Tash Sultana: “But you keep on rolling, Like a rolling stone… And you fight until the finish line, Carries you home” – Live at the Fillmore in SF (Oct 21, 2017)

Written by Erica Andreozzi

My heart begins to race as I recall the night that Tash Sultana put San Francisco’s legendary Fillmore under a spell. This gorgeous, gifted goddess — standing just 5 feet tall (my size!) — had everyone’s jaw on the floor as she flawlessly looped her hauntingly beautiful vocals with a menagerie of instruments (guitar, mandolin, keys, percussion, trumpet, pan flute, etc.) with swift execution. I caught myself grabbing my head several times (hoping it wouldn’t explode), asking myself, “HOW IN THE HELL?…” Tash first wrapped her hands around a guitar at the age of 3 years old, and I can only imagine that she clung to it for safety as others would their blankie. It’s apparent from her live performances that she plays music not just out of love, but out of necessity.  She grips her guitar like she is gripping for dear life, and watching her slay her inner demons (she mentioned struggling with mental illness) one instrument at a time (I counted at least 10) was one of the most touching, euphoric musical experiences… Pure joy for one of the most pure, self taught music makers of our generation. She’s a comet of positivity that’s set on a trajectory to change the world for the better. 😀
I first stumbled upon Tash on my Facebook feed about a year ago, only to find out later she used busk on Bourke Street in Melbourne around the same time(Winter/Spring 2015) that I lived there. In fact, my friend Megan said that she was lured out of H&M by Tash’s spine-tingling vocals, and was in a deadlock watching her magic manifest on the streets. The song that reeled her in was ‘Harvest Love,’ a track that Tash described as one “for anyone who’s having a hard time at the moment… keep on rolling.” It was therefore pretty heart-wrenching to learn later, when Megan and I saw Tash together at the Swedish American Hall back in February, that it was written about a good friend who she had recently lost: “We came to the states a while back, but I had to turn around and come back home because we lost someone very important to us a couple days later, and it kind just taught me this thing about impermanence, and how everything in your life is actually impermanent; and it’s kinda like, you know, there are two things in your like that are inevitable: you are born, and then you die… In between that gap of life and death, wherever it’s gonna take you, it’s gonna take you, and at the end of the day at some point, there is a space that you get to fill with the best vibes that you possibly can feel… We come in peace. We just ask everybody to love the FUCK out of everybody… This song goes out to anyone that has lost anyone recently. It’s called Harvest Love.” Megan and I looked at each other with tears welling up in our eyes, and we knew this one would never leave our hearts. You could tell that the intense reach of this song comes from a place of intense pain, and Tash does not hold back as she wails the first verse:

“Harvest your love, harvest your love, for me
I’ll lay it down, I’ll lay it down, slowly
Put your love in the sand
As it makes no demands
I believe
But you keep on rolling
Like a rolling stone
And you fight until the finish line
Carries you home”

(I want to purchase ‘Harvest Love‘ but can’t find it anywhere online!)

What impresses me most is Tash’s ability to turn pain into beauty, and I was shocked to learn that both chart-topping hits ‘Jungle‘ and ‘Notion‘ were a “product of heartbreak.”Jungle‘ is the song that moved her bedroom recordings into SOLD OUT VENUES ALL ACROSS THE GLOBE – a true masterpiece from start to finish. It’s as if Tash uses music as a shield again negative thoughts (depression) and negative influences (drug addiction), and is excited for others to embrace this same musical armour. In fact, she gave a nod to her US audiences who are used to “growing up in such an awesome music culture that you go because you LOVE IT, whereas back at home in Australia, everyone just wants to get fucked up all the time.” I was really touched to learn that Tash has became a mental health ambassador for Australia’s BeyondBlue, an organization that provides information and support on mental health.

