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!





Stoked On WAVVES: SD-Centric Exploration/Assessment From A Fun City/Illadelph Vantage Point (Fat Possum) 04.17.09 David R. Stampone
Since WAVVES left San Diego to tour the world early this year, a raging brushfire of giddy acclaim and some reactionary disdain has swept across the blogosphere, scorching up more traditional media as well. No artist from the 619 (area code) has ever garnered anything quite like it.

The flames were considerably fanned when, on February’s first full weekend, WAVVES debuted in New York City with three shows -- blog-touted, well-attended and later rave-reviewed in the New York Times -- before a month of sold-out dates in Europe, then a dozen shows in four days at Austin’s South By Southwest music confab, and subsequent gigging across North America.
Yet the buzz began late last year, when Nathan Williams, under the name WAVVES, began offering his home-recorded solo guit-noise-pop tunes for posting on various blogs, including his Ghost Ramp (where, notably, a recurring feature has been his strikingly erudite musings on hip-hop, embedding memorable YouTube clips and giving historical context -- in effect, likely producing SD’s best classic rap blog). NY label Woodsist soon put out his self-titled debut album. Accolades ensued and anticipation swelled for the second full-length, Wavvves (yep, extra “v”), released on March 17 by much larger indie label Fat Possum. (Advance copies had been flying around the internet for weeks). Reviews of both albums were mostly positive, many invoking Los Angeles duo No Age for their similar vox/guitar/drums-making-gnarly-pop orientation:

“WAVVES is The Beatles to No Age’s lo-fi Rolling Stones,” proposed Canada’s major music webzine CHARTattack. “... [B]oisterous lo-fi rock, all feedback and fray, suggests No Age with cawing singsong or Jan and Dean with exponentially more reverb,”  posited the Village Voice. “Don’t bother, this is like No Age minus anything remotely resembling good melody or harmony,” opined a (curiously clueless) hater in the comments below a music-blog posting of the sophomore disc. “With sun-kissed melodies drenched in clanging four-track bedroom-stoner noise-pop ... could be the Beach Boys reimagined by a supergroup of No Age, Black Lips and Times New Viking,” assessed the supremely influential Pitchfork (which gave Wavvves a hearty 8.1 in review last month).

Things were often put in geographically essentialist terms (amusing, perhaps, given which side yr on, coast-wise): “The entire West Coast is accordioned ... creating a union between the citrus harmonies of Ocean Beach and the ripped denim blues of Puget Sound,” delineated Fader Magazine. “Not every band from California feels the surf in their veins ... but somehow, they all have that sun-streaked, ineffable glint that brands them as Golden State. Nathan Williams, a/k/a WAVVES, doesn't hide his San Diego bearings ...” summarized New York’s Voice.

Almost nobody cited (or, likely, knew of) Williams’ previous SD band, Fantastic Magic (which disbanded this past fall). In truth, although they opened some high-profile gigs at (local hotspot) the Casbah and played around town, not too many in San Diego had known what to make of the completely different FM; their unique, spectral neo-hippie-Krishna mix of voice, flute, harmonium, mandolin, organ and what-not somehow earned them a Best Electronic nomination at last year’s SD Music Awards. Still, 619 insiders put them on the short-list of genuinely interesting local bands, and their debut mini-LP, Witch Choir -- which does feature a touch of Williams’ backing falsetto oohs-and-aahs that sweeten WAVVES’ tracks -- got some nice notice in parts beyond (as well as a glowing November ‘07 hometown nod on

“Fantastic Magic are quintessentially Southern California,” explained Oklahoma-based webzine Foxy Digitalis last July. “Their sunkissed melodies and zoned-out harmonies are totally enchanting and hypnotic ...” (Okay, at least with WAVVES, the perceived solar-culture SoCal-ism is more manifest: on two albums, three song titles have “Beach” in them; two have “California”; two have “Sun”; one has “Surf” and there’s a cover shot of a skateboarding kid on each. And band-name, natch. Then again, “Demon” is in three song titles and “Goth” in eight -- with no correlating sounds. And though some surfy skate-punk is afoot, the simple jams are more classic guitar-driven rock-pop friskiness; some Sonic Youth and Wire riffs, yes, but so too an uncanny, irresistible melodicism somewhat recalling the Ramones, certainly [and admirably] the Wipers, early JAMC, cooing Pixies/Breeders, and -- by golly-Polly, in that rare legitimate and positive citing -- a bit o’ Nirvana. Yes.)

