San Diego’s musical mad scientist Rafter is releasing his newest LP, Quiet Storm, as a pay-what-you-want download. The album comes hot on the heels of last year’s critically acclaimed, booty-shaking Animal Feelings. Whereas that album’s aesthetic was firmly rooted in pop — filtered, as always, through Rafter’s trademark gonzo sensibilities — Quiet Storm‘s genesis can be traced to an altogether different genre: metal.
“When [drummer Nathan Hubbard] and I were touring around the US after Animal Feelings came out, we listened to a lot of black metal demo tapes in the car,” Rafter explains on his website. “It was really inspiring, extreme, blown out, ridiculous but heartfelt… I made [Quiet Storm], fed by those inspirations and a wave of existential freakout, human mind explosion. In my fantasy, it’s like Darkthrone meets The Kinks meets Lee Perry…”
Or if you prefer music of the live variety, head on down to the Tin Can tonight for Rafter’s impromptu record release show. He’ll be joined by the equally dancey Jamuel Saxon, who just released the 3-song Time Is Money EP for streaming and download on his own Bandcamp page.
Joshua Epstein and Daniel Zott are the Detroit-based duo behind Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.. They are known for incorporating many styles and substances into their music — they like samplers and drum machines, but they’re also not above playing to the indie-folk crowd.
Epstein and Zott describe their debut EP, Horse Power, as a “quasi-psych mix of folk, hip-hop inspired drum programming, and effervescent pop within which Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. machines a series of chicanes, straightaways, washboards, and u-turns that when assembled make for quite the interesting ride.” Additionally, Epstein and Zott like to wear Nascar outfits onstage. For a sample of their sound, we’ve got the video for “Nothing But Our Love,” and two MP3s — one of which was remixed by Jamuel Saxon — below.
If you’re a local musician, a friend of a local musician, or otherwise dipping your toes in the San Diego music scene, then you don’t need us to tell you about the North Park Music Thing. But if you haven’t heard of it, here’s what’s worth knowing: NPMT is a combined conference and music festival in the style of Austin’s South by Southwest, albeit on a much smaller scale. This year, the event starts on Friday, August 13 and continues all the way into the wee hours of Sunday morning.
Non-industry folk won’t be too interested in the conference portion, which consists of lectures and panel discussions aimed at bringing budding musicians up to speed on the quirks and pitfalls of the industry, but for the rest of us there’s a huge lineup of local acts lighting up 14 music venues scattered across Midtown.
Personally, we’re stoked — stoked enough to actually use the word stoked — that a ton of our favorite local bands, and lots that (we’re embarrassed to admit) we have yet to see, are all playing over the course of two nights. Here’s where you’ll find us, obvious schedule conflicts notwithstanding: Continue reading…
Inventions like the iPod and Pandora can reduce music to a blurry background din, yet no matter how jaded we become, certain songs can still pierce the fog.
“Avalanche,” by San Diego’s The Moviegoers, is one of those songs. From its moving spoken-word verse, to its soaring chorus — which features lush harmonies by band members Richard Hunter-Rivera and Jessica Monday — the track is a stirring triumph, and one of the best songs to come out of San Diego in recent years.
“Avalanche” was originally featured on the band’s out-of-print Be A Man EP, but it’s been re-recorded for inclusion on the their new 7-inch, which will be released on August 12th. And as good as “Avalanche” is, it’s only the record’s B-side; imagine how great the A-side, “Big High School,” must be.
The 7-inch was recorded by local knob twister-extraordinaire Keith Milgaten, of Jamuel Saxon/Black Mamba/The Vision of a Dying World fame. Mangoose, the label partially run by Hunter-Rivera, will release the record. The band will celebrate the fruits of their labor with a release party on September 4th at the Tin Can Ale House, but if you can’t wait until then to hear the songs, don’t despair: we generous folks at Owl and Bear are giving away a free copy.
For your chance to win The Moviegoers’ new 7-inch, send an email to email@example.com with your name and mailing address. The winner will be selected at random on August 30.
Contest haters and the perpetually unlucky can pre-order the 7-inch here.