For this year’s NorBay Awards held on July 14, we here at the Bohemian are premiering an exciting new experiment: the 24-Hour Band Contest.
Here’s how it works: You sign up for the contest. You tell us your name, the instrument (or instruments) you play, your experience level and practice space situation. All ages and all experience levels are welcome.
Then, on July 13 at 6pm, we’ll meet at the Arlene Francis Center in Santa Rosa. We’ll pick names randomly, assembling bands made up of complete strangers—a singer, a drummer, a bassist, a guitarist, a singer, a keyboard player, a horn player, an accordionist, a rapper, a kazoo player… anything goes!
The bands will then have 24 hours together to get to work in the practice space, writing two original songs and learning one cover song, and returning to perform the very next night at the 2012 NorBays on July 14 at the Arlene Francis Center! Prizes will be awarded to the winning band.
Are you in? Of course you’re in. Sign up by clicking here!
Treasure Island Festival 2012 Lineup: The XX, Girl Talk, M83, Best Coast, Public Enemy, Araabmuzik, Grimes, More
The Treasure Island Festival lineup for 2012 was just announced, and it includes The XX, Girl Talk, M83, Best Coast, Public Enemy, Araabmuzik, Grimes, Gossip, Toro y Moi, Ty Seagall, Los Campesinos, Imperial Teen and many, many more.
See the poster below, and prepare for sunsets over the Bay from the Ferris wheel while “VCR” billows across the field. Tickets go on sale this Wednesday, June 27, at 10am.
The temporary roof collapsed over Radiohead’s stage in Toronto June 17, killing a member of the crew and injuring three others.
Radiohead’s drum tech Scott Johnson was pronounced dead on the scene when investigators were able to get to his body through the wreckage at 8pm. The stage had collapsed hours before, while fans were still lining up outside the gates.
“I want you to know, he’s not coming back.” So sings Thom Yorke on Radiohead’s “Knives Out,” a somber tune full of sadness on Amnesiac. The Flaming Lips dedicated the song to Johnson before playing it to a group of fans who had gathered at the Toronto concert the same day after the Radiohead show had been cancelled. “Peace be with their hearts tonight,” said Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne.
Who is at fault, what happened and the ramifications of the accident are all yet to be determined, possibly mired in insurance investigations for years to come.
Great news! At today’s 2012 convention in Detroit, the Association of Alternative Newsmedia awarded City Sound Inertia with a third-place national award for Best Music Blog.
On top of that, yours truly won a first-place award for print-based writing in the category of Music Reporting / Criticism, with pieces selected from the Bohemian on tUne-yArDs, Conlon Nancarrow, and those irritating Pink Floyd reissues.
I am humbled, and thrilled. I’m always in fine company every year with City Sound Inertia, and this year’s no different: Ian S. Port and the writers for All Shook Down at the SF Weekly deservedly took first place. Gimme Noise, from the Twin Cities’ City Pages, took second. So to have a small, individually-written blog from Santa Rosa up in there… it’s a great feeling.
After three straight years of winning this award, I’ve decided to make a big change on City Sound Inertia and invite writers other than myself to contribute. Regular visitors may notice some new bylines here; some fresh voices and different angles can only do a music blog good. From 2008–2011, I ran City Sound Inertia entirely on my own as a one-man show, but it’s time to let other writers in. Hopefully you’ll welcome them as you’ve so obviously welcomed me.
Thanks to AAN, an organization of over 130 papers across the country, for the support. And thanks of course to you, the readers, for sticking with me and putting up with my rants, raves and obsessions about music. Here’s love to you all.
Someone recently wrote to us asking if we could compile a list of the free summertime concerts put on by cities around Sonoma County. I’ve had to dig to find these lists on various city websites in the past, so here’s a handy guide for free outdoor community concerts in Sonoma County for summertime 2012. (Note: We’ll add to this list as more schedules are finalized. Also, this does not include every single outdoor free concert; only those put on by cities.)
The Brothers Comatose are playing their CD release show this Saturday, May 19, at the Great American Music Hall, and boy, do they want you to be there.
For every 50 tickets sold pre-sale to the show, band members are taking off an article of clothing and posting the photos on their site. Think of it as a type of strip poker, with convenience fees. So far, they’re up to 203 tickets, which means the photos are still pretty PG-rated.
Does any wealthy benefactor want to buy all the remaining tickets so we can finally see Gio Benedetti buck naked? (Dear Warren Buffett, buy tickets here.)
Here’s hoping the 2010 NorBay winners are successful in their campaign, and below, see the video for “The Scout,” a song about staying young, from the BroCo’s new album, Respect the Van. (Considering our recent question about why there aren’t very many bike songs in the world, we should note it contains the line “We’ll ride our bikes all over this town / There ain’t no freedom like two wheels on the ground.” Sweet!)
