Pardoner’s ‘Uncontrollable Salvation’ Is A Punk Blessing That Bludgeons (Playing Fri. 8/25 at Slim’s)


Pardoner can't stop saving us from 'blah' punk. That's what Uncontrollable Salvation means, right? Or maybe Pardoner's some kind of Judge Dredd, a combination of judge, jury and savior whenever a perp is making lame punk crossed with '90s alt-rock.

 In any case, the San Francisco band's debut album is a muscle spasm of Polvo's weirdo heft and Dinosaur Jr.'s slacker fuzz, set to a disaffected punk squall. It's a blessing that bludgeons, much like this title track that simultaneously squeals with nasty delight and catchy corkscrew hooks. Uncontrollable Salvation comes out Sept. 8 via Father/Daughter Records. - NPR

Broke-Ass Stuart Has Your Chance To Win Tickets To Shabazz Palaces on Fri. 8/18!


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I’m super excited to bring you this giveaway because I love me some Shabazz Palaces. So, please don’t enter this giveaway if you intend on flaking. I will be sad.

Shabazz Palaces is an American hip hop duo from Seattle composed of Ishmael Butler a.k.a. Palaceer Lazaro (formerly Butterfly of jazz rap group Digable Planets) and multi-instrumentalist Tendai “Baba” Maraire, son of mbira master Dumisani Maraire. The pair anonymously self-released two EPs, Eagles Soar, Oil Flows and The Seven New (referred to as Shabazz Palaces and Of Light, respectively) in 2009 before becoming the first hip-hop act to be signed to the Sub Pop label and releasing their debut full-length album, Black Up to wide critical acclaim in 2011.

Butler notes that the work of Shabazz Palaces differs from his previous work stylistically. He cites his primary influences as “abstract,” pulling from podcasts and mixtapes. Butler attributes the use of African percussion and jazz overtones to his family’s musical preferences.

Enter to win HERE! 

Hot Lunch: Local Heavy Rock Heroes Headline Slim’s (Sat. 8/19)


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This Saturday, Hot Lunch headlines it’s biggest Bay Area show yet with this concert at Slim’s in San Francisco. The quartet will be joined by local destructo psych-punks CCR Headcleaner — who have established a solid reputation with their feral live shows — and Frisco, a new group featuring singer Bob McDonald and bassist/guitarist Andy Oglesby of sadly defunct punk vets Hank IV with ex-Acid King/Altamont drummer Joey Osbourne and onetime Lost Goat guitarist Eric Peterson that hints at the noisy ’90s chaos of the Jesus Lizard and Unsane.

Read the CBS preview HERE! 

Art And Mortality On The Bill For Great American Music Hall Event (With Major Powers & The Lo-Fi Symphony & Midtown Social on Fri. 8/11)


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Every month, Ned Buskirk gathers 50 people together in a cavernous room to talk about the one thing no one seems to want to talk about: death.

These open mikes, aptly called “You’re Going to Die: Poetry, Prose, and Everything Goes,” started seven years ago in Buskirk’s Duboce Park living room. Now, they exist as one of the only places San Franciscans can cry comfortably in a room full of strangers.

On Friday, Aug 11, at 8 p.m., the YG2D collective stages its biggest event to date: a blowout show at the Great American Music Hall. Unlike its regular open mikes, this show will be curated with performers tuned toward the beauties and sorrows of mortality.

For tickets and more information, go to YG2D’s website at www.yg2d.com - SF Gate 

Album Review: Make Them Suffer – Worlds Apart (Playing Slim’s on Tues. 8/15 with Enterprise Earth & Spite)


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Make Them Suffer
Worlds Apart
(Rise Records)

Australia’s Make Them Suffer refuse to stagnate. With their astoundingly great third record, Worlds Apart, the band have cemented their ability to continually reinvent themselves successfully. In fact, despite leaving the blackened deathcore style of their beloved debut, Neverbloom, almost entirely behind, Make Them Suffer’s latest features some of the group’s most complex and heavy material yet. By leaning hard into their gothic and space rock influences (and fully utilizing new keyboardist/backing vocalist Booka Nile), Worlds Apart is a real winner, with two hallmarks of the band’s shape-shifting career on full display: impressive storytelling and a haunting ambiance. By now, it’s clear that Make Them Suffer are one of the most adventurous modern metalcore bands around.

