Nate Fitzbutler did a remix to Kanye West’s and Kendrick Lamar’s “No More Parties in LA” called “No More Parties in SD”. He said, "we made this track to try to bring some national buzz to our city that’s always been in the shadow of the LA music scene."

Niko Sitaras from the San Diego based dream rock band Paper Days says, "We just released our new EP 'Fun For Family & Friends'. Our release party is on Feb 19th being hosted at the Irenic (with The Bash Dogs & Splavender). 

Panic Is Perfect is an indie-pop group from San Fran and they are touring in support of their new album, Cellspace, which drops tomorrow on Strange Loop Records. They'll be playing at The Loft @ UCSD on Feb. 12!






Show Review: The Anti Monday League @ the Casbah - Snowden(ATL), Malajube(MONTREAL), Fifty on Their Heels, The Fascination
Cat Dirt 03.05.07
Editors Note: If you haven't checked out Cat Dirt's Site you should here He's also working damn well on a Mayday show extravaganza at Starlight Bowl.

I think, for most people, the name of the Casbah is evocative of the Clash song, "Rock the Casbah". For me, the Casbah refers not to that famous late Clash hit single, but rather to an aspect of middle eastern architecture. Those of you familiar with the architectural design in the middle and near east know that the typical family compound (or Casbah, if you will) has high walls surrounding an enclosed, interior courtyard that is invisible to passers by on the street. Remind you of any San Diego venues?

It is the interior courtyard that is the defining characteristic of the Casbah- simultaneously the best and worst feature of that place. It's funny to think how closely the climates of San Diego and the Middle East are related. Much of the produce that was unique to the Middle East in the old world grows readily down here, and Middle Eastern design features that would be ludicrous in the rest of the United States are easily adaptable to the climate here.

When I think about the Casbah, I think about the hearings that Congress had during World War II on the subject of price controls for steel. An executive from United States steel famously testified that "What is good for the US Steel is good for the US ." That statement now stands for a kind of statist corporatism that good lefties despise, but at the time- it was a true statement of fact, and I feel the same thing could be said about the Casbah and San Diego : "What is good for the Casbah is good for San Diego ."

Even though there are plenty of things to criticize about the Casbah: indifferent crowd, high prices- did I mention indifferent crowd? Such criticism is pointless, the Casbah is the locus for independent rock music in San Diego , and so it shall ever be.

The expansion of the partnership between Tim Mays and Tim Pyles is probably the most important thing that happened in local music this year- The Anti-Monday League is the first product of that partnership, and last night was a stellar example of that partnership come to fruition.

The line up last night combined two touring bands (Malajube and Snowden) with two local bands (Fifty on Their Heels and The Fascination). In an effort to reduce the time commitment required to read this article- I will offer capsule summaries, followed by a more extended discussion of several of the bands

THE FASCINATION- Most! British! Singer! Ever! Three piece.

FIFTY ON THEIR HEELS- "2007 San Diego Music Awards BEST PUNK BAND?"

MALAJUBE- Indie rock band from Montreal ! Keyboards! Very, very loud!

SNOWDEN- Synthy/gothy Interpol-e sounding alt rock from the A.T.L.- the next big thing!

I didn't like Malajube- not because they aren't good- they have a shambolic, dancey, jammy rock ensemble sound that at different points reminded me of !!!, Modest Mouse and Broken Social Scene. They sing in French, didn't watch the opening bands, were super loud. Basically, I'm like "whatever" about Malajube.

Snowden, on the other hand, was pretty good. This was their first show in San Diego . They are a four piece- singing guitarist, second guitarist, female bassist(darling!) and drummer. The songs have a filled out, alt rock vibe that incorporates the same kind of influences that you hear on an Interpol record. To my ear- I also heard a Dischord Records influence (filtered through a poppy sensibility). Snowden is on Jade Tree, which is an awesome indie label straight outta Wilmington Delaware . Most of the stuff I've heard from Jade Tree was hard core (or post hard core), so I think it is cool to hear this cool but poppy band touring the west coast even though they aren't signed to Matador or Capitol Records.

Snowden provided a high energy, dynamic stage show- that bassist really brings a nice touch to the show. Overall I was thinking- "I wouldn't be surprised to hear Snowden on the radio"- specifically Black Eyes, track five from their new record "Anti Anti." I went ahead and bought the record- it's really good- I guess that's a subject for another time.

