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Remixes: Philip Seymour Hoffman - Spring Break 2011 (railcars 'Summer in Space' mix) (aka Mojitos on Mars)

With an interesting bit of news to start off your weekend, Friday sees the continuation of a recent trend of avant/noise artist's remixing each others songs. Recently we posted about a number of remixes that were done of the railcars' song "Cathedral with No Eyes;" now it seems the railcars are beginning to return the favor. Good friends of the railcars, New York's Philip Seymour Hoffman, have apparently been gaining a lot of traction, going on tour with Truman Peyote, so the railcars decided to give their song "Spring Break 2011" their own treatment. Check it out below.

 

-Ada Lann

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The Deli SF's Weekend Highlights For 4/1-4/4

Certainly everybody's Thursday competition (if you're trying to play anywhere else in the city anyway), Epic Sauce has gone and once again put together another impressive line up for their show series at Milk. A free show, this Thursday the 1st will see Man/Miracle and Butterfly Bones celebrating the release of their split 7-inch. Red Blue Yellow (who recently played a Deli Presents show) and Beehive Spirit will also be playing, 8pm. Though it is free you are strongly encouraged to RSVP here.

If free shows are not your thing however (or rather lets say you want to rock out with some awesome garage girls), on the same night you can catch The Splinters playing with Ty Segall and The Baths at the Eagle (debateably a NSFW site), 9pm.

Friday night out in the East Bay, Veil Veil Vanish, Mister Loveless, Chambers (a band featuring former members of Death of a Party), and The Ferocious Few will also be playing a free show at The Uptown starting around 9. Of course it is advised that you get there much earlier then that as starting at 6 (and boasting $2 Pabst) East Bay Express, Sony, and Amoeba will be hosting a listening party for the new MGMT album (to be released on the 13th) with free CDs given to the first 50 people to arrive.

If you're only planing on being out Saturday night (or just find you ears still unsatiated) head over to the Hemlock around 9:30 for the psychedelic sounds of The Love Dimension, Honey, The Spyrals, and Greg Ashley.

Lots to see and lot's for free this week. Head out and enjoy some good music and check back with us next week for another round of suggestions.

-Ada Lann

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Album Review: Birds & Batteries’ Up To No Good

Birds & BatteriesUp To No Good is a complex blend of creepy and dance-y.

Hard to categorize throughout, Michael Sempert’s disaffected and sliding vocals hold this 2009 EP together through five eclectic tracks that bring ominous bass together with psychedelic guitar, creepy keyboard chimes, and distorted whistles. They only break from the task of making the listener feel like he’s lost in the dark by occasionally turning on their dance party floor lights.

This EP is intricate, and lends itself to multiple listening sessions. “The Villain” starts you off feeling alone and confused, with plenty of well-placed synth noise to bolster the freaky guitars and dark lyrics. The excellent harmonies are the lightest part of the song, with the backup voices sounding downright cheery compared to the lead vocalist’s slow drawl. The eerie theme developed in this first track sticks around for most of Up To No Good. Though the short “Lonely Guns” elevates the tone into something more upbeat in preparation for the jaunty third track, “Out in the Woods,” you still hear plenty of those whistling keyboard runs in both tracks (complete with a sudden tempo change or two) to keep you tripping out about the whole experience. There’s even judicious use of that slide whistle sound that makes me think I’ve spotted a UFO, X-Files style.

You know the sound I’m talking about.

“Lightning (UTNC Version)” is their get-up-and-dance track, switching the beat over to a drum machine (or just a well-emulated drum machine feel) that occasionally drops out to leave the vocalist and keyboard on their own. Once I’m reminded to be freaked out, they turn the beat back on. This track is great but it is a partial break from the resonating feel of the rest of the EP. It’s their dark synth-pop moment punctuating the EP’s crescendo before they drop it back down for the final track. If Up To No Good was longer than 20 minutes (and I truly wish it was) I’d expect one or two more songs in this vein, and as it is I’m left wanting more.

Concluding with “Sneaky Times,” they finish up with some compelling vocals that alternately stretch out and rush through the lyrics in between really phenomenal bass lines, bringing us back down from “Lightning” into a slower groove. This is a great final track on a great EP, a good mixture of a funky feel with the unhinged hollowness that I came to expect by the end Up To No Good.

Birds & Batteries never commit themselves completely to any particular genre here, but still end up with a bizarrely cohesive feel that you should definitely experience for yourself. For the San Franciscan with a vehicle, they’ll be playing in Davis on April 10th. I on the other hand, will eagerly wait for a San Francisco show date to materialize.

-Kyle Wheat

Editors Note:  Birds and Batteries Up To No Good can be purchased digitally at iTunes.  For a hard copy contact Birds and Batteries here.

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The Blank Tapes: Home Away From Home free download

For a limited time, The Blank Tapes are offering their fourth full length release, Home Away From Home as a free download. The 10-track album includes a couple recognizable songs, Driving Out Of My Mind and We Can Do What We Want To, that have been played in The Blank Tapes shows from the past year as well as the slightly gritty Black Hair and Don't Mind which features a very catchy melody played on ukulele.

You can download your own copy of the album here. Catch them at Amnesia Bar on Thursday, April 1st playing with Shakes, Pony Village (from Portland) and Terror Pigeon Dance Revolt.

-Nicole Leigh

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Jim Marshall 1936-2010

Last week, the Bay Area lost long time San Francisco resident and photographer Jim Marshall. Jim  helped shape the image and record the history of rock and roll in the 60's and 70's. If you recall ever seeing iconic images of Jimi Hendrix lighting his guitar on fire at the Monterey Pop Festival or Johnny Cash giving the camera the finger at a San Quentin prison performance, then you've seen some of Jim's work. In addition to his documentary style portrait photography, Marshall also shot over 500 album covers. He was known to be as rebellious as the figures he captured and was an important part of the legacy of Bay Area music.

You can check out a virtual collection of his work at www.marshallphoto.com

-Nicole Leigh

Photo courtesy of Scott Sommerdorf

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