City Limits Records Treats us to another San Francisco Compilation

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Geography breeds and cultivates its own particular sound. In our case, a slew of local bands transmit San Francisco’s foggy charm into catchy, dazed melodies. Inspired in part by the Secret Seven Records compilation, In A Cloud: New Sounds From San Francisco (recently profiled on pitchfork), the bloggers behind Ears of the Beholder and See the Leaves have compiled 14 Bay Area tracks as their first installment in their City Limits Presents project, which aims to showcase and invigorate music from varying regional scenes. Featured on this release are songs by Empty Cellar family artists The Sandwitches, Tim Cohen, and Joseph Childress, along with a bunch of other buzzworthy artists. You can preorder the 12″ (on orange vinyl, no less) or download the tunes instantly from their bandcamp . The release party for the comp will be June 17th at Milk Bar. Support our scene!!

Listen to “Sirens and Bells” by the Sandwitches:

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Track listing:

1. Young Prisms – Weekends & Treehouses (Acoustic)
2. Tim Cohen – Wake Up In Another Dream
3. Exray’s – Paper Bag ft. Heidi Alexander
4. Magic Bullets – No Longer There
5. Fiveng – Meant To Be
6. The Sandwitches – Sirens & Bells
7. Joseph Childress – Last Days
8. Sunbeam RD. – Prismatic Surface
9. Melted Toys – Lost Connection (Demo)
10. Phantom Kicks – Cut From A Different Clay
11. Maus Haus – You Made My Radar
12. The Soft Moon – Bones
13. Skeletal System – Cue To Remind
14. Kites Sail High – Trip




The Sandwitches Play with Michael Yonkers Tuesday

June 14th, The Sandwitches will be playing with the quietly legendary Michael Yonkers at Amnesia. It will be Yonkers’ first performance in San Francisco in his evolutionary 40 year career. Yonkers’ foundational stylings ignited the origin of fuzzy “garage rock” and corresponding psych-folk endeavors.

Secret Seven Records reissued his early 70s album “Goodby Sunball” last summer. As you may recall, Grace Sings Sludge (Grace Cooper of The Sandwitches) recorded a beautiful cover of his song “Oh Can You Tell Me”. You can listen to that track here. Michael Yonkers with the sonic support of The Sandwitches and Bronze this coming Tuesday will certainly be a show not to miss!




Pillars and Tongues announce new album, on tour


Earlier this week No Fear of Pop premiered the first single from Pillars and Tongues‘ forthcoming LP on Empty Cellar, The Pass and Crossings. You can listen to it “The Making Graceful” here now:

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“Employing mainly violin, double bass, drums, bells and occasionally organs, and relying on the marvelous baritone of Mark Trecka, Pillars and Tongues’ music always has one foot in the avant-garde, while never completely abandoning pop, which in this case is gloomy, dark, and dreamy, almost cinematic, evoking pictures of lost and doomed landscapes. The Pass and Crossing is close to nothing contemporary, a truly outstanding piece of sonic art.”
No Fear of Pop

The Pass and Crossings tracklist:
1. A Dance In The Billowing Absence
2. The Palms to Tell
3. Thank You, Oaky
4. Oaky (Doting)
5. The Making Graceful
6. Decadent Crossing

Once based entirely in Chicago, and now in near-constant motion, Pillars and Tongues is a formidable force, large and looming. The Pass and Crossings is the third full-length offering from the trio, and their second for San Francisco vinyl label Empty Cellar out June 28th (pre-order link below), and are currently touring the US in support of the record (tour dates below).

Having spent years developing a uniquely textured sound, Pillars and Tongues have now given teeth their creation, and the doom is manifest. Like French experimental chanteuse Catherine Ribeiro’s early ’70s collaborations with Alpes, Pillars and Tongues brings passion, cohesion, and lyricism to the avant-garde. This is immediately apparent in the lyrical depths of the album opener, “A Dance in the Billowing Absence”, a song seemingly conjured by seduction from some very dark places. Beth Remis’ lush violin lines swell and sing over plodding, taiko-like drums, moving at a pace and with a weight that would not be out of place on an Earth record. Mark Trecka’s baritone pleads with absent forms and howls haunted poetry to reach them.

