Posts Tagged ‘San Diego’

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That wasn’t supposed to be the title, of course. In one of the most oft-told tales of happy mistakes in rock, Iron Butterfly member Doug Ingle was so drunk on cheap wine that when he played his new song, “In the Garden of Eden” for a band mate it came out as “In-a-Gadda-Da Vida.” The band decided to keep it that way, and a classic hard-rock song was born. The track, more than 17 minutes on the album of the same name, slashed down for the single, is often considered one of the seminal tunes of heavy metal ever.

The band formed in San Diego in 1966, with Ingle on vocals and organ, along with Jack Pinney (drums), Greg Willis (bass) and Danny Weis (guitar). Another singer, Darryl DeLoach, who also played tambourine, soon joined them, and Jerry Penrod replaced Willis on bass before they were signed to a recording contract. Ingle has said that the band’s name was supposed to indicate a contrast between weighty and light, but no one will ever accuse Iron Butterfly of being too soft. From the start, they were going for something louder and more primal and aggressive than other bands of the day, and they titled their debut album “Heavy”, released on Atco Records in 1968, just to get the point across.

That album reached #78 early in the year and by the summer of ’68 the group was already set to release its sophomore LP. “In-a-Gadda-Da-Vida”released on June 14th, 1968, and featuring the quartet of Ingle, guitarist Erik Brann, drummer Ron Bushy and bassist Lee Dorman—took its name from its title track, which occupied all of Side B on the original vinyl LP. Most of that time was given over to a post-psychedelic jam that dovetailed with the improvisational music that was being played at ballrooms in the U.S. and abroad and would soon be taken to new extremes by groups that would fall into the just-emerging heavy metal category.

Lyrically, other than the misheard title phrase, there really wasn’t much to “In-a-Gadda-Da-Vida.” It could have been a  ’50s love song. They sang:

“In a gadda da vida, honey
Don’t you know that I’m lovin’ you
In a gadda da vida, baby
Don’t you know that I’ll always be true”

The chorus, too, was hardly profound:

“Oh, won’t you come with me
And take my hand
Oh, won’t you come with me
And walk this land
Please take my hand”

But it was all in the presentation, and Iron Butterfly found their audience with their second album and its center piece. The album, recorded on Long Island, rose to No#4 on the BillboardLP chart, while the single, was edited down to a more radio-friendly 2:52, found its way to onto that chart. Not all rock fans were swayed: “In-a-Gadda-Da-Vida,” and Iron Butterfly itself, were divisive: you either loved the song or despised it. The single and album signalled a shift in rock away from the more flowery, psychedelic sound that flourished at the Monterey Pop Festival and San Francisco’s rock palaces toward something more head-battering.

Nonetheless, “In-a-Gadda-Da-Vida” quickly established itself as a rock classic and when the band performed the song live, they often extended it even beyond the 17-minute mark, reportedly reaching a half-hour at times. The In-a-Gadda-Da-Vida album has been certified multi-platinum, reportedly selling more than 30 million copies total. (Iron Butterfly was, in fact, the first-ever group to receive an RIAA platinum album award.)

Iron Butterfly continued to find success for some years after 1968. Their next album, 1969’s “Ball”, and the group was scheduled to play Woodstock Festival but missed the gig when the helicopter meant to transport them to the site failed to show up. The 1970 “Live” album included a 19-minute version of followed just a few months later by the album “Metamorphosis”.

But as the ’70s unfurled, and other trends and bands came into the picture, audiences moved on. Iron Butterfly disbanded in 1971 but by ’74 a new line-up had revived the name, and they’ve never gone away. To this day there is an Iron Butterfly band, featuring one early member, Ron Bushy—although there has been no new Iron Butterfly album release in more than four decades.

Announced is a 7CD Box Set “Anthology” of material by legendary acid prog band Iron Butterfly ‘Unconscious Power – An Anthology 1967-1971’ features all of the albums issued on Atco, newly re-mastered from the original master tapes, plus rare mono mixes previously unreleased on CD, along with two CDs of recordings made at the Fillmore East in New York City in 1968. It also includes all of the band’s US non-album singles and single edits and a lavishly illustrated booklet.

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Delta Spirit? more like belter spirit! every single one of these anthemic americana pop sizzlers has been kissed under the Californian sun and – fortunately for us – imported into England.

As much as it reflects their journey thus far, it also ushers them into new territory as both musicians and, most importantly, friends. in the end, Delta Spirit not only return but move forward together on ‘what is there’. “the album has a Side A and Side B feel to it with the first half comprised of layered, dense tunes as is mixer Blake’s penchant. ” – glide magazine.

