Localized Appreesh: Sunbeam Rd.

Pub date April 3, 2013
WriterEmily Savage

Localized Appreesh is our thank-you column to the musicians that make the Bay. To be considered, contact emilysavage@sfbg.com

I’m a lover of past treasures. I like my music vinyl, and I like my mail snail. Sure, I download thousands (millions would be hyperbolic, right?) of tracks a year, send hundreds of emails a day, tweet with the rest of them, and then some. Technology is still my friend, but vintage pleasures will always be my lover. Hence, my delight with the arrival of a colorfully confetti’d physical postcard from psychedelia-minded local fuzz-pop trio Sunbeam Rd., announcing the group’s 50th show.

The  San Francisco band’s debut LP, Breathers, came out last October, and I slept on it then, so I’m not making the same mistake twice. And while its psychedelic guitars, tender melodies, and fuzz-layered pop hooks may be blissfully of another era, Sunbeam Rd. also knows how to harness modern technology – it raised enough money through Kickstarter last year to press the record on vinyl. 

The band is made up of brothers Trevor Hacker and Clive Hacker, along with Harrison Pollack – all graphic design graduates from California College of the Arts (you might get a sense of that in the cat-filled video for swirling “Lucy”).

Check it out below and then see the trio live this weekend at Bottom of the Hill, celebrating 50 performances on the Sunbeam Rd.

Year and location of origin: TREVOR: We formed in early 2009 after setting up a drumset and some amps in the kitchen of the flat where Harrison and I used to live near Glen Park. Our roommates must have hated us.

Band name origin: HARRISON: In the ’80s, NASA was planning to build a big spaceport near the Air Force base in our hometown. It was slated to be like the West Coast Cape Canaveral but NASA pulled out at the last minute for some reason relating to the Challenger disaster, leaving the town in a severe recession.

One time my friend that worked on the base took me to the hangars that NASA built and never used. “The Sunbeam Road” was the nickname give to one of the landing strips, which had been gradually falling apart over the last 20-30 years. It was a super eerie place in contrast to the overly optimistic name. It kind of stuck with me for some reason.

Band motto: CLIVE: Wise men say forgiveness is divine, but never pay full price for late pizza.

Description of sound in 10 words or less: Hook-laden, fuzz-saturated trance states.

Instrumentation: CLIVE: Drums; TREVOR: Vox/Guitar; HARRISON: Bass.

Most recent release: BREATHERS (our debut LP) and BREATHERS Remixed.

Best part about life as a Bay Area band:
TREVOR: Road trips to Mt. Diablo, Big Sur, Point Reyes, and course all of the live music & great record stores.

HARRISON: Close proximity to the Based God.

CLIVE: What Harrison said; Also, it’s certainly never boring being a band in the Bay Area. There’s constantly something new and/or different happening that has yet to be explored.

Worst part about life as a Bay Area band:

TREVOR: It aint cheap!

HARRISON: The feeling that the Based God is so close, yet so far away.

CLIVE: What Harrison said; Also, it’s too easy to be complacent here in San Francisco.  

First album ever purchased:

CLIVE: I believe it was Whatever and Ever Amen by Ben Folds Five.

TREVOR: Blur, Blur.

HARRISON: Smash, The Offspring.

Most recent album purchased/downloaded:

CLIVE:  Acquiring the Taste, Gentle Giant.

TREVOR: Stone Shift, Larry Ochs Sax and Drumming Core.

HARRISON: Jack The Tab/Tekno Acid Beat, Psychic TV.

Favorite local eatery and dish:

CLIVE: #19 on the menu at Evergreen Garden (pho with five-spice chicken). It’s just great!

TREVOR: Little Yangon in Daly City. Pork and sour bamboo shoot curry with coconut rice

HARRISON: Taqueria Vallarta’s street tacos are basically the only things I like to eat.

Sunbeam Rd.
With Halsted
Sun/7, 9pm, $9
Bottom of the Hill
1233 17 St., SF