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City cat collective

City Cat Collective is a hub where musicians from all over the world, come together and support one another in our quest to get our music heard! With members in different regions and continents, the strength of CCC is our reach. Every one of our members is an ambassador to our mission.

Our mission is simple: "Work together and to support one another. To seek out talent and find other likeminded artists" - City Cat Collective

New Music? Yes, Please! #007 Vertical Trap  

I came across Vertical Trap via their name on a flier. I checked them out and loved what I heard. I found the more I dug, the more I wanted to dig. Vertical Trap consist of a duo and their live sets are played side by side with backing tracks to bring their audience a bevy of layers / sounds. While the guitarist brings an attitude with her stage presence, the vocalist is locked in and focused. She sings with a tenderness. Her authenticity is enchanting. Her genuine nature draws in the listener.  Before I saw them live, I viewed an acoustic performance video. That video showcased their versatility and made me an instant fan.

'Dark Matter' is one of their singles that caught my attention. A simple drum loop and synth bass open up the track. Subtle plucked guitar notes add texture before the lead synth melodies rain down. All the sounds are tasteful, and their placements allow each one to individually shine.

The vocals are straightforward. That aforementioned vocal tenderness is front and center. It feels like she's singing in the same room as we listen. There's no overdubs. No multi vocal layers in different keys all singing the same thing. Their music is live and direct. Straight from the source. In my opinion, their music embodies the spirit of punk rock. We do what we want, and we do it our way.

Keep up with and follow Vertical Trap!!!


New Music? Yes, Please! #006 Rykarda Parasol: Tuesday Morning LP 

I can't recall the first time I read the name Rykarda Parasol in the pages of San Francisco's various music publications. Amongst the many names which have graced club marquees and promotional material over the years, her name stood out. Perhaps it's the word "parasol" that nabbed my attention. I checked out her music and I was all in. Back then, I recall Rykarda branding her sound as "Rock Noir". I never gave it much thought. I liked the branding aspect. In retrospect, I should have asked about the meaning behind the branding. Today with her new album Tuesday Morning, we get an answer to that question.

Rykarda mentions her music's evolution as a steady progression that flowed from dark to light. I took a quick listen to some of her earlier work before playing her new album. In my opinion, her earlier work carries a bit of an underlying sadness. The somber moments in Tuesday Morning are handled with a calm that comes from experience. 
Perfect example is 'Darwin's Little Darling'. Rykarda shines a light on life's hard facts with the same type of soft loving touch a mother uses when teaching her adolescent children. She sings " I don't do anyone a favor, by turning away from strange behaviors". There are various elements that make this track extraordinary. A nuanced Gregorian chant vocal quality creates a pillowy bed for the reverb laden slide guitar notes to lay. Adding muscle, piano keys and a strummed guitar move the music forward, one step at a time like an ox pulling medieval stones.

Before Rykarda's new album officially debuted, she released 'Get Down With Your Bad Self'. The single and its corresponding music video capture the essence of the album's direction. All of the songs featured have an early 60's San Francisco vibe that falls somewhere between Haight-Ashbury and Dick Clark's rock n roll era incased in indie rock. The music video absolutely has that retro, proper, buttoned up theme a'la Nirvana's 'In Bloom' video. If you haven't seen the video, it's a must see and it's included below. See how much we love you…
Ending things with a bang is the albums final track 'Above It All'. While the rhythm guitar drives, the organ's counter melody adds color and body. Rykarda's vocals ride the musical wave like a water skier at Lake Havasu. Of all of the music components and parts, it's the big backing vocals in the chorus that hit the hardest. When this song is played live, those big chorus lines provide the opportunity for crowd participation. Rock n roll lives on. 

From strolling down foggy San Francisco streets to Parisian soil, Rykarda Parasol continues her musical voyage. Moving to Paris brought new experiences. We seldom take into account how the energy of a new environment can reshape how we see ourselves today and tomorrow. I'm not sure how/if the journey overseas affected Rykarda's musical evolution. Only she can answer that. I am sure of one thing, Rykarda writes from the heart. Creating music that stands the test of time is what Rykarda Parasol is all about.
Keep up with Rykarda Parasol!!!

Bloggers Chronicles: The Review: Smilin' Violet @the Hotel Utah 

I'm a little late on this one show review. Ok, I'm very late. I went to the Hotel Utah on Sept. 16th to see Dark Satellite. I've been very pressed for time and unfortunately, I got there way too early. The three-band show had just begun. Realizing my 45-minute window hindered me from catching the band I went to see. I was kind of bummed but catching Smilin' Violet turned out to be a total highlight.

One great thing about the Hotel Utah is the intimate setting. The band is up close like an MTV Unplugged series. I paid the cover, grabbed a beer, walked past the thick curtains, made my way down the stairs and took a seat to my immediate left. Smilin' Violet was on stage. The band looks young. The singer/rhythm guitar player was positioned center stage. His bushy hair was held in place by a baseball cap whose folded brim hid his eyes. Lead guitarist flanked stage left, bassist was set stage right and the drummer was in the back.

The music is heavy with a 90' grunge feel.  Not being able to see the singer's facial expressions as he sang with passion added a mystique to his stage presence. There's always a couple of members that stand on any given night. The drummer and the lead guitarist were two that stood out. Clearly, the drummer is on another level. His double bass work and hi hat variations were spectacular. He laid the path for the band to follow. I get the sense he's the oldest and most experienced in the band by how he conducted himself on stage.

At times, we may see a performance and say, "that reminded me of a young (insert iconic name)". I know I've made that comparison with IAMX to a young David Bowie. I couldn't help but compare the lead guitarist to a young Jerry Cantrell from Alice In Chains. He commanded the stage. I can see a bright future for him leading Smilin' Violet or any band he's a part of.
Besides the Jerry Cantrell comparison, the band does have a bit of Alice In Chains vibe to their music. While the 90's had a wide array of sounds, both good and bad. The combination of heavy grunge tones that borrowed from metal is considered the best from that era. It's something Smilin' Violet has tapped into, and I look forward to hearing their evolution. I wish them the best as they continue their journey. 
Keep up with Smilin' Violet!!!


