The Soft White Sixties
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The Soft White Sixties

San Francisco, California, United States | SELF

San Francisco, California, United States | SELF
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"Friday Night: The Soft White Sixties Bring Their Blooze-Rock to Great American Music Hall, Emo Kids Be Damned"

The Soft White Sixties and The Trophy Fire
Bird By Bird
Beta State
January 7, 2011
@ Great American Music Hall

Better than: A fifth of Jack in the dark at home (it's better in the dark at a concert).??

"This shit is alright, yeah?"

While not quite a six-word memoir, Soft White Sixties frontman Octavio Genera's offhand, on-stage mumble makes a fitting thesis statement: This San Francisco five-piece has lately run a marathon through Bay Area rock 'n' roll destinations: early in 2010, you might have caught the Sixties in the up-and-coming ranks at the Red Devil Lounge, or by summer topping bills at Bottom of the Hill. Friday night's co-headlining gig with The Trophy Fire at the Great American Music Hall was the band's biggest to date.

Call the guys old-fashioned, but they'd prefer to do their world-beating in another decade. The Sixties appeared onstage out of a music and fashion time warp, beers flying everywhere, hairstyles variously shagged. They expounded musically on the fun-loving, R&B-infused rock 'n' roll of the Rolling Stones, the Faces, and -- well, let's just say the band published on Myspace a pantheon of bygone artists they endeavor to join, and take a guess at the first two bands listed.


The Soft White Sixties' Octavio Genera, crooning and strumming.
?That's not knocking them -- this shit is indeed alright. Attendees who bump the seminal Nuggets garage rock compilations (I'll assure you, such bobbing heads inhabited Friday's crowd) might suggest that a concoction of fun-loving, acid-tinged soul and bluesy guitar-rock co-indicates, on paper, gleefully chaotic and uneven musicianship. Perish the thought: the Sixties mold their muse into a modern soul-rock machine via a tight performance unencumbered by the large accompanying volumes of booze. Guitarist Josh Cook absolutely obliterates the pentatonic scale in his leads, but his contributions lend more to the overall texture than faux Jimmy Page heroics (the solos weren't even turned up that loud). Drummer Joey Bustos manages tight and often swingy beats while slinging his sticks like Keith Moon and rockstarishly pointing out friends in the crowd mid-song.

But it's Genera who steers the Sixties, a multitalented vocalist who at times conjures the shimmying shadow of T. Rex's Marc Bolan. His crooning melodies flout the blues-rock model of riffing on the notes of a minor chord, and his harmonies with Cook and bassist Ryan Noble sound like they were delivered by angels, or at least the Roches. Beyond the swamp-rock odes and sunny psychedelic blues, these guys were obviously having fun getting their work done.


?Granted, a lot of groups these days try such new generation blues-rock, often to varying levels of success. It's like estimating a rodent problem: for every Black Keys you see on Leno, there's a hundred bar bands crawling around in the woodwork. The venue Friday looked more like a Chuck E. Cheese than a rock concert early on, but many of the teens left or clung to the edges of the throng during the Sixties' set (more on this below). It's like the ceiling of success for old guard rock sinks every time Julian Casablancas thinks up another synth line for his solo work. But if the Soft White Sixties hit that ceiling anytime soon, and in looking down realize they're still a bar band, well, that's still a bar you really should check out.

Critic's Notebook?

Opening acts: Given that fans of the headliner were expecting throwback garage-rock from the Sixties (the band and the decade), the emo-core slant of the opening acts struck me as kind of odd. An all-ages crowd with asymmetrical haircuts and excessive eyeliner showed up early for Beta State's screamy opening set, as well as for the following Bird by Bird, the solo project of charismatic Bay Area punk rocker Jon Devoto. Even the co-headliner, melodic provocateurs the Trophy Fire, appeals to the type who likes power chords and drawn-out yell-odies. The two stylistic archetypes, as well as their respective fans, came off like musicological ships passing in the night.


The Soft White Sixties and The Trophy Fire during Friday's encore
?Covers: Opener Beta State played Björk's "Unravel" and credited her as one of their big influences. Take note: futuristic, apparently, ambient-pop pastorales with shimmering electronic textures ? EMO. The Trophy Fire took a cut at another Nordic lap-pop gem, the Knife's "Heartbeats." The Sixties stayed closer to their roots, proffering a rendition of John Lennon's "Instant Karma!" that ensnared the crowd in a "We all shine on" sing-along. For their encore, the band brought the Trophy Fire back onstage for the Stones' "Loving Cup."