I still recall being lathered in chills when I read this post on her wall back in January: “Social reminder to anyone who is feeling the heat or wants to give up. DON’T. Every time you take a step up within yourself, you take a step up within the world. In the music world or any creative path is a sensitive path to tread. Some people are going to fall in love with what you do, some people aren’t going to get it and other people are just going to be literally complete ASSHOLES. So when you come across those assholes, which you will there is a new emoji that you can use which is this🖕and just remind yourself that you were in a perfectly happy mood before you knew they existed, so forget they do because they’re just a bunch of cunts. Put your head on your shoulders and kick some absolute fucking ass.  Tune it up to 11, shove it in their face and down their throats And DO NOT stop creating. Oh and also don’t forget to tell them to get fucked. Keep on going. The ones the matter are the ones who show love.” That last line hit me like a brick wall, and it’s simple but profound message will remain with me forever.
Tash kicked off her set at the Fillmore with some serious smoke (‘Big Smoke‘) and has some house rules to lay down before SETTING US ALL ABLAZE:
“This is to be followed or you can please GET THE F*CK OUT OF HERE…< span style=”color: #3366ff”>1) If you are racist, get the fuck out 2) If you are homophobic, get the fuck out3) If you are transphobic, GET THE FUCK OUT. < span style=”color: #3366ff”>Cause the world can be a bit of a harsh place but I’m trying to leave it in a nice scenario… Sweeet, just don’t be a dickhead and we’re all in sweet.”  ❤
HELL YES. I’m glad there were no dickheads that night. I wish more musicians were as outspoken as she is.

After ‘Big Smoke‘ came ‘Gemini‘ (sick percussion), ‘Notion‘ (SLAYED), ‘Murder to the Mind‘ (during which she whips out the trumpet and tantalizes us with tender toots!), ‘Synergy‘ (after she jams out furiously on mandolin and BEAT-BOXES A PAN FLUTE), a song (untitled video below) with a hauntingly beautiful keyboard intro that sounds like a symphony of strings (really wish I knew the name of it!), and ‘Jungle‘ (MASSIVE DANCE PARTY – duh!). THEN, as if Tash could not freaking BLOW MINDS EVEN MORE, she TAKES A SEAT for an experience that I simply cannot put into words. It just won’t do justice. Tash first graces the strings with one hand, getting us in the groove with melodic medleys that remind me of a cross between flamenco and post-rock. But just as we start getting in the groove, Tash switches it up and starts attacking the strings with the ferocity of a lion, smiling as she does so. It’s as if she enjoys the thrill of getting us going one way and then redirecting us to see if we are still on our toes (like what I used enjoy doing with my opponents in soccer, haha). She’s got extraordinary ease with her audience that can be attributed to years of hailing crowds on a busy streets and winning the hearts of strangers. This wicked 14 min guitar solo (titled ‘Blackbird‘) exemplifies the extensive breadth of her musical abilities and the eclectic influences that shape her unique, one-in-a-million kind of sound. Tash Sultana is not only a make of music, she is a maker of magic. I don’t know anyone who is not put under her spell. I’m just so glad the world has recognized this too; Not only has she racked up SOLD OUT TOURS in US, Europe, and Australian (and soon South America), but she has recieved multiple music nominations, including Triple J’s hottest artist of the year and ARIA’s (1) Best Independent Release (Notion), (2) Breakthrough Artist, (3) Best Blues & Roots Album (Notion), and (4) Best Australian Live Act. I’ve “GOT THIS NOTION” that Tash Sultana is going to change the world with her music. Well, let’s face it – she pretty much already has. ❤

*Check out my review for her opener, The Pierce Brothers. Glad to have discovered them!

And more from Tash’s performance at Swedish American music hall back in February!