Transform with Tess Posner's Alchemy EP  

Whenever given the option of dark or not dark. The answer is always “let's go with dark”. Probably why Wednesday Addams is one of my favorite movies characters. When researching a local show, I came across Tess Posner. I have been loosely using the term “dark alternative” for the last few years. Tess describing her music as dark alternative made me immediately intrigued.

To my pleasant surprise, her music is dark. There's a Gotham City quality to her production like she's the composer of Bruce Wayne's personal orchestra. Her vocals are the focal point at all times. She mixes up her vocal melodies seemingly on every music phrase, nothing feels recycled. 

Let's go over the Alchemy EP:

Feral Child - A great opening track, paced at a moderate tempo that should appeal to a wide audience. Electro bass kicks become the proverbial amusement park car, riding on its steel track, guiding us through the adventure.

Volcano - Upbeat with a touch of early 80's pop. The pulsating bass is everything, it's the key component that not only moves us, but it also moves the dance floor. On the track she builds a wave, stories high, and surfs down her own creation to a hero's welcome.

My Heart Is Dry - The EP's standout track with its percolating keys and crisp snare hits. Big synth pads hit with concentrated power like a spotlight from a penitentiary watchtower. Tess matches the intensity with a grand choir flair. Instead of reaching for the sky's outer limits, she brings things in to almost a whisper. Yes, yes, yes…

Ghosts - Minimalist approach by design adds to its haunting quality. Her vocals reign supreme. Another great addition to an already wide range of music.

Black Cloud - What better way to close out an EP than with an anthem. The songs slow build to grand hall, full volume, form like Voltron is the only way to go.

Tess takes us on a trip that touches a wide range of emotions. Although dark, hopelessness never crosses our mind. If anything, listening to the EP from start to finsih is like watching a movie where everything is going wrong, but you know things will be just fine.

Keep up with and follow Tess Posner!!! 

Facebook | Instagram | Youtube

Whenever possible, we include a single for your instantaneous listening pleasure and here you are:)








Bloggers Chronicles: GO TO THIS SHOW!!! #005 Ever Higher Music Festival 

Fall is definitely upon us. The first soaking rain of the season should be arriving this Sunday. Which means attending a free outdoor music festival would be the perfect sendoff before we begin to layer up and head into the holiday season.

First things first. The talent. The Philharmonik will be headlining the Ever Higher Music Festival. The Philharmonik will be bringing down the house with their superstar caliber talent and production. If you haven't experienced The Philharmonik, you are in for a soulful treat. Bring your dancing shows and make sure your phone is fully charged before arriving. You'll want to document this for the gram.

Yes, The Philharmonik will be the cherry on top to a day of amazing local talent. The talent that supports the headliner is guaranteed to appeal to any fan of music. If indie pop is what you crave. No problem, SWISS has got you covered. Do you need more soul in your life? Well, The Helltones have got your medicine. Punk rock? Tess and the Details. Think you can stump the promoters by requesting a schwifty combo of glam/punk/pop? The Hot Takes will take care of business. Oh, what's that, you only like rock n roll. Sit down Cindy, because Treasures are here to rock your mind. Every box is checked. The weather will cooperate and it's free. No excuses. See you there.
Music band links:
Tess and the Details - Tess & The Details | Spotify
The Hot Takes - The Hot Takes | Spotify
Treasures - Treasures | Spotify
The Philharmonik - The Philharmonik | Spotify

Bloggers Chronicles: GO TO THIS SHOW!!! #004 Tess Posner's Alchemy release party. 

It's going down tonight at the Knockout in SF!!! Tess Posner, Joyce Lee, Kate Ramsey and Sophia Prise will be hitting the stage and bringing their dark alternative / rock n roll tunes!!!

Doors at 9pm. Bring beer money and a good vibe.

Links provided for the artist's. Get aquainted and I will see you there:)

Tess Posner  | Instagram

Kate Ramsey | Instagram

Joyce Lee       | Instagram 

Sophia Prise  | Instagram

CCC EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Ladies and Gentlemen... Nene's Butler. 

When we began City Cat Collective, I knew I wanted to reach out to Nene's Butler Presents for an interview. Navigating the seas of self-promotion, one starts to get a sense of who's friendly, who isn't. The quality of the blog also becomes exposed. All of a sudden, submitting or avoiding certain blogs becomes routine. Being added to Nene's Butler Presents blog with an Everything But The Everything submission is something I always look forward to.

With further ado… Ladies and gentlemen, it's our interview with Nene's Butler Presents!!!

CCC - How did you get started and when was the moment you went all in on being a music blogger?
NB - I started to discover platforms like groover, muso, or submithub around 2020. As an artist, I often got rejected by “good song, BUT …” on these platforms. I wondered why they were all so fixated on one sound, one genre, etc. Why didn’t bloggers enjoy all the great indie music out there? This was the reason I decided to develop my own music blog, which was/is not based on specific genres, and which expressed my love for music. I wanted to give unheard musicians a chance to be heard.

CCC - Do you have a music background? If so, tell us about it.
NB - NenesButler presents is the name of my blog and Nene’s Butler is my artist name. The music I create is a mixture of minimalistic electro with touches of 80s/90s house and the early days of techno, and a breeze of electro body music. I am definitely influenced by Kraftwerk, Depeche Mode, Front 242, but I also love to listen to Cure, Duran Duran, Oasis, Blur, Joy Division, The Prodigy, Everything but the Everything :) , … I love all the post-punk stuff, punk itself, Britpop was amazing, UK garage, indie pop, indie rock, … and do not forget my all-time favorite The Beatles (my first musical love) … and so on.

