Local Wire

Mark Matos and Os Beaches

So, Mark Matos is on tour somewhere in the Midwest, gets real far out on an LSD bender, decides to quit his buzz band Campo Bravo, and move away from the "tweaker dens" of Tucson, where they've been steadily gaining attention for years. Returning to the Bay Area where he grew up, he puts together a rag-tag bunch of indie hippies called Os Beaches, and gets down to the business of peddling a soulful, electric piano-led blend of styles he dubs "acid gospel." It's the kind of story that sounds custom-prepared in some press release kitchen, but listening to the sun-baked jangle of "Imaginary, Winnipeg," from Os Beaches' debut, Words of the Knife, it's hard not to get swept up in the mythology of it all. Instrumental tune "Tras-os-Montes" may be the record's best track, a dusty, reverb-laden excursion to those magical places where the desert, the highway, a stack of your uncle's old Dead bootleg tapes, and two nation's borders mingle. It evokes the kind of old-weird America you see in Wim Wenders' films, a rattling guitar feeding back in the distance, lending unskeptical credence to ridiculous genre names, San Franciscan acid-droppers and true believers.
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Jason P. Woodbury is a music and pop-culture writer based in Phoenix. He is a regular contributor to the music blog Aquarium Drunkard and co-host of the Transmissions podcast.