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November 2014
Sheer Mag
Relatively new outfit, South Philly’s Sheer Mag, fronted by The Shakes’ Christina Halladay, wastes no time with filler on their debut 7”. The four-track release is equal parts garage and punk bravado.
“What You Want” kick-starts the record with jangly percussion and pristinely fuzzed-out riffs. As the song’s melody unfolds, Halladay’s screamed-out, heartfelt vocals recount and flawlessly capture the dissonance of romantic antics and their aftermath. Guitar-drenched interludes and buzzing drums reminiscent of Colleen Green, circa Cujo, and early demos by Bleached render the piece memorable, while noisy shreds near the three-minute mark bring to mind the lo-fi glory of the Useless Eaters’ Daily Commute.
Sheer Mag’s “Sit and Cry” is bittersweet and abrasive. Opening with crisply executed riffage, the second track off the band’s EP audibly embodies the malaise of its namesake. Halladay’s vocals, coupled with trippy distortion, amplify the emotional nuance of the release as a whole. As “Sit and Cry” nears its end, chords morph into reverb as she croons “cry, cry.” Soon after, the satisfyingly moody “Point Breeze” begins. Starting off with a rhythmic drive evocative of Cousin Brian or Throwing Up, the undertone of “Point Breeze” captivates listeners nostalgic for Slutever’s Pretend to Be Nice. Crisp with caustic yet earnest diction by Halladay, the song is energetically catching from start to end.
The album’s closer, “Hard Lovin,” is gritty, like a mellowed-out Bobbyteens’ B-side. Shaking tambourine and whining guitar lines perfectly compliment her rowdy vocals as the song progresses. Thematically, “Hard Lovin” is a kindred spirit to acts like No Bunny or Hunx and His Punx. It’s a song for romantics with a penchant for rock ‘n’ roll. It’s an anthem.
Overall, Sheer Mag's debut release is brief. Despite this, the four-song EP is more than enough to wet the appetites of their soon-to-be adoring fans. - Dianca Potts

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Cellar Doors Denney Joints and The Shivas Support The Warlocks For Two Bay Area Shows - 2/14 & 2/15

Cellar DoorsDenney Joints and The Shivas will be supporting the influential neo psych band, The Warlocks this weekend at DNA Lounge in San Francisco on Friday, February 14th and at Eli's Mile High Club in Oakland on Saurday, February 15th.

Cellar Doors are a San Francisco based band that musically blurs the lines between post-punk and psych rock. They seamlessly mix both genres, which makes for a dark, haunting and ultimately enveloping sound. Denney Joints is an Oakland solo act with a taste for ‘80s goth vocals, dream-like choruses and a drum machine. Last year, he released an album called On Repeat on Exitos Gnosis Records. The Shivas are a Portland based band that takes joy in creating surf rock riffs, reverb-heavy vocals and psych rock breakdowns. Known for energetic performances, they put on a raucous and rowdy show.

And with those bands in tow, The Warlocks play chaotically dreamy psych rock songs that embody a drone rock style within their elusively genre bending sound. What makes The Warlocks’ string of Bay Area shows so special is that they're throwing a San Francisco release party for their most recent album, Skull Worship. Skull Worship is their first release in five years. Currently a quintet, the Los Angeles based band has been compared to the Velvet Underground, Spacemen 3 and Jesus and Mary Chain. With ties to Brian Jonestown Massacre (vocalist Bobby Hecksher was a former guitarist for BJM), the band has gained cult status and has established themselves as one of the most impressive psych rock bands to date. - Erin Dage

Blackalicious Performs at Slim's - 2/14

The bay’s preeminent indie hip-hop duo, Blackalicious will be performing this Valentine’s Day at Slim’s in San Francisco. Pioneers of The West Coast Underground Hip Hop, Gift of Gab and Chief Xcel have been making eccentric, soulful hip-hop for more than two decades. Like fellow west coast “alternative” rap groups, the Pharcyde and Jurassic 5, Blackalicious favors classic R&B and jazz samples and lofi sounds to the overproduced beats of mainstream hip-hop. Xcel’s funky beats combined with Gab’s complex rhymes and uplifting messages, make the group one of the most charismatic and compelling hip-hop groups touring today.

The duo will be performing classic cuts from their deep and extensive catalogue, as well as new tracks off their upcoming album Imani, which is set for release in June 2014. Joining the group at Slim’s will be special guests Lifesavas, Kween, Myron and Mission-based musical collective Jazz Mafia.

Bring your Valentine to Slim’s for a night of some of the Bay Area’s best hip-hop. - Ethan Varian


Annie Girl and the Flight Everyone is Dirty and Balms Perform at The Hemlock Tavern TONIGHT

Annie Girl and the Flight, Everyone is Dirty and Balms are set to bring their haunting styles of indie pop to The Hemlock Tavern in San Francisco, tonight. Balms describe their layered, shoegaze-influenced music as dark-pop, a moniker that is certainly fitting of the band’s sound. The trio envelops their delicate vocal melodies with a wash of guitar and reverb that is both foreboding and strangely mesmerizing.

Combining the grit of 90’s era Sonic Youth with the pop sensibilities of Jenny Lewis and Rilo Kiley, the Oakland’s Everyone is Dirty have established themselves as one of the East Bay’s most exciting emerging acts. Lead singer Sivan Gur-Arieh’s darkly seductive vocals and electric violin are the highlight of the group’s transfixing live performances.

Annie Girl and The Flight close out the night with their hypnotic, trance-inducing art-rock. Annie has performed solo and with numerous groups around SF, but with her new band The Flight, her introspective songs take on an edgier and more psychedelic sound. - Ethan Varian


Milk Was A Bad Choice at The Milk Bar Showcases Religious Girls GuMMyBeAR The Classical and Eitch TONIGHT

Every Wednesday, San Francisco based bar and venue, The Milk Bar hosts an event showcasing local talent called, Milk Was a Bad Choice. This week, Bay Area artists Religious Girls, GuMMyBeAR, The Classical and Eitch will all be playing this ongoing event.

Oakland mainstays, Religious Girls have been perfecting their performances down to an art since 2008. Making the bold choice to play on the floor rather than a stage, they strive to have both the audience and performer on the same level. Playing their own brand of experimental pop which is heavily dependent on harmonies and percussion with intricate time signatures, we're sure that Religious Girls will wow audiences tonight!

Another Oakland based artist, GuMMyBeAR is well known for playing experimental "glitch" hip-hop. Their instrumentals for the most part, creates light and airy beats. The Classical, a San Francisco based group, brings their style of subdued avant-garde indie pop to the table. And finally, San Francisco and New York based artist Eitch, pronounced, "H" has made a sound all her own. Striving to make music with equal parts alternative, electronica and pop, she has coined the term "altronipop" to describe her music.

Be sure to see all of these artists tonight at the Milk Bar! - Erin Dage


Happy Diving Releases New Music Video For Never Been

Bay Area grunge-pop band, Happy Diving has recently come out with a video for their song Never Been. Similar to Pinkerton-era Weezer and Dinosaur Jr., the song is melody-laden and filled to the brim with angst in the best ways possible. In the video, Happy Diving plays the duration of the song while photos from a projector flash rapidly on the wall behind them. Much like the song, the video's shots are layered and create a hazy atmosphere. We at the Deli SF encourage you to listen to this band's wonderfully sludgy style of power pop. With dead pan vocal delivery and a healthy helping of feedback in tow, Happy Diving will be releasing a self-titled EP on cassette on local label Father/Daughter Records on February 18th. -Erin Dage




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