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Demons & Angels & Doves, oh my!

Birth, Dream Demon, Falling Doves, Angels & Airwaves, Steve Poltz

Birth
Birth

Birth is a new psychedelic band featuring members from retro rockers Astra, along with current or former members of Joy, Silver Sunshine, and Radio Moscow. The lineup includes Conor Riley (Astra, Silver Sunshine) on keyboards, vocals, acoustic guitar, and occasionally a vintage Mellotron that places their sound squarely in the progressive jazz-fusion Krautrock wheelhouse. Guitarist Brian Ellis is a one-time child actor who was still in grade school when he appeared on the Disney Channel show Inside Out with boxer and kitchen utensil salesman George Foreman. Ellis, who also releases solo records and produces electronic dance music as Brian E, played with Riley in both Astra and Psicomagia. In putting together Birth, Riley and Ellis went back to that latter band in order to recruit their rhythm section, bassist Trevor Mast (Paper Forest) and, for their first recording sessions as Birth, drummer Paul Marrone (Radio Moscow). They signed to Bad Omen Records (Wytch Hazel, Spell, Satan’s Satyrs) and just released their debut self-titled three-song EP.

Dream Demon

Founded in 2020, Dream Demon features San Diegan Scott Mercado (aka Manuok), who has also turned up at various times with Via Satellite, the Black Heart Procession, Mr. Tube & the Flying Objects, and Lost Pets. The band is filled out by others from different groups up and down the coast: Ben from LA’s Summer Darling, Mike and John from Seattle’s He Whose Ox Is Gored and Reader, and Robert Cheek from By Sunlight. Their debut single “Hell” was released in 2020. Mercado describes the music as “mixed with ambient to hard rock music, ranging from The For Carnation, to Can, to Tortoise, to Sunny Day Real Estate, to Hum. But really, it’s a mix of By Sunlight, Summer Darling, and Manuok.” The Dream Demon 1 EP was followed this past February 2021 by Dream Demon 2 (“It starts with one of the best songs I’ve done, ‘Salton Sea’”), while EP3 dropped at the end of April and EP4 was just released. Meanwhile, the newest Manuok single, “If I Could dance,” is streaming online.

Falling Doves

Christopher Leyva (Blizzard), who grew up in Mexico City, describes Falling Doves as “a collection of old friends and professional touring musicians.” In support of the forthcoming release Skylark 69, an album and video preview party hosted by Pacific Records happens August 16 at downtown nightspot Juan Tequila. The evening will include appearances from the band and several labelmates, a viewing of the new Falling Doves concert film, and funds raised will go to Socialwyze, a community-driven organization based in Hawaii, which helps pay residents to perform public benefit work alongside non-profits. Falling Doves will put on an acoustic performance, and the bill includes the Skyler Lutes Band. The group’s Lightning Strikes Twice Tour will take them across the U.S., South America, and Europe, including several dates with Cheap Trick. “We’re planning to make up for last year’s cancelled tour dates with a new round of concerts that will show we haven’t been resting on our laurels during recent down time,” says Leyva. “We’ve emerged with new music, a new stage show, and a renewed belief that rock ‘n’ roll is the adrenaline charge that folks need to blast the cobwebs off as we emerge from restrictions.”

Angels and Airwaves

Blink-182 co-founder Tom DeLonge launched Angels & Airwaves in 2005, with five full-length albums and numerous hits to their credit so far, including “The Adventure,” “The War,” “Everything’s Magic” and “Rebel Girl.” The Dream Walker, a multimedia album accompanied by a graphic novel, topped iTunes and reached number five on Billboard’s Top Alternative Albums chart. A related short film called Poet Anderson, co-directed by DeLonge, won Best Animated Short Film at the Toronto International Short Film Festival. A new single and video, “Losing My Mind,” features frontman Tom DeLonge’s alter-ego Disco, brother to Boomer from Blink-182’s “First Date” music video, on an adventure through the Las Vegas strip late at night alongside TikTok dance sensation Rampage. It’s their third video this year, following “Euphoria” on May 19, and then “Restless Souls” on June 15, all previewing their sixth studio album Lifeforms, due September 24. A more edgy “Losing My Mind” director’s cut video is streaming on the band’s website. According to DeLonge, “I wanted to write a song about a totally insane idea that would never happen, like, what if our own country was being torn apart by racists, a pandemic, and domestic terrorism, but all at the same time. You know, just normal made-up shit that would never happen.”

Steve Poltz

The Rugburns co-founder Steve Poltz is best known for his stint with that band of “Hitchhiker Joe” fame, as well as co-penning Jewel’s early hit “You Were Meant for Me.” He later recorded a new duet version of the song with Valencia, Spain-based singer Soledad Vélez, produced by six-time Grammy Award winner Chris Goldsmith. A tour opening for Glenn Tilbrook of Squeeze led to the two songwriters collaborating on various projects, and the Rugburns still occasionally reunite to play. After surviving a tornado near his new Nashville home, Poltz and his wife came back to San Diego for summer 2020 to spend time with his widowed 90-year-old dad. His recent song “Quarantine Blues” was recorded in Jason Mraz’s home studio (Mraz plays organ) with local star Jeff Berkley producing. A cartoon video for the track was animated by Panama-born Argentinian artist Ivan Casis Jr. After more than 15 months of playing livestreamed shows or busking on Facebook, the occasional Rugburn is launching a new music festival to be held in Joshua Tree called BaHOOTenzie FolkFest, named after a phrase often uttered by Poltz’s father. The event kicks off with a three day songwriting camp, followed by two days of live music on October 1 and 2.

