Deep Listening

Extra Natural April Update

Hey Fools,

Two Sheds just got back from tour, their new demos sound boss. Low Red Land will be hitting up Idaho big this week. Dame will be doing shows on the east coast in the mid-late part of the month.

We’re always doing things.. and unfortunately the things we do don’t always get the attention they deserve on this site.. but we are taking steps to rectify that. For starters, Chopko got a camera so we are now always taping. You can check out our vids on our youtube page and a few better quality ones on vimeo.

Here’s one from the bin:
Escalade does Santa Jam
Live at the Elbow Room in SF 12/2006

Rollcall: Chopko from Dame Satan/Sky Pilots on Bass, Bert from Last of the Blacksmiths on Drums, Brendan from Dame Satan on Guitar, Jacob from Elders / Mi Ami on guitar.

Check often:

Ok so anyway, we are trying to get it together.. meanwhile, things are always happening.. so come check it. Here’s a bullet list of things you sould know about.

  • We made an archives compilation and have been hooking it up at shows all around.. it contains tunes from each or our releases, some from future releases, some random live jams etc.. We’ll have it available online soon for full download for free.. but we’ll also be happy to ship you out a cd with a tasty hand-screened cover for a few dollars. Will be available soon.
  • Our next house show is happening on April 10th. Tartufi and Jen Grady shall perform.
  • We are proud to introuduce Sneaky’s BBQ: SF’s Premier Underground BBQ. A culinary venture by Ghost Mansion family.
  • Another forthcoming Ghost Mansion Worldwide enterprise is Original Man Clothiers. Summer line to debut this summer.
  • Low Red Land, Two Sheds and Dame Satan are always playing shows, so keep up with that stuff.
  • Our next release shall be trickleing out shortly… Word, Pioneer by Tabernacle
  • Be there yall!

Show Me the Gold

Ghost Mansion show recap: February

The house is officially back in full-swing.  In the midst of poster screening, compilation designing and production, and mission-for-mission rounds of GTA:SA, the Ghost Mansion opened its doors to a fine young cook, a couple of guests from the Great Northwest, a couple of Mansion veterans, and a whole lot of chillers.  Ben and Mike, your GMR reps and Mansion residents, provide a run-down of the night.

Mike: Let’s start with the food. My main homey from Bi-Rite Market, Morgan Maki, who flexes with knife, food and knowledge of both started things off with an amazing braised pork pasta. Meanwhile prep had begun for backyard vegetable tempura which would fire off as the night progressed. We imagine that food will become a staple for all these shows as Morgan has given his verbal word on firing off food whenever we are firing off a house show.

Ben: Morgan’s food was delicious.  Braised pork pasta (heavy on the pork, light on the pasta), garlic bread, and some kind of salad that I didn’t so much pay attention to as I just ate, grateful for some vegetables in the midst of mounds of meat.  For me, a small plate of salad certainly balances three or so plates of pork.  Sets the mind at ease.  Once the main courses were presented, and presented in abundance, Morgan moved out back and started tempura production, bathing everything from squash to onions in a light batter and frying them to life.  Served in newspaper cones for extra authenticity, these tasty tempura’d treats were legit.  Everyone who had some of Morgan’s food was impressed, and a large meal with friends is a great way to start a house show.  (The touring bands, hungry for famous San Francisco burritos, didn’t partake, but they didn’t blow it, either: they went to El Metate and dined on chile verde.)

Mike: A brief word on El Metate. The place slays grub. I tried to convince the bands that the food we had was amazing and to stick around but that place is so legendary that it had to be jammed and I respect that.

B: As usual, the show got started later than we had anticipated, but a Last of the Blacksmiths set is certainly worth the wait.  While Nigel of the Blacksmiths was picking up his family, Nathan and Greg played a host of traditional songs on guitar and banjo.  They began unassumingly, plucking away as loud conversation carried on about them, but the house quickly quieted down as they realized what was going on.  After Nathan and Greg ran through a few numbers, Nathan’s lady, Eva, joined them for a song.  Shortly thereafter, Nigel and his family arrived (welcome, new baby Theo), and LotBs began their set.  Since it was a packed night (5 bands were slated to perform), they kept it brief, playing mostly new songs, including another in the series of songs adapted from Nathan’s grandfather’s poems.  They were moody and funky, balancing nicely between sweet sentiment and dark atmosphere.  Wurlitzer and bass pulsed beneath chopped guitar and winding vocal phrases, and a mandolin even made an appearance.  Their three voices came together and separated nicely, sometimes calling and responding, sometimes singign in unison and harmony.  Even though they cheated and played with amps, I can’t really fault them because they gave a great performance.  (They also killed at the Rite Spot the following night.  Future plug: look for them back at the house around May.)

Mike: Agree, the blacksmiths have been our bros for many moons and amidst a new lineup change, I think their songs are only getting sweeter. Moving at the speed of technology, we have this video of these dudes singing a sweet ballad about awesome stuff, like ladies and love and keeping things peaceful and real on the West Coast.