Naturally, Worlds Apart has an ethereal, other-worldly sound, but it’s the group’s understanding of balance that makes this such a special record. New keyboardist Booka Nile’s brooding vocals are all over the record, yet they are never overused, and the standard, cookie-cutter clean choruses are mostly eschewed. Also, while Nile’s keyboard work is impressive, it’s used sparingly, more an accent than a feature; that’s a wise choice. Likewise, Worlds Apart is decidedly a heavy and technical record, with choppy, mosh-ready sections all over; however, breakdowns and knuckle-dragging moments are rare. Instead, the heavy aspects are a colorful texture in creating the atmosphere of a mosh pit at the International Space Station. Sean Harmanis’ emotional and honest lyrics give an added weight to the proceedings, not that World Apart needs more weight.

Ultimately, Make Them Suffer’s third record may go down as the best metalcore record of 2017. The band have proven, no matter what their chosen style, they are equally powerful and effective in crafting weighty heavy tunes that stay with the listener. It’s all topped off by the most compelling song in the band’s catalog – “Save Yourself” – an uplifting, powerful ode to pushing through with the things that fulfill you. With Worlds Apart, Make Them Suffer are clearly on another level.

Purchase the album here.

 - New Noise Magazine

Watch Our Exclusive Premiere of Grieves’ The Weeknd-Like Jam ‘Gutz’ (Playing Slim’s on Fri. 9/1 with Dem Atlas)


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About midway through Grieves’ woozy “Gutz,” you find yourself falling into sync with the track. There’s some weird alchemy, like maybe Grieves has found the mid-point between The Weeknd, Bryson Tiller and acid jazz, that happens and you’re suddenly muttering “fuck you” along with the song’s hook.

The song, off Running Wild, the Seattle-based rapper’s fifth proper full length, sees Grieves hit on something like the zeitgeist. Naturally, there’s plenty of broken glass, a young woman in lingerie, some knifeplay and even a surprise murder. Never say that your friends at Playboy bring you boring music videos.

Grieves tells us that the song is about never being able to get enough of another person.

“When it comes down to the matters of the heart, people can be just as addicting as any drug,” he says. “We tell ourselves ‘never again’, then we wake up in the same bed we promised we’d never return to. It’s complicated and intoxicating. That’s why this video complements this song so well.”

Listen to the song below.

Running Wild will be out August 25th via Rhymesayers Entertainment. - Playboy

Actual Wolf Debuts New Video For “Baby Please” (Playing Slim’s on Thurs. 8/10 with Jon Wolfe & Sarah Summer)


Grand Rapids indie-folk artist Eric Pollard, known by his stage name Actual Wolf, has shared a new video for his tune “Baby Please,” a hazy, soulful rocker off his recently released album Faded Days. 

Directed by fellow Minnesota native Erik Nelson, the “Baby Please” visual follows a contemporary Bonnie-and-Clyde couple on the road as they revel in the exhilaration of robbing banks, shooting guns, and eluding the police. 

In considering Pollard’s recent brush with the law and fairly itinerant lifestyle—travelling between Duluth, MN, Brooklyn, Nashville, and Oakland over the years—it is not difficult to interpret the video’s subtext as containing some personal resonance.

“It is important to relax, view the work, take in its finer points, and draw your conclusions as to its motives/themes,” says Pollard. “Thank you and enjoy. Stay wavy.”

Faded Days features collaborations with Al Church, Jeremy Hanson, Jake Hanson, Steve Garrington, and Ditch Kurtz, and is out now on cassette and digital platforms. The album is slated for a vinyl release September 15 via Red House Records. - American Songwriter

John Craigie’s Troubadour Tale (Playing GAMH on Sat. 11/11 with The Sam Chase)


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Written all over his album reviews, Wikipedia page, and his own website biography, the word “troubadour” is used to characterize folk musician John Craigie. The frequent use of this description is understandable. “Troubadour” aptly emphasizes the vivid storytelling that appears in Craigie’s music, though it evokes a rather antiquated image of a wandering poet that fails to capture the lively nature of Craigie’s performances. In his most recent album, No Rain, No Rose, Craigie alternates between stripped-down acoustic guitar and a full instrumental band to supplement his lyrics, whose topics reveal Craigie’s perspective on everything from past lovers to more abstract concepts, like what it means to find home.

Craigie has released eight albums — including two cover records —and has toured all over the country, but this summer marks the first time he is performing with fellow acoustic artist and friend Jack Johnson. Before his show at the Greek Theatre this week, SF Weekly spoke with Craigie about his transition from teaching math to pursuing music, living and working with his folk singer friends in Portland, and trying to write songs that are neither painstakingly forced nor lazy.

