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Gabriel Wheaton Heads Home for Album-Release Show

Nov 22, 2017 | No Comments

Los Angeles-based violinist and composer Gabriel Wheaton traces his musical lineage back to Sonoma County, where he was born and raised in Sebastopol. After mastering the violin at a young age and performing in chamber groups and orchestras while attending Analy High School, Wheaton moved to La La Land to study at UCLA in 2011.

Wheaton currently makes a living as a freelance musician and plays in several bands in Los Angeles, including indie-pop group We the Folk. In his spare time, Wheaton also composes folk-tinged experimental pop music as a solo performer, utilizing looping effects and improvised melodies on the violin.

This week, Wheaton unveils his new album of these inventive, instrumental compositions, Single Source, and he’s headed back to Sonoma County to perform an album-release show on Saturday, Nov 25, at HopMonk Tavern in Sebastopol.

Joining Wheaton for the post-Thanksgiving soiree is San Francisco ensemble Barrio Manouche, also celebrated for improvised shows and exuberant energy. Copies of Single Source will be available at the show, and long-time local fans, friends and family of Wheaton will want to see how much he has grown musically. For more info and tickets, click here.

Luther Burbank Center Reopens With ‘Pay What You Can’ Program

Nov 6, 2017 | No Comments

Less than a month after the Tubbs fire ripped through Santa Rosa and destroyed an estimated 30-thousand square feet of the Luther Burbank Center for the Arts’ campus, the center has defied expectations and reopened to the public today, November 6. 

After cleaning and restoring the main auditorium, which was spared major damage, the center is reaching out to the community by offering a “Pay What You Can” program for select performances during the month of November. Those affected by the recent fires and first responders are welcome to pay any price, and the community is invited to come together, connect and find solace in music and art.

Performances and family-friendly events included in the “Pay What You Can” program are “Shopkins Live! Shop it Up” on Nov 9, Air Supply on Nov 11, Imago Theatre’s “La Belle” on Nov 14, Dwight Yoakam on Nov 26, PJ Masks Live! “Time to Be a Hero” on Nov 27 and Mannheim Steamroller on Nov 29.

“Pay What You Can” tickets are available at the ticket office, 50 Mark West Springs Rd, Santa Rosa. Open daily, noon to 6pm. 707.546.3600. lutherburbankcenter.org with the code sonomastrong. Subject to availability, limit of 4 tickets per show.

In News

Local Punk Bands Invade Bolinas This Weekend

Nov 3, 2017 | No Comments

Of all the mysteries that reside in Bolinas, one that kids are especially curious about is the long incomplete Bolinas Community Skate Park, first conceived of in the skateboarding craze of the ’90s, but left unfinished for years and currently languishing on the Mesa Park property.

Over the last few years, a committed group has made it their mission to see the dream of the Bolinas Skate Park become a reality for Marin youth with an online fundraiser for the skate park that currently sits at over $18,000. This weekend, three heavy-hitting North Bay punk bands show their support for the skaters and converge on the Bolinas Community Center to rock out and raise money towards the effort.

Sonoma County bands Streetbreaker, the Drought Cult and new  group Holy Wood share the stage, and a silent art auction featuring local and visiting artists benefit the completion of the Bolinas Skate Park on Saturday, Nov 4, at Bolinas Community Center, 14 Wharf Rd, Bolinas. 7:30pm. $5-$20 sliding scale. For more info, click here.

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Metallica Headlines Upcoming Fire Relief Benefit Concert

Oct 25, 2017 | No Comments

Bay Area music icons and heavy metal megastars Metallica have announced that they will headline a massive fire relief benefit concert at AT&T Park in San Francisco on Thursday, November 9, along with Dave Matthews, G-Eazy and other artists. The show, dubbed Band Together Bay Area, will raise funds for the Tipping Point Emergency Relief Fund, which is helping low-income communities recover and rebuild from the recent North Bay wildfires.

In a recent Youtube video (below), Metallica members James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, Kirk Hammett and Robert Trujillo express their sadness about the fires, their admiration for the first responders and their commitment to helping the community they’ve represented for over 30 years with the upcoming concert.

Since 2005, the San Francisco-based Tipping Point Community has worked with the most effective nonprofit organizations in the Bay Area to support individuals and families trying to break the cycle of poverty. In response to the devastating wildfires, Tipping Point is now focused on helping displaced North Bay residents who are experiencing urgent housing, clothing, food and other needs.

Tickets go on presale this Thursday, Oct 26, for Metallica fan club members and subscribers of the San Francisco Giants, Live Nation, Another Planet Entertainment and Tipping Point Community. The general public can get tickets the next day, Friday, Oct 27. Prices range from $49 to $199 and all proceeds go directly to Tipping Point.

