Not that I ever really fell out of love with Leopold and His Fiction. It was more like a momentary distraction by shiny, new music objects. Music is problematic that way. Especially when you suffer from OCMD. Even if you’re happy with what you’ve got, you can’t help but look over your shoulder for something new and different. Well, thanks to The Bay Bridged and their fabulous Rock Make Fest yesterday, I’ve come back home to my roots and fallen head over heels in love again with Leopold and His Fiction and their sultry, vintage rock vibe. Emphasis on rock because man do these guys lay it down. They’re hotter than ever. And I felt oh so complete leaving the festival yesterday with an earful of vintage rock and my new vintage dress and shades. Thanks for keeping me hip, Bay Bridged.
Leopold and His Fiction – “Golden Friends”
If you don’t already know about the San Francisco-based vintage rock trio, Leopold and His Fiction, you soon will. The band, who is working on their third album with the help of producer Thom Monahan (Vetiver, Devandra Banhart, Beachwood Sparks, Little Joy), gave us a sneak preview of their first single “Golden Friends”. And boy, do I like what I hear. The song oozes that 70s era blues-rock vibe I love so much. And if the rest of the album is as good as this track, we’re in for a treat.
So enjoy the first listen to “Golden Friends” here, and be sure to grab the singles vinyl release of this and b-side “Throne” on April 29th. If you’re headed to SXSW, be sure to catch them at one of these gigs.
|Art Disaster no.10||Austin, Texas|
|Bay Area Takeover @ Beauty Bar||Austin, Texas|
|Gueros -Mike Galaxy Presents||Austin|
French Miami, “Science Fiction”
Leopold & His Fiction, “Come Back (Now That I’m Here)”:
Friends over at The Bay Bridged are hosting a fantastic line up of local music this Friday at The Verdi Club in San Francisco featuring French Miami, Adam Stephens and The Finite Plan, Or The Whale, and (my favorite) Leopold & His Fiction. Be sure to check it out. Support your local bands!
Whew, I’ve been wanting to get this post up for about 3 weeks now, but you know how it goes – life prevails and hobbies sometimes take a back seat. Well, here it is. My mid-year Best Albums of 2009…so far. Out of all the music I’ve sorted through thus far this year, these are the albums that bubbled to the top, the ones I happily came back to again and again. They may not all be Pitchfork approved (or even rated for that matter), but they worked for me.
I’m not going to go through the diligence of ranking them, so I’ve listed them in alphabetical order. I’ll save the ranking exercise for the end of year round up. Until then, I hope you find some new music to enjoy!
Band of Skulls
Baby Darlin Doll Face Honey
“Death by Diamonds and Pearls”
Cymbals Eat Guitars
Why There Are Mountains
“And The Hazy Sea”
Keep It Hid
“If I Had A Heart”
Person to Person
Vacilando Territory Blues
Leopold and His Fiction
Ain’t No Surprise
You Can Have What You Want
Some Sweet Relief
“I Feel Eternal”
Shadows on a River
Shadows on a River
Wednesday night was a very OCMD satisfying evening of music with a double header of shows – Leopold and His Fiction + Little Joy at The Independent then Band of Skulls at Harlot. It was so nice to finally see Leopold in a proper venue, with proper sound. They rocked it! And I’m always mesmerized by drummer Jon Sortland’s ability to play keyboards and drum at the same time.
I have to say Little Joy wasn’t doing it for me. It felt a little milquetoast in comparison and left early. And I felt kind of bad for the audience too that they didn’t get their chance to get up close and personal to Fab (Fabrizio Moretti) himself. I mean, he is the marquis member of the band right? Yet he was in New York recording what I assume is another Strokes album. Did anyone else feel duped by that?
Over the weekend I caught up with Reuben of Simon Says No!, an up and coming Norwegian shoegaze group whose debut EP Ahoi de Angst has been making making waves. Pegged as a band to watch in 2009 by many, the group is in San Francisco tonight at Harlot sharing the bill with my favorite hometown band, Leopold and His Fiction. Don’t miss it! The event, sponsored by The Owl Mag, Future Sounds, Stranded in Stereo and SonicLiving, is free if you RSVP here and sure to rock your socks off!
the OCMD: I heard you’re in LA recording? Are you working on the follow up to your EP “Ahoi de Angst”?