Click HERE for the SF Weekly's interview, and pick up your tickets for Sat. 11/11 soon!

Kevin Morby Sings of a Haunting LA on ‘City Music,’ Hits GAMH in September (Sat. 9/23 w/ Shannon Lay)


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Former Woods bassist Kevin Morby has in recent years enjoyed widespread praise for his flourishing, prolific solo career. He’d previously played in the Babieswith Cassie Ramone of Vivian Girls. The duo put out a couple of excellent albums before the project was declared inactive.

Since the end of the Babies and his departure from Woods, Morby has kept busy. 2013’s Harlem River marked the start of a slew of releases: four albums in five years, all of which display nuanced songcraft and a rambling folk imagination. But it was last year’s Singing Saw that won him significant acclaim, helped along by favorable coverage from the influential blog Aquarium Drunkard.

Morby’s songs have always tended towards the mournful. Singing Saw is an album of the wilderness: ballads for the somber forests, mystical desert wanderings, folksy hymns of the mountains, and of lost souls. His latest, City Music (out on Dead Oceans) embraces new geographies while allowing Morby’s Kansas roots shine through. City Music plays like an elegy for LA, as the singer-songwriter is wooed by its charms without losing his outsider’s eye for its uglier facets. On album opener “Come To Me Now,” Morby sings “I can’t wait for the sun to go down / Tired of squintin’ at this godawful town.” Over the course of the album, he collages together religious atonement, rock and roll love stories, and the seediness of the forbidding, alienating metropolis. It’s a juxtaposition that crops up often in film, literature, and music alike — a gothic rendering of LA’s sun-baked sprawl.

The narration that opens the title track’s music video intones: “Each night, each bar had a band playing music. And the music was electric. Different than the music back home. As this wasn’t music from the country—but from the city.” Arguably Morby's best work yet, the slow and wistful City Music is a lovely and lovelorn take on the classic trope of country-boy-in-the-big-city. Pick up a copy and bask in some of its melancholy beauty. - The Bay Bridged

Wallows Make Their SF Debut Here at Slim’s on Sat. 7/15!


Wallows are Cole Preston, Braeden Lemasters, and Dylan Minnette. The LA-based band recently released their debut single “Pleaser” which quickly amassed over 2 million streams on Spotify and hit #2 on the Global Viral Top 50. (“…an upbeat, lo-fi indie rock anthem that will have your head-banging into the weekend. The song radiates some major summertime vibes, and we can practically feel the sun beaming down on us as they shout in the chorus.”- NYLON)

Their first show in San Francisco here at Slim's comes on the heels of sold out shows at The Troubadour, The Roxy and Constellation Room.

Tickets for Sat. 7/15 are going fast - get 'em while you can!

Bea Miller Gets Colorful In 2017 Album Releases (Playing GAMH on Mon. 6/26 w/ Latitude)


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Maplewood, N.J.-raised, Los Angeles-based actress, singer-songwriter Bea Miller has adopted an intriguing record-release strategy. The former “X-Factor” contestant issued her full-length debut “Not An Apology” in 2015, but this year she’s putting out a series of color-coded EPs: “Chapter One: Blue,” “Chapter Two: Red” and the upcoming “Chapter Three: Yellow.” “I have synesthesia,” she explains. “It’s essentially when you can see music in color. So ‘Blue’ is the songs I wrote when I was feeling sad and lost, ‘Red’ was written when I was going through a stage of empowerment, and I’m writing ‘Yellow’ right now, about the light at the end of the tunnel.”

You were raised by two showbiz moms. How cool was that?

It’s been awesome having two moms. I grew up in a town where everyone for the most part was very accepting, and there were a lot of LGBT families there. So I’m lucky to have grown up where I did, because there are a lot of places in the world where people are still having problems with things like that. And I was lucky to have experienced something that was different, kind of outside the box. Plus, having two bad-ass moms that didn’t take s— from anybody has helped me become the person I am.

So you weren’t afraid to recently call out electronic duo The Chainsmokers on Twitter, saying they only made music to meet models. Which was hilarious.

Yeah. And a lot of people just took that too seriously. A lot of times I’ll say things like that, and people get kind of angry with me. But I think a lot of people actually agree with me, because it is kind of hilarious that these two guys who are very frat-boy-ish are so successful in a very feminist world — it’s interesting, to me, that they can get by with this.

What sexism have you witnessed in the music business?

