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Weekly Feature #218: Holy Ghost

Read Alex Daly's interview with Holy Ghost here.


Artist(s) Who Deserve Your Friendship: On the Water

On the Water is the folk side project of Da Comrade!’s guitarist/vocalist Fletcher T. VanVliet. With the help from friends, he creates achy, timeless tales with the heartfelt need to sing and blended rasp of Tom Waits and Bob Dylan. Tracks like “Cat” and “The Mind Killer Litany Against Fear” demand their very own meditative listening moments while “Tumor” evolves into the rowdy punkish spirit of bands like Brooklyn’s O’death and local favorite sons Man Man. Stephen Landis’ violin touches create moody accents lifting the intensity on each track that he appears on. On the Water is a project that may be deserved of being more than just something on the side.

Fletcher T. VanVliet and friends will be performing tonight at the Greenline Café.
- Q.D. Tran

Middlewest Fest Preview: Shy Technology

A band the jumped out at me while scrolling and playing through the Middlewest line-up was Shy Technology. This four piece band has been together for awhile, and released their debut ep The Waltz back 2009. However, it was their debut full-length, We The Instruments that has really solidified this band for me. The bands plays an energetic form of indie rock that is slightly dark at times. On my favorite track from their album, "Just Us" they actually remind of a basement version of Interpol.

Shy Technology is a band to watch, and a band to check out at Middlewest when they play on Friday at Otto's Nightclub at 8:10pm.


The Deli SF's Weekend Highlights For 9/10-9/11

With labor day behind us and fall out on the horizon, the calender seems to be showing a lot of competition for attention in the city's year end show schedule. Here are a few selections for this weekend.

This Friday the 10th roll out to Bottom of the Hill where Stomacher will be playing with Oh Darling and Gentleman, 10pm.

Also on Friday, Tricycle Records will be presenting a show at Milk with French Miami, Geographer and Miles the DJ, 9pm.

Saturday head over to Mama Buzz in the East Bay where this coffee shop-cum-music venue will play host to electronic musicians James and Evander as well as Ben Thompson and Mike Hale, 7pm.

If the East Bay is not your Saturday evening destination head back over to Bottom of the Hill where the Magic Bullets will be playing with We Barbarians and Superhumanoids, 10pm.


-Ada Lann


Album Review: Everything Under the Sun - Jukebox the Ghost

The new effort by Philly/NYC via DC trio Jukebox The Ghost puts a glossy sheen on their already sugar sweet pop creations and puts this rising band in the position to expand their fan base beyond indie favorites to mainstream heartthrobs. Their sound is consistent with past releases in its reactive, pogoing compositions that highlight frontman Ben Thornewill’s theatric tenor, but their second release, Everything Under the Sun, manages to musically compliment his voice more effectively than past releases. The ability to fully produce the already large sound of this power trio ratchets the emotion of the new release to more Queen performance art than snarky piano pop. 

The album hooks the listener with galloping “Schizophrenia” that bounces through its verse-chorus structure and introduces the bands musical skills along with its tongue in cheek wit. The life within Thornewill’s voice is endearing in its buoyancy, like in the frantic synth of “Half Crazy” with its youthful and catchy feel. The only downside is that sometimes the polished work can blend too well in mainstream radio programming potentially rendering it disposable. However, the guys do show much versatility especially in the beautifully delicate standout “So Let Us Create” where the band seems to rely less on their natural upbeat energy putting all their efforts towards the movement and feeling of the song itself. The multiple glockenspiels and melismatic refrain create one of the largest sounds on the album. There is also not a problem with a band investing itself in brisk piano confections the likes of Ben Folds, who seems to be an obvious but apt comparison, and Jukebox the Ghost does so various times in Everything Under the Sun, but none as effective as closing track “Nobody” that swings and struts to the album’s finish line with added trumpets and surprising reserve.
Everything Under the Sun at times seems to question and try and resolve, but at other times seems to simply concern itself with the big pop hooks. While I prefer the former to the latter, it is an album that highlights the band’s talent and shows glimpses of a unit ready to step out on the big mainstream stage. (But I’m always weary of that stage turning bright young talent into disposable pop stars.)
- Adam G.