“…it’s tempting to frame What Is There, their first record in six years, as a comeback. There are several moments that make the case. Opener “The Pressure” is a spirited, up-tempo track guided by a screeching guitar and a sing-along chorus. “It Ain’t Easy” recalls the soul of their earliest work and makes good use of the band’s biggest strength, frontman Matthew Logan Vasquez’s passionate voice. “Home Again” feels like the best example of what Delta Spirit could have been, beginning with their characteristic sound before gradually deconstructing it in a mind-bending solo designed for headphones.”


Releases September 11th, 2020

Delta Spirit is:
Matthew Logan Vasquez
Kelly Winrich,
Will McLaren,
Jonathan Jameson,
Brandon Young,

All songs written, arranged and performed by Matthew Logan Vasquez, Jonathan Jameson, Kelly Winrich, Brandon Young, and Will McLaren

Hello friends! Throughout late April and early May we worked on these two editions for two EP of cover songs, collaborating across the ocean from our respective homes in Paris and Los Angeles. We now present you “Shitty Times Volume 1”, featuring our versions of songs by Robyn Hitchcock, Madonna, Elli & Jacno (featuring Raphaëlle of Metro Verlaine), Satan’s Rats, Lou Reed and East River Pipe. Originally it was something we did to alleviate the boredom of lock down in lieu of being able to get into a studio to record all the new original music we’ve written over the past year.

Hello friends, we are back with Volume 2 of our “Shitty Times” covers series! This time we tackle songs by Zounds, Henry Badowski, The Ruins, Witch, Screaming Sneakers and Lou Miami & the Kozmetix.



All profits will go to For The Gworls Party who raise money to assist Black Trans folks rent and affirmative surgery.

The band:
Brandon Welchez – Vocals, Guitar
Charles Rowell – Guitars, Keys, Vocals

Kate Clover – Vocals on Violent Days & Dance With Death
Josh Welchez – Horns on Die Underground

“I Shall Be Free” is the second single in the series of four 7”vinyls leading up to their next full-length LP. Each single being a seasonal release. “I Shall Be Free” is the Spring installment. The song is defiant anti-work protest punk. The slash your face chords and bass less undertow channels an AC/DC-Cramps hybrid that completely misses the mark. Primo Hot Snakes for sure.
released February 11th, 2020
Released  Sub Pop Records

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Surf-punks The Frights released a new album of uncharacteristically emotive songs. “Everything Seems Like Yesterday” is the group’s second LP for Epitaph, and the first to see them move in the direction of introspective acoustic songwriting, rooted in vocalist Mikey Carnevale’s original intention to share the songs as a solo record. Among the ten new tracks, “Leave Me Alone” stands out as particularly earworm-y pop song, borrowing little more than its angsty subject matter from their SoCal-punk godparents.

Band Members
Marc Finn – Drums
Mikey Carnevale – Guitar
Richard Dotson – Bass
Jordan Clark – Guitar
Our new album ‘Everything Seems Like Yesterday’ is out now digitally on Epitaph Records. CD/Vinyl Out March 13th.

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The newly released “Cigarette Hills” is a rousing success from San Diego act The Strawberry Moons. An initial arsenal of playful organs and escalating vocals becomes accompanied by sweltering guitars past the one-minute mark. The organ/guitar interplay thereafter is engaging alongside the vocal presence, which impresses with the “soul” enunciation leading into the thunderous guitars at the two-minute mark. “Cigarette Hills” is a great introduction to The Strawberry Moons, whose debut full-length album (produced and engineered by Ben Moore) is out on September 24th


Band Members
Aimee Jacobs, Will A Lerner, John Falk, Jason Areford, Dustin Schemensky . Things change, John has left and now there is Hector. Elements of indie pop, psychedelic and ’60s rock with an emphasis on strong melodies, strong words, strong coffee, and guy-girl vocals.


Independent record label located in San Diego, CA by way of Boston, MA. Started in 2006.

Hitting up South By Southwest this year? Topshelf Records will be returning to Austin Cheer Up Charlie’s for our official SXSW showcase on Thursday, 15th March. We have an awesome lineup this year featuring GulferQueen of JeansSpecial ExplosionRatboys, and No Vacation.



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Swami John Reis and Rick Froberg have been making noises together since high school. The mean swagger of Hot Snakes. Reis and Froberg are responsible for some of the most turbulent rock and roll of their, or any, generation.

Hot Snakes streamlined Drive Like Jehu’s complex compositions and emerged as bona fide downstroke warlords. They have made 3 studio albums of high-velocity, slash-your-face, piss-punk: 2000’s Automatic Midnight, 2002’s Suicide Invoice and 2004’s Audit in Progress. The band ceased activity in 2005 but reunited for a triumphant world tour in 2011, planting the seeds for what would further happen.

