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Jessica Lea Mayfield Sparkles in Sebastopol Tonight

Feb 2, 2016 | No Comments

photo by Carey Haider.

Ohio-born singer and songwriter Jessica Lea Mayfield first came to my attention last year when she collaborated with Seth Avett (the Avett Brothers) on an album of Elliott Smith cover songs that showcased Mayfield’s graceful voice and delicate guitar playing.

Her mastery of the emotionally-tinged music comes as no surprise to her fans. Mayfield’s been active as a solo artist from the time she was 15, playing guitar in bedroom recordings. Since 2008, her career has blossomed with albums that have transitioned from acoustic folk origins to electric and stylized garage pop wonder.

Tonight, Mayfield continues on her current solo West Coast tour with a show at HopMonk Tavern in Sebastopol. Sonoma County native Alison Harris opens the show. For more details, check out the HopMonk website. And click on the videos below to get a glimpse of Mayfield’s singing/songwriting power.

In News

BottleRock Napa Valley Single Day Lineups Announced

Feb 1, 2016 | No Comments

The photo says it all. 2016’s BottleRock Napa Valley now has a lineup set for individual days throughout the three-day weekend, taking place May 27-29. Stevie Wonder headlines on Friday night, while Florence + the Machine and Red Hot Chili Peppers round out the headlining spots on Saturday and Sunday, respectively. Single day tickets go on sale tomorrow, Feb 2, at 10am. For more info, visit BottleRockNapaValley.com.

 

Jake Ward Pens Open Letter to AFC Vandals

Jan 25, 2016 | No Comments

Last night, at the otherwise awesome Ty Segall show in Santa Rosa, someone decided to tag the brick bathroom walls at the Arlene Francis Center with spray paint. It was a destructive and costly act, and one that local promoter and concert booker Jake Ward took offense to. Here, Ward writes and rants on why this vandalism is harmful not only to the venue, but to the Santa Rosa music scene overall. It’s a real and powerful wake-up call, and one that is worth reading in its entirety.

Well this is frustrating. Last night somebody vandalized the restroom of the Arlene Francis Center. I’m not even gonna address what they wrote, but I will say a couple things.

One, this is why we can’t have nice things. We live in a town where people complain about a lack of venues for cool music and art happenings, and yet when one of our few beloved local institutions for hosting events opens its doors to hosting an all ages rock show, someone goes out of their way to disrespect the space. How can we complain about the scene when we have no respect for it?

Two, this is brick. Brick is extremely porous. Spray paint on old brick does not come off easily. The only full time operators at AFC are in their 60s. Are they expected to clean this off? There’s also no surplus funds at this space to buy special cleaning products. This was super rude *and* destructive.

Three, this is not a punk venue, this is a non profit community center. The morning after the show this happened at, the classroom was rented out for a weekly event called Mini Music where parents bring their toddlers to learn to sing. There are all sorts of important political, educational, and arts activities happening at this space. Who really thought this was a place that deserved to be vandalized like this?

In News

Listen to Become the Villain’s New Single, “Slip Away”

Jan 22, 2016 | No Comments

Sonoma County songwriter Neem Wood mixes together shimmering electronics, soulful guitars and heartfelt lyrics for a compelling, emotional blend of indie rock and pop under the name Become the Villain.

Wood has a new album due to be released this weekend with a show at HopMonk in Sebastopol, and he has a preview of his latest work in the form a new single, “Slip Away,” that’s available to listen to right now.

Stylistically and sonically sophisticated, “Slip Away” features Wood’s soaring vocals and dark percussions with strong pop hooks and a cathartic chorus. Click on the track below; and catch Become the Villain tomorrow, Saturday Jan 23 at HopMonk, with other local luminaries Lungs and Limbs, Horses Heaven and Charley Peach. Details are here.

In News

Lagunitas & NPR Are Searching for Tiny Desk Talent

Jan 20, 2016 | No Comments

Attention music makers in the North Bay and beyond. NPR’s popular music performance series, Tiny Desk Concerts, is once again looking for the next best band to feature live in the intimate office space. And, once again Lagunitas is fueling the fun.

Hosted by Bob Boilen from NPR’s “All Songs Considered,” the Tiny Desk Concerts feature all kinds of musicians playing folk, rock, pop, soul, hip-hop, and more from the confines of Bob’s desk. Every year, Boilen sets his eyes on discovering new, untapped talents by offering the Tiny Desk contest to any unsigned musicians. Simply record a video of yourself playing an original song, preferably at a desk, then upload it to YouTube and fill out the form by the Feb 2 deadline.

A longtime partner of Tiny Desk, Lagunitas Brewing Company is once again involved in the fun. You can view their favorite entries from years past by clicking here. If you’re interested in submitting a video for consideration, get all the contest details by clicking here. Below, check out Sonoma native and popular North Bay performer Marty O’Reilly & the Old Soul Orchestra’s entry from last year.

In News

Listen to John Trubee Live on Stanford Radio This Week

Jan 19, 2016 | No Comments

 

Last November, we went deep into the mind of alternative songwriter and longtime Sonoma County local John Trubee who’s spent a lifetime making music on the fringes of popular culture. Since the early 1980s, Trubee and his band the Ugly Janitors of America has challenged the masses and expressed an outsider view of a sick sad world with hilariously avant garde lyrics and sophisticated rock and roll melodies.

Living a self-prescribed heretic lifestyle in Santa Rosa, Trubee regularly records albums of material, yet he rarely performs live. So, it’s exciting to hear that Trubee will be emerging from his hideout and playing with the Ugly Janitors of America live, on the radio.

Stanford University radio station KZSU hosts the Ugly Janitors of America tomorrow night, Wednesday, Jan 20, for an in-studio performance that’s being billed as “Nifty Space Music & Outasight Surprises for the NOW GENERATION!”

