Reviewers at PitchforkMedia.com have featured three local bands on their website -- Pinback, Hot Snakes, and Castanets.
Pinback is Rob Crow (formerly of Thingy and Heavy Vegetable) and Armistead Burwell (a.k.a. Zach) Smith (formerly of Three Mile Pilot). They still record in Smith's home studio in Little Italy, though they have been with Chicago's Touch & Go Records since 1999.
Pitchfork gave Pinback's latest release, Summer in Abaddon, an 8.1 on its 10-point scale. "Arguably their best record yet, a logical and accessible realization of a sound they've been developing for more than six years."
Rob Crow said after the release and subsequent Pitchfork review of his solo record My Room Is a Mess that, though he appreciated Pitchfork's review, he finds "the compliments read backhanded."
Pinback is currently on a tour that includes a featured-artist spot at CMJ's (College Music Journal's) three-day music marathon in New York City, playing alongside Sonic Youth, Trail of Dead, TV on the Radio, and the Decemberists.
The Hot Snakes are the latest incarnation of John Reis and Rick Froberg, who previously played with San Diego's Drive Like Jehu. (Reis went on to front Rocket from the Crypt while Froberg pursued a career in art; he does the art on the Hot Snakes discs.) The Hot Snakes' new record, Audit in Progress, is their third release on Reis's Swami label and has garnered the band a 7.7 on the Pitchfork site (the reviewer calls the disc "heat-seeking proto punk").
Raymond Raposa's Castanets play avant-country music that Pitchfork describes as "spare funeral dirges, stompy guitar throwdowns, and planes of free-folk ping." The Castanets' first release on the Asthmatic Kitty label, Cathedral, was awarded an 8.5 and placed on Pitchfork's "Best New Music" list. The Castanets will be playing at 4862 Voltaire in Ocean Beach on Saturday, November 13.
-- Tim Carsley