After another prolific year, San Francisco's beloved garage rock star waves goodbye to the Bay
During the week of Halloween though, Segall, 25, played drums with the first band he joined when he moved to San Francisco eight years back, straight-forward punk act Traditional Fools. It was at Total Trash's Halloween show at the Verdi Club with a reunited Coachwhips (with Thee Oh Sees' John Dwyer) and it made for an epic night of reunions for the two men most associated with the current garage rock scene in San Francisco. "I have always thought, and will always think, that John Dwyer is the savior of rock and roll."
When I bring up the news of Segall's pal Cronin signing to Merge recently, he has a similar compliment for him: "He's going to be the savior of us all. I can't wait until you guys hear his next record; it's insane." Segall swears Cronin will be the next big thing.
Late last week, In The Red Recordings announced it would be reissuing Segall and Cronin's joint 2009 surf-laden, chainsaw-garage record Reverse Shark Attack. In a video from that era for the song "I Wear Black," Segall and Cronin cruise through town on skateboards in washed-out clips, ever the beach-bred rockers.
It was just three years ago, but that's lifetime in Ty-land.
As the city has watched him grow Segall has maintained a youthful glow, a raucous, energetic punk spirit surrounded by sun-kissed California locks and a fuck-everything attitude. His sound, however, has expanded. How couldn't it? He put out three records in 2012, and a dozen more in his relatively short lifetime.
But youthful abandon has caught up Segall. He can longer afford to live and work in San Francisco, the city that loves him so. He plans to move to LA in March or April of 2013. Will the wide sea of local rockers here soon follow suit? How many have we already lost to the rising tides of tech money? It's a question currently without an answer.
"It's really expensive," Segall says. "I've loved it there, but I can't even play music...I can't work at my home. It's a drag. I think a lot of musicians and artists are being forced to move out of San Francisco because they can't afford it, and they can't really work anymore because they can't afford housing that allows for noise."
It seems backward, that a year full of such booming professional success and critical acclaim should be the final year he's able to afford the life he's lead for the better part of a decade. But perhaps he just needs a break, to go back and focus all of his time and energy on a single release in the far-off future. Give his tired mind a minute to grasp his explosive last year.
"[In 2013] I'm going to like, get my head wrapped around the next thing and take some time, [and] slowly and lazily start working on demos," he says. "There's definitely not going to be a record from me for a year. I just want to focus on one thing and make it as best as I can. I've never really focused on just one thing for a year straight, so I'd like to do that."
EMILY SAVAGE'S LIST OF NEW ALBUMS I LISTENED TO ENDLESSLY IN 2012
1. Grass Widow, Internal Logic (HLR)
2. Cloud Nothings, Attack on Memory (Carpark)
3. Ty Segall, Slaughterhouse (In the Red)
4. Dum Dum Girls, End of Daze EP (Sub Pop)
5. Frankie Rose, Interstellar (Slumberland)
6. Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Alleluja! Don't Bend! Ascend! (Constellation)
7. The Fresh and Onlys, Long Slow Dance (Mexican Summer)
8. THEESatisfaction, awE naturalE (Sub Pop)
9. Terry Malts, Killing Time (Slumberland)
10. Guantanamo Baywatch, Chest Crawl (Dirtnap Records)