Ebbing more than flowing 

Goodbye is never easy. The members of the San Francisco-based indie-experimental rock group the Ebb and Flow are moving on to new ventures and places.

The decision came in May after keyboardist and vocalist Roshy Kheshti interviewed for various jobs. When UC San Diego offered her a tenure-track position teaching ethnic studies, she couldn’t pass up the opportunity. Drummer and partner Sara Cassetti also will move to San Diego. Guitarist Sam Tsitrin will remain in San Francisco and work and record on his side project, We Is Shore Dedicated.

"It’s hard to leave something you invested blood, sweat and tears [in]," Kheshti said before the band played its last show Sunday night at the Great American Music Hall, opening for Scissors for Lefty.

"But it made sense after playing in the Bay Area for six years," she added.

The farewell show was also a celebration of "Attack and Decay," the band’s more melodic, reverb-like second album on Huevo Imaginary Records, which also was released Sunday.

After having recorded its first album, "Time to Echolocate," in 24 hours, "Attack" was a more extended effort, featuring creative experimenting with the grand piano and marimba. Lyrically, the songs — such as "Indian Ocean" and "Carefully Woven Network of Lies" — were influenced by the events of 9/11, President George W. Bush’s re-election and the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Once the band took the stage this week, the music spoke for itself – loud, thunderous, noisy and folksy. The live performances and making connections with random strangers while on tour are what the members enjoyed, and will miss, most.

Cassetti remembers getting up on the stage and sitting behind the drum kit strutting her stuff as one of her highlights. "You forget how much fun it is to go on tour," she said. "You’re not a regular old working stiff. It’s like pretending to be a rock star."

Then there was the Springfield, Mo., show, where the instruments worked properly and the crowd’s energy fueled the one of the band’s best performances.

Before the house lights came back on at Sunday’s gig, band members thanked their fans for their support and played two more songs before calling it the end.

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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