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This spotlight is a monthly feature showcasing some of our favorite independent record labels. For the month of November, we turned up with Canada’s QT pop label Manicure Records. The two momagers of the label, Tom and Sam, sat down to introduce the Manicure family along with distinguishing themselves from them PC Music and plans for the next year. 

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Check out the interview below to get more familiar with the #Manicure movement while thriving to their distinctive caffeinated twists to pop bangers:



Take us to the beginning of Manicure Records: “Once upon a time…”

Sam: I think that when Thomas started the label it was really his reaction to a scene that we didn’t identify with. Keeping our friends a part of it and creating a network for us all to have fresh DJing material from artists who share an aesthetic while still having their own unique approaches was definitely a starting point. For me, I think it represented an aesthetic that I really identified with but had repressed situationally. That underlying idea of bringing something femme and expressive to a culture that is, in 2014, pretty white-washed, cis, heterosexual and male-dominated was also important to us. It's something I think that a lot of people have identified with about the label.



Where did the emoji logo come from?

Tom & Sam: Cupertino


A lot of people compares Manicure to PC Music, can you explain the similarities and differences?

Tom: Where PC Music is very much at the forefront of underground and forward-thinking music, I think we’re more of a bridge between the current dance music scene and the forward thinking scene. Our main goal is to try to exist in both while being subversive about how we operate in each.


What is the label like? I’ve asked UNO to describe each artist as a dysfunctioning family member so feel free to do the same.

Tom & Sam:

Ghibli = Grumpy cool Dad 

ponibbi = Turnt up cool mom

Beaux Maris = Reasonable Aunt

Guy Akimoto = Polite, multitalented child prodigy

lilangelboi = The newborn baby that everyone cooes over

KLSLWSK = Sassy stoner middle brother

Hood Joplin = Well-meaning freshman party girl

Jasmine = No-bullshit older sister on sabbatical 

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You guys do a lot of remixes, what current pop stars would be a dream collab right now?

Tom & Sam: Carly Rae Jepsen, Ke$ha, Tinashé.


What do you look for in a song in terms of constructing and building it into a Manicure edit/remix?

Tom: The process is different for each artist, but the general consensus is that it has to be turnt up.


Can you explain some of your favorite releases on Manicure?

Tom & Sam: KLSLWSK’s Manicure mix, lilangelboi’s “Guilty”, “HEARTSKIP” by ponibbi, Jasmine’s club blends. 


What is the club scene in Canada like?

Sam: It’s sus. Thankfully there are some progressive promoters willing to take chances on interesting bookings and conceptual shows, rather than just playing it safe.

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Plans for 2015?

Tom: Continued world domination.


This one is just for fun but if you can describe Manicure as a plate of food, what would it be and how would it be arranged?

Tom & Sam: A tiered 6-foot tall crystal serving tray dripping with pastel pastries and rainbow colored turnup pills.


About the author: Briana Cheng has a lot of feelings that she sometimes writes about but mostly she takes twitter screenshots of online dating apps, follow her @banacrisp.

To really put our newest wireless speaker to the test, we hooked up a few of our blog contributors with PUNK and asked them to take it with them as their soundtrack for a day. Below is the first installment courtesy of Briana Cheng. 


As the newest member of the SOL REPUBLIC family, our PUNK wireless speaker plays the role of a fearless teenager with the world in the palm of his hand. PUNK is a portable speaker that comfortably soundtracks those quiet moments of solitude in your bedroom to wild birthday parties in the backyard. This versatile device includes 60 feet of wireless bluetooth range, 8 hours of battery life, a jack that connects to your home or car stereos, and resistance to water, dust and shock.

Whether it’s playing emotional R&B throwbacks when you’re in the shower or fun indie pop songs when you’re biking around town, PUNK is the plus one you’ll love having around. I carried PUNK with me for a day and documented the experience for you to check out below:


Laundromat 

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For that time of the month when you waste a couple hours of the afternoon watching pounds of filth and sin being washed away. Some people usually run errands or read magazines during this process but when you’re all alone staring at the cycling machines, why not jam to new PC Music.


