Performing a brilliant vintage set in the late-night dancehall at last weekend’s SNWMF was infamous London reggae selector Sir David Rodigan. A classic, articulate British sort in his early sixties, Rodigan has the intonation and inclination of a musical elder. With a successful radio career that spans three decades on London’s premier radio stations, the selector holds a position in the U.K.’s Radio Academy hall of fame and an appointment to the Order of the British Empire. It has been said an endorsement from Rodigan can launch an artist’s career worldwide.
Yet, it is clearly obvious the man has seen his life’s work, and that of other traditionalist dubplate selectors, dismantled by a new generation of unoriginal club DJs. Rodigan’s reactions to this crude regurgitation of artist’s samples shows just how detrimental predictability is to the creative balance of the genre.
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. (more…)
What makes a Stabat Mater so special? Is it the holy text? The seriousness with which composers undertake the task? Whatever it may be, the Santa Rosa Symphonic Chorus and Santa Rosa Chamber Orchestra plucked every string in both chambers of the heart this weekend with their rousing performance of Gioachino Rossini’s Stabat Mater at the Center for Spiritual Living in Santa Rosa.
Rossini’s version of the sacred text, which dates back to the 13th Century as a somber hymn about the Sorrows of Mary, is powerful in a very Rossini way. At first, it might be surprising to know Rossini even composed a Stabat Mater (it was to me, at least). But the Romantic composer known for wild operas like the Barber of Seville and William Tell (think The Lone Ranger theme) was known for memorable melodies and dramatic crescendos stayed true to the feeling of the piece. (more…)
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…)
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…)
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.
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…)
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.