The Bay Brewed Rock-n-Roll Beer Festival

After months of testing their limits and trusting their instincts, Bear in Heaven will emerge in April 2012 with I Love You, It's Cool, an album so vivid and visionary that it meets and even exceeds the confidence and calm its title suggests.
In 2010, Beast Rest Forth Mouth delighted listeners with the unexpected-futuristic rock music that didn't sound alien or bound to ostracize. Taking these songs from coast to coast and continent to continent, they learned that having fun with this music was copacetic, that they could delight a crowd while defying musical binaries. I Love You, It's Cool turns that realization into a peerless set of instant anthems.
Indeed, some of these songs are ready for the floor. In one a perfect guitar figure spirals through colossal drums and slabs of synthesizers. Elsewhere bliss booms in icy keyboards reflecting off a relentless throb. It's inescapable.
The intricacy and edge of Bear in Heaven's music is sharper than ever before. The programming is both complex and compelling, whether in the refracted rainbows or woven noisy matrices. Certainly, in places it feels like a hit, with hooks that instantly catch and bridges that curl a finger-lyrically, stylistically, temptingly-toward the dance floor. Bear In Heaven's mix of nostalgia and need is immediately relatable, too, bringing the band's exploratory sounds a little closer back to home before they exit in momentary space-rock ascendance, a readymade rock-club banger that erupts into a bold new direction.
I Love You, It's Cool is the first time Bear in Heaven has sounded so unapologetic and so evolved, so risky and so redeeming, so focused and so finessed. After years of restless exploration, this feels like a definitive arrival. I Love You, It's Cool is music written in the present tense but ready to speak to the future. The work is its own rarified reward.

Born Gold, the lads formerly known as Gobble Gobble are hard, up against it and reaching heavenwards in a desperate bid for your adoration. "Decimate Everything" as the title for a lead track is a bit of dangerous hyperbole for this offering which falls in, or forms, the epicenter of electronic's newest genre: electro-fuzzyjoypop. Accompanying such bold phrasing, one expects hulking bass ignorant of what it steps on, coruscating power cords which peel back ones cerebral cortex and corrupting vocals which inform on how to lay waste to all organic life on Earth in three easy steps. Not here, no. If you armed Al Jorgensen with a feather… or both members of Erasure with jackhammers they could do more damage in a china shop than these canucks. Admittedly "Decimate Everything" comes out of the gate with a bit of heat, it surrenders it all, and quickly, to a pastoral gallop where cheeky handclaps abound and heels are clicked with in a confetti tsunami—"Decimate All Dirt and Clean Everything Really, Really Well" may be a more apt tag. As for the rest of the LP, promises are made, ever-lasting fealty sworn, friendships consummated. That being said, if you like ebullient music and phrases that rhyme, you're in for a treat. Fan of the Pet Shop Boys? Bronski Beat? ABC? Soft Cell, Erasure or Vince Clarke in general? Form a line, do it with joyous abandon—they're based in San Fran so you needn't pack a bag! - Magnetic Mag

Sonny and the Sunsets

Sonny & the Sunsets' busted beach-pop songs spark recollections of doo wop's otherworldly despair, the kitchen sink savoir faire of The Raincoats, a dose of goofball humor from the Michael Hurley school, and positive possibilities exuded by Jonathan Richman, with and without The Modern Lovers. Helmed by the acclaimed singer / songwriter, playwright, author & onetime troubadour pianoman Sonny Smith, The Sunsets have featured a revolving door lineup that became permanent with Kelley Stoltz, Tahlia Harbour and Ryan Browne. Still more friends and neighbors including John Dwyer, Tim Cohen and Shayde Sartin cosmically appeared to contribute to the debut LP, Tomorrow is Alright. The LP is limited to 500 copies. Tomorrow is Alright hits on all the right zones, from sly VU-like observations to the true bedlam explored by Holy Modal Rounders. All the while, Sonny's pen is soaked with an EC comics sense of storytelling, touching equally on the macabre, the absurd, the humorous, and above all, the entertaining.

Blasted Canyons

Drag race music for mutants featuring MATT JONES aka MUSTACHE, HEATHER FEDEWA aka HETHER FORTUNE (Wax Idols), and ADAM FINKEN aka FINKMEISTER.

"Blasted Canyons seem to have this notion of importance that comes along with their batshit complexion. The truth is, these guys are important whether they think it or not. No band but Blasted Canyons could take such obnoxious sounds and spin them into this totally relentless realm of noisy post-punk and actually make it work. Was this album just a one time deal? Let's hope not." --styrofoamdrone.com

James and Evander

"Nestled deep into the heart of Oakland are the two producers behind the future-poppin' duo James & Evander. James & Evander (a.k.a. Adam Myatt and Glenn Jackson) began crafting electro sounds in the latter's apartment while attending an art school over five years ago. Since then, the pair's sound has evolved far beyond its instrumental indietronica roots and now takes form as subdued, lush synth-pop voyages complete with sparkling melodies and melancholy vocals. Citing influences as disparate as Dntel-style techno, blissful chillwave, and contemporary pop, James & Evander's productions are truly a hybrid, one which has yielded a number of original releases and an on-going remix series." --The Jukebox

Trails and Ways

"Temporal, the second EP from Oakland-based DIY-pop quartet Trails and Ways, is a startling — and startlingly impressive — sophomore release: unique and ambitious and freighted with potential, at once dense and delicate, deftly combining disparate genres and dozens of instruments to create a sound that's hard to categorize and equally hard to forget....Temporal manages to invoke sounds as disparate as bossanova, afrobeat, calypso, and jazz, often in the same song; it's telling that the band has a broad range of influences, including Animal Collective, Bon Iver, Thelonius Monk, Drake, Paul Simon, and, especially, tUnE-yArDs." --East Bay Express

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The Bay Brewed Rock-n-Roll Beer Festival

Saturday, December 1 · Doors 12:30 PM at Public Works