Well, if you’re a guy in music, you can be anything. You can be cute, you can be weird, you can be any style of human being, and as long as people like your voice, they’ll listen to you. But if you’re a woman, unless you’re really beautiful, like a model, you’ll have a hard time finding success. I’m not model-beautiful, like a Rihanna or a Selena Gomez, but I’m also not super weird, either. And so far, I’ve struggled with that. And I feel like a lot of women have that problem, where they have to over-sexualize themselves or do things that are weird and different. I don’t feel good about that, and I tweeted about it. I mean, you don’t see guys running around, shaking their asses in music videos! - SF Examiner

Guitar Player Presents North Mississippi Allstars at GAMH on Sat. 6/17


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Roots guitar guru Luther Dickinson brings his modern take on muddy Mississippi blues to one of the City by the Bay’s most historic venues—the Great American Music Hall—on the Prayer for Peace tour supporting the new North Mississippi Allstars album of the same name. The Allstars continue to celebrate the legacy of the blues while pushing it forward in a blend of nasty funk, modern soul, and mule-kicking rock and roll.
 Throughout the timely Prayer for Peace album, the Allstars blend a down home musical sensibility with messages of positivity, hope, and family. That’s all in play on the potent title track, which finds Dickinson’s furious fingerpicking and slinky slide in call-and-response with Sharde Thomas’ fife over a modern, electronic-tinged boogie beat. Other notable guests at the picnic include Hill Country Blues guitarist Kenny Brown, Midnight North’s Grahame Lesh, bassist Oteil Burbridge (Allman Brothers Band, Dead & Company), and singer/bassist Danielle Nicole (Trampled Under Foot).
 For this special stop on the Prayer for Peace tour, there will be significant six-string support in the form of opening act Cosmic Twang featuring premier acoustic flatpicker Scott Law and Terrapin Family Band stalwart Ross James.
 Guitar Player will be onsite at the Great American Music Hall Saturday night with an assortment of free goodies including magazines, D’Addario strings, and Planet Waves accessories. There will also be a raffle for a Mese/Boogie Flux-Drive overdrive pedal. Don’t miss this opportunity to share in the Prayer for Peace tour on this San Francisco stop during the 50th anniversary of the historic Summer of Love. - Jimmy Leslie / Guitar Player Magazine

 

Excited To Announce That Actual Wolf Has Just Been Added To Our Show With Mipso Here At Slim’s On Fri. 6/16!


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Actual Wolf is country rock for people who love country & rock music... oh yeah, and bad-ass country funk.

There are outlaws, and there are outlaws. Actual Wolf is a real outlaw and has pled guilty to it. In and out of the slammer since age 16 and/or whenever the mood strikes. And like Charlie Manson and Johnny Cash recorded music in prison, Actual Wolf recorded a pair of EPs while serving time - each showing 'another side of the Wolf.' The first is USA, an everyman’s acoustic album that channels both Woody and Dylan. The second, Lightning & the Wolf conjures a 30-something’s symphony to Gawd, a rock EP at times so ethereal that it floats like smoke up into the aether, at others so earthy & grounded you can almost feel the parole.

This show is the official West Coast digital release party for the brand-spankin' new release, Faded Days. Check it here: https://www.redhouserecords.com/store/faded-days

Country Joe Confirms 50th Anniversary San Francisco Show (Playing GAMH on Fri. 6/9!)


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Country Joe McDonald will celebrate the 50th anniversary of his landmark Electric Music For Mind & Body with a special show at San Francisco’s Great American Music Hall on Friday, June 9. The Woodstock veteran and his classic Country Joe and the Fish helped kick off the Summer Of Love with the May 11, 1967 release of their debut, Electric Music for the Mind and Body, which is credited as one of the first breakthrough San Francisco psychedelic records. A few weeks later, they performed at the first great rock music festival Monterey Pop Festival in June 1967

As previously reported,, McDonald recently released his appropriately titled new album, 50. McDonald first started working on the new batch of songs, which features The Tubes’ Prairie Prince and members of his band, in 2015. They returned to the studio 25 times to perfect the material. - Jambands.com

Desert Trip: Gram Parsons and ‘The Gilded Palace of Sin’ (Don’t Miss Sleepless Nights XIV at GAMH at on Sat. 6/10!)


