Whether you’re a born and raised local or a lost Bay Area transplant looking to find the best tunes in the city, we’ve picked out this week’s best live shows in our home town of San Francisco for you to check out.
A trifecta of local rockers infiltrate the holy aural grounds of The Chapel midweek. First up is a fairly new psychedelic outfit with a veteran behind the wheel in Chris Halsey (The Blank Tapes, Papercuts). Sugar Candy Mountain released Mystic Hits late last year which you should now be able to track down on vinyl. Still converting fans from their days as Black Cobra Vipers, the band remains the same all but in name (They chose the un-Googleable route in ‘O’). The three piece have shrouded themselves in a bit of mystery since recording an EP fresh out of SF State only a few years ago but it looks like a full length may be in the near future. The psychadelia meets garage rock of Cool Ghouls grows on you with every release including last years A Swirling Fire Burning Through the Rye. Prepare for a lot of unadulterated swaying to and fro.
Four bands for ten dollars essentially means you’d be losing money if you didn’t buy a ticket. To add to the sweaty atmosphere, the whole bill have been on the road together as of last week. Setting the order of acts here had to have been tricky as any of these alt-rockers could easily be seen taking the top slot. That said, don’t plan on showing up fashionably late to miss the lowly opener. If fact, the loudest sonic blast will be heard from the South Bay’s Hard Girls who kick things off. Another highlight is found in the songwriting of former Fake Problems front man Chris Farren.
As Stars fans rejoice at their return to The Fillmore, the more casual fan should be busy memorizing 2014’s No One Is Lost. The Toronto bred and New York raised troupe have a heavy catalog of eight albums and a pile of EPs in just over a decade. The New Order synths continue to gain prominence in their latest outings opposed to gravitating towards territory of The Smiths like early records. Album opener “From the Night” alone is a sprawling six plus minutes of roller rink ready disco. If you need a second opinion, try on “Turn It Up” which would have fit nicely under Karen O’s guidance for the Where The Wild Things Are soundtrack in all it’s call and response glory.
The Stone Foxes continue to build suspense to their forthcoming record, Twelve Spells, dropping a new song the first Friday of every month since last fall. Straight out of Fresno, the blues rock of Strange Vine also boasts a heavy psych rock influence. And don’t go into a false sense of security seeing only two men take the stage, this duo packs a heavy punch. Get there early to witness Eagle Wolf Snake, the latest incarnation of former members of Nova Albion and Music For Animals, having now been playing under the name for almost a year. Hear their 3 song EP on Soundcloud.
Canadian sextet Hey Rosetta! kicked off the year by bringing forth their fourth LP in January and it is everything you should be asking for in a world of orchestral indie rock. The band fills the record with a large instrumentation for a pop record from standard guitar, bass, drums to additional keys, strings, and horns. Watch the music video gone wrong for “Kintsukuroi”. Based here in the bay, the folk rock trio of Owl Paws have seen a surge of live dates coupled with new material. No official news on a new release so make sure you go to hear it first and retain bragging rights. To hold you over here’s a video from back in 2013 for “Cold Lead Bath“.
About the author: Mike Chouinard is a habitual Bay Area show-hopper and new music junkie. Currently Artist Relations at DeliRadio and Training Director at KALX. Follow the music based ramblings on Twitter.