Nov 07


Sacred Hills EP is a short, sweet snapshot of the long and winding journey of a man named Matt Costa. The E.P. has four tracks; two unpolished (but superior) classics hidden in the middle surrounded on either end by more sing-along, bigger produced songs. In other words the intro/outro tracks are nice, but like a geode, the gems are in the middle.

The single and opener, “Good Times” is a large celebratory sound reminiscent of the The Beatles, with colorful horns and that happy folk-rock feel, but the lyrics are somber, speaking of a return to hard times…a return to truth, to “the man I once was.” Back to reality. Matt is clever here, offering an economically timely piece. Roundabout the second chorus you get this feeling of, “Aha! I see what you’re doing here!”

The second track, “Never Change”, is the stand-alone classic.  It could have come from the past 80 years of music. The soundscape is reminiscent of Donovan or even an old Woody Guthrie ballad. Costa’s tired voice hinges on the feeling of a theme song or the ending credits to an old Western.  It’s almost got a smirk to it though…actually the whole album does. While the album spins, especially during “Never Change,” you feel a satisfactory buzz and when it ends, you wish it hadn’t.


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Sep 12


When I discovered that the marvelous David Byrne and Annie Clark (also known as St. Vincent) were collaborating on an album together, I knew something magical was going to be produced. Yesterday, their album titled, Love This Giant was finally released. Although I had been listening to the album intently and continuously over the past few days, (thanks to the full stream made available by NPR) I gave the album yet another few listens yesterday since it marked their official album release date.


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Aug 06


SFD Review:


Awash with the memories of they're travels, Mineral Stills album "Visions" seems to encompass a travelers log placed on top of a rising mix of indie, blues and southern riffs. It is not for the most part an abstract album, far removed from the psychedelic digital atmospheres prevalent today, Memory Stills have produced an album raw and analog. The first highlight of the album comes in the form of a down and hell bent southern riff in "Keep It On The Level". It races along with images of the underbelly of society, pretty great vibes. Another highlight is the contemplative and exploratory "Sea of Trees". An inspiring account of a journey beneath pines, the muffled sound of snow is accounted for in lyrics like "frozen trees, evergreens, covering the moonlight as you slip away, out before anyone knows" and conjures up images of a silent escape discovering the Sierra Nevada mountain range. "Visions" as a whole seems to be quite a personal album, a call to free experience. It doesn't aim to be revolutionary in technique or musical process but it has the possibility to connect with the listener in a positive manner. I would say their sound has many contemporaries, which is not a bad thing in any sense, and they're song writing prose has the advantage of simplicity that lets listeners into the bands experiences.

Album Rating: 6/10

In terms of their online and social media presence, I'm afraid I can't find any evidence of their prominence. The bands album site, run through Band Camp, doesn't have links to any of their own social media profiles. A quick search of "Mineral Stills" does bring one to their site but no social network links are to be seen besides Last.FM which provides no bio or even images of the band. The Band Camp site offers a way to "share" an album track which does encourage the proliferation of their music but it is rather ambiguous on the site and the simple "share' drop down link doesn't stand out. They're website is essentially just a merchandise vehicle. The only MySpace I could find for a band called "Mineral Stills" is a defunct band from Texas. They're Band Camp site seems intent on the advantage of online retail however, offering options to consumers to pay what they choose for the album (as long it is more than $5 for the album and $.50 per track which is very reasonable) and giving plenty of links to do so. With just a few hours of social networking development, Mineral Stills could establish a much stronger online presence, giving the opportunity to expose more people to their music and, as they put it, get more revenue which "goes directly toward making more tunes." Some improvements would need to be made to elevate their presence beyond it's current clumsy state.

As a side note, they have an excellent album booklet which you get as a bonus with the purchase of "Visions." The booklet contains some pretty amazing photography of road trips taken decades ago, a really great compliment to the music which really helps connect the vision of the album to the viewer. This product could be emphasized in different forms and compliment the site in a more effective way.

Website Rating: 5/10

Social Rating: 3/10

Overall Rating: 4.7/10

Visit Them Online: Mineral Stills Last.FM

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Jul 27


In the wake of a not so tragic album leak, Delta Spirit recently released their second studio album, just in time for a 50 day US headlining tour. They ended their tour right here in Beautiful Santa Barbara with their second sell-out show in a row, following a successful night at the El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles.

Their new album, “History From Below” is a beautiful mix of lyrics and powerful melodies, inspired by life and the true American spirit. Lead Vocalist and songwriter Matt Vasquez was born in Texas, and raised in the mid-west before moving out to California, the inspiration for the track “Golden State.” History From Below boasts the emotionality and musical maturity that you would expect from a Veteran band. Although Delta Spirit have been together for five years, their Sophomore release is packed with complex compositions and well driven arc. The music speaks for itself as the band takes you on a journey through your own history via the ears of four young and talented musicians.

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May 31


SFD Review:

Any Port In A Storm DIRTY HEADS Review by Marc B.

Huntington Beach natives The Dirty Heads have a new album out, and they want you to hear it. They pulled out their bag of tricks for this one, and the end result is a colorful mix of heavy, pissed off hip-hop and light, acoustic barefoot jams.

The obvious, breakthrough hit-and-a-half is the catchy love story “Lay Me Down” featuring Rome of Sublime. According to my father, “Rome was the only one with any talent.” I disagree. They’ve all got talent. The Dirty Heads have that raw, barefoot, pissed off talent that’s harder to see than Rome’s smooth, vanilla ice-cream vocals.

The album’s harder edge is exposed on tracks like “Hip-Hop Misfits” and “Sails to the Wind,” both with an almost Eminem quality. They’ve got the hard stuff down, ready to go. But it’s important to remember that most of these songs come from barefoot, latenight jams. This sound is well documented and really comes out on tracks like “Stand Tall” and “Rains it Pours.”

My personal favorite is their opening track, “Neigborhood.” (Listen to it in the player below!) It’s a screaming theme song for the southern California beach bum. Combine that with the remake of their original hit that made them local favorites, “I Got No Time,” and you’ve got Core fans will be pleased to know that it sounds just like the original, just better in all the right ways. New listeners will find this track incredibly catchy, and funny. “You say you get more pussy than a gynecologist”.

Dirty Heads’ album “Any Port in a Storm” combines genres into a surprisingly pleasing recording throughout, its worth a listen. Have a listen. Do it.

You can scope the album on iTunes or Amazon.

Check out some tracks from the album:

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