On Baghdad by the Bay, July 26th at 8pm PDT; Interview with Dirty Ghosts, The Memorials

25 07 2012

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Dirty Ghosts
Allyson Baker doesn’t scare easily. Back in the ’90s, she was sneaking into 
Dwarves shows and frequenting mosh pits before she was barely out of 
junior high; by age of 17, she was playing guitar for some of 
Toronto’s most notorious punk and hardcore bands (Teen Crud Combo 
R.I.P.), before leaving her friends and family behind in 2000 to shake 
some action in San Francisco. And yet, for all her apparent 
fearlessness, Allyson is very much haunted by forces beyond her control. Dirty Ghosts may be her 
new band, but it’s the five-years-in-the-making product of a 
habit she just can’t quit, a sound and vision that—despite numerous obstacles along the way—just had to be unleashed. True to their name, Dirty Ghosts rose from the ashes of San Francisco sludge-blues combo Parchman Farm in 2006; as an antidote to that band’s wall of squall, Baker and fellow Parchman Farm exile Carson Binks (another Toronto expat) launched Dirty Ghosts as a stripped-down duo, writing rhythmically driven new songs 
built around intricate drum loops pieced together by Aesop Rock. And as if this relaxed, more experimental ethic wasn’t a radical 
enough shift for these life-long punk-rockers, for the first time in 
her musical career, Allyson was forced to add “vocalist” to her résumé.

The Memorials
The Memorials were spearheaded by Bay Area drumming prodigy, Thomas Pridgen, in December of 2009. After a few years performing with The Mars Volta, Thomas turned his attention to forming his own group, incorporating a range of styles as diverse as the experiences of the bands members. Instead of becoming another rock bands’ heartbeat, the focus was to collaborate with proficient musicians whom Thomas felt would fill a void he has heard in rock music throughout his life. Thomas reached out to friends and former students of the esteemed Berklee College of Music, Viveca Hawkins (vocals), and Nick Brewer (guitars), to join him in his newest endeavor. Recording with his friend’s yielded a family vibe that enabled a comfortable yet intense recording process. The groups’ assets were rounded out with the addition of a bass, organ, synthesizers, and multiple percussive elements.

On Baghdad by the Bay, July 19th at 8 PM PDT; Interview with Extra Life!, Blank Tapes, Glimpse Trio, The Ian Fays

18 07 2012

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Extra Life!
Brooklyn-based Extra Life have challenged various underground circles with their dark, unclassifiable fusion of Experimental, Pop, Industrial, Prog, Classical and even Medieval aesthetics. The band’s dramatic sound, labeled by some as “Plague Pop”, has been called everything from “genius” to “pretentious” to “religious”. Extra Life was formed in 2007 by singer/keyboardist Charlie Looker after his departure from influential noise-chamber cult Zs and his brief stints with Dirty Projectors and Dax Riggs. After some lineup changes, the band gelled as a trio with guitarist/violinist producer Caley Monahon-Ward (of Snowblink) and drummer Nick Podgurski (of Feast of the Epiphany)

Blank Tapes
The Blank Tapes is the monicker of Los Angeles / San Francisco based multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter Matt Adams, who has produced 9 albums of “winsome pop tunes” (OC Weekly) and “Kinks-plus-Creedence roots-rock ‘n’ roll” (LA Record) recorded almost entirely by himself on an 8 track cassette tape recorder in garages, basements & sheds across the California coast. Lately his band has consisted of Pearl Charles, DA Humphrey, & Will Halsey and the four piece recently toured Europe for their second time sharing stages with the likes of Thee Oh Sees and R. Stevie Moore. Immediately before that, they toured Japan for their first time along with the director of the surf movie Stoked & Broke by Korduroy.tv (which includes over a dozen Blank Tapes songs in the soundtrack and has gained international acclaim within the surf community). Earlier this year, they also toured Brazil for their second time (after having 2 of their songs featured in TV commercials), not to mention all of the massive amounts touring they’ve done here in America.

Glimspe Trio
Blending their signature brand of frenzied, improv-driven musicality with a sound rooted in rock, Glimpse Trio’s music is accessible and challenging all at once.
Singer and guitarist Mike Sopko and Hamir Atwal are the driving forces behind Glimpse Trio’s music. Drawing from classical training-with a heavy focus on improvisation- Sopko and Atwal craft songs that nod to their diverse influences and speak to their suburban musical roots.