CCC - I noticed your website says to submit to your blog via Groover, why is that your go to and what do you think about the other services like Submithub, Musosoup?
NB - We find Groover to be the most effective for us. We have a dashboard with many music submissions that want to be on the blog. Muso is also good, but it takes a lot of time. It requires us to write an offer to the artists and then wait. I used to use Muso a lot in the past. Now, I use it to find new music and if I enjoy it, I put it on our playlists. We are also trying out mysphera and droptrack at the moment. Sometimes, we receive something from sharetoPro. Submithub rejected us :).

CCC - How do you feel about paying for PR from an artist perspective?
NB - As an artist, I have seen this side as well. I also invest in Groover, Muso, and in earlier days, Submithub. I think all the platforms offer a great opportunity to get your music heard. In my opinion, it’s part of the business to invest some time and money in PR. I always say 50-100 bucks per single are enough for my style of music. I would not want to spend more money, but this is a personal decision that every artist has to make for themselves.

CCC - What advice would you give to a young band who wants to get started?
NB - From The Blog view - Please do not contact us or any other blogger like this: This is our/my new single, it’s a banger! Nothing more or less (we sometimes get this). Or sending a “mass-mail”. The best chance to get featured on NenesButler presents is to include a short bio, something about the song, and all social media channels + streaming channel/link + 2 pictures (good resolution) (simply an EPK). The sound quality does not have to be 100% perfect, because this is, in my opinion, a question of money. But if you invest some time by yourself in mixing and mastering, it should fit for the first releases.

CCC - What do you do for fun (snowboarding, bicycling, beanie baby collecting, etc...)?
NB - I have a five-year-old daughter, that's fun enough :)

CCC - If someone gave you $10,000 to go on a vacation or go splurge at the fanciest restaurant in your closest major city, which would you choose?
NB - I would invest in music, rather than going on vacation or to a restaurant. I am playing with the idea of creating a Tape Label in the future to release a Sampler every quarter with the best Indie Artists of "NenesButler presents".

CCC - What's on the horizon for Nene's Butler Presents?
NB - On the horizon of the blog, there is definitely another playlist (currently, we have our "Best of", "electro", "singer/songwriter", "heavy guitars", "postpunk + indie rock", "femArtists"). Maybe we will add instrumental/chill or darkwave/gothic, let’s see. We will also invest more in ads to bring all the featured artists to the forefront.

Follow Nene's Butler Presents on all platforms!!

Website | Instagram | Facebook

James Beastly adds another standout single to his collection with 'Ghost Species'  

I'm sure I've stated this a few times, I made a list of artists/people/groups to highlight on City Cat Collective that participate in the music world. Today we check off another name from that list and highlight James Beastly. James is a seasoned music veteran who I'm assuming has played music most of his life. Not an assumption I want to throw out like Oprah Winfrey does cars, but his approach and execution to music exudes experience. Making the jump from band member to music producer, James adds 'Ghost Species' to his stellar collection as a solo artist. 

This record is downright sneaky. As a matter of fact, it's a complete setup. The verse roles out in indie alternative rock fashion. Expected, sounds good, go on... To the arriving chorus, there's a hollowed howling chant. This transition made me feel like we went from a narrow country road merging into a four-lane highway. When we make the lap and repeat the process as music does, our newfound familiarity strengthens the groove. With two passes completed through the verse/chorus, I was beginning to wonder if there was another gear. James Beastly does not disappoint.
This is where the song explodes. The unleashed and charged electric guitar lead outro comes rolling in like the second vinyl record in an epic DJ mix. That excitement when two styles, two records come together and create something new is just like chocolate and milk becoming chocolate milk. Absolutely thrilling. James does the right thing; he steps on the gas and does not relinquish the throttle until we've reached the destination, he wants to take us. 
Your vessel is ready. All aboard!!! 
Keep up with and follow James Beastly and… peep the track right now!!!






Hustler's hustle. London's very own, Sparkayly presses on.  

Social media is a peculiar thing. With millions of people mingling around, there's no telling where a new connection might come from. At some point, I crossed paths with London artist and all-around music hustler, Sparkayly. I believe we both follow Toronto's Melotika and that's how the mighty algorithm did its thing. Through her posts I saw an artist that is making it happen on all fronts. As she toils on various music projects (songwriter, magazine producer, graphic artist, artist promotion), I wanted to highlight her digital imprint, Surge FX Magazine.

Using the ISSUU platform, Sparkayly releases her monthly magazine. Music reviews, blurbs, interviews, and ads fill its pages, very reminiscent of "zine" but more buttoned up. Her signature style stamp's everything she touches. Sparkayly's style is a bubbly gothy mysteriousness wrapped in a cloak of black, red, purple and pink colors. 
Via sound waves, Sparkayly's style is a mix of Anthem EDM and pop punk. Her use of big rave synth's evokes memories of packed underground raves in SF. The tight distorted guitars and drum patterns she uses are a'la 90's punk rock.

Throughout 2023, Sparkayly has been releasing her magazine and a stream of singles. 'Love Gun' is a standout track in her collection. I must mention there are two versions of 'Love Gun' and they are both dope, but I like the more electronic version a little more. We've included her latest release 'Candy Scars' (RedStonedDog Remix) for your immediate introduction. 
Keep up with Sparkayly !!!


Brighton's Knife Bride "Nu-Gothika" masterpiece 'smother (make me suffer)' has arrived!! 

Crazy to think that there's musicians playing their hearts out in successful projects who don't love the music they play. Such was the case with the members of this yet to be formed band. They all knew each other from playing their local scene in Brighton UK. Two of them are cousins. One day, they collectively decided to make music they loved. That day Knife Bride was born. Since day one the group has been on a tear, playing coveted British venues and festivals. Keeping the momentum going Knife Bride has released 'smother (make me suffer)', the lead single with a corresponding music video from their upcoming EP.

