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Archive for May, 2011

This past Saturday, vitaminwater teamed up with Vice to bring the Soft Pack (formerly the Muslims) back to San Diego to curate a free show for a series the companies are calling Uncapped Live.

This series showcases local acts from cities across the U.S. and is curated by some of Vice’s favorite bands. The idea is to give more exposure to local bands and reward local fans. And, boy, were they rewarded, with a lineup featuring Devon Williams, Ale Mania and Dunes, not to mention an open bar, including all of the take-home vitaminwaters you could carry.

Organizers had announced that a “surprise guest” was going to perform. Upon receiving the confirmation e-mail, it was revealed that the Soft Pack were, in fact, the surprise guest. I’m not too sure if the joke was on us, but I thought that was implied. Nevertheless, the band put on a rousing performance to a packed house at the Til Two Club, dozens of people cramming to the front to jump around to a stoic-faced Matt Lamkin, who only broke a smile to say, “I don’t want to get sappy or anything, but we played our first ever show here.” Returning to their roots, Matt — along with David Lantzman on bass, Matty McLoughin on guitar and Brian Hill on drums — thanked their friends for opening the show. The Soft Pack’s unadorned aesthetic gives a stripped-down vibe: simple guitar riffs and driving drums that are reminiscent of the Strokes’. Pulsing percussion and distortion emerged on tracks like “Answer to Yourself” and the surf-punk-charged “Pull Out.”

Warming up the crowd for the Soft Pack’s post-punk revival was Devon Williams, formerly of the punk rock outfit Osker. The first band to take the stage, they were also the most mild-mannered, with catchy arrangements and a Brit pop sound. They were followed by Dunes, an LA-based three-piece featuring frontwoman Kate Hall, of the defunct band Mika Miko; Stephanie Chan, of Finally Punk; and Mark Greshowack ,of Talbot Tagora. Borrowing from the Smiths, their performance was dark and penetrating, a dreamy post-punk sound that was hypnotizing. With tribal-like guitars accompanying her, Hall’s vocals dragged on in muffled distortion.

Rounding out the support was Ale Mania, a San Diego-based band that’s been getting a fair bit of buzz lately. It’s the new project of Andrew Montoya and Jeremy Rojas of the Sess, an infamous San Diego garage punk band. They played songs off their debut LP, Who Sings That Beat, for an enthused audience — half-due to the open-bar in full effect and also due to the hometown pride that carried their enigmatic performance.

The night ended fittingly at 2 a.m., when crowds of people spilled out onto the streets outside, lingering still, with vitaminwaters in hand. Whoever thought corporate branding could be so punk rock?

Source: Not-So Surprise Guest at Soft Pack Show | NBC San Diego


Nada Alic

Ty Segall- You Make the Sun Fry [mp3]

New track from Ty Segall called “You Make the Sun Fry” for his super funny looking/adorable forthcoming album “Goodbye Bread” out June 21st on Drag City. And by adorable, I mean yes- I’m still terrified of dogs but can appreciate them from a distance.

Goodbye Bread:

01 Goodbye Bread
02 California Commercial
03 Comfortable Home (A True Story)
04 You Make the Sun Fry
05 I Can’t Feel It
06 My Head Explodes
07 The Floor
08 Where Your Head Goes
09 I Am With You
10 Fine

Ty Segall- You Make the Sun Fry

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Nada Alic

Head Underwater Turns 3 Today!


Head Underwater is a music blog run by one of my favorite dudes in the world- Jimmy Morris. I wanted to congratulate him today on his blog’s 3rd birthday. He continues to inspire me with his daily musical picks that are always so thoughtful. When I first got into reading music blogs, his was one of the first- so he’s made his mark on my musical consumption history. I credit him to finding some of my favorite artists. I urge you to check out his blog today and show him some love because I guarantee you will find something special. Thanks Jimmy for all that you do, we appreciate you!

check it here >>

I’ve been listening to Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr’s “Morning Thought” for the last two weeks, and it’s pretty fantastic. The duo are preparing for their release of their new LP “It’s a Corporate World” on June 7th and I’m pretty excited about this. I first heard about them through my friends at Sezio sometime last year and it perfectly characterizes the San Diego vibe, although I think they’re from Detroit. Enjoy!

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. – Morning Thought by Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.

Nada Alic

Ivan & Alyosha- Fathers Be Kind EP

Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of Ivan & Alyosha‘s “Fathers Be Kind” a band name taken from Dostoevsky’s “Brothers Karamazov”. This Seattle-based band first came to me on a monthly mixtape secret society called Porchswing. A friend of a friend from Austin that puts together some of the best music you’ve ever heard, whenever he gets around to it. Sorry friends, invite-only.

I first heard the song “Glorify”, initially I wasn’t too sold on another Christian folk song, yet this one was refreshingly earnest, “Glorify the Lord above
with your drink and making love
Glorify the Lord, my son
with your whiskey and your guns”. I thought, yeah, that’s more like it.

Fathers Be Kind is easy listening, and by that I mean it requires no translation and boasts no ambiguous depth, it’s just nice folk songs to listen to with a sound strikingly comparable to Fruit Bats.

