"In the end, they are an original distillation, a tasty burn that goes down with a kick and lingers beautifully when it hits your gut."- Dennis Cook, Jambase.com Poor Man's Whiskey plays "High Octane Hootenanny" music???Dance, laugh, sing. Emerging from the San Francisco bay area music scene this quintet has developed a sound that is eclectic and engaging. PMW has been winning over national audiences with their upbeat performances, zany stage antics, and infectious songs. While seamlessly integrating acoustic and electric instruments the band weaves tales of everyday life, inviting the audience to become a part of each show. PMW has released three studio albums, "Train to California" (2003), "Roadside Attraction"(2005), and in 2009: "Dark Side of the Moonshine" (a double disk set featuring original music as well as the bluegrass interpretation of the Pink Floyd classic album). Notable festivals and shows: Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival, High Sierra Music Festival, Kate Wolf Music Festival, The Fillmore, SF; Harmony Festival; Strawberry Music Festival; The Great American Music Hall; The Summer Melt Down, Las Tortugas; finals of the Telluride Bluegrass Festival.
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart have long set the benchmark for big-hearted, idealistic pop songs. On their forthcoming self-released LP, they push beyond their many inspirations and embrace their role as indie-pop heroes in their own right. Showcasing the deft, poetic songwriting of front-man Kip Berman, The Pains??? fourth album is their most confident and accomplished. After three critically-acclaimed records, 2009???s ?The Pains of Being Pure at Heart?, 2011???s ?Belong? and 2014???s ?Days of Abandon? received praise from ?The New York Times, Pitchfork, The Guardian? and ?Rolling Stone?, they have put together a collection of songs that possess a timeless grandeur, deeper and more satisfying than anything the band has done since their now iconic debut. From their earliest days of C86-worship to Alternative Nation-sized anthems to a matured, ???Simple and Sure??? pop refinement, the new music is what Berman describes as sounding ???heavy and hopeful, like love.It???s an album that reflects the band???s most joyous moments while ?maintaining Berman???s candid and critical lyricism, free of the self-abasing insecurity of youth. ???The album is loving. The music is heavier, more expansive,??? he says. ???To me, songs about love shouldn???t be thought of as light. Love is big - sometimes it???s emphatic, overwhelming or simple - other times it???s tense, anxious or just exhausting. But at its best, it makes you want to be something better.??? In their decade long career, Berman has stood at the center of The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, and with a changing lineup, it???s become more apparent. ???On [the last album] ?Days of Abandon,? I was on my own. There was no one in the room making decisions with me. It felt strange experiencing that isolation while trying to make sense of it through writing,??? Berman admits. That album was about loss, and I think it conveyed that feeling well ??? but I???m glad to move on from that place. On this new collection of songs he???s learned to take full agency of something he???s always owned. ???With this record, I???ve made peace with the fact I am Pains. It???s always been my band, but I haven???t been super comfortable saying that, partly because I???ve enjoyed working with so many talented friends, and also because the songs I wrote seemed to mean more than anything my actual life could live up to. Berman enlisted the help of ?Days of Abandon? producer Andy Savours (My Bloody Valentine, The Killers) to help him record a Pains record like none-other. ???The logistics of it were so different. When I recorded the record, my wife was six months pregnant. We only had a limited amount of time. There was an absolute uncertainty hanging over our heads, but it was also a kind of escape from worry for that time.??? He explains. ???What???s going to happen when I have a kid? Am I going to be able to go on tour? Is this the last record I???m going to get to make? It???s not a bad thing to be worried when you???re expecting this huge transition of life. If you didn???t feel scared, you???re probably not feeling the right emotion. I tried to make the best record I could, knowing it might be the last time.??? The Pains and their new album navigate and call attention to variability and safety without unraveling. Berman is no stranger to fragility; here, it???s structured with warmth, the kind found after life-altering moments. The music is augmented by guest vocals from previous Pains collaborators: Jen Goma on vocals (A Sunny Day in Glasgow), bass guitar by Jacob Danish Sloan (Dream Diary), and horns by Kelly Pratt (Beirut, David Byrne, St. Vincent). The Pains of Being Pure at Heart live band consists of long-time guitarist Christoph Hochheim (Ablebody, ex-Depreciation Guild), drummer Chris Schackerman (ex-Mercury Girls, ex-Literature) and vocalist/keyboardist Jess Rojas. The band will tour the UK in late May, returning to New York for Northside Festival in June with more selective dates to be announced shortly.
