Oakland's violin-wielding Everyone Is Dirty on the band's first full-length. Plus: Wicked Mercies and The She's
In the meantime, the band has been releasing teasers of what we can expect, like "California" — a full psych-rock sprint that gets undeniably reminiscent of the Dead Kennedys' "California Uber Alles" in its chorus, when the layers of sci-fi guitar drop out for Gur-Arieh to admonish "California, put your pants on/you've had too much to drink." They just re-recorded that one for the full-length, at Daddio's home studio, where they do most of their recording. "He's an engineer, and he's a perfectionist," says the singer. "The fact that he's able to make everything sound so good just using mic placement...it's incredible to me." On "Mama, No!!!" things take a turn for the Nirvana-esque, though the band keeps it dynamic by playing expertly with contrasts — the sing-song of Gur-Arieh's voice with unrestrained drum crashes, the urgent peal of violin over fuzzed-out guitar.
She and Daddio, who met when Gur-Arieh was in film school in Chicago and New York (he did sound design for her thesis film), share primary songwriting duties; when the singer moved back to the Bay Area, they started seeking out the band's rhythm section. Film still plays a big part in how the singer thinks about music, she says. "I make our videos for the most part," she says. "They're very connected to me. I've always been a musician, but I've also always been painting, writing poetry&ldots;film is kind of an extension of music, to me."
Everyone Is Dirty will be sharing a bill on April 5 with a pair of similarly dramatic, cinematic, female-fronted bands: Rich Girls, the new(ish) gothy garage project from Luisa Black (formerly of The Blacks) opens, and Happy Fangs, whose contrasting male-female vocal dynamic, courtesy of Rebecca Bortman and Mike Cobra, has just been supplemented by the addition of Sacramento drummer Jess Gowrie. It's the kind of lineup that has the potential to kick your ass, then wrap it up and hand it back to you with a sweet smile as an experimental art project. I mean this in an entirely positive way.
"I've been really into this violin player from Chicago named Leroy Jenkins lately," says Gur-Arieh, when asked what she's been listening to. "If you look him up on YouTube, his playing was so weird and messy and imperfect, and that's super inspirational to me. That's unique especially for violin players, because they tend to be so focused on perfection, on playing other peoples' music perfectly, and he was an emotional player — not afraid to make the violin sound piercing," she says, "and dirty."
Happy Fangs w/ Everyone Is Dirty and Rich Girls
Sat/5, 8pm, $10
Bottom of the Hill
1233 17th St, SF
While we're riding high on the female-fronted band kick, a few other kick-ass ladies to look out for this month:
Given the current classic funk-soul revival — see Sharon Jones' sold-out stint at the Fillmore last week — there's just no good reason why Wicked Mercies hasn't blown up yet. Fronted by three seriously talented female vocalists, with a brass section that culls from the best of the old-school San Francisco soul scene, the band – which bills itself as "working class talent" that brings "the sound of San Francisco street soul to the people" — has been a dance party-starting staple at funk-friendly venues like the Boom Boom Room for a few years now, so there's little doubt that a room as small as Amnesia is going to get sweaty very quickly. Remember to drink water.