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The Velvet Teen
The Velvet Teen is an art-pop/indie trio from the northern Bay Area whose songs range from the beautiful to the bittersweet, with soaring countertenor melodies, tastefully delicate harmonies, and a unique rock sound not to be missed.

The Velvet Teen began as the solo project of Judah Nagler, in order to experiment with pop in the post-analog realm of electronic music. In March 2000, the 19-year old Nagler recorded the E.P. "Comasynthesis" by himself at Grizzly Studios in Petaluma, with the aid of Logan Whitehurst for live drums. Nagler and Whitehurst had previously created The Secret Band in 1999, a literal title derived in order to explore a neglected side of their creative endeavors as songwriters, but without the knowledge of their then-bandmates. The affair soon became serious and within a month the duo had written and recorded a full-length album on 4-track, and released it on the international medium of the internet.

They soon found their new project to be much more satisfying and set out to pursue it with full-force, but switched the name back to The Velvet Teen. They teamed up with bassist/vocalist Josh Staples, of such highly regarded and hard-working acts as The Conspiracy, The Wunder Years, and Edaline, and recorded the 3 song EP, "The Great Beast February" in January 2001. Since then, the trio has been making friends and fans all up and down the West Coast, touring extensively and constantly writing, creating and raising their own standards for good music.

"Music is all I've known my whole life," says Nagler, "If I go a week without writing a song, I feel like I'm all out of place ... I honestly know I would die without it." All three members have played the roles of both rhythm section and frontman in one project or another, and they bring this experience into their work, complementing each other with three-part harmonies and a cohesive blend of rhythm and melody. Through their determination and focus for the sound as a whole, each individual's talent is showcased as well. "I see our songs as tiny snapshots of the human experience," Nagler recalls, "Like we're these scientists locked away in a room, not looking for a cure or a way out, but simply searching for that small substance in us that makes us do the dark and beautiful things that we do. We're very complex creatures."

Similar artists: Radiohead, Jeff Buckley, The Cure, Cursive, Death Cab for Cutie, Bjork, Modest Mouse, Low, The Dismemberment Plan, Built to Spill, Prince and The Smashing Pumpkins.

Download MP3's: Heaven (Immortality) | Captive Audience (Elysium)

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Polar Bears
A self-described "intimate rock band," Polar Bears have spent two years establishing themselves as one of the northern Bay Area's most captivating live bands. Much like their arctic counterparts might ravage a baby seal for breakfast, Polar Bears have left no witness unscathed by their crushing blend of angular lines, dance beats, and an encompassing onslaught of noise. Many clubs across the west coast tell the same story: Polar Bears perform and people wilt in joyful capitulation.

Polar Bears are the latest band to leave their Santa Rosa womb. With the likes of The Velvet Teen, Benton Falls and The New Trust they hit the road with their hometown pride and are fixed to help put Santa Rosa on the map.

Shorts Are For Warm is the anticipated culmination of Polar Bears' ministry thus far. Produced by The Frisk's Dan Kelly, the five-song EP firmly plants itself on the map between Nomeansno and The Rapture, between terror and release.

Download MP3's: Handshakes are for Strangers

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Sin in Space
For three years Sin In Space has been gracing Santa Cruz with their wickedly gleeful rock music, a potent solution of eclectic lyrics with a sharp, distinctive sound that's pure, uncluttered pop.

Founding members Cassidy Meijer and Kirsten Rigg soldiered on through bassists who had to be deported and suspiciously psychotic drummers before finding their stride with drummer Greg Braithwaite and finally bassist Brendan Thompson, who is also a member of the long-standing ska outfit Slow Gherkin. "I've been a pretty tolerant person," Meijer reflects, "because my esteem about my music wasn't that high until all these great musicians wanted to play with me and didn't want to bail."

In 2001, Sin In Space put out their first official full-length release on Pandacide Records, Asteroid Band, which was recorded in one short but inspired weekend at Grizzly Studios in Petaluma. Asteroid Band's crystalline simplicity and upbeat aggressiveness call to mind Trompe le Monde-era Pixies, in all of the best ways: male-female vocal tradeoffs, sing-along choruses, melodies that are alternately lilting and growling.

