In a music scene full of transplants from other cities, Jess Scott carries the distinction of hailing from San Francisco. Still, in a now-too-familiar story, she moved away last year, first to New York, then L.A. For a twist, though, Scott is back, lured again to the Bay Area in order to jumpstart Flesh World, a band she founded shortly before moving. Fittingly, Flesh World seems like a culmination of her contributions to local music. Scott operated Make-a-Mess Records — the oft overlooked imprint responsible for debut albums by Grass Widow, Rank/Xerox, and White Fence — while leading the glistening, shambolic Brilliant Colors and booking showcases of local and touring acts at unconventional venues. In an SF Weekly feature from 2012, she said that the roster of Make-a-Mess focused on "punk, or pop made by punks."
The label credo certainly applies to Flesh World. Scott founded the group with Scott Moore, of lauded hardcore bands Limp Wrist and Needles, in 2012. Flesh World recorded a batch of songs, but the project stalled while Scott traversed the country, pursuing visual art and fashion for a change. Despite the band's apparent dissolution, Flesh World's recordings garnered the interest of London imprint La Vida Es En Mus. On the surface, Flesh World's debut 12-inch is an oddity among the label's roster of often politically radical and usually savage punk and hardcore, but it befits Scott's ethos perfectly. Her breathy but trenchant vocals cut through rollicking percussion and a menacing haze of guitar squall, though neat chord resolutions and understated melodies give the songs a potent pop undercurrent. See Flesh World's homecoming on Friday, April 25, at the Hemlock with Scraper, Vial, and Mane.
Charlie Megira is a rock dynamo. Backed by the Modern Dance Club, the Israeli songwriter's 2011 double LP, Love Police, is rhapsodic. Thirty-one tracks take listeners through a dizzying melee of uninhibited psych with lapses into punk fury and jarring studio experiments. 1960s pop flees by way of breezy guitar leads into poignant balladry. It's also staggeringly heavy, with pummeling low-end steadying each track for Megira's searing guitar to writhe over. To close it out, "Dead Girl Blues" even provides 48 seconds of acoustic blues. Love Police suggests an artist untethered from trends and cheap pandering, indulging his every whim with an uncanny success rate.
Love Police is one of Megira's many albums, which he often self-releases on CDR before other labels manufacture vinyl editions for other countries. Oakland's Guitars & Bongos imprint handled the domestic version of Love Police. The label proprietor, Eran Yarkon, booked Megira's upcoming tour from the Bay Area to Austin Psych Fest and back. Yarkon also helped assemble Megira's ace backing band, composed of local solo artist Michael Beach and Alexa Pantalone of Pang. Megira's tour begins at the Night Light in Oakland on Tuesday, April 29, with openers Dancer and Andy Human.