being honest, to the casual observer, it doesn't look all that different from any other season. Unlike on the East Coast, where the appearance of blossoms and warmer weather serves as sweet, necessary, not-a-moment-too-soon relief from the tyranny of extremity-numbing slush and sleet and monochromatic down-stuffed outfits, the arrival of spring in Northern California is more or less marked by temperatures maybe 5 to 10 degrees warmer than the ones January brought us.
So what sets spring apart? The shit-ton of stuff going on. Restaurant openings, film festivals, museum parties galore. And judging by my overflowing mailbox (yes, the physical, snail-mail one, though my email inbox is similarly bulging), it's a very popular time for record releases. Here's a sampling of other new releases from local bands to look for in the next month:
Future Twin have the distinction of being the only band I can think of that could get away with describing their sound as "punkadelic farmageddon moongayz," and have a first-time listener go "Oh yeah, that pretty much makes sense." The synthed-out, cinematic vocals-led three-piece has made a name for itself with energetic live shows over the last three years, but 2014 is shaping up to be the year they invade your living room. They're in the middle of shopping their full-length debut, Wavelength Sovereignty, around to different labels, but in the meantime they've decided to reward loyal fans with a very hearty aperitif: Chillality, a five-song "cassingle" the band recorded at Fantasy in Berkeley, out Tue/29; they're celebrating with a release show Wed/30.
With The Spyrails and What Fun Life Was
3158 Mission, SF
Annie Girl & the Flight
Remember way back in March, when our On the Rise issue told you about the irresistible It Factor in singer Annie Girl's stage presence? No? That's ok, it's been a rough few weeks for me too. Besides, I have a feeling that with the release of this band's new EP, Pilot Electric, theirs is a name you'll have a hard time avoiding in these parts; you might as well catch their spaced-out, hypnotic art-rock at this Fri/2 EP release/tour kickoff show, while tickets to their gigs are still cheap.
With Ash Reiter and Kera and the Lesbians
777 Valencia, SF
Oakland's Whiskerman is another band that seems like it should be bigger given the affinity our current pop culture zeitgeist seems to have for smoky, Southern-flecked soul-rock. Graham Patzner is a natural frontman if there ever was one, the younger brother of Anton and Lewis Patzner (better known as the mind-blowing, metal-accompanying string duo Judgement Day), born to a symphony violinist and a symphony trombonist. Setting aside how unfair that seems for a minute, Whiskerman isn't riding anyone's coattails. Patzner's clear vocals move fluidly through blues, gospel, and straight-ahead rock 'n' roll, accompanied by bass, guitar and drums, as well as his own talents on guitar, keys, and violin. Serious dance parties have been known to ensue; the new EP, Bad News, suggests this could be a continuing problem.
Check www.whiskerman.com for shows.