ANOTHER PLANET + <
Strange Vine, Electric Flower Group, plus DJ Britt Govea of ((folkyeah))
155 Fell St
San Francisco, CA, 94102
This event is all ages
Straight to it: Howlin Rain's third album, The Russian Wilds is an out-of-the-box classic. A vintage style double album, it fulfills and expands upon the promise of earlier work, offering up a fundamentally perfect rock ‘n’ roll song cycle, a humming, utterly alive thing of blood, bone and muscle. There’s none of the cheeky obfuscation or clever sonic trickery common amongst modern bands to disguise compositional or musical shortcomings. Howlin Rain has no need to hide anything, and the confidence, ferocity and artfulness of The Russian Wilds harnesses and refines their already justifiably ballyhooed live presence into one of the most powerful, wide-ranging albums of the past few decades, a master work that howls and cries and laughs with gusto and enormous heart.
“There was a point when we were really trying to blend Jimi Hendrix’s Electric Ladyland, Steely Dan’s Gaucho and Bruce Springsteen’s Darkness On The Edge of Town,” says bandleader-guitarist-singer-composer Ethan Miller, and the curious energies of this trio simmer in the subconscious of The Russian Wilds, though evident more in the eager creative reach, unshakable solidity and impassioned grace that runs in the veins of Howlin Rain’s latest. Boldness is another word that comes to mind, caught in the vintage Santana break on “Phantom In The Valley,” the hushed, peculiar sweetness and controlled power of “Strange Thunder,” the delicious pop sway of “Beneath Wild Wings,” and myriad other spots on the album’s eleven often lengthy explorations. Yet, none of it feels obscure or distant, each piece dotted with small touches that elevate the good to the great, a cumulative realization that one is in the presence of real gutbucket artisans, descendents of greats like the Love, Patti Smith Group and the James Gang (whose “Collage” gets a superb makeover on Russian Wilds), and kin to fellow New Cosmic California movement members Chris Robinson Brotherhood, Assemble Head In Sunburst Sound, Wooden Shjips, and Vetiver.
Strange Vine's earthy, energetic music is a fusion of blues, psychedelic, and traditional American rock. It's a sound born of California's Sierra Nevada Mountains, from two men who were raised there. Ian Blesse plays drums and Rhodes piano (simultaneously), while Toby Cordova fleshes out the songs with a rotating arsenal of guitars (including one made from a cigar box). Both contribute vocals toward a rich, layered sound that's greater than the sum of its parts. In just a year's time, Strange Vine has already shared the stage with acts like The Black Keys, Cage The Elephant, The Growlers, Matt And Kim, White Denim,The Greenhornes, and JEFF The Brotherhood.
Electric Flower Group
Electric Flower Group had a most unlikely of beginnings. The first time they met, Josh Garza and Imaad Wasif were strangers in an elevator in London. Garza was carrying his kick drum and Wasif had his guitar in hand. They were at the BBC Studios to film performances on "Top of the Pops," Garza with his band Secret Machines and Wasif, an established solo artist, was appearing as a guest musician with Yeah Yeah Yeahs.
Another three years passed before the two men randomly collided again, this time on a street corner in Los Angeles. They decided to head to Wasif's rehearsal space. In a blast of inspiration from the cosmic weirdness of it all, they wrote "Circles," the epic track off of their debut EP. With the pounding of blood, the rumbling of thunder, and the indelicate sensations delicately rendered; its finesse lies in the grafting on such libidinous roots of the more visceral stems of Electric Flower Group.
If the world ever catches up to them, we can then be sure that times really have changed, that the end is nigh, that the circle is unbroken. Electric Flower Group are on a journey through a modern kaleidoscope of rock 'n' roll, transcending mainstream influence and incorporating strong minimalist elements into their modern psychedelic music. Electric Flower Group wakes the ghosts of rock's most daring days, while never following them.
plus DJ Britt Govea of ((folkyeah))
Wed, June 19
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