Tune into the station via the world wide web at 9pm PST to hear Trubee and his cohorts get weird and wild. Unfamiliar with Trubee’s irreverent rock and roll? Get a taste by clicking on the box below.

Trubee Records can be found at johntrubee.com. To contact John Trubee about anything, email [email protected] or send snail mail to PO Box 4921, Santa Rosa, CA 95402. Trubee reliably answers all inquiries.

 

Stream Ty Segall’s “Emotional Mugger”

Jan 15, 2016 | No Comments

Prolific rock and roller Ty Segall just can’t stop. In addition to playing in excellent garage rock outfits like FUZZ and Sic Alps, Segall’s massive solo output has been a wide array of experimental hard rock.

This month, Segall releases his tenth solo record, Emotional Mugger, on Drag City. It’s a super fuzzed out and darkly glammed collection of awesome weirdness. And you can hear it now, before it’s Jan 22 release date, by clicking on the link below, via NPR.

Ty Segall will be in the North Bay next week as well, blowing the roof off the Arlene Francis Center on Sunday, Jan 24, with his new full band the Muggers. Details on that show, which marks the final concert hosted by Sonoma County’s Pizza Punx,  are here.

Career Suicide Hits Up Santa Rosa This Weekend

Jan 13, 2016 | No Comments

 

Formed in 2001, Toronto hardcore punk rockers Career Suicide have carried a heavy brand of old school ’80s punk ethos to underground acclaim. Yet, the band has been rarely seen in the last five years and guitarist Jonah Falco has gone on to great heights as a member of the experimental punk band F*cked Up.

Last year, F*cked Up went on their own hiatus, and Falco has come back to his rough and rowdy origins with a revamped Career Suicide, including a new album in the works, their first since 2006. Last November, the band released “Cut and Run,” the first single off the so-far-untitled upcoming album. It’s an intense two minutes of razor-sharp riffs and pounding drums that prove the band still has a Hell of an edge.

Career Suicide are also embarking on a world tour that takes them from Bakersfield to Tokyo. And right in the middle of this tour, the band is bringing the amps and axes to Santa Rosa for a concert this Saturday, Jan 16, at the Arlene Francis Center.

Hosted by the saucy kids at the Pizza Punx, this eardrum-buster of a show also features Bay Area punks Culture Abuse, Ruleta Rusa, Ex-Youth and Abusivo. Tickets are ten bucks at the door and is open to all ages.

This is actually one of the last two shows the Pizza Punx are hosting under that name, as the moniker is being laid to rest in the new year. Some of the punx will still be booking shows as Shock City, and some will be taking on a new venue project simply known as Funhouse. Stay tuned for more details on those developments. In the meantime, listen to Career Suicide’s “Cut and Run” below and turn it UP.

In News

Help Lungs and Limbs Tour & Record New Album

Jan 12, 2016 | No Comments

We’ve been a big fan of Sonoma County indie pop outfit Lungs and Limbs for the better part of a year, following the four-piece electronic wiz kids as they built their own studio, self-recorded their debut EP, Lifelike, and self-released it last November.

Now, the band is trying to take things to the next level and looking for allies to help them reach it. Lungs and Limbs plan to tour extensively in 2016, taking their hook-laden rock to new locales; and they’re also looking to record a new album by year’s end, but they need your donations to get the show on the road.

For one more week, Lungs and Limbs is hosting an Indiegogo campaign where they’re offering swag and show tickets in exchange for a couple of bucks to get the band in gear. You can visit the page here. Lungs and Limbs’ next show is on Saturday, Jan 23, at HopMonk Tavern in Sebastopol, with Horses Heaven, Charley Peach, and Become The Villain. Get a listen to Lungs and Limbs below.

Five David Bowie Songs to Get You Through the Day

Jan 11, 2016 | No Comments

David Bowie, the Starman whose musical career spanned six decades and touched countless fans, died yesterday, Jan 10, peacefully surrounded by family after an 18-month battle with cancer. He was 69 years old.

As the world reacts in shock and dismay after losing the one-of-a-kind pop star and musical auteur, words don’t seem enough to convey the utter void left in his loss. So, I’m spending the day instead being immersed in the rock and roll bliss he left behind for the world. Here are five essential David Bowie songs to get lost in.

I don’t know why, but when I read the news this morning, the first thing that came into my head was Bowie’s whispering at the beginning of “Queen Bitch,” the first Bowie song I can remember hearing and remember playing endlessly. It’s been stuck in my brain ever since.

I could have made a list of just the spacey songs Bowie recorded in the 70s and as Ziggy Stardust, from “Life on Mars” to “Starman.” I’m listening to them all today, but for some reason “Space Oddity” is the one that is making me cry. Truly, the stars look very different today.

“Let’s Dance” is a classic. This song and Bowie’s “Modern Love” always make think of being a child listening to the radio in the 1980s. Hearing it now takes me back to that feeling of innocence and wonder. Brilliant.

Born out of a jam session between Bowie and rock legends Queen, “Under Pressure” is officially one of Queen’s most popular songs, though Queen guitarist Brian May told Mojo magazine in 2008 that, “David took over the song lyrically. It’s a significant song because of David and its lyrical content.” I couldn’t agree more.

Bowie’s final album, Blackstar, came out just two days before his passing. It’s been confirmed by producers to be Bowie’s farewell opus, as the songwriter apparently knew his end was near. That makes the lyrics and content of his final video, “Lazarus,” all the more potent. The autobiographical dirge opens with the line “Look up here, I’m in Heaven” and ends with a chorus of “Oh I’ll be free, ain’t that just like me?”

Rest in Peace, David Bowie.