Santa Cruz Good Times

Monday
Oct 20th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Examining Exhibitionism

music leadSanFrancescaSan Francesca turns off the computer, flips on the synths, takes a look in the mirror 

Examining the cover of San Francesca’s latest release, you might observe that the nine, evenly spaced square images—which, in turn, form a larger square—were taken using the popular photo-sharing application Instagram. You’d be wrong.

“None of us own a smart phone,” shrugs Cody Rhodes, drummer for the San Jose-based alt-rock trio, as he sits behind his kit in the band’s Campbell rehearsal space. San Francesca is practicing for a short string of upcoming shows in San Francisco, Las Vegas and at The Crepe Place on Jan. 13, with Moon Eater and E V Kain (members of Hella, Cigar and Broken Bells).

While the aforementioned photos were, for the most part, taken with a film camera, the fact that they are reminiscent of Instagram shots provides an unintended clue into one of the album’s major themes: feeling alienated and alone in a highly connected world.

We Live In Public is San Francesca’s (pronounced Fran-chess-ka) second full-length. According to singer and lyricist Harrison Russell, he borrowed the record’s title from the Ondi Timoner documentary of the same name. The film, which received the Grand Jury Prize for a documentary at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival, examines the way people’s behavior changes when they know their every move is being captured on video.

Similarly, San Francesca’s latest effort weaves together stories that ponder what we are becoming in an age where information and screens are omnipresent and people are willingly broadcasting their every move and emotion.

“I guess that was just a pervasive thought in my head while writing the record,” Russell says. “So much of your life is on the Internet. There are good things about it, but it tends to also warp people’s perspective. I think there is something that is lost when people put everything out there with no filter.”

music SanFrancesca2We Live In Public is a bleak, mumbled meditation on how nothing is sacred anymore, insomuch as nothing is private anymore.

“All the lights, all the screens, all the blindfolds,” Russell sings in his shaky baritone on the record’s title track, as guitarist/keyboardist Star Quach triggers synth loops and deep, pulsating bass notes—a kind of analog-electro juxtaposition that works well to drive home the album’s themes.

The record also considers the ways that the burgeoning human population is literally living in public. Themes of homelessness and the urban world are explored. “Every corner of the street another failure’s exposed,” Russell continues. “Empty bottles, alligators in a dead sea/of discarded products and debris and faded newspaper ink.”

The songs on this collection are brooding, dark meditations, with plenty of quiet whispers to offset the wall-of-sound swells—none of which could really be accomplished without the aid of technology. The band, which began as just Quach and Russell, sounds much larger than it is, thanks to myriad samples and synth sounds, which Rhodes keeps time with by plugging a click track into his ears. The band isn’t anti-tech, after all.

But, in their mid-20s, the members of San Francesca are part of a unique generation. It is a generation that began adolescence with memories of using land line phones and walking over to a friend’s house to knock on the door after getting a busy signal, and an early adulthood that began with the explosion of YouTube and social networks, and continues to charge forward into a realm where 12-year-olds are given smart phones for Christmas.

Of course, We Live In Public isn’t entirely about the encroachment of modernity. The record touches upon that most perennial of rock ‘n’ roll muses. “It’s also just kind of about girls and stuff,” Russell says to laughs from Quach and Rhodes. 


San Francesca will play at 9 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 13 at The Crepe Place, 1134 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. Tickets are $8. For more information, call 429-6994.

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Field Work

Santa Cruz Mountain winemakers explain how the harvest works, and what kind of wine to expect from this year's crop

 

Libra's Two Choices

Libra (our last week) is the sign of creating right relations and values. In Libra we are asked to choose how to be, our identity in the world. We can maintain a hermetic sealed-off attitude (my life, my work, my money, etc.) or we can gain knowledge of world events and learn more about those in need. Libra is a group sign—self with others. Here are some events occurring in our world this week concerning food, poverty, spirituality, values and global realities. The UN (a spiritual experiment) each month places a “light” upon world problems. This week a light shines on Rural Women, Farms, Food & Poverty. Before we choose to respond we must have knowledge. “So we can each do our part.” Oct. 15 - International Day of Rural Women (unrecognized with few resources); Oct. 16 - World Food Day & Family Farming: Feeding the World, Caring for the Earth; Oct. 17 - Eradication of Poverty Day (international). During the month of Libra (with Saturn exalted), we pause, contemplate and assess what it is we know, don’t know, and need to know. Libra receives and distributes Ray 3 of divine intelligence, right relations, right choice and right economy (Venus). Use your intelligence “tips the Libran scales” in terms of being able to see and then choose between the two paths Libra offers (return to the past or step forward into Scorpio’s Discipleship). Libra (the oscillating light) prepares us for the great tests and conflicts in Scorpio. In Libra we are subtly tested as we learn the nature of polarized energies (s/he loves me, s/he loves me not). In Libra we learn more about ourselves through others. Libra’s Ray 3 asks us to become more adaptable and skillful. And then we are to teach each other what we know. In Libra, we all become teachers. In all these ways love is cultivated.

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Docs Without Borders

United Nations Association Film Festival showcases documentaries from around the globe
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Nut Kreations

Co-owner Craig Olsen goes nuts over nuts

 

What artist or artists participating in the encore weekend of Open Studios should not be missed?

Santa Cruz | Teacher

 

Martin Ranch Winery

Friends who are wine club members of Martin Ranch invited us to the winery’s fun and festive annual barbecue, where the wine is flowing and the food just keeps on coming. Music and dancing are part and parcel of the action, and a good time is guaranteed.

 

Beer Bus

Santa Cruz’s new Brew Cruz, award winning ales, mole by el Jardín, and Wildcat Ridge Chardonnay