Rin Tin Tiger
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Rin Tin Tiger

San Francisco, California, United States | SELF

San Francisco, California, United States | SELF
Band Folk Rock


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Fences, Rin Tin Tiger, Passenger & Pilot Get Cozy at the Rickshaw Stop"

Despite the chilly temperatures and threatened rainstorm, there were about fifty people clustered stageside for the opening act at the Rickshaw Stop last night. Or at least two less than there might have been had not a pair of young ladies brushed past us on the way in, the laggard of the two chirping "Wait, I gotta send a Mission Abort text!" Though an all-ages show, the audience gathered for the opening act was sparse and somewhat grizzled, including a few ubiquitous scene-rats one encounters every time an amp is rolled out south of Sausalito. The chummy feeling imparted by weather and company set the mood for proceedings to come at least as well as the Akron/Family and Neil Young songs rolling off the P.A.

Romana Machado
Passenger & Pilot
Passenger & Pilot clambered onstage lugging violin, cello, and an assortment of acoustic guitars. The musicians bade us closer to the stage and all dutifully crowded forward as they took us through a too-brief arrangement of delicate melody and profound sentiment. If you have to hang generic tags on the music of co-songwriters Jonathan Hirsh and China Langford, then "urban folk" nails it, as do "existential sea shanties," and "21st century blues." Langford has the kind of spacious and soulful voice you hear on old Stax-Volt 45s that provides its own kind of banked fire. The crowd huddled around it and we were thanked for our attention.

The wait was short for Rin Tin Tiger, which loosed a few of its uptempo Dylanesque tunes highlighted by a cover of Bob's therapeutic "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right." The brothers Sullivan are antic fellows who bicker after the manner of siblings and RTT is still getting on its legs as rockist successor to the boys' old folkie act, Westwood & Willow. These guys bear watching.

?Things grew a bit desultory after that, and Fences went on to a slightly diminished house at about eleven. There's been a lot of electronic ink loosed lately about singer-songwriter Christopher Mansfield's bad-boy persona, but on his self-confessed 301st day without a drink, the artist seemed engagingly shy and self-deprecating. Heavily inked and hypersensitized, Mansfield mumbled something about "Not trying to play up the whole 'sincere nervous guy' thing" after an extended period of feeding the crowd by hand. This was less winsome shuck than what appeared to be honest astonishment at all the love his gnarled, life-weary ballads and offhand candor were getting. "Girls with Accents" was prefaced by Mansfield's astonishment that a song festooned with so many "fucks" managed to get radio airplay. The singer told the story of having a beautiful girl on YouTube cover one of his new songs and mistakenly title it "Encore" before mumbling something about maybe letting her name it. One hopes they're even now exchanging digits and clearing the awkward first stage of what could be a beautiful relationship.

Overheard: Chris Mansfield: "This is the most I've ever talked at a show, so consider yourself lucky." - SF Weekly "All Shook Down"

"Kuestionnare: Westwood & Willow"

San Francisco’s Westwood & Willow have that kind of sweet and gentle approach to folk music that isn’t seen much these days. But it works in their favor because it gives their music a bit of a timeless quality. This is due to the accessible way the band sings pleasantly throughout their latest album, which is both lyrically hopeful and full of 60s folk familiarity. Doorways, Vehicles and Markets is simply as good as any album I’ve heard this year and I hope Westwood & Willow survives through this over-saturated genre and keeps making great music own their own terms.

You can catch the Westwood & Willow boys at Noise Pop Festival opening for Say Anything’s Max Bemis on Sat, February 26, 8:00 pm at the Bottom of the Hill.

You can also purchase Doorways, Vehicles and Markets here.

This week we have the both Kevin and Sean answer the world famous Kuestionnaire as they express their love for Oregon.


1. Could you state your name and what you do in the band?
Kevin – Vocals, Guitar, Harmonica
Sean – Bass, Vocals, Percussion

2. How would you describe your sound?
Post folk. Some people say indie folk or alternative folk, which is all relative, but essentially it is music influenced by, but not strictly, folk.

