Desert Daze Caravan at Noise Pop 25 featuring Temples

Noise Pop, (((folkYEAH!))) & The Chapel Present

Desert Daze Caravan at Noise Pop 25 featuring Temples

Night Beats, Deap Vally, Froth, JJUUJJUU

Wed · February 22, 2017

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 7:45 pm


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This event is all ages

It doesn’t take too long with Temples’ second album Volcano to realise that a noticeable evolution has taken place, whilst still keeping intact all the things you loved about the band’s debut, Sun Structures. It’s there from the outset: the beefed-up beats of Certainty reveal an expanded sonic firmament, one in which bright synth hooks and insistent choruses circle around each other over chord sequences that strike just the right balance between nice and queasy. Shock-haired singer James says, “If there’s a sense of scale, it was really just a result of implementing a load of things that we didn’t know about the first time around.” Referring back to Sun Structures, a record that was recorded in his house in his native Kettering, James explains, “We didn’t even have a subwoofer to listen back to things that we did on Sun Structures, so there was nothing below 50Hz on Sun Structures. We didn’t even know those frequencies were there!” Co-founding member and bassist Thomas Warmsley describes a record in which “we discovered a lot as we went along, and the excitement at having done so radiates outwards.”

It’s a point perhaps most emphatically born out by Mystery Of Pop and Roman God-Like Man. Both songs make light work of reminding you where Temples have come from and how far they’ve travelled. On the former, Sam Toms’ brittle, piledriving rhythm clears the path for a breathless baroque pop reverie where synth and mellotron interweave to beguiling effect. “I just started with one idea. I wanted something that sounded like it was on the edge of being too fast and like you couldn’t keep up with it,” explains James. Similarly, Roman God-Like Man, in all its pulsating neurotic grandeur, spidered out from a single thought: “It’s about the pernicious effect of narcissism,” explains its creator Thomas, “But written from the perspective of someone who works in a world where that’s sort of encouraged.”

Having produced the first album themselves, Temples saw no reason to enlist outside help for their second album. “If you’re an artist who doesn’t necessarily know what they’re looking for, I can see that having a producer might be necessary, but that isn’t us.” In fact, ideas for the record were forming and being performed by the last summer. One case in point was the song which inspired the record’s name. Far more immediate that you would ever expect from a song with such an odd time signature, Oh My Saviour was written in Japan, where Temples enjoy an enormous following – to be specific at the foot of Mount Fuji, near the site of the eponymous rock festival where they played. “That’s when the album began in earnest for me,” says James. “We’d pretty much discharged our touring obligations and subconsciously, it was like I was allowing myself to write again, because I knew I could go home and quickly get to work on it. So, actually, that song came remarkably quickly, and it cleared the path for the rest of the record.”

The confidence boost of getting such a key song in the bag filtered out not only to James and Thomas, but to rhythm guitar and keyboard player Adam Smith, who opened his songwriting account with the infernally catchy In My Pocket. “That was another one that appeared at the tail end of the last tour,” recalls James, “It was a song without a chorus and we put it through the Temples filter, which pretty much every song has to go through. One thing I love about our band is that you can’t always tell who wrote what, and that’s what a band should be, I think. It’s a lot easier to make stuff by yourself, what’s easiest isn’t always best. It can be a bit nerve-racking bringing your music to the band, but it also helps you to raise your game.”

If, as James contends, the process of making Volcano amounted to “hard work, with the inevitable moments of self-doubt”, the measure of its success is that you can’t hear the struggle or see the joins. Take, for example, the undulating lysergic dream-pop of Thomas’s Strange Or Forgotten – “a song about questioning your identity, in a world where everyone is trying to stand out in some way” – or the sun-dazed oscillations of Open Air which come hitched, incongruously, to a beat one might more readily expect to hear on an old Motown record. In fact, wherever you drop the needle, the melodies seem to come effortlessly – suggesting at times that Temples have located a bounty of low-hanging melodic fruit that has somehow eluded everyone else. Presented with a song like (I Want To Be Your) Mirror, other bands might have sliced it up for use in three or four separate songs, but Temples seem to know where to go when it’s time to restock. “I don’t think you can be too high-minded about it really,” says James. “We write songs, but what’s a song without a melody? It’s music, and it might be brilliant music, but I wouldn’t call it a song. And we’re in the business of writing the very best songs we can.”

The band’s confident approach to writing new material must in part be a result of the critical acclaim Sun Structures received (“Tremendous” – NME; “60s experimentation smashing stunningly into the present day” Clash). Following on from the enthusiastic reviews, word of mouth continued to spread in the period following the release, songs such as Keep In The Dark, Shelter Song and Mesmerise have dispersed into the collective consciousness. Record shop proprietors soon discovered that if you had it playing, you’d always be sure to sell a few copies. Among the more vocal converts were Johnny Marr and Noel Gallagher, but they were by no means alone.

