Category Archives: music

Favorite Albums of 2016

favorite albums 2016

These are the albums that were released in 2016 that got the most play, listed in alphabetical order:

   Casper Skulls – Lips & Skull
   Daughter – Not to Disappear
   DIIV – Is the is Are
   exmagician – Scan the Blue
   Flyying Colours – Mindfullness
   Living Hour – Living Hour
   Operators – Blue Wave
  Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool
   Sunflower Bean – Human Ceremony
   Syd Arthur – Apricity
   Wild Nothing – Life of Pause
   Woods – City Sun Eater in the River of Light

Favorite Songs Released in 2016  Favorite songs released in 2016

Spotify playlist below:

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Catherine Wheel’s Ferment and Chrome to be re-released on 180-gram vinyl

Catherine Wheel bassist Dave Hawes reports today that their first 2 albums, ‘Ferment’ and ‘Chrome’, will be released on 180-gram vinyl.

This is great news for those who have been trying to acquire either of these out-of-print albums on vinyl in the past decade. They can easily fetch $150 for mint condition copies.

Dave also reports that Cherry Red will NOT be the company handling this re-issue. This is important if you followed the 2010 CD reissues and the quality control issues they had.

Instead, these are being released by Music On Vinyl, a Netherlands company who specializes in 180-gram re-issues, and distributed by Bertus Distributie. If you are thinking of contacting them for more info then don’t, I’ve already tried. I think it’s too early in the process for them to reveal anything as they couldn’t share anything more. If you want to read their faq then that may answer some basic questions.

Their mastering engineer’s experience is listed as:

“Our mastering engineer has 40 years of experience cutting records for many major artists like Michael Jackson, Alan Parsons Project, Santana, Mother Love Bone, Stone Temple Pilots, Faith No More and many more.”

“Which masters do you use?”

“We use the best audio available to cut our records. We receive and use different kinds of masters: analogue tapes, original metal parts, lacquers cut from analogue tapes and high res digital files 192/96khz/24 bit. Music On Vinyl does not use CD’s as masters.”

No release date information has been given yet but I expect it to be a while.

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New debut LP from exmagician

Scan The Blue, the new debut LP from exmagician who hails from Belfast is out now on Bella Union. Bella Union is the same label that includes Beach House, Father John Misty, Fleet Foxes, The Walkmen, The Flaming Lips, and Wild Nothing.

The exmagician album reminds me of Built To Spill, Modest Mouse, and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club.

exmagician.com/

Bio:

exmagician’s debut album Scan The Blue, released by Bella Union on March 25th, sees longtime collaborators Danny Todd and James Smith looking to the future with new vigour and confidence. The Belfast duo, who have been friends since their teens, have made a multifaceted, sonically adventurous statement that fully justifies their decision to take full control of their work.

Danny and James last broke cover as the songwriters behind Cashier No.9, whose lush, David Holmes-produced album To The Death Of Fun (Bella Union) brought them critical acclaim (Best Album at the NI Music Awards, shortlisted for Best Album of 2011 by the Irish Times), strong radio support from BBC 6 Music, Radio 1 and Radio 2 and a string of sold-out club dates and major festival appearances across the UK and Ireland.

Since then the pair have moved on and returned with something new. Self-written and produced with the help of Rocky O’Reilly (And So I Watch You From Afar, General Fiasco, Mojo Fury), Scan The Blue leaves behind the Laurel Canyon sheen of Cashier No.9 in favour of something louder, fuzzier and grittier, born of a playful attitude, greater confidence and a load of new pedals and synths. “It’s the dirt under the fingernails,” says Danny with a smile.

The musical reinvention is apparent from the very first seconds of opening track Kiss That Wealth Goodbye, which steams in with a filthy riff, the product of a guitar and a synth melding together so you can’t tell which is which – a feature of the album. “It’s like early Beefheart meets Add N To X,” says Danny – a measure of just how broad the duo’s influences are. “David [Holmes] lent me a Korg MS-20 and then I bought one myself. That synth shaped a lot of the record.”

Danny and James’s love for adventurous, psychedelic music from all eras is the current through Scan The Blue, as well as what James terms their “obsession” with detail. There’s Place Your Bets, a hopeful lyric over a shuffling rhythm that gives way to a widescreen coda, all layered synths and a trumpet solo from recurring guest Linley Hamilton. You might hear The Fall or Super Furry Animals on the swinging fuzz-stomp of Wild Eyes; late-period Pavement at their most graceful on the airy, spacious centrepiece Smile To The Gallery; or the heavy-lidded grooves of The Beta Band on Plan Retrieval, one of two songs sung by James, along with the poised ballad Feet Don’t Fail.

