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November 2013
Wooden Shjips
"Back to Land
"
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Hailing from San Francisco, psychedelic group Wooden Shjips, has just released their newest album Back to Land. The album brings together a sound crafted from inspirations that range from psychedelic music to classic rock.

The album is an entire trip in itself.  One can hear hints of 80s music, classic rock, and modern garage rock styles in the record, but they always resolve back to their classic psychedelic sound. With tracks like “In The Roses,” which brings a very spacey, low volume vocals, and a lo-fi sound that is not too cheesy or under produced. to “Ghouls,” which is a much faster, much more psychedelic rock sounding song that takes influences from classic rock guitar chords, while still utilizing classic psychedelic synthesizers.

Most songs on the album carry a jam-band sound, without becoming too abstract or getting too carried away. And in some cases, the music is so vast in genre diversity, one is surprised at the resulting sound, such as in the track, “These Shadows”, which starts off with an extremely catchy intro guitar riff and carries a vague David Bowie meets Velvet Underground sound.

“Back to Land” is a great piece of work that utilizes the potential of each member of Wooden Shjips effectively and thoroughly.

Most importantly, “Back to Land” is an experimentation of how far the psychedelic genre can stretch while still successfully staying true to its roots.


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Celebrate 3rd and Lindsley's 25th anniversary tonight (04.05) with *repeat repeat, American Dream, and Benjamin Harper

What plans do you have for your next birthday? Do you have a badass week-long series of show happening in your living room? No? Then chances are you aren't 3rd and Lindsley (your ability to read this article is another clue, though I have no doubt the dawn of sentient music venues is on the horizon), which is celebrating its 25th anniversary in style this week. Included in the week of festivities is a little shindig tonight (04.05) featuring *repeat repeat, American Dream, and Benjamin Harper of Magnolia Sons on an all-locals bill you don't want to miss.

Check out the full week's calendar at the 3nL website (does anyone call it that?) and stream a *repeat repeat track below. -Austin Phy

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Velcro & the Slow Children harness some weird energy for "Enough to Die While Sleeping"

Enough to Die While Sleeping, the fruits of a collaboration between Syd Shanshala and Chandler Mills Brown, is the apex of bedroom music. That's "bedroom music" as an aesthetic more than a description of technique—the cough syrup weirdness is here in full force, but the production values and planning are a step above what's typically associated with outsider art. Every move is intentional, and each track and transition lands with its feet on the ground and its eight hands in the air.

 As far as we can tell, this is the first release on Mesoamerica Records, a budding label/art collective founded by Brown. If this album, a freak-flags-high triumphant march heralding an evolution in outsider art, is any indication of what we'll be seeing from them in the future, consider us psyched. -Austin Phy

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Wally Clark releases "Dear Daniel" and "Year of the Goat"

If you've been sleeping on Wally Clark, it's about time to fix that with a pair of albums released recently on Gummy Soul. One is a collection of original compositions with roots in soul and funk, and the other is a riff on tracks by MF DOOM. Clark follows through with the requisite amount of braggadocio on the albums, but fortunately it's backed up his talent as a rapper. We would've pegged DOOM as a heavy influence even without the presence of the tribute EP, but while his flow comes straight from the mouth of the Madvillain with a little Atmosphere thrown in for good measure, Clark's tonal range is, impressively, a bit stronger than that of his forebear.

Check out the pair of releases and find your song for summer '16 well in advance. -Austin Phy

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Regatta teams with Josephine Moore for killer "Unlimited Class" EP

We've talked before about how much we like the music of Regatta, moniker of local dreampop songster extraordinaire Evan Hickman. He's back at it with a new EP that doubles down on what drew us to his songs in the first place while adding some new elements that expand on the sound. The addition of Josephine Moore (of Wildfront) adds a surprising amount of levity to the album's gloomy throwback dreampop, ending up sounding somewhat like Disintegration if Robert Smith had written it while staying in a beach house. Despite the tonal differences between the two singers, their voices are in an effortless-sounding lockstep that still demonstrates their individual talents. -Austin Phy

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Jonas Litton shows off jazz chops on "Backyard Beach"

Backyard Beach is far from the first release by Jonas Litton, but it's one of the most interesting in the departure that it makes from his previous material. A longtime singer-songwriter, Litton has taken a hard turn into butter-smooth tropical jazz instrumentals for his latest. There's plenty of noodling to be found, but the album avoids the cheesy wankery-for-the-sake-of-wankery tropes of Weather Channel bumper tunes by being genuinely interesting in its composition while still remaining completely accessible.

It's the most relaxing collection of songs I've heard in a while, so you might want to see what's up in the stream below. -Austin Phy

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