Localized Appreesh is our weekly thank-you column to the musicians that make the Bay. Each week a band/music-maker with a show, album release, or general good news is highlighted and spotlit. To be considered, contact email@example.com.
The voice of Billie Holiday blended with a drop of folk and an electro-infused ka-pow of Afro-pop. It's the stuff of dreams, isn't it? Sort of. Dreams, besides being the mind's subconscious porthole, is a new East Bay indie supergroup. Lead by Emily Ritz (of Honeycomb and Yesway) and keyboardist Rob Shelton (of the Moanin Dove) and backed by steel guitar, vibraphone, and a hand-held rhythm section (along with drums), the group skips through genres, time, and traditional percussion expectations.
It's been a pretty big month for the seven-piece act. First, it was featured as one of the first bands on Porto Franco Records' new video series (see vid below), then it released its first single, and this week, Dreams plays a magical musical single release extravaganza: Thursday at Beatbox. The show, which includes a free copy of the single for the first 30 attendees, will also have some fun non-musical elements. The band invited artists and projectionists to add visual elements. And the release warns, “Expect mimes.” Also, how weird is it that scientists may now be able to recreate scenes from our subconscious using imaging technology?
Year and location of origin: Rob: Emily and I started experimenting with sounds and writing songs together in 2009, but we didn't really settle on the full band with all the members until we started recording earlier this year. We first started playing in the converted basement of a 1906-era emergency shelter in Oakland, Calif.
Band name origin: I had the idea to create this band while traveling in Ecuador and Peru in 2008, and was originally going to call it Los Suenos, but since none of really speak Spanish, I thought it would be better it in our native tongue. When I first presented it to the band, we weren't really sure if we wanted to use it, so we'd show up to rehearsal and just sit there spitting out out band names for hours. Some of the losers: Goodie Bag, Boyfriend, Chimera, Blood Orange.
Band motto: Lush
Description of sound in 10 words or less: Electric Afro psych popscicle (faux pop).
Instrumentation: Rhodes and synth bass: Rob Shelton; Vocals and Jawbone: Emily Ritz; Drums: Jake Nochimow; Vibraphone, Percussion: Andrew Maguire; Percussion, Vibraphone: Geneva Harrison ; Bass, Lap Steel Guitar: Jesse Cafiero; Electric Guitar: Zac Rubin-Rattet
Most recent release: We're doing our first release on September 29. An A & B side single entitled "With You," which has Thao Nguyen guesting on back-up vocals. We've been recording at San Francisco's Tiny Telephone studios on and off for the past four months, and it's really exciting to finally be releasing something.
Best part about life as a Bay Area band: Being around such a vibrant and diverse music scene and being able to collaborate with all different types of artists.
Worst part about life as a Bay Area band: We've got it pretty good here, and almost the whole band is living in Oakland now, which makes it easy to rehearse. Probably the worst part is that BART doesn't run super late, so when you've got fans coming from Oakland to SF, everyone's catching that 12:20 train back under the bay, sometimes in the middle of your set.
First cassette record/cassette tape/or CD ever purchased: Embarrassing, Twenty Eight Teeth by Buck O' Nine. I used to be in a ska band.
Most recent record/cassette tape/CD/or Mp3 purchased/stolen from the Web: Purchased - Age of Adz by Sufjan Stevens. Stolen/Borrowed: Laughing Stock by Talk Talk
Favorite local eatery and dish: Shakin' Jesse at Rudy's Can't Fail Cafe. Guinness, espresso, and ice cream - can't go wrong with that.
UnderCover Presents: Dreams Single Release Party
With Tartufi, and Debbie Neigher
Thurs/29, 8:30 PM doors, $10 cover
314 11th St, SF
Porto Franco Records captures Dreams: