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Five Sonoma County Bands Receive Next Level Grants

Posted by on Aug 10, 2017

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This past Spring, Creative Sonoma, a division of Sonoma County’s Economic Development Board, hosted the second annual Next Level Conference for local musicians and those in the business. With that daylong event of keynote talks and panel discussions with industry professionals also came the opportunity for Sonoma County bands and musicians to apply for a Next Level Grant worth $2,5000. All told, Creative Sonoma awarded grant money to five bands, and they recently announced the recipients.

In no particular order, the 2017 Next Level Grantees are world music makers DyaTribal Band, indie rockers Manzanita Falls, funk act Marhsall House Project, eclectic folk outfit Oddjob Ensemble and jazz artist and instructor Alan Hall. Funds will be used for projects ranging from new recordings, touring, video projects and album promotion. These grants will also be paired with ten hours of one-on-one consulting with music experts to help each recipient make the most of their funds.

This program is made possible with grant funds from the William J. and Flora Hewlett Foundation with additional support from Lagunitas Brewing Company. For more information on the Next Level conference and grant program, watch the video below.

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Help Oddjob Ensemble Record Their Debut LP

Posted by on Jul 11, 2017

0009384091_10If you need a musical job done in the North Bay, Kalei Yamanoha is the man to do it. The multi-instrumentalist is a seasoned touring and recording musician who plays hundreds of shows a year, often on the accordion, with acts like the Crux, Sharkmouth and many, many others.

In addition to that musical resume, Yamanoha is also the founder and frontman of avant-garde, Vaudevillian-inspired folk troupe Oddjob Ensemble, who are embarking on a massive mission to record, produce and tour with their forthcoming debut full-length album, “The Silver Sea.” Described as “12 songs that tell a story of a distant land,” the ambitious project is not without its costs, and Oddjob Ensemble is reaching out to the community for support with an Indie GoGo campaign aimed at raising $7500 for the endeavor.

The band is offering several gift packages for backers of the project, ranging from downloads of the album to private concerts and even an option to have them write a song just for you. The group plans to use the funds to record at Prairie Sun Studios in Cotati with several guest musicians and vocalists. After producing the album, the band hopes to take the album on the road for a six-week national tour. Lend a hand if you can, and get in on the shenanigans.

Watch The Drought Cult’s Darkly Awesome “Animals” Music Video

Posted by on Jun 22, 2017

Fuzzed-out psych rock doesn’t get much better than Sonoma County trio the Drought Cult, who recently unveiled a dark, stylized music video for their single “Animals,” off the 2016 EP Moon Lust. The Drought Cult has been making waves since that debut last year, and this new video offers a glimpse into their experimental sound and vision.

Drenched in fog and reverb, the band’s uncompromising music is perfectly captured in the video’s bleak tones by production team Headlong Into Harm, from a concept by Drought Cult bassist Jef Overn. Watch the video and see the Drought Cult perform on July 13 at HopMonk Tavern in Sebastopol with fellow North Bay heavies eNegative.

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Calexico Duo Swings into Sweetwater Music Hall This Week

Posted by on Jun 21, 2017

CALEXICO2JairoZavalaFor over two decades, Joey Burns and John Convertino have crossed musical borders with their band Calexico. This indie rock outfit is praised by critics and loved by fans for their blend of dusty desert grooves, Latin-inspired melodies and post-rock atmosphere.

Calexico is often a full band affair, rollicking onstage with up to seven players. Yet, this weekend will see Burns and Convertino stripping away the sounds and performing as a duo for a special one-night-only concert engagement at Sweetwater Music Hall in Mill Valley.

Hear the hits and latest from the two veteran players and see Northern California bandleader Marty O’Reilly, of Marty O’Reilly & the Old Soul Orchestra, also in a spirited solo set on Saturday, June 24. For details and tickets, click here.

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Sound Summit 2017 Announces Grateful Dead-Heavy Lineup

Posted by on Jun 19, 2017

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The upcoming third annual Sound Summit is the largest concert on Marin’s Mount Tamalpais, and this year’s installment joins in the region’s ongoing 50th anniversary of both 1967’s “Summer of Love” and Mt Tam’s Magic Mountain Festival with a lineup featuring Grateful Dead’s Phil Lesh and Bob Weir topping the bill together.

