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Friday, August 27, 2010

Friday's Pick: Cannons & Clouds, Winfred E. Eye, and By Sunlight

Posted By on Fri, Aug 27, 2010 at 8:00 AM

Cannons & Clouds
Winfred E. Eye
By Sunlight
10 p.m., $10

Sometimes it's good to hit the ground running, and sometimes that just means you're about to bite off more than you can chew. Cannons & Clouds founders Zachary Blizzard and Joshua Kane realized the latter after doing the former, which explains why it's taken three years for the band to complete its debut album, After All. "We had a record's worth of songs written that we were really proud of, and instead of putting together a functioning band and recording a couple of EPs, we went straight into the studio and began recording a full-length record," Kane says. "I don't think we were fully prepared for the monetary commitment it would take to achieve our vision." 

Now a sextet with a full-time harpist, this San Francisco band specializes in smartly designed folk-pop, with influences like Red House Painters, Elliott Smith, and Pedro the Lion offering a good idea of what to expect. Tonight's show at Bottom of the Hill is the release party for After All, which is on the fledgling Los Gatos label Side with Us. It includes all of the bells and whistles that the original duo set out to document, and the passionate recording is complemented by equally intense words. "Lyrically, it's a rather candid, brutally honest chronicle of a few years in Zach's life," Kane says. "Jack London's novella To Build a Fire was a minor inspiration, too, as Zach and I found that there was a striking metaphorical parallel between the protagonist's struggle/journey and his own." And picking up where they left off three years ago, Cannons & Clouds have already written the follow-up to After All.

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Marc Hawthorne


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