Fifty on Their Heels is on Cat Dirt Records- my record label. They sounded great last night. They are focused on writing new songs right now. Everyone needs to understand that Fifty has a ton of influences that you haven't heard in their song writing yet. I suspect they'll end up sounding like a cross between Roxy Music and Orange Juice. I can assure you that they are growing as a group - this growth has been enabled by their kind reception among regular people and music professionals in the San Diego area.

That's what you need to look for from local bands- are they writing? Recording? Releasing? If they aren't, you don't have to support them. Local bands need to grow, write, improve. If they are just going to show up and play the same shit year after year, who is going to give a fuck?

Turn out was decent last night, people were enthusiastic about Malajube and Snowden. It was a good night for the Casbah.

    Lotushouse MP3 Sampler
    Maquiladora - The Revenge of Becky Royal (New Piano)
    Tenniscoats + Maquiladora - Hours
    High Mountain Tempel - Processional (An Invocation to Thee Angelic Sister)
    Raagnagrok - HJD
    Beggars - Will We Call It Love
    Maquiladora - Termez 1936
    Maquiladora - Song 26
    Buzz or Howl - Sendhe Mortu Chin Rigore
    Earthling Tempel - Celestial Inhabitants of the Sun
    Buzz or Howl - The Sins Of The Flower Are Visited On The Shunned
    Maquiladora - Light of the Rain
    High Mountain Tempel - The Ascended Master (Hang Gliding in Heaven)
    High Mountain Tempel - Fluctuat Nec Mergitur
    High Mountain Tempel - Tempel Walk
    Buzz or Howl - 05 Oct 05
    Buzz or Howl - Sun as the Destroyer of Dreams
    Live version at the Make Room SF 2005
    Maquiladora - In This Life
    Maquiladora - Simply to See You
    Maquiladora with Kawabata Makoto - Nampasen
    Maquiladora Maquiladora - Drunk and Lighting Fires (A Waltz)
    Maquiladora Maquiladora - Ritual of Hearts
    Maquiladora Maquiladora - Ankle
    Maquiladora - Mayday
    Loraine Loraine - Pasqually Old Pasqually

    Beggars - S/T
    by Pierro Scaruffi

    Maquiladora's Eric Nielsen and Bruce McKenzie joined forces with Skygreen Leopards' Glenn Donaldson to form Beggars, whose double-disc Beggars (Lotushouse, 2013) is a tour de force of ecstatic Eastern-influenced freak-folk. Mostly these pieces lean towards the traditional song format, although inevitably deformed by the musicians' pedigrees.

    The ghostly hyper-dilated drones of Ghost Coyote are imbued with quasi-Morricone western-movie guitar twang and even harmonica. The sweet lullaby and the trotting pace of Eureka My Love as well as the romantic honky-tonking Justine (with a refrain a bit reminiscent of Dylan's Blowing in the Wind) hark back to the heydays of country-rock. 2-3-74 Floating evokes the martial laments of the young Neil Young although diluted amid discordant guitar jamming and lulled by waves of funereal vocal harmonies. Berserker's Boogie is a lively and poppy almost-bluegrass tune. They even intone the singalong Queen Anne's Lace with drums, banjo and all.

    Thankfully, the spaced-out yodeling of Lullaby de Bourbon (memories of Aoxomoxoa-era Grateful Dead), the free-form quasi-jazz guitar and vocal interplay of Will We Call It Love, the seven-minute dreaming psalm Big Pink Sun and its sublimely disintegrating coda, remind us of what Maquiladora are best at. The 23-minute Midget Decapitates Clownis an ambitious concerto for suspense and agony. Far from being just a droning piece, it piles up sonic event after sonic event, producing the trancey effect out of a multitude of traumatic sounds. The chirping and tweeting that accumulates half-way into the piece decays into a nervous organic filigree and dies away in the most cryptic manner; one of the high points of Maquiladora's career.

    Earthling Tempel - Pilgrimage To Thunderbolt Pagoda
    by Aquarius Records

    Not sure if this is part 4, or just the first in a new multi part epic, hardly matters, what does matter is, this is another glorious expansive collection of meditative psychedelic abstract dronefolk ambience. Every High Mountain Tempel disc we're reviewed thus far has gotten played to death here, and this one doesn't appear to be any different. Well, at least in that respect. In one distinct way it is very different, HMT are not going it alone this time. They've assembled a pretty impressive collection of sonic alchemists and musical conjurers to help with this ritual, Isis Aquarian from the Source Family, Charles Curtis from La Monte Young's Just Alap Raga Ensemble, and two crews from the UK we've never heard of, Earthling Society and Astarism, but even with all those cooks in the kitchen, HMT and friends have managed to weave another dark minimal masterpiece, all hushed barely there guitar shimmer, drifting whispered vocals, delicate crystalline melodies, dense swirls of piano, warm swells of tape hiss, mysterious voices and field recordings, whirring organ, bowed steel strings... so lovely.

