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noise polluter

music that's worth your while


written by Aimee Myers

San Francisco’s non-techie population is in dire need of a little sonic redemption as they sift through the cultural debris, trying to make rent on time, if at all. Fortunately, Mike Donovan has graced our beloved city with yet another band post-Sic Alps: Peacers. With former Oh Sees member Mike Shoun on drums and Ty Segall manning the soundboard, Peacers’ debut record is certainly a step in the right direction in terms of restoring San Francisco to its former psych rock glory. Having just completed a U.S. tour alongside Elisa Ambrogio, Donovan and I discussed by email (seemingly the modern equivalent of a handwritten letter in the realm of Twitter, Google, and whatever app your neighbor just developed) the current state of the Bay’s scene, the birth of Peacers, and reviving history.


AIMEE MYERS FOR NOISE POLLUTER: Over the past few years, there seems to have been a mass exodus of talent from the Bay Area, most notably by John Dwyer and Ty Segall. What kept you in San Francisco?

MIKE DONOVAN (VOX/GUITAR): I really didn’t really want to leave, though this city has become unbelievably corny. I often feel like I’m in a boring and lazily written Saturday Night Live skit. Everybody is obsessed with convenience and how to make a lot of money off it. Mental-moral pygmies are running the show. The main reason I stay here is because I have a place which is nice and cheap enough, though sometimes I’m worried I might run out of vomit.


NP: San Francisco’s music scene certainly isn’t what it was in the early 2000s, but is it possible to still find inspiration here in 2016?

MD: Sad that fun times are gone, but on the other hand I think sometimes the most interesting times creatively for a city are often before and after the scene – the payoff isn’t in the spotlight but there’s always a chance some odd band will cut some unthought-of path.


NP:The disbandment of Sic Alps in 2013 seemed to signal the beginning of the end for the Bay Area’s modern garage-psych scene. Are you concerned at all that fans, out of nostalgia, may view Peacers as a sort of Sic Alps reincarnation rather than an entirely separate entity?

MD: If anyone is being nostalgic about Sic Alps that is cool with me. I don’t expect that will ever change.


NP: When you began writing the record, did you enter the creative process knowing that you were going to start Peacers, or was it initially another solo record?

MD: It was gonna be something new from the start, a new project. The name came later.


NP:Wendy Farina was Peacers’ original drummer, but Mike Shoun took over the position this past July. What caused this change?

MD: She wanted to take time to concentrate on not being my girlfriend.


NP: Ty Segall produced the record, and many of the songs on it are reminiscent of his style. Did he have any influence on the songwriting process, or was he strictly on the technical side of it all?

MD: Ty plays drums and bass on most of the songs on the record, so his playing has a lot to do with the vibe of the record of course – but he was also in Sic Alps in 2009 and we’ve recorded and played together over the years, so the style thing is really just a little history coming back.


NP: From Sic Alps to a solo record and now Peacers, do you think it’s important to constantly reinvent oneself creatively through different projects?

MD: Change is life’s characteristic.


NP: Tell us about what’s next for Peacers. Will there be another record or a full tour?

MD: We’ve started recording the next record (this time at the home studio) and we’ve just finished a U.S. tour, which was a barrel of laughs.


Peacers’ self-titled debut record is available now through Drag City.



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PicMonkey Collage

Okay, wow, I haven’t posted in a month. I’m almost done with my finals (thank god) and I get to return to good ol Charlotte in a few days and attempt to make up for lost sleep. Speaking of finals…

I’ve compiled my 50 favorite songs of the year (that were available on Spotify*) in this nice little playlist. Now, it’s organized alphabetically by artist, AKA unranked, so I’m gonna extract my top 7 and write a little more about each of them.

7.  Chastity Belt- “Joke”

The first time I listened to Chastity Belt was after my boyfriend dressed up as the band for Halloween (by which I mean he made a cardboard chastity belt and wrote “Chastity Belt” on it).  It’s a good thing I did. “Joke” is a gloomy jam, just the way I like them. And the guitar is just so beautiful, especially on the excellent outro.

6. Heems- “Sometimes”

Apparently this was my most-listened track on Spotify this year. After the breakup of Das Racist, Heems’s solo career took off, with song topics ranging from dark drone humor to breakup songs to the simultaneously self-depreciating and energetic “Sometimes.” The track deals with conflicting sides of Heems’s personality, yet it ends on a positive note- “I won’t change, I’m dope,” Heems  ultimately declares.

5. Hinds- “Chili Town”

Hinds kinda came out of nowhere, at least in my sphere, but as soon as I heard their debut EP I was in love. They kinda remind me of a more jangly (and Spanish) Vivian Girls. Their songs are all fun and danceable with great guitar tone and overlapping vocals. “Chilli Town” is my favorite; there’s something about the vulnerable lyrics (I am flirting with this guy just to pretend I’m fine/Saliva mixed with lies/My laugh is oversized/Forever yours, right?) that gets me every time.

