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The Q-Tip Bandits are all class in debut record "Ain't It Great"

TGIF! For many reasons, but of the oh so many perhaps there is none as cheerful as the release of The Q-Tip Bandits’ debut EP Ain’t It Great. This sonic triple-threat is as sophisticated as we have come to expect from previous Q-Tip Bandits singles, but the jazz mousse is heavy atop the group’s upbeat indie rock/pop hybrid. The title track opens up with the brass instrumentation that characterizes the group, flowing slowly past the assertive electric guitar riff at the heart of the song, the build-ups bursting to reveal cheery choruses and festive breakdowns. “What’s Your Drug” lets the full bassline of Claire Davis lead the way as Leo Son’s vocals cleave with emotion, and then you know who you are listening to. Dakota Maykrantz' chic drums provide a rhythmic foundation that adapts and delivers though each hit of the snare the passion the music demands. “The Wolf” finishes an indie rock/pop delicacy of an EP that is a glossy calling card for the talented band. Listen to Maclin Tucker (trumpet), and Stephan Tenney (trombone) make their instruments howl in “The Wolf” streaming below. - Rene Cobar, photo by Sophie Park





Shade - "Combat Rave" Music Video

When I first saw Shade live I was taking a leak after the set when the singer walked in. I said hey what was the fourth song you played? He said “Combat Rave”. I knew that was the tune. This riff is top notch. The whole song and video oozes 90’s. It hits the spot for sure. This is the title track of their debut LP which is set for release May 1st. Stay safe, clean and tuned into Shade for details on the eventual LP Release Party. – Kris Gies





Kidhimself recalls a hazy romance in new single "Hooked On You"

Portland, Maine’s Kidhimself is quite serious about his feelings in his latest track “Hooked On You” which is a cool, laid-back pop song that is gooey with dreamy thoughts sprung from love and recreation. The atmospheric song recalls amid its swelling ambiance and snappy rhythm someone worth remembering, in a haze or otherwise. If love is fleeting, the music of Kidhimself is forever ever, mostly because its chill/wavy vibe is a keen sonic translation of the coastal New England winds that surely inspired it. For something to get lost in, for someone to remember, “Hooked On You” is streaming below. - Rene Cobar 





Anna May highlights sincerity in new record "I’m still thinking of you"

Waterford, Connecticut’s Anna May, takes her time, she allows the full sonic embrace of her new record I’m still thinking of you to grip, to heal. “I believed” is the long track that welcomes you to a world formed by Anna’s light acoustic guitar strums, rich vocals, and heartfelt, succinct lyrics. Tracks like “Velvet and gold,” tell through upbeat folk music stories of people you may want to know, precious individuals, as precious as they are described. “Where I belong” is the type of country-style song that is as sincere in its storytelling as it is pleasant in sound. There is a soothing nature that exists in the picturesque tales Anna presents; in times of uncertainty, music, and tales are exactly what we need. Stream the title track below for a glance at the imagery the music elicits. - Rene Cobar





Burger Boogaloo moves to spooky dates

In light of the current closures the 11th annual Burger Boogaloo festival just announced it will be moving their July dates to Halloween weekend to best accommodate the artists on this year’s phat lineup. Host John Waters shares, “A virus may scare the punk rock world out of Oakland in July but we’ll scare it right back on Halloween weekend! Trick or treat, we can’t be beat! Burger Boogaloo 2020: a Monster Mash to top them all!” That’s the attitude we like to hear! Playing their first show in 25 years, we’re thrilled Bikini Kill is taking the stage, along with Belgian super punk star Plastic Bertrand for their first ever Bay Area show. Oakland favorites like Shannon Shaw (who's playing a solo set, though we’re wondering if any of the Clams might sneak on stage?) and The Younger Lovers. Secure your Burger Boogaloo tickets now, and if you’re already snagged ‘em, all tickets will still be honored. Let’s all plunk something to look forward to on the calendar for October 31 and November 1st and start thinking of your costumes while you're at it. -Michelle Kicherer, Associate Editor

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