Thee Oh Sees and More: San Francisco Treats

thee oh sees

The vastness and connectivity of the Internet has made it easy to hear more music than ever. No shock there. It also makes it easier to notice when something special is happening in a certain town. And that's what's going on in the San Francisco Bay Area right now, where a small handful of bands are churning out fuzzy, sun-kissed, good-time garage rock gems at an alarming rate.

The bummer is that these bands are based 3,000 miles away and don't get out to D.C. too often, if ever. But since one of the best, Thee Oh Sees (pictured above, a SXSW revelation), visits the Black Cat tonight, this seemed like the perfect opportunity to shine a light on same of the best bands coming from the Bay Area, with a sample song from each.

Thee Oh Sees - "Block of Ice" (More info)

(Eight more songs from the Fresh & Onlys, Nobunny, Sic Alps and more, after the jump.)

Nobunny - "Nobunny Loves You"

Pure gimmick, but hard to resist, at least in a live setting. Nobunny played just before Jay Reatard at the Ottobar, last Saturday, but judging from the madness and moshing during the band's set, this was the main attraction. Nobody really knows who Nobunny is, but he performs with a bunny mask and no pants, and writes '50s sock-hop-garage tunes that go down easy. (More info)

Fresh & Onlys - "Peacock and Wing"
Ragged and ramshackle is usually the name of the game, but this sharp, propulsive rocker is one of the year's best songs to date. (More info)

Ty Segall - "The Drag"
ty segall

This youngster is a sometimes member of Thee Oh Sees who gets by as much on swagger as songs right now. His latest, "Lemons," was a slight misstep after his hotshot self-titled debut, but when you listen to a song such as "The Drag" you can hear the primal energy he has in reserve. (More info)

Nodzzz - "Is She There?"
Nodzzz (yes, everyone loves extra letters) is less garage and more indie-pop, recording for New York label What's Your Rupture? The band's goal seems obvious -- see how many different hooks it can fit into a 90 second song. (More info)

The Mantles - "Don't Lie"
More than any of these bands, the Mantles favor jangle over distortion. You're more likely to hear the influence of bands on New Zealand label Flying Nun than hardcore vets on SST. (More info)

Grass Widow - "To Where"
grass widow

This trio isn't trying to play it cute. It's self-titled album more often veers into the weird than the predictably twee or garagey. (More info)

Brilliant Colors - "I'm Sixteen"
More ladies from the left coast, this is a scratchy, bratty, almost the perfect answer, 35 years later, to "Seventeen" by Rocket From the Tombs. (More info)

Sic Alps - "L Mansion"
sic alps

This duo is least like the rest, but also the most interesting with their deconstructed songs which are always more than the sum of their parts. (More info)

By David Malitz |  October 12, 2009; 1:00 PM ET Favorites
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