5-YEAR EOTB-DAY PARTY

Celebrating 5 years of Ears of the Beholder, a music blogger-turned-event thrower, playlist maker and sometimes DJ. More importantly a great concert experience.

GARDENS & VILLA

Gardens & Villa is the project of five college friends from Santa Barbara, formed following the collapse of a noisier post-punk band and a hitch-hiking journey up the west coast. Members Chris Lynch, Adam Rasmussen, Levi Hayden, Shane McKillop began playing in earnest as Gardens & Villa in 2008. The name is pulled from the location of their house on Villa Street, and the property’s lovely garden to which they tend. The music they make is very much connected to coastal city they call home — the stoney bike rides, dance parties, a scene free of judgment. The band refers to this Santa Barbara feeling as “coco vibes.” For two weeks in the summer of 2010, the band camped behind visionary and now-labelmate Richard Swift’s Oregon studio. No shower, no kitchen, but all the magic you could ask for. After taking a band oath to always play all parts live — a la Talking Heads’ Stop Making Sense — the band added member Dusty Ineman to supremely execute the live incarnation of the band.

"After recording in Starfucker's home city of Portland, Oregon, Gardens & Villa released their debut album on Yeasayer's label Secretly Canadian, and coincidentally, Gardens & Villa sound a lot like a cross between those two groups. Similarly, Levi Hayden, Shane McKillop, Adam Rasmussen, and Chris Lynch make warm indie pop with airy falsettos and retro synths. It’s a tranquil listen, even when a picnic song like the chillwavey “Orange Blossom,” with its pseudo-sexy hook “Think of me like a swarm of bees/Circling around your knees/To pollinate means ecstasy,” gives way into the chugging acoustics of “Thorn Castles,” a jam that's brisk enough for a jog on the beach. References to the outdoors are peppered all over the album -- from “Black Hills” to "Carrizo Plain"-- and this naturalist theme, combined with the digital production, gives the record a nice sense of balance." --AllMusic.com

PAINTED PALMS

Painted Palms' second full-length album, Horizons, exudes a sense of confidence and purpose that is only present when two creators share a singular focus and absolute trust in each other’s talents.

On Horizons, emotional states are suspended between light and dark, driven by the tension of efficient song structures. From the first ominous harmonies of lead single “Refractor,” it’s clear that Painted Palms’ panoramic pop sound has never been more fully realized.

Though vocalist Chris Prudhomme and producer Reese Donohue chose to collaborate on their second full-length by sending song ideas back and forth over e-mail, just as they did when crafting their 2014 debut Forever, Horizons marks the first time the duo has expanded their sound beyond the bedroom by stepping into the studio.

Mixed by former DFA house engineer Eric Broucek (LCD Soundsystem, Classixx), Horizons engages with a diverse sonic palette on each track: ‘60s psych-pop, ‘80s synths, hypnotic vibes of the kind induced by Bjork and early ‘90s Creation Records bands, and the trunk-rattling minimalism of Southern hip-hop.

Pale Blue Dot

"The East Bay trio known as Pale Blue Dot does not necessarily self-identify as a “supergroup,” but I went there anyway. Comprised of members of James & Evander, The Aimless Never Miss, and B. Hamilton, what else would you call it?

“There may be a few Bay Area music nerds who know our other bands, but we’d hardly call it a supergroup,” says Adam Myatt, also of James & Evander. “We’re three somewhat-like-minded musicians/friends from Oakland, who met playing shows in various bands together, and like to think of this current project as Carl Sagan-inspired disco.”

You read that right, folks: “Carl Sagan-inspired disco.” So now would probably be a good time to hit you with Pale Blue Dot’s first track. Here’s “Voyage”, which does indeed ride a disco-ish beat, but there’s so much more here to like – crystalline guitar lines, spacey synths (hence the Carl Sagan, I’m guessing), and a grooving, bouncy bass line." --Bay Bridged

plus DJs Glenn Jackson and Ear Of The Beholder

$12

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