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Indie Rock

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Debut Festival: Bay Area Vibez

The inaugural Bay Area Vibez music festival officially announces its 3-stage, 2-day music, arts and urban lifestyle festival being held at Middle Harbor Shoreline Park in Oakland, California on Saturday, September 26th and Sunday, September 27th, with more than 25 artists to represent the line-up. The festival was created in celebration of music, art, diversity and the rich culture that mirrors the Bay Area and its unique characteristics.

The first round of artists to be released are Grammy©winning artist, Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley, Nas, who has a #1 album on American Billboard top 200, eight time Grammy© winning artist/producer, Stephen "Ragga" Marley, Grammy© nominated Meshell Ndegeocello, #1 Billboard reggae performer Morgan Heritage, Tarrus Riley, Jo Mersa; son of Stephen Marley, Fiji, Fishbone, Krooked Treez, Richie Spice, I-Wayne, Queen Omega, Ghetto Youths, The Courtney John Project, Black Am-I and the Oakland based fan-favorite band, Forrest Day, along with a few big surprises!

"...The eclectic mix is what constitutes the urban festival and represents the very nature of the Bay Area," says festival coordinator, Yurel Hassan Cooke. "The location is impeccable for an annual festival. With other surrounding fest locations as California Roots, Outside Lands, Reggae on the River and Treasure Island, the Bay Area Vibez seemed to fill a void on the map, and blending the genres for the Bay Area just felt right."

The water-lined breathtaking views of the city of San Francisco and the Bay Bridge have made Middle Harbor Shoreline Park in Oakland the perfect backdrop for this urban lifestyle festival. 

"Keeping the music alive for the next generations is key. Collectively, we need to support the creative flow of our children and open their eyes to a new world filled with creativity and a universal appreciation for diversity," says festival co-founders, an Oakland native; Tressa Wells, along with tour manager to Damian Marley, Albert "Pretty" Cooke.

General Admission are set at $85 for 1-day passes, $160 for 2-day passes and $225 1-day VIP, or $400 2-day VIP passes, which include early entrance to grounds, special VIP viewing and lounge area, VIP beer and wine garden and select organic foods and snacks. Shuttle services will be available for convenient entrance to the festival. Parking passes are $29 per day. Festival hours go from 11am to 10pm daily. For more information, or to secure tickets, visit www.BayAreaVibez.com.

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Social Studies to Release New Album Wake - 9/18

The popular San Francisco based indie rock band, Social Studies is returning with a new full length album entitled, Wake. Releasing their first EP in 2007, San Francisco’s own indie pop/rock outfit, Social Studies, have undergone multiple reincarnations before finding their current line-up and signature sound.

You can take a listen to a track from the band's dreamy new album called Drifty in anticipation of the official release on September 18th. You can preorder a vinyl version of Wake at Social Studies' record label, Aerobic International's website. The digital version of the album is available now.

We're totally excited for this news. Make sure you support local independent music!

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Hovvdy's Three Tracks on "Stay Warm" Split Are Nostalgia for the Right Reasons

A question for the kids (meaning all you fine folk 25 and under) before we get to the review of the super-solid recent 3-track output by local band Hovvdy that we got on a split with also damn good band Loafer. Right, so: do y’all still know Pavement? I mean, I don’t expect anyone who was born in a year numbered higher than 1990 to be jamming anything like Archers of Loaf or (definitely not) proto-indie like Minutemen, but Pavement is still a big deal….right?

Oh god, I hope that’s right; I’m just gonna keep believing it with my fingers in my ears to block out the chorus of “Who?” that I expect. Knowledge of the bands from the pre millennium that made music what it is is especially relevant to me when it comes to this review, because that kind of 90s indie that opened the doors for rock music to be both pop and experimental while also being approachable is super helpful in understanding is why these Hovvdy tracks are such soul-touchers for the fan of indie from days before the festival and the internet changed the genre into the massive machine that it is in 2015. Not that it’s bad now. Far from it. But, it’s very different now. There was a time when you really couldn’t expect even most music fans to know the shit you dug, and that’s the ancestral grounds where these three Hovvdy tracks seem to be returning back from on some sort-of musical time-warp pilgrimage: they drip 90s, and that drip is sweet (…though that sentence is kinda gross).