There is a lot going on with this single. A controlled chaos of sorts. The drum patterns are spectacular. They feel spontaneous yet are as detailed and unique as any instrument played on the track. How the song opens up in the chorus makes me feel like I'm standing in the eye of a hurricane, enjoying a moment of serenity before getting ripped to shreds. Adding to this feeling of impending doom are the vocals, hypnotizing us like a siren's song luring us to our own demise.

This song is an absolute banger. Samples, massive guitar riffs, crisp double bass drums all ooze Nu-Metal but Knife Bride's injection of emo goth sexual elements create something all their own.  They refer to their music as "Nu-Gothika" and I am officially, 100% on board.

Keep up with and follow Knife Bride!!!


New Music? Yes, Please! #005 The Hot Takes  

The Hot Takes continue to ascend with their killer stage show and solid music releases. Their latest single ‘Up All Night’ is pure rock roll played from the heart. The song has a nostalgic feel and borrows from the best from the early 80's. How we are greeted by the drums and then the catch the buzz of that electric guitar is reminiscent of ‘Love Stinks’ by The J. Geils Band. A bit of ‘I Love Rock N Roll’ by Joan Jett and The Black Hearts pokes through as well. The magic is always in the songwriting and vocal delivery which is why I get a sense of ‘Summer Of 69’ by Bryan Adams. 

When a singer is in a zone, you can hear the belief in their voice. In this zone a singer can transcend themselves into whatever place they want to take their listeners to. Jared locks in and takes us to rock n roll euphoria.

Catch ‘Up All Night’ with us now and keep up with The Hot Takes on Facebook, Instagram, Spotify!!!





New Music? Yes, Please! #004 Oakland Ghosts  

In March of 2022, Oakland Ghosts began to roll out two singles at a time. A dual double single release if you will. Their newest release titled 'IV' has three singles. We'll be highlighting 'Under The Needle' and have included it for your convenience. See how nice we are...

That bass tone used is the bass tone I always wanted as a bass player growing up. Bright and punchy just like a fresh pack of Ernie Ball Slinky bass strings. A distorted guitar plays behind the bassline on the second half of the verses bringing static fuzz tv imagery. The song's layout is something to note and an absolute highlight. For example, the chorus only plays twice and how we get to it both times is different. Maybe I've been conditioned to "let's just repeat this" style of writing for far too long but it I did love the journey 'Under The Needle' takes us on. 

There's a 90's grunge rock and '6 Underground' Sneaker Pimps vibe to the song. The horns are a key ingredient which color with matte paint dark tones. How the horns are sprinkled in via accents after their initial introduction is a great touch. It's a great track thats lowkey driving thanks to the songwriting. If you're on the move from place to place, play this track for the appropriate ambiance.

Keep up with and follow Oakland Ghosts on Spotify | Instagram | Facebook 

Bloggers Chronicles: The review: #001 IAMX , ContainHer at the DNA Lounge 

My homie and Everything But The Everything guitarist Ian Dowed had some plans for us (Sophia Prise and myself) last Wednesday night. The three of us haven't hung out recently and he got us tickets to see some guy who used to be in the Sneaker Pimps. This was another one of those "I don't care who's playing, I'm going" moments for me. Ian sent us links, but I didn't check them out. It was the company I was excited about, the show that was secondary in my mind. 

Fast forward and now we're at the DNA lounge. The vibe is goth and frankly I was a little confused as to how Sneaker Pimps and goth DNA fit together. Headlining the night was IAMX.  Since I did zero research, my curiosity level was at an all-time high.

Opening the show was ContainHer. I particularly enjoyed her performance for several reasons. First reason is I follow her on Instagram and have been wanting to see her live. She can sing. Anyone that follows her social media can tell you that. Watching how she worked the crowd, worked the songs and performed in full character was the highlight. She's a pro. She excelled in the spotlight, and it brought out the best in her. ContainHer's music is synth driven electronica with a message. 

The headliner quickly followed and from the first note till the last note of the third encore, I was captivated and inspired. First off, their costumes were futuristic, unique and strange. The drummer had a hat/mask a'la Donnie Darko. The bassist was in a printed spandex head covered full suit like an extra in the Fifth Element. The singer wore this crown/mask with a light placed on the center forehead. He looked like a futuristic Jesus here to save us from the second rapture.

Delayed sound clouds bellowed from the speakers, blanketing the audience in suspense. Thunderous floor toms boomed from the stage's left corner. The drummer put on a clinic on how to absolutely crush backing tracks. Every one of his hits were concisely delivered and gave the performance teeth. Going completely berserk was the bass player. She was all over that stage. Her hands played every note, her body gesticulated them.
Chris Corner who is IAMX behaved like a rock icon. Better yet a cult leader. His powerful vocals and their delivery are the Kool aid his follower's drink. He has some crazy case that almost looks like a small coffin filled with modules, knobs and lights which he uses to treat his voice. It reminded me of DJ's twisting nobs at the perfect time to enhance key moments in a mix, but he was doing it to his voice. I felt like I was watching a young David Bowie in action. 

That show was special. I've never seen a third encore be performed by a band. The music's delayed haze, powerful drumming and performance both physically and production wise was major festival level. I'm so happy to live in the Bay Area where amazingness happens every day of the week. Even on a Wednesday night. 

New Music? Yes, Please! #003 Randy Thomas and the Insecures 

Oakland's very own Randy Thomas and the Insecures are back with a new song and music video. Their new track ‘Need This’  is a bright gritty distortion laden raucous rock n roll excursion! The tracks energy makes us feel like we're at their live show, hanging in the green room and then off to the after party!! 

You'll have to see the video and hear the track!!! 


Skating by the Rockridge Bart station is a nice nod to the town.

