On Baghdad by the Bay, June 13 at 8pm PDT; Interview with M. Lockwood Porter and SunRunners, Guest DJ 8th Grader

13 06 2013



M. Lockwood Porter
Dark with a whimsical streak, M. Lockwood Porter muses of hope lost, found, and forgotten. Somewhere between Americana and indie rock, M. Lockwood Porter has a serious case of bittersweet melancholia reminiscent of Elliott Smith or a young Jeff Tweedy. That M. was raised on a farm in Oklahoma isn’t surprising, given the hint of twang in his voice. That he studied poetry in college isn’t, either, once you study his contemplative, eloquent lyrics.

8th Grader
With his luscious tenor and seductive lyrics, San Francisco singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist 8th Grader (AKA, Jayson Martinovich) injects a unique and fresh R&B sensibility to his singular brand of nu-soul. His decadent vocals caress Afro-Cuban polyrhythms, Rhodes piano, and elements of Chillwave. With nods to Prince, Frank Ocean, George Michael and Janet Jackson, 8th Grader fills a nameless void somewhere in between pop and R&B. Currently creating a stir amongst the music blogs, 8th Grader has been gaining acclaim from fans and critics alike with his signature R&B meets Nu-Soul flare.

The mixture of indie rock songwriting, dreamy lyrics, and heavy elements of rock and pop rhythms has long been a staple in the alt-rock world, and Sunrunners delivers on all counts. A California-based quintet led by singer and primary songwriter Stephen Loase (Low-C), Sunrunners have largely managed to avoid the usual rock clichés, injecting a uniquely rock-influenced sound and laid back San Francisco style.  Ramona Downey (owner/booker of Bottom of the Hill) has called Sunrunners
“One of the best new bands that have played Bottom of the Hill this year.  They opened for Deep Sea Diver + Wild Belle and everyone who saw their set seemed to agree that they are a force to be reckoned with.”


On Baghdad by the Bay, February 14th, 8pm PST; Guest DJ All My Pretty Ones, Interview with DSTVV and Future Twin

13 02 2013

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publicity photo ampo
All My Pretty Ones
The acoustic instrumentation and vocal harmonies of San Francisco based ensemble All My Pretty Ones invoke all the familiarity and comfort of the best classic folk and indie artists, but it’s the band’s extraordinarily innovative approach to songwriting and arranging that set them apart from other americana-inspired musical groups. All My Pretty Ones represents a collaborative engine fueled by songwriter Derek Schmidt, whose work draws as much from classical composition, musical theatre and contemporary poetry as it does from 60’s folk music and current independent artists.

“Industrial grungegaze” trio DSTVV is the arch creation of Joel Cusumano (formerly of Baby Talk), ex-’90s teen model and creator of the bizarro Tumblr-famous blog BLAMEASPARTAME. Done with playing in scruffy, over-earnest Bay Area garage rock bands, he engineered DSTVV as a musical approximation of the bad-vector-art and ’90s-obsessed teen culture that currently permeates some of the weirder parts of alt-culture. DSTVV (the initialism’s meaning is yet undisclosed) nixes an IRL drummer in place of blown-out Apple Logic-programmed beats, and the gentile strum of Joel’s Fender Strat’s melts with Corgan-esque Big Muffs and chorus pedals. He then hooked up with synth player Gloria Pérez-Villela, with whom he’d been swapping old synth-pop files online, and bassist Stephen Howard (ex-Burger Kingdom) to fill out the lineup.

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Future Twin
Future Twin was originally brought together by the first all girl moped gang in San Francisco, The Lockits. They became fast friends and were soon waxing synth songs, huffing gasoline and making shred tents. Now consisting of Jean Jeanie (gtr/vox/field recordings), Antonio Roman-Alcala (drums), Jo Bleak (rhythm & bass), and Dan DK (synths & bass), their music juxtaposes a tangible beauty with an honest grit that can only come from a band birthed and breathing in San Francisco’s Mission District. The band has announced the dual release date of July 31st for the new Resist 7″ as well as Future Twin Deluxe Edition, a limited edition cd release combining the new 7″ along with the 5-song EP/cassette Situation. The single “Situation” is available for free download, and the video for “Landslide” was premiered by Impose recently. The band will be playing San Francisco this summer, and will also be hitting Brooklyn, NY for a pair of shows as well.
Photo credit: Paige K Parsons

On Baghdad by the Bay, December 13th at 8pm; Interview with Abatis and Hottub

13 12 2012

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Following the enthusiastic reception of their self-titled debut EP, Abatis (“abba-tee”) spent several months performing throughout the Bay Area with nationally touring bands such as Maylene and the Sons of Disaster, Lionize, and Nico Vega, as well as local favorite, The Soft White Sixties. Though the stage time was invigorating and invaluable, Abatis promptly decided to record their first full-length album, and made the bold choice to do so independently. The result: Electric Dead. Electric Dead moved away from the bluesy sound of their first EP into more raw, contemporary, fearless rock territory like that of Queens of the Stone Age, The Black Keys, and Foo Fighters. Completed in just three months and released in October 2011, Electric Dead was received with rave reviews. Alberto Rivera of Thrust Magazine described the album as “consistently amazing,” comparing Abatis to 70s dirt rockers Blue Cheer and MC 5.

While the three freaks of nature were seducing each other with their stank and sinful vocal harmonies, a space craft from the future called the Bass Station 5000 collided violently into the ladies’ Sparkle Motion Machine. On the control decks of the Bass Station 5000 was super-producer Jay-Sonic and world class gigolo Funky Finger Mark devising their masterplan to rule the universe with the Oakland Bump. The result of this fortunate collision was nothing less than perfect. Ladies and gentlemen, the birth of HOTTUB!

On Baghdad by the Bay, Nov 29th at 8pm; Interview with The Lady Crooners, Plastic Arts, and Ash Reiter

29 11 2012

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The Lady Crooners
The Lady Crooners are a new ‘almost country’ band from San Francisco, CA featuring sibling singer-songwriters, Joseph and Nadia Krilanovich, along with singer-songwriter, Andrew Blair, bassist, Bret Cohune, and multi-instrumentalist, Ross Warner. Folks say they harmonize like angels, play like the dickens, and leave a crowd wanting more. Their first CD, The Lady Crooners, debuted in April 2012 and they’re currently at work on a second. The Lady Crooners are thrilled to be sharing their signature style of authentic, darn good music with you.

Plastic Arts
The Plastic Arts is the musical efforts of San Francisco Bay Area songwriter, Kyle M. Terrizzi. Vocal comparisons have run the gamut from the gut-punch brawn of Jeff Buckley to the college-rock croon of John Mayer, but the music is more often associated with the alt-country style of Heartbreaker-era Ryan Adams, the pop sensibilities of David Gray, with a touch of Morrissey melancholia, and the confessional, narrative lyricism of early Counting Crows. Academy Clonez is the first full length release from The Plastic Arts, as well as the first definitive artistic and musical statement from Kyle M. Terrizzi under that moniker.

Ash Reiter
With with their new album “HOLA” Ash Reiter is saying hello to the world. Although, truth be told, the band has been around for awhile and already has some impressive albums under their belt. Ash Reiter’s first self released full length, “Paper Diamonds (2010),” offers an eclectic mix of songs demonstrating the band’s affinity for stretching a simple folk song into a multi-layered, psychedelic pop masterpiece. Drummer, Will Halsey, cut his teeth as a producer mixing and recording this record in his trademarkunorthodox style combining hi-fi and lo-fi to create his own “mid-fi” style.

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 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”.