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If you sense a slight incongruity in the title of Blame Sally’s Speeding Ticket and a Valentine, rest assured that it’s as purposeful as the life it describes is random. The album lifts its name from a line in the bridge of the hard- charging leadoff single, “Living Without You,” which describes a day, or maybe entire existence,that’s “sweet and sour at the sametime/mink and a porcupine/speeding ticket and a valentine.” Clearly, this is a band that knows its oxymorons.
The four women who make up the Bay area- based group have some experience with improbable complexities and contradictions. Almost everything about their history is contrary to conventional wisdom. For one thing, they put their individual careers aside to start Blame Sally when they were in their late 30s and 40s—the age at which bands are traditionally supposed to break up and begin solo careers. For another, this is obviously an all-woman band—“girl groups”
usually being the novel province of youthful upstarts, not mature singer/songwriters.
Oakland’s mysterious Manatee are a fiery 4-piece who chart a fine line between the melodic aggression of mid-80s hardcore/punk and more contemplative rocking pop. The project dates back to 2006, beginning as the duo of Nik Carlson on bass and Black Tambourine/Whorl/Crabapples alumnus Mike Schulman on guitars and drums. Mainly a vehicle for beer-fueled weekly noise fests, Manatee did start accruing a catalog of tunes that were influenced by Flying Nun bands, ’77 punk and psychedelic freeform noise.
Black Jeans is a music and artistic project created by new media artist Russell Butler. After completing a BFA in Performance and Sound Art and an MAT in Art Education at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Russell moved to California’s Bay Area to begin his professional arts practice. While navigating America’s complex and imbalanced immigration system, Russell was able to secure a position in the Exhibits department at San Francisco’s premiere interactive children’s museum, the Children’s Creativity Museum.