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Saturday October 15 2022
 8:30PM doors -- music at 9:00PM
•••  21 AND OVER
KXSF co-presents...
Terry Gross
 pre-post indie  experimental
Carlton Melton
Was Ist Das? Soundsystem

-from Santa Cruz, CA
-Mammatus has been conjuring up a heavy blend of riff laden, space trippin, proggy, hazy far out rock and roll for fifteen years now. Since forming in the shadows of the Santa Cruz Mountains of California in 2005, they've delighted the ears and minds of adventurous listeners around the world.

Terry Gross
-from San Francisco, CA
-Terry Gross is an engrossing trio composed of guitarist Phil Manley (Trans Am), bassist Donny Newenhouse, and drummer Phil Becker. The trio are also connected as owners and engineers at Bay Area recording spot El Studio, where they began improvising together as a way to test the boundaries and gear of the studio. Their loose, organic chemistry burgeoned into a deep camaraderie and a sound both expansive and exacting. The three experienced musicians crafted their first full-length album through the pure joy of playing together with no expectations. With the tapes rolling on their rehearsals, the band captures the exuberance of live performance and elevates those recordings through a deft use of the studio as their collective instrument. On their debut LP Soft Opening, Terry Gross channels their cosmic powers and considerable chops into a gleefully mesmerizing odyssey fit for an arena.

Soft Opening took shape over the course of 2016-2019, with Terry Gross writing and refining their songs. “Space Voyage Mission” and “Worm Gear” parallel one another as sinuous jams that pulse with adamantine fervor. Each mountainous epic churns spellbinding repetition and simplicity into dizzying gallops that take hairpin turns into sinewy riffing and elysian vocal melodies. Phil Manley’s guitar takes on a constellation of tones across “Space Voyage Mission” with drifting delays soaring over the Newenhouse and Becker’s driving rhythm section which all succumb to frothing overdrives that spin the song into entirely new pastures. The hypnotic throb of “Worm Gear” grows all the more enchanting as Newenhouse and Becker add subtle shifts to the single-chord barrage. “Specificity (Or What Have You)” contrasts these two in its more traditionally pop-oriented structure while retaining its predecessors wide-eyed energy and delves further into the album’s lighthearted-yet-earnest take on sci-fi tropes from space and time travel to the singularity.

As Terry Gross, Phil Manley, Donny Newenhouse, and Phil Becker are sonic scientists traversing the borderlands of rock. Soft Opening captures the simple joy of a no-holds-barred trio in stunning detail, transporting the listener into the splendor and freedom of rock. 

Carlton Melton
-from San Francisco, CA
-Labor Day Weekend 2017,

 A heatwave beat down on Point Arena, California gifting Mendocino County with one of the hottest weekends on record. Somewhere nestled in the wooded landscape of Redwoods that touch the clouds with ease sat a geodesic dome where psych rockers Carlton Melton created their hazy "dome rock". And on that oppressively hot Labor Day weekend Andy Duvall, Rich Millman, and Clint Golden said the hell with the heat and commenced to expand their minds and plug in, turn up, and freak-out.
Recorded after the band's mostly ambient Hidden Lights EP and a year before the next proper full-length Mind Minerals, the fellas got together for a smoldering Northern California jam session and to celebrate Andy's 50th rotation on the third rock from the sun. Letting the dome guide them where it may Carlton Melton did what they do best, get loud and expand their minds via buzzing guitars, slinky bass lines, tribal rhythms, and far out synths.

The results of that rock and roll heatwave can now be heard on Microwavelengths, a 5-track excursion into free form psych, hazy drones, and all out fuzz freakouts that sound as if Hendrix' Experience were hipped to Krautrock in some kind time/space conundrum before Krautrock was a thing.
Eschewing the studio sheen of their last few album releases, Microwavelengths is a gritty lo-fi record that locks into the band's early releases; set up a couple mics in the dome, make sure there's plenty of beer iced down, and hit record. Duvall, Millman, and Golden, along with help on the drums from Brian McDougall on a couple tracks, set controls for the heart of the sun. There's barn burners like "Lion's Roar" and "Alien Argument", while "Hazel Heat" finds the band in a calm pocket of contemplation.

Of course this wouldn't be a proper Carlton Melton sound excursion without one epic jam, which is here in the form of the nearly 20-minute journey "Microwavelength". A groove of epic proportions, the CM crew drive this dream machine from Point Arena to the far reaches of the galaxy and back on a single tank of gas. It's a hell of a trip, man.

We're coming up on nearly 15 years since the Melton came to fruition. The band has expanded their sound both sonically and aesthetically; starting out with these fuzzy, gauzy psych/stoner jams, then taking their sound from Super 8 to Widescreen Technicolor. With Microwavelengths we get a glimpse of the band from where they started, but with the advantage of time, age, and a few more rotations around the sun under their belts.

Plug in, turn up, and freak-out with Carlton Melton and Microwavelengths. That is, if you can stand the heat. - J Hubner  January 2022

Was Ist Das? Soundsystem
-from Phoenix, AZ