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Birth
Birth

Birth is a new psychedelic band featuring members from retro rockers Astra, along with current or former members of Joy, Silver Sunshine, and Radio Moscow. The lineup includes Conor Riley (Astra, Silver Sunshine) on keyboards, vocals, acoustic guitar, and occasionally a vintage Mellotron that places their sound squarely in the progressive jazz-fusion Krautrock wheelhouse. Guitarist Brian Ellis is a one-time child actor who was still in grade school when he appeared on the Disney Channel show Inside Out with boxer and kitchen utensil salesman George Foreman. Ellis, who also releases solo records and produces electronic dance music as Brian E, played with Riley in both Astra and Psicomagia. In putting together Birth, Riley and Ellis went back to that latter band in order to recruit their rhythm section, bassist Trevor Mast (Paper Forest) and, for their first recording sessions as Birth, drummer Paul Marrone (Radio Moscow). They signed to Bad Omen Records (Wytch Hazel, Spell, Satan’s Satyrs) and just released their debut self-titled three-song EP.

Dream Demon

Founded in 2020, Dream Demon features San Diegan Scott Mercado (aka Manuok), who has also turned up at various times with Via Satellite, the Black Heart Procession, Mr. Tube & the Flying Objects, and Lost Pets. The band is filled out by others from different groups up and down the coast: Ben from LA’s Summer Darling, Mike and John from Seattle’s He Whose Ox Is Gored and Reader, and Robert Cheek from By Sunlight. Their debut single “Hell” was released in 2020. Mercado describes the music as “mixed with ambient to hard rock music, ranging from The For Carnation, to Can, to Tortoise, to Sunny Day Real Estate, to Hum. But really, it’s a mix of By Sunlight, Summer Darling, and Manuok.” The Dream Demon 1 EP was followed this past February 2021 by Dream Demon 2 (“It starts with one of the best songs I’ve done, ‘Salton Sea’”), while EP3 dropped at the end of April and EP4 was just released. Meanwhile, the newest Manuok single, “If I Could dance,” is streaming online.

Falling Doves

Christopher Leyva (Blizzard), who grew up in Mexico City, describes Falling Doves as “a collection of old friends and professional touring musicians.” In support of the forthcoming release Skylark 69, an album and video preview party hosted by Pacific Records happens August 16 at downtown nightspot Juan Tequila. The evening will include appearances from the band and several labelmates, a viewing of the new Falling Doves concert film, and funds raised will go to Socialwyze, a community-driven organization based in Hawaii, which helps pay residents to perform public benefit work alongside non-profits. Falling Doves will put on an acoustic performance, and the bill includes the Skyler Lutes Band. The group’s Lightning Strikes Twice Tour will take them across the U.S., South America, and Europe, including several dates with Cheap Trick. “We’re planning to make up for last year’s cancelled tour dates with a new round of concerts that will show we haven’t been resting on our laurels during recent down time,” says Leyva. “We’ve emerged with new music, a new stage show, and a renewed belief that rock ‘n’ roll is the adrenaline charge that folks need to blast the cobwebs off as we emerge from restrictions.”

Angels and Airwaves

Blink-182 co-founder Tom DeLonge launched Angels & Airwaves in 2005, with five full-length albums and numerous hits to their credit so far, including “The Adventure,” “The War,” “Everything’s Magic” and “Rebel Girl.” The Dream Walker, a multimedia album accompanied by a graphic novel, topped iTunes and reached number five on Billboard’s Top Alternative Albums chart. A related short film called Poet Anderson, co-directed by DeLonge, won Best Animated Short Film at the Toronto International Short Film Festival. A new single and video, “Losing My Mind,” features frontman Tom DeLonge’s alter-ego Disco, brother to Boomer from Blink-182’s “First Date” music video, on an adventure through the Las Vegas strip late at night alongside TikTok dance sensation Rampage. It’s their third video this year, following “Euphoria” on May 19, and then “Restless Souls” on June 15, all previewing their sixth studio album Lifeforms, due September 24. A more edgy “Losing My Mind” director’s cut video is streaming on the band’s website. According to DeLonge, “I wanted to write a song about a totally insane idea that would never happen, like, what if our own country was being torn apart by racists, a pandemic, and domestic terrorism, but all at the same time. You know, just normal made-up shit that would never happen.”

Steve Poltz

The Rugburns co-founder Steve Poltz is best known for his stint with that band of “Hitchhiker Joe” fame, as well as co-penning Jewel’s early hit “You Were Meant for Me.” He later recorded a new duet version of the song with Valencia, Spain-based singer Soledad Vélez, produced by six-time Grammy Award winner Chris Goldsmith. A tour opening for Glenn Tilbrook of Squeeze led to the two songwriters collaborating on various projects, and the Rugburns still occasionally reunite to play. After surviving a tornado near his new Nashville home, Poltz and his wife came back to San Diego for summer 2020 to spend time with his widowed 90-year-old dad. His recent song “Quarantine Blues” was recorded in Jason Mraz’s home studio (Mraz plays organ) with local star Jeff Berkley producing. A cartoon video for the track was animated by Panama-born Argentinian artist Ivan Casis Jr. After more than 15 months of playing livestreamed shows or busking on Facebook, the occasional Rugburn is launching a new music festival to be held in Joshua Tree called BaHOOTenzie FolkFest, named after a phrase often uttered by Poltz’s father. The event kicks off with a three day songwriting camp, followed by two days of live music on October 1 and 2.

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