cartoon bar fight


It’s been a rather ridiculous week celebrating 5 years of our debut EP with 5 amazingly diverse covers:

1) Cartoon Bar Fight - Somedays We Sin (Indie Gloom Rock)
2) Sarah von Sternberg - After All (Folk)
3) The Y Axes - Yesterday I Watched The World End (Space Pop)
4) Kendra McKinley - Secret Lives of Retail Monkeys
5) Petriform - Making Circles Square (Chiptune)

The entire album is available for free, and PLEASE go check out the artists other work:






I don't think people realize how many awesome local bands there are out there.

Yesterday, I spent a lovely autumn evening at Red Rock, a cafe/venue in Mountain View that is open to local music playing there, and it was incredible. One of the bands, Cartoon Bar Fight, I already knew, as my boyfriend and I had met them back in June and they asked my boyfriend to play with them recently, but the other band, Sea Birds, I had never heard of before but was blown away at their style and sound. These local bands just seem to have a lot more soul about what they’re doing, and they do it for themselves instead of trying to please everyone else.

If you’re tired of the music you listen to, I swear, go out and find local bands. No matter the genre, there are so many out there. As for my indie-rock lovers, check out Cartoon Bar Fight and Sea Birds on Facebook. They’re amazing.


To celebrate we’re releasing some really fun covers of songs on the EP!
Check it out:

I honestly can’t believe it’s been 5 years.

I feel like people don’t take me seriously enough when I talk about the entirely DIY nature of this record. I used the term “home studio”, sure, but what I meant by that was a computer on an Ikea desk mere inches from the kitchen in our 1br apartment running Windows XP and an outdated version of Digidesign Pro Tools.

I used an ATARI 2600’s sound chip to create most of the “blips and bloops” (‘Chiptune’ is a term I heard for the first time nearly a year later), used various pieces of software synthesizers to add the orchestration and recorded all of the guitars and vocals using one Shure SM-57 (AKA the “snare drum” microphone) in my kitchen, unplugging the fridge to get rid of any ambient hum but staying far enough away from the computer’s fan to avoid interference.

One day I was having a conversation with singer / songwriter Vincent Do who offered to let me borrow his pre-amp. I thought, sure - why not? Try to get a better sound? When he came over I also conned him into doing a few backing vocal parts (tracks 2, 3) which added a nice texture to the songs, and made him the first person other than me to be involved in Quail. Kind of funny to think about that now, especially when we were a 7-piece for a pretty large chunk of time.

The EP was originally going to be 6 songs:
1) Somedays We Sin
2) Yesterday I Watched The World End
3) The GLOW
4) Something Under The Bed is Drooling
5) Secret Lives of Retail Monkeys
6) Making Circles Square

The GLOW and Something Under The Bed were the furthest behind in terms of mixing and arranging them the way I wanted them to sound which was a source of frustration because, well, the EP was named after one of the songs. I hadn’t intended After All to be a song on this record at all but when it became apparent I was looking at only a 4-song release in order to make the iTunes deadline I threw the demo of it in the rotation of my 40gb iPod Color to listen on my breaks at Starbucks. It worked. It fit the songs better than I’d imagined, and instead of gearing up to release something I felt weird about, I was inspired to not only push out the 5 songs but also save those other two for .:INSTANT GRATIFICATION:. as their part in that albums story made more sense than throwing them out early with less context.

I mixed the album in a hurry, did all of the post-production in less than a day and rushed it to distribution as fast as I possibly could for a mid-March release when the CDs would arrive…and then iTunes went and released it a whole fuckin’ month early.

Then it was time to book shows, which was complicated since no one seemed to “Get” what I was doing:
Guy and acoustic guitar? Ohh, ok, it’s folk. Wait, there’s keyboards and samples? Oh so he’s like a DJ? What’s “looping” mean?

Here we are 5 years later and I listen back to the songs; there’s things I would have done differently, or spent more time on and I think that’s the wonder of art. Once it’s released, it doesn’t belong to you anymore. I could have kept these songs to myself tweaking and perfecting them for years, and instead I put it out into the world and there are those who love it, those who hate it, those who don’t get it, and those who’ve never heard it. It’s theirs now, and I’m glad it’s taking a life of it’s own.

To clarify; the song The GLOW ended up on .:INSTANT GRATIFICATION:. , and during THAT production cycle the song Instant Gratification wasn’t ready in time…so it will be the lead-off single (and second track) of our new record AFTER THE LIGHTS FAILED.
BUT! We broke the cycle. The first track of that record is actually the title track.

We did it, guys.

