After a hard year of acing chemistry, we’re gearing up for summer, digging through our drawers for that bikini we bought last August, maybe a little white lipstick, and our ancient tube of Bain du Soleil. Nothing says summer like kicking back and sipping warm PBR on a blanket while picking sand out of your sandwich. Yeah, that does sound nice… Too bad nine days out of ten this summer we’ll be freezing our asses off, wrapped in six layers, knowing there’s no way in hell we’re going to stick one toe in the water at Ocean Beach. But it’s not a total loss — bands like The SHE’S are writing songs that are so perfect for summer, they’ll keep us warm while we’re holed up in our apartments, fighting back the fog.
Summer vacation is nice and all, but it’s not the only thing on The SHE’S minds. In part 2 of episode 11, The SHE’S discuss braces, Yoda, and their fans. The also wanted us to tell you that they’ll play your quinceañera… just don’t bring up the word queso, okay?
In case you missed it (where the hell were you, at prom or something lame like that?), you can watch part 1 of episode 11 here. And don’t forget to check out the full video of The SHE’S playing “Picture of Houses,” their homage to San Francisco’s Victorian and stucco-studded hills. Trust us—a little electric mandolin will do a fog-chilled body good.
Now, we don’t know about you, but back in high school we didn’t have a lot of experience with filled-out rich bitch popularity queens, jocks in corvettes, or vaguely racist portrayals of exchange students. When we were 16, our main priorities in life were pretending we already knew how to smoke cigarettes and trying to seduce our junior year crush with some strategically requested Color Me Badd at our birthday party. We just kind of figured everyone’s high school experience was like that, until we heard that not only have The SHE’S already played the same crappy dive bars we’ve played, and not only have they already played venues we could only dream about playing, like the Fillmore, but that they’re also only 16, for chrissakes.
Sitting back and watching The SHE’S tear it up for us—cool, talented, nailing their performance like a bunch of old pros—it was impossible to think that these girls are actually in high school the same way that we were once in high school. They seemed more like those larger-than-life teens in every John Hughes movie (never mind that the Brat Pack were all actually in their 20s, headed for NA, and had divorced their parents). It was a complete head trip. When you interview Watts, you don’t expect her to say she’s kind of shy in school and that she digs watching Star Trek with her mom after doing her math homework.
So what if The SHE’S are skipping their prom? Somebody’s gotta kick ass at the battle of the bands, wiping the floor with peachfuzz-toting wannabe rockers who think owning a sparkly instrument means you can’t play it. Hey jerk, haven’t you seen Ladies and Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains? I didn’t think so. It was only five years ago that The SHE’S were microwaving gummi worms at slumber parties for fun. We can only imagine what the next five years will bring. Hey ladies, maybe you can buy us a drink then.
Hate Factory is like that pajama party gone bad — you know the one. It starts out innocently enough, with hair braiding and prank calls. And then few hours after the lights go out, your underwear is in the freezer, your hand is in a glass of warm water, and the pizza delivery guy’s been duct-taped to your dad’s La-Z-Boy. And while you may end up spending your next month’s allowance on a cleaning service and tips for the pizza guy, you’re happy as hell to be invited just the same.
Part 2 of our episode finds the ladies of Hate Factory… well, you’re going to have to read between the lines on this one. Something about boogers, platonic licking, and an impromptu Malvina Reynolds tribute. Sweet, messy, and not entirely devoid of nutritional value. Hate Factory is like a batch of backroom, bathtub-brewed hooch organic chocolates — dangerously addictive.
Want info on Hate Factory’s killer EP, Tecatepocalypse? Yep, we thought so.
A pair of lady roommates strumming ukuleles and harmonizing sweetly on neo-thirties love songs — what could be more innocent than that? As it turns out, pretty much anything. Don’t be fooled by the doe eyes. Hate Factory turned out to be our girls-gone-wildest ride yet. But then again what do you expect from a back seat full of girls who subscribe to the bonobo school of conflict resolution?
