Category Archives: Music

My First Camera – Gilman Show Photo Dump

Last night was my first attempt at using my new Canon Rebel XS camera! I’m a serious novice when it comes to photography so please bear with me. I took a TON of photos last night, playing around with all the different settings. Just trying to learn and get the feel of how to use the darn thing. It was really fun! Take a look at some of my favorite pics from last night!

The bands above are Swann Danger, Loto Ball and Victims Family.

I can’t wait to learn more and take more photos!

-Graceface

Oh No Ono Love

I’m pretty sure I’ve posted about Oh No Ono before and here I am posting about them again! I am so in love with this band. Check out this video I just found, the song is rather odd but the video is even odder. Is “odder” a word?

-Graceface

Hey! Thank You! – Shannon and the Clams

Do you love it as much as I do when you hear a song from a local band that just fills you with good feelings? I live for it! Music is so many different things to me and I get so many different things from it. But it is something extra special when I am filled with joy because of it! Shannon and the Clams have been able to do that for me over and over again.

Shannon and The Clams new album Sleep Talk will be released on April 5th on 1-2-3-4-Go! Records and from the sound of the first single it’s going to be a doozey!I’m not even the biggest fan of garage/surf rock but there is something here that has snagged a part of me and drawn  me in. It’s more than likely the raw and emotive female vocals – that gets me every time! But really, there is so much more! It is thought out, fun, energizing and yet takes one back to a time…a time…well it could be  any period of rock from the 50’s until now!

“The Clams provide a secret ingredient that bind together doo-wop, early rock and R&B, girl group classics, 60’s garage/psych, surf and glints of punk in a way that’s hard to get across in words.”

The Clams have criss-crossed the country touring playing with bands such as Thee Oh Sees, King Khan & BBQ, Nobunny, Harlem, Crocodiles, Fresh & Onlys, Happy Birthday, The Growlers and more and they somehow found time to record a new album. A really great new album!

These Bay Area native will be playing  SF’s  Noise Pop Festival for the first time at Bender’s Bar on February 25 for FREE! I want to see you there!

Check out this free download of the title track Sleep Talk below to get a taste of the Motown meets Punk awesomeness of Shannon and the Clams!

Click Here To Listen to Sleep Talk

-Graceface

Year End List – Favorite Albums

My favorite albums of the year in no particular order!

1 – Mountain Man- Made the Harbor LP

The music of Mountain Man calls up Appalachian Folk overtones and indie rock undertones. There is a power in the harmonies they create, telling stories about their love of earth and humanity. I find the obvious connection to Appalachian women folk singers a strong and empowering voice for all women. It’s like when I was a baker and I would get up at the crack of dawn to bake the daily bread.  I feel that same connection to womanhood that I did baking when I’m listening to Mountain Man. There is a sort of hippy dippy “love the earth” quality to it that is so sincere and heart felt that I can’t deny the power of it. It moves me and I am called to it – my heart wells up when I listen.

After hearing a couple Mountain Man songs on Bandcamp (click link for free downloads!) I was excited to see that they were playing a free in-store at my local indie book store. I headed on over there on the evening of the show in hopes that they would play early enough so that I wouldn’t miss my friend Angela’s art opening in SF. It didn’t happen – I had to leave and I missed them by minutes! I would listen to the two songs offered up for free download on Bandcamp incessantly for the next few months. The sweet Appalachian folk harmonies  had drawn me in and I was hooked!

A few months later I had the pleasure of hosting an in-store for Mountain Man at Amoeba Music in Berkeley. Brilliant! Finally I got to see the band. They played an almost entirely a capella set that was sweet and simple in its intricacy. Three beautiful voices harmonizing perfectly with each other – it was beautiful! I was able to get the full LP at this time in addition to the two songs I had downloaded and I’m so glad I did. This album is a must for me this year. I recommend checking out the two songs available for free download and if you like them, pick up the CD/LP!

2 – CocoRosie -Grey Oceans

Here’s another album full of Appalachian Folk harmonies.  This CocoRosie album builds on the last albums full of freaky vocals. There is somethings so strange about CocoRosie – all I know is that the strange vocals that are present on all of their albums are beautiful to me and keep me coming back for more.