Heavily melodic, rolling, desert drones permeate this album, rendering the listener captive to deeply hypnotic vibes punctuated by the heavy, danceable and almost tribal rhythms on tracks “Thank you, Oaky” and “The Making Graceful”. As with their previous album, Lay of Pilgrim Park, Pillars and Tongues continues to evoke a certain era of 4AD releases – think the goth-drama and global grooves of Dead Can Dance.

When Trecka, Remis, and Hydzik hit it just right, their voices and instruments blend like the reeds of a pipe organ to create something that is altogether far greater than the sum of their parts. This sort of alchemy is just the type of thing they have been honing for the past few years, accepting invitations to tour as support for Bonnie “Prince” Billy and Joan of Arc, opening for Dirty Three with Nick Cave, Bill Callahan, Daniel Higgs, Sir Richard Bishop, Red Red Meat, etc., and performing hundreds of concerts in various other scenarios from basements to cathedrals, from Albuquerque to Lisbon.

Trecka has kept busy in what would otherwise be moments of calm, touring much of the past year, as the drummer for Dark Dark Dark or performing solo; and Remis has loaned her voice and violin to recordings and performances by Elephant Micah.

This is a record full of dark moments and seductive pleas. Engineered by Mike Ursey and Theo Karon, and mastered by Paul Oldham. Performed with contributions by Ben Babbitt and Theo Karon from the band This is Cinema. Available in CD and LP formats via Empty Cellar June 28th. Keeping with the times, the LP comes with a high quality digital download and 16×23″ poster.

Tour Dates

05-27 Lincoln, NE – Cultiva
727 S. 11th St., Lincoln
w/ Woven Symbol, Cool it Action!

05-28 Iowa City, IA – White Lightning Wherehouse
700 S. Dubuque St.
w/ Buoyant Sea, Zodiac

05-30 Chicago, IL – The Empty Bottle
1035 N. Western Ave., Chicago
w/ Ga’an, Axis:sovA, Ancient Ocean

06-01 Columbus, OH – Iuka House
2131 Iuka Ave., Columbus
w/ Time and Temperature, Zac Little (fr. Saint Seneca)

06-02 Pittsburgh, PA – Garfield Artworks
4931 Penn Ave., Pittsburgh
w/ Gallina and Mike Tamburo

06-03 Baltimore, MD – 2640
2640 St. Paul St., Baltimore
w/ Deradoorian (of Dirty Projectors) and Hiro Kone.

06-04 New York, NY – Cake Shop
153 Ludlow St., New York (LES)
w/ Hiro Kone, Effi Briest

06-05 Biddeford, ME – The Oak and the Ax
140 Main St., Suite 107
w/ Hiro Kone

06-09 Brooklyn, NY – Zebulon
258 Wythe Ave., Brooklyn

Pre-order The Pass and Crossings HERE




Support Dublab with Empty Cellar Flashpacks

Stretching through genres with the malleable medium of radio, dublab is a nonprofit web radio station that couldn’t operate without you, its listeners. With 12 years of inventive and continuous programming, the world’s best eclectic djs are devoted to engagement with an expansive range of sounds. Currently in the final legs of its Spring 2011 donation-based fundraiser, Turning on Tomorrow Proton Drive, dublab is just now wrapping up a 24 Hour “No Sleep Session”, an insomniac marathon of notable DJs and artists spinning. Another way to help out is by purchasing flashpacks, a prize bundle of albums for a great price. Empty Cellar Records is offering two sets of these flashpacks spanning our entire discography – you don’t want to miss out!

(( Click on the images to Support Dublab with Empty Cellar Flashpacks ))

Pillars and Tongues also recorded a stellar live session for dublab last year – check it out here !




Vinyl In The Woods = where we’ll be this weekend


This weekend, Empty Cellar is heading to Big Sur with Secret Seven Records for the second annual Vinyl In The Woods event at the Henry Miller Library. If you get there tonight (friday) you can watch this documentary on the Wrecking Crew. Weather looks beautiful… should rule!