Ivan & Alyosha are currently on tour with Brandi Carlile, doesn’t look like there are any California dates for now though. They are giving away Fathers Be Kind for free (kind of) via Noisetrade. Check it out here.

Ivan & Alyosha- Glorify

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Nada Alic

Megan Bonnell- South Korea

Check out this beautiful new video by Toronto-based musician Megan Bonnell. I remember Megan from a Live in Bellwoods write-up I did of her, and I thought she was so lovely. This video reveals the artistic side of Megan, painting on a transparent wall- sweeping strokes of different colours to make trees and faces, beautiful girls dancing in pastels. She’s got that breathy voice, thats mostly innocent but a little alluring. We’re always making out the words to her songs, because we can’t quite place them. I’m excited to see how she grows.

Nada Alic

Lord Huron @ the Loft

Last night, Los Angeles’ Lord Huron played their citrus-folk tunes alongside San Diego’s equally luminous Chairs Missing at the Loft, rounding out Lord Huron’s recent U.S. tour with the Rural Alberta Advantage.

Lord Huron took the stage to play their epic ballads off their EP Mighty, beginning with soothing tropical sounds to set the mood for their Caribbean-themed performance. Frontman Ben Schneider’s echoing vocals harmonized over a haze of distorted instrumentation of lush guitars, layered percussion and shimmering maracas.

With only a handful of songs that were born out of Ben’s solo project, their set carried an impressive professionalism, borrowing from Fleet Foxes’ hymnal repetition while infusing Animal Collective-style samples.

Rootsy Americana emerged in songs like “Son of a Gun” and, notably, “The Problem With Your Daughter,” during which — in a traditional folk narrative — a mild-mannered Schneider pleads for the release of his woman from her father. When he announced that they would play a new song, a gang of hippie girls emerged from the back row to dance furiously in a line, rejoicing in a kind of rain dance.

To end the evening, the crowd cheered for an encore from the headliners, to which Schneider warned, “That means you’re getting a cover,” perhaps referring to the fact this young band had no more new songs to perform — they played their haunting rendition of Springsteen’s “Nebraska,” to vibrant applause.

Lord Huron’s energized performance followed openers Chairs Missing (right), a new psychedelic folk project led by Tape Deck Mountain drummer Paul Remund and his band of vintage-clad members, which includes guitarist Riain Haggar, bassist Brandon Cardwell and drummer Dave Meade. Their penchant for reverb-heavy pop songs will refrain you from making any comparisons to the ’70s Brit-punk band the Wire; Chairs Missing pays homage to modern revivalists like Jay Reatard or Kurt Vile.

Chairs Missing played songs off their EP When, Now to a crowd of scattered folks who stood in awe of Haggar, whose flamboyant dance moves and hip swaying provided much of the onstage entertainment during the band’s set.

Source: Lord Huron Gets High and ‘Mighty’ at the Loft | NBC San Diego

Nada Alic

Headed for the Ditch- Neil Young Covers

Legends like Neil Young are always difficult to cover. I really like this compilation, curated by Universal Electricity because it is so different, and each artists interpretation is so unlike the original. I know I’m a bit late on this one but I really wanted to share it with you guys. It features some great ones like Foxes in Fiction, Teen Daze, Emily Reo, Breakfast in Fur, and Ghost Animal. You can download the whole album at the link below.


Teen Daze- Tell Me Why (Neil Young Cover)

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Nada Alic

Yellowbirds – The Color

The Rest Of My Life Music Video by Yellowbirds from Yellowbirds on Vimeo.

Yellowbirds was sent to me a while back by the kind folks at Royal Potato Family; this project is fronted by Sam Cohen, formerly of Apollo Sunshine. It’s dreamy psych-pop that is so delightful to listen to. It’s easy listening, with beautiful melodies- the kind of stuff that’s exactly what I’ve been looking for. The video was created with a digital camera, old books and magazines and an exacto knife, so crafty! I highly recommend you grab this record, every song blends so seamlessly into the other. Gorgeously crafted seventies-pop songs.

Yellowbirds- The Color

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Nada Alic

Kevin Devine- Hotel Cafe Residency in LA

My friend Kevin Devine has the worst timing. I just left LA, while he’ll be starting his three week residency at Hotel Cafe. Starting TONIGHT, you can catch Kevin premiering some new songs from his upcoming record “Between the Concrete & Clouds” with Morgan Kibby (White Sea, M83).  And he’ll also do a short set with Holly Miranda. Each week promises something new, with new songs and guests. He’ll also make a stop at Chain Reaction in Anaheim.

You might remember Kevin from the mixtape series, or his performance at our SXSW Silver Series, he’s been a longtime supporter of Invisible Children, and a really wonderful friend (when I get the rare pleasure of seeing him). You might also remember him from being Kevin Devine- he’s a pretty big deal. Go check him out and tell me how it goes. I wish, oh how I wish.

Los Angeles – Hotel Café Residency:
May 11th, 18th, & 25th

Anaheim – Chain Reaction:
May 27th

Kevin Devine- She Stayed As Steam

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