Quantcast

Big Day Coming: Yo La Tengo and the Rise of Indie Rock

Posted by on Jun 14, 2012 One Comment

I spent the nineties swimming in a pool of indie rock, dousing myself with all things Matador, Kill Rock Stars and K Records. I still love indie rock, whatever that term even means in the days when new music sprouts from every corner of the internet, most of it independently produced by bedroom musicians, but to me it just means something with the pluck and spirit of music made from the heart. Yo La Tengo has been doing this for over twenty years, since their start in late 80′s Hoboken, New Jersey, as a pet project of married couple Georgia Hubley and Ira Kaplan. They’ve put out albums continuously since then, which is why I can footnote my life by YLT albums. (more…)

Where’s the Bridge from the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ “Under the Bridge”?

Posted by on Jun 10, 2012

New York‘s Vulture blog claims to have found the bridge from the Red Hot Chili Peppers song “Under the Bridge.” Do you imagine it’s in MacArthur Park? Most commenters don’t.

I love a good romp in mystery-solving, but while Mark Haskell Smith seems to have done most of his legwork with Google Maps, on-the-street residents of Los Angeles offer up some other possibilities. Could it be this opening at W. 1st and N. Figueroa? Could it be near W. 2nd and S. Hill? Could it be where Myra crosses Sunset? (more…)

In News

City Sound Inertia Wins National 2012 AAN Award

Posted by on Jun 8, 2012

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.

 

Extended Play: An Interview With Vijay Iyer

Posted by on Jun 7, 2012

This week’s Bohemian Arts Feature is on Vijay Iyer, the great jazz pianist who’s playing the Healdsburg Jazz Festival on June 10. Iyer and I spoke on the phone for about 45 minutes on a variety of subjects, from the challenges facing jazz as a whole to the phone conversations he used to have with Andrew Hill. Naturally, it couldn’t all fit into a 1,000-wd. piece, which is a shame considering Iyer’s very smart, articulate answers. Here are selections from our interview that didn’t make the print paper. (more…)

Live Review: Cass McCombs at the Great American Music Hall

Posted by on Jun 1, 2012

Photo by Jacques Law

The Lite-Brite style projections on the stage may have held promise of an appearance by the more upbeat Cass McCombs, but when the folk-rock artist took the stage at the Great American Music Hall on May 25, greeting the crowd with a quick, “How ya doin? Ya all right?” (one of the only exchanges with the audience made for the entire night), he launched into a series of semi-morose, jammy songs backed up by his band and an acoustic guitar.

To be honest, the first part of the set made me flashback to one, should-be-lost-to-history summer spent listening to Blues for Allah on the rickety porch of my friend’s compound out in the woods of West County. I spent a large bit of 2011 listening to McCombs’ Humor Risk and Wit’s End, and I never once made the Grateful Dead Blues for Allah connection until seeing the songs performed live. Don’t know if this is McCombs’ normal incarnation, but the sound was definitely there, and vocally he even had a Jerry Garcia thing going on, at times. Roll away the dew, indeed.

It wasn’t until about halfway through the set, when the shaggy-haired singer put down the acoustic guitar in favor of an electric that the energy really picked up, though the extended, repetitive-jam element remained. If anything, McCombs’ Northern California roots definitely showed through in this performance, with a sound that would have fit right into the 70s-era Fillmore.

Interview: Rama Covarrubias of Freeradicals Projekt

Posted by on May 30, 2012 One Comment

Already much-buzzed about in their native Maui, the Freeradicals Projekt are (now) a septet who seamlessly blend funk, soul, reggae, and hip-hop into a potent blend of ass-shaking, feel-good musical gooeyness. A huge reason the group’s fusion actually works is the inter-playing swagger of its co-vocalists, MC Francisco Perez and charismatic soul singer Shea Derrick – whose pipes and charisma alone could buoy the band’s shows. As their tour hits the mainland (they play Mill Valley’s Sweetwater this Friday, followed by shows in SF and Santa Cruz), we caught up with guitarist/band leader Ramas Cavarrubias to learn the benefits of making music in an idyllic bubble. (more…)

In News

2012 Summertime Outdoor Free Concerts in Sonoma County

Posted by on May 28, 2012

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.) (more…)

Church: Santa Rosa’s Thoroughly Modern Marching Band

Posted by on May 18, 2012 One Comment

I first time came across Church after stumbling out of Stark’s Happy Hour with a couple of friends. Down the street they came, skipping past Western Farm Center and hanging a right into Railroad Square. It was a motley crew, held together by a few lopsided grins, an accordion (played by Kalei Yamanhoha from the Crux), clarinet, a couple of saxophones, snare drums, trombones and a big, ole’ sousaphone. They looked like a bunch of wily mutineers, the Goonies of marching bands, and as we grinned and walked towards the railroad tracks, with Church behind us on the street, we claimed them for a moment as our own personal soundtrack. As they rounded the corner onto Sixth street and headed up into the West End neighborhood, I texted my husband and said, “Look out the window, a marching band is about to pass by!” For a second, everything felt shiny and good in the world.

The next time, I literally ran (or biked) into Church while navigating through dumb Santa Rosa Plaza to get into downtown. As I approached Macy’s, the glass entrance doors burst open, and Kalei the accordionist, came barreling out, still playing his accordion, followed by a tumult of ragtag marching band hooligans, all laughing and breathless—and probably being chased by an humorless department store security guard who didn’t appreciate the charm of being serenaded in the shoe department with off-kilter Russian folk songs. The best part… Church played the theme from “Cops” on the way out the doors.

That’s the great thing about Church: you never know when they’ll perform. The last time I saw them, they were playing guerilla-style at the Tour of California “Lifestyle Festival.” They were making bank in tips, I’m sure without a permit, and I thought, “Ah, now this is a lifestyle I can get behind.” Hopefully, next time I see Church they’ll be playing the shit out of a Ratatat song on the top of Hugh Codding’s tribute arch until the damn thing rumbles down…

Here’s what they say about themselves on their Facebook page: “One rainy night the idea was formed to create a marching band of friends. Why not? Everyone we know plays music, so why not get everyone together for it? We practice hard, perform harder, and create a redonc party everywhere we go.”

And here’s the official 12 -piece line up: Jesse Shantor (Sousaphone), Gaven Hayden-Town (Baritone Saxophone), Ben Weiner (Drums), Ricky Lomeli (Drums), Zak Garn (Drums), Joey Lynch (Drums), Travis Hendrix (Clarinet), Annie Cilley (Alto Saxophone), Adam Lessnau (Trombone), Jeremy Lessnau (Melophone/Trumpet), Josh Jackson (Trumpet), Kalei Yamanoha (Accordion)

While spontaneous, surprise Church sightings are the most fun, you can see them in a more “official” capacity when they play the Arlene Francis Center on Friday, May 25. The show is a benefit to send the West County-based marching band Hubbub Club, along with Church, to this year’s HONK! festwest.

 

 

 

 

In News

The Brothers Comatose Will Get Naked For You

Posted by on May 17, 2012

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!)

In News

Poker Face: Up-coming 2014 concerts in Las Vegas

Posted by on May 17, 2012

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.