Instantly infectious is the way to describe listening to Hair for the first time. The synergy is apparent between White Fence and Ty Segall on their full-length album released on Drag City Records this week. Give it a few more spins, and much like hair, it’ll grow on you, but like a shaggy, unkempt mane. Here, LA- and San Francisco-born musical chops combine for a multi-layered, psych-soaked and even at times—crunchy sound collage.
There’s something vaguely Cobainian about San Francisco’s latest prodigal punk son gone national, Ty Segall. Perhaps it’s all on the surface — the stringy blond hair covering his face, his nihilistic, alyrical groan, his haphazard yet taut soloing. But there’s a certain grunginess to his band’s aesthetic, also a nuts ‘n’ bolts alignment of guitar, bass and drums. All of it begged a certain question: were we watching something special on Saturday night at The Independent? Was this what it was like to see Bleach-era Nirvana in a Seattle club in the mid-‘90s, when all that mattered was the channeling of angst?
A last minute show to save the still-unsaved KUSF will hit the stage at the also in-need-of-saving Eagle Tavern tomorrow night. This time, a smattering of the city's A-list virtuosos will band together to whip up some much-needed attention to the cause: Thee Oh Sees and Ty Segall are bringing their always-solid performances, as well as The Sandwitches and local music vet Carletta Sue Kay to round out the evening.
Given the precarious state of these city institutions (and the fact that the Eagle and KUSF have both contributed immensely to the local success of all these performing bands), expect these bands to throw their blood, sweat and tears into this gig.
Not to diss 2009 or jinx 2011, but this was an unusually exciting and solid year for our bustling little music scene. As the notoriously NYC-biased Pitchfork recently put it, our fair city is "slowly threatening to eclipse Brooklyn in the ranks of regional talent." Hey-yo! Listed below are seven full length releases (sorry, Girls) from the year that particularly stood out to us, along with five additional LPs too good not to mention.