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FFF6 Artists Exposed: Sweet and sneering Ty Segall
Californian Ty Segall has earned a lot of vague labels over the years: the “garage rock hero” has been described as “fuzz rock,” “scuzz rock,” “trad rock” and “beach music,” among other things. He’s also been called “the next Jay Reatard” by more than a few critics, and, due to hometown proximity and an affinity for songs about being stoned, he’s often compared to Wavves and Best Coast.
But Segall’s sound is his own, an eclectic mix of surf rock-inspired vocal melodies, reverb-soaked guitar lines and punk drum beats that can be soft, sweet and almost folksy on one track, sneering and sarcastic on the next.
While he’s been tirelessly touring the past few years with his solo act / self-titled band, Segall’s been recording since high school, and has been a part of bands like Epsilons, Party Fowl, Sic Alps and Traditional Fools. Over the years, he’s put out so many 7”s that his discography is practically a roster of the coolest micro-labels out there: Chocolate Covered Records, Goodbye Boozy Records, Wizard Mountain, Burger Records, True Panther and Goner, to name a few.
This weekend, Segall will be playing two shows in Austin—one on Thursday evening as part of Fun Fun Nites, and one on Friday afternoon at Fun Fun Fun Fest proper.
Ty Segall covers Syd Barrett’s “Bob Dylan Blues”
Segall’s band is rounded out by drummer Emily Rose Epstein (who’s also a writer), bass player Denee Petracek (also a photographer)—though bass duties sometimes go to Mikal Cronin, who also records solo material—and guitar player Shayde Sartin (also of The Fresh & Onlys, The Skygreen Leopard and more).
While the group has plenty of singles under their belt, Segall’s full lengths—especially 2009’s Lemons and 2010’s Melted—have earned well-deserved praise from critics. His most recent album, Goodbye Bread, is no exception, and it seems Segall is especially proud of the release. Taking six months to record (as opposed to the several days or weeks spent on previous recordings), there’s also a bit of a narrative to the album. (He walks San Francisco Weekly through each track here.)
Segall tells the Dallas Observer:
“I feel like that's one of the most important things about music, making an experience for someone, having an effect on a person, trying to change an emotion, trying to create something else to make you think—whatever you want to do with the LP. It's hard for a single to do that because it is just one thought. An LP has 12 or 14 thoughts running together to create a full conversation or full emotional range or whatever you want to do with it.”
Ty Segall: "Goodbye Bread"
What can you expect at Segall’s shows this week? The rocker usually brings satisfyingly loud, high-energy sets, with Segall howling lyrics through his shaggy blonde hair as the band bounces in time to sped-up songs. We hope the sound translates as well on the FFF stage as it does in smaller venues—Segall’s been known for his intimate (and awesome) sets at past GonerFests, and his set during last year’s inaugural Bruise Cruise Festival (a 3-day actual cruise to the Bahamas with about a dozen filthy garage bands—who’s coming with me...?) inspired an on-stage proposal.
We’re especially excited that, on Friday, Segall will be followed by Thee Oh Sees, fellow San Franciscans known for equally out of control shows and irresistibly danceworthy beach-fuzz-scuzz-punk.
Ty Segall and Mikal Cronin: "I Wear Black"
Check out some free mp3s:
Ty Segall plays at Fun Fun Fun Fest at 5 p.m. on Friday, November 4 on the Black Stage. He’ll also be playing at Fun Fun Nites on Thursday, November 3 at The Mohawk.