Gettin’ naked with the iPhone

Local hardcore foursome Di Bravura erupts at a pizza parlor, Luigi’s Fun Garden, this past Monday.

Local hardcore foursome Di Bravura erupts at a pizza parlor, Luigi’s Fun Garden, this past Monday.


From the Beatles to … Amaranth?:
When I read the headline “Amaranth & The $100,000 record” on fundraising website Kickstarter last month, I thought it was a gag. The details were dubious, too: Nevada City residents and former Hella members Spencer Seim and Aaron Ross—admittedly two of the region’s most formidable musical talents—had a new band, Amaranth, and were jockeying to raise some serious cash to collaborate with none other than producer/engineer Guy Massey, who just last month won a goddamned Grammy award. His second. For remastering the latest Beatles box set, no less.

Well, Seim and Ross didn’t raise 10 grand on Kickstarter—but ended up recording the forthcoming Amaranth release with Massey in Los Angeles anyway.

And so, as a sort of encore, the duo returned to NorCal last weekend and performed on Saturday night at grubby Midtown club TownHouse Lounge, opening for locals Tera Melos and New York-based femme shredder Marnie Stern.

I like the duo’s new sound. Seim’s dexterous percussion work skews more beat focused than his oftentimes indiscriminate wandering, and Ross’ guitar tone—thick and large like Ken Andrews’—brought the rock to Seim’s pop-forward drums. His vocals were too low in the mix on Saturday; surely Massey won’t drop such balls on the duo’s forthcoming full-length, release date TBD.

Antiquité’ is the moment in history when writing was born
: Ambience, Antiquite and Other Love Songs is the title of Ross Hammond’s latest full-length, 11 tracks (all great) that run the gamut from guitar runnin’ and drum-machine ruminations, such as opener “Weatherstone,” to solo experimental-jazz wanderings, like on the eight-plus-minute “Strauss Is Everywhere!” Sprinkled in between are shorter instrumentals, including “Monday Night Philosophy Club” and its slide guitar; and lullaby “Your Daddy Loves You,” a live recording of Hammond riffing on an acoustic. This Saturday’s album-release show is a free, all-ages gig at Oak Park’s Old Soul coffeehouse (3434 Broadway, 7:30 p.m.) And don’t forget to attend Hammond’s Monday-night jazz series, Nebraska Mondays, at Luna’s Café & Juice Bar.

The ninth gig:
Our usual four music picks each week have telophased into eight. Check those out here. But as is often true with flash drives and U.S. tours, eight gigs is never enough. So don’t forget this double-CD-release show, featuring Davis’ New Heirlooms, Kelli Schaefer, Harlow and the Great North Woods, and Chico’s the Envelope Peasant this Friday, March 25, at the Delta of Venus (122 B Street in Davis, 8 p.m., no cover, all ages).

So now you can stop asking, OK?:
People inquire what I’m jamming all the time. When this happens, I just hand over the ol’ iPhone, because—while I have a record player at home and stuff—I like to keep new music and current favorites on call. And so, the recent mix includes: Ardour by Teebs; Beach Fossils by Beach Fossils; Cherish the Light Years by Cold Cave; Foster the People EP by Foster the People; James Blake by James Blake; Litanies by Royal Baths; Melted by Ty Segall; Mend by Geotic; New Blood of Dubstep Vol. 1 compilation; Pop Ambient 2011 comp; Rolling Papers by Domo Genesis; Sun Bronzed Geek Gods by Dom; Take Care, Take Care, Take Care by Explosions in the Sky; Tan Bajo by Davila 666; Tarot Sport by Fuck Buttons; The Traveller by Shed; TSOL by Shad; Ultravisitor by Squarepusher; and Zonoscope by Cut Copy. (Send snarky jabs and groaning-in-disbelief takedowns to the email addy above.)