Thee Oh Sees demolish at Phono Del Sol

I was lucky enough to be the artist relations guy all day at The Bay Bridged’s big summer festival, Pono Del Sol. The highlight of the day, besides all the bands being totally chill and easy to work with (a first in my experience), was when Thee Oh Sees invited the whole crowd up onto the stage for their closer, “Dead Energy.” Bouncing around on stage with these guys prompted me to pick up a copy of their latest record, Floating Coffin, which not only made me an unequivocal fan of the band after all these years, but is easily one of the top contenders for Album of the Year, in my opinion. And it all started right here:

The Oh Sees – “Dead Energy” – live at Phono del Sol 2013 from The Bay Bridged on Vimeo.

My latest BTR podcast featuring Suuns, Bleeding Rainbow, and Radiation City

This month I have some sets from BTR’s unofficial SXSW showcase, the South By East By West Spring Bash, which took place down in Austin, TX on March 13. We’ve got three sets from the day for you: Suuns, Bleeding Rainbow, and Radiation City. Enjoy!

Suuns

00:00 Bay Area Live!
01:02 Sunspot – Suuns
06:21 Minor work – Suuns
12:42 Armed for Peace – Suuns
20:42 More Bay Area Live coming up!
21:27 Pink ruff – Bleeding Rainbow
24:23 Get lost – Bleeding Rainbow
29:50 You’re not alone – Bleeding Rainbow
34:09 Monochrome – Bleeding Rainbow
38:14 Even more Bay Area Live coming up!
38:54 Summer is not an act 1 – Radiation City
43:04 Zombies – Radiation City

Bleeding Rainbow

46:41 So long – Radiation City
50:36 Hide from the night – Radiation City
53:50 Find it of use – Radiation City
58:19 Foreign bodies – Radiation City
61:50 That’s it for Bay Area Live on BTR!
62:16 Finish

Radiation City

This is where I’ll be on March 13

btrsxswflier2-1smallI’m putting on an unofficial SXSW showcase for the fourth year running. Once again, it’s sponsored by BreakThruRadio and goes down at The Liberty on East 6th St. (this year we were super fortunate to bring on Austinist.com as a sponsor, as well).

We really outdid ourselves with the lineup this year, if I do say so:

12:00 PM – DJ Sets by Al Lover all day!
12:45 PM – Bleeding Rainbow
1:30 PM – UUVVWWZ
2:15 PM – Dana Falconberry
3:00 PM – Black Pistol Fire
3:45 PM – Social Studies
4:30 PM – Radiation City
5:15 PM – Yip Deceiver
6:00 PM – The Blank Tapes
6:45 PM – Suuns

RSVP on Facebook, and see you in Austin!

Thao Nguyen’s new promo video is brilliant

I love this video, great promo for Thao & The Get Down Stay Down‘s new album. But the best part is that it stars a friend of mine, Caelan Wallace, the 12-year-old critic who wrecks Thao’s life with his scathing review: “Thao’s music is what would happen if elevator music and a dial tone had a sober one night stand.” I hope to some day write that good of a line in a review.

My “Best of Bay Area local music” list

I wrote this post for TheBayBridged.com.

Well, 2012 was a pretty stellar year for music (both from the Bay Area and from the rest of the world), and I just want to call out a few of my local favorites from the year. I’m restricting myself because I’m not going to mention how Pussy Riot inspired the whole planet with their punk prayer protesting the repressive Russian regime, or how I literally did not stop playing GrimesVisions for about 6 months after it came out. Nope, not even going to go there.

Best Local Show by a Local Band

My favorite local show of the year was one I didn’t even see: Tartufi at Rock Make, the annual art and music street fest thrown by The Bay Bridged along with The Bold Italic and the members of Tartufi themselves.

I was stage managing at the other end of the fest during Tartufi’s set, so I didn’t get to watch it, but I gave my trusty handheld recorder to a friend to record for my “Bay Area Live” podcast on BreakThruRadio.com (BTR). When I went back and listened to the set in order to edit it for use on my show, it completely blew me away. This is one of the few shows I’ve done for BTR that I went back to and listened to many, many times after spending the initial time editing and mastering. Pure post-rock bliss from the local band of the decade, Tartufi.

Here’s my year-end podcast of the best sets I played on my show in 2012, which, of course, features Tartufi prominently, right at the beginning:

Best Local Show by a Non-Local Band

Wye Oak completely killed it at The Independent as part of Noise Pop 2012, way back in February. Their set has stood the test of time and is definitely the single show that stands out to me as the best I saw in the Bay Area in 2012 by a traveling band. If you just watch them covering Aaliyah’s “Are You That Somebody” (above), you’ll get what I’m saying. I don’t think there’s anything else I need to add.

Best Album by a Local Band

High on Fire never disappoints, but their new one – De Vermis Mysteriis – is richly deserving of the title of best album released by a Bay Area band in 2012. Singer/guitarist Matt Pike is pretty much a full-on metal god, and he probably would be even if the relatively short career of Sleep was the only credit to his name. But over a much longer career with High on Fire, he has continued to put out some of the heaviest, sludgiest riffs ever to grace the ears of us mere mortals. Check out “King of Days”, my favorite track from the new album, and realize you can’t even argue with me here:

Atoms For Peace track hidden on website

This is so badass.

I’m stoked to hear Amok, the debut album from the project Thom Yorke put together with Flea, Atoms for Peace, which is supposed to come out next year. They announced the deets this week.

Even cooler than the details of their debut album, Atoms For Peace’s website, atomsforpeace.info, has a free download of one of a tracks from the album, “What The Eyeballs Did”—but only if you know where to look. Or if you’re lucky enough to stumble on it. It’s hidden on the site as an “Easter Egg”—a term web types use to describe any hidden little nugget that users can discover, whether it’s an animation or a game or whatever. This is one of my favorite web design tricks, but it’s tragically under-used.

In this case, you’d have to get real lucky to find it. The whole site is a work of art, an odd, almost surreal, somehow creepy and alienating but not entirely bleak work of art. It’s gorgeous. So, very typical of Thom Yorke’s style. It’s mostly an image but there are many tiny animations going on throughout it. Your eye doesn’t know where to look. If you didn’t know it was there, you’d probably never accidentally find it. But searching for it can be half the fun, I suppose.

If you want to find it yourself, read no further. If you just want the download, go to the site, scroll right—yes, scroll right, which I absolutely love, changing up the typical vertical orientation of websites—until you see LA’s Union Station, the building with the clock tower (not the Times building, which also has a clock). Mouse over the clock and you’ll see its hands start spinning furiously. Click on it, and it will download “What The Eyeballs Did.”

So fucking cool.