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!





Mushroom – Naked, Stoned, & Stabbed (4 Zero Records) Keith Boyd 4.19.10
One of the amazingly beneficial outcomes of the steady dismantling of the record industry is how democratized the music scene has become. The fact that there are a multitude of truly independent labels out there, and that there are systems of distribution, is a boon for everyone. Listeners get a chance to hear a much broader range of sound. If you find, for instance, that your musical button is pushed by the sounds of field-recorded crickets mixed in with whirling beats and guitars you can probably get it out there somewhere. If you want vinyl or CDs or MP3’s, most labels can accommodate your tastes in format. For artists the benefit is evident. If you make home-crafted Burmese Hip-Hop with lyrics exclusively about the Buddha Dharma, well, the odds are likely you’ll be able to find a set of ears out there that are eager to listen. Okay, so we’ve got this chummy and lovely vibe going. Home recording equipment is relatively cheap. Production costs are only what you choose to make them and distribution is via the Web and Post. Everything’s great right? Well, yes and no. As with any suddenly open forum, rushing in along side the unknown geniuses are the unknown hacks. For every great-unearthed jewel of discovery you make, you’ll have had to swamp through a lot of dreck. Not all hope is lost though. Rushing in to help you isolate the treasure from the trash are the on-line networks, forums and blogs (like this one!!). So, in many senses this time is the right time for music making and listening. Most of the history of recorded music is available on-line in some quasi-legal form, there are places like MYSPACE and FACEBOOK to connect with and hear musicians, and even a casual web search can connect you with music that might just sound like something you’ve been dreaming of. Into this ocean of goodness (and badness) comes an album by a venerable San Francisco band that has plied the byways of music for over a decade and has fully taken advantage of the open-ended, cheap tool and easy access of the contemporary music scene. I’m speaking of Mushroom and their wonderful new album, “Naked, Stoned, & Stabbed”.

Mushroom is an appropriate name for this (somewhat) super-group/full-time side project. Like a mushroom they are a loosely organized but interconnected group of individuals. The one constant is drummer Pat Thomas, whose production skills and reissue savvy have made him an indispensable part of underground music. The group has an incredible and large discography. Spanning over 12 albums, it includes everything from Avant-Jazz to down-tempo Funk to motorik, Krautrock-inspired mashups. They have worked with a variety of vocalists and, along the way, dug to the depths and essence of many a genre. With this prolific release activity they have also developed into a mighty live band known for extending and coloring in the shells of songs with wild, multi-colored improvisation. Filling out the line up this time are guitarist/knob twiddler Josh Pollock (a member of Citay, and collaborator with Gong, Acid Mothers Temple, Ruins, John Cale, and Damo Suzuki), vintage keyboard player Matt Cunitz (Brightblack Morning Light, Hiss Golden Messenger), multi-instrumentalist Erik Pearson (Daevid Allen, Irene Sazer, Crooked Jades, Billy Talbot/Crazy Horse), bassist Ned Doherty and David Brandt (whose CV includes a European tour with the Kologbo Afrobeat Academy [Oghene Kologbo being the guitarist in Fela Kuti's legendary Africa 70 band]). This wealth of talent and experience is brought to bear on tracks that sparkle with the creative impulse.

Perhaps not since the early 60’s has the music industry been more about single songs. While a 2-3 minute piece of perfection is a wonder to behold, it is rarer that an entire album is a cohesive and satisfying listen. Thankfully that satisfaction is to be found here. From the first strums of “Infatuation” to the closing, sing-a-long take on Kevin Ayers’ “Singing A Song In The Morning”, this album enchants and enlightens. Amongst the treasures are Nuevo takes on Jazzy/Folk acoustic guitar in the vein of early Tim Buckley and Nick Drake. The wonders don’t stop there though. Taking its title from Pete Townsend’s lyrics to “Bargain”, this album is a stroll through the various and deep roots of 60’s music. At times it is scans like a compilation of John Peel’s old label Dandelion Records. There is that same scrappy drive to explore and then deliver quality. The broad-base sonic footprint of the project was conceived as a “cross-continental Cinema Verite travelogue of time and space”. Acoustic, ambient and blending Eastern and Western sensibilities, the music floats on an ether-soaked cloud of sitar, violin, pump organ, celesta, vibraharp, dulcimer and flutophone. Beneath this hypnotic cloud are African, Latin and Indian percussion and rhythms that move the pieces and the sound-story along. While the truth is that every bit of music on this disc is wonderful, I suppose a few extraordinary highlights would include; “Celebration At Big Sur (The Sound Of The Gulls Outside Of Room 124)”, “Infatuation” and the afore mentioned, re-imagined Kevin Ayers, “Sing A Song In The Morning”. The wealth and riches embedded in these grooves deserve your full attention. “Naked, Stoned and Stabbed” is a gift to the senses. It evokes the British countryside, The Big Sur coast, African nightclub pulses and the great late 60’s Jazz/Folk scene. Remarkably it does all this while remaining contemporary and vibrant to the modern ear. Simply put this is best thing I’ve heard so far in 2010.

    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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