Keep up with and follow Randy Thomas & the Insecures 

Bandcamp | Instagram | Youtube

Ride along the depths of post punk with Haneke Twins.  

In this modern world of branding and constant self-promotion, a quick visit to someone's social media is a direct window into their world. With one click, we can learn about a person's passions, projects, aspirations and endeavors. I met Stefanos via Muso soup. I began to follow him on Instagram where we now frequently cross paths. Upon these Insta run ins, I noticed he plays guitar for Haneke Twins. There's a link to the bands website which I followed. Haneke Twins is based out of Switzerland. They rock! Their brand of post punk accompanied with a baritone singer immediately reminded me of Interpol. In 2018 the band debuted their self-titled EP, follow by 2020's Astronaut extended EP. Most recently the band released a new single and corresponding music video 'Lights Off' part 2.

I want to focus on the single's "River" and "In My Head" as the standout tracks for you to check out from the Astronaut EP.

Song 4. 'River' - This track is classic dark rock / post punk. When listening my imagination whisks off to some sort of away from home midnight excursion involving trains and warm fashionable clothing as I make my way from one station to the next. Perhaps it's the guitar parts and their various ways they reach our ears that give the track not only movement but excitement. 

Song 6. 'In My Head' - This cut has a delightful toe tapping bounce. Bright plucked bass strings peek throughout the song but their accents in the verses truly shine. There are two guitars playing two different melodies throughout the track weaving beautifully through the air like the U.S. Navy Blue Angels. The writing chops the band showcases is exemplary. It's the writing that takes us places, shuttles us along and shows us around. I believe this is the gem of the album.
What struck the most about Haneke Twins and their music is the musicianship, writing and execution. Everything is not only completely thought through and mapped out, but everything is picture perfect with depth. This band is a great reminder that great things happen outside of not only our cities and states but beyond our borders. I'll be keeping an eye for future releases from the group and as always, I'll be checking in on my new homie from the gram. 

We included the single 'In My Head' for your instant introduction:)

Keep up and follow Haneke Twins!!!




Awaken with Dear Banshee and their new LP, Wake Of Modern Life 

When we started this blog, we said we would try not over mention the same artist. Dear Banshee and their output of amazing music has made it hard to follow that statement. Highlighting talent is what this blogs mission is all about, so game on!!! 
We previously featured ‘Rehoboam’, the bands lead single from their new LP, Wake Of Modern Life. That single is no doubt one of best tracks from the album but there's other's as well because of course there is. Let's go over a few.
Track 1. ‘One Last Sigh’ - How James and Chelsea's vocals tradeoff is gold, but the electronic components and their placement is what makes the track pop. This single for some reason reminds me of Tears For Fears.
Track 10. ‘TV Show’ - I heard the acoustic YouTube version before I heard the album's version, so I didn't know what to expect. First thing is obviously the presence of the drums. Second is the synth layers the band expertly weaves. These layers permeate our senses like a druggy hazy high that's got us hooked. Dear Banshee, is top of their class at producing a syrupy pensive wall of sound. Each brick of this wall is not made from storefront materials. No, it's much better than that. No wonder their music draws Radiohead comparisons.
Track 6. ‘The Bold Ones’ - I love this track, it's definitely my favorite which caught me off guard. There's a minimalist approach to this single. Upon arrival an arpeggiated flutter hangs in the air like Tinkerbell's pixie dust. What sounds like a bouncing rubber ball cues the tempo and disappears. Then, the percussion hits. The perfectly placed windows the vocals are sung in give the track a snowball avalanche effect, where momentum and density build with every passing moment.
We sent over a few questions to the band that came up during our listening process and without further adieu…
1. Was there a different mindset to recording your new LP, Wake Of Modern Life, or was it business as usual.
James: I enjoy approaching new recordings differently every time. The difference between this LP was that half of the album was done by rehearsing with the full band and the second half of the recording was all done on the computer. It was challenging for us but we made it work.
Chelsea: For the electronic songs, I had heard them for the first time when I walked into the studio for vocal tracking. It kept things live and interesting while still being challenging. 

2. As far as experimentation, is Dear Banshee open to experimentation or is that for other bands?
James: I love experimentation in music. Many of our influences are from the experimental genre. I think we definitely have a healthy balance of experimenting with different techniques and keeping things in the pop world. As far as being an experimental band, I don't think we are one. I'll leave it up to the audience to decide. 

3. Your "TV Show" Youtube acoustic performance was amazing, why did you choose that song?
Chelsea: TV Show is one of my favorites on the album and an acoustic version seemed very natural. 
James: Our second single being a live stripped down version of an album track gave our audience a small glimpse into our live performances. TV Show worked really well for this. We can't bring a full orchestra with us on tour but there are still five of us on stage making all of the layers live.  

4. Your partnership with Minor Birds is phenomenal, how did the two of you meet and how has the collaboration evolved since then?
Chelsea: James and I had been gigging together when Dear Banshee first started. Minor Birds played a show with Dear Banshee. When the pandemic came I had moved back to the Bay Area and reached out to him to collaborate and he asked me to join Dear Banshee. The first rehearsal we had together we wrote "Rehoboam" and the rest is history. 
James: I think Chelsea brings a lot of variation and nuance to the band. It feels new and exciting. 

5. What can we look forward to from Dear Banshee in the coming months?
Chelsea: We have a Pacific Northwest tour planned in early July.
James: After that we will be playing Bottom Of The Hill July 23rd, a venue Dear Banshee had planned on playing in 2020 but had to cancel due to the pandemic. We also have unreleased material that we did not include on the album because we felt that it didn't fit in with the songs. We are not sure when we will release it.




We wanted to thank Dear Banshee for taking time to answer our questions. We love their music and will be supporting them any way we can!!! 

Follow Dear Banshee on Spotify, Facebook, and Instagram!!! 

