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Ashtray Plays Santa Rosa For First Time in Nearly Five Years

Posted by on Jul 1, 2016

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It’s been awhile since longstanding Santa Rosa punk band Ashtray has been on stage in their hometown. Almost five years in fact. In the meantime, there’s been babies born, changes of scenery and side projects for the group, led by vocalists Sarah-Jane Andrew and Dave Wiseman. Next week, July 8, Ashtray makes their return to Sonoma County with a show at Annie O’s Music Hall in Railroad Square, presented by the Nor Bay Pyrate Punx.

Also on the bill is Sacramento punk legends the Secretions, who themselves are celebrating their 25th anniversary of playing loud and fast with leather jackets and spiked hair, as well as Sonoma County punk bands the Quitters, Speed Wobble and Kitten Drunk. Like Ashtray, these bands all play an old school punk rock in the veins of the Ramones and Black Flag as well as a funky blend ’90s punk-ska rock akin to Operation Ivy.

This show is one of several concerts this summer being booked by the Nor Bay Pyrate Punx. The nonprofit group is actually one of 44 united Pyrate Punx crews/chapters/collectives in the US, UK, Canada, Mexico, The Netherlands, Germany, Indonesia and Australia. You can get more info on the punx here. Click below to hear Ashtray’s album “White Sugar is the Devil.”

Colombian Punk Bands Headline July 4th Outdoor Show in Santa Rosa

Posted by on Jun 29, 2016
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This Monday, July 4, a full lineup of young punk rock bands hits the grass at Doyle Park in Santa Rosa for a day of loud tunes and good food to celebrate America’s 240th birthday.

“A Day in the Park” will feature Oakland rockers Sterile Mind, Santa Rosa band Hellbomber, all-female North Bay punks Kitten Drunk and Santa Rosa sludge rock outfit Amnesia, though the local crowds will also get a rare chance to see two bands from Bogota, Colombia–Dead Hero and Final–as they tour through the states this summer.

Dead Hero is a four-piece band playing a classic, riff-heavy punk that recalls late ’70s ripped jeans, big hair and big noise. Final boasts aggressively bold and furiously fast hardcore punk that nails down a darkly double-timed sound.

A Day in the Park will also have barbeque courtesy of Knife for Hire and will run throughout the afternoon on Monday, July 4, at Doyle Park, Santa Rosa. Music starts at noon and admission is free. Donations are requested for bands and food.

Get a listen to Dead Hero’s latest 12″ Antisocial, below.

In News

Oh No! Harry Belafonte Cancels Kate Wolf Festival Appearance

Posted by on Jun 23, 2016

Well, this stinks. The Kate Wolf Music Festival announced less than an hour ago on their Facebook page that singer and activist Harry Belafonte, scheduled to appear at the festival on Saturday, June 25, has canceled his performance due to illness. Their post is below:

We are sad to announce that due to illness, Harry Belafonte will not be performing Saturday night. Our thoughts and prayers are with him. In his place will be Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Little Anthony and the Imperials.

Just last week, Belafonte gave me an interview concerning the Kate Wolf Festival and his upcoming conversation there. At the time, he sounded like he was in good spirits and he spoke eloquently with me about everything from his views on pop culture to his work with the nonprofit organization Sankofa and his love for the North Bay wine country. We wish him a speedy recovery.

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Watch the Music Video for OVVN’s “Sores”

Posted by on Jun 21, 2016

Sonoma County experimental band OVVN is an undeniable and unapologetic force of noise on their new LP, “I Love Myself And Want To Live,” out now on San Francisco-based label Don’t Look Down Records. The four-piece outfit, fronted by vocalist and songwriter Ethan Jayne, has been steadily gaining momentum with several self-released EPs over the last few years, and this debut full-length, full of droning metal riffs and feedback squals that travel unpredictable sonic paths, is an intense one-of-a-kind rock and roll experience.

Matching the aural edginess, this darkly-tinged music video for the album’s single, “Sores,” offers a gritty and mysterious vignette paired with ominous shots of the band playing live for an effect like that of an old Nirvana music video on quaaludes–in a good way.

OVVN (pronounced own) will be performing as part of the upcoming Last Record Store 33 & 1/3 Anniversary Party in Santa Rosa. For more details on that show, click here.

North Bay Cabaret’s Anniversary Show to Benefit Pulse Victims Fund

Posted by on Jun 15, 2016

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Still reeling from the news of this weekend’s mass shooting at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, many across the country are mourning the lives lost and asking how they can help the families and survivors, from donating blood to supplies to money.

With a massive two-year anniversary show already in the works for this Friday, June 17, the variety performance series North Bay Cabaret has joined the massive movement to help those in need and announced that the show will now act as a fundraiser for the Pulse Victims Fund, a crowdfunding campaign that will distribute funds among the victims and  families. In addition to the event’s eclectic lineup of dancing, live music and spoken word performances, the Cabaret will hold a raffle to raise proceeds for the fund.

This two-year anniversary show will feature Santa Rosa’s alternative folk ensemble the Crux, slam poet and spoken word artist Jamie DeWolf, nationally touring poet Joy Young, belly dancing, burlesque, standup comedy, interactive games and more. North Bay Cabaret hosts their bold and exciting night of antics on Friday, June 17, at Whiskey Tip, 1910 Sebastopol Ave, Santa Rosa. 7pm. $10-$15. Get pre-sale tickets here.