By the way: The Sixities' Bustos and Noble previously played in the influential Bay Area ska-punk band Link 80. - SF Weekly


"Trophy Fire & Soft White Sixties Rocked the Great American Music Hall"

Have you ever been at a show where you felt the floor move and thought the roof was going to collapse? The Great American Music Hall is indeed in San Fran, the earthquake zone, but the moving and shaking was cause by the local artists playing Friday night. http://www.gamh.com/calendar/

The venue was full with straight up Rock n Roll music lovers of all ages.

The opener I caught was Bird by Bird. The singer nailed songs to my inner ears. The band was tight. http://www.myspace.com/birdbybird

The Trophy Fire slammed on stage next with a combination of shreddy and delicate guitars. With no bass player in this trio, the rhythm guitar/lead vocalist, Ben Flanegan, played bassline chords on his guitar, making for great fills that accompanied the high energy lead guitarist amazingly well. These guys put on a tight set. "Hey Euphoria" proves their ability to deliver slow rock ballads while holding the cheese and 'Armour' takes you places lyrically and with a collapsable drum beat that is unstoppable. With a 90's rock band sound that digs waaaaaay deeper than anyone did back then, this band had the room singing along and dancing so hard the floor moved. Think back to Delametri and The Gin Blossoms and then crank them up 800 notches to what you always wanted those bands to become. You'll find that in The Trophy Fire. Check them out at Noise Pop in San Fran Feb 26th. http://www.myspace.com/thetrophyfire

The Soft White Sixties look like they belong on a bigger stage. They have the Rock Star look going, but don't let that fool you into thinking there's nothing there, they delivered a pretty intense show. Their sound is strengthened by vocalist Octavio Genera and guitarist Josh Cook. Stand in front of Cook during a show to feel the heat come off him as he takes his art to a unimaginable level of mastery.

Some of the lyrics were wrapped in Rock n Roll themes, wrapped in blues based tunes. "I'd rather lie" got a false start as Genera lost control of the harmonica. It was a humanizing moment and the bands ability to laugh and slam the song home will precision and enjoyment made an instant connection with the audience.

The cover of Lennon's "Instant Karma" (We all shine on) was intense when Cook took the vocals as he pulled off more of a raw vocal delivery whereas Genera came across softer. It was a fun, great version.

These guys pack heat and the floor shaking was constant throughout the entire set. People were hanging out the balcony singing and dancing, so high energy was everywhere. Genera invited The Trophy Fire up for the last number, unfortunately, without their instruments, which I would have really like to have seen. The guys wrapped up the show with a solid number and sealed the evening with a kiss farewell as everyone limped off the dance floor home.

Catch The Soft White Sixties at Noise Pop Feb 24th http://www.myspace.com/thesoftwhitesixties - SF Examiner


"The Soft White Sixties Play the Great American Music Hall"

Wendy:
I'm excited to talk about your upcoming show at the Great American Music Hall, but I'd like to start by saying that you guys always put on such a fun show. You seem to be having a great time........
The Soft White Sixties:
We definitely have the intention that we want people to have as much fun as we're having.
That's what I've always grabbed from the Motown, soul band aspect. You see those bands, and they're exuding a lot of energy - throwing it at the crowd, and the crowd throws it right back. When people say; "Oh, your influenced by soul and Motown, that's really what I mean.
When we started, we actually were playing in front of nobody, but no matter who we were playing in front of, we had a great time because we enjoyed playing with each other. It was so much fun. You look over at the person next to you, and you're like; I love this person.
I think we hug more than any other band that we've ever seen. (laughter)
That's why I think our live show is what it is - because it's all genuine, and comes from a place that's very ingrained in all of us - earnest and honest, and something we all just love to do.
It's also a release after all the work we've done too, you know? Like last night, we were working on a new song - we're like - "You think we can do this by Great American? Oh, hell yeah!"
Wendy:
All five of you seem to put out the same amount of energy. With some bands, you see a lot of competition for the spotlight, but I've never seen that with you guys.
The Soft White Sixties:
I think we all do go 110 percent, and we balance each other out. We're not fighting for stage space, but I think we're all pushing each other.
The core and the bottom line is; if one of us succeeds, we all succeed.
It's also because we've all been in bands beforehand. When you're in a younger band, people want to show what they can do. It's like; "What about me? What am I doing?"
And we're all so close, too. For every show we play, when Aaron has a solo - every time - I look over at Ryan, and Ryan looks at me, and we're just like, "Check him out!" It's not; "Oh, time to be quiet". We're doing our thing, and looking at each other like; "Just look at him over there!"
But, that's what it is, though. We take joy in lifting someone up, in providing the base for someone else. I think that sums up this band. Everybody takes joy in, not all the time shining, but providing the base for someone else to shine, because when one person's shining, we're all there together, you know?
Wendy:
I know you're all excited about your upcoming show at the Great American Music Hall.......
The Soft White Sixties:
We want people to come out to the Great American Music Hall because it's a great bill! It's an event. We're gonna be playing with The Trophy Fire, Bird By Bird, and Beta State: three great bands.
When I first moved to the Bay Area three years ago, I just wanted to play shows in the Bay Area. Because, growing up outside of the Bay Area, if you played shows here - even if you played a dive bar - it was better than a great venue where I'm from. Because it was here. You know,it was HERE. You tell your friends; "We got a show in San Francisco." This venue has that same allure to it, in that it's a really great venue, and really great bands have played there. So, to play this event with other local bands, and to share this date with them is really something great. That's what it is. We tell our friends to come - not just support us, but come, share this with us. Come, be part of this and create this with us. Cause, that's really what a show is. A show is not just the band. It's the crowd, the atmosphere, everything.
It's the biggest show of our career, to date.
Bottom line - it's an extreme honor for all of us to play this show. Especially with these other bands. I's just fun to be on that stage, and play in that venue.
It's also the first show, for us, of the year 2011. It's a solid way to start the year.


