PLAYING THE BAY: Everything Sucks But At Least We Still Have Music

Boy Scouts – Taylor Vick portraits

Hey Bay Area music lovers,

It’s been a rough week. Most of us are stuck inside with naught but our family, roommates, or pets to entertain us. It’s easy to get caught in a worry spiral, but, as always, music comes through to save us all from ourselves (or our siblings).

Here’s some dope local releases from Playing the Bay alums that should be on your radar this week.

Celebrate Small Spaces with Nu Normal’s Lo-fi “Don’t Cry to Me” Video

The now eerily-named San Francisco band’s new video for “Don’t Cry to Me” is a DIY charmer. It gives off the vibe of a behind-the-scenes video, each band member making knowing eye contact with the camera as they flounce through a series of yellow-tinged vignettes, sometime cracking a grin amid rock n’ roll posturing.

Check out the band’s back catalog on Bandcamp.

Stare Moodily Out Your Window With Polkadot

Join self-professed “bay area baby punx” on a compact nine-song release aptly titled feeling ok that combines re-recordings of older songs with some fresh tracks. Compare this version of “dogs” to the one on their 2018 self-titled EP to hear the band’s evolution, from diary entry muttered into a four-track to surfy number with the sonic clarity of stepping outside post-rainstorm. The change in confidence (and, admittedly, technology) is palpable, and should give some inspiration to any other baby bands working to find their sound.

Check out the band’s other music on Bandcamp.

Do a Partnerless Waltz to the New Boy Scouts Single

Slow-burn royalty Taylor Vick of Boy Scouts has graced us with another ode to nostalgia: to a person, to a feeling, to an idea — it’s not quite clear, but emotions so often aren’t. In my album review of Free Company, I referred to Vick’s layered voice as sounding like “eerie twin camp counselors,” and I stand by this.

Check out Vick’s other music on Bandcamp.

POST-IT NOTE: Support Your Faves On Bandcamp (and Buy Their Merch)

Tours are getting canceled, venue stages lie dark, and your fave bands, local or not, are hard up. If you have the means, buying merch, donating to your go-to venues, or dropping a few extra bucks on Bandcamp’s adjustable pay scale can really help out the people who help you stay sane even when there is no global pandemic. If you don’t have extra cash, remember to share music with friends, and give Bandcamp a major shout-out for waiving their cut of sales last Friday to support artists.

Releasing some cool music? Know someone who is? Drop me a line on Instagram @carmakout

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