Sin In Space's resident tunesmith Meijer pens standout lyrics that are one of the band's biggest assets. In the midst of nonsensical wordplay Meijer delivers strokes of brilliance, juxtaposing themes of alienation and self-doubt with images of alien spacecraft and electrical currents. Their songs can be as endearingly goofy as The Modern Lovers and as unabashedly rocking as The Velvet Underground in their less arty moments.

The essence of pop music, Sin In Space delivers a bubbly bright treatment for dark, twisted subjects in two-minute capsules that go down with the ease of gel-cap coating. Their lively songs, awash in embraceable immediacy, will make you remember why you liked pop music in the first place. "The more I listen to this album, the more I realize that we're a rock band," says Meijer. "I'd try to say we're indie Rock, or we're alternative rock, but we're just a Rock band."

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The Peppermints
With rabid fervor, gritty rock energy and 5 years of mayhem and tours at their back, San Diego's most unruly daughters and son make their full-length debut on Pandacide Records. The Peppermints were careful to use only the finest dirt-covered Lo-Fi analog tape was used to capture the 12 furious rock blast that are Sweet Tooth Abortion. Nothing else could bring you closer to the white-hot, yet candy-sweet, sonic epicenter of garage spawned carnage.

The 'Mints story begins in 1997 in a town called Bonsall, an hour North of San Diego with 3 ripe and angry 17 year-old girls ditching school to play rock & roll. As the years went on, the members changed and rearranged until finally arriving at the current line-up of Lil, M-ron, & Grim.

Thrashing and trashing their present hometown of San Diego and touring relentlessly for the past few years, they are a riot rock family with songs like The Flu, watch out or you'll catch it, too!

Download MP3's: Nancy / Rodeo / Santorum

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Los Dryheavers
Los Dryheavers play punk rock, the kind of raucous sound that peels paint from walls and leads mothers to ask sons, Hailing from the scenic burb of Watsonville, CA, they've coaxed a politically-influenced and spit-inflected sound from their instruments since 1999.

The five-piece outfit consists of two guitars, the standard rhythm section, and a vocalist who is as comfortable singing in Spanish as he is in English. Of course, this shouldn't come as a surprise? all five members are proudly Mexican-American. As a politically aware band,however, their politics are not derived solely from their ethnicity. "We take a more global view," explains front man Hector. "If I could sing in other languages, I would. Maybe there'll be a song in French on the next record."

After playing with bands such as Fear, Total Chaos, US Bombs, and Dee Dee Ramone, Los Dryheavers have released their first full-length on Petaluma's Pandacide Records. Showcasing their direct style of punk, the CD is 22 minutes of rock, mirroring their "no bullshit" approach to live performance. The songs themselves are a marriage of AC/DC style hard rock and Ramones-esque punk, wah-wah guitars and driving rhythms that carry the album's thirteen songs forward propulsively.

Songs like "No Soy Pocho" highlights the band's marriage of punk and politics, a denouncement of the derogatory term "pocho," commonly applied to Mexican-Americans considered too assimilated by more separatist Mexican-Americans. Other songs like "Drink To Get Fucked Up" and "Rugburn Alley" show off a more playful side to the band. Like their idols the Clash, Los Dryheavers know that while there's a time for politics and there's a time for punk, there's always time for rock and roll.

Download MP3's: Born Too Loose / Together

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Little Cat
He began with casio SK-1 loop experiments and a four-track. From indecipherable 8-bit noise collages and melody cultivation came the littlecat project, the spawn of Devon Rumrill and his love for deconstructed rhythms combined with familiar yet startling melodies. With the addition of an outdated digital sequencer, a VCR, and a couple piles of old samplers and synths, Little Cat has developed into a complex and versatile creature rich in melodic nuances.

