live performance: MAX GARDENER
19 yr old Max Gardener from San Francisco is a self-proclaimed bedroom theme musician who creates upbeat dream pop songs with radiant synth, reflective lyrics, and feel-good melodies. He has quite an impressive discography for someone as young as he is who writes, records, and mixes his own music. His first album, Fear of Mirrors, released in January of 2015 and he has since released one more full-length LP and 2 EPs. The most recent album is his 5-song EP New In Town, which was released on April 21st by Sadie Street Records- a little set of sweet 'n smooth songs about interpersonal relationships.
Although I thoroughly enjoy all the music that Max puts out, I keep finding myself returning to his second album, Memory Lounge (2016). It is absolutely full of gems- from "Bedroom Theme Song II" to "Oh So Lively," "Underdog," and "Sang Froid" (which features Bane's World). MMM, love "Sang Froid." Also, "See You On the Other Side," wow, love the keyboard intro to that. Really nice stuff to listen to. Shane Blanchard (of Bane's World) told me that he and Max grew up together in Long Beach, and that he actually played guitar in Max's band before Max moved to San Francisco for college.
Back in February, Max and his bandmates came to UCSB for 2 performances: one as part of the Noon Storke Show series, and one on my radio show on KCSB directly after. Although he writes and records his own music, Max plays live with 4 of his friends who (unrelated?) all have nice fashion taste and pleasant pants/socks/shoes combos. I thought their performance was amazing and I was very happy to be able to see them play literally twice in a row. They were all very kind fellas as well who seemed to share a great passion for music. Between songs, we talked a little bit about the San Francisco music scene, strange venues, making room for DIY all-ages spaces, and their musical influences (Porches, Jerry Paper, David Bowie, Mild High Club). You can check out one of the videos from their on-air performance below.
I hope Max comes back to Santa Barbara soon- he's actually played 2 other times here prior to his on-air performance in February, including a benefit show at FUNZONE (with Part Time and The Red Leslies) and a house show at the Newman Co-op in Isla Vista (with Bane's World). Max and friends have also played alongside artists such as No Vacation, Cosmonauts, Hot Flash Heat Wave, and High Sunn. As for upcoming shows, Max will be performing at Deathstock III, a 3-day summer music festival in Guerneville, CA, and is usually playing at shows here and there in the general San Francisco area (follow him on Instagram for updates).