777 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 - Map
Swirlies

Swirlies

Cruel Summer

Tue, August 8, 2017

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 9:00 pm

The Chapel

San Francisco, CA

$15 adv / $17 door

This event is all ages

Swirlies
Swirlies
Formed from the shell of a Go-Go's cover band named Raspberry Bang (featuring the inimitable Rusty Nails), SWIRLIES began their life in Boston/Cambridge, MA in the summer of 1990. The original band featured Damon Tutunjian (guitar/vox), Seana Carmody (guitar/vox), Andy Bernick (bass), and Ben Drucker (drums). SWIRLIES played live for the very first time on 25 January 1991 at the Alcove in Allston, MA. In these early years, SWIRLIES wandered the Northeastern Megalopolis with other like-minded folks, releasing 7" records through the kindness of Slumberland, Pop Narcotic, Cinderblock, and other labels. Billy Ruane was there. And then SWIRLIES signed to the 'local' label Taang! Records in 1992. Our first two releases, the 'What to Do About Them' EP (a collection of previous 7"s and new tracks) and 'Blondertongue Audiobaton' LP, were created and recorded by an amalgamation of the original members and other mysterious entities. Our dependence on sacred symbols (embodied by The Ostrich, The One Who Speaks Abstractly On Recordings, and other archetypes) began at approximately this time.

Then the chaos seeped in slowly...with the first of many churnings of personnel. In early 1993, Morgan Andrews (MADBOX, ROCK/PAPER/SCISSORS) took over bass-related duties and infused them with his own blend of irritating noise. It was this SWIRLIES that made a video for 'Bell' with Linsey Herman (CAKE AND COMMERCE) and went on their first US tour in a stinking minivan filled with fashion magazines. After school ended for the season, Andy returned to join Morgan and the band. Thus, SWIRLIES explored the sensual realm known exclusively to bands with two bass players. Morgan shortly became spent and disgusted and disappeared into anarchist puppetry oblivion. Ben Drucker was oustered (some say unwisely) and went on to use his mind more productively in other areas. Around the time that 'Brokedick Car' EP was released, Anthony Deluca (THE PLANTS) signed on -- mainly because Lenny Kravitz found an attractive lady to drum in his nascent band.

After some years with Anthony, and our first small tour of Europe in January 1994, Seana left to form the now defunct SYRUP USA, and guitar/singing duties were taken over by The Otter (a/k/a Christina Files). With this group, 'They Spent Their Wild Youthful Days In The Glittering World Of The Salons' LP was conceived/recorded over two years at various studios. Anthony departed with hybrid vigor in late 1995, and Gavin McCarthy (KARATE) took over the drum kit for two US tours and a handful of other shows....during which he went temporarily insane and (smelling like a Bowery bum) drove his fancy white van across the country and out of our lives forever. More chaos. The now Gavin-less SWIRLIES (e.g. Damon, Christina, and Andy) played a few liberating analog/digital shows, before somehow managing to absorb drummer Adam Pierce (IRIS, DYLAN GROUP, MICE PARADE).

In 1997, Christina left for glory (including VICTORY AT SEA, MARY TIMONY, and current recording/sound genius). 'Strictly East Coast Sneaky Flute Music' LP (our last for Taang!) was released at about this time. This record featured remixes of 'Salons' LP material, and new pieces heavily influenced by Scituate, MA. Free from contractual obligations, SWIRLIES were blessed by Yahweh to find guitarist Rob '(The) Doctor Laasoko' Laakso (WICKED FARLEYS, THE MATHS, DIAMOND NIGHTS, AMAZING BABY).