Working practically every night for the last seven years, Devon continues to use his music to forge a synthesis between all of the things he loves about electronic music with the philosophy of lo-fi independent music. He doesn't write songs in any particular musical genre, but rather incorporates enough different music and melodies that he avoids classification, though it's overwhelmingly, undeniably electronic. For the Little cat project, Devon uses samplers and synthesizers that are mostly of the swap meet/duct tape/old school variety. He started recording with a VCR in 1998 because the sound was better than his fucked up tape deck. He's stayed true to his VHS technology because it's cheap and accessible, with both nice analog and digital qualities to the recording quality.

File under? Tech pop nintendork art electrauma collage beats, with a jarringly abrasive pop core edge. Melodies that make your teeth hurt and confound your seasoned sensibilities. Like stars twinkling in the night sky, his jams are soothingly melodic and frighteningly beat off.

"9 out of 10"
-vice magazine

"Little cat contains enough endearing kinks, comic book sound effects, fuzzed-out snippets of samples, and a subversive sense of melody - that what emerges is textured and distinctive, providing the listener with offbeat nooks and crannies to latch onto."
-North Bay Bohemian

Download MP3's: d / Home

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Logan Whitehurst & the Junior Science Club
A modern day musical army consisting of one man and his plastic lawn snowman Vanilla, the Junior Science Club recalls the electronic rock of They Might Be Giants and the odd and witty lyricism of Randy Newman and Danny Elfman. With songs immortalizing noodles, nuclear reactions, robots, lizards, and the standard metric system, the Junior Science Club defy the trappings of novelty music through inventive, layered instrumentation and complex arrangements.

Goodbye, My 4-Track, a 22-song home-recorded epic, marks the first official Junior Science Club album release. Featuring guest performances by members of Death Cab For Cutie, Pedro The Lion, Tsunami Bomb, The Roots Of Orchis, Frisk and The Velvet Teen, Goodbye, My 4-Track includes new songs such as "Robot Cat" as well as new and improved versions of super-underground classics "Lizard and Fish," "Happy Noodle vs. Sad Noodle," and "Prosthetic Brain."

Logan entered the San Francisco Bay Area musical scene in 1995 as the drummer for Sonoma County pop quirksters Little Tin Frog. Their music, heavily influenced by Elvis Costello and the Talking Heads, inspired Logan to begin writing, recording, and performing his own compositions. Response for his first recordings, cassettes passed out to friends, was so enthusiastic that the mini-albums found an audience without even intending to.

In 1999, Logan found his audience through His first internet-based album, How Does An Electrostatic Motor Work? produced a minor hit in the song "Monkeys Are Bad People," which appeared on the internationally syndicated Dr. Demento Show. At this time, The Junior Science Club site has had over 45,000 visits and over 100,000 song downloads. Logan's live solo performances, which began when he was asked to open a show for Frank Black and the Catholics, consist of Logan on keyboards and vocals, accompanied by prerecorded backing tracks, a plastic snowman, and the occasional guest musician.

Logan is currently playing drums and touring in the art-pop band The Velvet Teen, as well as continuing to produce high-quality home four-track recordings of new Junior Science Club compositions.

• Outsmartin' the Popos (1997)
• I Would Be A Biggest Octopus (1998)
• How Does An Electrostatic Motor Work? (1999)
• Denture/Doorknob Mini-Album (1999)
• Earth Is Big (2000)
• The Mini-Album of Luv (2003)
• Goodbye, My 4-Track (2003, Pandacide Records)

Download MP3's: How ya doin' Emily? / Me and the Snowman

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The Librarians
Sometimes it's tough to tell if the Librarians are joking. When you see a man in solid black, down to the leather gloves, flailing around the stage with a tambourine, belting out backing vocals while the guitarist is dressed in a bad suit and applying an exaggerated Elvis Costello tremolo to the lyric "ce-ramic lawn orn-a-ments," it takes just a wee bit of adjustment to figure out what's going on. Particularly if you're acclimated to stoic bands that take themselves too seriously. This is, after all, only rock'n'roll, and that is exactly what the Librarians play.

