Tag Archives: Patsy

Biggest Ups: Over 40 Artists Share Their Favorite Albums of 2017

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Bandcamp artists pick their favorite albums of the year.

One of the features on Bandcamp Daily that generates the greatest amount of enthusiasm is Big Ups. The concept is simple: we ask artists who used Bandcamp to recommend their favorite Bandcamp discoveries. So, in honor of our Best of 2017 coverage, we decided to take Big Ups and super-size it. Here, more than 40 artists to tell us their favorite albums of the year.

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Terminal Consumption: The Best Punk on Bandcamp, October 2017

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In this installment of Terminal Consumption, our monthly reviews column focused on the margins of punk and hardcore, Sam Lefebvre brings attention to the punk scene in Santa Rosa in light of terrible wildfires in Northern California, and reviews new titles by Neutrals, Permission, and Patsy.

Acrylics, Structure 7” [Iron Lung]

At time of writing, mid-October, wildfires have scorched thousands of acres in Northern California, causing at least 40 deaths and destroying upwards of 5,700 structures. Much of the damage is concentrated in Santa Rosa, the largest city in the North Bay with a population of fewer than 200,000. Entire neighborhoods have been razed, leaving nothing left to sift through.

In recent years, the smallish, outlying city—usually associated with wine country and Peanuts creator Charles Schulz—has become an unlikely nexus of punk and hardcore in the greater Bay Area. That’s partially due to the affordability crisis in larger cities along the West Coast. North Bay punks who, not so long ago, would’ve fled their small towns to San Francisco or Portland, are instead lingering closer to their birthplace. They’ve made Santa Rosa a legitimate tour stop, and formed some of the region’s finest and most active punk bands.

Best-known among them is probably Acrylics, whose members are also involved in OVVN, Fussy, and Rut. The hardcore quintet’s discography started with a series of self-released tapes beginning in 2014, followed by last year’s gnashing eponymous 12”. The two tracks on Structure, the group’s second 7” this year for West Coast punk clearinghouse Iron Lung, foreshadow the sort of queasy, rhythmically askew hardcore surely in store for their first proper full-length on the same label. Rut debuted on vinyl this summer with Attraction, a more straightforward though no less explosive punk statement.

Acrylics left for a 40-day international tour the day after the fire started in their hometown, prompting widespread evacuations. The harm to underground music in Santa Rosa—considering the likely ruin of many places to perform, rehearse, and otherwise build community—is but one part of the city’s overall devastation. Supporting these worthy groups is one part of its long recovery.

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This Week’s Essential Releases: Afrobeat, Glam Pop, Experimental Synth & More

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Welcome to Seven Essential Releases, our weekly roundup of the best music on Bandcamp. Each week, we’ll recommend six new albums, plus pick an older LP from the stacks that you may have missed.

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Big Ups: Power Trip Pick Their Favorite Bands on Bandcamp

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Power Trip by Renate Winter

Perhaps the most chaotic, deranged, fear-for-your-damn-life concert I attended in 2016 was a Power Trip show. Maybe it was frontman Riley Gale’s tortured screams, Chris Ulsh’s hyper-speed drumming, or the band’s dueling guitars and their doomsday-siren squeals, but the Texas thrashers transformed an audience of otherwise well-adjusted punks and metalheads into a force of nature, hell-bent on a destructive path that would make a Florida hurricane seem like a spring breeze. To put things more succinctly: people lose their fucking shit at Power Trip shows.

Despite this, it’s important to Ulsh that Power Trip performances remain welcoming to everybody. “I think you can still dance and mosh and be respectful of the people around you,” he says. “It’s just a matter of audience members realizing the space they take up. I find some people like being ignorant for the sake of being ignorant at shows and I think that’s the stupidest fucking thing.” Just as impressive as Power Trip’s vicious live show is their ability to capture this energy in the studio, as evidenced by Nightmare Logic, their second LP on Southern Lord Records.

When you tour as relentlessly as Power Trip, discovering new bands on the road is inevitable. Ulsh, who also shreds his guitar and throat in the excellent Mammoth Grinder, employs several other methods to finf new music. “There are certain record labels that I follow,” he explains. “Especially for metal stuff. I’ll subscribe to newsletters and stuff like that. I just think that that’s the easiest way for me.” Ulsh kept it fresh when tasked with picking his favorite Bandcamp artists, choosing acts he had recently listened to or saw live.

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