Once again I was able to host an in-store for CocoRosie at Amoeba this year – another fantastic show! I love my job.

Download a free copy of the song “Lemonade” off of  the album Grey Oceans here or check out the amazing video below!

or check out this clip I posted earlier of the song live at the Amoeba Berkeley in-store.

3 – The National – High Violet

One of my favorite songs of the year is by The National – “Bloodbuzz Ohio”. I avoided this band for some time and I’m seriously upset that I did. I tend to avoid or ignore bands that I see getting “too much” hype – I did it with Fleet Foxes and they are amazing! “Bloodbuzz Ohio”, and the entire High Violet album, is amazing! The vocalist seems to be channeling Nick Cave at times – which I love! Then, of course, he’s singing about Ohio (sort of) and that itself sucks me in. I’m pretty sure I’ve interpreted the lyrics for this song to mean what I want them to mean, when I listen I get really nostalgic and emotional regarding Ohio and how I personally feel about the place. It feels like he’s telling my story.

4 – Belle & Sebastian – Write About Love

Hrm, what can I say that I haven’t said before? I wrote about this album in a previous blog post. Aside from the weird Norah Jones track on the album I love it! That NJ song still hasn’t grown on me. meh. “I’m Not Living In The Real World” seems to have gone back to the vintage sounds that I love about Belle & Sebastian. There is something almost 60’s Beatlesesque or British Invasion about it. Though seeing as I really hate making comparisons like that its almost inevitable. I’m not the best at seeing the roots of inspiration in music – even though I try. What originally attracted me to B&S was their simple 60’s inspired pop songs, and even though I feel like they have grown and changed, as any good musician should, they have stayed true to their aesthetic and that makes me so so happy.

Today I watched the B&S’s Holiday Spectacular live on NPR. NPR is currently working on an archive of the performance and I Highly recommend checking it out if you didn’t get a chance to see it live. It was phenomenal!

5 – Sade – Soldier of Love

Sade just kills me. I’ve been anticipating a new album from her for YEARS and was delighted to finally get my hands on this one! Soldier of Love is “typical” Sade, however typical for her equals something completely wonderful! There are a few little rock parts that were interesting and very…un-typical…and I really dug that change of pace from her norm. Her sweet soulful vocals are right there with her intense and beautiful lyrics. She seems like such a loving person and that’s the vibe I want to feel when I listen.

6 – Die Antwoord – $O$


GAH! I really didn’t WANT to love Die Antwoord but I simply can’t help myself! It’s so ridiculous and insane and I just got sucked in. The spectacle of it was too much for me…I caved.

7 – Ottawa – Re-Issue 12″

This Ottawa LP is one of my all time favorite records (previously released as a split LP with Jihad and I wouldn’t normally put a re-issue on this list but I can’t help it. This album was/is very important to me – it really helped shape who I have become and the types of music that I love. I know there isn’t much metal or punk on this list but those genre’s are actually the most important to who I am. Maybe I shouldn’t be basing my identity on musical genre’s but it’s really more about the community I found at the time this record originally came out and all the amazing bands I was able to see and all the amazing people I met at the time. There are very good memories attached to this album for me.

So if you like heavy politically charged punk/metal then I suggest checking out this Ottawa re-issue!

8 – Beach House – Teen Dream

Moody, dark, deep and sweet. All the things I love about music are including in this album! I really have fallen head over heels for it – If I had to pick my favorite album of the year this would be it!

9 – Oh No Ono – Eggs

I haven’t heard much about Oh No Ono but once I was exposed to their video for the song “Swim” I was hooked! The album is weird and beautiful and dark like only the Dutch can do. Check out the video below for a real treat!

10 – Bastard Noise – A Culture Of Monsters

Oh Bastard Noise how I love thee.

Once again, here is a dark and moving album for you. Though this time without the “sweetness” of other releases I’ve listed. This record a powerhouse of electronic experimentation along with bass and drums. Epic.

