Woolen Kits performed with The Mallard some six months ago in a dingy bar call The Knockout in San Francisco. As a whole I remember the show being drunken and amazing and everything I’d come to expect from The Mallard. Woolen Kits though, I recall them sounding like Total Control in slo-mo, a bunch of skinny kids from Australia moping about on stage. And of course, now that this song “Susannah” has splashed across the internet, it becomes apparent that I was clearly at least at some high level of intoxication because this song sounds nothing like Total Control and is actually some amazing hybrid of post-punk and happiness and scruffy Australian beaches. This, not the strung out looking hallucinations I had from months prior, this is a band I’ll continue to listen to.
Woolen Kits new album Four Girls is out November 13th on the amazing Trouble In Mind Records.
Greer McGettrick and The Mallard are long time staples on this website. She’s done a lot of growing musically over the last four years that we’ve known her, and it’s always exciting to post a new track and literally hear the progress she’s continuously making. While we wait patiently for a new record, sate your Mallard appetite with this Velvet Underground cover. Where Lou Reed and company went poppy, The Mallard goes for a little more dark pop, McGettrick’s near monotone holler taking the place of Lou Reed’s snide pop croon and guitarist/bassist Dylan Tidyman-Jones filling the harmonies with his sneaky falsetto. It’s a bold undertaking to cover such a universally known song and The Mallard and company do so with aplomb. It might not be a reinvention of the “There She Goes” wheel, but it’s damn good, damn catchy version and that’s more than you can expect from a retread of one of the great songs of all time.
The Lou Reed cover will be on the Castle Face curated Velvet Underground tribute album featuring bands like Blasted Canyons… and more.
The Mallard will embarking on their first East Coast tour starting in DC on the 7th of November. I implore you rare East Coast readers, watch them while you can.
FRONDS is Dylan Tidyman-Jones, the lanky, leather-wearing guitarist/bassists/drummer/keyboardist for the on-the-rise The Mallard. For those expecting something similar to The Mallard’s stringy, tattooed garage, think differently, Tidyman-Jones (an admittedly close friend) delves in to a layered, billowing sound, poking outwards with the sharp, tang of a drum machine, gentle hand claps, and the feeling that you might just drift away on a breeze.
The Mallard has made some big moves in the last five or six months: releasing Yes On Blood (an absolutely fantastic album that pushes the notion of garage in new and exciting directions), toured with Thee Oh Sees, and set the stakes for a summer of almost non-stop touring. Lucky for the Northwest, the band will be starting this Summer ‘o’ Tour with a jaunt up the coast, stopping in Portland, Olympia and Seattle.
It’s short, sweet, and totally worth your crumple up wad of dollars.
I especially recommend that Seattle show at The Comet as she’ll be playing with Koko & The Sweetmeats at what’s been called their last show before an indefinite hiatus.
Friday May 18th, Northern – Olympia, WA w/ Woolen Men, Naomi Punk, Penny Dredfuls
Saturday May 19th, The Know – Portland, OR w/ Woolen Men, The Happening
Sunday May 20th, The Comet – Seattle, WA w/ Koko & The Sweetmeats, Telemesser, Origami Ghosts
Ty Segall finally bids adieu all the pretenses of garage rock, adds a “band” to his name and throws down this ridiculous psych-rock burnout. It feels like destruction in a song. Burly guitar wail, electrically charged humidity, the nasal holler of Segall lacing it all together in to a screeching bit of burnt rubber.
Ty Segall Band releases Slaughterhouse on In The Red on June 26th.
Ty Segall plays with The Mallard and White Fences tonight at The Independent in San Francisco. Ty Segall plays Seattle on Friday at Chop Suey with White Fence, The Pharmacy and Tea Cozies.
Following the release of their stellar Castle Face debut Yes On Blood, The Mallard’s little star has been rising, well, quickly to say the least. A tour with Thee Oh Sees, a recent show with The Fresh & Onlys, and an upcoming slate of live gigs a mile long – it’s nice to see this fantastic band finally get the credit they deserve. I’ve been waiting for months and months for something they’ve done, anything really, to get the video treatment, and now Grass Widow’s Hannah Lew (director of videos for Hunx and His Punx amongst many) has done the honor. Broken glass everywhere, that’s all I can say.
Check out The Mallard tomorrow night at The Independent with Ty Segall and White Fences.
The Mallard (confessed friend and confidante) is steadily moving towards a Castle Face release of their first album YES ON BLOOD, and the tracks are slowly sliding on to the internet. “Vines”, a long time staple of The Mallard’s downright stellar live show is the latest and it lives up to the sonic squalor Greer McGettrick and company loan to it on stage.
Sometimes before I go to bed I sit and imagine what it’ll be like to hold a copy of this group’s truly fantastic vinyl in my hands. And it feels good.
The Mallard will be playing Thursday at The Hemlock Tavern with Seattle stalwarts Koko and The Sweetmeats and one of my favorite bands around, Burnt Ones.
