Man, is it just me or did 2010 suffer a major drought of good country/folk music? With only a handful of acts rising above the fold — none of which being good enough to even make my initial year end album list — Sonny Smith is here to save the day with the release of his 100 Records Box Set!
Although I normally save video finds for my weekly round-up, this one from PT Music favorite’sThe Sandwitches is too good not to share now! Although “Kiss Your Feet” is a middle-in-the-pack track from their wonderful debut How to Make Ambient Sadcake, the video is first rate — condensing a typical 90 minute horror movie into a four-minute flick. Directed by Joey Izzo and released a month ago without any fanfare, this video is proof positive that I have to start following more people on vimeo… [Via: GvB]
You can still snag the LP from Turn Up Records, but if you need more convincing before buying, here’s an mp3 of one of my favorites, “The Revisionist”:
I don’t care what Punxsutawney Phil says, it’s freaking springtime in Portland RIGHT NOW! To celebrate the handful of sunny days we’ve had this past month (my standard for declaring a season change is pretty damn low), I put this mix together while boxing up my SAD lamp and dusting off my sunglasses. Ah spring: summer’s warm-up act.
You can download the hour-long mix here (92.5Mb). As for the tracklist, it’s mostly new(er) stuff with some sprinklings of old favorites here and there:
Not entirelytoo surprising, but I guess I have a love affair with San Francisco bands as of late. Sonny and the Sunsets are the latest Golden Gate group to mesmerize me with their music, creating some great beach tunes that aren’t drenched in fuzz and reverb like those newfangled “glo-fi”ers. More Kumbaya around the fire pit than sandy acid-trip, Sonny Smith effortlessly weaves together dual vocal harmonies with easy-going guitar like he’s been doing it all his life (which a look at his discography shows that he pretty much has).
Other than a from-what-I-heard stellar 7” released on Soft Abuse Records — one that is unfortunately sold-out — his LP entitled Tomorrow Is Alright is his first compete effort with his backing band The Sunsets. Reading as a sort-of “who’s who” of the up-and-coming San Fran scene, The Sunsets are composed of members from The Fresh & Onlys, The Dry Spells, and PT Music favorites The Sandwitches. No doubt the inclusion of equally strong musicians have only helped Smith, as Tomorrow is arguably his best work to date. Even after only a cursory listen to the opening track “Too Young to Burn”, it’s enough to warrant scouting out the LP in your local record store, hoping to find one of the 500 copies that were printed.
When listening to “To Young to Burn” you can’t help but realize the communal effort it took to produce the record. Everything from the background “Oooohs and Aaaaahs” to the handclap percussion reeks of collaborative creativity that only a round table discussion of “wouldn’t it be cool if we did this…” could produce. Also, I can imagine when performing live that this collective nature of Smith’s music is sure to yield wonderful audience participation — encouraging sing alongs and claps to the beat like no other band. He’s coming to Portland the 23rd of January, so I’ll be sure to check it out and report back!
But until then, here is an mp3 of “Too Young to Burn” as well as a live video of another one of Sonny and the Sunset’s songs “Stranded”.
For those with a short memory span, The Sandwitches are an indie-pop outfit hailing from San Fran who have stirred up a little bit of a buzz this past year. SoCal based Southpaw Records recently put out an extremely limited 7” featuring the wildly catchy “Back to Sea” (also featured on their LP) as the A-side and a new track entitled “Beatle Screams” for its B-side counterpart.
“Back to Sea” is easily the best song The Sandwitches have made to date, so it’s no surprise that they left the version untouched on the 7” (no alterations, no “acoustic rendition”, etc…) — just great harmonies and easily listening. “Beatle Screams” also has that sing-along appeal which The Sandwitches are known for, but pairs it with a completely different melody that’s more carnival ride than the Liverpudlian one you would expect with such a title. The screams are certainly present, as they close out the final 15 seconds of this 2+ minute track with yelps that are more fluttery than chaotic.
Although not much is gained listening solely to the 7” (their LP How To Make Ambient Sad Cakeshows the breadth of the band a lot better), it’s a good introduction for those who would like to know a little more about the band before laying down $20 for the vinyl.
The Sandwitches are a quaint indie-pop band hailing from San Francisco, one of the epicenters of music for the past couple of years (See: Girls, Thee Oh Sees, The Dodos, etc…). Bucking the trend of most lo-fi “summertime feel” acts these days with psychedelic infused tunes, this all-girl trio invokes harmonies from the 50s layered over chirpy guitar melodies to create that feel-good vibe. Catchy as hell, it’s hard not to find yourself tapping your feet and humming the chorus when you hear their songs — especially the wildly infectious “Back to Sea”.
So far they have one full length LP humorously titled How to Make Ambient Sadcake out now on Turn Up Records. I haven’t procured their full length yet, but I have ordered their most recent 7” as advertised on GvB. Take a look at a recent video posted by Weekly Tape Deck: