I live a few blocks from the finish line. Every year, on Bay to Breakers weekend, the City swells to an incalculable size and my neighborhood is tacked with road closure signs and traffic warnings. It’s this town’s oldest and biggest party, and it’s hard not to get caught up in the chaos.
But in the two days before the race, I ran along Great Highway, watching crewmen and technicians deliberately and systematically transform Ocean Beach into the terminus of all this costumed debauchery: stages, lights, flags, and a neverending row of port-a-potties. Meanwhile the Pacific was the calmest I’d seen it in months. Lapping quietly against the shore while the last of the gulls headed north for the rocks below the Cliff House. And with Karl the Fog absent this past week, the horizon was a blurred bright line between sea and sky.
We Are Catchers released their debut album earlier this year, and “Isabella” is the second single. Peter Jackson is from Liverpool, but the soul of his music seems to hover around a California beach commune from the 60’s.
The view of the ocean this week immediately called to mind this album cover. The songs, once queued up, were an immediate reminder of how beautiful it is to afterparty on the edge of the world.
At 9:00 last night I was eating a sandwich on the sidewalk parklet outside DNA Lounge when DH texted me: “Dude come up here you are missing something weird.”
Coming from DH, that meant something.
The “something weird” was the last entrant in the open mic portion of the 8BitSF evening. A weathered Tina Yothers meets Michael McKean from Spinal Tap in a flowy pirate shirt dropping a David Byrne staccato over aggressive video game beats. Not just weird, but also awesome.
Glad I swallowed my sandwich in two bites and ran upstairs to see the tail end of this guy’s set, but I was also happily marveling at the crowd assembling street level for the show in the main auditorium. Continue reading True Sons Of Chiptune→
Where It’s At Is Where You Are debuted its 7-inch singles series this year with “Monsters,” a new tune by Freschard. The B-side is a version of “And the Rain” from her recent Boom Biddy Boom album, this one also recorded with the Wave Pictures.
I’ve always been a big fan of the seven-inch record. As a kid, I used to spin my dad’s 45s on my fingers when he wasn’t looking. One of my first grade-school notebook superhero creations was a Hawkeye-like marksman who spun little vinyl frisbees with deadly accuracy. Culture Club singles could blind an enemy with bursts of color. I bought a lot of cassettes and 45s, primarily because they could be concealed in my backpack, stealthily avoiding my parents requests to “save money” and “come straight home after school.”
wiaiwya loves the seven inch too. 7777777 is the name of the series, and each release is limited to 77 copies. This record came out on the 7th of April, and future releases (including the recent “Doll” by Trick Mammoth) are all slated for various seventh days.
I stood in that damn line, and nothing. That sea of people swept through the aisles in a mad rush, grabbing anything and everything that had the RSD label. Despite being maybe 50-people deep, I still missed out on all the LCD boxsets. I left Amoeba without spending a dime, on principle.
At one point, I just stood on the upper level, staring down at the chaos in the aisles below. One girl, couldn’t have been more than sixteen, stood in the eye of the hurricane with tears streaming down her face. Happy Record Store Day.
This week, NPR Music’s First Listen is featuring the self-titled debut by North Carolina duo Sylvan Esso. The album comes out May 13 on Partisan Records.
“Coffee” is already far and away my favorite track this year, and, despite recent attempts to temper my best-thing-ever enthusiasm, I’m already giddy about this new record.
Earlier this year, Amelia Meath and Nick Sanborn played Bottom of the Hill, and all I could think, at the time, was that I need to see these guys again, as soon as possible, and I need to bring everyone I know. It’s been sold out for some time (curse you, Fillmore scalpers), but if you can score tickets to the June 6 tUnE-yArDs show, Sylvan Esso will be opening. And I’ll see you there.