The Donkeys, Outer Embassy
As we watched the Donkeys perform one of the first of their nearly 150 shows in support of 2014s Ride The Black Wave, on the clattery rooftop stage of the aptly named SXSW venue Cheers Shot Bar, Craig Finn (he of literate-rock luminaries The Hold Steady) turned to me and said something on the order of you can just feel that theyve played with each other since high schooltheyve got that thing, and you just cant get it otherwise. That thing, an elusive, intuitive musical hive-mindedness informs every note the acclaimed San Diego quartet ever play, live or on record, but is especially present on Midnight Palms, the mini-album due for release February 12th on Easy Sound.
Tracked largely live-in-the-studio with veteran producer, longtime friend, and fellow traveler Thom Monahan (Vetiver, Fruit Bats, Devendra Banhart), Midnight Palms oozes with the sticky, syrupy energy of a band fresh off the road and in rare form, as the expression goes. Recorded as it was at the end of one of the bands blitzkrieg road runs (which might see the band playing as many as 28 shows in 29 days), the collections lived-in live feel should surprise few.
The core founding trio of Tim Denardo, Anthony Lukens, and Sam Sprague drive the proceedings. Drummer Sprague alternately (and effortlessly) sets a lock-step driving pace, as on album opener Hurt Somebody, a bouncy girl-group groove (Day by Day), or a lazy gallop, as on the languid Star Bird, which the drummer also sings. Meanwhile, bassist Denardo falls easily into any of those pockets, and takes his own lead vocal turn on Down the Line, a dusty roots-pop tune as laid back as the men playing it. Lukens, of course, provides the by-turns warm, slippery, punchy and liquid keyboard lines that are the albums bedrock, while lending his direct, earnest vocals to three of the albums five tunes.
is a fairly new Oakland band formed by a trio of Bay Area vets: Aaron Deer (Daring Ear, John Wilkes Booze, TV Mike), Graham LeBron (Rogue Wave, you may know him as DJ Golden Gram), and Josh Miller (Wrong Words, Extra Classic). The three kicked things off with a 45 release, that was recorded by LeBron. Interestingly, there's no guitars in this band, creating a sound that LeBron says "was born from the desire to find a distinct crossing point of 70s Krautrock experimentalism, West-African soul rhythms, and sonic space synthery. - The Bay Bridged
Hemlock Tavern (View)
1131 Polk St.
San Francisco, CA 94109
|Minimum Age: 21|
|Kid Friendly: No|
|Dog Friendly: No|
|Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!|