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Saturday February 14 2015
 8:30PM doors -- music at 9:30PM ••• 21 AND OVER
$10 in advance / $12 at the door
Zodiac Death Valley   ------ Magic Trick canceled
 Alternative Rock                                
The Missing Pieces
Rock / Blues / Soul
 with Luke Sweeney
pop / avant-garde

Zodiac Death Valley
Nic Abodeely - vox/guitar
Jordan Villa-lead guitar
Nate Ricker-keys
Landon Cisneros-drums
Dan Burns-bass
Tyler Jones-percussion/blunts
- from San Francisco
- The music of San Francisco's Zodiac Death Valley straddles the line between psych-rock, pulsing new wave, freak-folk, and the sun-beaten pop of Dire Straits. It's an infectious combination, aided largely by impeccable songwriting. The band's music is nothing if not filled with memorable hooks and substantial melodies. These are hefty songs, carrying with them a kind of weight and import that isn't usually found in the usual roundup of psych-inflected groups. Plodding, chugging rhythms are accompanied by drunken guitars. Sprightly keyboards lend levity and a beatific tone to songs that seem to build for long stretches of road, alone in a car. Zodiac Death Valley comes across as a fully formed band, with a palpable clarity of spirit and vision. Word on the street is their live show rules. Bonus.

The Missing Pieces
Mark Joseph - Nate Harris - Dave Hagan - Nathaniel Bilbrey - Billy Riordan
-from SF

The Missing Pieces is a San Francisco rock n roll band composed of players with a diverse appreciation of music, and years of experience (live and in the studio) experimenting with sound and approach.
Over the years, while playing and writing with several other bands, Mark Joseph penned a collection of more personal songs that ultimately grew into a repertoire worthy of its own group. Old songs are now joined with new ones to support bigger themes and ideas.
The band was created as a home for these songs and visions, as a reason to get back on the road, and as a way to further experiment with songwriting, sound, recording, presentation and performance.

Luke Sweeney / Jitsun Sandoval / Scott Noda
guitar               bass                     drums
vocals               vocals                   vocals
-from SF.
-A bicycle crash left a young Sweeney with his jaw wired shut for six weeks, and in recovering, his sustenance was on a guitar. What was he chasing?
-Luke Sweeney writes, performs and records psychedelic pop with a rock & roll flair. He does it with a miraculous absence of pretense or kitsch. That's because Luke really has his own soulful style and is unconcerned with both trend and tradition. He knows his rock & roll cliches and he uses them when he feels like it, right alongside his own original riffs and chords. Solo artists are often so precious but Luke Sweeney takes himself just seriously enough, resulting in recordings that are both silly and earnest.

In San Francisco in the summer of '07, on the heels of several broken relationships, the three young men who had just formed Vows had nothing to lose. So they loaded into a dusty wagon and headed for the California/Nevada border, washing away their troubles in Lake Tahoe then barely drying off before crashing into Reno to seduce the Wheel of Fortune slot machines and black jack tables of the casinos for nearly two grand in cash. They stuffed an empty wine bottle with their winnings, and in October they broke it open, bought plane tickets and flew to NY to record the 13-song debut LP 'Everything Forevermore' at Media Blitz East in Brooklyn with their friend, producer Robin MacMillan (Shalants, Sugar & Gold, Persephone's Bees). They were further blessed with contributions from some outstanding musicians, including Brett Eastman (ex-Girls), and Jake Silver (Mammals, Shalants), who have continued to join Vows onstage occasionally. During those two weeks of recording on the East Coast, Vows surprised crowds at The Annex in NYC and Galapagos in Brooklyn with their unlikely spirited performances, and were greeted with a love-buzzed reception from residents of the Lower East Side & Williamsburg scenes. Things went so well they briefly considered a permanent settlement there, but...

Back home in California, Vows returned the favor by playing a healthy dose of shows up & down the coast and crafting a new crop of songs to form their second album, Mirages, which was mostly recorded at Different Fur in San Francisco in December of 2008. Production at Faultline Studios is wrapped up and awaiting mastering for an official release. Since touring half of the United States and sharing the stage with a wide variety of international acts including Bare Wires, Bart Davenport, Cute Lepers, Dead Meadow, The Ferocious Few, Joel Rabinow of Howling Rain, Part Time, The Shalants, Sugar & Gold, Tornado Rider, and Two Gallants - among others - word has spread about Vows, and now their sugary melodies are being broadcast coast to coast by the voices of happy witnesses. Ever the restless campers, Vows have already written & scripted a third album already in production, and songs for a fourth album have been recorded in 4-track demos...

The composing trio of Vows turn pieces of life into sonic offerings like highway romantics constructing a bonfire: a creative spark and the heat of hard work are all they need to make their stories come alive. Comprised of three artists native to Northern California – Luke Sweeney on guitar, Jitsun Sandoval on bass, and Scott Tomio Noda on drums – Vows make a distinctly Californian sound which travels the trails of the human heart with the honesty and enthusiasm of a honeymooner’s old-fashioned jalopy rolling its way down the interstate. Vows songs are rich with tongue-in-cheek subtext, doo-wop inspiration, and informed nods to psychedelic stalwarts already in California's legacy – a la 'Sunflower', 'Da Capo' & 'Trout Mask Replica'. Vows extend an irresistible invitation – heavily perfumed with musky three-part harmonies – to sing along as they parlay the subjects and sounds of a lovelorn acid trip, and pack in all kinds of original surprises for the ride...

Magic Trick
 ~Tim Cohen, of The Fresh & Onlys
Tim Cohen, James Kim, Alicia Vanden Heuvel, and Noelle Cahill.
-From San Francisco, California.
-Magic Trick is a band, but it wasn't always that way. In the beginning it was just Tim Cohen alone in his SF bedroom studio, swatting songs out of the ether during the spare hours between tours with his other project, weirdo-pop juggernauts The Fresh & Onlys. When the tapes filled up, he'd cull a few favorite tunes to press a solo record. To list a few of these, The Two Sides of Tim Cohen, Laugh Tracks, and Magic Trick.

When it came time to play shows, Cohen recruited a handful of friends- including James Kim (Kelley Stoltz's band), Alicia Vanden Heuvel (Aislers Set), and Noelle Cahill- to help him flesh out his pet tunes in concert. But Cohen was never actually sold on the solo-artist schick. There's strength and power in a collective endeavor and, really, unless you're talking about David Bowie or Captain Beefheart, most people just like a band better. Long story short, Tim Cohen's Magic Trick ultimately morphed into Magic Trick.

The creative process hasn't changed all that much, though, Magic Trick still supplies the essential Tim Cohen experience, untarnished by re-writes, re-mixes, or too many second thoughts. The songs on Ruler of the Night, the group's second proper effort and first for Hardly Art, were birthed on a nylon string guitar during stoop-side noodle sessions, augmented by whichever band mates were within hollering distance, and put to tape before the inspiration had a chance to fade. They're quiet, introspective and prone to unexpected musical tangents. Nashville hooks and cheapo synthesizer leads make peace with one another. At least one chorus gets hooted, rather than sung.