The new music director of the San Francisco Symphony, Esa-Pekka Salonen, has created a collaborative council to do, uh, something.
Garrett Harris 3 p.m., Feb. 20
RIYL: The Album Leaf, Manuok, Mr Tube, the Black Heart Procession, Limber Wolf
Influences: Cocteau Twins, Miles Davis, Barkmarket, Lilys, Jurrasic 5, Mum, Squarepusher, Radiohead, Boards of Canada, Fiona Apple, the Flaming Lips, Sigur Ros, the Rachels, Kronos Quartet, Sunny Day Real Estate, the Blackheart Procession, the Cure
Members of Via Satellite have also played with the Album Leaf, Mr. Tube and the Flying Objects, and the Black Heart Procession. The band has included Scottish-born (but Mexican-Ukrainian by blood) Scott Mercado, aka Manuok, as well as Drew Andrews and Tim Reece (both from the Album Leaf).
“We do everything we can experimentally and texturally,” said Drew Andrews early on. “Dreamy stuff…kind of ethereal and cinematic.”
Both Manuok and Via Satellite signed to San Diego-based Loud and Clear Records. Via Satellite released
their second album ¡Traffico! in 2002, followed in 2005 by Cities are Temples. A successful tour of Japan was launched, however the band ended up splitting.
Mercado toured as a member of the Black Heart Procession, but did not formally join that group, and he's also performed with the Album Leaf, Mr. Tube and the Flying Objects, and Tristeza. Reece went on to play with Limber Wolf.
Singer/guitarist Drew Andrews (the Album Leaf) released a solo EP in 2008, I Could Write a Book. He eventually left the Album Leaf, launching a new band in 2014 called Bit Maps.
In 2016, Reece was diagnosed with a form of cancer called adenocarcinoma, prompting him to contact Andrews and Mercado about regrouping. They went back to live demos recorded in the early 2000s to build up new recordings, beginning in January 2017, with recording engineer Sven-Erik Seaholm. Reece passed away in mid-May of that year.
The resultant releases came out in early 2019 via local Vinyl Junkies Records (the first release from the swap meet/retail store-turned-label): An album called A Thousand Mountains, a four-song Yet/Still EP, and a book featuring artwork and designs by Reece.