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December 2014
The Spirit of the Beehive
"The Spirit of the Beehive
"
mp3
There is something rather dark and mysterious about a band that takes its name from a classic Spanish film that focuses on its protagonist, a young girl, who becomes fascinated by the 1931 horror movie, Frankenstein. And with an album cover that portrays a child in a bee costume positioned in front of a tombstone saying, “Here Lies Mom-n-Dad Now Their Gone Isn’t That Sad,” you can’t help but be intrigued, if not a bit disturbed. The Spirit of the Beehive is a local fledgling outfit who has popped up on my radar this past year, appearing on numerous bills, oftentimes at DIY spaces. The band has further grabbed my attention with its debut self-titled full-length album, which was recorded by The Weaks/ex-Dangerous Ponies, Evan Bernard and Chris Baglivo, and released via rising Philly indie label Ranch Records.  
 
The record’s opening track, “Roll Over,” begins with an eerie instrumentation before a languid female voice comes in with barely intelligible lines. “Cycles in and out of morphine hazes. Finding spaces between your floorboards. And I watch the dust move.” Thankfully the group provides us with lyrics on its Bandcamp page; otherwise, the beautifully poetic verses filled with drug-fueled imagery would be lost in the wash of power chords and feedback. “All lost in the black market. To wait in the fix aisle, I roll over.” You also get a sense of the band’s lo-fi, DIY aesthetic when you are abruptly taken out of the world, created by the album’s first, with studio chatter before moving on to the next track. With “Short Walk,” you can’t help but feel the influences of greats like Nirvana and more recently Creepoid with the hushed vocals and sonic bursts. These two tracks set the tone for the first half of the LP, where you travel in and out of the territories of dream pop and shoegaze when the female lead vocals grab a hold of you and then the grungier, harder-edged side takes over with the male lead. This juxtaposition provides quite an enjoyable balance that I actually wished went on longer throughout the record.
 
It’s not until “Ether,” where the two combine forces, changing the dynamic of their relationship. The title of the song suggests that you might be finding something more ethereal; however, the driving bass line provides a sense of urgency throughout the track. It also marks the point where the male lead begins to dominate the rest of the album, while taking on some of the characteristics of its counterpart. What remains a constant is a psychedelic, drug-filled angst full of guitar licks and distortion, giving off the vibe of a band that is here to rock, and they don’t care if you are ready for it or not.
 
The Spirit of the Beehive closes out their ambitious LP with the longest and cleanest sounding recording on the album, “Fever Dream,” demonstrating that they don’t need to hide behind studio effects, while making you wonder where their follow-up release will go next. It’s an eclectic and modern sounding record that also pulls from past genres I hold close to my chest. I highly recommend that you go download it ASAP. - Q.D. Tran

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Dancer and Gravy's Drop Play a Free Show at Hemlock Tavern TONIGHT

Dancer and Gravy's Drop are playing for free tonight at the Hemlock Tavern! Dancer is a hook-filled power pop band that also shares in the tradition of '77 punk artists like Johnny Thunders. This month, the band released its newest 7" dubbed Bitchin' Heat on Grazer Records. Managing to be saccharine sweet, but with an aggressive edge - the song Heart Failure off their newest release is worth checking out.

Borrowing from bands of the '50s and '60s, Gravys Drop is pure, unabashed rock n' roll. Last year, the band came out with their LP, Gumball on Burger Records, Spot-on Sound and Cut-Rate Records. It's packed to the brim with solid jams, that are influenced by doo-wop and surf rock of yore.