<<
tps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-RVkFmyboCw

This show was one of my top 10 for 2017, alongside War On Drugs and many others.  Other reviews can be found here: She Keeps Bees, Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile, Pierce Brothers, Silversun Pickups, Minus the Bear, and Public Service Broadcasting.< /span>< strong>Previous Playlists: Capsized, Creature Comfort, I Know You Know, Feeling Electric, Wake Up, Oceans Away, I Want it All, Standing Rock, Jungle, When Things Fall Apart, and more…<<
heck out more videos on my YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/eandreozFacebook: https://www.facebook.com/Beatsthatsetmypulse/Instagram: beatsthatsetmypulse

Twitter: @beatsthatsetmy
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Up All Night (Playlist: Oct 29, 2017)

Up all Night

Compiled by Erica Andreozzi

FRESH NEW PLAYLIST (54 songs) inspired by recent shows/sets (The War on Drugs, Benjamin Booker, She Keeps Bees, Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile, Jen Cloher, Tash Sultana, Pierce Brothers, Silversun Pickups, Father John Misty, Minus the Bear, Broken Social Science, The Belle Game, The National, Public Service Broadcasting, Skyscraper Mori, Maggie Rogers, Frendship, and Oh Wonder). There was additional influence from recent track/album releases by Charlotte Cardin, Walk the Moon, Overcoats Tune-Yards, Sharon Van Etten, and Outlines (side project of James Graham from The Twilight Sad). Although title track ‘Up All Night‘ was on my previous playlist (Capsized), I included it here since it was my ULTIMATE ANTHEM for Sept/Oct and FLIPPED MY LID when I saw this live at the Greek Theater Berkeley earlier this month.
“There’s no way, If I hold on
The shots may ring, Through a lonely hall
But the hole in my head, Emptied out into a love
Came pouring out into a life”

That show was one of my top 10 for 2017, and you can see why in my War On Drugs review. Other reviews can be found here: Benjamin Booker, She Keeps Bees, Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile, Tash Sultana, Pierce Brothers, Silversun Pickups, Minus the Bear, Broken Social Science, and Public Service Broadcasting

Check out my fb music page (https://www.facebook.com/Beatsthatsetmypulse/) and YouTube page (http://www.youtube.com/user/eandreoz) for pics/videos from these shows.

Previous Playlists: Capsized, Creature Comfort, I Know You Know, Feeling Electric, Wake Up, Oceans Away, I Want it All, Standing Rock, Jungle, When Things Fall Apart, and more…

(In order to access the playlist, you have to press the 3 vertical dots in the upper right hand corner and select download. You can then cancel the download immediately and still have access to the playlist. If you are still having uses, let me know and I can send you a link to download the tracks!)

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  1. On + Off- Maggie Rogers
  2. Truth Is Heavy- Benjamin Booker
  3. Surrender-  Walk the Moon
  4. Gimmie- She Keeps Bees
  5. Up All Night- The War On Drugs
  6. Main Girl- Charlotte Cardin
  7. The Wild Kind- Silversun Pickups
  8. Keep In Mind- Pierce Brothers
  9. Protest Song- Broken Social Scene
  10. Continental Breakfast- Courtney Barnett And Kurt Vile
  11. High On Humans- Oh Wonder
  12. Believe- Benjamin Booker
  13. Friendly Fires- Silversun Pickups
  14. Spirit- The Belle Game
  15. Murder to the Mind- Tash Sultana
  16. Untogether- Courtney Barnett And Kurt Vile
  17. Split Stones- Maggie Rogers
  18. Invisible- Minus The Bear
  19. Breezy- She Keeps Bees
  20. Latchkey Kids- Silversun Pickups
  21. Up Again-  The Belle Game
  22. The Slow Drag Under-  Benjamin Booker
  23. Towers And Masons- Broken Social Scene
  24. Fear Is Like A Forest- Courtney Barnett And Kurt Vile
  25. Carpet- Frenship
  26. Take A Shot- Pierce Brothers
  27. Mystik- Tash Sultana
  28. Wait Up For You- The Belle Game
  29. Over Everything- Courtney Barnett And Kurt Vile
  30. Cherry Wine- Overcoats
  31. Strong Woman- Jen Cloher
  32. I’ll Still Destroy You-  The National
  33. Nightcrawling- Saint Raymond
  34. Nothing To Find- The War On Drugs
  35. Ultralife- Oh Wonder
  36. Genevieve- Pierce Brothers
  37. Our Beloved Dead- Out Lines
  38. Peepin’ Tom- Courtney Barnett And Kurt Vile
  39. Winter Dream- Skyscraper Mori
  40. Flying Home (Live)- Pierce Brothers
  41. Look at Your Hands- Tune-Yards
  42. Chippewa- Benjamin Booker
  43. There Is a Saved Place- Out Lines
  44. All Or None/Dark Horse- She Keeps Bees
  45. Please Take Me With You- Broken Social Scene
  46. Kai’s Song (Acoustic)-  Overcoats
  47. Thinking Of A Place- The War On Drugs
  48. Big Smoke, Pt. 2- Tash Sultana
  49. Strangest Thing- The War On Drugs
  50. Everest- Public Service Broadcasting
  51. Born To Beg- The National
  52. Measures & Locations- Skyscraper Mori
  53. I Wish I Knew- Sharon Van Etten
  54. Ballad Of The Dying Man- Father John Misty