American indie folk band from Portland, Oregon. Members: Luzelena Mendoza: guitar, vocals Ben Meyercord: bass, vocals Mike Kitson: percussion, vocals Sean Flinn: guitar Eric Schrepel: accordion Paul Cameron: guitar, vocals Scott Magee: ukelele, clarinet, percussion, vocals
Public Service Broadcasting is a London-based pseudonymous musical duo consisting of J. Willgoose, Esq. on guitar, banjo, other stringed instruments, samplings and electronic instruments; and Wrigglesworth on drums, piano and electronic instruments. They take samples from old public information films, archive footage and propaganda material, attempting to 'teach the lessons of the past through the music of the future'.
THePETEBOX is a solo performer, musician, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist whose pioneering live show has ignited audiences across the world. Breaking out as an award-winning beatboxer he soon redefined the genre through the use of his loop pedal, guitar and an otherworldly, multi-phonic voicebox. Witnessing a THePETEBOX live show is an immersive experience as he creates songs sound by sound, layer by layer, reveal on reveal, loop on loop, one man building tracks that are as sonically massive as any full band setup or DJ set. He possesses a primal talent and has transformed it into music that captures the imagination of people from all walks of life and from every corner of the world. THePETEBOX is a singular artist untouched by trends or fads, someone who is genuinely and fiercely independent who has tapped into an art form of true expression that connects directly with the hearts of a rapidly growing fan base. THePETEBOX???s debut album ???Future Loops???, a ???live, studio, video??? album comprising of original tracks and reworks of his favourite songs has reached over 30 million views on his YouTube channel. Through working with visionary director, Simon Ellis, his videos have reached audiences worldwide and his covers endorsed by their legendary creators, most recently Brian Wilson singing his praises for a unique cover of "I Get Around" and The Pixies posting the viral "Where Is My Mind?" video on their official website. Future Loops, (released on his own label, Light River Records) is on its third pressing and has sold over 50,000 digital copies through word of mouth alone. THePETEBOX???s versatility is reflected in the variety of settings he has performed in, from clubnights world-wide to multiple Grand Prix, the major stages at festivals, Glastonbury, Reading/Leeds, V-Fest, Bestival UK - Lake of Stars, Malawi - Woodstock Poland to name but a few, private parties for the stars and sold out headline tours around the UK, Europe and USA.??With a packed tour schedule and nearing completion of his Fan funded most anticipated a sophomore album of entirely original material THePETEBOX will continue to reach and transform the sonic horizons of people across the globe.
After spending years as a major presence in Brooklyn???s thriving music scene,??Frankie Rose relocated to her familial home of Los Angeles for 18 months, with the intention of establishing yet another moment in her storied indie rock m??tier. Gradually, she found herself short on sleep, funds and optimism. "I moved to LA, drama ensued and I ended up on a catering truck. I was like, how can this be my life after being a touring musician and living off of music. I had really lost my way and I thought I was totally done." ???? Towards the end of her time spent in Los Angeles, Frankie reached out to??Jorge Elbrecht (Tamaryn, Gang Gang Dance, Violens)??and began sketching what became the basic outline of what felt like a new album. Then, rather fortuitously, Frankie ended up back in Brooklyn with the realization that "in the end, I???m on my own. I have to do these things on my own." ???? The result of this existential odyssey is??Cage Tropical, Frankie???s 4th album. It is awash with vintage synths, painterly effects pedals, upside down atmosphere and reverberating vocals. It evokes a new wave paranormality of sorts that drifts beyond the songs themselves. "My references aren???t just music," says Frankie, "I love old sci-fi.??They Live??is one of my favorite movies ever, same with??Suspiria. 80???s sci-fi movies with a??John Carpenter??soundtrack, with silly synths ??? that makes it into my file, to the point that I???ll write lyrics incorporating that kind of stuff. It???s in there." ?? Beginning with the shimmery, cinematic and percussive sparkling of the album???s opening track "Love in Rockets," the song???s refrain of "a wheel, a wheel of wasting my life: a wheel, a wheel of wasting my time" immediately alludes to those darker circumstances that led to the creative origins of??Cage Tropical. "It???s all essentially based on what happened to me in Los Angeles and then a return to Brooklyn," says Frankie. "Misery turned into something good. The whole record to me is a redemption record and it is the most positive one I???ve made"
