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Thursday, January 2, 2014

Here Is How Thee Oh Sees' John Dwyer, Future L.A. Resident, Sees S.F. Gentrification

Posted By on Thu, Jan 2, 2014 at 2:58 PM

click to enlarge John Dwyer
  • John Dwyer

As we told you a couple of weeks ago, San Francisco's favorite bunch of deranged rock musicians are taking a well-deserved hiatus as their leader, Thee Oh Sees' John Dwyer, moves to Los Angeles.

The symbolism of the frontman of one of S.F.'s most beloved bands moving to that city down there is heavy enough that we barely need to point it out. But what we could only imagine -- until now -- is Dwyer's view of the place he's long called home.

This appears to have just arrived -- in the form of an endorsement for Hi-Tech Boom, the debut album from S.F. band POW!, which Dwyer's own Castle Face Records is putting out this Jan. 14. He wrote the press release copy for the album himself, and while we don't normally publish press releases here on All Shook Down, this one says something worth reading. It's not only Dwyer on POW!, it's Dwyer on the city he's leaving. Here's the whole thing, unedited:

Deep in the graveyard SF a young hand with black and cracked nails is pushing up through a broken pile of E-slag. Bitter teeth tear through server cables and motherboards, trying to be freed from the ever deepening sludge of tech waste...the Iphone is the new Styrofoam cup.

Stepping over them, eyes glazed, feet dragging, blank face aglow in the eerie luminescence of the smart(?) phones underfoot, is the spirit of these songs.

San Francisco has long been filling up with noobs...but now we face the most dangerous, the most egregious and blandest of them all...

people with lots of money.

NOBODY can square-up a joint like rich people.

POW! have written a punk eulogy to our fair city.

Evictions!

Pop up shops!

Parklets!

Specialty shops!

What the fuck is happening???

There goes the taqueria that used to kick ass, replaced by a deli with a line of assholes a mile long. "I wonder what the sandwiches are like and do they make their own salsa?"

It's enough to be the catalyst for a bad day or a great fucking song.

In the vacuum that is now expanding there is a ragged and defensive sound vibrating out from the determinedly dirty underground. THIS is POW!...deep 80's synth bass percolating under the circuit-swamp-fried-egg guitar...the drums a teenage tiger's heartbeat and vocals delivered like a dead-pan face-slap from a kid half your age.

The recording is simple and dense...and it has a natural Doppler effect on headphones.

Its perfectly poppy and rough at the same time, and it has a message, so dig in ear-wise...

Heed the warning bell about the streets of our home being clogged with the cholesterol of normals...next they could be knocking on your door...

-- John Dwyer (Thee Oh Sees/Castle Face)

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is that. Look for more from us on POW! in the coming weeks; the band celebrates the release of Hi-Tech Boom Jan. 23 at the Make-Out Room.

See also:

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

* Want a Vibrant Music Scene in 2014? What Are You Doing Tonight?

-- @iPORT


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Ian S. Port

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