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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

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Arts + CultureMusicUnder the Stars: Whip out that local support for...

Under the Stars: Whip out that local support for Bandcamp Friday

Remi Wolf, Umbrellas, R.E Seraphin, Torrey, more deserve your lavish attention. Plus: We need that Talking Heads reunion, stat.

It’s Under The Stars, babe. A quasi-weekly column that presents new music releases, upcoming shows, opinions, and other adjacent items. We keep moving with the changes and thinking outside the margins.

You can always hold our funk.

Take it to the bridge!

I hope we will eventually get that great big Talking Heads reunion tour. The Heads seem to be doing better as a unit these days, right? They’ve been seen, all four together, showing up on this revival ramp with the lovely restored “Stop Making Sense” 40th Anniversary speaking tour, group photo showing of ‘we are not fighting, take the damn photo” sessions. 

They seem to be good, but I guess just not THAT good.

Dang it.

The payday would be substantial, but these are the folks who don’t seem to be moved by commerce, it’s the Art that matters. Nice to have those options, right?

Well while we all wait, and that may be one helluva minute, local organizers from Noise Pop Industries and the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC) will co-present an exclusive outdoor film screening of Talking Heads’ Stop Making Sense, a film we broke down extensively here, at The Quarry Amphitheater on Saturday, May 18, marking the official launch of the Quarry Amphitheater’s 2024 events season.

Grab tickets for this awesome outdoor event here. Doors will open at 6pm.

Initially released in 1984, Stop Making Sense is an iconic concert film that changed culture, added on to the big 80’s mystique and assured everyone that if you want a band to be 100 times more funky, get Bernie Worrell. As it’s been documented, “Flashlight” by famed band Parliament, is ALL Bernie Worrell. 

Talking Heads may never wear down that rep for infighting, but they always knew who had the funk and had no problems asking “Can I hold the funk for a minute?”

WE NOW SHARE WITH YOU OUR BANDCAMP FRIDAY PICKS—all proceeds go directly to the artists when you purchase on Fri/5.

R.E. SERAPHIN, FOOL’S MATE

Although R.E. Seraphin is known as a Bay Area musician who builds these boisterous, epic-scale rock songs, I gotta say I’m quite smitten with the low-key AM radio feels that “Argument Stands” delivers in its under three-minute runtime. R.E. Seraphin has a treasure trove of Bay Area talent in his band and recording process (including Jason Quever of the Papercuts) for second full-length Fool’s Mate.

Seraphin states, “The lyrics (on the album) are meant to evoke a sense of corporeality—there are references to skin, sweat, teeth, and breath throughout the album, which I intended to unsettle the listener. On the surface, they are love songs, but there’s a suggestion of something more ominous.”

Listen, those schelprock mellow vibes, with the down-the-rabbit-hole ease of a bassline that just keeps on giving, pack in a wallop of a neurotic-type tune with innate earworm qualities.

Pick it up here.

MIXMASTER MORRIS, JONAH SHARP, HARUOMI HOSONO, QUIET LOGIC (WRWTFWW RECORDS)

You’d be tempted to call them The Big Three, in basketball terms.

Mixmaster Morris for his ambient blends, trip-hop tracks with blissed-out motivations; Jonah Sharp—or, as the local electronic wiz is referred to in these digital columns, Tha Gawd—for making trippy electronic music on his pioneering San Francisco Reflective imprint that puts some bass in yer namaste; and Japanese legend Haruomi Hosono, known for his renowned group Yellow Magic Orchestra.

Quiet Logic, a blippy, squelching paragon of sound from 1997, made in Hosono’s studio and co-crafted by the aforementioned electronic maestros, has been remastered and reissued via Swiss label WRWTFWW Records.

It’s a fitting, detailed outline that makes all of the interested parties, who are now experimenting in the ambient sandbox of 2024, go back to the chalkboard to reevaluate their approach.

These six tracks ping about rubbery surfaces, loved-up drum machine seduction, and golden-hour synths with Adrien Sherwood-type dub effects. The vision of these three gentlemen and their grasp of the future is not just ahead of the curve, but counterbalanced to incorporate and understand what came before and after it.

