The Mother Hips go beyond Cali rock

Photos by Marc Fong // Written by Kevin Quandt //

The Mother Hips //
The Independent – San Francisco
June 29th-30th, 2013 //

The term California rock ‘n’ roll can, and has been, thrown around a bunch in the past many years, and sure, everyone has their own idea of what that exactly sounds like. However, all subjectivity aside, The Mother Hips are easily in the running to be crowned champions of this regional genre, chock full of elements of soul, folk, psychedelia and many more factors which all equal to one sonic ode to the state of California and all it’s deranged beauty.

San Francisco’s very own Independent hosted the Chico-bred band over the course of two thrilling nights to longtime and newcomer fans, alike. Jackpot held down the opening duties on Friday, while Acacia took the reigns on Saturday. One aspect that has kept fans of the headliner on their feet for well over 20 years is the chameleon nature of the band, and this characteristic stretched far and wide across vocal ranges and styles, to the varied tones of the double guitar onslaught that is Tim Bluhm and Greg Loiacono, original founding members and longtime collaborators. “Smoke” opened the Friday show nicely, a track that always makes the crowd smile with it’s lyrical reference to Wilco and all. Bluhm has proven to be an insanely strong songwriter, and likely this is a big factor to his longtime success in music, even without blowing up to superstar status.


These two nights were also album release shows behind a new release titled Behind Beyond, which is set to be released July 9th on their own label. One of the standout new tracks, “Freed From a Prison”, demonstrated Loiacono’s songwriting and frontman abilities, which displays a more democratic process on stage. The two-frontman dynamic is one of the strongest suits going for these guys as Tim and Greg are able to nail some serious vocal harmonies. “Magazine” was nicely placed in the middle of the 18-song set and proves yet again to be a big vehicle for soloing by the respective members, that night being no exception. A three-song encore featured the classic Hip’s jam “Time-Sick Son of a Grizzly Bear” before closing the night with the new ballad entitled “Song for JB”. All in all, these guys know what they are doing onstage more than most bands, likely a product of nearly two decades of kicking out true California rock.

White Falcon Fuzz
Freed From a Prison
One Way Out
Mother Hips
Isle Not of Man
Gold Plated
Shape the Bell
Stephanie’s for L.A.
Del Mar Station
Jefferson Army
Third Floor Story
Behind Beyond
Rose of Rainbows
Hey Emilie

Stoned Up the Road
Time-Sick Son of a Grizzly Bear
Song for JB


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