Artist of the Month

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October 2015
Shelf Life
"Everyone Make Happy
Everyone Make Happy, the debut LP from Shelf Life, via Lefse Records, finds an absorbing lyrical yet comforting instrumental balance. Scott Leitch (ex-Pirouette/recent drummer for Alex G) cultivates songs that gently sway with internal warmth, while placing listeners in a deeply personal, somber state.
Space-warping synths smoothly land on the surface in “The Curse,” the initial introduction to Everyone Make Happy. Those glowing synths fade to the background as the airy, easily-assimilated acoustic guitar provides shimmers of daylight onto the song’s anguished lyrical tone - “bathe in sister’s blood/talk to the ghost of my dad’s mom/about nothing but heaven and the cancer in her gut.”
Pushed by its percussion, “Mark II” delivers what appears as subtle instrumentation, penetrating beyond the surface as a tight bedroom-pop sound. What starts drearily - “wake me up, when my lungs, start to pump normally” - lifts the shades to the point of optimism. “There’s always something in the sunlight,” riding a casual, almost accidental groove along the way. The album continuously stares directly into sadness, observing a very real place of grief. In “Creature” with its road-worn, country-folk twang , Leitch addresses the questioning nature of a sickness as a somber cloud hangs overhead. “I ask myself what my Father would do/he’d fold his hands lean to belief/but the creature inside him is not inside of me.”
“Low Key Lumber Theft” forebodingly spirals forward as the last dashes of daylight fall below the horizon. The guitar crisply cuts through dusk, venturing further out of sight as it gains momentum and then coolly concludes. With a daydreaming-psych vibe, “Time Traveler” moves into a nostalgic familiar space, which although consoling - “I am meeting the past/it is just how I thought/I have found what I lost” - still cuts - “You had gone away.” An anecdotal throwback, “Double Dare” soaks into your mind with its direct lyricism and catchy melodies, a la Alex G, while “Sinking Just Right” lulls you into a submissive calm of internal self-doubt - “does everybody hate me, just a little, little, little bit” - drifting until your “sinking just right.”
This album delicately balances the weight of emotional darkness with a glimpse of the light, from outside pushing in through the cracks. - Michael Colavita

This is a preview of the new Deli charts - we are working on finalizing them by the end of 2013.

Go to the old Top 300 charts


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Slowness Cre·scen·do and Big Surr Play Neck of the Woods - 10/24

Counter Culture Artist Management Presents: San Francisco based authentic shoegaze band, Slowness will be playing Neck of the Woods on Friday, October 24th. The bill is rounded out by the washed out, etherial local band, Big Surr and the Los Angeles based Cali pop band, Cre·scen·do.

If you're into reverbed, psyched out post modern bands you'll enjoy this show. Big Surr will reflect a more youthful sound compared to the polished and seasoned gazey style of Slowness and Cre·scen·do will play an upbeat tempo driven style of pop rock to make the night reasonably eclectic.

We recommend you make it out to this show. The music will be good and you'll be near the beach. Sounds like a good way to spend a Friday night to us.


The Love Experimental: A Unique Event in Oakland - 10/26

We're excited to share with you the news of a very unique event that is going down in Oakland on October 26th. The Love Experiment brings together a number of talented Bay Area vocalists to sing and perform in the name of love. "A group of singers from the Bay Area had an intriguing thought: with the amount of negativity that surrounds us, what if the only way to respond was with it’s diametric opposite--love."

Oakland based vocalist and member of Moon Candy, Jovan Watkins brought together a number of singers to create a concept that will allow his vision of battling negativity a reality.

The Love Experiment deals with finding love, losing love, giving love and feeling like there’s no more love to give. The most powerful aspect of the Experiment is presenting the idea that love can be a healing force. With that idea at the forefront, the group decided to use proceeds to benefit organizations that are using love to combat negativity. This Experiment will benefit Operation Ceasefire.


The Union Trade Release New Album After Three Year Hiatus

San Francisco based post rock band, The Union Trade is releasing a new album entitled, A Place of Long Years. After a three year hiatus, this new album is a follow up to the bands, 2011 EP, Why We Need Night. Make sure to take a listen to the beautiful, eerie new single, Murmurations from A Place of Long Years below.

On this album which will be released on February 3, 2015 you can hear guest contributions from Tricycle Records label mates Nate Blaz of Geographer on Cello and vocals from Ann Yu of Silver Swans.

We're excited that The Union Trade is back and putting out amazing, haunting music.


Album Review: Al Lover - Sacred Drugs

There is such a thing as a psychedelic rock ‘n’ roll DJ. Al Lover has proven that before, and his newest release, Sacred Drugs proves it again. This debut solo LP  blends fuzzed-out, psychedelic and reverb-drenched layers with driving rhythms and trance-inducing melodies that could have you staring at the visualizer on your computer's music player all night long.

The album's first single, Super Strength (Power Plant) featuring Morgan Delt could fit perfectly to a smoke-filled bar scene from some 60s foreign spy film (the entire album would make a great soundtrack to such a film). The track starts with droning synth layers giving way to a slow beat while Delt’s vocals layer over like this city’s thick morning fog.

The track that stands out the most is The Shadow Shadow Self Shake. It starts with a reverb drenched hip-hop inspired drum beat setting up for a solid and danceable track which continues for most of the song. However, just shy of the 2-minute mark in the track, a distant and fuzz riddled guitar makes its presence known adding more depth to what was already a solid track.

Sacred Drugs is sexy and eerie. It is everything you would want to hear in a club or your bedrooms with a drink in hand. The 14-track album dropped on Oct. 9 on vinyl via Psych Army Intergalactic and Crash Symbols (cassette). Love on it. -Skyler Warren


Listen to Two Exclusive Royal Jelly Jive Tracks + Album Release at Slim's TOMORROW - 10/9

San Francisco based alternative swing band, Royal Jelly Jive will be celebrating the release of their upcoming full length self titled album. The event will take place at Slim's in San Francisco TOMORROW and the line up will include, The Highway Poets and Marty O’Reilly & The Old Soul Orchestra.

Royal Jelly Jive is a very unique band here in the Bay Area. With all the underground garage, experimental, psych and folk music dominating the local music scene, Royal Jelly Jive dares to be different as they draw from more traditional music styles. Lauren Bjelde has an intriguing, strong voice and shows her talent and ability to command the stage as the front woman. The band also includes the lead singer and songwriter Jesse Lemme Adams of the band Lemme Adams. We encourage you to support Royal Jelly Jive and buy their new album, Royal Jelly Jive!

Today, we're going to premiere a couple of completely unheard tracks from the new album. The songs are entitled Indian George and H.M.S Soulbay. We're excited to share these exclusive songs with you and we know you'll enjoy them. Do your best to attend their album release show at Slim's tomorrow, October 9th! -je




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