It’s a dark day for punk rock, as news broke earlier that the former New York city music club CBGB, famed for their pioneering punk shows, is being transformed into a themed airport restaurant. While that atrocity sets in, take back a bit of your punk rock side with a seasonal selections of Xmas tunes done by hardcore legends.
The Ramones – “Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want to Fight Tonight)”
A staple at the late CBGB, the Ramones cut to the quick in this punk rock Cristmas classic. SImple hooks, effortless vocals, this 1989 song is a favorite punk anthem every holiday season.
The Vandals – “Oi! to the World”
I love the Vandals. They’re fun and messy and celebratory, and the band here offers up the ultimate drinking anthem to toast the holiday. Jingle bells back the hardcore riffs in a silly, but sing-along inducing hit.
The Damned – “There Ain’t No Sanity Clause”
Inspired by a Marx Brothers line and deliberately tongue-in-cheek, this 1980 release from UK punk pioneers the Damned is decked out with jangly guitars and a shimmering tamborine. Old St Nick even makes a cameo at the end.
Fear – “Fuck Christmas”
Impact – “Punk Christmas”
Little known Welsh punk rock band Impact only released one album as far as I can tell, a Christmas album. Fast as Hell, fun and punchy, this one’s a spirited gem.
Merry Christmas, punks!
Brand new North Bay electronic rock ensemble Night Shade made their offical aural debut this morning when they released their first-ever single, the haunting and hypnotic “Mother,” on their bandcamp page.
Made up of long time music makers Darwin Meiners, Emily Jane White and Derek Owen Doss, Night Shade’s dark, glassy synths and densely layered vocals here perfectly float over a swirling beat and single strained guitar chord.
Lyrically, “Mother” is longing and emotionally penetrating, as maternal figures are taken over by the mythos of patriarchy. Musically, the song builds in scope and urgency throughout with an ending that leaves you wanting more.
Hopefully, more is on the way soon from Night Shade. Stay tuned.
Just in time for the holidays, the North Bay’s biggest music festival, BottleRock Napa Valley, will hold a special one-day pre-sale of a limited number of Platinum, VIP and general admission passes for their 2016 event, taking place next May 27-29. The sale happens tomorrow, December 15, starting at 10am PST and lasts until midnight, or until supplies sell out.
“Last year went very well,”says Dave Graham of festival organizer Latitude 38 Entertainment. “And the day after the festival, we started anew and reviewed everyone from customers to vendors and partners to figure out where we can improve, and we have been working diligently on that all year.”
BottleRock Napa Valley 2016 promises to be even bigger and better this year, with an eclectic lineup of over 70 bands joining the best of Napa Valley food and wine. Graham says that popular additions to last year’s fest, like the always packed Culinary Stage, are being taken to the next level, and the fest hopes to entice more families with an established kid’s area that’s fun for any age.
Though the lineup will not be announced until early next January, Graham says,”This year with the credibility we were able to build with the industry and our customers, we’ve been able to bring on an amazing lineup of artists.”
Tomorrow’s pre-sale will feature four tiers of specially-priced tickets. The 3-Day Platinum Pass ($2750) features an exclusive one-of-a-kind experience that gets you up close and personal with the musicians, chefs and master sommeliers for a gourmet experience through and through.
The popular 3-Day VIP Plus Skydeck Pass ($925) this year boasts a more expansive experience, as Graham and the organizers are planning a bigger sky deck with all-day complimentary beer and wine, and private suites available as well.
There’s also the 3-Day VIP Pass ($579) with expanded culinary offerings, premium viewing and upgraded amenities. The 3-Day general admission ($250) is also available at a reduced rate tomorrow.
Folk and Americana duo Eight Belles is made up of Michigan-born and longtime Bay Area-based singer Jessi Phillips and Sonoma County native songwriter and guitarist Henry Aloysius Nagle. The pair met in 2010 and first made noise in 2012 with their debut album, “Girls Underground,” hailed as a vividly beautiful country rock record.
Now, Eight Belles is back in the spotlight with a new self-titled album on Saint Rose Records, a recently premiered music video and an upcoming record-release show at the Last Record Store in Santa Rosa on Saturday, Dec 12, at 2pm.
Even with their impressive debut, the new self-titled record proves to be an even stronger effort, with Phillip’s lovely voice sounding like a mixture of Patsy Cline and Carol King, and evolved melodic arrangements performed with a full band of popular Bay Area musicians.
To get a taste of the new album, Eight Belles offer up a music video for their single, “The Old Life,” that matches their timeless country folk with enchanting black-and-white visuals, click on the video below to watch.
This weekend’s release show at the Last Record Store will feature the pair playing in an intimate setting, with Sonoma County songstress Ashley Allred opening. Vinyl and CD copies of the self-titled album will be available. The show starts at 2pm and is free.
If you’re a fan of hardcore metal, you ought to know the name Max Cavalera. The Brazilian-born guitarist, singer and heavy metal icon has been in the business of melting faces and blowing out eardrums since he formed the infamous Sepultura back in 1984. His signature four-string guitar riffs and shamanistic growl have influenced countless acts in the last 30 years, and today Cavalera continues to innovate with his eclectic heavy metal band Soulfy, playing tomorrow, Dec 11, at the Phoenix Theater in Petaluma.
