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August 2014
Vinyl Thief
""Fathoms"
"
mp3

In high school, my friend Craig Lee took it upon himself to educate me on what to do when I got high, which was: take a 311 CD and play it through Windows media player, and set the visualization to “Ambience.” With those days behind me (and a few subsequent years lost devil-sticking for tips as I followed 311 tours) I had long forgotten that particular use for Windows until I listened to Vinyl Thief’s debut album, “Fathoms.”

 

Released July 22nd, “Fathoms” listens like an entity. Granted, all albums vary song to song, and this one is no different, but few pluck the same rubber band in your brain and sustain it throughout it the duration. Fewer still can be so closely likened to getting lost watching a pixelated visualization of music on your ’01 Dell, wondering:“Whoa, how did they know to do that?”

 

Vinyl Thief is a synth driven powerhouse of a band that has been gathering acclaim since the release of their “Rebel Hill” EP in 2012. The group has essentially come of age playing together, from their high school inception to logging hours of practice in a church-sanctuary-turned-rehearsal space to perfect the sound and rapport that makes Vinyl Thief extraordinary. There are not many bands with such an expert handle on their sound.

 

There are a few anchors in Vinyl Thief that make them so listenable. Their synthesizers are going to do something beautiful. Grayson Proctor’s vocals are going to run through an impressive range without ever sounding forced or theatrical. And every song is going to reliably blow your mind in some way. It might be on a smaller scale, like when the guitar breaks the silence after the bridge in “London” with what I can only imagine a swoon would sound like. Or it could be big, like when the track “Rebel Hill” finally reaches a crescendo after a series of goosebump-inducing change-ups. The band has a knack for zig-ing when a zag is expected, going soft instead of loud, or even bigger when they’re already turned up.

 

Vinyl Thief is one of the best examples of the modern face of Nashville music, where already talented musicians go through great pains to learn their craft and the business around it. This is a band that is one sync away from national exposure. Be prepared to hear much more Vinyl Thief after Apple or Toyota licenses one of their tracks. Considering that “Fathoms” is a collection of their best material meticulously recorded and lovingly presented like a bowl of all-red jelly beans ready for the grabbing, this is only a matter of time. –Terra James-Jura


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Album Review: Steep Ravine - Trampin' On

Steep Ravine has been steadily refining its unique mixture of folk, gypsy jazz, and bluegrass into something both increasingly intangible and captivating at once. Known widely around the bay area for their astounding live performances, instrumental prowess, diverse musical influences, and primary compositional ingenuity of guitarist Simon Linsteadt, the band continues to operate alongside a growing fan base of young and old alike.

Their all-original debut Trampin’ On is a poignant, laid-back, and polished blend of their diverse influences. “White Mare” builds a narrative around a single image; a lover’s comment causes Linsteadt to reflect on his origins in the steady, introspective “Wooden Floors”; the melodic refrain of “Lazy Tide” calls to mind The Band’s Last Waltz theme; and mandolinist Andy O’brien’s traditional-lean shines through in his composition “No.37”. The album closes with the relaxed country breeze of “C’mon Home”, and as the agile group continues its journey, the summer ahead is brimming with shows in Washington,Oregon, Canada, Colorado, New Mexico, and California. - Justin Kohlberg

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Music Video Premiere: Mark Nelsen - Homeward

We promised that we would premiere local singer/songwriter extraordinaire, Mark Nelsen’s new music video this week, and now we are fulfilling that promise.

The title track from Nelsen’s new solo album, Homeward has been morphed into a beautiful live action music video, and the film is just as impressive as the music. With a ‘50s era art nouveau mystique, and hazy intergalactic touches, this video brings a new perspective on psych music and experimental local rock and roll. Mark Nelsen has a unique artistic vision for this new album, and we think his creative ideas and productions should be praised.

If you missed his album release show at the Vortex Room last weekend, you can catch his full live band, Mark Nelsen Band at the Down Dirty Shake residency at Milk Bar tomorrow night. You won’t regret checking out his band, and indulging in the strange outer space experience he has created around his new album Homeward. -je

Mark Nelsen - Homeward from Andrew Herwitz on Vimeo.

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Free Salamander Exhibit Plays Bottom of the Hill - 7/30

Oakland based art-progressive metal band, Free Salamander Exhibit is playing live at Bottom of the Hill with Drag City Records band, Dead Rider on July 30th. This show will kick off a brief tour the band will be embarking on. This mysteriously heavy and eerie band has yet to release a recording.

FSE employs clout from their defunct music project, Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, and is slowly moving their way through becoming an emerging, recording local band in their own right. We encourage you to take a chance on a band you’ve never heard before. That is the fun of being a part of the local underground scene. You can hear a little of this, and a little of that, and hopefully become pleasantly surprised as you wade through the array of different genres and artists who perform in the Bay Area. Check out Free Salamander Exhibit and tell your friends how the show was. Word of mouth is a great way to get the scene excited!

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Summer 2014. NYC Issue #39
(10 Year Anniversary!)
Read it here


Botanist Releases New Song - Callistemon

San Francisco based underground experimental black metal band, Botanist has released a new track from their upcoming album, VI: Flora LP. We like strange music, and Botanist creates mathy, experimental black metal for the music connoisseur.

The new track, Callistemon is pretty trippy and apologetically ambient. With rich screamo vocals, this off kilter metal band creates a chilling atmospheric vortex of a unique combination of soundscapes that are probably under appreciated, particularity by traditional metal enthusiasts. Nonetheless, the music is interesting if anything. We recommend you check out what Botanist is doing, especially if you're looking for something new as a listener. -je

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Mark Nelsen Band Celebrates Their Album Release at the Vortex Room - 7/5

San Francisco based psych soul musical project, Mark Nelsen Band has released their new album, Homeward EP this week. This chillingly poignant and beautiful album, is a prelude to the band's upcoming live performance at the Vortex Room in San Francisco on Saturday, July 5th. Nate Porter, Justine Lucas and Xeena Paul will be supporting artists on the bill. If you're into singer/songwriters who enact highly proficient and moving musical performances, you should definitely check this show out.

We'll be premiering Mark Nelsen Band's upcoming music video for the title track, Homeward next week. Keep your eyes and ears open for that. Until then, enjoy a track from the new album, and make sure you buy a custom cassette tape with download card at the show this weekend!

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Congratulations to Annie Girl and the Flight for Winning the Deli Magazine San Francisco Artist of the Month Poll

The fans have spoken, and we'd like to congratulate Annie Girl and the Flight for winning the Deli Magazine San Francisco Artist of the Month Poll! It was a close race, but this talented female fronted band whose music washes over you like a warm mist, has stolen the hearts and favor of a number of our readers. 

We wish them success and the best in all of their endeavors! 

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Black Cobra Vipers Annie Girl and the Flight and FpodBpod Play Amnesia - 7/5

Amnesia will be hosting a strong local line up this weekend. San Francisco based Black Cobra Vipers will be headining the show, along with up and coming mover and shaker, Annie Lipetz' post shoegaze band, Annie Girl and the Flight and garage psych band, FpodBpod. We're excited to share the details of this event with you, because this is going to be an impressive show.

We totally recommend you make it out and support these hardworking local musical outfits, this Saturday, July 5th at Amnesia in San Francicso!


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