Thursday, December 19, 2013

Thee Oh Sees, Deans of the S.F. Rock Scene, Are Going on Indefinite Hiatus [UPDATED]

Posted By on Thu, Dec 19, 2013 at 2:11 PM

click to enlarge Thee Oh Sees' John Dwyer performing at Phono Del Sol in July. - CHRISTOPHER VICTORIO
  • Christopher Victorio
  • Thee Oh Sees' John Dwyer performing at Phono Del Sol in July.

Update, Dec. 20: Thee Oh Sees have posted a note to their website saying that they are "not breaking up," just going through a "transitional period," that they will release a new LP in early 2014, and that "we will see where the live show goes from there." Read it below:









Original post, Dec. 19: Last night, Thee Oh Sees played yet another blistering show to a sold-out Great American Music Hall. In between songs, frontman John Dwyer said something alarming: "This will be the last Oh Sees show for a long while," he told the crowd. "So dig in."

Sadly, he wasn't kidding: Dwyer is leaving San Francisco for L.A., and Thee Oh Sees are taking an indefinite hiatus, multiple sources tell SF Weekly today.

click to enlarge Thee Oh Sees at the Chapel in October.
  • Thee Oh Sees at the Chapel in October.

"They need a break after 5 years straight, so yes ... hiatus time," Annie Southworth, the band's booking agent, tells us via email. "Will be a little hard to continue with all the different locales so who know what is going to happen... Cross fingers, we all are that it's not completely over."

There are currently no plans for future Oh Sees shows, and it's not clear whether the band will reunite in the future, Southworth says. No plans will be made until after Dwyer finishes moving from S.F. to L.A.

"He's been living in the Mission on 17th and Valencia, and watching that neighborhood as well as the city transform has been enough for him," Southworth writes. "He's over it."

Dwyer isn't the only one leaving. While bass guitarist Petey Dammit and drummer Mike Shoun are staying in the city, keyboardist and vocalist Brigid Dawson is leaving for Santa Cruz, according to Southworth. With the members soon to be scattered around California, the future of the band seems very much in doubt. But Southworth says it's not clear yet just what "hiatus" will mean for Thee Oh Sees.

Regardless, it will mark the end of a remarkable period for a band that has in the last few years grown from hometown favorite to fixture on the national (and international) independent rock scene. In October, Thee Oh Sees kicked off a U.S. tour with three sold-out nights at the Chapel, the first of which showed a band at the height of its powers, sending a room into fits of joyful chaos.

Thee Oh Sees have also helped foster a thriving rock underground here in the Bay Area, supporting artists like Ty Segall (who moved to L.A. earlier this year), Matthew Melton of Bare Wires and Warm Soda, Mikal Cronin, and Greer McGettrick of the Mallard, to name just a few. This while touring internationally and releasing new music at a breakneck pace. The band's latest album, April's Floating Coffin, was awarded an 8.0 on Pitchfork and won "universal acclaim" according to Metacritic.

Thee Oh Sees began as side project of Dwyer's in the early 2000s, and has evolved through many iterations. Here's hoping this isn't the last of them.

-- @iPORT

  • Pin It

Tags: , , ,

About The Author

Ian S. Port


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Like us on Facebook


  • Nevada City and the South Yuba River: A gold country getaway

    Nestled in the green pine-covered hills of the Northern Sierra Nevada is the Gold Rush town of Nevada City. Beautiful Victorian houses line the streets, keeping the old-time charm alive, and a vibrant downtown is home to world-class art, theater and music. The nearby South Yuba River State Park is known for its emerald swimming holes during the summer and radiant leaf colors during autumn. These days the gold panning is more for tourists than prospectors, but the gold miner spirit is still in the air.

    South Yuba River State Park and Swimming Holes:
    The park runs along and below 20 miles of the South Yuba River, offering hiking, mountain biking, gold panning and swimming. The Highway 49 bridge swimming hole is seven-miles northwest of Nevada City where Highway 49 crosses the South Yuba River. Parking is readily available and it is a short, steep hike to a stunning swimming hole beneath a footbridge. For the more intrepid, trails extend along the river with access to secluded swim spots. The Bridgeport swimming hole has calm waters and a sandy beach -- good for families and cookouts -- and is located 14 miles northwest of Nevada City. Be sure to write down directions before heading out, GPS may not be available. Most swimming holes on the South Yuba River are best from July to September, while winter and spring can bring dangerous rapids. Always know the current before jumping in!

    Downtown Nevada City
    The welcoming, walkable downtown of Nevada City is laid back, yet full of life. Start your day at the cozy South Pine Cafe (110 S Pine St.) with a lobster benedict or a spicy Jamaican tofu scramble. Then stroll the streets and stop into the shop Kitkitdizzi (423 Broad St.) for handcrafted goods unique to the region, vintage wears and local art “all with California gold rush swagger,” as stated by owners Carrie Hawthorne and Kira Westly. Surrounded by Gold Rush history, modern gold jewelry is made from locally found nuggets and is found at Utopian Stone Custom Jewelers (301 Broad St.). For a coffee shop with Victorian charm try The Curly Wolf (217 Broad St.), an espresso house and music venue with German pastries and light fare. A perfect way to cool down during the hot summer months can be found at Treats (110 York St.) , an artisan ice cream shop with flavors like pear ginger sorbet or vegan chai coconut. Nightlife is aplenty with music halls, alehouses or dive bars like the Mine Shaft Saloon (222 Broad St.).

    The Willo Steakhouse (16898 State Hwy 49, Nevada City)
    Along Highway 49, just west of Nevada City, is The Willo, a classic roadhouse and bar where you’re welcomed by the smell of steak and a dining room full of locals. In 1947 a Quonset hut (a semi-cylindrical building) was purchased from the US Army and transported to its current location, and opened as a bar, which became popular with lumberjacks and miners. The bar was passed down through the decades and a covered structure was added to enlarge the bar and create a dining area. The original Quonset beams are still visible in the bar and current owners Mike Byrne and Nancy Wilson keep the roadhouse tradition going with carefully aged New York steaks and house made ingredients. Pair your steak or fish with a local wine, such as the Rough and Ready Red, or bring your own for a small corkage fee. Check the website for specials, such as rib-eye on Fridays.

    Outside Inn (575 E Broad St.)
    A 16-room motel a short walk from downtown, each room features a unique décor, such as the Paddlers’ Suite or the Wildflower Room. A friendly staff and an office full of information about local trails, swimming and biking gets you started on your outdoor exploration. Amenities include an outdoor shower, a summer swimming pool and picnic tables and barbeques. Don’t miss the free vegetable cart just outside the motel in the mornings.

    Written and photographed by Beth LaBerge for the SF Weekly.

  • Arcade Fire at Shoreline
    Arcade Fire opened their US tour at Shoreline Amphitheater to a full house who was there in support of their album "Reflector," which was released last fall. Dan Deacon opened the show to a happily surprised early audience and got the crowd actively dancing and warmed up. DEVO was originally on the bill to support Arcade Fire but a kayak accident last week had sidelined lead singer Mark Mothersbaugh and the duration of the west coast leg of the tour. Win Butler did a homage to DEVO by performing Uncontrollable Urge.