New website for ex-Sacto record label Mt. St. Mtn.

Mt. St. Mtn., the vinyl-only record label of Sacramento lo-fi/garage bands like G. Green and Standard Tribesmen, as well as other SF/Nor Cal bands, has launched a new website at mtstmtn.com. Taking a big step up from the label’s 90s-era band site, the new hotness has improved navigation to showcase the label’s limited-edition vinyl releases and print zines, including integration with a PayPal store to purchase vinyl and zines.

The label is set to distribute a debut LP by Sacramento fuzz-rock supergroup Fine Steps, but Mark Kaiser (of Mayyors and Omnibus Records fame) tells me the initial run is almost completely sold out. The Fine Steps (featuring Sacramento rock scene stalwarts Chris Woodhouse and Julian Elorduy) play an infectious jangly surf-rock that could be one of Sac’s next big music exports. Here’s “Tomorrow for All Today”:

Blitzen Trapper @ Harlow’s, Monday 3/5

Awesome alt-country group Blitzen Trapper come to Harlow’s Monday night, in support of their recent Sub Pop release “American Goldwing.” Trapper use the tools of classic country, like pedal steel guitar and the imagery of Americana, with a flair for the poetic/psychedelic. A running theme, for example, seems to be man becoming animal, best expressed on their classic 2008 album “Furr.” Plus, apparently the lead singer is Richard Alpert. Should be a great time out!

I have only been to Harlow’s once, to see Grandaddy, so I make that more than 10 years ago. I remember some frat boy type hopped up on stage to sing along with the band.

(And why do the good shows always have to be on Monday? By the time I’m at the stage where Monday is not a school night, what bands will I even go out and see? Won’t you be able to consume the entirety of Western music via digital input right into your brain, making the creation of new music pretty much useless by then?)

SN&R on Concerts fiasco

News & Review’s Nick Miller posted another great roundup today on the recent firing of Jerry Perry as promoter of Concerts In The Park. Apparently people’s Facebooking has made the firing of a Sacramento legend even more controversial. Go figure.

I know I’m weeks late to the party on this but Perry’s firing really bums me out. This is one of maybe five people that come to mind when you think of the local music world. (I admit that this is mostly nostalgic, but I temper that by not being offended at his replacements.) I don’t know how the lineups in recent years could be any more local. It seems like the bookings have led to themed lineups, and maybe people want more eclectic slates? I don’t see that working; If a band I like is playing after a bunch of say, hardcore bands, I will either skip the hardcore bands or just not go at all. Who wouldn’t? Is that really what people are saying they want?

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Stereogum features the 916


Sister Crayon

Music blog Stereogum posted a nice little feature on Sactown late Friday, as a part of their “Area Codes” feature highlighting music happenings in the outer outer boroughs.

[O]nce you take into account all the distinct, separable types of music, from Raleigh Moncrief’s moving style mishmash to Chelsea Wolfe’s dark, spare rock incantations, it’s not so easy to put Sac-town in a box like that.

The piece features up and coming hardcore band Trash Talk, as well as Raleigh Montcrief and Sister Crayon lead singer Terra Lopez; the latter two give some choice quotes about the idiosyncrasies of life in Sactown. There is a nice rundown of venues, bands and bars in the 916 for interested out-of-towners. And no mention of Tesla!

Wallpaper. @ Ace of Spades 8/10

Credit: Dan Busta and Ryan Schude

Wallpaper., the Oakland-based “gonzo hip hop/party jam” outfit of Ricky Reed (aka Eric Frederic), is getting the full MTV (“Still into the music thing!”) treatment, as a featured artist in the Push project, which has launched acts like Bruno Mars, Florence and the Machine, and a little guy you may have heard of by the name of Bieber.

Wallpaper. is like Beck going through a heavy electro beats and Autotune phase turned up to 11. It’s one of those acts that skewers its genre with absurd humor, while coloring inside the lines of the genre itself and supplying enough sincerity and skill that it’s impossible to know when you depart the satirical vodka-soaked party bus and enter the … actual vodka-soaked party bus.