4. Beach House- “Rough Song”

Depression Cherry who????? Beach House’s surprise release ‘Thank Your Lucky Stars’, a whimsical and airy record with a sound most similar to their sophomore release ‘Devotion’, more than made up for what I considered a very disappointing album earlier in the year. “Rough Song” is my favorite cut off the record- delicate and absolutely gorgeous with a hint of sadness.

3. Alex G- “Snot”

I saw Alex G in October and I almost cried when he played this song. It might be the last song on ‘Beach Music,’ but it’s also the best. I don’t even know how to describe how I feel when I hear this song. All I can say is that it makes me super emo in the best way possible.

2. Lilys- “Day of the Monkey”

I know, I know, this is a reissue. But ‘Eccsame the Photon Band’ is my favorite shoegaze album ever EVER. Lilys is a band that knows when to be quiet and when to raise the energy, which is an essential quality in shoegaze. It was hard for me to pick one favorite track off the album, but “Day of the Monkey” is so beautifully layered that I decided on this song.

1. Shopping- “Take It Outside”

Oh my god, I’ve listened to this song SO MANY TIMES and I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of it. I’m willing to fight whoever says it doesn’t have the best opening riff of the year. Shopping is a fairly bare-bones band- bass, drums, and a single guitar (with a tiny sprinkle of synth)- but they are a powerful trio. The lyrics are brief and confrontational- actually, the only lyrics are “Outside, can we take it outside/ you heard me right, you heard me right” and “break it, break it up/ don’t shake it, shake it up.” I know this sounds cheesy as all hell, but the music speaks for itself. When I play “Take It Outside” I picture in great detail a barfight in some dingy pub. A+. I hope a Netflix original or something uses this song in a fight scene someday.


*Bonus non-Spotify favorites: “Alexandra” by Elementals and “Artvocado” by Whalo


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Hey, everyone. I’m sure at least a few of you noticed I was gone. Mono, an ungodly amount of homework, and family emergencies don’t mix well. I have had zero time to produce any content in the past few weeks and I really don’t even have time to be writing this right now but I needed a break from biology. So I made this playlist. By the way, did you know that the first part of the human to develop is the anus? Now you do.


Joaquin bringing you down? I have just the solution. Welcome back to another Monday and another blog post. I bring you four more A+ new tracks that will brighten up your probably rainy afternoon (provided your Internet isn’t down.)

Okay, the first one isn’t REALLY new, but the video is. It’s by one of my favorite breakthrough acts of the year, Bully (who I didn’t get to see at Hopscotch because of 21+ venues- BOO) and it’s called “Too Tough.” “Too Tough” is my second favorite song off of their debut ‘Feels Like,’ and it’s a perfect fed-up anthem.


Hibou is the dream-pop-inspired project of Peter Michel. His self-titled album released in September and the new video for shimmering yet vaguely gloomy single “When The Season Ends” can be seen below.


Now introducing another self-titled album starting with the letter H: Hectorina. Hectorina is a local Charlotte band who you might be familiar with if you live in the Carolinas due to their rock opera “Collywobble.” They, too, have a (spooky) new video below for their song “Why Should I Wait.”


Finally, IN BREAKING NEWS, Bloc Party have premiered two new songs, “The Good News” and “Exes,” on BBC earlier today!!!!! They have been on hiatus since 2013 and I am V EXCITED that they are back! Listen here starting at the 2 hr 15 min mark (“Exes” is played later at about the 2 hr 39 min mark.)


And that’s all for now. See you here this time next week!


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The Walking Guys, as their name suggests, walk more than the average musician. The quartet of singer-songwriters have in fact walked their east coast tour all the way from Maine to North Carolina- in their infamous “dad shoes”- and will keep going until they reach Florida. Their tour is predicted to last four months and cover 1600 miles.

Three fourths of the Walking Guys stopped by The Annex in Raleigh on September 26th to play some tunes, and here is the photographic evidence to prove it.



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Welcome back to The Monday Menagerie. This week I have three great new artists for your listening pleasure and one classic: Young Rival, Corrina Repp, Lowly, and Editors.

First up is Canadian trio Young Rival. They’re self-described as “croon psych” with a definite garage influence. Their single “Interior Light,” is a groovy, head-boppy track and the first off their upcoming album of the same name- with a super cool music video to boot.


You may have seen Corrina Repp before without realizing it; aside from being a musician, she’s a recurring guest on Portlandia. Her new album ‘The Pattern of Electricity’ is a quiet and intimate affair reminiscent of Agnes Obel or Sharon Van Etten.


Hailing from Denmark is Lowly, an indie pop five-piece. Their EP ‘Sink Way Into Me’ will be released on October 30th, but they’ve shared infectious single “Fire”:


Finally, post-punk-inspired rock band Editors are back with their fifth album ‘In Dream,’  which releases October 2nd. They teamed up with Slowdive’s Rachel Goswell for the heavy and expansive “The Law,” which is worth listening to even if you’re not an Editors fan.


That’s is for this week. Come back again next Monday, and as always, my inbox is open at!



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