I figure that Hovvdy probably gets what I mean here to some degree, because they go so far as to use the term “slack” as one of the tags on the Bandcamp page for their part of the split, a term that very specifically references 90s indie, and an attitude which Hovvdy quite embodies with their tired-of-the-world’s-shit vocals and lyrics about houses and weird relationships and being an introspective person. Take this verse from second, gorgeous slow sleeper track “Phase” for instance: “i still feel you're special to me/everyone around agrees/it must be my phase of nothing/nothing sounds so easy to me/i can let things pass right by me/i was made that way.”

In terms of sound, you can clearly hear all the elements of your standard “Band” on these three songs- guitars, drums, keys and vocals are all quite distinct and easy to pick out- and the tracks are readily identifiable as yer “indie rock” type of music. Yet, they do that Pavement/Modest Mousey/90s experimentally-opened indie pop thing by making all of the elements just a bit weird. There’s fuzz over the intro beat to first track “Treat” that makes the snares sound like they’re coming out of era-appropriately shitty speakers, the guitars often twiddle around in slightly-out-of-tune land, tracks don’t stick to the typical song structure completely (like how “Treat” just ends quickly, when it damn feels like it should). The three tracks also fulfill the promise of bands like Pavement that didn’t shy away from accessing a wide palette of emotions and song-types within their genre by jumping around in the soundscape, from the up and fun energy (though still fully slacker-style) of “Treat” to the pretty thoughtfulness of “Phase” to the plodding, enveloping sound of very (oddly for a slow track) short “Color.”

These three tracks are music that, since I came across it, I keep coming back to for the right reasons when it comes to songs that play on old grounds: it’s nostalgic, but it’s fresh to death in that it does its own thing with these sounds from the past. It’s warm and inviting to this dude from the era who remembers suburban half-malaise- it reminds me of trips to the record store with a car full of friends who could barely afford the gas, the record store being not where you went to buy shit for a trendy collection, but the place that mostly sold CDs and you went because you knew you’d hear shit you just would never have found anywhere else. It’s music whose hand I wistfully want to hold on the hood of a car on the single hill overlooking our small hometown that we both feel weird about and want to leave, but both sorta know it’s a time and place we’ll look back on and miss.

I’d be interested to know how these tracks sit with kids born in the post-1989 set, but I’d venture to guess that there’s a ton here to love for you guys as well, what with the eternal fetishization of the past being a thing and indie like this still, as these tracks prove, obviously riding strong in the cultural zeitgeist. Give it a try yourself below, and if you have any feels on this here music that makes me feel old and young at the same time, let this semi-foagie know in the comments below. We’ll likely be getting to the Loafer section of this soon as well here on The Deli, though you should certainly go ahead and give ‘er a listen now, as it’s also damn decent indie weirdness. Slack lives, y’all.

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Happy Fangs Black Map and El Terrible Play Bottom of the Hill - 9/12

The SF based heavy garage rock band, Happy Fangs will be headlining a show in San Francisco at Bottom of the Hill tomorrow night, September 12th. If you want to whip and bang your head (assuming people still head bang) to a night a heavy garage rock this is the show to attend. Black Map will also be performing some thrashy music that borders on metal. The post punk band, El Terrible will be rounding out the bill. How can you deny a Saturday night of music at Bottom of the Hill?!

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Malandros' "Milk and Cereal" Holds Up for Nine Tracks That Never Get Soggy

Milk and Cereal, released in May 2015, is the title of the newest album from June 2015 Artist Of The Month: Malandros. The 4-piece, heavy reverb, surfer rock sounds of Milk and Cereal make you want to sit out in your backyard with a piña colada and your feet dipped into hot pink kiddie pool. From the clean chops of the lead guitar to the rolling punch of the bass, Malandros’ new album has some wonderful new tunes for you to soak your head in. The song ‘Hollow Eyes’ makes you want to cruise a little red convertible on some winding roads in the middle of nowhere. This is one to definitely put the top down to, so get a good listen on below.

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Taylor Mangiameli

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