Bloggers Chronicles: GO TO THIS SHOW!!! #003 Everyone Is Dirty, Make Out Room: Thurs June Residence  

As much as I love to complain about FB, FB always seems to remind me of upcoming events I would otherwise completely miss. I need to stop my FB whining… Last Thursday evening, I got a reminder about the Thursday night residency at the Make Out Room in SF that Everyone Is Dirty is hosting.  I didn't really read the details and it didn't matter; I was going. It wasn't until my drive over that I started to wonder about the details. Was this a listening party for new music? Were there other bands playing? What was I going to walk into… 

Upon my arrival, there was a band on stage. I would describe their music as Primus meets the Dillinger Escape Plan's Option Paralysis LP.  A little unorthodox but very creative and super tight. The drummer would go from soft delicate jazz style drumming to heavy zero to 180 mph like a stolen Hellcat evading police. They had a couple of really great groove driven tracks that the crowd soaked up. The name of the band is Gumby's Junk, if you get a chance to check em out, do so.

Everyone Is Dirty hit the stage immediately after the opener and the show they put on was phenomenal!!! There's so much to describe and I tried to take in as much as I could. Before we get into the specifics, I just wanted to say that being a true headliner takes a combination of quality of songs, stage presence, individual member performance execution and that “it” factor that you either got or you don't. Everyone Is Dirty is a true headliner, 100%. 

Starting with the bass player. I'm convinced, he's a machine. He can't be human. If you told me Skynet sent back a terminator to kill Sarah Conor and also sent back a terminator to murder basslines, I would say, he's got to be that terminator. He murdered basslines. I don't think I heard one mistake. Big, round, complex basslines played with feel and dynamics, I was in awe. He used three fingers too, like an indie rock Robert Trujillo. Same for the drummer. Everything was on point, nothing was overplayed. Power was delivered when prescribed and that nuanced touch with delicate hands was showcased as well. The pair make for an unbelievable rhythm section.

The pair that are the face of the group, the lead singer and the guitarist have some real chemistry. While the lead singer clearly led the charge, the way the backup vocals bolstered the music's overall effect was truly memorable. The lead singer sang her heart out, there was no holding back. My biggest surprise was her violin performance and the array of sounds she covered. Through the weave of sounds, at times I would wonder “where is this amazing sound coming from?” and it was always the violin. Certain settings on her pedal board would at times deliver a huge lead guitar type solo sound, one might suspect they snuck a BC Rich on stage. Other times the violin's sound was so soft and gentle. I started to wonder if she also plays with the San Francisco Symphony when she's not fronting Everyone Is Dirty.

The band is going to be at the Make Out Room every Thursday for June. Make it down if you can and witness a true headliner work their magic. Like me you'll be a new fan, I'm certain of it.

Keep up with Everyone Is Dirty on Bandcamp, Instagram, Facebook!!!

Check out their single “Hand On Lunch” with us, song kindly provided:)

New Music? Yes, Please! #002 Moses Redwood 

I've known Moses Redwood for some time. We've always been into house music. Even though my focus has become rock music, I still hold house music close to my heart. Moses sent me a link to some of his tunes. The music is indie electronic, and his sample/sound selections are eclectic. ‘Chu Papa’ is the track the featured track and your link is kindly provided:) 

Moses Redwood doesn't follow; he leads his own way.

Check out ‘Chu Papa’ on Soundcloud!!!


New music? Yes, please! #001 Fake Your Own Death, Bad Gods EP 

Fake Your Own Death recently released a new four song EP, Bad Gods. The band has a great discography, and this new release adds another solid installment. Fans will be sure to enjoy the new tunes which always bridge high energy rock and roll and thought-provoking lyrics. Time to get caught up with the new tunes and go to their next show!!!


Keep up with Fake Your Own Death!!!




Oakland's Big Surprise new single 'Caesium' is music from the heart. 

Oakland's Big Surprise and their new single 'Caesium' take us further down a textured dreamy road but do so with 90's glory. The recording's straightforward approach gives the music space to resonate. A chunky distorted guitar anchors the track and becomes the rail cart to which all is built upon. Powering our voyage over hills and through valley's are the music's dynamics. At times, pulling us in like they're going to tell us a secret, then bold and loud like a proclamation declaration to the world.
It's the subtle things Big Surprise does that make the track pop. How Kathryn's gentle touch sweetens the thickened vocal line. The lead guitar notes work as prescribed, bringing ear candy accents while simultaneously facilitating the song's progression. My favorite nuanced subtlety can be found in the first half of the second verse. The drummer lands on the two count with a stick click, then on fourth with the snare. Thus, adding weight to the second hand of the verse that make the chorus pop that much more.
'Caesium' is a great blend of dreampop and 90's grit. The Pixies were the first to come to mind when I heard this song. Glycerine by Bush was the second. With more music on the way and more shows being booked, get to know another great local band who's doing music their way. Music from the heart. 
"Rock music for weird times" - Big Surprise

Keep up with Big Surprise!!!
Words: Izzy The Gent




City Cat Collective interviews Venus In Arms!!! 

When I got an early listen of “Fantasy” by Venus In Arms, I played the track over and over. Now that her new single is out everywhere, I can play it on repeat without having to refresh my Dropbox. “Fantasy” by Venus In Arms is an absolute gem of indie shoegaze. As I listened to the single, I wondered about how it came together and that's what our interview focuses on. 

We geek out with Oliva over the details of her new track. I hope you enjoy!!

Keep up and follow Venus In Arms on  Instagram, Spotify and of course !!!


Bloggers Chronicles: GO TO THIS SHOW!!! #002  

In our second edition of our Bloggers Chronicles we are highlighting an event at Bottom Of The Hill, SF. The Hot Takes and Strange Cities are bands we've covered here on City Cat so today's focus will be Treasures from SF who will be opening up the night. Lets go over the bill.