3. What is your favorite local band?
Kevin: Mr. Andrew
Sean: Picture Atlantic/Please Do Not Fight/Loquat (it’s hard!)

4. Any concerts that blew your mind recently?
Sean: Roger Waters’ “The Wall” was amazing – stellar production. Jonsi’s tour was also great, and locally, every time I see Debbie Neigher play I’m floored by how powerful one person and a piano can be. Amazing stuff.
Kevin: The Tallest Man On Earth in May of last year. We saw him play this small venue in Santa Cruz and he played perfectly and had great energy.

5. Any non-musical influences you would like to mention?
Kevin: Novels and my dreams are probably the most prominent.
Sean: Good ole fashioned reminiscin’

6. If your music was to be the theme of a film/TV show, what would it be?
We’re pretty out of the loop as far as television is concerned, so, not too much help there, but it would be awesome. As far as a movie, maybe a dark, kind of outrageous comedy that’s quite dramatic as well.

7. What musician/artist would you like to collaborate with for a day?
Kevin: Bob Dylan or Tupac (R.I.P)
Sean: David Gilmour or Steven Wilson

8. What is the album you listen to on a cold rainy day?
Kevin: Any of Nick Drake’s albums
Sean: “Lightbulb Sun” by Porcupine Tree

9. List four songs you would listen to on a roadtrip?
We’re gone do four albums instead, two each!
Kevin: “Better Dayz” by Tupac and “Blonde on Blonde” by Bob Dylan
Sean: “And the Glass Handed Kites” by Mew and “Animals” by Pink Floyd

10. Where do you see yourselves in 7 years?
Kevin: Hopefully platinum, if not, making a living via making music.
Sean: Playing shows and recording albums!

11. What is the last book you read?
Kevin: About to finish Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
Sean: 3/4 of the way through “All You Need to Know About The Music Business” by Donald S. Passman

12. Is image a factor in music or is it a waste of time?
It’s definitely a large factor in music. People need a visual aid to take them to the places where your music goes. That’s not to say that bands cannot make amazing music without looking a certain way but if you look at history the big names in the industry had a defined look to go along with the success. Everyone has their own personal image and when you’re in band with people it’s good to put the strictly personal image aside so that all two, three, or ten of you are in harmony in sound and sight.

13. Any embarrassing moments on stage you would like to share?
One time, in Eugene, OR we accidentally wound up on a bill opening for folk black metal bands. There were quite a few people there to see the two bands after us and all of them immediately went outside to smoke cigarettes when we started playing. It sucked because our music didn’t fit in at all with what was going on haha.

14. Any favorite tour locations?
“Artichoke Music” in Portland, OR and “Tease” in Ashland, OR as well as Ashland and Oregon in general. Great people, beautiful land, and good food!

15. Lastly, what is your present state of mind?
Sean: Sippin coffee in a room awash with golden sunlight on comfortable couches and loose fitting clothing has my mind at general ease. Generally really excited to be playing Noise Pop later this month and pushing forward musically as far as possible.
Kevin: Now you got me reminiscin’ about tour, and I woke up feeling kind of weird but now I feel better. I had a dream last night where everything was in sepia that I flew my bike to a different state and met a friend I never had. It was a good dream. - Kata Rokkar

"Passage-ways and Apparitions; A Review"

