At the turn of the century, in the era of pop punk and emo waves of genre rock that pulsed through the collective teeneage conciosuness, Hey Mercedes was one of the biggest bands out there. Formed from the remains of ’90s emo-core outfit Braid, Hey Mercedes combined smart syncopated beats and heart-on-the-sleeve lyrics for a pop-tastic run of well-received albums.
Disbanded since 2005, Hey Mercedes have reformed and are currently knee-deep in a cross-country tour playing their 2001 debut full-length album, Everynight Fireworks, in full. This week, Hey Mercedes welcomes Sonoma County indie rockers the Velvet Teen for three shows in California. They play in West Hollywood at the Troubadour on Thursday, July 21; in San Francisco at the Bottom of the Hill on Friday, July 22; and in Santa Ana at the Constellation Room on Saturday, July 23.
The San Francisco show at the Bottom of the Hill will also feature San Francisco garage-pop band Cocktails, who are playing a record release show for new album, Hypochondriac. Click here for more details. And click below to hear some of the Velvet Teen’s latest album, 2015’s excellent All Is Illusory.
Can’t wait until October to have a Halloween party? Neither can Los Angeles garage rockers Isaac Rother & The Phantoms, who roll into Santa Rosa on Wednesday, July 13, for a spooktacular show that kicks off their ‘Haunting the West Coast’ summer tour. Specializing in a throwback ’60s sound akin to Bo Diddley and Screaming Jay Hawkins, Rother’s larger-than-life onstage personality perfectly matches the group’s off-the-wall punk rock aesthetics.
Joining the Phantoms on July 13 are Oakland-based indie rock innovators O.C.D and Santa Rosa’s gleefully experimental Secret Cat. Boys and Ghouls of all ages are invited to dress up and enjoy Halloween in July on Wednesday, July 13, at Atlas Coffee Company, 300 South A St, Suite 4, Santa Rosa. 7pm. $5. Get a preview of Isaac Rother & the Phantoms’ unspeakable horror below.
Each year since 2005, the NorBays have recognized the best bands of the North Bay, with voting open to the public and gold-record awards presented to winners. We’re back this year, with a free outdoor awards ceremony planned and a new category. Voting is now open for the 2016 NorBays.
Before you join us for the awards show live in Juilliard Park in Santa Rosa on Sunday, Aug. 14, vote on categories including Blues/R&B, Country/Americana, DJ, Folk/Acoustic, Hip-Hop/Electronic, Indie/Punk, Jazz, Rock, and Reggae. This year we also added a best Promoter category.
With this write-in ballot, you will help choose the winner. Enter your favorite local band from Sonoma, Napa or Marin Counties in each category. Winners will be announced in the Aug.10 issue.
Voting ends Monday, Aug.8. at 12pm.
Fort Bragg native Emily Jane White’s long awaited album, They Moved in Shadow All Together, is finally getting an official release this Friday, July 8. We’ve already previewed the album’s first single, “Frozen Garden,” and now White unveils the music video for the album’s second single, “Pallid Eyes.”
Featuring a hypnotic acoustic riff and White’s ethereal voice, the song builds on “Frozen Garden” with a mysterious narrative and haunting melodies. And the video, shot in washed-out greys by director and editor Dan Jenkins, moodily captures the song’s message of longing and languishing.
White is currently on tour supporting the forthcoming album, click here for updates on her upcoming shows.
It’s been awhile since longstanding Santa Rosa punk band Ashtray has been on stage in their hometown. Almost five years in fact. In the meantime, there’s been babies born, changes of scenery and side projects for the group, led by vocalists Sarah-Jane Andrew and Dave Wiseman. Next week, July 8, Ashtray makes their return to Sonoma County with a show at Annie O’s Music Hall in Railroad Square, presented by the Nor Bay Pyrate Punx.
Also on the bill is Sacramento punk legends the Secretions, who themselves are celebrating their 25th anniversary of playing loud and fast with leather jackets and spiked hair, as well as Sonoma County punk bands the Quitters, Speed Wobble and Kitten Drunk. Like Ashtray, these bands all play an old school punk rock in the veins of the Ramones and Black Flag as well as a funky blend ’90s punk-ska rock akin to Operation Ivy.
This show is one of several concerts this summer being booked by the Nor Bay Pyrate Punx. The nonprofit group is actually one of 44 united Pyrate Punx crews/chapters/collectives in the US, UK, Canada, Mexico, The Netherlands, Germany, Indonesia and Australia. You can get more info on the punx here. Click below to hear Ashtray’s album “White Sugar is the Devil.”
This Monday, July 4, a full lineup of young punk rock bands hits the grass at Doyle Park in Santa Rosa for a day of loud tunes and good food to celebrate America’s 240th birthday.
“A Day in the Park” will feature Oakland rockers Sterile Mind, Santa Rosa band Hellbomber, all-female North Bay punks Kitten Drunk and Santa Rosa sludge rock outfit Amnesia, though the local crowds will also get a rare chance to see two bands from Bogota, Colombia–Dead Hero and Final–as they tour through the states this summer.
Dead Hero is a four-piece band playing a classic, riff-heavy punk that recalls late ’70s ripped jeans, big hair and big noise. Final boasts aggressively bold and furiously fast hardcore punk that nails down a darkly double-timed sound.
A Day in the Park will also have barbeque courtesy of Knife for Hire and will run throughout the afternoon on Monday, July 4, at Doyle Park, Santa Rosa. Music starts at noon and admission is free. Donations are requested for bands and food.
Get a listen to Dead Hero’s latest 12″ Antisocial, below.
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.
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.
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].
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.