The American gambling city of Las Vegas is known for its many casinos that stretch out across the city. While many people come to Las Vegas to partake in the gambling, they also come for many other reasons as well, one of these is for the music performances. Vegas attract many performers covering a wide range of music genes. Some of these performers have long standing engagement at some casino venues while others may only make brief performances – 2014 looks to be an ideal year for catching a concert while in Las Vegas.
Many venues in the city feature artists from the past – these retro artists are very popular to today’s adults that wish to relive a little nostalgia, with KISS having just announced a residency. Some performers scheduled to appear this year in Las Vegas include Journey, The Steve Miller Band, Kenny Loggins, Ted Nugget, Boston and Air Supply. If retro music isn’t your thing, there are more current performers scheduled to appear here. One of the biggest music events will be Lady Gaga’s concert this summer, she is scheduled to appear at the MGM Grand Garden Arena Lady Gaga’s concert this summer but only appearing one night, Vegas is one stop on her Artpop Ball Tour.
Not only are concerts popular events in Vegas, travellers to the city can engage in other activities. The city is of course full of casinos which make excellent places to visit at night. If you’re new to gambling however, it might be a good idea to try out games for free at http://www.gamingclub.com/au before blowing all your funds. While offering casino gambling, the casinos also have nightclubs and bars; some of the nightclubs are rather trendy and have excellent music. The Vegas Strip features numerous casinos within close proximity to one another. Many are next to each other which make it easy to walk the Strip at night visiting multiple casinos venues. Many refer to this as casino hopping which is similar to the concept of bar hopping.
The Cotati Sound Machine is back! Well, for one show, at least.
As announced today, the very great Rum Diary are playing this year’s C.A.M.P. Festival in Guerneville, which is this weird-ass type of hippie-indie-spiritual-DIY-new-age-yoga-craft-rock campout amid the redwoods lining the Russian River, outdoors under the stars. In other words, the absolute perfect place for the Rum Diary, who broke up in 2007, to reunite.
What songs do you want to hear? Why not go to this handy survey they’ve created and vote? (I’m currently Googling “Survey Monkey hack” and voting for “Greasers Win” 1,000 times.)
Here’s the funny thing: “Reunion” is a bit of a misnomer, because the lineup features the same exact members of Shuteye Unison—the band that’s still playing every month. Plans were initially made for original Rum Diary drummer Joe Ryckebosch to make it down from Portland, but now it looks like that won’t happen. But Shuteye’s Jake Krohn played briefly in the Rum Diary after Joe left, and “Shuteye Unison to me is basically the same band with a different drummer,” says Daniel McKenzie. “People just want to hear the old songs, you know?”
McKenzie also notes that at C.A.M.P., “the ‘vibe’ is pretty out there at times.” When C.A.M.P. originated last year, we at the Bohemian had no idea how it was going to turn out. A bunch of people from Oakland getting high on the old J’s Amusements site? A mix of bands from Sonoma County, Oakland and Portland? A harmonic convergence to the great savior music?
Alas, watch the video below to get an idea. Tickets are on sale now.
I had the pleasure of meeting Adam “MCA” Yauch, along with Mike D and the King Ad-Rock, at a San Francisco press roundtable back in August 2007. The Beastie Boys were in town for two shows promoting The Mix-Up, their only album comprised of instrumentals and devoid of samples. What happened was one of the most enjoyable and bizarre journalistic experiences of my life, with the smart-alecky trio christening me the “Debbie Downer” of the room for my questions regarding “porno music” and Tibetan freedom. I couldn’t help but ask about Yauch’s Milarepa Foundation efforts because the first Tibetan Freedom Concert at Golden Gate Park in 1996 was such a memorable part of my young life. The two-day event was a key accomplishment in Yauch’s—and the band’s—very public maturation.
It was also my first Beastie Boys show, and it was a revelation. The band delivered an incredibly diverse set that included their punk songs, jazzy numbers, funk excursions, and of course their hip-hop hits. There are so many highlights, all of which I’ve struggled to devote ample brain power to since that weekend 16 years ago: A vibrant opening with the one-two blast of “Jimmy James” and “Sure Shot”; a rare live “Get it Together” with Q-Tip busting up in laughter after forgetting half his lyrics; a cover of “Red Tape” by the Circle Jerks; Biz Markie leading the 100,000-strong crowd in a raucous rendition of his classic Check Your Head intro “The Biz vs. the Nuge”; and most beautifully, MCA’s performance of “Bodhisattva Vow” alongside a Tibetan monk’s live chanting.