Make sure you make it out to the Hemlock Tavern tonight! - Erin Dage

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The Deli SF's Guide to Noise Pop - Part 2

The 22nd annual Noise Pop Festival kicks off on February 25th and the week-long party, now a solid San Francisco institution, will be taking over many of the premiere venues in town.They'll be hosting some of the best independent music acts from our city and around the world. With so many shows to choose from (not to mention all the free happy hours, art shows and gatherings at the new Noise Pop HQ), it's a tough job to pick and choose which bands to check out. If you've looked through the festival's stacked lineups and still can't decide which ones to see, we've created a definitive Guide to Noise Pop to help aid in your decision making. -Lauren Espina

If You Like Sunny, Surfy Indie Rock: Real Estate, The Shilohs, Dominant Legs / Dream Boys

Brooklyn based band, Real Estate makes indie rock music, but they do it better than anyone else. Soaked in dreamy washes of surf and lo-fi pop, and sometimes even revealing traces of psych and alternative country styles, this band is the archetype of modern indie rock. They are set to headline not one, but two back-to-back shows at The Independent on February 28th and March 1st for this year's Noise Pop festival. Joining Real Estate for their first gig on Friday, February 28th will be Vancouver's melodic, folk-infused power pop outfit The Shilohs,and San Francisco's shimmery pop band Dominant Legs. For Saturday's show, from Los Angeles will sub in for Dominant Legs with their folk-psych tunes rounding out the lineup on March 1st.

http://schedule.noisepop.com/event/2014/03/01/real-estate

If You're Looking for Diversity: The Soft White Sixties, NO, The She's and Cannons and Clouds

This is one of those lineups that makes no sense, and therefore makes awesome sense. The San Francisco-based outfit The Soft White Sixties churns out some soul-infused rock and roll, while Echo Park's (Los Angeles) NO,encased by the baritone vocals of Bradley Hanan Carter, offers lush indie rock that can be both dark and uplifting at the same time. The She's of San Francisco make pop tunes reminiscent of the 1960s, but add their own modern edge. Rounding out the lineup, Cannons and Clouds, also from San Francisco, offer an earnest brand of indie rock infused with multi-part harmonies. It's going to be weird and so, so rad. This unlikely mix of bands will all play together on Friday, February 28th, at The Chapel.

http://schedule.noisepop.com/event/2014/02/28/the-soft-white-sixties

If You Know What's Good For You: Dr. Dog, Saint Rich, Moses Sumney

The underground masters of Dr. Dog are finally getting the recognition they deserve. With subtle threads of blues, folk, soul, 1960s rock and roll and modern country blended together into one infectious sonic fabric, this band has transitioned from the experimental hodgepodge of its debut album to the tighter, sophisticated songwriting of their 2013 LP, B-Room. Joining Dr. Dog will be New Jersey's Saint Rich, an Americana-flavored rock and roll outfit, as well as Moses Sumney, a singer/songwriter from Los Angeles who has mastered his own brand of poignant folk-soul. Catch this show on March 1st The Warfield.

http://schedule.noisepop.com/event/2014/03/01/dr-dog

See Also: Strange Vine, French Cassettes, Dante Elephante and Irontom on Wednesday, February 26th at Bottom of the Hill

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The Deli SF's Guide to Noise Pop - Part 1

The 22nd annual Noise Pop Festival kicks off on February 25th and the week-long party, now a solid San Francisco institution, will be taking over many of the premiere venues in town.They'll be hosting some of the best independent music acts from our city and around the world. With so many shows to choose from (not to mention all the free happy hours, art shows and gatherings at the new Noise Pop HQ), it's a tough job to pick and choose which bands to check out. If you've looked through the festival's stacked lineups and still can't decide which ones to see, we've created a definitive Guide to Noise Pop to help aid in your decision making. -Lauren Espina

If You Like Lush, Layered Pop: Social Studies, AAN, Maz and The Moon

The reigning dream pop darlings of The Bay Area, Social Studies has mastered a sophisticated blend of indie pop and experimental rock. Led by the distinctive soulful vocals of Natalia Rogovin, the band meticulously weaves an intricate sonic tapestry that is perfectly encapsulated on its 2012 sophomore album, Developer. Joining Social Studies on Thursday, February 27th at The New Parish in Oakland will be Portland-based experimental rock outfit AAN and Southern California's indie pop band Max and The Moon.

http://schedule.noisepop.com/event/2014/02/27/social-studies-aan

See also: Broods, ASTR and DJ Aaron Axelsen on Thursday, February 27th at Rickshaw Stop.

