My favorite part of Noise Pop are the Happy Hour Events. They’re free, open to everybody, and a great place to discover new bands. Not to be biased … but I am … and I must erge you not to miss Thursday’s happy hour, hosted by my project Balanced Breakfast and featuring some of my amazing friends band’s: The Damn Fanatics, Friends w/o Benefits & Bear Lincoln. The Happy Hours are hosted by such groups as San Franpsycho, Do415, Different Fur and The Bay Bridged,  and you will see me at all of them. So before you head out to an official Noise Pop show, come join us at Bender’s.

Check out the full schedule HERE»

do415 TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2015

5:00PM–8:00PM / Free / 21+
differentfur WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2015
5:00PM–8:00PM / Free / 21+
balancedbreakfast THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 2015

5:00PM–8:00PM / Free / 21+
thebaybridged FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2015
5:00PM–8:00PM / Free / 21+
benders SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 2015
5:00PM–8:00PM / Free / 21+


“A Record Review” – Couches Slackin’ Since The 80s

I believe in live performance. I love seeing bands in person, up front and center stage to be able to get a sense of what people can do, and frankly I’m looking for bands that can WOW me into wanting to listen to their  recordings…

this is always how I’ve traditionally enjoyed music. When I was asked if I could write a review of an album, I initially didn’t want to do it. I’m a good person to talk to when it comes to the merits of captivating a crowd. (the crowd response will tell you what is a hit or miss)Listening to a record…totally different ballpark. But hey Couches are a great local band that I know plays well live, on a great local label (20 Sided Records), with great local lads, so why not hop in the proverbial ring and play ball…or something like that.

Photo on 10-5-14 at 10.39 PM

I know that many people are going to go through this 9 track record (there’s an intro/outro so really its 7 songs) and will tell you about “production quality” and different “panning techniques” to really engage the listener.

Others will like to go in and dissect lyrics… like the ones found in track 4, ‘Infatuation’: “its not a dream, its only make believe, you gotta let it go, you gotta lose control” and will go on some ramble about what those lyrics mean, how they fit the tonal quality of the song and provoke thoughts of what control could one possess while in a dream? Is the dream a lucid one? Do these questions matter?

I’m not that person. I’m not going to go in and decipher lyrics or recording techniques. What I’m going to do is tell you what it was like sitting down with the lights off, backlight on and nothing but me, a smoke, and some Couches. (Hey if I’m listening to “Slackin’ Since The 80s” I want to go to full slacken’ mode to get into it…)

The first 3 songs flow really well into each other. If you aren’t paying attention it might seem like Train of Thought, Thinkin’ About Money, and Infatuation are one big song with 3 different movements. It’s a good start to the record and definitely established the overall feeling “Slackin'” gives off. What is that feeling? It’s the same feeling you get when sitting around a campfire, having knocked a few back after a long day of hiking and someone is jamming on the guitar. Face grinning with a wide smile bobbing your head side to side gently, almost as if you’re nodding along in agreement “Yeah….I feel it”

And this feeling remains throughout the rest of the record. My favorite track came in the number 5 position and is called “It Ain’t Easy”. Some great guitar picking brings your attention around to notice this song is different then what I’ve heard before it. It’s a great groovin’ song. Which pairs really well with track 6 ‘Don’t Slay The Dreamers”. This song is vintage Couches. Something that I love about this band is their sound. (Yeah yeah yeah, I know every band should have their own sound, and many do. I happen to like the sound Couches puts out) It’s very liquid metal, smooth, but with some weight to it.

Track 7 “Radio Life” is probably my second favorite track off the album. Its right up there, and again keeps the mellow groove in motion. The drums decide to step out and shine on this one. Great beat throughout the verses and are nice and appropriate during the chorus’. Shout out to the bass on this one too, as the more you listen to this song, you see just how tightly knit the drums and bass are wound. Its great! The final song is called “Mental Stimulation” and is the perfect ending to round out this record.

If you listen to this record as a whole piece, (AND YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO THIS RECORD AS A FULL PIECE) it starts you off with a vibe that consistently remains throughout the record while changes just enough to like you go on a gentle listening ride. They got the name of this one right as “Slackin’ Since the 80s” seems to perfectly describe the feeling of this record. do yourself a treat the next time you have half an hour or a nice drive/bus ride and put this on, sit back and let Couches take you on a comfy ride.

PS…BIG thank you to David for everything.


Picture Atlantic & Owl Paws at Thee Parkside

On Tuesday June 25th, San Francisco-based Owl Paws finally got to play a show with San Jose’s Picture Atlantic. The two local bands opened for Vinnie Caruana of The Movielife and Geoff Rickly of Thursday, who are on tour together, playing acoustic.

During Owl Paws’ opening set, guitarist Colin Hayes said Picture Atlantic is one of his favorite local bands and that it was such a pleasure to be able to play a show with them. Touted as an acoustic show, Owl Paws and Picture Atlantic actually played full-band. However, those familiar with Owl Paws know that frontman Derek Schultz plays acoustic guitar, and bassist Timothy Vickers plays upright bass, so they are always sort of acoustic. The set included some songs from the Carry On EP, as well as new songs from the upcoming EP Cold Lead Bath, set to be released July 17th at Elbo Room, with Cold Eskimo, Dogcatcher, and The Crux.