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SF Outside Lands Festival lineup announced

Arcade Fire should play here

The 2011 lineup for the SF Outside Lands festival was announced today, headlined by 2 sets by the venerable Phish and seemingly required visits by Arcade Fire and the Black Keys. Mick Jones’s Big Audio Dynamite will also make an appearance, as will ex-Sacramentans !!!. This year’s lineup features a great mix of acts, from the standby hipster rock to old school R&B (the Meters), Sugar Hill records Americana (the Infamous Stringdusters), and loads of hip hop (Big Boy, the Roots). Heavy on the “know your popular music history” acts, which is cool — Mavis Staples, John Fogerty and several of the aforementioned. As Laura Mason of 7×7 points out, lots of cult favorites and local bands, so it should be a major turnout.
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Voetbergs swing the crowd at Library Galleria

The rain finally broke Sunday and this was almost as welcome a sight as the Voetberg Family Band filling the stage in the Tsakopoulos Library Galleria. And when I say filling the stage, I mean it literally. As promised, the Voetbergs put on a high energy show full of traditional music to a standing room only audience on Sunday. The crowd seemed bigger to me than last year’s show in the same space, but my wife pointed out this was mostly due to it being a Sunday afternoon and not probably due to the overwhelming popularity of my music journalism. Also, having been to the Camellia Symphony concert the previous weekend I saw almost all of the same people. It’s a really diverse crowd that comes out to these library events, from young hippie couples to old hippie couples and everyone in between.

The next time you get an opportunity definitely come check out the awesome Voetberg Family Band!

(l to r) Annie, Elisha, Vance, Tucker (on drums), Deter, Liddy, Rudy, Lilja. All bass players should be required to be named Deter.

Dawes @ Odd Fellows Hall, Davis Feb. 1

C'mon guys, it can't be that bad.

There’s a fair amount of buzz around LA’s Dawes, a mellow country rock band appearing Tuesday at Odd Fellows Hall in Davis. After the band was recommended to me a few weeks ago by a coworker who discovered them at a live show, I have had their new album, “North Hills,” in steady rotation and it has endeared itself to me very much. It’s not the straight ahead country or the jangly country-psych I usually go for (if that makes any sense). It’s an earnest and seriously beautiful album, and the word on the street is they put on a great show.

The album, North Hills, is available in the MP3 format on Amazon for $5. Take a listen to “When My Time Comes” and you’ll be sold.

Dawes, Jonny Corndawg, Shannon Harney & Friends
Tues., Feb 1, 8:00 PM
Odd Fellows Hall, all ages
Tickets: $10 on TicketLeap or $12 at the door

CAKE chart topper is death of music industry?

Good news for Sacramento’s own CAKE band, whose new album “Showroom of Compassion” opened at #1 on the Billboard charts for the week! However, it did so by selling only 44,000 copies, the lowest high sales mark in Billboard history (beating out Taylor Swift). McCrea and co shouldn’t get too comfortable in that spot as you know the record won’t last. But still, that’s great for their “comeback album” to get some interest.

I know that I have not bought a compacted disc since the Clinton administration, but I’m also not sweating it. The only development of the new music industry paradigm that worries me is that bands now have to do almost anything but focus on selling records if they want to make money, which could lead to more selling out. For example, there is no way in hockey sticks that Vampire Weekend didn’t have a discussion of whether J Crew or Old Navy commercials would be better suited for their song “Holiday.” (Or is it much less sinister than that? Does Old Navy just go through the record label to purchase a song for their winter launch?)

P.S., yes, I know I used Cake and death in the title of the post. Wasn’t that like 4 years ago now though?

Music and backscatter at SMF

I’ve been looking for an opportunity to insert this video clip into a post so I was pleased to read Screening methods leading some to drive, not fly in Sacramento on sacbee.com.

“We were thinking of flying to Oregon to see our family but instead we’re going to drive 11 hours,” said Sonja Wilson, 49, of Sacramento. Wilson said she flew two years ago and received a less invasive pat-down than those used in recent weeks. Still, she felt violated and doesn’t want a more thorough frisking. “I already felt totally sexually assaulted back then,” she said. “I can’t imagine what it must be like now.”

Ohh kay. I don’t get out much, so please share your experiences with airport security. Is it really this bad? I did learn that… “of the two secondary screening procedures – Backscatter scan and enhanced pat-down – Sacramento International only has the enhanced pat-down procedure available.” Man, that’s a relief.

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