*Check out full videos from the night on my YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/eandreoz

Instagram: beatsthatsetmypulse
Twitter: @beatsthatsetmy

Vancouver Sleep Clinic – “All of the sinners, all of the saints, All of the beauty, all of the pain, In the loss, in the gain, I’m not afraid”: Bottom of the Hill in SF (April 17, 2017

Written by Erica Andreozzi

Vancouver Sleep Clinic‘s first show in SF at the Rickshaw Stop back in December had us begging for their return, especially with the release of their highly anticipated debut album, ‘Revival.’ A revival is surely what they spurred on last night at Bottom of the Hill. I could not help but watch everyone on the audience be lifted up by Tim’s angelic vocals and haunting howls as they stared up at him with eager eyes. Star struck by his fine, fierce falsetto, there was a sense of disbelief shared by the entire room. It’s hard to believe that he wrote his first song (‘Vapour‘) when he was only 17 yrs old, a song about realizing how short life is and how “you must find light and joy in the situations we’re put in.” Well we certainly find light and joy in the musical medicine he revives us with, one “rebirth” at a time. Tracks that had every hair raised on my body were Flaws, Lung, Living Water, Killing me to love you, and Someone to Stay, which was written about homelessness and homesickness when temporarily living in LA:

“You were alone, left out in the cold
Clinging to the ruin of your broken home
Too lost and hurting to carry your load
We all need someone to hold”   (SLAYED).

 Arguably my favorite Vancouver Sleep Clinic track released this year.

By the time the epic encore of Empire came around, I was completely lathered in chills. Empire stood alone with definitive power and command, keeping us on our toes as the capricious crescendos amplified our attention and wet our appetites. I’m already hungry for more and can’t wait until they return for summer festivals (best way to avoid winter in OZ!) All I know is that Vancouver Sleep Clinic won’t be frequenting small stages much longer. Recently on tour with the delightful Daughter, they are making a global footprint and hailing new fans far and wide. In fact, the kid standing next to me had flown all of the way from Phoenix just for the show! It won’t be long before this Aussie quintet will be headlining the legendary Fillmore. SF wants you back!

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So happy to have met Tim Bettinson of Vancouver Sleep Clinic this week at the Rickshaw Stop. After wrapping up tour with Daughter the night before in Vancouver (yes, he says it’s everything he’s dreamed it to be), these Aussies (Brisbane) decided to sneak a two extra shows in SF and LA before heading out (and boy are we thankful for!). I remember first seeing Vancouver Sleep Clinic at Green Man music festival (Wales, UK) in 2014 and being completely taken back by their beauty and talent. For those lovers of Bon Iver, Volcano Choir, James Vincent McMorrow (who he’s a I’ve fan of and whom he saw for the first time in LA 3 years ago), RYX, Matt Corby, Sohn, Youth Lagoon, Alex Vargas, and Jack Garratt, Tim is your man!

 

*Check out more videos on my YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/eandreoz

Instagram: beatsthatsetmypulse
Twitter: @beatsthatsetmy

When Things Fall Apart (Playlist: July 5, 2016)

When Things Fall Apart

Compiled Jul 5, 2016

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SUPER STOKED to SHARE this BEAST OF A PLAYLIST (80 songs, 5 1/2 hrs, >35 artists) that I’ve been distilling for over 2 months now.