SSN!: We’re recording one song right now with producer Michael Patterson (Beck, She Wants Revenge, Ladytron) at the Glory Hole studios. We’ve been here two days and this is the last day. We’re trying out where we are going to record our next album and might use this song on the new album.
the OCMD: Is your new album slated to be released soon?
SSN!: When we get home we’re planning to focus on our new songs and put together our ideas. The plan is to do some pre-production in the summer then start recording in August. That way the album should be ready for release next year.
the OCMD: Is this your first time in the US?
SSN!: No, this our second time. We were here last October for CMJ.and played a couple of shows in NY.
the OCMD: Right, you got a lot of good buzz from that CMJ show.
SSN: Yes, it was amazing and one of our best concerts we can think of. We got a lot of great feedback and in a way it really startled us because we had never done anything in the US before. It’s been really exciting time for us.
the OCMD: So the first time I heard your music, I couldn’t help think of Serena Maneesh – the only other Norwegian band I know. Were they an influence for you at all?
SSN!: Yeah, we live in the same town (Bergen, Norway) and the entire music scene there has been a big inspiration for us.
the OCMD:What is the music scene like in Norway? I know so little about it compared to your Swedish neighbors.
SSN!: In Oslo the indie rock scene is pretty huge. But in the second largest town where we live, which is Bergen, there’s a pretty big metal scene. Three of us in the band are from Bergen, so we definitely grew up and were influenced by the hardcore metal scene there. And we’ve definitely brought that kind of energy into the shoegaze sound we have.
the OCMD: I can definitely hear the metal influence in your music. It sounds good… and really loud! Should I bring my earplugs to your San Francisco show on April 1?
SNN!: Yes, we like to play loud. You might want to bring your earplugs!
Rock and roll! I’m liking everything about these guys right now – from their vintage sound to their vintage attire. Their latest release Ain’t No Surprise is a current favorite. Here’s a track off the album, “Mean Ol’ Train”, from their Tuesday night show at Bottom of the Hill.
I could sit you down right now, play this entire album and tell you it was a long lost 70s re-issue from some obscure San Francisco rock band and I bet you wouldn’t bat an eye. The San Francisco trio’s sophomore release, Ain’t No Surprise, takes their love of classic rock and all things vintage and spins it into a thoroughly enjoyable album from start to finish. An amalgamation of 70s rock influences, the band concocts a stripped down, bluesy, southern-fried psych rock sound reminiscent of some of the great bands of that era – from The Doors to the Allman Brothers and Bob Dylan.
Listening to the album, it’s hard not to compare lead singer Daniel James’ gritty vocals to Jim Morrison. I swear he’s channeling Mr. Mojo Risin’ himself on “Hawk Eyes”. And with the carnival-like organ swirling through“Broke” it’s hard not to draw a comparison to The Doors. While the influences are everywhere, the band never imitates. Their sound is definitely that of a bygone era. But in this day and age of 80s synth pop revival, it’s a refreshing one.
Don’t miss Leopold and His Fiction play Bottom of the Hill March 10! To get a taste of what’s to come, check out this video of their recent performance at Sundance this year.
Do you like bluesy, southern fried garage rock in the style of The Black Keys, White Stripes and Kings of Leon? Then I think you’ll like this San Francisco trio called Leopold and His Fiction. I sure do. Their self-titled debut is out now and are expected to release a new album early 2009.
Listen to ‘Come Back (Now That I’m Here)’:
I was taken the first time I heard Fremont-based band, Okay. Mostly by Marty Anderson’s voice, which is strange, compelling and beautiful all at the same time. His sound may not resonate with everyone but I find his songs with simple lyrics and sparse instrumentation achieve something bigger.
Listen to ‘My‘:
Oakland-based Port O’Brien has received critical acclaim for their autobiographical second album, All We Could Do Was Sing. Their ragtag indie folk/rock sound evokes the sounds of Neil Young and Bon Iver at times and back porch, drunken singalong sessions at others.
Listen to ‘Pigeonhold’: