Film School

Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018, 8 p.m.

Where: Whistle Stop Bar, 2236 Fern Street, San Diego | get directions

Cost: Not available

Age limit: Not available

The Whistle Stop continues to up its game with national touring acts, this time bringing in reunited paisley shoegazers Film School on November 8 for the first of only three west coast dates supporting their first full-length in around eight years. It’s impressive how much founding frontman Greg Bertens has grown since their self-titled 2006 debut, which aspired to little more than copping the grooves of bands he wanted to work with— like Pavement (a canny move back when that group was still relevant and peaking). Pavement’s Scott Kannberg signed Film School to his Amazing Grease label, and soon Bertens and assorted co-conspirators were working on diverse and creative projects such as the prolific ad campaign for Windows Vista, which starred comedian Demetri Martin. A lot has changed since then and, like Vista, the group found itself unable to latch onto much of an audience, resulting in a hiatus that ran from around 2011 through 2014. A one-off reunion gig was well-received enough to evolve into a new EP that utilized their most lush and dreamy arrangements to date, earning them enough download ducats to put together their fifth studio album, Bright to Death, due next month via Hauskat Records.

The first single, “Crushin,” is a heavy breathing humjob that jangles like an orchestra of bong-shaped tambourines (or tambourine shaped bongs), awash in swirls of slithery groove, courtesy of four members from their self-titled debut, along with new drummer Adam Wade (Shudder to Think, Jawbox). A second single, “Go Low,” is said to be inspired by Blade Runner 2049’s Officer K character, and it certainly wouldn’t sound out of place alongside any of the trippy Vangelis numbers from the original film’s equally bong-worthy soundtrack.


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