Features
15.08.2011, Words by Ruth Saxelby

Girls' guide to San Francisco

At the beginning of July, Christopher Owens of San Franciscan duo Girls tweeted a few things about their new album ‘Father, Son, Holy Ghost’ that he wanted to make clear. They included the following: “The reason ‘Record 3’ is printed as a subtitle is simply a nod to the importance of our 2nd record BDC, which was a big statement”, “ The cover is yes, lyrics from the album, BUT, it’s ALL the lyrics from the album, & in proper order, just read along as it plays” and “also the title is absolutely not in reference to my background, in any way”. Girls are a band acutely aware of their history, both Christopher’s troubled personal story and America’s sprawling rock heritage, as this triumphant third record/second album makes tenderly clear. It’s more measured, less desperate, than their 2009 debut ‘Album’, and it’s entirely fuelled by love – looking for it, lamenting it, treasuring it. From the syrupy sweet, country balladry of How Can I Say You Love You to the tough, tight, stadium riffs of Die and the honeyed, summer meadowy drift of Myma, it’s an record that’s easy to spend time with, to lose hours hand-in-hand in.

We asked Christopher to tell us about the places he and Girls bandmate JR spend time in when they’re hanging in San Francisco. You can explore them on the map below, and scroll down to read Christopher’s answers.


View Girls’ Guide to San Francisco in a larger map

1. A place that conjures up old memories?

Tu Lan, JR and I used to go there a lot and eat before or after recording. It was so good and cheap and close to our space that it was about the only place we’d eat everyday.

2. A place that has a strong influence on the music you make?

I really don’t think that exists, my bedroom? Yeah, that would have to be my bedroom. Maybe any side walk though, where I would be walking alone and thinking, but not one in particular.

3. A place you like to go out?

Aunt Charlie’s. This is my favorite local bar to hang out in, and one of the only ones I still do. It’s the kind of bar that I’d invest in to keep open if I ever found out it was closing or something. Well, if I had the money I guess, ha! Otherwise I’d chain myself to the bar or something so it couldn’t be bulldozed. Lol.

4. A place people who have never been to the place before should definitely visit?

Golden Gate Park, in all its glory, all of it, each garden, each meadow, each facility. It’s big and beautiful, it’s our Central Park.

5. A place you live or used to live?

24th and Mission. A great place but I know I’m glad I don’t live there anymore, it’s just about always the same.

6. A place you spend a lot of time in?

Bookstores – Bird and Beckett in Glen Park, Dog Eared Books on Valencia, The Booksmith on Haight street, City Lights. There are more, but those are some good ones to start with.

7. A place you work/record?

Golden Gate Studios. In the TL. And Decibelle Studios with JJ Wiesler.

Fantasy Trashcan/Turnstile will release Girls’ second album ‘Father, Son, Holy Ghost’ on September 12th 2011

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