The Bribes
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The Bribes

San Francisco, CA | Established. Jan 01, 2011 | SELF

San Francisco, CA | SELF
Established on Jan, 2011
Band Rock Garage Rock

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"What's happening this week"

The Bribes @ The Lost Church
Blues rock n' roller by way of Chicago The Bribes will be playing a Private Parlor Show, which apparently means that it's open to the public. Whodathunk. - The Bay Bridged


"The Bribes play Hyde Street Studios Eclectic Tuesday"

The Bribes is the project of Chicago-born, San Francisco-based musician Philip Toscano. Toscano has relocated The Bribes to the Bay after releasing three records and headlining nearly every mid-sized and DIY venue on the northwest side. He is currently performing solo under the name The Bribes and collaborating with Jameson Irish Whisky as a part of the "Spirit of the Neighborhood" campaign.

The band's latest recording, "Dust Tapes," released in May 2016, is an ambitious bite-sized rock opera ​intended ​to portray a series of dreams about mortality through a melodically accessible sonic landscape. The result is a cohesive, dark-but-danceable record infused with pop rock hooks and 1950s/60s rock and roll sensibilities. - Deli Magazine SF


"Introducing: The Bribes by way of Chicago"

Philip Toscano, frontman of The Bribes, moved to San Francisco only last month to make it in this city's music scene. Already he's landed a sponsorship from Jameson Irish Whiskey as part of the "Spirit of the Neighborhood" campaign based out of the Mission. On top of that, The Bay Bridged is officially welcoming this new musical transplant to the area and rolling out the Bay Area welcome wagon, fixie, cable car, whatever gets the job done.

"The rest of the band did not move out with me. I am looking for their replacements, but in the meantime, billing myself as The Bribes and performing solo," he explains. "I just released Dust Tapes in May right before I left Chicago. I did this intentionally to have something to push for my new adventures in SF."

Dust Tapes, The Bribes second release after Nobody Got Anywhere, was recorded at The Black Couch Studio, a working studio and gallery in Chicago. The album contains whimsical moments of blues rock and roll, Toscano's midwestern drawl, and an addictive listenability. Local shows are imminent, band members are being sought, and The Bribes are moving in. - The Bay Bridged


"BENT NIGHTS The Marvin Tate D-Settlement; The Bribes"

If Tate and his crew turn gutbucket '60s soul into a freakout for the new century, Logan Square band The Bribes takes pure '50s era rock and re-fashions it into something fresh and bracing. The band—with Phil Toscano on guitar/vocals, Joe Blickenov on drums and Bryan Purcell on bass—has a dynamic that is sneaky and misleading but has the impact of a hard edged sucker punch. At a recent low-key support gig at Fizz, 3220 N. Lincoln Ave., the group previewed its upcoming sophomore release in front of a weekend crowd that was unfamiliar with them. What was highly amusing was that though the room was stuffed with friends and supporters of the headliners, the unheralded Bribes stole the show with such panache that once they got off-stage they sucked the air out of the room. Toscano, in particular, could have smirked and strutted but he did not need to, and besides, he seems way too nice to do such a thing.

Now about that dynamic: On stage, Blickenov and Purcell seem to vanish into the background as they quietly noodle away which gives "Mr. Friendly" Toscano the floor to literally tear holes in the ozone with his stinging guitar licks and a honeyed growl that is far deadlier then his charming appearance suggests. Between the way he runs his fingers up and down his Epiphone Rivera guitar, the disturbing intimacy in his vocals, and the coiled danger in his posture ( shoulders scrunched in tight and his nose crammed up against his Shure Super 55 microphone, with lips and teeth clenched while delivering the lyrics with the fury of a predator biting into living flesh ), he projects a manic fury that is simultaneously vicious and enchanting.

The reality is that The Bribes are hardly Toscano's "back-up" band since Blickenov and Purcell, with all that sleepy subtlety creating a nearly invisible framework on and around him that elevates rockers like the new "Garbage In, Garbage Out" and "Carmen" into pungent and memorable epics. The interplay of the band may suggest a visual and sonic display of extremes. ( Blickenov looks like he is about to fall off his stool into a coma and Purcell looks like an open-faced child who can't understand who stole his milk and cookies. Coupled with Toscano's crackling electricity, the three of them look like a Looney Tunes cartoon, albeit with far more bite. ) However, what comes out through the monitors is clearly some of the most compelling rock 'n' roll being made in Chicago. The Bribes are such a blast that I would gladly take one of their low-key, low-rent shows over $3-million stadium gigs in some hollow arena. God save The Bribes... - Windy City Media Group


"The Bribes- Nobody got Anywhere"

Logan Square three-piece The Bribes have dropped their sophomore release, Nobody Got Nowhere.

The EP, which references early rock n’ roll, blues and a bit of jazz and western swing, is loaded with unexpected turns, baroque embellishments and excellent musicianship.

Opening track “Carmen” packs quite a bit into three and a half minutes: winsome vocals, odd time signatures, fiddle—the overall effect is comparable to The Sea & Cake (as well as Sam Prekop’s former band Shrimp Boat). “Rosemary the TV Star” follows suit, while “Garbage In Garbage Out” adds some understated organ to the mix. “Puppeteer” sounds a bit more contemporary—there’s definitely some Morrissey and Vampire Weekend in the song’s DNA. “You in Mind” is a vocal highlight and benefits from some jazzy percussion, while album closer “Wasted Time” is a smorgasbord of aural delights: 1930’s blues vocals; fiery guitar interplay (a la Crazy Horse); a gypsy jazz violin coda.

Nobody Got Nowhere finds The Bribes at peak form; musically adventurous and highly recommended. - Radio One Chicago


Discography

14 Minutes with The Bribes -Coming soon (EP)
Dust Tapes -May 2016 (EP)
Nobody Got Anywhere -June 2015 (EP)
The Man is Good and Fine -November 2013 (Full Length)

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Bio

The Bribes is the project of Chicago-born, San Francisco-based musician Philip Toscano. Toscano has relocated The Bribes to the Bay after releasing three records and headlining nearly every mid-sized and DIY venue on the northwest side. The Bribes have settled into California as a three-piece, featuring Toscano on vocals and guitar, Jesse Strauss on bass and Anthony Puducay on drums. The trio regularly perform in the bay area and beyond.

A self-taught guitarist and songwriter who grew up listening to the music from The Animals, Vivaldi, and John Lee Hooker in a classic Midwestern basement, Toscano exhibits a unique and sometimes moody garage-blues-rock sound that possesses both the rollicking energy of 1950's rock and roll and the refined melancholy croon of modern pop music. Toscano's primary project, The Bribes, boasts a catalog of complex songs all of this same spirit. The band's latest recording, "Dust Tapes," released in May 2016, is a lively bite-sized rock opera intended to portray a series of dreams about mortality through a melodically accessible sonic landscape. The result is a cohesive, dark-but-danceable record infused with pop rock hooks and classic rock and roll sensibilities. 

Toscano is now recording his most sophisticated and ambitious collection of songs to date with The Bribes expected to be released mid 2019. 

The Bribes have been featured in the The Bay Bridged, The Deli San Francisco, Bay Area Music Magazine, Windy City Times, WXRT Local Anesthetic, and Midwest Action.

Band Members