It features bands I’ve recently seen in SF/Bay Area — Frightened Rabbit, Idlewild, Day Wave, Harriet, Beat Connection, Radical Face, Ben Abraham, Damien Jurado, Zach Winters, Holly Arrowsmith, Givers, The Temper Trap, Explosions in the Sky, Matt Corby, Mac Demarco, Andrew Bird, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Covet, Little Tybee — as well as at BottleRock NapaCold War Kids, San Fermin, WATERS, The Joy Formidable, Robert DeLong, Misterwives, Ivan & Alyosha, Machineheart, Walk the Moon, Nothing But Thieves, Kaleo, Panic is Perfect.

It also features AWESOME NEW DISCOVERIES that I haven’t yet seen in the flesh (Fuente and Waterstrider), as well as NEW RELEASE from some of my FAVORITE BANDS: Highasakite, Max Frost, Ben Sollee, Mumford & Sons, DOPE LEMON (Angus Stone‘s new side project), I am Machi, Holy Fuck, and MOST OF ALL… Augustines!   😀
(It was almost two years ago that I poured my heart and soul into a blog post about this band and how their music changed my life: https://beatsthatsetmypulse.wordpress.com/2014/08/13/augustines-to-rise-up-from-some-dirty-ashes/)

I could have chosen MANY songs to be the TITLE TRACK of this playlist, but I chose Augustine‘s ‘When Things Fall Apart (off their new album, This is Your Life) because of the hopeful message (“We go someplace, to get a new start, you gotta move on when things fall apart”) it radiates to those wandering  WANDERLUSTS this summer who are in search of a new inspiration and new sun in these summertime skies. It also –along with Mumford & Son‘s new album (Johannesburg) and new song, ‘There Will Be Time,’  — featured strong influences of African music, SETTING ME UP for my BIG TRIP TO AFRICA (Zimbabwe, Namibia, South Africa) this month!

Hopefully this new playlist will keep everyone FIRED UP from those 4th of July fireworks last night. Cheers to the SOUNDS OF SUMMER!

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When Things Fall Apart- Augustines
My Name Is Liar- Highasakite
First- Cold War Kids     
Woke up Hurting- Frightened Rabbit 
American English- Idlewild
Jackrabbit- San Fermin   
Got to My Head- WATERS
The Water- Fuente
May You Keep Well (feat. Pape & Cheikh)- Augustines
Someone Who’ll Get It- Highasakite
Midnight Moon- Waterstrider
The Greatest Light Is The Greatest Shade- The Joy Formidable   
Death Dream- Frightened Rabbit   
Ceremony- Day Wave   
Never Going Back – Caveman
Mine Is Yours- Cold War Kids   
Running in Place (feat. Pape & Cheikh)- Augustines
El Capitan – Idlewild
Long Way Down- Robert DeLong    
Constellation- Waterstrider
Keep That Letter Safe- Highasakite
Mystery- Fuente
Life Or Just Living- Caveman
Forgotten- Ben Sollee   
Hold Me Loneliness- Augustines
Bring Me When You Go- Harriet
Emily- San Fermin   
Let Them Stare- Waterstrider
Human- Caveman
It’s All Just Pretend- Ivan & Alyosha   
Mexico- Fuente
Pretend- Ben Sollee   
Get Out- Frightened Rabbit   
In The City- Caveman
The Mute- Radical Face   
Shut Up and Dance- Walk The Moon  
Speak- Ben Abraham   
Ad Space- Beat Connection   
These Are the Days- Zach Winters   
Sure Thang- Givers
Diamonds- Holly Arrowsmith   
The Road To Nowhere- Radical Face   
Fall Together- The Temper Trap   
Break- Frightened Rabbit  
Disintegration Anxiety- Explosions In The Sky   
Come Home Now- Day Wave   
Summer Skeletons-  Radical Face   
Vagabond- Misterwives
Monday- Matt Corby   
Salad Days- Mac DeMarco   
Wolves and Moons- Holly Arrowsmith   
You Are Who You Are- Day Wave  
Alive- The Temper Trap   
Pulaski – Andrew Bird   
President- Max Frost   
Cholla- The Joy Formidable   
Itch- Nothing But Thieves   
Reflections- Misterwives
There Will Be Time (With Baaba Maal)-  Mumford & Sons  
Logic Of A Dream- Explosions In The Sky   
Capsized- Andrew Bird       
Maw Maw Song- The Joy Formidable  
Why Dream- Matt Corby    
More Like Jason- Little Tybee  
Wona (With Baaba Maal, The Very Best & Beatenberg)- Mumford & Sons   
Exit 353 – Damien Jurado   
Circles- Machineheart (& Vanic)
I’m Not Fooling Anyone (Bonus Track)- Ivan & Alyosha   
Sea Dragon- Covet  
I Can’t Go On Without You- Kaleo
Echo- Panic Is Perfect 
Shakedown Street – Unknown Mortal Orchestra   
Uptown Folks –  DOPE LEMON   (Angus Stone‘s new side project)
Are You Serious- Andrew Bird   
Hydra- Covet
Go Go Go- Panic Is Perfect     
Lon Bella- Damien Jurado   
Don’t Quit Your Day Job- Little Tybee   
Xed Eyes- Holy Fuck   
Jawbreaker- I Am Machi      

