SoundDiego Spotlight: Tropical Popsicle
An unusual name for an unusually good band -- frontman Tim Hines talks about his bands, his band name and where he goes to create his music.
Source: San Diego Videos, News Video, Video Clips | NBC San Diego
View more videos at: http://nbcsandiego.com.
Also, the boys played a couple of shows in the last week, one last night at the Soda Bar, and last Saturday in TJ. Reviews below...
Courtesy of the SD Reader:
Saturday night I went to Tijuana. I ate tamales, drank Modelos, met some awesome people, and listened to even more awesome music. My friend and I caught a bus to downtown TJ for the Beach Fossils concert, and it could not have gone better. Besides the initial rock pelting of our bus, we didn't run into any of the sketchy things I had expected. Apparently, our bus picked us up on the taxi-cab-only turf; therefore, on our way downtown, some taxi drivers threw rocks at our bus and cracked the windows pretty bad. The bits of glass hitting my face only heightened the liveliness of the trip. Putting that situation behind us, Tijuana was welcoming; we didn't have any run-ins with nasty drug cartels.
Beach Fossils played at a little venue called the Mustache Bar. It was one of the most interesting venues I've ever been in. From the outside, the Mustache Bar looks very small and not capable of containing that much fun. After walking in, we quickly realized that impression was wrong. The stage was as grimy as it gets, but in a good way. Everyone was speaking Spanish and drinking super-sized beers. The bar had an arrangement of funky shots, all named after Mustache's of the greats, and all for 35 pesos. Up a rickety spiral staircase, there was a little lounge with some wild graffiti covering the walls. This lounge wasn't the vision I had of Tijuana - comfortable leather couches, an aroma of hazy cigarette smoke, and some classy women. Out the back door lies the grungy stage and floor space for about 50 people. The stage had graffiti and stencils covering the backdrop, along with an old curtain to cover up the barred windows. Climb up an even sketchier spiral staircase in the back and you had rooftop access to watch the show from above. The Mustache Bar had a flawless setup for this show. The hint of danger it brought to the concert made it memorable.
The show went late...very late. A few Tijuana bands were playing when we arrived around 10. Jablonsky started at about 11 and played a fine set. It wasn't anything noteworthy to me, possibly because I couldn't understand any of the Spanish lyrics. I spent this time exploring the bar, meeting people, and filling my cup with cold Modelo. Tropical Popsicle was up next and absolutely killed their set. Before the show, I hadn't heard much from them but expected a slow and mellow sound. I was quickly proven wrong from their up-tempo rhythm guitar and upbeat unusual drum setup. The drummer, Ryan Hand, played standing up with a mix of acoustic and electric drums, using a maraca for one of his sticks. The guitar was fast-paced, distorted, super rad. Kyle Whatley switched off between guitar, organs, and vocals. The vocal sounded a bit psychedelic, along with the organ, bringing it together for a sound true to their "tropical" brand. I watched this show from the floor and felt the excitement of the crowd.
Beach Fossils came on around 2 a.m. I guess Tijuana has a whole different time zone than America because I've never seen a city so active so late. From the roof, I watched drunken shenanigans in the street below and saw an excellent session of car surfing. Before their show I had the chance to meet the band and chat a bit about their tour. My buddy and I headed to the upstairs lounge and found Beach Fossils munching on some pre-show pizzas. I talked with the lead singer, Dustin Payseur, who said they were finishing up their Mexican tour, hitting L.A., and then heading back to Brooklyn for more recording. We parted ways and I headed to the floor to watch their set.
The Fossils really had a way with the crowd. Although they started quiet and a little shy, they sure got everyone hyped. There were Spanish screams and cheers that I couldn't understand, but no matter, the crowd was ecstatic and so was I. Beach Fossils started off with that hazy lo-fi guitar that people came to see. Their riffs and lines are unique and I've never heard anybody imitate it just right. The bassist, Zachary Cole Smith, played fast and different from any others. He had a sweet style that matched his eccentric behavior on stage. Smith was enthusiastic, and with the combination of his and Payseur's vocals, they really nailed that old-school surf style I was looking for. Toward the end of the show, things got a little crazy. While Payseur jumped down into the crowd, singing his last song, Smith climbed up the amps onto the roof, still jamming away at his bass. They played a somewhat short set, but that ensured there were no flaws or downtime.
The show ended around 4 a.m., as did my first adventure in Tijuana. We found a couple other American kids and asked them if they wanted to share a cab back to the states. We reached the border and left the freedom and relaxing energy of Tijuana behind us.
Concert: Beach Fossils
Venue: Mustache Bar
Date: December 17
Seats: floor and roof
And this show review and live recording courtesy of Little More Than a Crashing Beat:
Tropical Popsicle - The Soda Bar, San Diego CA 22nd December 2011
A pre-Christmas run out for Tropical Popsicle for whom the local buzz seems to keep on growing. Some more kind press following a recent foray into Tijuana and this appearance by Tim on a San Diego TV station has certainly not harmed their cause. There was a pretty decent crowd at the Soda Bar for this one as San Diego began to ease into the holiday weekend. Although I suspect most were not solely there to see our gloom-pop heroes, I rather think they left a good impression with any fans of the somewhat mellower TV Girl and Clockart who were just along for the ride.
One new one added to the beginning of the set on this occasion, that you can find a studio demo of on the Volar blog which is a good place to keep up with the latest Trop Pop goings on, and the recording here is at the top end of the quality scale. I think the promised album is really shaping up quite nicely now and it struck me as I was listening last night that the mighty Rob Barbato would do an excellent job producing that if Tim doesn't want to do it all the work himself.
The lads have another outing on New Year's Eve at the Casbah, although you will need to be there well before the clock chimes midnight to see them as they are first on the bill. Then there is the mouth-watering prospect of an all-Volar double header back at the Soda Bar on January 15th with label-mates Beaters, who will be letting loose their own debut full-length at that very show. My calendar is already marked and I trust the smoke machine will make a comeback at that one too.
Download the show at the link below:
Always Awake in Shadows
The Age of Attraction
The Beach With No Footprints
The Universe of God Shadow
Lunar Camel [Siouxsie cover]
The View from the Dihedral Wall