If I can speak in broad blanket statements for a moment, I believe that San Francisco is putting out the best music of any scene in the country right now. I know, I know, you’re reading a Seattle-based blog, and I certainly know, my bias is completely out of control as I wake and live in this fine city each and every day and am engaged in the scene in a way that I can’t be in any other city. That said, I’m a national music reviewer. I scour the internet day after day trying to find music to populate my brief little column with and only a small fraction of it derives from The Bay Area. It says a lot to me that this small fraction makes up such a enormous part of my musical listening space and for that reason alone I thought this The Bay Area deserved it’s only little Top 10 write-up.
As always, I’m a failure at even numbered lists and as always I’m not one to rank. These are ten bands I thought unmissable, and I’ll admit it’s not a hugely different list than what I’ve composed before, but the bands that were good in SF last year, we’re just as good if not better this year.
Hope the New Year is already giving you cinnamon-scented massages. Thanks for reading.
Thee Oh Sees
I’m a little bit obsessed with John Dwyer and his merry band of musical pranksters. Their live show, their prolific release schedule, their unstoppably energetic sound – I am a buck-tooth, scab-lipped groupie of Thee Oh Sees. 2011 may have been their best year yet with two original releases and a singles comp all beamed to the world amidst an exponential growth in their national popularity. John Dwyer’s record label Castle Face continued to pummel the Bay with some truly great releases (one or two that appear on this list) and I found myself chomping at the bit for 2012 just for the fruit of that labor to make it’s way in to my records stack. Lets be honest, Thee Oh Sees are probably going to be perennial favorites on this list, so get used to it.
The Mallard was almost silent in release this year, but her live show became something to behold with the addition of a drummer and a bassist. From gimmick-laden (but still amazing) solo performer to, behold to believe, rock and roll frontman, Greer McGettrick gets the nod for growing from one of my favorites, to one of everyone’s favorites.
I’m iffy on the current trend in rock ‘n’ roll to imitate the tight pants and feathered hair of glam rock precursors, but Burnt Ones still managed to melt me a new one this year. I don’t know if I had a better time at a show than the late night dance fest that was Burnt Ones at The Knockout this year, and their record, Black Teeth & Golden Tongues, is on constant rotation. It’ll make you want to pull on the tight tights, let your hair grow out, and booty shuffle your way to the liquor store.
Not a better song was released this year than “Lazybones” off of Wooden Shjips West. Fast paced, psychedelic as fuck, everything you want from a Wooden Shjips’ release plowed in to a four minute shred-fest.
Late entry on to the list, but Oakland’s Manatee is well deserved. I’ve felt the hints of early 90s punk touching on the edges of music for a while now, and though it’s scary to think we might be rolling in to a world where ska and Buck ‘o’ Nine are making a comeback, bands like Manatee take the raw energy and combine it with the artistic sensibility I’m loving right now. If this is the future, sign me up for a one-way ticket on a spaceship made of chrome.
Say what you will about the new records from Ty Segall and Mikal Cronin but their collaboration on the Castle Face Flexi-Disc were two of the best songs of the year. Both Bowie covers, both grimy and hard and all sorts of sonic ass-kicking, both not-so-subtle reminders of what these two gentlemen can do when paired together.
I almost didn’t put Sic Alps on here after their cross-country meltdown and Mike Donovan’s sort of egoed rise from band leader to band unto-himself. But the hits just keep coming. Sic Alps have managed to take experimental noise and meld it with pop harmonies and nods the stranger corners of the 1970s and it is, well, fantastic. I miss the Sic Alps of yore, but am curious to see if the future holds anything.
The Mallard is back! The Mallard is back! After a relatively quiet end of 2011, The Mallard is set to release her debut LP YES ON BLOOD on Castle Face Records in the wee months of next year. It’s been spinning on endless loop in The Daily Choice headquarters and you and your friends and everyone you know are more than excited to have both your hands and two of your toes melted in to the vast void of rock ‘n’ roll.
An early peek just “appeared” on the internet last night:
If you’re in San Francisco, The Mallard will be a part of Positive Destructions2nd Annual Showcase featuring POW!, Hot Victory, and the much anticipated Blasted Canyons. Don’t miss out kiddies, or Santa’s shoving coal in your, ahem, stocking.
POW!, in the Encyclopedia of Bands (it’s out there, you just have to keep looking) would be filed beneath “sonic assault.” ”Cyberattack!!” the b-side to the bands two-song Pretend There EP, is a mix between a military call to arms, and the first wave of percussive bombs launched at a cluster of smiling protesters. It puts you in the street with a bullhorn being screamed in to behind you and there’s bombs falling and every once in a while you have to jump behind a burning pillar of some discarded car or garbage can. The sound, oh the sound, is heavy and dark and it ricochets around the ear drums like heavy artillery ensconced in vibration fired point blank in to a concrete wall. Play it loud and play it proud.
“Cyberattack!!” comes from the two song Pretend There EP that you can pick up … here.