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Lyrics on Lockdown:

“We go someplace, to get a new start, you gotta move on when things fall apart.”  -When Things Fall Apart

“You were looking at pictures in the distance
Hoping to see, the future in your pictures
Of the distance, hoping to see
The future looking at pictures in the distance.” -El Capitan

“You’ll find what you find, 
When you find there’s nothing.” -American English

“All we ever need is energy…We brighten up…we raise a cup…we wash the wounds that leave us numb.” -Constellationn

“It doesn’t make all cloudy days worthwhile
It doesn’t make much sense to walk that extra mile
To assign you properties that are not real.”  -Keep That Letter Safe

“At least half of what I’ve done
Maybe more of who I am
Will be forgotten
Won’t be remembered
Like all the stories never told
The digital lives scattered in code
All of the footsteps that will never be traced
The forgotten ways of an ancient race.” -Forgotten

“And if you find yourself somewhere between dark and belief

Remember, remember to think on your knees…
Never trust that man who’s been smiling on his life
His fears will catch up in the end.”  -It’s All Just Pretend
“Some people say money, and others say plans
but I’m hungry for freedom that never changes hand.” -These Are the Days
“No man can know the length of his days…
Not here by chance but purposefully made
Don’t you know that our debt has already been paid
…we don’t have to be slaves to a world that promises much.” -Diamonds

“Raise your voice cause it’s now or never… And if we have to fall then we’ll fall together.” -Fall Together

“People always say, “Get out of your head
You’ve been there too long
Pretty soon, you’ll be dead”
Then I thought, oh, I’ve been thinking too hard
I should come down now to get out of my head.” -Come Home Now

“Vagabond is you,
Ran the mile no shoes
If the sun goes down too soon
Embrace the starry-eyed moon

Vagabond is you,
Swam the sea at the darkest blue
You made it, made it through.” -Vagabond

“So open up my eyes to a new light
I wandered ’round your darkened land all night
But I lift up my eyes to a new high
And indeed there will be time.” -There Will Be Time

“If you’re looking for a diamond
You gotta sift through the gold
If you’re searching for a way out
you gotta take the new road
If you don’t keep the motion moving
it can all feel the same
In the heart of the city
where the streets are the veins.” -Circle

 

Ben Abraham – “You’re hiding like a memory… Calling to the weakness in my soul”: The Independent (May 19, 2016)

Written by Erica Andreozzi

I am very surprised that I never stumbled upon Ben Abraham when I was living in Melbourne last year (Jan – May), as I would have surely stopped in my tracks if I heard ‘Speak‘ as I passed by the usual buskers on Melbourne’s famous Bourke Street (wonder if he ever busked there). Speak is surely one of the standout tracks (in my opinion) on his debut album, Sirens (Secret Canadian).

