U.S.F. Might Cure Your Juneuary Blues

June 23rd, 2010

In case you missed it, “Juneuary” has become one of the more popular portmanteaus being bandied amongst all the bitching about this seemingly unseasonable Seattle spring (the last few days notwithstanding). I think it’s a word both depressing and hilarious, and I’ve found myself utilizing it several times. But the reality is that we’d all like the warm summer weather to get its purty little act in gear, and sometimes we need music to be our personal weather balloon.

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One album I’ve turned to in defense of my apparent S.A.D. affliction is Ocean Sunbirds by local shoreline soundscapers U.S.F. (aka Universal Studios Florida—I think they agitated the real USF with their name). I profiled the band a few times back in April when they played Chop Suey with the Ruby Suns and have since found myself slipping in their CD more often than I anticipated. Something about it just puts me at ease and gives me a sense of calm, not unlike a gentle surf on a secluded strip of sand.

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See, for me, unseasonal weather really chaps my hide; I can handle the shitty four and five month winters around here, because that’s how it’s supposed to be. But once you start fuckin’ with my spring and summer (I’m looking at YOU, Earth’s atmosphere), that’s when I get angry. Ocean Sunbirds‘ diffusive electro-dioramas, subtle loop-iness and watery quilts of appeasing ambiance are the perfect antidote for my lack of Vitamin D (the nutriment, people, not the rapper). The first half of the record is pretty chill, and so is the second half actually, but somewhere in the middle, Jason Baxter and Kyle Hargus decide to get off their beach chairs and lightly toss the frisbee around, oscillating and throbbing with a captivating mid-tempo tenacity. The results are illuminating and refreshing and altogether uplifting.

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Check out some tunes below, as well as the Josephine (a house venue in Ballard) this Saturday, June 26th. They’ll be playing with Italic Indian and megabats.

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Haze Coasting

Moon Bungalow

Frozen Bayou (featuring local one-man tribal tripper Alaskas on vocals)

Posted by LB | Filed in Album Reviews, MP3s, Seattle Music Scene


2 Responses to “U.S.F. Might Cure Your Juneuary Blues”

  1. June 23rd, 2010 at 4:59 pm

    Nicholas M. said:

    I agree that seasonal music is very atmospheric. Before it was mentioned on this post it was always a favorite of mine. In fact, it does not even have to be specific or of a familiar band. Yet I looked up “Ocean Sunbirds” and I think it is more subjective then made out to be here on this forum. Is it calming? Perhaps to some, yet it is all relative. For example I would find Tangerine Dream more engaging in the way that you described the band above. In fact, the opposite of the Spring or Summer is the type of atmosphere that puts me in a calming state, thus “Hyperborea” from Tangerine Dream. That is but one track that agrees with me.

  2. June 24th, 2010 at 8:19 am

    LB said:

    Hmmm, not sure how you’re getting objectivity from my viewpoint—I use the word “I” about 8 times and my aim was to illustrate how this album has affected ME (of course, implying that others might enjoy it, too). If music is one thing, it’s subjective, hence your Tangerine Dream fetish.



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