Now, after a 14-year hiatus from the studio, Hot Snakes have kicked down the door back into our lives with their new album, Jericho Sirens, due out March 16th from Sub Pop Records. The new album blasts out of the speakers with the furious “I Need a Doctor,” inspired by Froberg’s experience needing a doctor’s note in order to miss an important work function. “Yeah, I had to be quick on my feet,” says Rick. “Luckily a friend had a stack of stationary from Planned Parenthood and I used that to forge a note relieving me of my obligation”.

Throughout Jericho Sirens, Froberg commiserates with the frustration and torrential apathy that seems to be a fixture in our daily lives, while also reminding us that we have no fucking clue. “Songs like ‘Death Camp Fantasy’ and ‘Jericho Sirens’ are about that,” he says. “No matter where you look, there’re always people saying the world’s about to end. Musically, the album incorporates the most extreme fringes of the Hot Snakes sound (the vein-bulging, 78-second “Why Don’t It Sink In?” the manic, Asian Blues on speed of “Having Another?”), while staying true to longstanding influences such as the Wipers, Dead Moon, and Suicide on propulsive tracks such as “Six Wave Hold-Down,” one of the first songs written for the project during a Mummer Parade 2017 session in Philadelphia. Other moments like the choruses of “Jericho Sirens” and “Psychoactive” nod to Status Quo and AC/DC with Froberg admitting, “I still flip bird and ride my BMX on top of cop cars.”

Jericho Sirens was recorded in short bursts over the past year, mostly in San Diego and Philadelphia with longtime bassist Gar Wood, Jason Kourkounis and Mario Rubalcaba, both of whom drummed on prior Hot Snakes releases but never on the same one. For Reis, reactivating his creative partnership with Froberg was one of the most rewarding aspects of the process: “Our perspectives are similar. Our tastes are similar. He is my family. And what more is there to say? My favorite part of making this record was hearing him find his voice and direction for this record. I came hard.”

In tandem with a full back catalog reissue series and the new album, Hot Snakes will return to the road in 2018 to incinerate the villages, and they’re already looking ahead to more music. Says Gar Wood, “There’re already 2 more records written and recorded. We wanted to come out with this one using the more mainstream sounding stuff to give people a chance to catch up.”

Jericho Sirens (Release Date: March 16th, 2018) Sub Pop Records, Catch the band Live Tuesday, January 30th Rescue Rooms, Nottingham, United Kingdom.

Last Call Withdrawal

San Diego band Barbarian are back with the new video for “Last Call Withdrawal.”

Getting a video for “Last Call Withdrawal” now is something of a surprise. The track appeared on Barbarian’s debut full-length Night Blooms, which was released way, way back in 2014. So while getting a video now for a two-year-old song is a bit of an unusual development, it’s definitely not an unwelcome one. “Last Call Withdrawal” was an undeniable standout on the damn-good Night Blooms. The hazy track is at once upbeat and laid-back. It never insists on itself, but wraps around your brain with the comfort of a warm blanket or a glass of single malt.

We’ve known for a while now that “Last Call Withdrawal” is a great song, and now it finally has the video it deserves. Starring Barbarian frontman Andrew Mills and model Sophie Stephens, the video was shot in the gorgeous Imperial Valley desert/Salton Sea area. The easy chemistry between the two leads is as enjoyable to behold as the sun-drenched vistas.

The video was directed by Cory Ring and Blake Raynor of Kakalak Collective. If Raynor and Kakalak Collective sound familiar, it’s because they were also behind the recent “Crave” video for Dani Bell & the Tarantist, which also followed a photogenic couple around the desert to intoxicating effect.

“Last Call Withdrawal” is dedicated to Barbarian’s longtime producer/engineer and bassist Jon Greene, who has also worked with San Diego alums Dum Dum Girls and Crocodiles. Greene passed away on November 5th.

Music video by Barbarian performing Last Call Withdrawal. (c) Creature Beach Recordings

WAVVES – ” Way Too Much “

Posted: October 10, 2015 in MUSIC
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San Diego’s limitless supply of sunshine never gets old. From the sound of the new album V the band. Wavves aren’t tiring of their version of that formula either. The city’s indie-surf sons have emerged from the garage once again with seemingly upbeat, jangly songs contrasted by depressing lyrics revolving around losing your job (“All the Same”), losing your girl (“My Head Hurts”), losing your friends (“Cry Baby”), and losing your life (“Flamezesz”). But this time around, they’re back with controversy in tow—thanks to frontman Nathan Williams’ Twitter-bashing of his record label. That’s not a surprise to anyone who’s seen him throw Pete Doherty-worthy antics onstage, or to those who have listened to him whine while crooning, as he does on “Way Too Much”  (“I’m just stumbling / And I’m looking for a purpose / I’m just leaning / And it’s coming to the surface too much / Always thinking too much / This conversation is getting boring / I’ve given up and now I’m on the ground”). With V, Wavves haven’t completely given up yet, but they certainly aren’t trying anything new, either.