More stellar music headed your way this Wednesday, February 9 at Great American Music Hall with a benefit concert presented by The Bay Bridged supporting The Coalition on Homelessness. Talk about a SF garage rock powerhouse line up. Geez. The only thing missing is Nobunny. Where’s he? Ah, well he’s also playing that night but at a different show at The Knockout. February 9 must be an auspicious date for garage rock bands. A great night for music on all fronts. Get tickets for the benefit here.
Meet Ben, co-founder and programming director of San Francisco’s esteemed The Bay Bridged, a non-profit arts organization and online music publication chartered to educate the world on the awesomeness of the Bay Area’s independent music scene. And we love them for it. They curate some great showcases and festivals around town and make The City a better place musically. Here are Ben’s picks for the (mostly) Bay Area bands to watch in 2011. And for the record, I agree with all of them.
Artist: Young Prisms
Album: Friends For Now
Release Date: 1/18/11
Homeland: San Francisco, CA
I always associate this SF band with Weekend because I saw them both for the first time on a joint bill at the Hemlock beginning of last year. If Weekend was last year’s breakout local shoegazey rock group, Young Prisms deserve to fill that slot in 2011. After an EP on Mexican Summer, the band’s full length Friends for Now is out this month. The record’s a little heavier than I expected, and that’s a good thing. A lot of these reverb-soaked bands are too thin and brittle to make enough of a racket.
Release Date: 2/1/11
Homeland: San Francisco, CA
Jon Bernson (Ray’s Vast Basement, Window Twins) is one of these can’t-miss artists for me, and Exray’s manages to incorporate his singer-songwriter and electronic pastiche sides into one compelling project. Are they garage pop or abstract beatmakers? Both. You probably heard this duo’s music in the movie The Social Network, or you’ve seen their name around the blogs recently, gaining buzz before the anticipated release of their self-titled full length.
Artist: Bare Wires
Album: Seeking Love
Release Date: Out Now
Homeland: Oakland, CA
I feel like Seeking Love didn’t get the, um, love it deserved last year, although it may have been unreasonable to hope that “I Love You Tonite” would be blasting out of every stereo all summer. Well, there’s still next summer, although Matthew Melton and band apparently have another album coming out soon. I know the Bay Area has a bunch of garage rock bands, but these guys write amazing pop songs about love with hooks aplenty.
Artist: Sea of Bees
Album: Songs for the Ravens
Release Date: Out Now
Homeland: Sacramento, CA
Sea of Bees became one of our favorite new artists last year over at The Bay Bridged, the latest in a long track record of great performers from the Sacramento/Davis area. Jules’ voice is unbelievably emotive, and when she conveys sadness, you feel it in your gut. Late last year, she signed to a UK label, and is doing a ton of European shows in the first quarter of this year. It would not surprise me at all if she’s a deservedly bigger name when she finally returns to California.
Artist: Kurt Vile
Album: Smoke Ring For My Halo
Release Date: 3/8/11
Homeland: Philadelphia, PA
I had to sneak at least one non-local artist in my list. I recognize that there’s a certain obviousness to picking any band with a big upcoming record on Matador as a “band to watch,” but Vile’s definitely become someone I’m expecting to have a big 2011. I’d slept on Childish Prodigy, but between last year’s Square Shells EP (find me a seven-minute song as good as psych-pop gem “Invisibility: Nonexistent”) and the songs that have leaked from the new album, I’m definitely more ready this time around. I suspect Vile will be this year’s Fresh & Onlys, showing that weird pop can be recorded well and still maintain its eccentric charm.
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.
Continuing the tradition, San Francisco’s The Bay Bridged, is hosting the 3rd Annual Rock Make Street Festival in the heart of the Mission this Sunday from 11AM – 6PM. Featuring 100 arts and crafts vendors, three stages of music and entertainment filled with great local indie bands, and a beer garden with tasty brews….it’s an event not to be missed. And did I mention it’s free? Be there!
You gotta love The Bay Bridged for keeping us all apprised of the latest and greatest indie music artists in our town. Here’s a video they shot during last month’s sold out performance of The Dodos performing ‘Paint the Rust.‘ Great musicians…great show!Vodpod videos no longer available.