Indeed, by the end of 2014, Sun Structures had charted in eighteen countries and become the year’s biggest-selling vinyl album in independent British record shops, with early pressings of Shelter Song changing hands on Discogs for up to £150. Less than a month after Sun Structures landed, the group played to a packed Shepherds Bush Empire. Downstairs, young fans who either didn’t know or didn’t care about the archival inspirations for Temples’ febrile pop spell jettisoned their inhibitions and turned the entire area into a touchy-feely mosh-pit. On the balcony, older fans gazed at the scene below them, somewhat taken aback by the realisation that, in the right hands, psychedelic pop can still say something to you about your life, or even better, allow you to take leave from it for a little while.

One thing you do notice, however, this time around is that it’s harder to spot the influences. Mystical language has been supplanted by something a more direct. They’ve been broken down and blended together – fossilised into a single source of creative fuel, so that what you can hear this time around, sounds like nothing so much as Temples. This is the sound of a band squaring up to their potential. It’s hard to make it seem this easy. But don’t be fooled. If it really was that easy, everyone would be at it.
Night Beats
Night Beats
Danny Lee Blackwell – guitar / vocals
Jakob Bowden — bass
James Traeger — drums

Night Beats play pure psychedelic R&B music that spikes the punch and drowns your third eye in sonic waves of colour. Theirs is a bastard blues, contorted and distorted into new shapes for 21st century wastoids — once tasted never forgotten. This is music to melt your sorry little minds.

Make no mistake: their new album Who Sold My Generation sounds like it has been created against a backdrop of burning Stars and Stripes flags and with the whiff of napalm hanging in the air — an alternative universe where ‘Helter Skelter’ is the national anthem and Charlie Manson is still on the loose. Acid-test heaviness is Night Beats’ currency, but this is no out-right nostalgia trip either. Instead of Nixon and Vietnam, Night Beats have their own epoch of God and guns and bombs and drones to rail against…or flee from. Besides, bad vibrations, blues jams and id-shattering explorations are timeless pursuits – why shouldn’t today’s young generation be allowed to take a ride down the slippery spiral that sits within the centre of each of us?

On their third album – and first for Heavenly Recordings — Night Beats perhaps most recall their Texan forefathers and psyche-rock originators 13th Floor Elevators at their ‘69 peak, just before The Man busted young Roky Erickson and dragged him to the psyche ward for barbaric doses of shock treatment. These boys represent the best of the Lone Star State’s flipside – that vast dusty hinterland of the soul where it’s easy to drift off the map and reinvent yourself as part of the long lineage of creative cowboys who prefer psychotropics to rodeo riding, guitars rather than firearms.

“Old cowboy culture is alive and well in Texas,” says frontman Danny Lee Blackwell. “I grew up with Texan mythology all around us, so as a band its instilled in our blood. My Dad didn’t wrangle steers but he did pick cotton when he was young. But then cities like Austin and Dallas, where we spent most of our time growing up, have a real sense of musical history that runs deep, so we feed off legacy that too.”

From the Elevators and The Red Krayola on to pre-ZZ Top band The Moving Sidewalks, Butthole Surfers and The Black Angels – whose record label Reverb Appreciation Society have released Night Beats — and a clutch of other early cult bands besides (Bubble Puppy, Shiva’s Headband and the Golden Dawn, anyone?), Texas has always been a prime breeding ground for such outlaw music. “The Elevators were one of the reasons I decided to become a singer and form the group,” says Blackwell. “I loved their attempt to play R ‘n’ B music, but from a distinctly Texan approach. I’d say they have profoundly influenced the group, but it’s now our job to take it to another level in a new age.”

It took a cross-country relocation to instigate their formation. Night Beats were born when frontman Danny Lee Blackwell upped stick from Dallas to Seattle, Washington and was soon joined by childhood friend James Traeger. “James got me a copy of Ginsberg’s Howl when I was around 15 and it changed everything,” remembers Blackwell of his old friend. “We grew up together and once he moved up to Seattle we did everything together there too. I wanted to try out a different place, a new city, where no one knew my music and there wasn’t anything remotely similar going on. Coming from Dallas, Austin seemed like the obvious choice but I needed something more. Seattle was at one time the home to people we love like Ray Charles, Jimi Hendrix and Quincy Jones so I didn’t feel too disconnected.”

The two existed initially as a guitar and drums duo, named in honour of Sam Cooke’s 1963 album Night Beat, before fellow Jakob Bowden Dallas resident joined on bass after a stint in Austin. Filtering a collective love of pioneering artists as disparate as Buddy Holly, Fela Kuti, Etta James, James Brown and Leonard Cohen, Night Beats dropped a clutch of singles, split-singles, cassette release and two albums – their self-titled debut in 2011 followed by Sonic Bloom in 2013 – as well as featuring on all manner of compilation albums that document the cutting edge of the head-bending, modern counter-cultural US underground.
Night Beats hit the road too, touring extensively with Roky Erickson, The Zombies, The Jesus and Mary Chain, The Strange Boys, Black Lips, The Growlers and The Black Angels in North America, Europe, Israel, South Africa and Australia.