A son of two Indonesian rockstars (both parents in a successful 70’s pop group called Pahama), Ben had music in his blood, and his relentless urge to “SPEAK” would eventually manifest into a musical masterpiece that would speak to more than Melbourne. “I never wanted to be a musician… I always wanted to be a filmmaker, and although I never quite made it down that path, that desire I had to tell stories still came with me,” Ben said to the crowd that night at The Independent as the opening act for the fantastic Damien Jurado (see review here). Ben’s desire to tell stories soon became a regular routine at his day job entertaining children in hospitals in Melbourne; Eight years later, he honed this craft into the beautiful album (Sirens) that has been sending SIRENS across international boundaries (esp. the UK, US and Canada). This album was recorded with a rotating cast of friends and collaborators including Gotye and Tim Shiel, as well as longtime friend Sara Bareilles (‘This is on Me‘).

Previously having played at Holwer in Melbourne (where I last saw Harrison Storm and Daniel Champagne) and the Servants Jazz Quarters in London (where I last saw Samantha Crain, Ben was eager to announce that tonight was his “first time in San Fran, and actually the first ever tour in the states.” Sporting a right red Hawaiian shirt and big grin, Ben (who usually is “not a fan of doing covers”), was all amped up and feeling “beachy enough” to cover what he thinks is “one of the greatest songs ever written,”Hyper Ballad‘ by Bjork. (He should definitely apply to play Iceland Airwaves… it was one of my favorite festivals of all time!)

 

As if that didn’t raise enough hairs on our arms, he followed with a gorgeous track called  ‘Home‘, and then with the epic encore of ‘Speak.’ Speak is a gorgeous song that just builds and builds with awesome anticipation, and by the end you might find yourself wiping tears off your face. The honest, timid lyrics about ‘wanting to communicate with others but somehow being pushed away’ is definitely a shared struggle most of us face, especially with the recent explosion of social media, and I hope we can all take Ben’s song as a call to humanity for deeper human connection. If the emotive, echoing effects of his vocals in the mic towards the end don’t “SPEAK” to you, then I’m not sure what will. Be sure to grab a copy of the album!

Owl Paws: “I know there’s a reason wild and true…why I had to hurt you” – Bottom of the Hill (March 25, 2016)

Written by Erica Andreozzi

I first discovered Owls Paws when they opened for Samantha Crain at Amnesia back in January, and then of course made sure to SEE THEM AGAIN when they headlined Bottom of the Hill a few months later. The are SO GOOD. This talented folk trio has been playing together for nearly 5 years — not long after Derek Schultz (guitar/vocals) decided to extend his solo project to include fellow San Francisco State school buddies Timothy Vickers (upright bass) and Lucas Siobal (drums/percussion), and later Wayne Mills (guitar). Their haunting harmonies, alluring acoustics, and restless rhythms truly epitomize the appeal of the beautiful city in which we reside! Just like San Francisco, their sound is distinctive and captivating, and they draw influences from a variety of elements (including some of my favorite indie/folk bands like Local Natives and the Head and the Heart.

Owl Paws released their first full-length album, Reservoir, last summer, and it’s DEFINITELY worth checking out. In fact, you are bound to be keep checking out that bad boy over and OVER. You can even download it here FOR FREE! (although donations are suggested and well deserved): https://owlpaws.bandcamp.com

Standout tracks for me are: Bring Me Back (my FAVORITE), Coils of Spring, Eyes of the Prey, The Things I Forgot, The Fields, and Jagged Grin.

Having gone on several small West Coast tours an SXSW last year, and I really think THIS SUMMER is their TIME TO SHINE. Don’t miss their UPCOMING SHOW at Brick and Mortar tomorrow night. You’ll thank me later!

