415 records Archive

Album Review: The Mutants – Curse of the Easily Amused

The Mutants were exemplars of what can accurately be characterized as San Francisco’s “art punk” aesthetic. Formed in 1977, the band of musical misfits and art students combined the DIY mindset of punks with the wide-encompassing creative approach of artists. Unburdened by conventional ideas as to what a band could and could not do, they

Bay Area Book Tour This Week

The Disturbing the Peace book tour is coming to the Bay Area this week. Don’t blink or you’ll miss it: Three events in two days. Come join the fun. Signed copies of the book will be available for purchase, and at some events (see below) real-life characters from the 415 Records story will be in

Album Review: SVT — Always Comes Back

As I’ve mentioned before, SVT is the band most often named among those interviewed for my latest book as the Bay Area band most deserving of greater success than they found. With a sound that touched on new wave, punk and power pop and featured the extraordinarily talented Jack Casady (Jefferson Airplane, Hot Tuna) on

DVD Review: SVT – The Price of Sex

SVT is one of the coolest bands you’ve likely never heard of. Led by singer, songwriter and guitarist Brian Marnell, this San Francisco-based band had talent to burn, combining musical muscle with sharp songwriting. But the group didn’t last long, and their recorded output was limited to a couple of singles, and EP and one

Album Review: Baby Buddha — Music for Teenage Sects

My deep dive into the history of San Francisco-based indie record label 415 Records has yielded a book, Disturbing the Peace: 415 Records and the Rise of New Wave; it’s due out in a matter of days, and is available for pre-order now . And while I came into the project knowing a good bit

Progress Report #4: My Book About 415 Records

It’s time for another of my occasional book updates. I’m mere days away from finishing writing my second book, Disturbing the Peace: 415 Records and the Rise of New Wave. As I tackle the remaining few chapters, I’m struck (as I have been throughout the project) by the ways in which various themes come up

Progress Report #3: Disturbing the Peace: 415 Records and the Rise of New Wave

I love my work; I really do. But even against the backdrop of the thousands of other stories with which I’ve been – and continue to be – involved, the work on my book about 415 Records stands apart. The manuscript is coming along briskly; I’ve already written more than 35,000 words, and have drafts

The 411 on 415

Last November I wrote a cover story for SF Weekly; it focused on a series of reissue/compilation CDs on the Liberation Hall label. Those releases contained music originally released on 415 Records, an influential and trend-setting indie label based in San Francisco in the late ‘70s and early-to-mid 1980s. Founded by Howie Klein and Chris

Always Comes Back: 415 Records and the SF New Wave Scene (Part 3 of 3)

Continued from Part Two… The Uptones Ska was relatively unknown in the United States when The Uptones got their start. Eric Din – who still leads a version of The Uptones today – recalls that he and a bunch of high school friends formed the group in 1981 to play the kind of music made

Always Comes Back: 415 Records and the SF New Wave Scene (Part 2 of 3)

Continued from Part One… The Mutants In late 1978, Sally Webster had a giant loft on First and Mission where she often held salon-type events. “A lot of bands played there for their first time; it was sort of an experiment, but it was super fun.” She and some friends recruited musicians “who could actually