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Oh No! Harry Belafonte Cancels Kate Wolf Festival Appearance

Jun 23, 2016 | No Comments

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.

In News

Watch the Music Video for OVVN’s “Sores”

Jun 21, 2016 | No Comments

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

Jun 15, 2016 | No Comments

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

Jun 14, 2016 | No Comments

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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Arann Harris Retires From Music

Jun 2, 2016 | No Comments

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”

May 31, 2016 | No Comments

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

May 24, 2016 | No Comments

The 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.

 

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

May 19, 2016 | No Comments

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.

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The Wine Train Gets in the BottleRock Mood with David Pack

May 18, 2016 | No Comments

photo by Stacey Pack

Napa Wine Train is riding the rails in the spirit of BottleRock for two nights with Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter David Pack and several superstar wineries on May 27 and 28.

Best known as the co-founder and frontman of 1970s rock band Ambrosia, Pack has performed at BottleRock for the past two years. For 2016, the Napa Valley resident and multi-platinum selling artist takes to the train for two consecutive “After-BottleRock Wine Train Hang” shows where he’ll play his classic hits while the train rolls through the valley.

Joining Pack for both nights are wines from Far Niente, Silver Oak, Pride Mountain Vineyards, Gargiulo Vineyards, and Casa Piena; all of whom collaborated with Pack on his 2014 “Napa Crossroads” album. Also joining Pack on Saturday, May 28, is indie rocker Robert Schwartzman, lead singer of the band Rooney, who also appeared on “Napa Crossroads.”

The vintage Napa Valley Wine Train picks up passengers for these concerts at 10pm on May 27 and May 28 at the Wine Train’s Pop-Up Restaurant and Bar while the train is parked by the 3rd Street festival gate. Space is limited, so reserve your spot today. Get tickets here.

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Narada Michael Walden Brings His Evolution to Mill Valley

May 17, 2016 | No Comments

Drummer, songwriter and producer Narada Michael Walden is the man behind more than 50 Number One hits, working with everyone from Mariah Carey to Jeff Beck with great acclaim. Last year, Walden released his latest solo album, Evolution, a funky and soulful collection of tunes that harken back to the musician’s origins with joyful energy.

Released on his own imprint, Tarpan Records, the new record features special guest musicians including Nikita Germaine (Stevie Wonder, Chaka Khan) on vocals, Frank Martin (Tuck & Patti, Jose’ Neto) on keyboards, Angeline Saris (Gretchen Menn, Zepperella) on bass and vocals and Matthew Charles Heulitt (Zigaboo Modaliste) on guitars.

This Saturday, May 21, the Marin-based Walden brings his latest evolution in music to Sweetwater Music Hall in Mill Valley for a power-packed concert with Martin, Saris and Heulitt on hand to help him perform classic hits and new songs alike in a passionate night of music. If you haven’t heard Evolution yet, click on the video below to hear the title track. Tickets are available here.