Sine 1997, Soulfly has explored highly spiritual themes with biblically heavy music. Their latest, 2015’s Archangel, is their most focused to date. Streamlined songs pour from the band on their tenth full-length, incorporating seemingly divisive elements such as grind and thrash metal into their sophisticated arrangements. Veterans of the genre, Soulfly prove again and again that they can take hardcore metal in any direction they choose.
Sonoma County Metal & Hardcore presents Soulfly tomorrow, Dec 11, at the Phoenix Theater for an all ages show that also features local acts Thought Vomit, Vile Riot Villains, Trial By Combat and Trecelence. 201 Washington St, Petaluma. 7:30pm. $20-$22. Tickets will be available at the door.
Onstage with Jim and Tom has long been one of my favorite podcasts and video series, focusing on local music and the historic Phoenix Theater in Petaluma, run by hosts Tom Gaffey and Jim Agius. The series incorporates interviews with local bands and live concert films, and this week the project unveiled their most ambitious concert feature yet.
Last summer, recent Norbay Music Award-winners the Velvet Teen released their long-awaited and exceptional indie rock album, All is Illusory, and toured the US; capping the trek with a massive show at the Phoenix Theater on August 22. To top it off, the Onstage film crew was there to capture the whole darn thing.
Edited by Agius and mixed by Greenhouse Recording Studio co-owner and engineer Paul Haile, this is a clean, clear and professional production that goes beyond simple recording and stands as a full-on film. And the band has never sounded better, captured here in their element, playing for the hometown crowd.
If you saw this show last summer, relive the good times. If you missed the show, now’s your chance. It’s well worth a watch.
Reports have come in that Scott Weiland, former lead singer of the Stone Temple Pilots and current frontman of Scott Weiland & the Wildabouts, was found dead last night on his tour bus in Minnesota. His official instagram account posted the following statement:
Scott Weiland passed away in his sleep while on a tour stop in Bloomington, Minnesota, with his band The Wildabouts. At this time we ask that the privacy of Scott’s family be respected.
It’s still unclear what the cause of death is. Weiland and the Wildabouts performed last year at BottleRock Napa Valley and was scheduled to return to Napa this month with a show on Dec 19. Weiland was born in San Jose and lived in Southern California. He was 48 years old.
Garage rock and glam pop songwriter Ezra Furman is a fierce and fearless indie music maker who’s been gathering steam for his irresistible tunes and infectious personality. His most recent release, “Perpetual Motion People” is as groovy as it is restless, as personal as it is catchy. And, Furman has also been making headlines lately for identifying as gender fluid. We last wrote about Furman’s awesome cover of the Replacements song, “Androgynous,” and we’re happy to have another excuse to highlight some amazing music once again.
That’s because, this week Furman is playing a last minute concert on Saturday, December 5, at the Arlene Francis Center in Santa Rosa, as part of a west coast tour. With Furman’s star shining brightly and musical momentum perpetually gaining speed, this might be the last time anyone will get to see the songwriter in such an intimate setting as this, and the rest of the lineup is fully stacked with local wonders. Music from the Corner Store Kids, Don Kennemer and Plastic Ghost joins a masked performance art piece by Quenby, comedic antics from Be The Clown, a gallery of works from local artists and Lagunitas beer on tap.
This is one not to miss. The show happens on Dec 5 at Arlene Francis Center, 99 Sixth St, Santa Rosa, 8pm, $12 suggested donation.
Tennessee-born songwriter Clark “Big Kitty” Williams has cultivated a fringe following for his idiosyncratic folk and country ditties that are equally humorous and harmonious. Two months back, Williams trekked from the blue mountains of his longtime home of Chattanooga, TN to settle in the Gravenstein apple orchards of Sebastopol. And he’s brought his music with him.
Williams has already played a few gigs around town in the last month, and this week he’ll be at Jasper O’Farrells on Thursday, Dec 3, from 6pm to 9pm. If you’ve never heard Big Kitty’s music, click on the music video for his song “Little Man” below, and head over to the show tomorrow to welcome Williams to the North Bay.
Since 2007, Record Store Day has been the biggest celebration of the unique culture and tight-knit community of independent record stores around the world. Happening this year on November 27, better known as Black Friday, Record Store Day is a more than just a shopping sale, it is a chance for artists, store employees and customers to come together and share their love of music.
Special vinyl and CD releases and various promotional products are available exclusively for the day and hundreds of artists in the United States and in various countries across the globe make special appearances and performances.
In the North Bay, local favorites like the Last Record Store in Santa Rosa and Bedrock Music & Video in San Rafael are hosting their own Record Store Days with lots of exclusive albums and special edition vinyl.
Some of the highlight releases includes Like A Puppet Show, a 2x LP Picture Disc from actor John Malkovich, photographer Sandro and composer Eric Alexandrakis that finds the thespian reciting passages from “Plato’s Allegory of the Cave” and features such luminaries as Yoko Ono, Sean Lennon, Ric Ocasek, Dweezil Zappa and others.
There’s also a 10″ vinyl from the Arcs, a collaborative project from Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys that pairs him up with the likes of Dr. John and David Berman of the Silver Jews. The Arcs vs The Inventors, Vol. 1 has reportedly been in the works for some time, though it sees its first light on Record Store Day, as will dozens of other titles. See the full list here and support your local record store on Friday.