11 – Blonde Redhead – Penny Sparkle

OK, this album is NOT as moody as most on this list, which is a departure from the last few Blonde Redhead albums, but I love it nonetheless. There is something a bit more eletro-pop about Penny Sparkle that I love. It’s definitely an album made by seasoned musicians looking for new mature directions and they did it in such a beautiful way.

 

-Graceface

Kathleen Hannah Does Nirvana

Seriously this is the best thing I have seen in years. I have the biggest smile on my face right now and I simply had to share it with you!

-Graceface

Music – Beach House Holiday Track!

Beach House is giving away a free holiday track on their website starting today. The song is called “I Do Not Care For The Winter Sun” and is super dark and emotional yet still sweet – like most of their other songs! Download it here by clicking the image below!

-Graceface

 

Year End List – Best Shows

The best shows I saw this year – In no order!

1 – Filth, Grups @ Gilman

2 – Camera Obscura, Best Coast  @ GAMH

3 – Jenny & Johnny, Sonny & The Sunsets @ GAMH

I can’t find a video for this show so I’ll just re-share the link to the track I’m giving away for the song “Scissor Runner”. Check out my previous blog post for the free download link!

4 – The Need, Thrones, Bangs, C Average @ Berbati’s Pan

5 – Kris Kristofferson @ Mountain Winery AND in San Jose

Yep I saw Kris twice this year. You may know how much I love Kris Kristofferson from this previous post about Rita Coolidge. He’s pretty much my hero. The following video is of him performing with another of my heroes, Joan Baez and John Prine. Oh what a night!

6 – Yoko Ono, Deerhoof @ Fox Theater

7 – Marianne Faithful @ Yoshi’s Oakland

This video isn’t from the show I saw this year but is very close in capturing the feelings and emotions I got while at the Yoshi’s show. Amazing that this was recorded 10 years ago!

8 – Tegan & Sara @ Amoeba Music Berkeley

I love my job.

9 – Die Antwoord @ Amoeba Music SF

I posted the video from this show previously but go ahead and take a look again. Yes yes, that is me in the front row! Again, I love my job!

10 – Sleep, Saviours AND Sleep, Thrones @ Regency Ballroom

Yes I went to both shows. 😉

11 – John Zorn/Mike Patton/Fred Frith @ Yoshi’s SF

12 – Mountain Man @ Amoeba Music Berkeley

I do really love my job.

13 – CocoRosie @ Amoeba Music Berkeley

Sometimes it is the BEST job.

14 – Thrones, Christian Mistress, Slough Feg, Beercraft @ Sugar Mountain

Here’s a Thrones video from an Oakland show that I missed actually. I saw him perform three times this year and this is the only video I could find. Meh…sorry!

15 – Nux Vomica @ Thee Parkside AND Victory Warehouse

Another show that I couldn’t find video for. I could have sworn there was video from the Victory Warehouse AND Parkside shows but oh well. This Burnt Ramen video is pretty fantastic anyway!

I WIN! Oh wait, is this a contest? Sorry sorry, I know I must be humble but MAN just look at that list! I really saw some amazing shows this year – and the complete list is ridiculous.

I tried to cut the list down as much as I could and had to leave off  Thou/Moloch @ Gilman, Monarch/Trees @ Gilman, High On Fire/Torche/Kylesa @ GAMH, Wild Flag/Grass Widow @ Bottom of the Hill, Dungen @ New Parish, Bert Jansch/Pegi Young @ New Parish, All Leather @ Gilman, Andrew Jackson Jihad @ Bottom of the Hill AND @ Gilman, Pinhead Gunpowder @ Gilman and so many more! Making the above list was hard!

I’m definitely blessed to live and work in an area with so much great music happening all the time. You probably already noticed that my musical tastes are all over the place. I go from Stoner Metal, Experimental/Noise and Punk to Appalachian Folk and Country pretty easily. I don’t really discriminate because I simply love music in all its shapes and forms. If its good, its good!

What were your favorite shows of the year? Did you see anyone that was particularly memorable or inspiring?

-Graceface