Continue reading on Examiner.com: The Soft White Sixties play the Great American Music Hall - San Francisco music festivals | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/music-festivals-in-san-francisco/the-soft-white-sixties-play-the-great-american-music-hall#ixzz1BNVlpBPj - SF Examiner


"Sactown Rundown - Sept. 16-22"

"...like a feast of Hamm's ale and cheap cigarettes on the porch with Duane Allman and Dan Auerbach." - Aaron Davis - Sacramento Press


"Literary Death Match, Techie Picnic, Mixtape Party, Vintage Rock, and More"

"...Coolly croaking vocals, classic guitar lines, hard-hitting drums, and a contagious vintage-rock vibe... pumped up by modern melody." -Emily Savage - SF Weekly


"The Soft White Sixties"

"...they've got a ton of energy.... Octavio Genera, the lead singer, can sing. A fun night and a fun band that pulls you in by the honesty and fullness of their sound. Check 'em out." - Made Legend Zine


"Dance Band of the Evening"

"The Soft White Sixties channel 60's R&B beautifully, but bring it up to us with melodies that are current, fresh and with a rolling lyrical movement...." - American Songwriter TV


Discography

The Soft White Sixties (EP)

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Bio

San Francisco’s The Soft White Sixties are a hard-driving, original rock & roll band that delivers R&B grooves and pop hooks with the transformative power of raw soul.

Formed in 2008 by Mexican-American singer-songwriter Octavio Genera, The 'Sixties were founded with powerhouse rhythm section Joey Bustos (drums) and Ryan Noble (bass/vocals) -- both former members of internationally touring band Link 80 -- joined in 2009 by former radio personality Aaron Eisenberg (guitar/keys), and in 2010 by midwestern-born singer-songwriter Joshua Cook (guitar/vocals).

These five comrades-in-harmony have generated a devoted following through sold-out shows in The Bay Area's best-known 200-350 capacity venues (Cafe du Nord, Bottom of the Hill, The Rickshaw Stop, The Red Devil Lounge, The Uptown) and rapidly expanded their reach in 2010 with featured slots in SF's IndieFest and Summerfest music festivals, prime-time television appearances and sold-out performances on Sacramento's indie circuit, and a successful whirlwind West Coast Tour from Seattle to Los Angeles. With no more than a burned CD of demos, the group has also garnered airplay on SF's flagship rock station Live 105, who named The 'Sixties as one of the top ten bands in the Bay Area.

2011 has been a busy year for The ‘Sixties as they kicked off with two sold out performances, headlining The Great American Music Hall and opening The Noisepop Festival at The Independent. Immediately following were three showcases in Austin coinciding with the SxSW Festival. The group released their debut EP at another sold-out show in San Francisco before appearing in June at The Harmony Festival with The Flaming Lips, Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, Primus, Grace Potter, and Spearhead; and in July at the High Sierra Music Festival with My Morning Jacket, Dr. Dog, Delta Spirit, Dawes, and others. In between a summer West Coast tour The 'Sixties filmed a video for the EP and laid down three new tracks, all slated for release in the fall. October-December the group hits the road again for a West Coast-Rocky Mountain tour.