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Luther Burbank Center Closed Until November

Oct 16, 2017 | No Comments

The Luther Burbank Center for the Arts was one of over 5,000 buildings damaged or destroyed in the last week of wildfires in the North Bay, suffering major damage when a firestorm swept through Santa Rosa’s Mark West Springs neighborhood on Monday, Oct. 9.

Today, Oct. 16, the center announced in a press release that all events and performances at the venue have been postponed through Sunday, Nov. 5, as the staff works with authorities to determine the building’s structural safety.

In the statement, the center announced that they are hoping to reschedule as many of the events as possible, and will issue refunds for any event that is cancelled.

The Luther Burbank Center for the Arts is not the only performance venue affected by the fires, and others, like the Blue Note Jazz Club in Napa, are also postponing events through the month. If you have tickets to a show in the North Bay this month, check with the venue for updated information.

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The Highway Poets Rock Out For Fire Relief This Weekend

Oct 12, 2017 | No Comments

Last month, Petaluma’s longtime indie-soul rock band the Highway Poets were celebrating the release of their new album, Chasing Youth, and planning for a exciting new chapter in their musical journey.

This month, the Highway Poets–like thousands of others in the North Bay–are watching wildfires rip through their region and looking for ways to help. In that regard, the band has announced that they are donating all proceeds from their shows and album sales this week to the fire relief fund started online by Jake Kloberdanz, a vineyard and winery owner living in Napa.

On his Facebook page, songwriter and frontman Sebastian St James announced the Highway Poets’ plan to donate to the fund with a heartfelt statement:

In times like these we need to be strong for the ones that are hurting and I can’t express enough how much my heart truly aches for everyone who has lost or is losing a home this week. As entertainers we can offer a little escape that hopefully turns into the strength to rebuild. Help us raise money for the victims by taking in a bit of joy even if it’s just for the night.

Tonight, Thursday Oct 12, the Highway Poets play with Night Animals at the Boom Boom Room in San Francisco. Tomorrow, Friday Oct 13, the band takes the stage at Papermill Creek Saloon in Marin. On Saturday, Oct 14, the Highway Poets come to their hometown for a double dose of music, performing a set at Jamison’s Roaring Donkey between 3pm and 6pm, and then moving over to the Big Easy to join acoustic zydeco band Left Coast Syncopators late into the night. In addition to donating their earnings and sales, the band will be collecting donations at each show.

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North Bay Fire Relief Benefit Concert Happening in Sebastopol, Oct 12

Oct 11, 2017 | No Comments

This week’s devastating fires are being felt all over the North Bay. While flames are still threatening the region, the community is already stepping up to help relief efforts. One such case is the North Bay Fire Relief Fund, overseen by a coalition of diverse, local organizations including: The Farmers Guild, Community Alliance with Family Farmers, the North Bay Organizing Project, Daily Acts, the School Box Project, the Arlene Francis Center, Sebastopol Grange and Conservation Action.

Tomorrow, Thursday, Oct 12, the fund hosts a benefit concert at Sebastopol Grange Hall (6000 Hwy12, Sebastopol 5pm. by donation). The event will include food, drinks, music, words of solace and solidarity, silent auction, opportunities for further support, and more. Funds will be provided to victims, including family farms, farm workers and those suffering losses not covered by insurance or traditional relief services. For details, click here.

Levi’s Granfondo Features Free Music Fest

Sep 28, 2017 | No Comments

Bicycle lovers have long flocked to Santa Rosa each autumn for Levi’s Granfondo, a bike ride that draws nearly ten thousand pros and amateur riders to the streets of Sonoma County.

This year, the granfondo has upped the experience for both riders and spectators with the all-day FondoSonoma Expo & Music Festival at Finley Park in Santa Rosa on Saturday, Sept 30.

Live music from Bay Area favorites gets the festival into the groove, with Marty O’Reilly & the Old Soul Orchestra, La Gente, Sonoma County’s own Jon Gonzales & Family and others taking the stage. Crowds and riders will also get a look at several local bike-oriented vendors and exhibitors, enjoy food and drinks from Gerard’s Paella, Firetail Pizza, Tri Tip Trolley and others, and relax in the REI Lounge base camp.

The Sept 30 post-ride celebration is free for all and runs 10am to 6pm at Finley Park, 2060 west College Ave, Santa Rosa. For more info, click here.

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Lungs and Limbs Cut Through the Static in New Music Video

Aug 25, 2017 | No Comments

Electro-pop stars and North Bay natives Lungs and Limbs have made their name with ’80s-inspired synthwave and alternative guitar rock mashups that hook the listener with addictive riffs and memorable melodies. The band is at it again with their latest single, “Lightspeed,” off the band’s 6-song album Big Bang.

Now there’s a music video to accompany the patiently poppy track, and it features the band taking to the airwaves with mysterious masks and vintage aesthetics. Check out the video and get the chorus firmly embedded in your memory for the rest of the week.

In News

Five Sonoma County Bands Receive Next Level Grants

Aug 10, 2017 | No Comments

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.