Recommended Track:
 "Repeat Pleasure" (AG Cook Remix) - How To Dress Well


Stoops

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If you live in New York, the stoop is a great place to do your regular neighborhood watching and catching up with the people you literally cannot ignore. Pictured above is my roommate Travis taking a cigarette break with his dog Bruh.


Recommended Track:
 "We Good Over Here" - Dej Loaf


Park 

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Whether you’re on a lunch break, babysitting, dog walking or on a picnic date, let PUNK soundtrack the appropriate setting. I brought PUNK to the dog park after picking up the snack go cup from KFC -- ate very hungover chicken fingers while watching dogs smell and chase each other.


Recommended Track:
 "Cat vs Dog (Kanye West Remix)" - Kero Kero Bonito


Bench

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PUNK sits perfectly on any park bench as you and your best friend chat about the latest gossip in your social group. A big shout out to Lori’s fresh nails being modeled next to the speaker here. 


Recommended Track:
 "Do You Feel Me" - Cuushe


Roof

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Great for rooftop hangouts, grilling, suntanning, and watching the sunset/rise. PUNK has the ability to play music on your personal roof or roofs five doors down -- a true turn up.


Recommended Track:
 "Wanna Party Remix" - Future Brown 


Purse 

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PUNK fits comfortably in women’s leather purses and of course, backpacks. The actual size can be compared to a mophie, which is perfect for any music-centric lifestyle.


Recommended Track:
 "I Fell In Love" - Gidge


Overalls 

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If there’s no space in your bag for PUNK, you can place it in your floral overalls’ pocket like a mother kangaroo. PUNK is also great for iPhone DJing your subway cart.


Recommended track:
 "LEMME TEK U 4 A RIDE" - Slugabed


Pockets

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Pockets on pockets on pockets. PUNK is so portable, not only does it fit in overalls’ pockets but every pocket designed on clothes. Lori beautifully demonstrated how it fits in flannel pockets, a very unisex option.


Recommended Track: "No Flex Zone Remix" - Nicki Minaj


Hand

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For when you’re in line to get inside the club, outside the club, waiting to load with the band, etc. Thank you Billy of Baby’s All Right for spicing up late cigarette breaks outside the venue.


Recommended Track: "2 On X Rare Earth (Flight Mix)" - Dubbel Dutch


Bathroom

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Last week I found myself carrying my laptop to the bathroom so I could listen to Gwen Stefani on Spotify in the shower. With PUNK, you no longer have to risk damaging any device while listening to your guilty pleasures in the bathroom because these speakers are water resistant.

Recommended Track: "Luxurious (Lapalux Remix)" - Gwen Stefani


Check out all the other places you can take PUNK and get yours now on the SOL REPUBLIC web store


About the author: Briana Cheng has a lot of feelings that she sometimes writes about but mostly she takes twitter screenshots of online dating apps, follow her @banacrisp.

Whether you're a born and raised local or a lost Bay Area transplant looking to find the best tunes in the city, we've picked out this week's best live shows in our home town of San Francisco for you to check out.


Foxing + Gates + Happy Diving + Unconditional Arms @ SUBmission (Monday)

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Get Tickets

Time to dive in to the deep dark punk rock underbelly of the Mission. Ok, there's no cryptic password or fight-clubbing but this is a great chance to check out the DIY art space where you'll get the best live music deal possible. 4 bands for $10, c'mon. East Bay instrumental post-rock outfit Unconditional Arms set the tone and lead in to fellow locals Happy Diving who just unleashed their debut sludgefest on Father/Daughter. Foxing and Gates have the main event and have been on the road together performing their amalgamation of post-hardcore, experimental, and indie rock that you'll quickly wish was taking place in a vast concert hall.


Kitten + Lovelife @ Rickshaw Stop (Wednesday)

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Get Tickets

Get your Popscene fix a day early and dance off a pound or two before your feast the next day. UK pop foursome Lovelife have described themselves as Electronic Gospel and after previewing a track like "I'm No More" or "Tonight (We're Taking Our Own Lives)," it becomes easy to agree. Dark synths paired with a commanding frontman comparable to their countrymen in Bastille. Kitten has been regularly pumping out music over the last few years, including this years new album filled with 80's inspired dance rock. 