Other performers include Jim James of My Morning Jacket performing a rare solo set, indie singer-songwriter Jenny Lewis, New Orleans’ seminal Preservation Hall Jazz Band and San Francisco folk-rock staple Vetiver. Hosted by nonprofit Roots & Branches Conservancy and staged at the historic Mountain Theater, the annual benefit concert will appeal to rock fans of all ages and support Mount Tamalpais State Park when it happens on Saturday, Sept 9. Tickets go on sale this Wednesday, June 21, at 10am PST. 

Manzanita Falls Takes the Long Way in New Music Video

Posted by on Jun 16, 2017
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Santa Rosa indie rock outfit Manzanita Falls is just about ready to drop their highly anticipated sophomore album, Abilene, on the world this year. Leading up to that, the band has a new melodic and visually expansive music video for the record’s first single, “Between The Stories.”

Made by new North Bay video production team DogFilm, the video is an emotionally acute exploration of the greater North Bay, following actress Elyse Jurbina as she herself follows a thread from her home to the band in a barefoot trek.

Like most of Manzanita Falls’ music, this new single is a mesmerizing affair, with gently rolling reverb and subtle pulsing drums making for a cathartic gem of rock. Watch the video now and see the band debut the single when they play on Saturday, Jun 17, at HopMonk Tavern in Sebastopol. For details on the show, click here.

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Download Antiphony’s New “Guerneville” EP For Free

Posted by on Jun 15, 2017

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West Sonoma County experimental band Antiphony’s multifaceted musical journey is marked by sonically brazen and emotionally crushing works that range from hardcore rap to post-punk noise. Fronted by songwriter Anthony Jimenez, the outfit recently released it’s latest EP, “Guerneville,” as a free download, and you can still get it at their website. 

The second installment of Antiphony’s ambitious “West County Tetralogy,” (following 2015’s “Monte Rio”) this new collection features three epic songs that take the group’s emotional explorations in a new direction. Jimenez wrote about “Guerneville” on the band’s Facebook page, saying:

These 3 songs deal with the joy of truly choosing to be in life, the reunion of parts of myself that went astray, and the journey from being a victim in relationships, to reclaiming my personal responsibility in my creations, and coming to the place of being done with battling myself.

‘Guerneville’ is my favorite album that I have ever released, and I am proud to share it with you now.

Get a preview of the new EP by clicking on the video below, and download “Guerneville” for free by clicking here. 

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What We Saw at BottleRock 2017

Posted by on May 31, 2017

We spent three sun-soaked days in Napa for the fifth annual BottleRock Napa Valley Music Festival with 120,000 of our closest friends. With tons of bands and lots of libations propelling the fun, our photographer snapped a couple shots of what we saw and who we rocked out to. All shots are by Pollen Heath.

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Kingsborough Lights a Fire in New Music Video

Posted by on May 25, 2017
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If I ever make a music video, I’m going to do it the same way that the North Bay’s hardest hitting blues-rock outfit Kingsborough did it on the video for their new song “Something Strange.” Step one: Throw a party. Step two: Get a bunch of pallets of wood piled high. Step Three: set that pile on fire!

Director Tanner Beree perfectly captures a care-free evening of friends and flames in this video, which also perfectly matches the sonic tone of “Something Strange,” the hard-charging, pulse-pounding first single off the band’s forthcoming album, “1544,” set to be released in July. Watch the group and a good-looking gaggle of friends dance amongst the bonfire. Just remember, safety first, guys!

This summer, Kingsborough rocks the Redwood Empire Fair in Ukiah on June 3, then hits Pioneer Park in Calistoga on June 15 and the Healdsburg Plaza on Jun 27 before playing an album release show for “1544” at HopMonk Tavern in Sebastopol on July 8. For more info, visit the band’s website.

North Bay Cabaret Channels David Lynch in ‘Sin Peaks’

Posted by on May 18, 2017

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It is happening again. Just as director David Lynch’s wonderfully weird television series “Twin Peaks” is set to return after 25 years, fans in the North Bay are being treated to a damn fine evening of entertainment from the also wonderfully weird North Bay Cabaret, when Sin Peaks, goes down tomorrow, Friday May 19 in Santa Rosa.

Sin Peaks promises burlesque, drag, comedy, circus, games, DJs, puppets, and more in it’s offering this week, with special guests like Wonder Dave and Mary Vice taking on some of David Lynch’s most bizarre characters in their acts. After the stellar line-up, a DJ dance party keeps the action moving. This event also includes a raffle full of fabulous prizes with 100% of the proceeds benefitting YES ON C: Fair and Affordable Santa Rosa.

Sin Peaks happens May 19 at Whiskey Tip, 1910 Sebastopol Rd. Santa Rosa. $15. 21 and over.