I’m not critic. I am not noted as one either. I am my own, for most certainly I view it this way. As are we all. But I volunteered myself to review “Doorways, Vehicles and Markets” An album by San Fransisco Locals Westwood & Willow. Like I said I’m not much of a critic. I like to bombard the fragile limitations of Popular Culture. I am a very active critic in that fashion. But I am not here for that today. This is a different kind of reception. This was a volunteered sailing into a local harbor. This is something known around the seas I sail, at least it is a sea very near to mine. So I took a gander at the album. My introduction was welcomed, and well received. With delicious chord variation and a different way to be heard of harmonica. Not that its not traditional folk. But its tastefully done for the conveyance of the song. Immediately I’m whisked away to sea by Kevin’s tasteful chord progression of joyous-pain, and a bit remorse it seems. Or rather it seems, a bit of an evaluation of situations past. Not because it is needed nor because it is asked for. But because it is the formulae of the portrayal of the lyrics. The explanation of pining to be reasoned with, even through what seems to be illogical. This first track is titled “Ghost Door”. These opinions are my own, And perhaps a different perception of such a track that is intended. But when you are trying to unlock a ghost door. Do you expect to go anywhere? Do expect to gain anything from its rite of entrance then that of which you already knew. From there the waters grow a bit calmer and the sun begins to set. Bringing in dusk with foggy but cool clear humid waters. Sitting on portside watching the still of the midnight blue water. Days of sea travel have finally had the soul demand its sleep. The second track entitled “Sleep Soul”, still revolves around the essence of pining for the answer, or more some kind of resolution. Not through the comfort of what one wants to hear, but rather just the temporary appeasement to rest on any and all thoughts that leave one restless. The rhythm is a sultry emotional limbo of uncertainty that simply leaves anything restless in the essence of uncertainty. The still night moves from dusk into the cool calm night of twilight, when the dogs of the sea gather on deck to howl at the moon over the past. The next track being “Howl.” The captain has left for his quarters, to sit back in his captains chair, sip his rum, listening to the howls over the tunes that are stuck playing in his head. Leaving his guest on the deck to tend to himself and contemplate the first bit of ideals while the captain himself reflects on his past actions and current reflections. Abiding his sleepy soul to keep protection. To keep watching and looking over whomever it may be on their restless nights that he may or may not have caused. The night ends as calm as it came. And swiftly comes the dawn. The colour of the dawn vibrant but grim. Reflecting the many dawns already seen, and much to come. But the reflection and pining is still very prominent. The early morning raises the sun and the captain of the ship has raised his sails and set direction. Pensive over the things left at the harbor. Pensive over the later of the night and the rest of the day as well. The windy breeze troubled and beginning to stir as the captain scribbles his sonnets of expression for pining things far influenced by the beauty of the horizon. And We find the captain still recalling himself “Far Away” from something desired but seemingly afraid to be near. The wind picks up and the afternoon becomes humid. And the ship comes into the next harbour. The crew filling into the port with glee. Kissing the land with their boots. The captain setting his foot onto land with conquest in mind to ease his trouble mind. But it seems he has seen the true nature of the beauty of all that is what is. If that makes sense. The pleasures of the flesh. The devourment of the pleasurable soul. Estrangement begins to fill the sea, and the waves become restless on the shores. I find this feeling in the sultry eerieness of “Spooky Spider”. Dusk fills the port streets and the crew with the eternal eyes of slumbers. We find ourselves the morning after of the captains pillaging. Waking up to roost of the rooster, reflecting over the endeavours of the night. And as the wind comes and goes, the captain comes to contemplate the true nature of endeavours and finds them just as swift as the wind that sails his ship. “There was a hen, but now there’s no hen at all” Most clever of statements I had heard the captain utter. A few cigarette butts and half a pale moon later we set out to see once more. After reflecting the endeavours of an evening past. Another brisk cool night at sea. Cold and foggy, tumultuous and ruffled the sea becomes. And the captain once again recluses close to his own proximity to evaluate his time at sea. We find the captain pining the tastes of fruits tasted. Things ingested, things longed for and even things that seem to be regretted as tasted ever at all. Its a rather straight forward interpretation of the song “Sweetest Fruit” But bare with me. The captain has offered to take such a volunteer along through a trek of many different coagulations that have been festered together for one to revisit as the captain has revisited so many times. We find the captain “Free At Last” accepting the reality for which it appears to be. This freedom doesn’t come completely accepted. Its merely a notice of the soul being free at last. Being free at whatever cost it had to pay to become free. For it took a long time to achieve such a freedom. It seems it also asks me a question, what is the true cost of what you need to finally be “Free At Last” and when the fee shows, will I pay it? After being confronted with a question, the resolution of ones payment is revealed. The cost of someone else’s final freedom, exposed, might I say with an excellent emphasis by what seems like a synthesized flute. Whatever it is, brilliant it was. But the reflection once again reers itself by the organized ideal of “Free At Last”. We find the ultimate price of the souls’ freedom in the track “Red Pony”. The cost of desire is the burden bared by not one customer of such a freedom, but two. The Captain and the one who he payed his freedom for. Finally the last voyage that the captain and his ship leave you with, are the notions of estrangement and confusion of both the writer and the listener. Trying to express the amount of effort conjuring the spirit and apparition of the Captain that was before. A sense of redemption seems to conclude the album with the track “I Tried”. A bit of resentment, but endearing resentment holds the final voyage true to the nature of the entirety of the album. Now I know, my entire review was solely a culmination of references to the sea, and the Captain of a troubled ship he built with his bare hands. Maybe a drastic interpretation of the album. But this is how I think when listening and reviewing music. Music is a formulae where Science meets the fabled idea of Magic. His formulae for expression (Kevin Sullivans’) is exhibited in a very clear fashion and tastefully done. The emo-folk revival is brought to the table with a very strong host. Showing it to have much for it to be contended with by another ship. The lyrics are strong that have the dynamics of rich colourful subjects. Backed by very melodic progressions and additions and emphasis lead by a few other instruments. Its a tasteful album definitely worth the listen. The Band Is “Westwood & Willow” They are your local natives and demand some serious respect. I give it with high regard, I knew of Kevin Sullivan back in the days when he was “Kevin Hella” And I listened, (secretly) to his myspace tracks as well as another local artist who went by the moniker “ATM”. They were great song writers then, and they are still great songwriters now. If You havent given them a listen, do it. - Local-ities