Recorded on old two-inch tape in Echo Park, Los Angeles at the home of producer Nic Jodoin and featuring co-production and guess bass playing from Robert Levon Been of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, new album Who Sold My Generation goes beyond merely being a retreading of well-worn garage / R&B path. Instead it offers a contemporary take on the psychedelic experience, a heady set of hoodoo voodoo songs. Mordant and corrosive opener ‘Celebration #1’ sets the tone with its wailing guitar jams and Messiah-like monologue, while ‘No Cops’ makes like the imaginary soundtrack to an orgiastic party somewhere in the LA hills as the summer of love gave way to an era of greed and paranoia. ‘Sunday Mourning’ is the sound of blood dripping on the twitching remains of a generation’s super ego and with a rockabilly strut, ‘Egypt Berry’ chases the White Rabbit down into a cosmic underworld while shaking its burning tail feathers.

With new Who Sold My Generation, Night Beats have not only painted it black, they’ve torched the fucker and driven it off the cliff, crashing and burning into the arid canyon below.
In its afterglow only the lone howl of a solitary coyote remains.
Ben Myers. October 2015.
Deap Vally
Deap Vally
Deap Vally introduced us to their unapologetic style of rock’n’roll in 2013 debut ‘SISTRIONIX’. LA natives Julie Edwards and Lindsey Troy lit heavy, minimalist blues fires throughout the US and Europe, both on record and in their legendary live shows. Lindsey Troy’s sand-and-glue vocals and ferocious riffs rode roughshod over the dynamic explosions of Julie Edwards’ drumming. After several loops around the world, they decided it was time for a gear shift inspired by the pair's desire to create their vision on their own terms.

So the two-piece wielded the time they needed to reassess matters, doing short stints as touring bass players: Lindsey in White Lung and Julie in JJUUJJUU: having a kid, experiencing life stuff, all while recording critically-acclaimed sophomore album ‘FEMEJISM’ with Yeah Yeah Yeah’s Nick Zinner producing.

The process of executing album two while still recovering from a major label hangover (they parted ways with their major label after record 1), found the two feeling less than bright-eyed and bushy-tailed towards each other. ‘We actually went to couples therapy,’ Lindsey admits. Enlisting a professional worked wonders, and the two began to see a way forward, and the vision for their next record began to form.
Their reinvigorated approach is to craft and record songs quickly, catching what falls, and bring new influences into the process, including artists from some of their favorite groups like Savages, Warpaint, Flaming Lips, Peaches, KT Tunstall, Eagles of Death Metal, and Mini Mansions. ‘It’s your classic seven year itch. It was time to bring some other people into the relationship, heat it up,’ quips Julie.

Seven years in to Deap Vally -- and many more than that in the music biz, Lindsey having been a failed major label teen pop star, and Julie having been in a favorite local Silverlake band that operated somewhere below the status of ‘cult’-- their aim now is to engender a sense of freedom and playfulness in the studio, not be weighed down by self-judgement, pressure to perform, adherence to established genre, and other neuroses that in the past essentially gave them mild PTSD.
‘Get Gone’ (label: HundredUp) is the first of many surprise-attack singles the band will release this year, some of which will be bundled into cohesive collections, some of which will stand on their own as tasty treats. ‘As much as we are both old school lovers of the LP format, we really want each track we record to have it’s moment in the sun, instead of any of our babies being relegated to the obscurity of deap cuts.’
Formed in 2013 in Los Angeles, Froth first garnered attention with their debut LP, “Patterns.” Originally intended as a small-run cassette release, the album quickly became an underground sensation in the Southern California music scene, catapulting the band to local fame and prompting a vinyl re-release in 2014.

2015 saw the release of the band’s sophomore album, “Bleak.” A more dynamic, adventurous effort, the record matches lush shoegaze soundscapes with driving krautrock beats. Froth toured extensively across the U.S. and Europe in support of the album, opening for acts such as The Drums, Tamaryn, Pond and Craft Spells.

After signing with Wichita Records in 2016, Froth is set to share their third album, “Outside (briefly),” on 2/10/2017. This time around, the band has dialed back the noise, revealing delicately beautiful melodies, intricately arranged instrumentals and some of their most experimental songwriting to date.
JJUUJJUU is an astral union, an arcane ritual, and above all, a conversation.

Harnessing an unspoken energy, the duo have exponentially blossomed from a sonic experiment to a forceful, telepathic dialogue of distinct-but-aligned vibrations. Releasing this dynamic on an expanding spiral of planned and impromptu live shows in the American southwest, the magnetism of the duo only continues to grow, along with its devoted, traveling coterie of entranced acolytes. - S.M. 2012
Venue Information:
The Chapel
777 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA, 94110