The Ian Fays
The Ian Fays are a folk-electro-casio pop quartet from San Francisco, CA. They wear matching outfits every show and are known to give out amazing party favors to audiences. The group is fronted by twin sister singer-song writers and has a revolving back-up band. This back-up band always includes their older sister who dances and plays xylophone, triangle, tambourine, bells and an egg shaker.

On Baghdad by the Bay, July 12th at 8PM PDT; Interview with Dogcatcher and Wave Array

12 07 2012

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There’s something magical that happens when four musicians come together from four completely different backgrounds. For Mountain View’s Dogcatcher, the result is a mellow, subtly-intense blend of soul, jazz, folk and indie-rock. Their first album, KILR, was a quiet folk-oriented solo album Heine wrote while living in San Diego and digesting the Iraq War he’d recently returned from. After KILR, Heine returned to his hometown, Mountain View, and formed a proper group, plucking musicians out of totally different bands to create an eclectic, genre-defying sound. On Dogcatcher’s second album, It’s Easy, the four members demonstrate that they have truly come into their own. Heine’s soft, hushed voice and simple-stated lyrics compliment the easy, hip-shaking nature of the music. But for listeners looking for lyrics with depth, Heine will not disappoint. Rather than aim for overt expressions of emotion, Heine always goes for the understated, which makes the emotionality behind the music that much more powerful with repeat listens.

Wave Array
Wave Array is a four-piece rock band hailing from the East Bay/San Francisco, CA that is stretching the limits of alternative/indie rock into the psychedelic and experimental realms. Using vibrant guitar and bass work, driving rhythms, and palpable melodies, the quartet aims to resonate frequencies of human emotion and thought buried beneath the preoccupation of everyday life. Wave Array’s eclectic compositions of melodic vamps and hard hitting jams have already sparked the interest of the Bay Area music community as well as local and nation-wide radio. Their self-produced debut album, Cheapjack Moon, is available on iTunes and Amazon.

On Baghdad by the Bay, July 5th at 8pm PDT; Interview with MoonFox, New Diplomat, Shana Falana

3 07 2012

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MoonFox is a bone clattering, boot stomping, San Francisco based rock and roll band. Formed in the embers of 2011 by songwriter and lyricist Danika Ingraham, the group is a vehicle for bringing her nightmares and fantasies to life through the ritual magick of song. Taking inspiration from the poetic anarchy of Patti Smith, the world weary cynicism of Tom Waits, and the hellish fury of Nick Cave, MoonFox seeks to forge a sound instantly recognizable and approachable, with a heavy dose of introspective and emotional lyrics that eat away at the psyche of the listener long after the music ends.
Fronted by the firecracker Ingraham, whose vocals lilt and moan like the echoes of a haunted whorehouse, the band is rounded out by the face melting leads of SF music veteran Stuart Ackridge (Flower Road, King Kong, Krayola Picasso, Too Hot To Bark), the shredding bass of Tommy Anderson (Electric Shepherd, The Love Dimension), and the relentless drum beats of Tyler Weeks.

New Diplomat
Alt/Electro/Rock band New Diplomat manages a sound that is both fresh and familiar. Hailing from all over the world (Belgium, Italy, U.S, Argentina and Uruguay) and uniting in San Francisco, CA they consolidated an EP that is as accessible as it is crafted. Evocative of the accessibility of The Killers, The Strokes or Muse; New Diplomat is Impulsive, Melodic but Highly Charged.Their debut “Buy Yourself Some Freedom” has already landed them sold out shows, festival appearances such as Noise Pop 2012, SXSW 2012 and BFD 2012 as well as a single produced by Dan the Automator (Gorillaz, Kasabian), soon to be released.

Shana Falana
Shana Falana is an experimental pysch-pop band emerging from Brooklyn’s vast shoegaze scene. Combining live-looping of reverb-drenched vocals and guitar with drums, pre-recorded “backing tracks”, and stunning visual projections, Shana’s live experience has often been described as transcendental. Praised as “the most entrancing modern psychedelic pop now being made” by Chronogram magazine (NY), Shana is now touring the US and Europe in support of her debut EP, “In The Light”.