"Westwood & Willow - Doorways, Vehicles and Markets"

San Francisco brothers Kevin and Sean Sullivan are one of the Bay Area’s most creative and prolific teams. Both together and on their own, they have tackled psychedelic prog rock (Sean’s Pericardium project), hip hop (SullyZ), and even Christmas music in the past. On the full-length debut by their main project, Westwood & Willow, the duo explores arty folk-country that somehow manages to balance a goofy sense of humor with a strong sense of sadness and isolation.
The dominant half of the band is Kevin, who plays guitar, writes all the lyrics, and does all the vocals. Sean, while hardly hidden, is largely in the background, playing bass and percussion as well as doing some backing vocals. (Please Do Not Fight multi-instrumentalist Erin Keely also plays violin on several tracks.) While Kevin’s voice is pleasant but not very distinctive, his lyrics are rife with odd witticisms and bizarre metaphors. Due to the minimal arrangements, the listener’s main focus is on Kevin’s lyrics, and listening to one of his stanzas unfold is like peeling back a present wrapper, expecting to get some boring book but instead finding the most exciting novel you’ll ever read, then discovering it has an introduction hand-written by your favorite rock star. As you read the book, you expect a predictable story, but the writing is keen, insightful, and rife with all sorts of verbal florettes.
Kevin seems to be a romantic--most of the songs on the album are odes to love and all its pains and pleasures. He also displays a very silly sense of humor: “Far Away” finds Kevin comparing he and his lover to condiments on toast. “There Was A Hen” is a rowdy country jam to drive camping hipsters into a granola-flinging frenzy. However, much of the album is very dark and bleak, filled with a sense of longing and despair. While the lyrics are never truly self-pitying, they can be a bit too humorless--for sadness to truly make an impact on the listener, there must be at least some glimmer of hope.
This is a fine offering, and despite the candy-and-wine mix of darkness and goofiness, the album does not sound schizophrenic. In fact, it is a remarkably cohesive album. Kevin’s lonely guitar and sad vocals blend well with Sean’s subtle arrangements, and they provide the album’s backbone. While the group’s sadness seems stretched at times, this is an excellent choice for anyone looking for folk music that is witty and charming but not saccharine, intellectual and thought-provoking but not relentlessly depressing. - SF Rebirth

"Westwood & Willow (Album Review)"

Westwood & Willow is full of surprises. Their latest album blew me away with it’s originality and spunk which is needed when you’re in a sea full of other rock bands doing the same exact thing. The band, which consists of brothers Sean and Kevin Sullivan, have taken bluesy rock to a whole new level. I don’t know how they do it, but they seem to create a sound that is not only meaningful, but alarmingly catchy. Their first full length album, Doorways, Vehicles, and Markets, which will be released July 3rd, is a blend of clever lyrics and funky beats. Throughout this review, I will talk about some of my favorite songs off of the album and what I believe they mean (Beware that the conclusions I come to might not be what the Sullivan brothers had in mind when they wrote the songs. But, that’s the point of music, right?) So, check these guys out on myspace and twitter. AND, be sure to download their album off of iTunes. Any band that doubles as a rap group is cool in my book, so take a listen!