There were many live Beastie highlights after that—the trio letting thousands sing EVERY WORD of “Paul Revere” at Oakland Arena in 1998; the group’s giddy rendition of “High Plains Drifter” at the Bill Graham Civic in 2004—but nothing like that day. In the 1990s, the Beastie Boys’ TV culture lyrics and seamless blending of disparate musical styles reflected the culture as well as Pulp Fiction or Lollapalooza or Seinfeld or The Real World. Seeing them bring it all to life was a thrill.
That weekend, Yauch not only assembled the largest U.S. benefit crowd since 1985’s Live Aid and many of the day’s finest musical icons to urge a boycott of Chinese goods. He also began an enduring post-Tiananmen-Square-Massacre dialogue in pop culture consciousness about the ethics of the U.S.’s partnership with the brutal government of China. This call for Generation X and Y to “follow the money” and make a difference through everyday restraint was incredibly profound to the 16-year-old me. I could no longer look at “Made in China” labels without remembering the monks onstage whose teeth were all knocked out by a Chinese police cattle prod, and the distance between my high school and far-off sweatshops would never be that vast again. I kept the effort up long after my “Free Tibet” bumper sticker was stolen off my Honda’s bumper.
It makes me sad to think how Westerners can still be shocked by things like the installation of suicide nets at Apple’s Chinese factories. But I must admit that I don’t boycott Chinese goods as much I can, and with the Internet, there’s really no excuse. At the roundtable in 2007, I didn’t look closely for sweatshop wear on the Beasties, but Yauch did express some disillusionment with the Tibetan Freedom concerts he produced, particularly in the apparent lack of other bands’ long-term commitment.
Following the farcical press conference, Yauch was hanging outside near the garage as everyone headed over to UC Berkeley for that night’s Greek Theatre show. Despite strict instructions to the contrary, another writer asked for a cell phone picture and Yauch kindly obliged. After he left, it was only me and MCA. Still star struck, I asked him if he was going to the student-led Tibetan freedom protest the following day at the local Chinese embassy (I’d heard about it on the news). Surprisingly, he had no idea about it. But he looked interested and asked me for more info. Then I told him how the 1996 Tibetan Freedom Concert made a big impact on the Bay Area, and that many locals were still fighting the good fight. He just looked at me, nodding.
When his ride pulled up, he went to leave but stopped and asked if I and the other writer were going to the show. I told him I was but that the other guy couldn’t get a press pass. He asked for the guy’s name, nodded to register it, and then bade me farewell.
I never got a picture, which would’ve been cool. But at least I got to tell him that something he did made a difference for others. At least I got to do that.
Talk has been swirling for weeks, and now, it’s been made official: After 33 years, there will be no Harmony Festival in Santa Rosa in 2012.
The full announcement from Harmony Festival CEO Howard “Bo” Sapper is below, and it looks like the decision wasn’t made lightly. Harmony Festival organizers “spent many months creatively exploring dozens of promising options” to keep the festival alive, Sapper writes, but to no apparent avail. “We know this news is a great disappointment to the entire Harmony team and the community at large,” Sapper writes. “We share your feelings of disappointment.”
So far, this is only a postponement—the festival is not necessarily permanently cancelled. In an egalatarian move worthy of the festival’s aims, organizers have set up a website, www.harmonyfestivalonline.com, to collect ideas about the future of the festival from the fans and extended community. “We are looking ahead to the annual Harmony Festival in 2013,” it reads.
Obviously, this is sad news for many. Official announcement below.
Dear Harmony Festival Family,
On behalf of the Harmony Festival Board of Directors and management team, we sincerely thank you for your continued support and encouragement as we grew and evolved the Harmony Festival from a grassroots community event in 1978, into the nationally renown music, arts and cultural festival—that you’ve come to expect year after year.
It is with a deep sense of regret that we announce that after 33 years we will not be producing a Harmony Festival in Santa Rosa, CA in June 2012. As you can imagine, this is a very difficult announcement for us to make. We appreciate your patience as we took the necessary time to prepare a thoughtful message to inform the greater Harmony community of our decision, which is now effective immediately.
You might ask why we made this decision. Please trust that we have spent many months creatively exploring dozens of promising options in the hopes that we could keep this magical event alive this year. We know this news is a great disappointment to the entire Harmony team and the community at large, and we share your feelings of disappointment. We ask that we work together to move beyond this stage, toward hope and optimism for future Harmony Festivals.
We are working on plans to reorganize the company and the possibility of creating Harmony Festivals in the future. We are counting on engaging YOUR support and participation going forward as we re-envision a sustainable future for the festival. We also ask that you assist in communicating this message within your own community, in the most positive light possible.
We welcome your comments and feedback via our new blog www.harmonyfestivalonline.com and look forward to the possibility of rekindling the Harmony Festival flame so it shines even more brightly again in the future.
Howard “Bo” Sapper, CEO Harmony Festival, Inc.