Widowspeak remain purveyors of mood. Whether painting an image of a basement apartment with blinds closed or conjuring the sweeping openness of a desert, they???re an outfit ever preoccupied with the influence of place and the passage of time on personal experience: the way vivid memories can feel like movies or dreams. On their newest album for Brooklyn???s Captured Tracks, Widowspeak use familiar aesthetics as a narrative device, a purposeful nostalgic backdrop for songs that ask, ???How did we get here???? Sonically, they exist somewhere in the overlap between somber indie rock, dream pop, slow-core and their own invented genre, ???cowboy grunge.??? At the heart of the band, there is a palpable duality, a push and pull between the delicate and the deliberate: the contrast of lead singer-songwriter Molly Hamilton???s strikingly beautiful voice and poignant melodies with the terrestrial reality of being a four-piece rock band. These songs sound like the dark bars and rock clubs they were imagined for just as much as the bedrooms where they were written. Expect the Best sees Widowspeak finding their greatest balance between opposing forces: darkness and light, quiet and loud, tension and calm. The album was written while Hamilton was living in Tacoma, Washington after previous stints in upstate New York and Brooklyn. So much moving around, and specifically a move back to the place she grew up, was the catalyst for a record concerned with self-examination and the sense of dread that comes from feeling adrift (???Dog???). Whether navigating the anxieties of social media and self-preservation in the digital age (???Expect the Best???), struggling to maintain motivation (???When I Tried???), or critiquing western-centric wanderlust and aspiration (???The Dream???), the songs here recognize that there???s no going back in time. Hamilton???s lyrics explore the space between regret and anticipation, reconciling the desire to dwell with a need to ???expect the best,??? even as the best seems unlikely. ???In the past I???ve felt compelled to write songs that are more optimistic than I???m actually feeling, as if I could make it true, as if everything in the past was significant or beautiful in a way, even if it was painful. But the truth is that not everything makes sense, and not every day of your life is an experience of clear cut emotional clarity,??? says Hamilton. ???I struggle with this compulsion to pull away from people, pull away from the things I enjoy doing, and sometimes literally picking up and moving away when I am feeling uneasy and anxious about my future in a given space, physical or mental. Social media these days can exacerbate that as well.??? Although Widowspeak???s last two records ??? Almanac (2013) and All Yours (2015) ??? were conceived as a duo with lead guitarist Robert Earl Thomas, Expect the Best finds them playing to the specific strengths of the current touring incarnation (James Jano on drums, Willy Muse on bass). The album, recorded by Kevin MacMahon (Swans, Real Estate), exhibits a marked increase in energy that reflects the band???s live show and the organic way it was created: by four people in a room together. The band collectively navigate dynamic changes with subtlety and restraint; the nine tracks here reach highs of wide-eyed lushness and plumb the depths of resigned melancholy. Their usual palette of dusty guitars and angular twang are still here front and center, but now with a bit more 90s homage, even if abstractly. The Pacific Northwest influences creep in throughout, as do varying flavors of New York???s legacy, the city the band still partially calls home. It???s their heaviest record to date, but never loses the sense of quiet intimacy that Widowspeak is known for.
The Hotel Utah open mic is the epicenter of San Francisco's singer-songwriter community. Its stage attracts performers at all stages of their careers: from seasoned veterans to first-timers. It attracts music fans who know a good thing when they see it. The musicians who come regularly don't come just to get a little "stage time" - they come because of the community that calls Monday at The Utah home - and the musicians that come in for the first time eventually start to come regularly... So come on down this monday, have a beer, bring your guitar if that's your thing, and sit back and enjoy.