Tuesday, April 24, 2012

10 Bay Area Artists To Watch

1. Lil B. He’s probably releasing a mixtape as you read this. (Update: he did.  Trapped in BasedWorld out now.)

2. Girls.
Certainly the most acclaimed band on this list as well as the one with the most great songs. The top 10: “Lust for Life,” “Laura,” “Hellhole Ratrace,” “Heartbreaker,” “Carolina” (SF Rebirth’s Song of 2010), “Honey Bunny,” “Alex” (SF Rebirth’s Song of 2011), “Vomit,” “Forgiveness,” “Love Like a River.” All that over 2 and a half albums over 3 years. And, by all indications, more to come.

3. The Inq. Recent winners of GenSF’s Battle of the Bands thanks to their danceable garage jams, which narrowly beat the omnipresent St. Valentinez’ impeccable arrangements. Without a doubt the most promising young band in San Francisco.

4. Carletta Sue Kay. Randy Walker and his lovably goofy yet heart-breakingly sincere songs have been around for a while, but his profile is increasing steadily--and will likely skyrocket with the release of Incongruent, his upcoming album as/with his persona/band Carletta Sue Kay.

5. Comodo Complex. The Inq’s weirder, druggier, George Rosenthal-produced buddies released a promising debut EP last year and have debuted even better, stranger new material live.

6. tUnE-yArDs. Even if Merrill Garbus never again tops last year’s fantastic W H O K I L L (an extremely likely possibility given how unique and brilliant that album was), we can expect more killer live shows and unpredictable yet strangely fitting musical turns (she very recently scored a silent Buster Keaton film live at the Castro Theater).

7. Local Hero. Following the fantastic Aldgate EP, possibly the best release by any teen Bay Area band last year, the East Bay indie-poppers have expanded their lineup from three to four with the addition of multi-instrumentalist Maya Laner. They are currently working on their full-length debut.

8. Reid Saw A Ghost. Though relatively unknown west of the Bay Bridge, this wacky Fremont band’s ridiculously fun Mad Scary EP may bring their kitchen-sink punk rock to the fore of the Bay Area teen music consciousness.

9. Eager Eyes. Formerly In The Attic, these Alameda dance-rockers and Finish Ticket allies are the only band on this list who might not be around in a few months, as its members are drifting increasingly close to college age. Catch ‘em while you still can, but if not, they have a great self-titled EP on BandCamp.

10. Tumbleweed Wanderers. The Tumbleweed Wanderers project is now a year old, so we can officially stop mentioning the Audiophiles in discussions of their music. (...Oops.) Their first year on earth has seen them make more quality, distinctly Bay Area rock n’ roll than many bands have in a lifetime.

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