The Brothers Comatose + T Sisters @ The Chapel (Wednesday)

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Get Tickets

Get your locally grown, all-organic Americana on with the last hometown show of the year for these acts. The three real life sisters have been playing roots music together as early as they could. The folk music they create flows freely, dipping into streams of gospel harmonies and classic country. The Brothers Comatose, though not as literal as the T Sisters, also expand past their Americana roots, often finding themselves in bluegrass territory. This is well familiar for a 5-piece string band that has been on the road nonstop for some time, supporting acts such as Yonder Mountain String Band and Devil Makes Three.


Alvvays + Absolutely Free + Talk in Tongues @ Rickshaw Stop (Saturday)

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Get Tickets

Full disclosure: the mid-year debut of Toronto's Alvvays has without any doubt become my most listened to album of 2014. The gods of twee have graced us with a collection of songs fit for the Bay Area Peter Pan syndrome-inflicted twenty something in all of us. With indie kingpins from Colin Meloy to Ben Gibbard literally singing praises, it would be a disservice to not have the call of vocalist Molly Rankin stuck in your head come Saturday. Suggested listening includes: "Archie, Marry Me," "Party Police," and each of the remaining seven songs. If you enjoy your prog-rock on the pop side of the spectrum, then tour-mates Absolutely Free have you covered.


Mansions on the Moon + Lincoln Jesser + Eagle Snake Wolf @ Bottom of the Hill (Saturday)

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Get Tickets

Mansions on the Moon is the exciting breed of band that is able to keep their recorded music and live show different enough so that their fans simply can't decide which they enjoy more. Their space age dream-pop translates to a form of electronic jam band on stage, leaving their 3-4min songs happily extended with band members often adding more percussive elements or a cat and mouse call and response between players. Their 2012 visit to Bottom of the Hill created an instant dance surge even without the two years of new music they have been accumulating. Get there early to witness a new local act, Eagle Wolf Snake, featuring former Nova Albion and Music For Animals members.


About Mike: Habitual Bay Area show-hopper and new music junkie. Currently Artist Relations at DeliRadio and occasional DJ at KALX. Follow the music based ramblings on Twitter.

Music from this week that channels your feelings and speakers from 0-100 like the famous words from your boy, Drake.


"Black Bottles" - Migos ft. Rick Ross

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This black and white visual collaboration with Migos and Rick Ross for “Black Bottles” is a celebration of its own, sponsored by Belaire. The boys show off their gold chains while rapping about a night of turn up following Rick Ross’ daring words of “you’re going hard or you’re going home” with bottles on bottles on bottles of champagne.


"Try Me" (Nick Catchdubs Jersey Gardens Mix) - Dej Loaf

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Brooklyn Fool’s Gold’s finest Nick Catchdubs casted an enchanting Jersey Club spell on a current Top 40 radio hit “Try Me” from Detroit rapper Dej Loaf. Seconds into his "Jersey Gardens Mix," his scratches take you on a heavenly ascension to an exclusive turn up with angels as Loaf’s sampled R&B taunts are on loop over and over again.



"Panther" - Made In Heights

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Returning this winter, LA pop duo Made In Heights just announced a new album is on its way early 2015 with “Panther” as the first single. Gentle keys quietly begin “Panther” as Kelsey Bulkin’s sophisticated airy cadence tells us about her yearnings and the need of him in her arms and everywhere else.


"Love Yuh Bad" (Prod. by Dre Skull) - Popcaan 

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From making plantains, playing board games, braiding your man’s hair to night swimming outside of Kingston, the music video of Jamaican dancehall artist Popcaan’s “Love Yuh Bad” presents the most ideal relationship for the love song off his debut album Where We Come From. Check the visuals below, Buzzfeed warns “winter FOMO” but it’s really relationship FOMO.



About the author: Briana Cheng has a lot of feelings that she sometimes writes about but mostly she takes twitter screenshots of online dating apps, follow her @banacrisp.