For most of the world, then, the 22-year-old Williams seemingly came out of nowhere, emerging from his SD bedroom as WAVVES a few months ago, a fully-formed phenom -- duly enlisting his transplanted Virginia soccer buddy Ryan Ulsh on drums and hitting the road. After his last triumphant set in New York back in February -- his voice hoarse but jubilant fans having obliged his entreaties to help him sing the high wordless parts at the Sunday afternoon benefit for Barnard College’s student radio station WBAR (held at Morningside Heights’ packed Underground Lounge, effecting a de facto killer showcase for the Woodsist label with NYC’s enthralling Woods and -- just before hopping a jet home -- San Francisco’s NODOZZZ [their “In the City Contact High” a fitting feel-good stand-out]) -- this semi-informed reporter got some back-story from Williams: “It’s true, my parents were in Summer Wind in San Diego, this cheesy ‘80s pop band, all just, like, vocal melodies -- actually, really cool, mega-catchy ... Disney wanted to sign them but they were like ‘Nah ...’ My mom teaches music, my dad’s a teacher as well. I dropped out of high school -- for a year I went to Point Loma, I didn’t like it; I was kind of a problem child ...”

At age 16, he moved out, off to Virginia, then Portland, playing in some bands (Ikebana? me neither), and then back to San Diego where he formed Fantastic Magic. Williams said that wound down as the other members seemed more involved with girlfriends and weren’t enthusiastic about his growing stockpile of fresh guitar-pop songs, leading him to forge ahead alone. In discussing other SD bands FM had played with, Bunky came up. “Yeah, I know Emily [Joyce, Bunky’s singing drummer, a mutual friend -- her birthday that day, coincidentally]. She works at the Casbah; I don’t think I’m allowed to go back there ...” Williams then explained an incident in the wake of the band break-up: “I had too much to drink, I started kicking over barstools ... if you talk to Emily, say I’m sorry -- and Happy Birthday!” Joyce later said she’d long since forgiven him. And, with WAVVES making their Casbah debut this Friday, obviously any venue ban has been lifted.

A month and a half later, after all the hullaballoo of the intervening weeks, WAVVES played another sub-street-level sold-out show at a smallish space, this one at Philadelphia record/music equipment store The Marvelous. It was ten days after Wavvves had dropped and everybody had the vocal melodies down, savoring and singing along to “Beach Demon,” “So Bored” and all the other “mega-catchy” tunes (“Wavves” --the song -- et al.) in their typically brief set. Williams was in fine voice, alternating his falsetto and full-on punkoid whine while shredding on guitar with abandon. Ulsh pounded and, when pausing, the crowd took over a clap, clap-clap, clap beat. Dumbstruck smiles and dancing abounded; what the ascendance of WAVVES was most importantly about was obvious: the viral transmission of joyful sounds over wires and miles, memes of infectious melody zipping effortlessly about the globe. At brushing-arms proximity with the crowd, the short, friendly frontman operated with disarming charm from a stage-less corner, sometimes bantering between songs. If you got close enough, you could see Williams’ subtly SD-repping shirt, a goofy tee, arguably perceivable as perfectly congruous with his pure, unaffected grin: “Who-o-o’s Afraid of the Dark? Night Owls -- San Diego Wild Animal Park.” Rad.
-- David R. Stampone


    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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