Watch on

I posted this on FB this morning, buuuuuut…

Hello you guys. I am a sentimental fuck and went to sleep last night with tears of joy in my eyes after our release show. To everyone who came to that show to support us last night, helped promote it, hosted it, and got our new album– I appreciate you and love you. We wouldn’t be anything at all without you. Thank you so incredibly much for being there for me and us and for helping us along. Our next stop is Decemeber 28th at the new San Jose Rock Shop with Picture Atlantic and French Cassettes. I hope to see you soon. Love, Kendall : )

A friend reported that about 120 people showed up during last night’s show, AND STAYED for the whole thing. That tells me that our music scene in San Jose is alive and kicking major ass. Let’s keep this up and continue supporting each other. <3

Here’s a video of our closing song, “Reincarnate,” courtesy of our buddies at Local Bay Area music.

Rockage 3.0 & Beyond

This last weekend, Picture Atlantic was asked to be a part of San Jose’s ‘Rockage 3.0’ music and video game festival. Rockage has been going on for about three years now (hence the 3.0) at San Jose State’s student union, and we were really excited to be invited this time around. Video games are a big thing in our band, and we spend a lot of time playing them, talking about them, and even writing music for them (more on that later). For three days, we had a booth where we hosted video games for people to play, as well as performed a set on Saturday, which also included some brand new songs from our upcoming album. We met some great people while we were there, and we will miss you until next time!

Regardless, I just wanted to share some of the fun pictures that were taken for that weekend. It was a blast all around, and was an immense amount of fun. A big thanks to Curious Quail, Cartoon Barfight, Ramon of Dogcatcher, Michael Toy, Mikey Montoya of Current Tattooing, Gnarboots (for cheering on Brian while he played Robotron), and Eric Fanali for putting on the Rockage festival. See you next year nerds!

Daniel getting ready for our set.

Ramon of Dogcatcher hanging out with Spidey!

Cartoon Violence playing their set. Shiba-Inu looks on approvingly.

Our live guitarist, and Cold Eskimo member, Gay Bladen, giving the thumbs up as he engages in another heated Mario Kart race with Michael Toy! Brian looks back in passion, as he thinks he catches a glimpse of his old lover, Sade.

I can’t remember this gentleman’s name, but he was amazing. And yes, that is an 11 string bass!

Our fellow San Jose rockonians, Curious Quail tearing it up!

Tyler Shaw, the winner of our raffle! He won a standee for the game Final Fantasy 14, an online game which the band has been quite passionate about.

There was an amazing woman at the festival who made full on costumes out of balloons! She did a Link and Chocobo costume! Not featured, an awesome Bowser costume.

We went to local restaurants to get our parking validated. One afternoon Brian got “The Big Tuna” sandwhich. It was as brutally epic as you would think.

Daniel playing some sick Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater. Don’t worry, he later got wise and put on a helmet while he played the game.

Making music flyers

So I’ve worked on three music posters, and I’ve got to say it’s way more fun commission work than other stuff I’ve done. It’s open ended, and the rules are that it has to be in a specific size, be color and gray scale mode, and also fit giant text. But really, what’s it like to make music flyers?

Basically, you can compose and draw a picture. It doesn’t have to be related to music at all-no need to draw music notes, instruments, etc. I draw what I feel, and it’s been so long since I’ve had this kind of feeling for a commission before. I keep it simple and my brain gets creative-juice exercise. I need to get new fonts though.

I LOVE Bad Veins now!!!  Anyways, it was close to father’s day, and I noticed the guys in these groups loved their neckties. 

My first one. I think I was kidding when I drew the mouse in this, but suddenly it just clicked that it would work out. I freakin love Mouse-Zilla. 

I always think the more detail a picture has the better it’ll look, but when I do these I hope the person who has been hiring me to work on them don’t think I am lazy. Originally I was, but suddenly I felt that it works way better like this than a mad line drawing.

Currently working on third one. It’ll have a robot on it. 

I’m not going to have a lot of time to promote this show, so TAKE NOTES NOW:

On MONDAY, JANUARY 7, come to Lot 1 on Sunset Boulevard to hear:

The Long Holidays (LA zombie pirate whiskey band, also part of Giant Robot Album).

Son of Heatwave (LA indie pop)

Cartoon Bar Fight (San Jose indie rock/folk, great name)

And me. Of course I’m going to be there.

Show starts at 8:30 p.m. No cover.

Sign up via Facebook.

“Among the returning, local musical staples (eg. Cartoon Bar Fight, Gnarboots, Picture Atlantic, The Albert Square, and many more), new blood joins the ranks. The jazz oriented Ghost and the City, Cartoon Violence, Hawk Jones, Jean Baudin and PORCH (feat. Todd Huth of Primus) represent some of the new bay area bands involved in the soiree.” -Christopher Millard,