Trans Van Santos (EPK)

from All Music Guide biography…
“West Coast singer/songwriter Mark Matos was raised within a large Portuguese immigrant community in California’s Bay Area. Matos assumed the role of musical journeyman during his formative years, eventually landing in Tucson, AZ, in 2003, where he began playing and recording under the moniker Campo Bravo. Three years later he returned to his native San Francisco and formed the country-tinged psych-folk noise rock outfit Mark Matos & Os Beaches. The bands eclectic blend of ’60’s tropicalia and American psychedelic roots rock caught the ears of Bay Area label Porto Franco Records, which released the bands debut, Words of the Knife, on November 17, 2009.
James Christopher Monger

 

MM went on to record one more album under the Os Beaches moniker, 2012’s Coyote & The Crosser, before changing his name to Trans Van Santos and releasing the critically lauded Moon Mirage in 2015, an album featuring contributions from Pearl Charles and The Blank Tapes. Later that year he provided the soundtrack to James Franco’s arthouse film I Think You’re Totally Wrong and took part in speaking engagements with New York Times best selling author David Shields, the film’s star. Matos released two albums of home recorded art-folk in 2016 and 2017 (under the names Sonny Santos and Mark Matos, respectively) while working on the second Trans Van Santos album, TVS2, which features contributions from Dead Meadow guitarist Jason Simon, The Blank Tapes and others. The album was mixed by Dr. Dog producer Nathan Sabatino and will be released on Dead Meadow’s Tekeli-Li Records imprint in the spring of 2018.

The TVS band, an evolving and shifting group of friends and collaborators, has included members of Dead Meadow, Iggy & The Stooges, The Magnetic Zeroes, Calexico, Brian Jonestown Massacre, Acid Mother’s Gong, Victoria Williams, and Rodriguez’ band. He has performed at Western venues like Pappy & Harriet’s in Joshua Tree, San Francisco’s Great American Music Hall and The Chapel, Los Angeles’ Echo and Echoplex, and The Hotel Congress in Tucson, Arizona. He makes the rare appearance at west coast music festivals like Harmony Music Festival, Hickey Fest, and Desert Stars. He has shared stages over the years with The Flaming Lips, Phosphorescent, Smog, Howe Gelb, Little Wings, Akron/Family, Dead Meadow, Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeroes, Sonny & The Sunsets, Okkervil River, Neko Case, Peter Wynn, Victoria Williams, Cool Ghouls, Kimya Dawson, Cairo Gang, Liz Phair, Vetiver, and M. Ward.

He splits his time between Joshua Tree, Tucson and San Francisco, living a nomadic existence in what’s left of the Old, Weird America. He often performs as a solo act these days, drawing comparisons to Tom Rapp, Leonard Cohen, and Caetano Veloso.  With his full band in tow, the San Francisco Bay native traffics in Grateful Dead and Spirit-Jazz inspired, exploratory Art-Rock. Popdose Magazine’s Michael Fortes’ says that, “[Santos’] songs succeed more than anyone else’s today at preserving and advancing the decades old Bay Area hippie tradition…” and Time Out New York chimed in with, “A Devandra Banhart like hippie… the perfect soundtrack to your next Be-In.”

 

New Album:

Trans Van Santos – TVS2 

Live Jam:

Video:

https://vimeo.com/120648939

Film trailer:

https://youtu.be/EXCaY1rNouM

Photos: http://www.newweirdwest.com/index.php/chief-archivist/press-photos/

 

from Aquarium Drunkard‘s Jason Patrick Woodbury…
“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 hard not to get swept up in the mythology of it all… 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 nations borders mingle. It evokes the kind of old-weird America you see in Wim Wenders’ films…”
JP Woodbury

 

from LA Weekly‘s Rock Pick’s…
“Mark Matos & Os Beaches re-invent western exotica on their debut album Words of the Knife…”
LA Weekly (staff picks)

 

from Time Out New York
“…the perfect soundtrack for your next Be-In.”
-Time Out New York (staff picks)

 

from KQED (Berkeley, California PBS affiliate)…
“Downtempo psych-pop nuggets… offbeat mysticism, psychedelic meandering, and earthy country soul, guided by the steady hand of a gifted and charismatic songwriter.”
Ben Van Houten

 

from PopDose Magazine‘s Top 10 Albums of 2012
“…whether it’s a folk tune or a lengthy acid jam… Matos’ songs succeed more than anyone else’s today at preserving the decades old Bay Area hippie tradition without ever coming across as hokey, irrelevant or out of touch.”
Michael Fortes

 

from The Deli SF
“A super group of sorts, Mark Matos & Os Beaches features some of the Bay Area’s premiere musicians including Jeff Davies of Brian Jonestown Massacre and Josh Pollock of Acid Mother’s Gong. Together, with a revolving door policy on band members, they create Mark Matos’ imaginative psychedelic folk sound, infusing it with San Francisco’s rock & roll history and the sandy textures of desert rock.”
The Deli

 

from SF Weekly’s All Shook Down
“…He’s collaborated with seemingly everyone in the Mission’s sprawling scene… Matos has gathered a large, loose group of musicians to play his songs, their songs, and covers… it’s like the last 60 years of American music seen through the mushroom hazed eyes of a bunch of west coast misfits.”
Ian S. Port

 

from the Ink 19 review of 2015 album ‘Moon Mirage’…
“… like Leonard Cohen walking out of a Calexico desert… with squalling electric guitars against a languid background of hushed chords… this is country music but which country is up for debate, perhaps it’s a land that only Matos and his listeners inhabit… Imagine being in the film Paris, Texas hanging out with Harry Dean Stanton nibbling on Peyote chips and squinting in the moonlight… you definitely know you have experienced something new, something unexpected. Matos is a troubadour from some other time, some other place. You should really visit. Just don’t blame me if you are a different person at the end.”
James Mann

 

from Zocalo Magazine‘s review of 2017 album ‘California’…
“Gorgeously soul-weary and deeply personal… sonically lulls the listener into a contemplative, day dream state. It’s echoes in our souls’ imaginations and individual experiences. We know who these people are. They are us…”
Jamie Manser

 

”Trans Van Santos situates himself somewhere between the amiable, sunny psychedelia of Woods and the darker, apocalyptic ramblings of mysterious, 1960s-era hermit Jonathan Halper. With his Lee Hazlewood croon, Matos… evokes that era when the hippie party of the late 1960s had just turned into the long hangover of the 1970s.” -Elmore Magazine