Apparently the Downer Party’s Sierra Frost doesn’t just have a knack for crafting sick band names, she also has a gift for routinely attracting ass-kicking bandmates. She and Katelyn Sullivan are like the angelic babysitters you’re happy to leave your kids with, only to come home at midnight to find they’ve relieved your medicine cabinet of that expired bottle of Tylenol with codeine, helped themselves to the dusty bottle of brandy hidden behind the cereal boxes in the pantry, and racked up your cable bill watching the Jenna Jameson retrospective on demand after tucking the rugrats into bed.
Hanging out with Hate Factory was a little like drinking in the gutter on Tin Pan Alley, chugging a concoction of equal parts 1970s women’s consciousness raising group and friendship bracelets, with a stiff shot of Howard Stern. By the end of our shoot not only were we willing to overlook that cable bill, but Brad was menstruating. We don’t like you, Hate Factory. We love you.
Taking turns in the back seat today is local indie-pop sensation My First Earthquake, also known individually as Rebecca Bortman (vocals), Chad Thornton (keyboard, bass), Andre Salcido (drums), and David Lean (guitar). We kidnapped the crew for an adventure of fiery proportions at the Box Shop, a metal shop, arts community and performance space in the Bayview/Hunter’s Point neighborhood.
My First Earthquake has been busy this year gigging regularly, launching a Rock Band version of one of their songs, and cranking out a perfectly crafted 4-song EP entitled Crush, which has generated tons of great press for the band as well as one incredible fan video that pretty much sums up how the locals feel about these kids. The band is almost finished songwriting for a new full-length album, for which they’ll be launching a Kickstarter campaign this fall. Chad assures us it’s “a little darker and punchier than the more recent stuff, but with plenty of danceable beats and the like.”
In episode 3, Rebecca, Chad, Andre, and David play one of the songs from Crush, and Rebecca rocks some crazy flame-throwing action in between her witty lyrics. What can we say? Shooting this episode was hot. Special thanks to Box Shop founder Charlie Gadeken for letting us film on site.
My First Earthquake’s next show is on October 15th at the Rickshaw Stop in San Francisco, opening for Blood Red Shoes. You can download My First Earthquake’s EP Crush for free from their website:
In the back seat today, we get personal with the ladies of Camp Out. Eschewing extra band members to keep things simple, Maddy Hanks and Jackie Law are anything but. They take multitasking to another level, and watching them play is just as much fun as listening to the music itself. Hanks takes care of vocals, guitar, and a loop station, while Law holds it down on keyboard, backing vocals, and drums (she used a drum machine for today’s shoot). Notice that Law’s keyboard stand is actually a snowboard, a tool she uses for all of their gigs. Today’s shoot took place on a desolate stretch lined with old warehouses in the Dogpatch neighborhood. Camp Out’s new album Closer is out now on the girls’ DIY label Swordfish Records.
Backseat Beat is more than just an old Volvo and a handful of Flip cameras. We use our cameras and each band’s musical performances to transform overlooked urban locations from their anonymous day to day existence into surreal, magical backdrops, to be shared on this site and elsewhere.
For our inaugural episode, the gentlemen of Moomaw and That Blasted Hound volunteered to be our musical guinea pigs. Nathan Moomaw and Davyd Nereo at the time were preparing to take Europe by storm with their shared recording project, which they call Pangealogical.
Typically playing solo but occasionally taking the stage with a band, Moomaw uses a ridiculous number of pedals, loops, and instruments to create a psychedelic soundscape where folk meets disco to trippy effect. That Blasted Hound offers reflective, gentle acoustic melodies that roam lyrically through every corner of Davyd’s wondering and wandering mind. As Pangealogical, they together create beautiful harmonies on each other’s songs, and the effect is both achingly simply and impressively complex. You can find Moomaw’s albums, as well as Pangealogical, on the Gazebo Music website. That Blasted Hound can be found on myspace, as well as on the BeatBeat Whisper website, Davyd’s other project.
Thanks for taking our first ride with us! Be sure to check back often, as we’ll be posting two new episodes every month. Email us with questions, comments, or if you would like your band to take a spin in the back seat.