From the underground to the inescapable, our roundup of new music that must be heard…


Album: Content Nausea - Parkay Quarts

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Brooklyn’s Parkay Quarts (formerly known as Breuckelen’s Parquet Courts) have made their bones articulating haute-bohemian ennui at warp speed, the band’s breakneck pace barely keeping time with frontman and songwriter Andrew Savage’s breathless, beat-style ravings. New record Content Nausea has the band slowing to a more comprehensible speed, though the sound and lyrical content are as dense as ever with Savage training his monotone ire on the alienating effects of city life’s hyper-convenience and informational overkill. In the wrong hands, this kind of stuff could veer into pretension or paranoia, but Savage, a Texan by birth, proves to be a humble and immensely relatable polemic grounding his fears in everyday particularities more in the vein of Curb Your Enthusiasm than OK Computer. The record peaks in its slowest and final track, the epic “Uncast Shadow of a Southern Myth,” in which Savage’s delivery relaxes into a David Berman-like drawl. Clocking in at over six minutes, it’s the finest and most moving song this band has recorded. With any luck, Parquet Courts will keep giving themselves as much time as they need. 



Track: “Otitis” - Mourn

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Barcelona foursome Mourn have abruptly emerged from their country’s bumper crop of lo-fi '90s kids. It’s amazing, given the tender ages of everyone involved, how earnest the despair of new single “Otitis” sounds. Chan Marshall, Patti Smith, Kurt Cobain -- these are major-league bummer-rockers to channel on a first album, especially when each had a harrowing early-adulthood from which to summon all manner of hurt to the studio. But Mourn, though lacking in downtown squalor or salt-sprayed Seattle gloom, break free of their influences on the strength of vocalists Carla Perez Vas and Jazz Rodriguez Bueno (both 18) whose expertly harmonized voices push to the front of this muscular, propulsive track.



Album: The Hum Hookworms

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England’s Hookworms, who dress like off-duty record store clerks and go by their respective initials in all official press items, conceal the confidence and ambition of a more seasoned band beneath their meeker-than-thou trappings. With new record The Hum, the Leeds fivesome have rescued psych-rock from the Bay Area’s armies of assorted John Dwyer wannabes and supplied it with a depth of emotion conspicuously lacking in the vacant, hypnotic riffage of lesser bands.





Album: Avonmore - Bryan Ferry

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Bryan Ferry holds serve on Avonmore, the 15th record of his remarkably tasteful and -- a few ill-timed divorces and public political commentaries aside --dignified post-Roxy Music career. Clarity and elegance define Ferry’s production, which thrums with secondary synth and guitar flourishes while never sounding busy, but it’s the inimitable crackling in his voice on track “Soldier of Fortune” that recalls the more harrowing glamor of his earlier days. Stream it now on Spotify.



About the author: Spencer Shawcross is a freelance writer in San Francisco. He hearts the TL and its many music venues. 

Meet our new friends, The Soft White Sixties! Hailing from our hometown of San Francisco, The Soft White Sixties' unique blend of soul, psych-rock, and R&B is making a big splash in the Bay Area. In the past year, they played to a sold out Independent for an album release show, saw their biggest audience when performing on the main stage at the Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival, and finally realized their dream of playing the Fillmore. Band members Octavio Genera (vocals), Aaron Eisenberg (guitar/keys), Ryan Noble (bass), and Joey Bustos (drums) seamlessly combine soulful grooves and fuzzed-out rock with a hint of blues to form a completely distinct sound. 

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Today we're happy to premiere the official music video for their new song 'Don't Lie To Me' off of their debut album Get Right. Directed by their very own guitarist Aaron Eisenberg, the video was shot between tour dates and edited on the road. Here's some background on it from the Sixties:

"We've been on the road so much this year that we've hardly had time for anything else. Somehow we managed to squeeze in a video shoot while we were home for a few days in July between tours. With some help from our good friends at Repertoire Productions, we were able to knock out the shooting in a day and then Aaron edited it all together from a laptop on the road over the next month. We're stoked to premiere this video via our friends at Sol Republic because they are based in San Francisco just like us and they make some of the best sounding, comfortable headphones we have had the chance to use.”

Without further ado, we present the official video for 'Don't Lie To Me':


Snag a copy of their debut album Get Right on iTunes and make sure to follow The Soft White Sixties on Facebook and Twitter for updates!