Anyone who wants to contribute items to the raffle can send a message to [email protected].

Radiohead’s Worldwide Streaming Event Hits North Bay Record Stores

Posted by on Jun 14, 2016

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Five years after their last release, mega-popular art rockers Radiohead are back with a new experimental album, A Moon Shaped Pool. The album was released last month as an electronic download, and this Friday, June 17, the band is releasing the physical LP and CD copies of the record with a globe-spanning listening party at independent record stores everywhere.

In the North Bay, two stores are so far listed as hosting the day-long “Live From A Moon Shaped Pool” streaming event, meaning fans of the British icons can hear the new album, get involved in mysterious competitions and get a look at exclusive artwork at The Last Record Store in Santa Rosa and Bedrock Music & Video in San Rafael. Both locations are listed in the official announcement website from the band, and you can find more details and locations here.

Musically, A Moon Shaped Pool continues Radiohead’s trajectory of blending both electronic and acoustic elements into one unique wall of sound fronted by Thom Yorke’s falsettos and backed by hypnotic off-tempos. Get a preview here and watch the music video for “Daydreaming,” directed by Paul Thomas Anderson.

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In News

Arann Harris Retires From Music

Posted by on Jun 2, 2016

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After more than a decade of playing a crowd-pleasing and foot-stomping brand of folk rock, Sonoma County songwriter Arann Harris is hanging up his hat and guitar, apparently for good. Harris performs a farewell concert this weekend, June 4, at McNear’s Mystic Theatre in his hometown of Petaluma.

The word from Harris is that he’s giving up a life on the road to focus on his family and work at Windrush Farm. Founded by his mother, Mimi Luebbermann, the working sheep farm produces quality wool fiber and educates the public about farm life through classes and camp events.

While it’s understandable, it’s no less a huge loss for Sonoma County’s music scene. Harris has long been a regular figure at the North Bay’s best events as well as its many clubs and venues, both with his own Farm Band and alongside fellow songwriters like David Lunning, Frankie Boots and others.

For this final concert at the Mystic Theatre, Portland blues duo Hillstomp and veteran solo performer Sean Hayes join Harris in what’s expected to be a blowout party. Get details on tickets and more by clicking here. 

Best of luck, Arann. Thanks for the music and the memories.

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Listen to Sugar Candy Mountain’s “666”

Posted by on May 31, 2016

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Oakland indie-pop band Sugar Candy Mountain describe themselves as the Beach Boys on acid, and by the sound of their latest offering, that sums it up quite nicely.

The band’s sophomore album, 666, is due out in July. In advance of that beastly release, they’re letting us in on the record’s title track. It’s a head trip of sublimely drugged out and jangly laidback guitars and vocalist Ash Reiter – a Sebastopol native – singing an ode to Satanic summers in an ethereal tone.

Sugar Candy Mountain performs this Saturday, June 4, at HopMonk Tavern in Sebastopol with Salt Suns and Indianna Hale. Get details here, and click on the box below to listen to “666” now.

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Green Music Center Story Told in New Book

Posted by on May 24, 2016

GMC_BookThe visually stunning and acoustically renowned Weill Hall is the crown jewel of Sonoma State University’s Green Music Center. Though the hall has been around since 2012, the process that lead to its existence dates back to the 1990s, when Donald and Maureen Green  first envisioned a performance space for the Santa Rosa Symphony on the campus of the university.

Now, the stories of this ambitious endeavor is told through revealing and personal stories in the new book, “For the Love of Music,” available now through the Sonoma State University Bookstore, in the lobby of Weill Hall at the Green Music Center and at Copperfield’s Books.

The book was conceived by Marne Olson, wife of SSU president Ruben Armiñana and vice chair of the Green Music Center Board of Advisors, as a tribute to the donors and staff who brought life to the music center, now considered one of the premiere music halls in the country.

Aside from tales of Weill Hall’s creation, the book also offers a history of the Santa Rosa Symphony and the Green Music Center’s equally impressive Schroeder Hall, completed last year. 

Subscriptions for the Green Music Center’s 2016-2017 season are on sale soon. “For the Love of Music” retails for $39.95. Contact the SSU bookstore at 707.664.2329.

 

In News

Watch the Music Video for Royal Jelly Jive’s “Dear Mr Waits”

Posted by on May 19, 2016
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Bay Area favorites Royal Jelly Jive are beloved for their blend of swing revival and soulful grooves, and the band employs all the tricks of their trade in their upcoming album, Stand Up, due out on June 24.

This week, the band previews their latest with a new video for the album’s first single, “Dear Mr. Waits.”

If you are familiar with North bay music, you may have already guessed the titular Mr. Waits is, in fact, iconic songwriter and reclusive west Sonoma County resident Tom Waits, who regularly records at Prairie Sun Studios, where Stand Up was also recorded.

Royal Jelly Jive will be appearing at the sold-out BottleRock Napa Valley on May 29 and the free Railroad Square Music Festival on June 5. Check out the details here.