I first met Shayde Sartin when he was playing bass in a San Francisco garage rock band called the Hotwire Titans. Later I would occasionally run into him at the record store where he worked. If I was trying to research some hyped-up new band, he would know all about it and also turn me on to some act that was way more obscure — and usually better than the one I had asked about. Over the years I’ve seen Sartin’s name come up in connection with a number of San Francisco bands in a variety of styles: psychedelic singer-songwriter Kelley Stoltz, freak-folkers Skygreen Leopards, and indie popsters the Papercuts, among others. I haven’t seen Sartin in a long time, but over the past year or two I’ve often read his name in the growing press coverage about his latest band, the Fresh & Onlys.
The Fresh & Onlys started as a recording project between Sartin and Tim Cohen, who used to be in the experimental band Black Fiction. After hearing some of their home-recorded music, Stoltz put out the first Fresh & Onlys single on his label. That was in early 2008. Since then, Sartin and Cohen have put out two albums, opened for the likes of Stephen Malkmus, and generally received rave reviews everywhere.
The Fresh & Onlys sound like a mix of all the music I’ve name-dropped so far, and probably much of the music Sartin and I talked about at the record store. All these disparate sounds shouldn’t mix well, but the Fresh & Onlys bind them all together with a gritty rock ’n’ roll spirit with a gift for melody.
FRESH & ONLYS: Bar Pink, Thursday, December 3, 10 p.m. 619-564-7194.