The Hot Takes - Having a successful night at headlining a bill at any venue for a local band is a big deal. The energetic Devo-ish band will certainly bring it this night just like they do every time they hit the stage. Go see them!!!

Main Support :

Strange Cities - The guys just came back from a short tour in England and have been firing on all cylinders for some time. It will be great to see them perform back at home on their home turf at BOTH. 


Treasures - I been following this band on social media for some time. They've been on my list of bands to go check out and now comes the perfect opportunity. They describe themselves as contemporary Rock N Roll. Great rock N roll bands from the past come to mind open my first listen. I pick up hints of the song's from the 70's (The Who), 80's (Thin Lizzy) and 90's (Blind Melon) in their music. This Thursay, we'll see them perform their brand of rock as they open up the night.

The new S/T EP by Niveles strikes with tsunami level force.   

Just my luck… I had the night off work and noticed The Spyrals were playing at Bottom Of The Hill. I hadn't seen Jeff from the Spyrals in years, so I went to the show. When I arrived, the opening band was about mid set. I grabbed a beer and found a spot to watch. This three-piece band had the crowd completely hypnotized. I too fell hard into hypnosis.  Who is this band? My curiosity grew by the second. I asked the bartender who they were and she pointed to a name on a flier. The band was Niveles.

The next day I was still in awe of what I witnessed, replaying my memories of their set. What struck me the most was how every note carried so much weight, so much emotion. When I got word of their new eight song S/T EP, I wondered if it would evoke those same feelings I felt at Bottom Of The Hill. The answer is a hard yes. 

First on my list of tracks to highlight from their new EP is “Hard Bill”. This song builds and builds until we reach the heavens and beyond. A key element to this single is the guitar parts which guide us on this journey. A sparsely strummed guitar, coily greets us before revealing its true colors. Those colors are revealed at the 1:33 mark when the distortion kicks on, punctuating the one and two count. Then they dig. At the 2:18 mark, an arpeggiated guitar arrives, hovering overhead like a flying saucer. With all systems go at the 2:38 mark, the lead guitar slams the throttle, propelling our rocket past earth's gravitational pull and into outer space. Can you hear me Major Tom!!!

With a comparable formula but different experience is the very next track "Party At BG's Haus". A big difference is how the bassline controls the feel of the song instead of the guitars. That bass tone is everything. The guitar flutters in the wings as it awaits its moment in the spotlight. When the distorted guitars arrive, the tenor changes and the song morphs like an Altered Beast on Sega Genesis. Controlled chaos ensues, I love the mayhem.

I found the final track to be the most memorable. "House Of Mirrors" wastes no time getting down to business. Delivering a haunting mystic are the delayed guitar notes in the verses. Those delayed guitar notes bait us. They position us to the place where the band's incoming wall of sound's impact will hit us like a tsunami. Big chords rain down over the sonorous rhythm section. We're thrown around in the wash like a surfer who's spilled at Mavericks. The force is real.

Again, I'm happy to report that how Niveles performs live is on par with how they're captured on tape. Each song's weight is felt through and through. As far as tones and vibe, their sound reminds me a little bit of Tool's "Sober". Their hypnotic, dark, menacing brand of music is undeniable. The way Niveles locks into a groove over minor chords, delayed guitars and perfectly placed samples is next level.  I feel extraordinarily lucky to have stumbled upon their music and even luckier to be able to deliver this exclusive music premiere.

Keep up with and follow Niveles on Instagram and Bandcamp but for now, peep “Hard Bill”, kindly included for your listening pleasure:)

Bloggers Chronicles: GO TO THIS SHOW!!! #001  

I've known the name for years but for whatever reason, never took a moment to listen to Everyone Is Dirty. When I saw that my friends from Fake Your Own Death were playing at the Kilowatt with Everyone Is Dirty, I knew the time had come. As part of CCC's Bloggers Chronicles Nightcap/Recap, I wanted to use the platform to highlight shows. Today we debut Bloggers Chronicles: GO TO THIS SHOW!!! #001

I was a regular at the Kilowatt and would often look up at the Noisepop posters. I would try to imagine a live show while shooting pool. The speakers were still up, hanging from the ceiling. I always wondered if it would happen again. It's happening thanks to a new group of owners and this Friday April 8th; Everyone Is Dirty and Fake Your Own Death will bring their music to the beloved Mission bar.

Everyone Is Dirty's sound is energetic and fun. There's a pop punk vibe that leads the charge, but I also hear some of the best from the 90's in the mix. Definitely some Smashing Pumpkins and of course some Nirvana's Bleach. Their creativity is on full display and every song feels like a "stand alone single". The band seems to attack from every angle. I can't imagine during the writing process any ideas being taken off the table. Until today I hadn't heard a note from the band and now, I'm officially a fan. 

We've covered Fake Your Own Death recently here and I added my favorite song of theirs "Bombs Don't Show Up". They were on our very first edition of Boggers Chronicles #001 and now they're part of this one. Please scroll down to their write up on Bloggers Chronicles #001 to catch our take from their show at Bottom Of The Hill.

Two great local bands, no cover, a legendary SF venue brought back to life... not sure why you wouldn't attend the show. Unless of course if you got to work, because I'm too old to move back in with my mother. Have fun at the show and buy Terry a drink for me!!!


Rise Up

9 o'clock Nasty at Christmas

When we started 9 o’clock Nasty one thing we agreed over those endless conversations over beer and coffee was “Whatever the Song Needs, it Gets.” We’d all been in a ton of other bands that had a “sound” and eventually became trapped producing variations on the same theme. Not being a live band helps a lot with that, you can write and record everything differently. The other maxims we wanted the band to live by were “All Killer, No Filler” and “Don’t Bore Us, Get Us To the Chorus” which probably explain themselves.

So Rise Up was an opportunity to flex on the first rule. It was written, not around a campfire, but close. It’s a song created in a kitchen with one guitar, fists banging the beat on the table and voices raised together as you gradually find the words in the smokey air. That’s why it probably sounds at first listen, very different from what we’ve made before.

