Cocktails' Adult Life: S.F. Slop-Poppers Grow Up, But Not Too Much; Hear New Single "Tough Love"

cocktailsnzah_hires_credit-brian_pritchard-550.jpg
Brian Pritchard
Cocktails
Cocktails are one of our favorites among the younger crop of shambolic S.F. guitar bands. The five-piece appeared last year with an easy-to-love EP on Father/Daughter Records and a couple of effortlessly catchy power-pop singles. We featured them in the paper. Now Cocktails is back with Adult Life, its first album, out June 17 on Father/Daugther. Recorded at Oakland's Fuzz City Studios -- the home base of Warm Soda's Matthew Melton and Rob Good, among others -- Adult Life builds on Cocktails' brand of "slop-pop": The hooks are as sharp, but the overall texture of the sound is just as gauzy and easygoing -- even if some of the lyrics reflect slightly more grown-up concerns. This is all part of Cocktails' charm: This group is not a precisely measured concoction of pricey spirits, but rather a few classic ingredients stirred together over ice. Hear "Tough Love," the first single from the new album, below. The band performs this Friday, April 18, at Rickshaw Stop, April 24 at the Knockout, and May 2 at the Make Out Room.


More »

Listen: tUnE-yArDs Goes Funky "Wooh-Ha!" on "Water Fountain"

Categories: New Releases

tune-yards-nikki-nack.jpg
"No water in the water fountain / No phone in the phone booth." Sound like a city near you? That's the refrain in "Water Fountain," the first single from Nikki Nack, the upcoming third album from Oakland's tUnE-yArDs. And it is verrry tUnE-yArDs: third-world drums, a palpable funk, a delicate vocal thread woven by Merrill Garbus through the layers of rhythm. And then, of course, moments of beautiful eruption and cacophonous breakdown -- complete with "Wooh-Ha!" chorus.

In three minutes and eight seconds, it illustrates everything we love about tUnE-yArDs. Give a listen:


More »

This Teaser for tUnE-yArDs' New Album, Nikki Nack, Is Totally Bananas

garbus-tune-yards-new-550.jpg
Whoa.
Good news for fans of weirdo Oakland world-art-pop -- or music that tempts the use of too many hyphens: tUnE-yArDs has a new album, Nikki Nack, coming out this May 6. The news was announced yesterday, on bandleader Merrill Garbus' birthday, along with a teaser of tracks from the new album. Said teaser is absolutely fucking bananas -- in a good way. It's hard to judge based on brief, wacky samples, but this album sounds much brighter and hyperactive and colorful than 2011's critically adored w h o k i l l. Just take a listen:


More »

From Anarchism to Transgender Dysphoria Blues: The Many Faces of Against Me!

Transgender_Dysphoria_Blues_cover_art.jpg
Yesterday, Against Me! released the much-anticipated Transgender Dysphoria Blues. The band's sixth full-length has the extra weight of being AM!'s first album since vocalist Tom Gabel transitioned into living visibly as a woman: Laura Jane Grace. While this is a monumental step for all concerned (including fans), it's not the first great leap forward Against Me! has pushed in its time as a band, and we're sure it won't be the last. In honor of this fabulous new record, let's take this opportunity to look back on the many stages in the career of Against Me!.

More »

Neil Young Reportedly Releasing Covers Album With Jack White

Neil-Young-Crazy-Horse-Outside-Lands.jpg
Christopher Victorio
Neil Young and Crazy Horse at Outside Lands 2012
This could be really cool, if true: According to music journalist Michael Goldberg, Neil Young and Jack White have recorded an album of 12 classic covers, to be released later this year.


More »

Stream: Happy Diving's Debut EP Scratches Your '90s Fuzz-Pop Itch

happydivingpromo-550.jpg
Happy Diving
Last week, we acquainted you with the charmingly blown-out fuzz pop of newish East Bay trio Happy Diving, which conjures memories of such halcyon '90s bummer-rock outfits as Weezer, Dinosaur Jr., and Guided By Voices. (Or Yuck, for you young'uns.) After grabbing the eyeballs of Pitchfork with the single, "Sincere," and following up with the excellent "Never Been," Happy Diving this week releases its debut self-titled EP via the local Father/Daughter label: four songs of deft songcraft, postadolescent angst, and stomp-boxes turned all the way up. The band is four dudes in their early 20s -- Matthew Berry (Guitar/Vocals), Matthew Yankovich (Guitar), Mikey Rivera (Bass) and Samuelito Cruz (Drums) -- who started playing together after their previous projects fell apart. Recorded with Jack Shirley at the Atomic Garden studio on the Peninsula, Happy Diving is four songs of ear-bleeding pop-rock, with vibes and melodies that belie the band members' apparent youth. Stream the EP below -- you can download it tomorrow and get a cassette version Feb. 18:


