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Tim Cohen's Magic Trick album release party tonight!

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, August 24, 2011 02:00pm | Post a Comment
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Tonight tonight tonight! (((folkYEAH!))) presents the latest aural conjurings from local pop-psych wizard (popsyzard?) and Fresh & Onlys brainchild/frontman Tim Cohen's sleight of band side-project Magic Trick in celebration of their latest release The Glad Birth of Love (out on Empty Cellar) -- a record consisting of only four songs clocking in at nearly forty-five minutes that finds Cohen coloring outside the lines, expanding upon his improvisational troubadour habit by exploring a limitlessness of epic, long-form composition most gallantly, with more than a few influential favors bestowed from Joanna Newsom tucked beneath his armor.

That Cohen continues to maintain an excitement about his rambles comes as no surprise as his previous works, given his Two Sides, Onlys, Black Fiction, Feller Quentin, Smif Carniverous et al, are as different as pineapples and peaches but remain each enjoyable to the last. And this newly-born Glad Birth of Love is no exception, for it is most definitely Cohen's most ambitious release to date and features several heavy-hitter guest appearances like John Dwyer of Thee Oh Sees, Grace Cooper of The Sandwitches, Diego Gonzalez of The Dry Spells and Citay, plus many more. The limited-to-100-copies edition “comes in an elegant old-style tip-on jacket” with an 11″ x 22″ poster featuring what one dear friend of mine declared to be "some scary-ass artwork."

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My Best of 2010: Music Picks by Kelly

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, January 13, 2011 08:45pm | Post a Comment
Howdy and Happy New Year, one and all. I've spent about a week and half, that is the first week and a half of 2011, listening only to the music I purchased last year and I've come up with a list of stuff that I am not only not sick of but ready to live happily ever after with. Here's what I love the most, my best picks for music released in 2010, and you know it's gotta be firm 'cause it's all I've been living on. Let's go:
sun city girls funeral mariachi album cover
Sun City Girls - Funeral Mariachi (Abduction)

This is the kind of record that you listen to repeatedly, one side at a time. I think I must have replayed side one at least five times before moving on to play side two again and again --- it's just a mesmerizing and solid piece of work, enchanting and haunted by an astounding breadth of world music influences (no doubt culled from field recordings, transmissions and the like Sun City Girls has gifted to the public via their Sublime Frequencies label, which pretty much makes them, alongside Mississippi Records, the Smithsonian Folkways of our generation). This release is held even more dear by the fact that it is the last Sun City Girls record due to the death of drummer and vocalist Charles Gocher Jr. in 2007. It's also a limited release, so get it while you can. In fact, it's the "get it while you can" of 2010.

Sun City Girls - "Blue West" from Funeral Mariachi


Tim Cohen's New Video for I Come Alive

Posted by Miss Ess, September 9, 2010 04:46pm | Post a Comment

"I Come Alive"

Local artist (and, full disclosure, Amoeba employee) Tim Cohen's quite the prolific guy. Aside from fronting the Fresh & Onlys, Tim also has put out several solo records, including The Two Sides of Tim Cohen and Laugh Tracks.

Now, our own Gabriel Wheeler (yes, so much talent stews and brews within the walls and halls of Amoeba!) has directed Tim in a video for "I Come Alive," his track on the Secret Seven release of SF local sounds In A Cloud. The vid is full of dark Guy Maddin-esque flickering imagery and vampire women. Intriguing! You can check out more of his music here.

Sandy Babes: The Sandwitches play Duck Duck Goose!

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, June 30, 2010 03:50pm | Post a Comment
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There are many things to love about The Sandwitches and their latest release, the Duck Duck Goose! EP (on Empty Cellar/Secret Seven Records), serves as further proof that these ladies are not only gilding a most devastatingly alluring and emotional totem pole of a discography, but they are also among the very sagest of storytellers, which is, when you think about it, just about as artistically primal as witch's tit in a brass bra. It takes courage to create an album this dark for kids, yet it's not clear if the wee ones are really who the Sandwitches are lulling here. If storytelling, besides being the earliest of mediums in that it's the way cultural and familial values are communicated, parent to child, grants us a means by which we may overcome and deal with overpowering fears --- fear of the dark, fear of the unknown --- then there is nothing cowardly or immature about the eerie compositions that permeate this limited run, one-sided vinyl 12". Clearly the Sandwitches are not about to soften their punches, no matter how bewitchingly thrown.
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Duck Duck Goose! begins with the cooing, protracted "Stardust" --- a lush and dreamy original number that at once lives up to the descriptive "heartbreaking acoustic lullabies" label affixed to the record sleeve. In fact, it is a lullaby so heartbreaking that it seems meant to comfort a terminally ill child fearlessly into eternal sleep: "nothing to fear going into darkness/ we'll be nearer to each other." What follows is the first of two aural vignettes (the reprise closing out the recording, accordingly) wherein the echos of ghostly rounds of duck duck goose are played against the sound of nursery rhymes tapped hastily on a distant spectral piano, thus upping the spook-factor enshrouding the sessions captured for this EP, achieving an overall don't-even-think-of-exploring-that-abandoned-school-house vibe. Then "Rock of Gibraltar," a haunting cover of a Tim Cohen song that appeared as a bonus track to the excellent Two Sides of Tim Cohen album, segues into a impressionistic rendition of the bravest little Disney tear-jerker of all time, the Oscar nominated "Baby Mine" (check out the video below) . If you haven't settled down snugly into the darkness by now, or at least stopped the record to call your mom for love's sake, the Sandwitches' own "Song of Songs," another sweet 'n' simple ballad (yet less heavy than the preceding pieces), lights the night with its own slow burning wax and wick. It's enough to remind one of what it feels like to be a child, a young person guided though his or her terror by comforting voices and lilting melody. And when the ghosts appear again the heart is less anxious, the mind less afraid.sandwitches cat album cover jason faulkner artwork how to make ambient sadcake deput lp vinyl

Interview with Sonny Smith About 100 Records, The Unique New Fictitious Record Cover Art Show at SF's Gallery 16

Posted by Billyjam, April 8, 2010 04:36am | Post a Comment
100 Records 16 Gallery exhibit piece  by Reed AndersonEver since the music industry tried to quietly kill off vinyl, it appears that the medium, complete with its accompanying cover art form, has triumphantly resisted eradication. In fact, not only have records, along with album & singles & ten-inch cover art, refused to die -- they've actually grown in popularity with a whole new generation of appreciative vinyl fans.

As we well know, these days vinyl sales are continually going up and it seems you can't go a week without encountering some wonderful new album cover art show somewhere. Not only are curators presenting classic album cover art on exhibition, but this week one most innovative individual is presenting an exhibit of all new & original record cover art by many different artists complete with all-new corresponding music -- fictitious songs for fictitious bands!

Bay Area artist Sonny Smith (of Sonny & the Sunsets) melds his love of both music and art in a unique new gallery show titled 100 Records that opens tomorrow (April 9th) at Gallery 16 in San Francisco. The diverse & tireless San Francisco artist, who just recently returned from SXSW in Austin, TX with the Sunsets (the band he formed three years ago with Tim Cohen and Kelley Stoltz and whose changing lineup now includes Ryan Browne, Tahlia Harbour and Zack Ehrlich), spent the past year meticulously piecing together the 100 Records show in which he created the names and song titles for 100 different fictitious bands.

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