B: Bands 2 and 3 were both on tour from Seattle, and they all knew each other.  It was cool to host two bands made up of people who operate so similarly to our style; same family vibe, different city.  The Whore Moans, four dudes who “usually play a lot louder” than the Mansion can accommodate, rolled in with amps (perhaps emboldened by the cheating they saw during the Blacksmiths set) and a drum kit, and sang and screamed over the righteous noise they created.  Though it was far from loud, and probably very far from how loud they normally play, they get the award for loudest band in the Mansion (thus far).  Switching between three singers, their songs were like garage rock interpreted by invested folk and punk kids with sore throats.  It was the first (maybe second) time they played a set like that, and they killed it.  On top of it, they were wicked nice guys, so what more could you ask for?  (Make sure to check them out in their full, electric glory at the Elbo Room in San Francisco on March 2nd.)

Mike: These dudes took the no amp policy to new heights but we were stoked nonetheless. I can only imagine what these dudes do when it is time to go completely off on a loud stage. Please check them out. Fellas, please come back but this time we are locking your amps in Ben’s room and while you play acoustic, we are going to daisy chain all the madness upstairs and let Pat rip 5 minutes of mayhem between sets.

B: Yonderlow, a pretty, countrified band made up of members of Lake of Falcons, Minivan, The Ironclads, the Beep Repaired collective, and residents of The Holy Mountain, followed The Whore Moans and, like everyone else before them, cheated and played with amps.  It’s cool, though.  We’re down with cheaters at the Mansion.  Nate, the tallest musician I know, sang and played guitar over subdued drums, mandolin, and plaintive lap steel.  I had a chance to play a show with Yonderlow in Oakland about a week prior, so I got to request a song for the house show.  They opened with the awesome “Lord, Relieve Our Grief,” and really played to the room, ending with an unaccompanied, repeated chorus.  The rest of their set followed suit, with subtly building numbers that focused on steady musicianship and strong lyrics.

Mike: I have known Thom Strub since my younger days on the East Coast. We attended the same high school and beat up the same kids for different amounts of lunch money. Really though, this dude is awesome and it was great to finally have it all come back around on the West Coast in my living room. Yonderlow was fantastic and I’m stoked to have the dudes back anytime they wanna kick it again.

B: We (Low Red Land) got to close out the night.  I love playing at the Mansion.  The living room sounds so great, and it’s awesome to have so many of our friends there with us while we play.  For the record, we were the only non-cheaters of the evening.  We only planned on playing four songs, and we got to play a couple of San Francisco premiers: one very old song (“Queen Esther”) and one brand-new song (that doesn’t have a name yet).  Ever the show-off, Mark switched between pump organ and drums, and people were so impressed that they begged him to play one more song, solo.  He was too humble to do it by himself, however, so we joined him for “Dog’s Hymn.”

Mike: Low Red Land has played more Ghost Mansion house shows than some bands will play in their lifetime. That said, it was an amazing performance again and I really enjoy that these dudes are not only sweet musicians but also rad bros. Check out “You’re Alive” here, it rules.

B: The night, overall, was awesome.  There was supposed to be a fifth band, the Corner Laffers (friends of Nate-derlow), but they apparently came and went without saying anything to anyone involved with the show.  That was kind of weird.  Also, our crazy drunk? angry? neighbor came up and yelled at Mike for not inviting her, which is definitely our mistake.  We’re kind folks, though, and it wasn’t meant as an insult.  Everyone seemed convinced that she was kidding, anyway.  MVPs for the night included Raven, Nigel’s daughter, who basically stole the show, being overwhelmingly cute as always (“It’s good to chew gum all of the time.  You know why?  Because, if you chew gum, you won’t chew your toys.”); Theo, the newest addition to the Pavao clan, a beautiful baby girl; and Geoff DeVito, who must be experienced because there are no words.  People chilled until the early hours of the morning, and a good time was had by all.  Mowgli didn’t even try to hump any dudes’ arms this time.

The next house show will be in early April and it will feature two bands that will make you flip your lid.  We promise.

Dame Satan on Pirate Cat Radio tonight… Dame and LRL shows Friday

Hey friends a quick note:

Dame Satan will be doing a quick Acoustic set on Pirate Cat Radio Tonight at 8 PM pacific tune in at

Dame will kill it at Cafe Du Nord on Friday for Noise Pop…. They are playing at 9PM sharp so get there early!

Low Red Land will be at the Starry Plough w/The Amiless Never Miss and Butterfly Bones


Another GM Houser. Show Starts at 8pm. BYOGV (Bring Your Own Good Vibes)

Upcoming shows: Low Red Land with Far at Slims; Dame Satan and Two Sheds play Noise Pop!

Also go check out TWO SHEDS with MATT COSTA at Slims for Noise Pop on Wednesday Feb 25!!!

Beaches and Bridges, appreciated.

Bows Plus Arrows blog puts Beaches in top 10 of 2008

“It sounds like my recurring daydream with string lights outside a party on a summer evening, which is to say it sounds like Akron/Family’s first album. I saw them play in, essentially, this very setting; all I remember, though, is riding my bike to the show and sitting with old friends.”

no videogames pumps GM houser

A lil feature on Birds and Batteries–Batteriesfor-free