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VHS Plays in Santa Rosa

Feb 18, 2016 | No Comments

Seattle punk band  Violent Human System is ok with you just calling them VHS. It helps that the acronym harkens back to a vintage, primitive design, much like way the gritty four-piece makes their music. After a handful of self-released 7″ records and EPs, VHS signed to Seattle-indie label Suicide Squeeze last year and are releasing their debut full-length, Gift of Life, later this year.

This week, VHS is taking their dark, rowdy and infectious punk rock on the road for a West Coast tour that lands them in Santa Rosa this Saturday, Feb 20, for a show at Atlas Coffee Company. Joining them on the bill is excellent experimental Oakland post-rock band Teal and Santa Rosa’s own doom-synth scamps Service. This one’s going to be a blast, so get down to Atlas Coffee early, doors are at 6:30pm. $6. 300 South A St.

Below, listen to VHS’s new single, “Wheelchair,” off the upcoming Gift of Life. You can pre-order the album here.

Get the New Trust’s “Best of Decade One” Cassette

Feb 15, 2016 | No Comments

Santa Rosa indie power trio The New Trust have been a staple of Sonoma County music going on 13 years now, formed by Velvet Teen bassist Josh Staples, guitarist Sara Sanger and drummer Julia Lancer. From their 2003 debut release, “We are fast-moving motherfuckers. We are women and men of action,” which saw the band as a four-piece outfit with guitarist Michael  Richardson (Benton Falls); to their latest full-length, 2013’s “Keep Dreaming,” which found the band recording with studio legend Steve Albini, the New Trust has kept up a frenzied pace and sharp sound, the best of which is on display in their new cassette-only release, “These Motherfuckers: The Best of Decade One.”

Available now online and at the Last Record Store in Santa Rosa, the cassette boasts 27 tracks and over 80 minutes of music. Side A  is composed of 15 of the band’s most beloved songs. Side B switches it up with rarities, B-sides, demos and live recordings to offer a fully rounded listening experience. There’s no downloading this album, so if you’re a die-hard New Trust fan, you’ll want to grab a copy of this cassette and dust off your walkman.

Below, click on the 2003 music video for “All Things Are Moving Toward Their End,” the opening track of the cassette, and marvel at how young these kids looked. Here’s to another decade of The New Trust.

 

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Yountville Live Announces 2016 Line Up

Feb 11, 2016 | No Comments

Goo Goo Dolls photo by Chapman Baehler

Last year’s debut Yountville Live event was a huge success, and the organizers are back for a sophmore year of pairing chart-topping recording artists, world-class chefs and the finest in Napa Valley wine. Scheduled to take place March 31 through April 3, Yountville Live’s 2016 lineup of musical and culinary rock stars came out today. And it’s a doozy.

The Goo Goo Dolls, “American Idol” winner Kris Allen, Mayer Hawthorne and Plain White T’s are all slated to appear in special up-close and personal sets, with a bevy of emerging artists once again sprinkling the weekend’s entertainment schedule.

On the culinary side, dozens of Napa valley’s vintners, including Trinchero Family Estates, Jessup Cellars, Cliff Lede Vineyards, Priest Ranch, Robert Mondavi Winery, and Somerston, among others, are matched with culinary creations by Michelin-rated chefs. Napa Valley favorites Michael Chiarello (Bottega Napa Valley in Yountville) and Bob Hurley (Hurley’s Restaurant in Yountville) join other nationally recognized chefs in demonstrating the latest and greatest in cuisine.

All of these awesome events take place at wineries and restaurants in Yountville and include the “Taste of Yountville” event, a red carpet gala and more. For full details and tickets, visit the Yountville Live website here.

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Watch the Music Video for Misner & Smith’s “Lovers Like Us”

Feb 9, 2016 | No Comments

Folk and acoustic duo Misner & Smith, winners of a Norbay Music Award last year, are sharing their latest music video, a sweetly simple performance of their song “Lovers like Us.” Produced by Pint of Soul, the video shows off the pair’s perfectly-pitched harmonies and effortless instrumentation under the shade of trees.

Misner & Smith’s next North Bay performance is scheduled for March 6 at Rancho Nicasio, 1 Old Rancheria Rd in Nicasio. Tickets available at 415.662.2219.

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Dan Hicks Passes Away

Feb 8, 2016 | No Comments

The 2016 avalanche of legendary musicians passing on from this mortal coil now includes Bay Area figure and Mill Valley resident Dan Hicks, leader of the long time laidback roots and western swing band Dan Hicks & the Hot Licks, who died on Saturday, Feb 6, at his home. He was 74.

The cause of death is reported as liver cancer, according to Hicks’ widow Clare. Though he had been battling the disease for some time, Hicks and his outfit still regularly toured around the North Bay and beyond, performing in Napa last December and scheduled to perform at Throckmorton Theatre next month.

Born in Little rock, Ark. and raised in Santa Rosa, Hicks was a contemporary of classic rock icons like Jefferson Airplane and the Grateful Dead. And though he may not have sold millions of records, his toe-tapping revivalist roots country rock was a popular staple of North Bay music lovers for over 40 years. He will be missed.

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Listen to Sheer Mag’s “Can’t Stop Fighting”

Feb 5, 2016 | No Comments

Philadelphia punk rockers Sheer Mag today released their new single “Can’t Stop Fighting,” the first taste of their forthcoming 7″ release, due out next month on Static Shock Records.

Also next month, the group takes their crunchy riffs and exuberant energy on the road for a massive tour that brings them to Santa Rosa on April 24 in the first show put on by new Sonoma County concert booking venture Shock City, USA. Sounds like a perfect pairing. For more details on the upcoming show, click here.

After Illness, Merle Haggard Will Perform in Santa Rosa

Feb 5, 2016 | No Comments

 

Yesterday, a flurry of rumors surfaced that country music legend Merle Haggard had cancelled his upcoming appearance at the Wells Fargo Center for the Arts in Santa Rosa due to illness. Well, now the good news has come in that Haggard’s recent bout with double pneumonia will not keep him from the stage and his recovery is such that his show is BACK ON!

Haggard’s management released the following statement this morning-

The Merle Haggard show scheduled for Feb. 10, 2016 in Santa Rosa, CA will now take place as originally planned.  Mr. Haggard received some medical care earlier this week, responded positively to the treatment and looks forward to seeing his fans next Wednesday at the Wells Fargo Center for the Arts.

It’s great news to hear that Merle is healthy and ready to play. Tickets were temporarily put on hold yesterday as the venue monitored Haggard’s situation, though they should be back on sale by the end of the day today. Call the Wells Fargo Center for the Arts box office at 707.546.3600 with any questions.

 

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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.

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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?