Of course it grew in production. A bassline was grafted on. A mellow organ to accentuate the gentle lilt. The vocals softened from a war-march to something more bittersweet.

It is not a song about the violence of protest. It is a song about the deep sadness of having to set aside love, kindness and a warm kitchen to go deal with crap that has gone on for too long. Think of yourself not as oppressed. Think of yourself as someone that has tolerated inequality and obscene wealth and privilege of the few for too long. You’ve been kind, you’ve been patient and it just didn’t work out. So time to get your pitchfork, go get some matches at the corner shop and head for the bright lights on the other side of town.

RISE UP is released on Saturday 10th December. 

Chat Nasty: Cathi RAE

Poet, spoken word artist, body positivity model and campaigner against ageism in the world of fashion (and also co-queen of Leicester, UK)

Cathi, thank you for agreeing to be interviewed by raccoons. Let’s start big. What is wrong with fashion in 2022?

The problem is not fashion per se - it is a culture of overconsumption, of throw away clothing, of items sold so cheaply that the makers cannot be paid a human wage, of thousand of tonnes of hardly worn clothing ending up in landfill or being shipped to other countries where they become someone else's problem.

Fast fashion encourages us to feed that "want/click/get" mentality, to buy multiple versions of things we already own, to shop as a way of filling a wider emptiness inside us. 

I think the 2020 and beyond lockdown pushed many of us to move to on-line and sterile shopping experiences - it's much harder to value clothing that appears at the click of a button, that can be done 24 hrs a day and with no social interaction.

There are movements to challenge this - shopping pre-loved, buying from charity shops, wearing what you already own, clothes swaps, we can chose to ignore the siren call of the new new and replace it with the pleasure of the new to us item instead.

Q You have been known to do a poetry slam or two. How do you prepare for taking words that you’ve lovingly crafted in private and bringing them to a live performance?

There are poems i write which are very definitely designed to be read on the page - a more considered experience which allows the reader time to read slowly - some poetry really benefits from this but a lot of my work is designed to be performed. which means work that is instantly gettable and resonates with an audience. One of my editing tools is actually to perform work at an early stage, to gauge its sounds and structure and to read audience reaction. I've been doing this for a long time now and have become more comfortable at accepting that some work will be more appreciated by audiences and some not so much - it's really about doing the best you can by a poem, trusting your editing and believing in your work and accepting that sometimes a piece you are happy with may not work in front of some audiences, some events. My work is not particularly personal or confessional so it doesn't feel as if i'm ripping my skin open to an audience - i can take work not being liked - although obviously it's a wonderful feeling if a poem resonates with other people or means something to them as well.

Q A lot of the people reading this will be in bands or otherwise making something on the indie scene. How can we all make better Art in 2023?

We are in hard times - i've had gigs canceled recently due to low ticket sales and i don't see this getting better any time  soon - but, in hardship art in all its forms becomes even more important. We need to keep the faith, to keep making art, to keep creating spaces where there is light. My personal commitment is to do more benefit gigs - for striking workers, for the #enoughisenough campaign, for the #dontpay campaign

Q Where do you see signs to be optimistic about the future? Can 2023 avoid being even worse than 2022?

Oddly enough I think the current cost of living crisis has opened up conversations about poverty and austerity which are challenging the idea that poverty is simply personal failure. I'm hoping that more and more people are seeing the destructive power of global capitalism and governments that put profit before people. maybe next year will see even more grassroots revolution, more people saying enough is enough, more actions that are about community and not the individual. Sounds revolutionary - count me in.

Q Where can readers find out more about your work and support you?

I have a book - it's had excellent reviews - "Your cleaner hates you and other poems" - please DON'T buy if from amazon - contact me directly

I have a youtube channel @cathirae

I’m on instagram @cathirae   

I do gig around the UK and publicise this on all the usual social medias

I teach regularly @attenborougharts in Leicester

AND....I'm happy to discuss poetry workshops, performances and 1-2-1 mentoring with new writers 

The Qwarks release 'Nothing For Something'

Behind the scenes of the new single

The Qwarks ‘Nothing for Something’ was released on the 31st October and yes, they did attempt to utilise the theme of Halloween. The single cover was designed by Smithereen Art (great artist, do have a perusal of @smithereenart84) and is entitled ‘the vulgarity of opulence’.  The image jumped out and disrupted the doom scrolling of a Qwark and said Qwark immediately recognised the power of the image and its suitability for the single cover of a song which seems to be about the penetration of the logics of the advertising industry into every nook and cranny of our existence. A video was produced by Pao Pincerna of Brighton Perfume, which is a vegan perfumery by the seaside (well worth checking out!). The video sees all kinds of zombies and creepy stuff going on and can be viewed on Youtube here.

It became apparent that the singer and guitarist of the Qwarks has strong opinions about Halloween and how an imported culture of ‘trick or treating’ was disrupting the work ethic instilled in traditional routines of ‘Guising’ in places like Scotland where he recalls having to work very hard for sweets by doing performances on doorways. He laments that sweets are now just handed out without hard labour but maybe he should just cheer up for once. A bit about the song itself: have a listen to what happens to the second and third chorus. The song modulates up a tone. Indeed, the formula of the chord progression means that you are arrive a tone above what you are playing each time the chorus ends. Yet in the first chorus it does not do this. One of the reasons why this is that it was found that if the first chorus had done this it would have meant ending up in a key that was too high to sing in for the third verse. With the formula of the chorus chord progression you could have a version of the song with many more verses that kept going until it returned to the original key but this doesn't sound an appealing prospect.

This single is part of the Qwarks second album, ‘let’s Go, Let’s Grow’ that is out on the 16th December.  The final single release from the new album is "Nice While It Lasted' which is out on the 9th December.