Oh, to be 17 again. Your days are filled with grilled cheese sandwiches, school dances, day dreams of crushes, boredom-induced chaos with friends, hormones and lots of angst. Luckily, this all makes for some ridiculously catchy and dreamy garage pop.
Enter: Cherry Glazerr, the LA-based three-piece whose 17-year-old frontwoman and guitarist, Clementine Creevy has being a “Teenage girl” down to a T, because she is one… duh. Cherry Glazerr, whose name is a take on local Southern California KCRW anchor, Chery Glaser, recently released their sugary adrenaline-filled debut album, Haxel Princess, via Burger Records. One listen and you’ll be hooked like a teen on… whatever they’re hooked on these days. It’s been a while.
Cherry Glazerr – Trick or Treat Dancefloor
Cherry Glazerr – Grilled Cheese
Cherry Glazerr – All My Friends
Cherry Glazerr – White’s Not My Color This Evening
There’s an interesting contest and event called the Oaktown Music Festival which showcases and celebrates musical talent hailing from the other side of the Bay Bridge. San Francisco always seems to steal the Bay Area music spotlight, so it’s refreshing and exciting to see some Oakland representation.
The contest is put on by local Oakland venue, Awaken Cafe and entertainment production company, Oaktown Indie Mayhem. The first round of the contest began with an online song and video contest in which bands were nominated and voted upon by judges and the public. This year, there were supposedly 2,100 submissions and 30 band finalists selected. The final round of winners (see below) were selected by a jury (musicians, writers, marketers, producers, etc.) and have been given the title: “Best of Oakland.” The winners will be headlining the Winners’ Party/Concert on November 15th & 16th at Awaken Cafe, and are also given recording time at Fantasy Studios, along with other perks.
Below are hand-picked, highlighted (and alphabetized) winners and finalists – Some beloved, some newfound joys, and a couple of wacky gems ranging from groovy funk, whimsical folk, surf/punk/psych-rock and “chill pop.” I’ve included commentary on any of the bands I’ve actually seen live; hopefully more so in the future.
My boyfriend, an Oakland resident, (does this mean I get some Oakland street cred?) introduced me to Bells Atlas. We saw them play an insane debut album release show back in June at The New Parish in Oakland. They have a huge and loving Oakland/Berkeley fan following, which was easy to hear and see why. They’re an extremely talented, vibrant, groovy, funky group.
Bells Atlas – Loving Your Down (Won: Honorable Mention for Best Video)
Emily Moldy – My Own One (Won: Best in Show – People’s Choice)
Fever Charm – Magazine
Minute is 4-piece of good lookin’ boys and their good lookin’ musical toys. I saw them play a packed show at The Stork Club in Oakland and it was a sweaty good time. Occasionally a trombone was thrown into the mix and people commenced to dance up a storm. They also did a cover of Keyboard Cat just for kicks and I nearly went insane with excitement. This is one of their dreamier, psych-inspired slow jams:
Minute – Adrift
This year I saw Shannon and the Clams play at Burger Records’ Burger Bugaloo Music Festival in Oakland, and as an opener for Sonny & The Sunsets in SF. They’re one of my favorite Bay Area acts to see live and they always steal the show! The rippin’ three piece look and sound like something out of the movie Hairspray, and their jams are so damn catchy. I obsessively listened to their latest LP, Dreams in the Rat House, for a good three weeks.
Shannon and the Clams – Rip Van Winkle (Won: Honorable Mention for Best Song)
The Tambo Rays – Take That (Won: Honorable Mention for Best Song)
Tin Cup Serenade – Sunny Oakland Day (Won: Honorable Mention for Best Song)
We Became Owls – Suitcase (Won: Runner Up for Best Song)
The pop Gods have spoken: “Let there be more AlunaGeroge!” and alas, we’re graciously presented with new and glorious electro pop tracks from (or featuring) the UK-based duo.
Aluna Francis and George Reid have come a long way in such a short amount of time. Having just released their first commercial track, “Your Drums, Your Love” in September of 2012, the group has already been shortlisted for the 2013 BRIT Award of Critics’ Choice. And, just a couple of weeks into 2013, AlunaGeorge continues to deliver fresh electro-pop gems at a steadfast pace, announcing a debut album, Body Music, out June of 2013. It seems as if the duo is putting their fellow “bands to watch in 2013” comrades to shame… except Disclosure that is.
Enter “White Noise” – the recently released track from “garage-house” brother duo, Disclosure, featuring AlunaGeorge. It’s a combination and a collaboration between two extremely hype-worthy acts that has created an electro-pop listening implosion amongst the blog world. The UK-based brothers and producers who make up Disclosure also have a highly-anticipated album due out in March of 2013. (Find Disclosure in the “Top 55 Songs of 2012“).
So with that, I present to you a plethora of AlunaGeroge pop madness: “White Noise” by Disclosure ft. AlunaGeorge, “Diver,” AlunaGeorge‘s latest release from their forthcoming album, and a Frank Ocean cover of “Thinkin’ Bout You” which was recorded in the 1Xtra Live Lounge for BBC Radio.
Disclosure – White Noise ft. Aluna George
AlunaGeorge – Diver
AlunaGeorge – Thinkin’ Bout You (Frank Ocean Cover)