Picture Atlantic played a somewhat stripped-down set: they played older songs which are more reliant on Nik Bartunek’s acoustic guitar. Drummer Daniel Martinez had a minimal kit and keyboardist Brian Graves played a small organ. The band played several songs off the album Kleos, which came out five years ago this week and rarely gets played at shows. The band sat out as Nik played a brand-new song by himself. Picture Atlantic will be announcing a very special show in San Francisco very soon.

Thee Parkside is a small venue which gets hot and stuffy quite quickly, but has a back patio and a fantastic menu, so I sat out Vinnie Caruana’s set and had some delicious curry tots – highly recommended. I’m also not very familiar with Geoff Rickly’s music, both solo and with Thursday, but what I heard was great. Emotional, powerful, and with good banter in between songs. Vinnie and Geoff closed out the show playing Thursday and Movielife songs together, with one picking his favorite of the other’s band’s songs


Emily Sevin’s Photography Opening Reception

show flyer

Hey all! I’m Emily Sevin, a local photographer interested in all things that reflect humanity and emit energy.

My first memories of holding a camera are those from when I was six, photographing the neighbor’s tulips with a disposable plastic camera. Twenty years later I earned my master’s degree in photography and have had my imagery on the covers of albums and magazines. However, my first solo gallery show exhibits my series of musician portraiture entitled ‘connections.’ The opening reception is this Saturday at 6:30 at Bazaar Cafe.

A bit about me, I was possessed with an early fascination for music, which developed into a deep admiration for its performers after living in Nashville and working at several music venues, thus developing strong ties with several artists. Upon moving to San Francisco in 2010, this admiration continued to the local music scene, where I was compelled first by its street performers, and later its music festivals.

I found my niche, however, once I began taking intimate portraits of musicians. During my perpetual journey to find acceptance and belonging, I find that my connection with musicians is one of deep understanding and respect. Chasing that feeling has led me to capture photographs of hundreds of independent artists along my journey. ‘connections’ is a series of portraits that expose a serenity and honesty that arises when the photographer and subject share a sense of mutual regard and connection. Some musicians that are featured in the series will be playing live music during the show, including Pieces; Avi Vinocur of Goodnight, Texas; Mr. Kind, and Kate Kilbane and the Cellar Doors. These artists deserve a blog post all their own and would be reason enough to trek down the the outer Richmond for a good listen.

I invite you to view my entire portfolio at and come to the opening reception this Saturday to speak with me about the work or collaborating in any projects you have in mind or anything really!




Video & Article by: Stefan – SF Intercom

I get bored super easy! So when I saw that Before The Brave was finally going on tour I told them, “I want in!”

I’m not going to Lie … I may have begged a bit. It’s possible I may have been telling Jason Perry Stevens for months, “the second you go on tour … I want in!” I told him I would be his back up dancer, pr pro, merch babe, pack mule, anything the band needed.

When they announced they were going on tour, I may have called Jason a few (billion) times. I may have promised a few (billion) things I would never be able to fulfill?! However a quick phone call and a few band meetings later, Jason called me and said “you’re in.”

I packed my bag and was ready. We did 3 shows in 3 states in only 4 days. It was amazing! As some of you may recall, I toured once before with I The Mighty, just last year! That trip we did 7 states in 2 weeks. As you may suspect, I’m starting to get addicted to this touring lifestyle. You get very little sleep, sleep on floors when you do get sleep, eat poorly, take very few showers, and it’s amazing! I think if I could go on tour once every other month that would be perfect! Let’s see who I go on tour with next?!

Also, don’t worry I’ve been taking notes! I’m collecting up advice to help bands tour correctly. I’m not sure now when that will come out … but it will!

Please watch my video, comment, and of course … check out Before The Brave!

Basic Info




Article by: Stefan – SF Intercom

Noise Pop starts this week …
I hope to see you out at a show!!!

There are five free happy hour shows. I am going to see them all, however I know some of you aren’t willing to commit that much of your week to music. Thus you will likely pick one show to see, I recommend that you see Nova Albion. (Formerly known as Music For Animals) In my opinion Nova Albion, playing with Great White Buffalo and Down And Outlaw, is too big for Bender’s, thus is going to be AMAZING!!!


Want some more suggestions? I have created a to-do list for this years Noise Pop on DO415.
This is a list of shows I would do if I was you. I hope it helps inform your choices for each night.

(View my list and follow me!)


Please enjoy this Noise Pop play-list I created on Spotify. I hope this play-list  helps you decide which bands you’d like to see this upcoming week.

Me As An Island

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Me As An Island…these guys can really sings

This acoustic duo from Napa has the sickest harmonies. When they start to sing the room gets quiet.

Mike and Alex were previously in a band called “Us As A Nation” and decided to get together to perform some acoustic music. Their voices fit extremely well together. They write their own music and come up with some crazy cool mash ups.

So young and so talented!