The Librarians began inauspiciously enough, with Damon Larson and Ryan Gan screwing around as a two-piece at parties and co-ops around Berkeley in 1999. By 2001 they were a full band, adding Lucas White on bass and Ben Adrian on drums, with Larson on lead vocals/guitar and Gan as part hype man, part backing vocalist, and 100% solid gold Rockstar, strutting all over the stage striking Mick Jagger poses, rubbing his ass, and pointing at the audience provokingly with his tambo stick. "The tambo stick is my scepter of power, so to say. I point at people with it, I shake it, it's really an extension of... yeah," theorizes Ryan.

In May they released their debut full-length record, The Pathetic Aesthetic , on Bay Area based Pandacide Records, recorded over the past year at Feedback Loop Industries, Adrian's home studio that doubles as a bedroom. But you'd be mistaken to think of the high-energy tracks on this album as "bedroom music," that is, unless your bedroom were packed with two hundred delirious partygoers. Evocative of trashy freak-beat and early punk layered with contemporary power-pop, The Pathetic Aesthetic is rife with a savvy teenaged innocence that both mocks and celebrates sloppy parties where horny guys try to pick up drunk art school girls. Last time I checked, that's what rock'n'roll was all about- having fun, trying to get laid, and not caring that you're a dork.

In the meantime, crowds have been receptive, excited to get in on a high-energy, interactive show. "As far as our performance goes, we throw all caution to the wind," says Larson. "We have a good time, and we make sure the audience is having good time...and they're talking about us the next day." White adds, "Yeah, you know, sometimes kids just want to shake their ass." And where do ass-shaking power-pop bands fit in the scheme of things? Apparently, just about anywhere. "We've played raves, we've played emo shows," says Gan. "Last year we opened for the Violent Femmes at the Greek Theatre, in front of, like, 2,000 people."

Download MP3's: It's Love / Peace and Quiet

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Get Get Go
Get Get Go is a picture of two masses forming a collection of screams that have been compiled on several CDs and on a piece of vinyl. Rocking for the sake of rocking and the love for playing to as many ppl as possible, whether it's three.. or three. & GET GET GO bring the teeny-boppin hard pain: care of 200 mph snot-nosed skreech. Buried under the flash attack of pink tennis shoes and flying guitars are melodies that bring to mind bands like Rites of Spring. Only filtered through the revolutionary leaps between the post-NOU era San Diego of the mid-90's and the more recent slice and dice action of bands such as Combat Wounded Veteran. Too skinny to actually rip your face off, GET GET GO is happy to just pop a huge boner in your face and make a run for it. Playing last shows from now until forever.

Download MP3's: Breakup

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Archeopteryx are a two piece drums & guitar band. Dual vocal screams and harmonies coupled with sporadic changes make them exciting and fresh in a sea of normality. The truth is they just want to have fun and share that experience with others at shows. Their intention is only to make music they think is interesting and exciting. Their inspiration is drawn from all types of avante garde music and art, with a focus on exploring structure and the internal process. Much of the lyrical elements of Archeopteryx are rooted in satire and will aknowledge the ridiculousness of their own aesthetic. Within Archeopteryx there is a very distinct duality which is telling of their intention and personalities. The general sound is one of chaotic, out of control anger and frustration, but the lyrics reflect humor and sarcasm.
While being serious about playing music they are simultaneously making fun of themselves and the type of music they play. Sean and Devon have been playing music together for ten years in many different incarnations spanning many different types of music. Because of this they have a strong musical intuition from working with eachother which has created the end product of what has become Archeopteryx.
Over the past four years Archeopteryx has played with other bands such as: Erase Eratta, Hot Cross, Engine Down, Malady, The Velvet Teen, The Plot To Blow Up The Eiffel Tower, The Blood Brothers, and Minus The Bear, to name a few.

What it is the sound of two retards fighting?

Download MP3's: nrc | 0 27 final cut | R Crae (with edits) 1

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Henry Fiat's Open Sore
Coming soon!

Download MP3's: 4

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