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A recent poll of young Britons found that nearly a third of younger millennials—29% of 18 to 24-year-olds to be exact—claimed that they had never knowingly listened to an Elvis Presley song. Zero percent of this age group reported listening to Elvis’ music daily. This really isn’t all that surprising—or at least it shouldn’t be. We’re soon approaching the 40th anniversary of Presley’s death and while everyone of a certain age can probably recall exactly where they were when they heard that the King of rock ‘n’ roll had died—whether you were a fan or not, it was earth-shaking news in 1977—to someone born after that, bluntly put, the once titanic cultural importance of Elvis Presley is pretty negligible. If your reaction is that this is depressing—and perhaps it is—then you’re only showing your age. It’s just the way things are.

As the editor of a blog like this one—I was eleven years old when Elvis ate his final fried peanut butter and banana sandwich and frankly I doubt that I listen to him more often than once annually myself—I’m acutely aware of the balance between nostalgia and discovery. The biggest cohort of our readership is comprised of millennials. If nearly a third of young Brits have never purposefully or consciously listened to an Elvis Presley number, then how many of them would know a DEVO song? If you were born in 1965 or 1975, how much knowledge of the music of the 1940s or 1950s do you realistically possess? DEVO’s heyday is even further back than that for someone who is a high school senior in 2017.  “Oldies” radio doesn’t play Herman’s Hermits, the Supremes or Sonny & Cher anymore, it programs Sting, Nirvana and Celine Dion where that format even still exists.

So where would that leave the legacy of a cult artist like Gram Parsons, who died in 1973 at the age of 26 with but a small, yet influential body of work, as the 21st-century marches ever onward? If you are of a certain age, and presuming that you are a pretty big music fan, you no doubt have heard and hopefully appreciate the “cosmic American music” of this golden-voiced country rock progenitor/genius. To be sure, I think that there’s still a pretty strong Gram Parsons cult out there, but in 2017 its members tend to be know-it-all baby boomers with graying ponytails who want to give you their opinions of whatever album you happen to be looking at in a record store.

Only in Southern California, always a stronghold of Flying Burrito Bros. fandom, does there seem to be an organic all ages awareness of the great Gram Parsons. This has much to do with the desert and how inextricably intertwined the desert trip is with the mythos of Parsons’ death by OD in room 8 of the Joshua Tree Inn and how his body was subsequently stolen and given a drunken cremation near Cap Rock by his manager, Phil Kaufman.

It’s a SoCal rite of passage to do magic mushrooms in Joshua Tree and trip out under the desert stars listening to The Gilded Palace of Sin by the Flying Burrito Bros. as there is simply no greater soundtrack for this sort of activity in that particular place and I’d wager that 99% of all the patrons of Pappy & Harriett’s, whether young or old, male or female could readily identify any song from it that came on their jukebox. But again, it’s specifically a desert kinda thing. Let’s assume that the rest of the country’s Gram Parsons fans are probably spread out a little bit more.

Which is why the word needs to get out about Intervention Records’ recently released vinyl and (upcoming) SACD re-issue of The Gilded Palace of Sin. Mastered by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio, this is one of the best-sounding slabs of wax that I’ve ever heard in my entire life, which is exactly what you would want someone to say if you’re a new boutique record label catering to the snobbiest of jaded (and easily disappointed) audiophiles. Think you’ve heard it all? Wait until you’ve heard this! That beautiful young man’s quivering, vulnerable, plaintive voice, those harmonies with Chris Hillman and the exquisite chime of Sneaky Pete Kleinow’s buzzing, warmly-distorted almost psychedelic steel guitar, it’s all there in the grooves as never before, like they coaxed some extra music particles off the low generation analog tapes it was mastered from. Since I first heard The Gilded Palace of Sin in the early 90s—yes I was in Joshua Tree, and yes I was tripping under the desert stars—I’ve listened to it hundreds of times, but this is something else entirely. Always an exhilarating—and well-recorded—album to begin with, this absolutely sparkling pressing by Intervention represents the apex of the state of the art analog “triple A” production (no digital anywhere in the workflow) going today. They even make a new vinyl stamper after every 5000 uses so every copy is a “hot stamper.” I’ll say that again: If you’re looking for some primo vinyl to throw at your turntable, this is as good as it gets, a record you will find yourself flipping over and playing again and again and again. (And although I’d bet this is their showpiece, Intervention Records have also released exquisite editions of classic albums by Joe Jackson, Big Audio Dynamite, Stealers Wheel and they’ve announced some upcoming Judee Sill releases. Everything I’ve heard from them is crazy good, 10/10 stuff. Every audiophile should keep an eye on what they’re releasing.) - Dangerous Minds