(see below for videos from their previous SF shows)

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Are We Alive (playlist: March 6, 2016)

Are We Alive

Compiled on March 6, 2016

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Fresh new, VERY UPBEAT playlist inspired by my TOP DISCOVERIES at this year’s NoisePop festival in San Francisco: Day Wave, Harriet, and HEARTWATCH. These three bands are all local, and their catchy, vibrant tracks capture the essence of sunny California quite perfectly. The playlist was also influenced by other bands in town – Joe Purdy, Milo Greene (Jukely event), Penny and Sparrow (soon to write a review), Elle King, Jamie Lawson, and Soren Bryce (reminds me of Daughter) – as well as recent album releases from Ra Ra Riot and Hey Marseilles (who I’ll both be seeing in March) and a new single release from Augustines‘ HIGHLY ANTICIPATED new album. Not only is Augustines one of my FAVORITE BANDS OF ALL TIME, but this new song (Are We Alive) has FIRED ME UP moving into the new year (RISE: The Story of Augustines)- I can’t WAIT till they are back touring over here in the states – the UK has had them for long enough! Other inspiration comes from new discoveries – Funeral Advantage (thanks to my German roadtrippin’ buddies that I met at Penguin Prison last month), Tom Rosenthal (thanks to my London music guru buddy), Baby Brave and Joel Arthur Russel (NoiseTrade). ENJOY!

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Here’s the playlist on Spotify:

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You can download all of the songs (out of order) from my link on Box.com

https://app.box.com/s/ll94qc196usoow6l315q9r2xtzh0qpej

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Irish Margaritas- Harriet  
Total Zombie- Day Wave      
Are We Alive- Augustines
Foreign Lovers- Ra Ra Riot   
Get Louder- Caught A Ghost   
Eyes On You- Hey Marseilles   
Nothing At All- Day Wave   
Inheritance- Harriet
Lie To Me- Milo Greene   
Faultlines- HEARTWATCH
Bread and Bleeding- Penny and Sparrow   
Ten Steps-  Harriet
Perfect Ok- Hey Marseilles   
Chariot- Soren Bryce   
Drag- Day Wave   
America’s Sweetheart- Elle King   
Burbank- Harriet
Broken Bones- HEARTWATCH
My Heart- Hey Marseilles   
Gardensong- Funeral Advantage  
Absolutely- Ra Ra Riot   
See You Around- Joel Adam Russell   
Sirens- Soren Bryce  
Wasn’t Expecting That- Jamie Lawson  
Never Let You Go- HEARTWATCH
Non-Verbal Communication- Tom Rosenthal   
Newport- Soren Bryce 
Plastic Skateboard- Brave Baby   

We Try But We Don’t Fit In- Day Wave   

Ode to Sad Clown- Joe Purdy

***

Harriet:
https://beatsthatsetmypulse.wordpress.com/2016/03/04/harriet-i-could-take-you-higher-but-i-cant-take-you-home-youre-a-tough-desire-you-may-be-all-i-needed-but-its-not-like-were-alone-the-rickshaw-stop-feb-25-2016/

Day Wave:
https://beatsthatsetmypulse.wordpress.com/2016/03/02/day-wave-so-just-close-your-eyes-and-ill-close-mine-let-me-close-your-heart-it-just-takes-time-and-well-be-alright-rickshaw-stop-feb-25-2016/

HEARTWATCH:
https://beatsthatsetmypulse.wordpress.com/2016/02/28/heartwatch-meet-me-in-the-middle-of-the-golden-gate-and-feel-my-heart-beat-the-independent-feb-24-2016/
Joe Purdy:
ttps://beatsthatsetmypulse.wordpress.com/2016/02/27/joe-purdy-treat-me-like-a-human-treat-you-like-the-same-maybe-well-all-get-along-some-day-the-independent-feb-20-2016/

Milo Greene: https://beatsthatsetmypulse.wordpress.com/2016/02/26/milo-greene-even-if-your-heart-stops-ill-be-there-to-hold-you-up-brick-mortar-feb-17-2016/

Penguin Prison:
https://beatsthatsetmypulse.wordpress.com/2016/02/15/penguin-prison-just-a-little-more-cause-it-never-gets-old-mezzanine-feb-10-2016/