It’s a rich record full of sonic surprises, Danny and James’s decision to take the production reins themselves paying off in spades. Yet as James puts it, “The song is king. It has to be bulletproof before we start fucking about with it at all.” These songs have been carefully crafted over some time and only recorded and tweaked once the duo knew they were ready to be heard. Danny compares the process to sculpture, “chipping away at it” until the song is finished.

As for subject matter, don’t expect love songs… “Hope, trust and revenge, they always fall into those three categories,” says Danny. The title track, Scan The Blue, is evidence of that – a gorgeous slice of chamber-pop that brings the record to a satisfyingly hazy close. “It’s now time to drown it out, to move and shift the clouds of doubt away,” Danny sings on the chorus. After so many years of friendship and collaboration, these two songwriter-producers are looking to the future with their eyes firmly set on the horizon.

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Favorite Albums of 2015

These were my most listened to albums that were released in 2015.

Listed in alphabetical order:

Autobahn – Dissemble (post-punk)
Beach House – Thank Your Lucky Stars (dream pop)
Beach Slang – The Things We Do To Find People Who Feel Like Us (indie rock)
Crocodiles – Boys (shoegaze)
Deerhunter – Fading Frontier (indie rock, shoegaze)
Father John Misty – I Love You, Honeybear (indie rock)
Flyying Colours – ROYGBIV (shoegaze)
Foals – What Went Down (indie rock)
Jack Ladder – Playmates (indie rock)
Ought – Sun Coming Down (post-punk)
Swervedriver – I Wasn’t Born To Lose You (shoegaze, alternative rock)
Unknown Mortal Orchestra – Multi-Love (indie rock)
Viet Cong – Viet Cong (indie rock, noise pop)

Spotify playlist: favorite indie rock albums of 2015

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San Francisco Bay Area live music venues – seating capacity

This was originally posted here about a decade ago and was due for an update as there have been many changes. If you’d like other venues added or corrections made then please comment.

Listed by venue size, smallest to largest.

Venue
Capacity
 
The Hemlock
San Francisco
55 [info]
Hotel Utah
San Francisco
88 [info]
Thee Parkside
San Francisco
100
Red Devil Lounge
San Francisco
200 [info]
Brick and Mortar
San Francisco
250 [info]
Cafe du Nord
San Francisco
250 [info]
Swedish American Hall
San Francisco
300 [info]
Monarch Club
San Francisco
300 [info]
Elbo Room
San Francisco
300 [info]
Bottom of the Hill
San Francisco
350 [info]
Rickshaw Stop
San Francisco
400 [info]
New Parish
Oakland
450 [info]
The Independent
San Francisco
500 [info]
The Chapel
San Francisco
500 [info]
Slim’s
San Francisco
500 [info]
Great American Music Hall
San Francisco
600 [info]
Bimbo’s 365
San Francisco
685 [info]
DNA Lounge
San Francisco
800 [info] small room capacity is 300
Herbst Theatre
San Francisco
892 [info]
Palace of Fine Arts
San Francisco
962 [info]
The Mezzanine
San Francisco
1,000 [info]
Regency Grand Ballroom
San Francisco
1,050 [info]
The Fillmore
San Francisco
1,150 [info]
UC Theatre Taube Family Music Hall
Berkeley
1,400 [info]
SF Design Concourse
San Francisco
1,600 [info]
Zellerbach Auditorium
Berkeley
2,089 [info]
The Warfield
San Francisco
2,250 [info]
The Fox Theater
Oakland
2,800 [info]
The Paramount
Oakland
3,040 [info]
Masonic Center
San Francisco
3,165 [info]
Berkeley Community Theater
Berkeley
3,500 [info]
Bill Graham Civic
San Francisco
7,000 [info]
Greek Theater
Berkeley
8,500 [info]
Concord Pavilion
Concord
12,500 [info]
HP Pavilion
San Jose
19,190 [info]
Oracle Arena
Oakland
19,596 [info]
Shoreline Amphitheater
Mountain View
22,500 [info]
Oakland Coliseum
Oakland
63,140 [info]
Levi’s Stadium
Santa Clara
75,000 [info] 76,976 record

 

 

 

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