If You Like Punk with an Experimental Edge: No Age, Cheatahs, GRMLN, Straight Crimes

No Age is a Los Angeles-based duo that creates an experimental fusion of punk and noise rock. With a razor sharp pop sensibility woven throughout its raw aesthetic, the group traverses the gap between melodic moments and the rough, stripped-down sound of early punk rock. The band will be headlining Brick & Mortar on Saturday, March 1st along with London's shoegaze punk rocker band Cheatahs, Northern California natives of the dream pop outfit GRMLN and Okland's Straight Crimes, the new punk project of former High Castle guitarist Erin Allen.

http://schedule.noisepop.com/event/2014/03/01/no-age

See also: Noise Pop Happy Hour CCR Headcleaner, Skate Laws and Bicycle Day on Wednesday, February 26th at Bender's

If You Know Garage Rock Isn't "Over": Fresh & Onlys, Cool Ghouls, Sandy's, Luke Sweeney

With prolific songwriters Tim Cohen and Wymond Miles respectively taking the reigns on lead vocal and lead guitar, The Fresh & Onlys have risen as one of San Francisco's most beloved garage rock bands. Though some people have prematurely declared the death of garage rock, the band's 2013 EP, Soothsayer, a raw rock and roll record laced with traces of psych and power pop, is solid proof of the community's existence. Further evidence lies in the supporting acts of the Onlys' show this Wednesday, February 26th at Brick & Mortar. Further evidence lies in the supporting lineup of the Onlys' show this Wednesday, February 26th at Brick & Mortar, which includes San Francisco's rock and roll torch bearers Cool Ghouls, as well as the California-drenched surf rockers of Sandy's and bedroom pop artist Luke Sweeney.

 

http://schedule.noisepop.com/event/2014/02/26/the-fresh-onlys

See also: Bleached, Terry Malts, Mystic Braves and Tropical Popsicle on Friday, March 28 at Rickshaw Stop

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Megan Slankard John Brodeur and Roem Baur Perform at The Lost Church TONIGHT

Come join Megan Slankard, John Brodeur and Roem Baur for an intimate night of acoustic music at The Lost Church in San Francisco tonight.

Megan Slankard writes endearing acoustic pop songs with a gritty edge. Her imaginative lyricism and americana-tinged modern-pop melodies form a sound that is reminiscent of Sheryl Crowe coupled with the eccentricities of Tori Amos. Roem Baur is a classically trained tenor who’s got a whole lot of soul. Rorm Baur draws inspiration from the classic funk and R&B records of the 60’s to make music that is both fresh and familiar. Known for his energetic live performances with his full band, this acoustic in-the-round show gives him a chance to highlight his operatic vocal range. New York-based songwriter John Brodeur plays soulful, melodic music ranging from introspective folk songs to crunchy guitar rock. His songs explore the existential longing of modern life while always remaining immediate and tuneful. In a live solo setting, Brodeur is a master of looping and layering his performance to create rich textures and a full band sound. - Ethan Varian

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King Lollipop Santoros Wyatt Blair and Levitation Room Play Brick and Mortar Music Hall TONIGHT

Some know King Lollipop as Cody Blanchard, guitarist for the legendary Bay Area garage rock group Shannon and The Clams, but to others, he's simply known as the "goblin king of the junkyard, stealing pies from all the windowsills in the wasteland!" In all seriousness, King Lollipop is an artist from Oakland that sings about dumpster diving, trolls and cheeseburgers - in a hiccuping, rockabilly-style voice. Known for having his guitar slung high and the hem of his pants even higher, he looks like he has emerged straight out of a John Waters film, which is something that we at The Deli SF can definitely get behind! He'll be performing in San Francisco at  Brick and Mortar Music Hall TONIGHT with Los Angeles-based artists Santoros, Wyatt Blair and Levitation Room along with Bay Area based DJ, Al Lover

Bringing a sleepy, psych rock style of sound to the line up will be Levitation RoomWyatt Blair is an artist known for combining elements of glam rock guitar stylings, power pop lyricism and garage rock grittiness. Last year he released his album Banana Cream Dream on Burger Records. Santoros is a group of seven that plays a style of frenetic, psych-infused garage rock. They're known to put on an energetic show, and have an album called Ancestros that is worth checking out. -Erin Dage


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