2006 Year In Review

2006 Year In Review

On any given night in San Francisco, musical fireworks are flying. Even the most hardcore connoisseur would have trouble keeping up. Fortunately the Bay Recorders Organization is on location at many of the best concerts, capturing it all in sterling audio for the world to hear. BRO's 2006 'Year in Review' sampler is a double-disc set packed with a wide array of obscure highlights. These songs have been cherry-picked from countless hours of material recorded and produced for the "TAKE IT HOME" program and represent some of the music scene's freshest talent.

The glory of this compilation is the many moods it traverses while maintaining smooth transitions. One of the best songs is the first, "Stereo Crickets," by Zach Gill of ALO. The warmth of the recording makes it feel as if it's being performed in your living room. Bizarre vocals and soaring guitar escapades ensue with Japanese juggernaut, Meltone. Singer/Songwriter-types are well-represented ranging from the passionate longing of Two Gallants to the sweet, downhome sound of Brett Dennen's "She's Mine". Ryan Aufenberg and his elegant string accompaniment also reveal much potential. Disc one closes with a rousing version of "The Weight", recorded at a wedding reception that also includes the groom doing some vocals attempts, performed by Lebo and the Law.

No band is a better-kept Bay Area secret than Smokedaddies. BRO faithfully captures the weekly performances from this improvisational group. Opening Disc Two with a spritely funk excursion, Tea Leaf Green's keyboard whiz, Trevor Garrod, joins the action. The roadhouse growl of Shantitown is followed by the cascading strings of Blue Turtle Seduction and captivating spoken word from Garrin Benfield with Sam Flot. Exemplifying the diversity of the compilation, the SF Chamber Orchestra even gets a turn. Amidst all the musicianship, this classical morsel makes perfect sense.

The best thing about a mix like this is getting turned on to new bands. The polyrhythmic Latin seduction of Locure is irresistible. Beautiful vocal harmonies and rolling percussion make the listener hunger for more. The consistency of sonic quality between all of these musical morsels leaves nothing to be desired. Bay Recorders Organization takes you inside the sound system while maintaining the warm ambience of each venue. A cover of The Band's "Ophelia" by The Ritual, is good for drinking lemonade on a front porch.

Pleasant discoveries continue with the fluid jazz of Somethingfour. On their heels is L.A. up-and-comer, Seismic, letting it rip on a dominant cover of Bruce Hornsby's "White-Wheeled Limousine." Guitarist James Lake makes a statement for most explosive solo of the year. Yet another new star emerges with the New Mastersounds, an old-school funk band from Leeds, UK. The rhythmic dance grooves layered with sparkling saxophone are enough to make one seek out the rest of this December performance. Wrapping things up on an avant-garde note is Jamie Janover and Friends, dishing out loose, low-end surges of subtle exploration.

Many of these performances are available through the BRO BY MAIL program.

-Tyler Blue

Read Tyler's other reviews

Disc 1

  1. Zack Gill (10/25 - 12 Galaxies - San Francisco, CA)
  2. Meltone (7/7 - Conncecticut Yankee - San Francisco, CA) Buy Show
  3. A New Orleans Night (Fantasyland Events) (5/13 - The Pound - San Francisco, CA) Buy Show
  4. Faraway Brothers (8/22 - Biscuits & Blues - San Francisco, CA)
  5. Two Gallants (3/31 - Noise Pop Festival - Bimbo's - San Francisco, CA)
  6. Rapid Transit (6/23 - Theater Artue - San Francisco, CA)
  7. Brett Dennen (3/15 - 12 Galaxies - San Francisco, CA)
  8. Izabella + Garrin + Jordan (11/2 - Connecticut Yankee - San Francisco, CA) Buy Show
  9. Garaj Mahal (11/4 - Mystic Theatre - Petaluma, CA) Buy Show
  10. Estate (6/28 - 12 Galaxies - San Francisco, CA)
  11. Ryan Aufenberg (3/2 - Cafe Du Nord - San Francisco, CA)
  12. Lebo and the Law (8/12 - Palmer Wedding Reception - Santa Rosa, CA)

Disc 2

  1. Smokedaddies (8/3 - Blackthorn Tavern - San Francisco, CA) Buy Show
  2. Shantitown (11/30 - Slim's - San Francisco, CA)
  3. Blue Turtle Seduction (11/4 - Mystic Theatre - Petaluma, CA) Buy Show
  4. Garrin Benfield w/ Sam Flot (5/5 - Bobolink Music Festival - Beldon Town, CA)
  5. SF Chamber Orchestra (6/6 - Brava Theater - San Francisco, CA)
  6. Two Gallants (10/22 - Bottom of the Hill - San Francisco, CA)
  7. Locure (3/15 - 12 Galaxies - San Francisco, CA)
  8. The RituaL (6/22 - Connecticut Yankee - San Francisco, CA) Buy Show
  9. Somethingfour (10/27 - Connecticut Yankee - San Francisco, CA)
  10. Siesmic (7/7 - SoHo - Santa Barbara, CA)
  11. New Mastersounds (12/9 - 12 Galaxies - San Francisco, CA)
  12. Jamie Janover & Friends (7/4 - 12 Galaxies - San Francisco, CA) Buy Show