1. “Ghost Door” : This song is a great way to start their album. Right away I was enthralled by the harmonica and the way the song sounded in general. Westwood & Willow really shine in this song and I found myself thinking of Vampire Weekend while listening to them. My favorite lyrics of the song were, ” When two become one, one wants to more. When two are one they’re like a key with a ghost door, they’re going nowhere.” It kind of reminded me of what happens too often; when two people are starting a relationship, one of the people wants the relationship to happen more than the other one does. One of the things I love most about Westwood & Willow is that they create real stories with their music and this song is no exception.

p.s. Did i mention that hand clapping in songs is one of my favorite things? This song gets an A+ just for that!

2. “Colours”: The lyrics of this song are something that most people can relate to. It’s about growing up, and figuring out who you are and reflecting on being a kid. The lyrics read, “When we were younger it was colours that brought us together, and games grew us apart.” How more real can you get? The song also talks about how some people just want everything handed to them in life, rather than working for things. In addition, they also bring up the point that we don’t have anyone real to look up to anymore as role models, which is definitely true seeing as celebrity scandals seem to be the center of everyone’s chatter lately.

3. “Far Away”: I may be in love with song just for the simple lyric, “I’ll be the cream cheese, you be the Jelly, we’ll get on some toast and we can be happy and oh so tasty” Overall, this is a very cute song about writing to someone who is very far away and how contacting them isn’t the same as being with that special someone in person.

4. “Free At Last”: This is my FAVORITE song off of their album and it’s not just because of the bongos in the background. One part of the song goes, “Grass will grow yellow with age and be cut free and fly away just as our souls may be free at last.” This line of the song is very philosophical; some philosophers believe that the soul dies with the body, yet others believe that when you die, your soul is set free and is able to figure out the absolute truths of the world. It has time to think and be on it’s own and actually live without distractions.

Overall, I really enjoyed this album and if you listen carefully to what the Sullivan brothers have to say, you will realize that they are true musicians rising to the top of the Bay Area music scene. I really hope to see these guys succeed in the future and I wish only best for their future music career! They certainly know how to “Take Care of Bizness” - The Unsignatured



Rin Tin Tiger EP


Toxic Pocketbook



Rin Tin Tiger is an alternative folk rock trio from San Francisco, CA. High energy, lyric heavy, acoustic guitar lead songs about life in contemporary society. The sound is often described as a blend between early Bob Dylan, Violent Femmes, and Tupac. They have shared the stage with Minus the Bear, Young the Giant, Manchester Orchestra, Max Bemis of Say Anything, The Lumineers, Fences, Los Amigos Invisibles, Mike Coykendall, Ida, Hey Marseilles, and many more along the West Coast.

Their music has been featured on Live 105, 107.7 The Bone, ESPN.com, Save Alternative, KSFS, KSJS, KSCU (top 30 Nov 2011), KALX, KDVS, KALW, Alabama Public Radio, Radio Valencia, Palo Alto based television show “American Songwriter”, Mevio.com’s “Mevio Underground”, Covermesongs.com, KOFY TV’s Creepy KOFY Movie Time, and more. They have also been written about by The San Francisco Chronicle, The Bay Bridged, The Bay Guardian, Performer Magazine, East Bay Express, The Owl Mag, The Deli SF, and many more.

Their new album “Toxic Pocketbook”, released July 24 2012, was recorded entirely live to two inch tape at Tiny Telephone Studios without the use of computers or any modern editing techniques. It is available on iTunes, Amazon, CD Baby, eMusic, and many more online retailers, including this website.

“Uptempo Dylanesque tunes…these guys bear watching” – SF WEEKLY

“An acoustic guitar and their three sweet voices…you will not be disappointed” – Indiemusicreviewer.com

“Genuine, unadulterated folk alternative. It’s the kind of album you might get a craving for at the end of your night when only that one song will really hit the spot.”
– The Bay Bridged