Here Here, The Boy with an Orange (self-released). Even down to frontman Christian Lyon's soothing vocals, seven-member San Francisco group Here Here sounds a lot like Pinback, just without the snap, and with a whole bunch of violin, accordion, trumpet, banjo, and mandolin.
Parker Street Cinema, Music, in the Blood (Abandoned Love Records). If making beautiful, dramatic music sound effortless is a pinnacle of achievement, then San Francisco experimental rock trio Parker Street Cinema falls a couple important steps below its idols. Fleeting moments of transcendence yield to a sense that the band is overthinking.
Sky Pilots, Enjoy a Day Off (Ghost Mansion Records). Post-hardcore put through the San Francisco spinner: palatable, progressive, and reluctant to push anything too hard.
Jimmy Leslie, Surfin' the Swamp (Concurrent Records). The vibe is steady, the sound is clean, and Leslie's bright guitar work rarely missteps. Still, only when the band loosens up and just jams does this New Orleans funk/San Francisco rock hybrid really click.