Inhabit your amphibian brain through gong and bass on "Talking Frog" from Edgetone Records
Listen to the live recording of darkwave producer Richard Haig on Lower Grand Radio plus Bandcamp Friday choices by polyhedren, Power Struggle, samplelov, and more
Thank you to everyone who tuned into Richard Haig’s live set on Lower Grand Radio!
Haig—who also makes music with Beyond the Black Hole and Kurtz & Bomber—hosts the monthly Perfect Strangers party at F8, which focuses on the more synthy, Italo, darker side of dance you would hear more often in Germany than you do in the US. At last month’s event, Haig performed music from Sepulchre, his latest EP of all original tracks, and last night he brought the whole live rig to White Crate on Lower Grand Radio. On this recording, he plays two sets with a brief interview in between.
Expect deep, goth-glazed darkwave and delectable techno. Listen here.
COLD-BLOODED GONG AND BASS
“Trills, chirps, screams, barks, grunts, clucks, croaks, bellows, and hoots.” Do you like gongs? How about contrabass? Well, you’re in luck: Talking Frog, the new album by Karen Stackpole and Bill Noertker released by Edgetone Records, features 40 minutes of gong and bass as recorded live to two-track at the SIMM Series in SF. Stackpole, a Paiste-endorsed gong artist, has explored drumming and percussion in the Bay Area for more than three decades, experimenting with rubber mallets, felt and yarn mallets, ball chains, bass and cello bows, kitchen utensils, and other small objects as cymbal and gong strikers. And bassist and composer Noertker has worked in Bay jazz and avant-garde since the late 1980s. Together on this album they inhabit the world of the “cosmic amphibian.” Ribbit.
GROOVY, WORLDLY, PSYCHEDELIC
“With features that include Nels Cline and The Residents, this album from polyhedren is a cinematic trip through global music.” Psychic by polyhedren was featured on Bandcamp’s New & Notable. And since today’s Bandcamp Friday—“our favorite semi-corporate holiday” in the words of Brycon—there’s no better time to listen to the quarantine-born project from composer/producer dren mcdonald. 100% of the proceeds goes to non-profit after school music program Bay Area Music Project.
PEOPLE, POWER, PROFIT, HIP HOP
“America the beautiful, it’s more like a demon.” SF rapper Power Struggle released Aspirations, a seven-track EP of politically conscious, revolutionary-minded hip hop featuring guest appearances by GXGANTE, Amihan, RAHSELLA, Equipto, ET IV, Emassin, and critically acclaimed SF-born poet Tongo Eisen-Martin. Presented by Inglewood’s Beatrock Music, the EP weaves together easy-to-track beats, bars, and samples to connect the struggles of working class people in SF and the Bay to the broader geopolitical landscape.
ROLLING THRU WILDFLOWERS
“A piece of my heart just for you.” C. Rochelle Lopez, aka samplelov, released Earthbound, a half hour of dreamy R&B featuring guest appearances by TV Blonde, Liz Purple, and Chris Keys. Simple arrangements built around minimal beats, slight guitar strums, and gentle keyboard chords—with that sweet voice in the sunshine.
FUZZ POP COVERS
The 1981 released Variants, their second EP of covers following Quarantine Covers, which was released in the first year of the pandemic. The new EP features fuzzy pop covers of Suburban Lawns, Thomas Function, Hole, the Clean, Pooh Sticks, and Sparks. And while you’re shopping Dandy Boy Records, be sure to check out Snowy Beach by another great Oakland artist, James Wavey. The album was released last year but just got pressed to vinyl.
DREAMY AMBIENT FOR LOVE
“Fear is the primary force upholding structures of domination. It promotes the desire for separation, the desire not to be known. When we are taught that safety lies always with sameness, then difference, of any kind, will appear as a threat. When we choose to love we choose to move against fear—against alienation and separation. The choice to love is a choice to connect—to find ourselves in the other.” ― bell hooks
With the leaked Supreme Court news this week, the simplest, most revolutionary act remains the same: decline fear and choose love. Oakland producer Joel St. Julien reminds us of this with the release of three ambient tracks on Dream—and all proceeds will be donated to Planned Parenthood.
ALT FOLK FOR GOOD
“They nail the dark romanticism of the Bay Area as well as the LA sleaze of the early 2000s in a way that not many other groups were able to accomplish.” Shony of Orange Dots (who also runs Recorded Psychic Readings) and Michael Mersereau of 18 frames per second released Causeway, a split of four tracks—two recorded in 2001 and two recorded this past January, all DIY alternative goodness. All proceeds go to the Missouri Abortion Fund (MoAF), which provides public education and support for Missouri residents needing reproductive health services.
BOOTLEG FOLK, HEART LAID BARE
Presenting several originals, covers of Goodnight, Texas and the Beatles, and at least one nod to Bob Dylan, Avi Vinocur released Bootleg: Live in San Francisco; April 7, 2022. The raw guitar-and-voice 10-song set comes from his performance at the Chapel when he opened for fellow SF band Midnight North with special guests Phil Lesh and Lebo.
BAY HARDCORE VIA NEW MEXICO
Recorded in Berkeley in 1993, remixed in 2020, and remastered in 2021: Raise your fists and say hello to A Darker Shade of Grey, a split featuring hardcore punks bands Grimple and Logical Nonsense. Both were originally from New Mexico, but the latter had relocated to the East Bay when they recorded their nine-song set of thrashy, caustic, explosive songs. For the first time since the original issue in 1994, the music has been repressed by Prank Records.