More »

Listen To Tycho's New Single "Awake": Ambient Resplendence in a Non-Drowsy Formula

Tycho-Awake-500.jpg
Dive was great first-record-of-the-day-while-you-drink-your-coffee music, and last-thing-before-bed music, plus of course its well-documented utility as do-your-thing-in-bed music. Onstage, the S.F. group led by Scott Hansen comes across a little less sleepy and a little more forceful, and so it does on the aptly named "Awake," the first new Tycho single since this project broke through into national consciousness. The glassy atmospherics at the start put one in the mind of the xx -- not bad territory by any means -- and there's a strong melodic statement at the beginning, and a gradual building-up atop drums and bass that ride pleasingly high in the mix. (That's what you get with a live band!) Having loved much but not all of Dive, we'd say this new track picks up where the very best of that album left off. And as you'd expect with a musician who's also a professional graphic designer, the art is gorgeous, too. Listen up:


More »

Tags:

Scott H, Tycho

Sonny Smith Curates Mellow West Coast Rock Comp, I Need You Bad

Categories: New Releases

i-need-you-bad-500.jpg
Compilations documenting San Francisco's ever-fertile underground rock scene are nothing new, but they're always welcome, right? Especially when the person curating them is Sonny Smith, dean of S.F. freaks, unpredictable performance artist, and leader of Sonny of the Sunsets. Smith assembled I Need You Bad, a mellow 15-song set that draws not only from S.F. and Oakland but Portland and L.A., too. Contributions come from known local quantities like the Sandwitches and Warm Soda, as well as Portland's the Memories, S.F.'s Cool Ghouls, Oakland's Pure Bliss, and Portland/L.A. trio Sunfoot. It's all out on local label Polyvinyl Nov. 26, but only on 1,000 copies of green vinyl (with digital) or 300 cassette copies courtesy of Burger Records. You can preorder now, and today's news comes with a stream of a lovely new Warm Soda song, "Tell Me in a Whisper," which is here:


More »

Watch: Mazzy Star Moans Approvingly About "California"

mazzy-star-california.jpg
Mazzy Star
So Mazzy Star, whom you know from your time with alt-rock radio (if not from any "just before bed" playlist you made when you were, say, 16), has a new album coming out next week, its first in 17 years. Seasons of Your Day will feature Hope Sandoval and David Roback and some special guests, including My Bloody Valentine drummer Colm O'Ciosoig (who is Sandoval's husband), and the Bert Jansch. Since Sandoval and O'Ciosoig live in the East Bay, we can squint and call this a local release. But this dreamy video for "California" will make clear the duo's affection for the state anyway. Filmed from a rooftop somewhere in the British Isles (we think) and in California (that sure looks like Coachella), it's a fluid series of clips that is well, very Mazzy Star. Check it out below, (or here, as that link doesn't seem to be working yet) and stream the entire new album over at NPR.


More »

Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers' New Album Is Streaming; Hear It Before Their Sold-Out Show Tuesday

nicki-bluhm-album-stream-550.jpg
Nicki Bluhm
What a year it's been for local roots-rockers of distinction Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers, who've played every bar, saloon, roadhouse, festival, and general store in California, basically, and got most famous for the time they played a Hall & Oates cover in their van. The band celebrates with a big, sold-out show at the Regency Ballroom tomorrow night (Tuesday, Aug. 20). If you're going, you'd be smart to head over to Paste today and give a listen to the band's self-titled debut album, which is streaming in full. You've heard tastes of this album before (on this blog even -- we're fans), but hey, a full album is a full album. Alternatively, check out the new lyric video for "Hey Stranger," below. And good luck getting into the show tomorrow if you didn't get tickets.


More »

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

Drink

©2014 SF Weekly, LP, All rights reserved.
Loading...