San Francisco’s local non-profit music organization, The Bay Bridged, is bringing a party to Potrero Del Sol Park. Not just any party, but a music festival party. For the second annual Phono Del Sol taking place this Saturday, July 21, they’ll be rolling out performances by seven bands, along with food trucks, a beer garden, bowling, and an on-site carnival at Potrero and 25th Streets all day.
It’s all happening right next door to Tiny Telephone recording studios, where San Francisco singer-songwriter and Phono Del Sol co-founder John Vanderslice works with musicians like Death Cab for Cutie, Spoon, Yann Tiersen, and tUnE-yArDs. He’s also recorded some of this year’s Phono artists, who all exclusively hail from the West Coast.
Potrero Del Sol Park’s fish-bowl-like structure is ideal for music-listening and revelry. One large stage, plenty of open grass for plotting a picnic, and hillside seating to avoid a blocked view by those who remember to pack lawn chairs (Duh, I always forget too!).
Here’s the local band line up, so when you get to Phono Del Sol, you can approach the brains behind Dominant Legs and be like, “I hear you’re a huge Chris Isaak fan, want to go on a father-son date to his next show?”
What are you looking forward to after Phono? I'm going on a solo hike of the Lost Coast. I hope to meet some friendly bears and introduce them to medical marijuana.
What’s your favorite venue in SF? I love the Independent, to play and to see shows. They have a really good sound system with great sight lines and the staff is really sweet.
Where do you go to relax and get away from it all? I love camping and hiking in Sonoma County: Lake Sonoma, Austin Creek State Recreation Area, Fort Ross, Salt Point.
Where's your secret spot? Point Reyes is such an interesting geographic anomaly; it's very diverse and often shockingly beautiful. For me, it's some of the most sacred and wonderful land in California. My goal is to camp all the hike-in sites this summer. Two down, two to go.
What local band have you been meaning to see live? French Cassettes, Magic Magic Roses, Churches, Mark Ashworth, and Fox & Woman.
Left to right: Nathan Tilton, Ross Peacock, James Murphy, and Cyrus Tilton
Oakland is... the poor man’s San Francisco.
What you looking forward to after Phono? We signed a record deal recently, so we’re looking forward to working on our release with Plug Research for December and also working on some videos.
Where do you go to fuel up before or after a show? Ross goes to Jim Beam and Snickers. Cyrus says Taco Sinoloa in Oakland has the best fish tacos on dry land. Nathan usually eats at home because it’s too expensive to eat out. When we're on the road we sometimes dine at the International House of Pancakes.
What bar do you tend to visit often? When it's too sunny during the afternoon, Ross goes to Oakland bars like McNallys, Bar Three Fifty-Five, and Heinold's First and Last Chance Saloon.
Where do you go to relax and get away from it all? The Eastern Sierras or Big Sur baby, where the air is made of salty gold.
The Fresh & Onlys
From left: Shayde Sartin, Tim Cohen, Wymond Miles, and Kyle Gibson of the Fresh & Onlys
(Questions answered by Shayde Sartin)
What are you looking forward to after Phono? After Phono we're looking forward to adding a keyboard player and starting the new phase of the band.
Where do you go to fuel up before or after a show? After shows we all have different routines. I often find myself at the Bread and Butter in the Tenderloin. Great corner store market with attitude.
What’s on your summer playlist? Just heard the new Ariel Pink track and it's awesome. Peaking Lights’ album “Lucifer” is in constant rotation at my house as well.
What bar do you tend to visit often? My favorite TL bar might be the 21 Club. Either that or Jonell’s Cocktail Lounge on Ellis. Those places are great for getting into another state of mind.
When you’re not playing music, what do you like to do? I spend a lot of time at Amoeba Music. They're pretty much my family. I also put a lot of time into my girlfriend’s new vintage store, Vacation. I'm pretty busy these days.
Ryan Lynch, photo courtesy of Dominant Legs
Where do you go to fuel up before or after a show? I rarely ever eat before a show. I know this is bad for singing, but I am either distracted or too nervous to get anything down. Shows usually end late, so if I do eat it will be Taco Loco. Regular burrito with al pastor.
What’s your favorite venue in SF? There are many great ones. We recently played at Bimbo's 365 which is a very classy venue. It gives you this feeling that you've stepped into another era. Definitely near the top of the list.
Where's your secret spot? I have a somewhat secret bar I like where I can watch a Giants or Sharks game while quietly reading the paper. It has a great group of people who come in regularly and don't seem to mind me being shy and keeping to myself. I sneak in and sneak out and just enjoy the atmosphere. I call it my Cheers where nobody knows my name.
What local band have you been meaning to see live? Chris Isaak. He's playing the Mountain Winery in August. I recently played his Baja Sessions for my father and he said he'd like to see him sometime. I never have, so I'm hoping we can make it out there.
When you’re not playing music, what do you like to do? I like to read. I'm reading an Anne Sexton bio right now. I named my fantasy hockey team the 'Warm Brown Mamas' after a line she wrote about drinking cocoa, "that warm brown mama." As you can tell, I love hockey and baseball, so I'm usually watching one or the other. I spend a lot of time in the tub. I consider it a great pleasure. I'll never be too old for the tub.
Do It Yourself
Not totally convinced? Tune in to Phono Del Sol Radio and get a feel for the bands. And, although John Vanderslice won't be playing the fest, he was nice enough to share this MP3 of "Sea Salt" with you:
The second annual Phono Del Sol music festival is on Saturday, July 21st from noon to 6 p.m. at Potrero Del Sol Park. Tickets cost $7 to $10. VIP tickets ($40) include premium reserved viewing area, reserved restroom facilities, and two drink tickets. Kids under age six are free. Pack a blanket to reserve your spot.
All photos (except Dominant Legs) by Erin Conger for The Bold Italic