    If the liner notes are to be believed, two of the tracks feature Earthling Society on their own, and those tracks do sound different, much less free and sprawling, a bit more structured, like seventies UK acid folk, swirling and melodic and quite lovely. The final two tracks find the two groups in full on collaborative mode, and the gears shift to something much more space rocky and Hawkwindy, all blissed out and heart-of-the-sun, until the final track which is a strummy, delicate, moody chill out closer, a sort of dour doom folk drift, that makes a perfect ending.

    Super nice packaging, silkscreened oversized 4 panel sleeve, white on black, with the cd-r affixed to the inside. And of course, SUPER LIMITED!

    High Mountain Tempel - The Glass Bead Game by Aquarius Records

    Part three in the ongoing series of limited cd-r explorations from mysterious drone combo High Mountain Tempel, and like the two before it, the band continue to delve into some murky sonic underworld, again presenting loooong songs, each separated by brief sonic interludes, this disc seems feature more actual vocals, the opening track features a processed voice, that sounds a bit like throat singing, or a Speak And Spell, intoning some arcane message, interwoven with long drawn out tones, and a thick ropy buzz, super dark and intense and atmospheric. Elsewhere sampled voices surface, there are bits of chanting here and there, all peppered throughout the disc. But even with the extra voices, the focus here is still on dark, lugubrious, extended dronescapes.

    The sound of High Mountain Tempel is probably closest to Expo '70, as their various permutations of dronemusic seem to have a definite krautrock vibe, that gives the sound a sort of spaced out quality, and a subtle propulsion, but unlike Expo '70, HMT seem to have a distinct Eastern influence, much of the music is meditative and subtly dramatic, a bit soundtracky, and some of it sounds like it could be Japanese. Especially the way field recordings are incorporated into the sounds. Giving everything a definite texture, some of it sounding like it was perhaps recorded live in some hilltop temple. Which we would imagine is the idea.

    Not sure what else to say actually. This is indeed fantastic, brooding and malefic, but also shimmery and dreamy, sonically it has much in common with the first two installments, so definitely check out those reviews to read more about their 'sound'.

    Needless to say, fans of the drone and folks into the current crop of cd-r soundscapers will for sure dig this, but like the other HMT discs, this is more than simple drone music, this is ritualistic alchemical soundwork, one can almost imagine stumbling across a group of cloaked figures huddled around a fire in a forest clearing, tossing various powders into the flames, causing the fire to change color and cast beastlike shadows on the branches above, and this is the sound filtering through the forest like a black moonlit fog...
    SUPER LIMITED of course, packaged beautifully in a foldover silkscreened sleeve, gold metallic on red on the outside, black on red on the inside.

    High Mountain Tempel - A Screaming Comes Across The Sky - The Faultline Scriptures
    by Aquarius Records

    Record number two from this mysterious drone-kraut styled duo. Their last disc was a huge hit around here, so we were pretty thrilled to get our hands on this one, a logical sonic extension of the first, delving deeper into some murky tripped out twilit soundworld.
    The disc opens with shimmering clouds of gongs and cymbals, whirring and sizzling, suspended over a deep distant rumble, a delicate intro to a record at once hypnotic and lovely, dark and dense.

    The record is arranged into three epic tracks, interspersed with short sonic interludes, ranging from field recordings of crickets, looped chants (Elizabeth Clare Prophet if we're not mistaken), spirituals and mysterious liturgical songs, whirring drones, and backwards percussion, but it's the long tracks where the duo get to spread out, let their dense soundscapes sprawl.

    The three long tracks sounds like movements of a greater whole, clocking in at 15 minutes, 11 minutes and nearly 17 minutes respectively, each rife with creepy delayed vocals, churning guitars and smeared chords, roiling muddy whirls, which often dissipate leaving streaks of fragmented melody and haunting slowed down voices. Buried amidst the drones and whirs, are lullaby-like melodies, skittery percussion, streaks of grinding distortion, hidden voices, more field recordings, thick swaths of cavernous rumbles, little bits of electronic glitch and lots and lots of low end buzz.

    Packaged in a fancy navy blue fold over sleeve, screenprinted in white ink, with a photocopied insert with liner notes and song credits.

    LIMITED TO 150 COPIES! Each one hand numbered.


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