Photo of Ty Segall from Panache Booking
Has there been a bad year for garage rock in SF in the past, say, decade? I'd be hard pressed to remember one. The Bay Area has been fostering fast, weird, and outta control acts since punk first broke here. But it definitely helps when local favorites get a media boost that spreads word beyond the inner circles.
If you missed the great Pitchfork piece earlier this week on how sweet our scene is these days, Aaron Leitko penned an impressively extensive article on bands to keep an ear on. (A couple months ago, I wrote a more compact bit about the psych/garage icons gaining national traction for the NY Times/via the Bay Citizen). And now we have a feature length documentary, commissioned by Scion and Vice, about the New Garage Explosion featuring plenty of camera time for San Francisco stalwarts.
New Garage Explosion takes a wide look at the national scene, getting the big ones in there (The Gories, Dirtbombs, Black Lips, Jay Reatard) and making sure our guys get lots of lip service. John Dwyer of Thee Oh Sees has a number of great quotes, Ty Segall is interviewed leafing through KUSF's extensive record collection, and members of Girls (who I'd argue don't have much to do with garage rock aesthetically, although I like their songwriting) chat about what makes this kind of music so rich. In a nod to our local past, a whole section about a favorite Detroit act of mine, Clone Defects, shows the band members in practice spaces lined with posters of OG San Francisco punks, Crime.
You can watch New Garage Explosion online whenever you like, but if you'd prefer not to lamely hold your laptop on your crotch as King Khan blows out your tinny computer speakers, there's a free screening of the film at Embarcadero Center Cinema on Wednesday, April 27 at 7 p.m. (RSVPs going on here). Let's hope there's a live music afterparty somewhere nearby, eh?