Carlton Melton, Golden Void, Vinyl DJ selections by BG
777 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA, 94110
Doors 8:00 PM / Show 9:00 PM
This event is all ages
Wooden Shjips’ rise to prominence from the psychedelic underground to the rock and roll overground has been a steady sojourn. With each consecutive release, the band has found new ways of transforming heady psychedelic rock into minimalist masterpieces, bridging the gap between the woozy freeness of Les Rallizes Denudes and Crazy Horse and the tightly wound simplicity of Suicide and the Velvet Underground. Back To Land, the quartet’s follow-up to West, is the first Wooden Shjips record to be conceived outside of San Francisco. Ripley Johnson and Omar Ahsanuddin moved to Oregon, where the lush climates became a major influence on the songwriting. The band’s scope expanded to include more earthy, grounded tones, such as the acoustic guitar, without abandoning their modernist psych core.
There is an increased brightness to many of the songs on Back To Land, an easiness with which the band has flirted with in the past but never fully realized until now. The nervy urgency of West has evolved into an assured confidence, from the alliterative, interlocking guitar and organ groove of “Ruins” to the languidly compelling guitar solos of “Servants.” The addition of the acoustic guitar to the band’s textural palate is coupled here with some of the most melodically direct songs the band has written.
Still, there are still plenty of signature Shjips songs, with distorted riffs, modal keys, and a steady, crisp drum sound unfolding intensely while the elongated melodic guitar lines drift in and out of the foreground. On Back to Land this energy is captured in clear detail, designed as an immersive experience rather than a passive blasting. Back To Land was laid to tape at Jackpot Recording Studios in Portland by Kendra Lynn and mixed by Larry Crane. It was recorded over an 11-day session, resulting in some of the most detailed and spacious recordings of their career.
Back To Land is a breakthrough record for the Wooden Shjips: nuanced, varied and utterly addictive. The band will be touring extensively in the US and Europe November through February.
"Unlike many of their contemporaries, [the band] seems to be less concerned with the pulse, and the rhythm, and the groove, as they are with the SOUND, and the VIBE, weaving lush, expansive sprawls of effects drenched psychedelic ambience, drifting more often than driving, huge clouds of swirling wah guitars, and minimal spare drumming, which seems to exist more as a pulse, than a beat proper, everything murky and muddy and washed out, at once lo-fi, but impossibly dense and heavy, the band seeming to drift weightless though swirling starlit sonic skies, their sound loose and free and abstract and ephemeral." --Aquarius Music
The members of Golden Void have been connected musically off and on since they were teenagers. After playing in various bands together and apart throughout high school and the intervening years, Isaiah Mitchell (guitar/vocals, also of Earthless), Aaron Morgan (bass), and Justin Pinkerton (drums) coalesced as Golden Void after Mitchell's move to the Bay Area in 2009. When the group realized they needed a keyboard player, the addition of Camilla Saufley-Mitchell seemed only natural. Listening to their self-titled debut album, the high level of musical kindredship that only comes from playing music together during those formative years is instantly apparent. In an age of the internet's infinite mirror that rewards pointless novelty rather than substance, Golden Void has succeeded in creating a record that exists beyond bloggable tropes of the present and expands upon the traditions of the past.
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