Sometimes you just listen to Abbey Simmons. You put away your reservations and your tendency to be a dirty hipster and only flood the gates of Sound on the Sound with garage rock and experimental weirdness and a handful of bands that your tight-jean wearing contemporaries enjoy and you just say, “Yes ma’am Abbey Simmons, I’ll listen to whatever you say is good.” ‘Cause Abbey Simmons has an ear of gold (you know this though, you’re a frequent reader on the site that she birthed with the help of Josh Lovseth) and oh sure, sometimes you (and by you, I mean me) might not be listening on the same frequencies, but when this lady tells you something is solid gold, you put away the thoughts that clutter your mind and you plug in and let your brain from the spinal cord up evaporate in to sheer bliss.
Damien Jurado, thanks to the pressure of my singularly focused brother, has been a presence in my life. As I grew up and grew away from singer-songwriters though, Damien Jurado’s space on my music shelves went the way of Bright Eyes and Fleet Foxes (perennial favorites that slowly gathered dust). “Nothing Is The News” though is the type of track that makes you think, “What the fuck have been doing for the last five years?” It’s the type of track that erases any sort of preconceived notion you may have had about an artist (my thoughts go to The Beatles “Tomorrow Never Knows”) and makes you reconsider everything you’ve most likely been missing out on. It’s the type of song that makes you want to smash your head on a door frame for just being so fucking close-minded.
Damien Jurado will be playing Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco tonight. You should probably be there. I certainly will.
His album Maraqopa is out on Secretly Canadian now.
Damien Jurado – Nothing Is The News
The Head and The Heart at the High Dive ::: photo by Josh Lovseth
The new year has brought a new opportunity for me and I wanted to share the good news with you all, as well as avoid the inevitable conflict of interest comments. In an attempt to pay my rent by doing what I love within the community that I love, I’ve begun to do more PR work around town with venues and soon, with a few select bands I believe I can help succeed by doing more than writing about them here on Sound on the Sound.
Last week I was brought on by the High Dive in Fremont to do PR for the venue. The venue, in the heart of the Center of the Universe, is revamping and rededicating itself to being one of the city’s best live music venues and a place to foster up-and-coming local bands with shows 7 days a week. As well as myself, they’ve brought on Kevin Sur (talent buyer at Columbia City Theater and Doe Bay Fest booker), and I know we both couldn’t be more excited about the opportunity. This new position changes nothing about my role here on Sound on the Sound or at Columbia City Theater, but I thought it was news I should share with you myself.
In the coming weeks I’ll be back to tell you about some adventures in writing band bios and starting my own little PR agency to help local bands. Rest assured, you won’t be seeing me write about these bands on Sound on the Sound, nor will you see every show at the High Dive featured or reviewed here. But we all have to pay our bills and if you can do so by doing what you love, where you love, you’re a lucky person. And right now, I am feeling very lucky.
Sound on the Sound Portrait ::: by Dylan Priest
A couple weeks ago Josh and I had a rare opportunity to step on the other side of the camera and have a proper Sound on the Sound portrait taken by local photographer and videographer Dylan Priest. Dylan came to Sound on the Sound Headquarters (i.e. Abbey’s living room/office), we put on some local vinyl as a soundtrack, we had a few beers and Dylan did the impossible: he tamed our beastly black cats, Gus and Marley. This is such a feat alone, we had to share the photo with you.
Ever wonder what we’re thinking or doing during those occassional really tedious and awful opening bands? Sometimes, if you’re the worst band we’ve literally ever seen–we take to the photobooth and try to off ourselves. When that hasn’t worked by the last frame, all you can really do is laugh.
Want to hear what I really thought about Sasquatch? Our friends at Blog Fresh Radio have posted their (must-listen) weekly podcast, where they chatted with me about the festival. While there is definitely a reason I blog rather than do radio (see: my voice) and I gaffed on the number of official Sasquatch Festivals (I said there had been seven… Really, there’s been six Sasquatch’s and I’ve attended five.) I also added my own little accent on pronouncing my big discovery of Sasquatch, The Maldives. Even so, I hope you head on over to Blog Fresh and take a listen to my recap of Sasquatch and a couple of my favorite songs of the festival.