Since about 2000, SWIRLIES have more or less maintained the "Damon-Rob-Andy-Adam" arrangement, while also taking on: Mike Walker (LILYS), Ken Bernard (WICKED FARLEYS, CERTAINLY, SIR, STRICTLY BUSINESS), Kara Tutunjian, our old comrade Seana Carmody, Deb Warfield (PUELLA), Doro Tachler (IGLOO), Avery Matthews, Kevin Shea (COPTIC LIGHT, SEXY THOUGHTS, PEOPLE), Junko Henmi (CANDYCANE) and so many others. All of the above helped to make and/or perform songs that became 'Cats of The Wild, Volume 2', the mini-album, EP, or whatever it was (Bubblecore, released 25 March 2003). Touring with a "Damon-Rob-Adam-Mike-Doro-and-rarely-with-bird-researchin'-Andy" arrangement continued for a few years, and briefly ended when Damon moved to Parts Midwest to find better living through psycholinguistics. A smattering of northeastern US shows (mislabeled "reunions") happened in 2009 (and will happen in 2011) with a "Damon-Rob-Andy-Adam-Deb-Shep-plus guests" arrangement.

photo of the sirlies in 2003Some examples of recent activity, also known as Grim Death Throes: 1) SNEAKY FLUTE EMPIRE, our special alter-ur-label with cassette and CD releases; 2) THE YES GIRLS, a sneaky-flute-music-playing group featuring Damon and occasionally some combination of Rob Laakso, Andy Bernick, and Ron Rege; 3) RICHMOND COUNTY ARCHIVES, a label with various tangential releases (like NEVAH HAVE I EVAH: A Sneaky Flute Family Album and BUCK WILD!); 4) SWIRLIES' MAGIC STROP, a series of old SWIRLIES sounds offered as free web releases on this very site.

Stay vigilant always and prepared anytime, and we shall see you at The Spit on the 4th of July.
Cruel Summer
Cruel Summer
Cruel Summer’s sound evokes the dazed, fuzzed-out, swirling noise of the late 1980s UK sound while still sticking to their pop roots--they’ve aptly been crowned San Francisco’s “jangle darlings.”

Following their 2013 release ST/EP on Sacramento’s art/vinyl imprint Mt. St. Mtn., they return with a split-release with SF’s Moonbeams. The four-song 12” release is recorded in the propulsive, crisp style of the Los Angeles Part Time Punks Sessions with Michael Stock. Mastered by Kramer of Galaxie 500 and Low, the Part Time Punks Sessions recordings feature a louder, raucous version of “Leeches”--a cacophonous love song to the soul of San Francisco before the tech boom began to bleed it dry. The moody cover of Pylon’s “Crazy” features the sharp, chorus-y guitars of its original with the hum of Mexican radio hidden under the surface.

2014 looks bright for the four-piece who played the TBD Festival in October with the likes of Blondie, Kurt Vile, and DIIV and Beach Fossils.

On Cruel Summer’s ST/EP

“Though this jangly, syrupy group makes you see bright colors and effervescent tones, there is a level of darkness creeping beneath it all that manages to offset the sweet, laid-back beats with levels of refined depth.” - Impose

“Martin Whitehead, head of Subway Records, looks back fondly at the C86 compilation as the doorway to girl-fronted bands in the indie-rock scene. As of today, women as frontwomen have become less of a fad into a standard for indie-rock. Cruel Summer, the San Francisco shoegaze quartet, takes full advantage of the success of C86 by adding their own jangle-entwined pop to the Bay Area scene. “Silent Star”, a standout from their debut EP, exercises frontwoman Thia Chacamaty’s vocals ranging from a Morrissey croon to melancholy moan not unlike Cocteau Twins’ Elizabeth Fraser. Guitarist Josh Yule’s guitar blends with Chacamaty’s croon similar to the simmering riffs Martin Newell (of Cleaners from Venus fame) is so fond of.”

- Chunky Glasses

“Their sound is somewhat of a throwback to late ‘80s/early ‘90s indie-pop as it bisected with the torrid rush of noise coming from the UK at the time – a la very early Slumberland releases,with which Cruel Summer seems to share many qualities (heavy midrange wash, Sarah Shannon-esque dream milk vocals, a little jangle, a little shambles). ….it’s like the difference between laziness and comfort, between sitting on a couch because you’re bored, or building out the ultimate space for your life to unfold, with everything you want and the foresight to make your ideas into a reality. If more bands could figure this out and represent themselves so completely on record, well, I’d probably like a lot more records, wouldn’t I?” - Still Single
Venue Information:
The Chapel
777 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA, 94110
http://www.thechapelsf.com