Quiet Logic is a must-have. Buy here

TORREY, TORREY

Oakland-based outfit Torrey calls themselves a “textural pop group”. I prefer an alluring version of My Bloody Valentine, still hazy but turned halfway down for the pop inflections to shine through confidently. Sonic pathways stay afloat over the surefooted amalgam presentation: 

Just a bit of crunch to add with that go-bang pop rapture.

Buy here.

KAIDI TATHAM, FUSION MOVES (REEL PEOPLE MUSIC)

Much love to Morgan Rhodes of Heat Rocks podcast for commenting on the Kaidi Tatham listening party, that I had somehow missed hearing about until just that moment last week.

Late as usual, but I was still able to catch “Losin My Head” by Monkey Brothers feat. Sean Escoffery with the Kaidi Tatham Remix… and discovered yet another color in the massive palette arrangement that he possesses.

This time, just in those deep brown color chord changes, we have classic Stevie Wonder late ’70s vibe surfing the shuffle and flow. 

And listen, for anybody to have the stones, those onions to even think about covering the Loft Party/Garage and WBLS radio all-timer classic “I Want To Thank You” by Alicia Myers has to be part Mad Genius with all the stuff to do it.

He and Mica Paris, give the Reel People interpretation proper understated bite. 

It’s 2024 Church y’all.

Listen, you don’t need me to co-sign on these back catalog classics re-touched by the keyboard wizard which will probably be another smasher of a release, when you have the producer Mr Scruff in the live chat commenting “Bad Tune” one second and then showing a receipt that he already bought the record next.

Get what Mr. Scruff already laid his cash down for here.

REMI WOLF, BIG IDEAS 

Big Ideas is the sophomore album of the former Olympic skier who was on American Idol at 17. She’s joining Olivia Rodrigo on the Guts world tour this spring and recently played at the Warfield. Sure, that’s the business end of things and respectfully her new album sounds like retro-soul funk-lite, and it’s good.

But it’s this clip from a couple of weeks ago, oops I’m sorry, three months ago, when “Michael” was performed live that lets everybody know she has chops, Jack.

I had no idea she could project her instrument at that acuity, meaning all the playtime, cutesy, hippy-dippy business she performs, is just that: Performative. But when it’s time to drop the boom, this former Palo Alto-er puts on the hard hat and gets to work.

We root for Remi Wolf just a bit more now.

Pre-order Big Ideas.

UMBRELLAS, FAIRWEATHER FRIEND (AND US TOUR)

San Francisco indie-pop band The Umbrellas announced last week that they would be embarking on their first full headlining tour of the United States of America, in support of their recently released Slumberland LP Fairweather Friend. The two-month tour includes four shows in Canada and concludes here in SF at The Mission’s new music antennae, Kilowatt on June 29.

The four members of the band describe themselves as “renegade romantics crafting irresistible indie pop hymns” and occupy a winsome, heart-on-sleeve niche within the SF jangle fog-pop spectrum. They are the kind of musicians who bring a smile to your face and make you believe in the magic of chords, harmonies, and high-speed tempos. Fairweather Friend is the bright and breezy follow-up to their self-titled debut album from 2021, which, based on its popularity, exceeded expectations with multiple sell-out pressings.

So, LA, Austin, Philly, and Cleveland…please take care of our little band. 

We want them to return in one piece at the end of June.

You can pick up the Bandcamp pick Fairweather Friend here.

48 Hills welcomes comments in the form of letters to the editor, which you can submit here. We also invite you to join the conversation on our FacebookTwitter, and Instagram

John-Paul Shiver
John-Paul Shiverhttps://www.clippings.me/channelsubtext
John-Paul Shiver has been contributing to 48 Hills since 2019. His work as an experienced music journalist and pop culture commentator has appeared in the Wire, Resident Advisor, SF Weekly, Bandcamp Daily, PulpLab, AFROPUNK, and Drowned In Sound.

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